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The return of the circular firing squad

Monday, Jul 15, 2019

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

For the second time this year, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin has stripped one of his member’s access to a House communications staffer.

Rep. Chris Miller, R-Oakland, is the most recent to lose his state-funded communications staff member. Earlier this year, Rep. Dave McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, lost his comms staffer for criticizing fellow Republican Rep. Steve Reick for allegedly making “racist” comments and calling on House GOP Leader Jim Durkin to resign for being a “fake Republican” and “corrupt insider.” McSweeney, who wants to run statewide in 2022, said he paid for his own communications staffer, so he wasn’t concerned.

The problems with Miller (no relation) started coming to a head last month when his Facebook page displayed an Americans for Prosperity Illinois post calling on readers to “Keep Rep. Brady accountable for raising the gas tax.” The post featured a photo of Rep. Dan Brady, a Deputy House Republican Leader.

Rep. Miller claimed later that his Facebook account had been hacked. “Thanks for the heads up,” he told me after denying he’d made the post. I was dubious of the explanation, to say the least.

And the attacks on his fellow Republicans continued. Earlier this month, he wrote on Facebook “Republicans don’t vote for tax hikes,” and called the GOP members who voted to raise the Motor Fuel Tax “Republicans in name only.”

Miller claimed in another post (which, like pretty much everything else quoted here, has also disappeared from his Facebook page, but was saved by the House Republicans) that gasoline was 30 cents a gallon cheaper across the Indiana border and wrote “Thank Dems and Rinos.” And he talked some smack about Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, who voted for the gas tax hike. “She done the same crap last time on the budget.”

“The House Republican caucus does not tolerate attacks on fellow members,” said Leader Durkin’s spokesperson Eleni Demertzis when asked about the staff move.

”Apparently people that vote against tax hikes must be punished,” Rep. Miller responded, claiming that the move reminded him of junior high school.

Miller also said he was “very emotional” after losing his comms staffer. “It’s going to be tough without him.” But he posted a photo on his Facebook page, also since deleted, of his wheat combine with the text “Mission accomplished! Wheat cut. [Staffer’s name] gone. Prayers have been answered.” Asked about that, Miller said it was a “weak moment” and said he was probably spending too much time on his combine.

Rep. Miller issued a formal statement the following day quoting the Illinois Republican Party Platform’s plank about opposing tax hikes.

“It apparently is completely acceptable to violate a clear tenet of the Republican Party platform as no one who voted for the tax increases is being penalized in any way,” Miller said in the release. “I make some comments about my disappointment in Republican support for tax hikes and that is what gets our Republican leadership angry.”

“I will continue to speak my mind and will continue to oppose tax increases,” Miller continued. “The vast majority of my constituents are furious about the tax increases approved this spring. I hear from them every day and the message I give to them is that I will stand with them by opposing tax hikers regardless of their political party affiliation.”

Notice that he said he will oppose “tax hikers.” That would include members of his own Republican caucus.

Miller is a member of what’s known in Springfield as the Eastern Bloc, a handful of anti-tax, pro-life, ultra-conservative House members from eastern and southeastern Illinois. They haven’t had an impact on the Statehouse outside of occasionally getting a little publicity by using over-heated rhetoric. And now at least one of them has decided to go after fellow Republicans.

It’s difficult not to wonder where all of this goes for Leader Durkin, who heads up a super-minority caucus that is fractured into at least two even smaller camps.

Rep. McSweeney, for one, has been a constant thorn in Durkin’s side all year. And the Eastern Bloc members are apparently trying to reignite the party’s old circular firing squad habits of attacking fellow Republicans (say whatever you want about former Gov. Bruce Rauner, but he and his people put a stop to that stuff for a few years) and they and other members, including Durkin’s own House Republican Organization chairperson, are calling on Chicago to be kicked out of Illinois while a fight continues festering in southern Illinois over the Confederate flag.

I wouldn’t want to be that guy.

* Rep. Miller responds…



- Posted by Rich Miller        

55 Comments
  1. - cover - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:09 am:

    Republicans were fine with motor fuel tax increases in a number of GOP-controlled states, including ruby-red Alabama.


  2. - A guy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:12 am:

    I do not see how following the McSweeney model of behavior gets you anywhere.


  3. - Wow - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:13 am:

    Zalewski was my Alderman for over 15 years. Attentive, always available, good for the community, and a good family man.. no smoke no fire


  4. - efudd - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    Airing dirty laundry for the world to see is always smart, I don’t care the organization.
    Then, with a straight face, you want to talk inclusiveness.


  5. - My New Handle - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    “…completely acceptable to violate a clear tenet of the Republican Party platform…” Like Richard Ogilvie and Jim Edgar, just for example.


