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HRO chair wants to kick Chicago out of Illinois

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

* The Washington Post has a story about Rep. Brad Halbrook’s House resolution to eject Chicago from Illinois. The piece doesn’t really tell us anything new, but I did notice this

According to Halbrook, there are eight co-sponsors, up from three when it was introduced last year.

I hadn’t checked the sponsorship list in a while, so I pulled up the status of HR101 and noticed that Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) is now listed as a co-sponsor.

Rep. McCombie is the chairperson of the House Republican Organization’s political action committee, which raises money for House campaigns.

According to a search of the Illinois State Board of Elections’ website, HRO has raised almost $71.6 million over the years. Of that, $28.1 million has come from contributors in the city of Chicago. That’s 39 percent of the total.

* House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, who put McCombie in charge of HRO, had no comment today. Statement from Rep. McCombie…

This is a political bill. As the political arm of the Illinois House Republicans, it is my responsibility to remind Chicago that there is more to Illinois than Chicago.

You’re gonna “remind” Chicago by… threatening to kick it out of Illinois? Apparently, however, she’ll still accept their contributions.

* Meanwhile, as long as we’re on the subject of House Republicans

Deputy Republican Leader Tom Demmer complained that the governor’s office isn’t listening to a GOP proposal for balancing the budget. In an internal memo obtained by Capitol News, Dermer said, “While Governor Pritzker has been occupied hosting cocktail parties, the House Republican Caucus budget team has been working diligently to ensure we are on sound footing offering a budget plan that doesn’t rely on additional tax increases on Illinois families and small businesses.” That’s funny because Demmer, who represents the northwestern suburbs of the 90th district, attended a cocktail party just last night at the governor’s mansion in Springfield.

I confirmed that attendance earlier today.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - PJ - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:32 pm:

    Who’s job is it to remind her that the several million people in the Chicago metro area are just as much real illinoisans as the rural farmers Illinois Republicans love to wax on about?

    The national Republican trend towards pretending that major cities don’t matter as much as cornfields and suburbia is inane.

  2. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:33 pm:

    As others have said, the separatist proponents are just doing a Trump and milking their angry and hateful constituents for their own gain. Don’t these people get it that there’s less than a snowball’s chance in Hades that separation will happen?

  3. - Langhorne - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:36 pm:

    Are Republicans in the state capable of doing anything to build the party? Expand the base? Push ideas that matter to people? This is just more ridiculous nonsense. And isn’t that budget plan the one that calls for across-the-board cuts? Another great idea.

  4. - Hamlet's Ghost - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:36 pm:

    Why should the GOP get another two US Senators?

    Maybe, if DC and Puerto Rico, Los Angeles and San Francisco are all allowed to become states.

    The State of Ohio and the State of Cleveland?

  5. - Hamlet's Ghost - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:38 pm:


    It’s not cornfield and suburbia. It’s just cornfield.

    Suburbia is turning blue, see DuPage IL and Orange CA.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:39 pm:

    Mr. Demmer is neither thoughtful or honest to access or being a leader of action.

    Raunerites like Mr. Demmer who continually voted against their districts that now “worry” about constituents are as phony as they are disingenuous.

    I would expect nothing less than Mr. Demmer whining, but misleading to what is actually happening.

  7. - Pundent - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:39 pm:

    =This is a political bill. As the political arm of the Illinois House Republicans, it is my responsibility to remind Chicago that there is more to Illinois than Chicago.=

    Although we’d all agree that this has absolutely no chance of occurring, perhaps someone might want to query Ms. McCombie on exactly what she would do if it did?

  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:44 pm:

    The HRO…

    “We encourage the stifling of a party. Our goal is to be an old, angry, rural, white group that takes money from She-Caw-Go but want regional anger to stay in a super-minority”

    Pathetic and sad… but this *is* the new HRO.

  9. - PJ - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:44 pm:

    ==someone might want to query Ms. McCombie on exactly what she would do if it did?==

    It’s a dog chasing its tail. No idea what they’d do with it if they caught it. People like her rely on sane, competent people to prevent their thoughtless pandering from ever becoming reality. We’re seeing on the national level what happens when that safeguard fails.

  10. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:45 pm:

    I was born in a barn and live in a cornfield… but man these people are nuttier than squirrel bleep. Please somebody find me some Republicans that actually want to represent and govern.

  11. - JS Mill - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:45 pm:

    =This is a political bill. As the political arm of the Illinois House Republicans, it is my responsibility to remind Chicago that there is more to Illinois than Chicago.=

    From the same party that says the democrats are playing politics while investigating Trump? Seems hypocritical.

    = The Washington Post has a story about Rep. Brad Halbrook’s House resolution to eject Chicago from Illinois. =

    Enough stupidity. They cannot “kick Chicago out of Illinois”. Period. Secession is when You leave. Are they too dumb to understand the meaning of words?

  12. - Downstate Dem - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:46 pm:

    It was my understanding HRO wants to consolidate units of government rather than separate. Did I miss something?

  13. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:46 pm:

    –That’s funny because Demmer, who represents the northwestern suburbs of the 90th district, attended a cocktail party just last night at the governor’s mansion in Springfield.–

    Is the assistant to the super-minority leader the only sentient being who didn’t see that coming?

  14. - PJ - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:49 pm:

    ==Are they too dumb to understand the meaning of words?==


  15. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    I’m sure the constitutional scholars in HRO know that you can’t kick any area out of a state, but there is a process to form a new state.

    So get with it, already. Let’s see the borders of your new state. And then we can learn who within those borders are with you.

    You guys want to be taken seriously, right? You’re not just dog-whistling children playing silly games and collecting taxpayer checks for it, correct? You’re serious public servants.

  16. - Illinois Resident - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:00 pm:

    Republican snowflakes. If they don’t get what they want, they cry. How about doing something that helps average citizens in this state? What are you doing to help provide everyone with healthcare? You do care about life correct? You can’t have life without adequate healthcare. Expand freedom and jobs and tax revenue with cannabis legalization?

  17. - Annonin' - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    Did not realize the GOPies clown car was a big station wagon. Is McCombie against vaccinations like the other EasternBlocHeads?

  18. - Nicky - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    Perfect example why we have the electoral college

  19. - Juvenal - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    I think it’s pretty obvious they are trying to reverse the process because they want to keep all of the infrastructure, particularly the prisons, and of course they would keep the prisoners.

    But of course all of the Illinois employees would still be Illinois employees, and Illinois retirees would all still be Illinois retirees. And that means Governor Halbrook would be sticking himself with 100 percent of the pension debt and without any help from Cook County to pay for it.

    I bet there are some collar counties that want to get in on that deal.

    Mr Speaker, call the bill!

  20. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:23 pm:

    Think of the work Demmer could do if he didn’t have to go to Pritzker’s cocktail parties to try to curry favor with the gov and Dems.
    This really is JB’s fault.
    I mean, it’s not like Demmer could skip these cocktail parties at the Democratic governor’s mansion.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:24 pm:

    ===This is a political bill. As the political arm of the Illinois House Republicans, it is my responsibility to remind Chicago that there is more to Illinois than Chicago.===

    Let’s look at the utterly thoughtless Ms. McCombie’s thoughts.


    “This is a political bill.”

    So, you have ZERO intention to *want* to form a new state. That’s what this says. It’s political, not intended to be anything thoughtful to a problem, or rational as a solution. Got it.

    “As the political arm of the Illinois House Republicans, it is my responsibility to remind Chicago…”

    Ok, I’m gonna stop ya there.

    You took in 38% of your fundraising from, you guessed it, She-Caw-Go. Where did you think it came, and where do all these She-Caw-Go-ans think their dollars were headed? Who exactly are you reminding of what? According to vote totals, GOP recruitment, and a sheer lack of a GOP presence to be involved in Chicago… no, wait for it… politically… I’m confused who is teaching who what, and last… where *exactly* is it written the the head of the HRO is in the business of teaching anything to anyone?