  6. - {Sigh} - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:18 am:

    By chance did the Eastern Bloc members put in request for member initiative projects?


  7. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    After spending the weekend with dozens of middle class blue collar working folks, i heard nothing but JB bashing for the gas, license plate and used vehicle tradein tax increases. The overwhelming comment was the Democratic party,like the GOP, no longer represents the working poor or middle class.


  8. - Southern_Dawg - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:21 am:

    After pocketing almost $800,000 in free government money to not work, Miller should understand the whole tax and spend theory much better than he’s portraying.


  9. - don the legend - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    === After spending the weekend with dozens of middle class blue collar working folks, i heard nothing but JB bashing for the gas, license plate and used vehicle tradein tax increases. The overwhelming comment was the Democratic party,like the GOP, no longer represents the working poor or middle class. ===

    Therefore those same “blue collar working folks” must be in favor of the graduated income tax. How can they not be?


  10. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:27 am:

    I’ll probably have more, but…

    Being the Eastern Bloc member who caters to the old, angry, rural, white voters isn’t saying much about any governing, even worrying about taxes.

    Claiming that taxes are always bad is grade school… ignorance or bliss… I’ll let Mr. Chris Miller choose.


  11. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    Chris Miller: “Republicans oppose paying their bills, period.” Fixed it.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    Engaging in thoughtful discussions with - Blue Dog Democrat - begins and ends with his “friends” who seemingly always agree-agree, and seeming always go after the “nose despite their face” thinking… because they are so wise.

    I fed you. Happy?


  13. - Nick Name - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    ===The overwhelming comment was the Democratic party, like the GOP, no longer represents the working poor or middle class.===

    Those taxes they deplored will fund thousands of road and other construction jobs for years — jobs that pay prevailing wage to union workers.

    The ones who do not represent the poor or middle class are the ones who voted against those bills.


  14. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:36 am:

    Don. One couple at the outing used their own experience quite openly. Combined income of $83k. They will see about a $75 decrease in state income tax. They have two vehicles. One newish. One older. Increase of around $65/yr in plate renewal. Two utility trailer. $75/ yr increase in plate renewal. They thought the gas increase would cost them around $200/yr. That didnt include the tax increases on their vices(their words. Not mine).


  15. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:38 am:

    What can Republican leaders do? They’re stuck with their fellow party members and base, who are committed to keep the ILGOP out of statewide power

    “After spending the weekend with dozens of middle class blue collar working folks, i heard nothing but JB bashing for the gas, license plate and used vehicle tradein tax increases.”

    Were they rural white right wingers? They would complain about Pritzker if he practically walked on water. Plus, don’t these people hate “free stuff,” or is that only when other people benefit? Because they would use the repaired and new roads and bridges that other people pay for if they can get away without paying.

    Pritzker will create many, many union jobs, via infrastructure improvement, casinos, government jobs and even in the marijuana industry. Pritzker was terrific with AFSCME. But to some, public employee unions shouldn’t have the same rights as others.


  16. - Baloneymous - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:41 am:

    {Sigh}

    But the ribbon cutting the Easter bloc attends are not the “pork barrel” or “wasteful spending” that happens in other member districts. If it’s in Miller’s district then it’s critical spending. /snark


  17. - JS Mill - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:49 am:

    =Republicans don’t vote for tax hikes=

    You guys had some power for four years. Rauner believed in that idea as much as anything and what happened?

    The bills piled up, interest payments on current debt was nearly $1 billion.

    Social services went on life support. Schools went into crisis mode (this was an obvious goal).

    The semblance of infrastructure maintenance went into the crapper.

    To any thinking person it would appear that they simply wanted to destroy Illinois. It was a farce. Alleged fiscal conservatives caused billions in additional expense and hurt the infrastructure that attracts employers.

    =After spending the weekend with dozens of middle class blue collar working folks, i heard nothing but JB bashing for the gas, license plate and used vehicle tradein tax increases. The overwhelming comment was the Democratic party,like the GOP, no longer represents the working poor or middle class.=

    In the high poverty rural community I live in people have been singing the praises of Pritzker.

    I spend time with them every day, it isn’t just a weekend getaway like it is for you.


  18. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:50 am:

    ===Republicans oppose tax increases. Period.===

    I guess the largest peacetime tax hike enacted by Reagan wouldn’t count? Yes it was after a sizeable tax cut. But it just goes to show that there was a time when even Republicans understood math.


  19. - Demoralized - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:50 am:

    Blue Dog:

    So an increase of $200 is putting them over the edge and causing anger?

    Having good roads costs money. If they want to complain that’s fine. But they should also be the same people out there telling everyone that our infrastructure is just fine.