    Did you even think about how words work, are ya too fixed on appeasing the ole … angry, white, old ,rural folks?

    “that there is more to Illinois than Chicago”


    Chicago knows.

    More tax dollars go outside She-Caw-Go for those old, angry, white, rural folks than She-Caw-Go keeps for itself.

    They know. Honest.


    I’ll use smaller words if that’ll help.

  22. - Just Me - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:25 pm:

    Maybe Republicans should try to actually run candidates in Chicago campaigns. WOW!!! Imagine that!!! Actually running candidates and getting your message out?!?!?!?!

  23. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:39 pm:

    –Perfect example why we have the electoral college–

    What is?

  24. - anonymous - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:39 pm:

    But Halbrook is fund-raising on it and they are gathering names on the advisory petition they are gathering. Nothing like misleading voters that they have power.

  25. - Generic Drone - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:40 pm:

    And that folks is how and why the republican party has lost so many of its former followers like myself. Pure ignorance.

  26. - JS Mill - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:50 pm:

    Will they allow crickets to vote in the new state of Northern Mississippi?

    I ask because when the citizens get a load of their new taxes or complete lack of services (and I mean complete) they will be off to new locales. There won’t be enough for buzzards.

    And..there will be no teachers because I am sure no one is going to hang around for the dismal pay and benefits in this new utopia of rural poverty.

    To Rep. Halbrook- you need to demand that the resolution hit the floor for a vote and put your money where your geniusness comes from.

  27. - JoanP - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    =they want to keep all of the infrastructure, particularly the prisons, and of course they would keep the prisoners.=

    They wouldn’t keep all the prisoners, though. Why would the State of Chicago send convicts to serve their time in another state?

    The Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform reports that “half of all inmates were sent to the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) from Cook County. Twelve percent were from the Collar counties of DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will, and 21 percent were from other urban counties in the state. Only 17 percent of offenders in prison in December 2013 were from rural counties.” (See: )

    Those buildings are going to be pretty empty. And wouldn’t need near as much staff, so I guess a lot of folks would lose their jobs. Wonder if Holbrook, et al. care about that?

  28. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    === et al. care about that? ===

    Remember the dude with the shirt that read “We’d rather drive on dirt roads…”?

  29. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:04 pm:

    I’d like to think…

    I’d be sitting at a table, with Leaders Brady and Durkin, some bourbon, drinks of their choice(s)… and we’d just… laugh… how these types of things and thoughts… while being used… Leaders Brady and Durkin get others to be ridiculous and say ridiculous things. The laughs we’d have at the expense of these other caucus folks.

    Then, after those laughs, we’d laugh harder at these caucus members that *believe* this nonsense. I’d razz them on being stuck with them, they’d say “that one, those things, that’s on … “ and the belly laughs….

    It’s like a meta thing… those thinking they’re so smart playing others… they’re being played by those smart enough… not to say ignorant thing(s).

    That would be one heck of a time we’d have.

  30. - West Wing - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:23 pm:

    Rep. McCombie is demonstrating her superficial understanding of the complexities that are Illinois. She’s also demonstrating her blatant interest in political posturing at the expense of the state. I’d like to introduce a bill outlawing blatant, superficial political ploys that have no chance of passing because they waste time and divert energy from the real problems facing rural and urban Illinois.

  31. - Central Illinoisan - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:25 pm:

    There’s something about excluding parts of America with the stated reasoning being not liking which party has been winning recent elections there that violates my sense of disgust in a similar manner to how flag burning does.

    Rep. McCombie, Halbrook, others, how would you react if someone burned Old Glory to remind some other part of America that they’re also in America? HR101 strikes me as morally similar behavior.

  32. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:32 pm:

    –Why would the State of Chicago send convicts to serve their time in another state?–

    Again, the Hixit promoters are confused; the State of Illinois would remain. The Constitution allows for forming a new state out of a portion of an existing state.

  33. - cc - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 3:00 pm:

    Down State Republicans and Independents need to try harder to get out the vote and putting some money where their mouth is instead of sitting on their backsides while whining “My vote won’t matter”.

  34. - Steve Rogers - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 3:00 pm:

    I wish Rep. Halbrook would focus on important topics, like getting more tourists to Lake Shelbyville–one of the most picturesque lakes (and hidden jewels) in the entire state. THAT will help your district; tilting at windmills will not.

  35. - Lake County Mom - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 3:07 pm:

    If they kick Chicago out of Illinois, I suggest they rename downstate “Northern Mississippi.”

  36. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 3:17 pm:

    ==Rep. McCombie is demonstrating her superficial understanding of the complexities that are Illinois.==

    Completely disagree. Rep McCombie is demonstrating her complete and thorough understanding of the very low bar that it takes to earn republican primary votes in Illinois. Imagine if all dems needed to do was shout “downstate sucks” and pledge their undying, everlasting support for Bernie Sanders to win elections. Why should McCombie try explaining the complexities of Illinois to people who don’t care?

  37. - Former Cadet - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 3:34 pm:

    I don’t get the references to “northern Mississippi”. Illinois south of I-80 is nothing like Mississippi. The landscape is different. The weather is different The soil is a lot different, anyone see that red dirt anywhere around here? The farmland here is lots better and nowhere in Illinois do we grow cotton. For that matter, what about alligators? I’ve never seen any alligators anywhere in Illinois although I’ve seen a few dead armadillos along the road. Illinois south of I-80 is its own thing. Yes, in some respects it’s like other rural areas in this country but it’s not exactly the same either. The comparison is meant to demean and insult the residents of both Mississippi and Illinois outside of the Chicago area. It’s a dumb comparison in my opinion. Do better.

  38. - Sue - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 3:36 pm:

    This is just plain dumb akin to Dems wanting to split CA into 2 states. The Dems are no more interested in affording Republicans 2 more senate seats as the R’s are willing to give the Dems 2 more in CA. If our Pols in both parties just grew up and tried to improve the country as it is currently situated we would all be better off. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be coming any time soon

  39. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 7:03 pm:

    On the plus side, Rockford residents may be elated that their city is now the largest in the state.

    I encourage the proponents of this breakup to run and publish the numbers, it would make a very interesting read. They ought to be careful, the “new state north of I-80 and west of I-39″ may be eager to go along with the idea, providing the numbers work out in their favor (which is the popular viewpoint).

  40. - Illinois res. - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 8:49 pm:

    Waste of time . And these creations get a paycheck.

  41. - Lynn S. - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 1:40 am:

    @ former cadet:

    You don’t get the “Northern Mississippi” reference?

    Here, I’ll help you get started. Take the gross income of all Chicago residents and all Chicago corporations. Subtract that number from the total gross income of all citizens in the State of Illinois.

    Next, take the complete population of the State of Illinois, and subtract the number of people who live in She-caw-go.

    Now take that figure for gross income and divide it by the number of citizens in the State of Illinois.

    Compare your answer to the income and population statistics for the State of Mississippi.

    Now do you get it?

    Remind us again: who needs to try harder?

  42. - truthteller - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 5:54 am:

    I would suspect downstate tax levels WOULD EXPLODE as downstate would have to pay for their teacher retirement AND other state services instead of it being subsidized by Chicago taxpayers. It would be state income and property tax relief for Chicago, Oh, I guess Halbrook has done little thinking about that

  43. - PrairieDog - Friday, May 24, 19 @ 9:42 am:

    So, Chicagoans are Illinoisans, too? But they think they need special home rule privileges that the rest of us are explicitly denied. They want to rule the state while being exempt from the rules the rest of us have to live under. Go form your own state and you can run it any way you want.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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