    This whining is just silly.


  20. - Demoralized - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:53 am:

    Actions have consequences. If you want to attack individuals in your own party then expect to be held accountable. It’s one thing to state your opposition to the tax hikes. It’s quite another to attack individuals. I think some of these Easter Bloc members need to grow up.


  21. - Just Another Anon - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:58 am:

    @Rich Miller

    Some comments here appear to be uncivil.


  22. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:58 am:

    =Republicans don’t vote for tax hikes=

    Republicans used to wave the banner of “fiscal responsibility.” Then, led by Grover Norquist and Co, they switched to “no taxes.” The two concepts are very different. Fiscal responsibility means paying for government services (like roads, military, police, fire, schools, etc.). To pay for those things pretty much everyone expects the government to provide you need to have taxes.


  23. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 10:59 am:

    “I guess the largest peacetime tax hike enacted by Reagan wouldn’t count? Yes it was after a sizeable tax cut. But it just goes to show that there was a time when even Republicans understood math.”

    Precisely right. How the Republican party became so warped on taxes into believing that all tax hikes must be stopped is truly a sad tale of governing failure.


  24. - efudd - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:00 am:

    The annual cost of the gas tax increase for me is 140.00. Given that’s anecdotal and I don’t have much of a commute.
    What’s also given is that Rt 146 through Anna is currently be re-paved and already makes this tiny burg look 100 percent better.
    Eye of the beholder and all that.


  25. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:05 am:

    R.epublicans O.ppose T.axes

    R.O.T.

    I can’t think of a better way to describe these ideas.


  26. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:09 am:

    I credit Republicans for their yes votes on the budget and infrastructure, which were so unpopular with parts of their party. There is the expectation that it will help a lot, with improvements and jobs. It was the right thing to do. Very happy about the Rockford casino and how it will benefit the region and make it competitive with Wisconsin.


  27. - Proud Papa Bear - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:10 am:

    Even a lot of my center left friends are complaining. One made a crack on Pritzker’s tax increases. I could have responded that the taxes go to fund his wife’s full pension and that he doesn’t pay tax on his retirement income, but I suppose it’d be pointless.
    People just wanna complain.


  28. - Southern_Dawg - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:13 am:

    I’ll mention again, after pocketing almost $800K in free government money to not work, Miller is not against taxing and certainly not against spending. He’s just against it going to someone who isn’t him.


  29. - 62401 - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:17 am:

    Will the bloc grow? How many downstate Republicans will see a primary challenger? How many new Proft papers can downstate residents expect in 2020?


  30. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:19 am:

    To the Post,

    The demise of the Illinois Republican Party begins, exists, and ends with Bruce and Diana Rauner.

    How does that fit into the Post, I’ll get ya there, it’s really an interesting thing… if it wasn’t your party they both imploded.

    You look at the Eastern Bloc folks, embarrassingly silly as they are, they are against two things “She-Caw-Go” and anything they can label “Democrat”, be it taxes or fees to run the stare, or funding programs and agencies *they* feel only benefit “She-Caw-Go”. How do we get to the RaunerS and the Eastern Bloc? Anger. The idea that anger at “Democrat things” is ruining Illinois. The RaunerS were subtle, unless Bruce was in a costume downstate, and the Eastern Bloc took that idea of anger and when POTUS decided to purposely insert race a mere 2 years later, you get a party shrinking.

    You can’t have a state party with members claiming a “51st state” is the best way to fix things. You can’t have a state party so regionally fixated that anything “that doesn’t look, act, believe like we do” be the staple of alienating everyone else “not like us”.

    As Mr. Chris Miller decides that Illinois needs to be more Mississippi than the 6th largest state, diverse with the 3rd largest metropolitan area, things like understanding his own party isn’t all angry, old, rural or white… Mr. Miller will go after members of his own party, totally missing the point;

    Your party isn’t a religion of absolute positions. If you make a political party your religion with followers needing to be pure, you’ll never have a majority party.

    How did we get here?

    Once the RaunerS bought the party, and wanted “no $&@#% problems” the premise of a diverse party, agreeing 80% of the time turned into “follow Raunerism, hurt Illinois until organized labor is destroyed. Do this at *all* costs”

    So… pro-labor Republicans were shunned, pro-infrastructure Republicans, shunned, even pro-higher education folks… shunned. The worse was the social service conscious Republicans, voting with Ken Dunkin to hurt illinois’ most needy. Those with universities in their region, looking to help passively close universities, they are not too thoughtful, but those hurting social services for Bruce and Diana Rauner, they will have to live with that. Forever.

    So, the purge led to IPI, and Proft, and Tillman helping replace a GA member, a monolithic Raunerite party. A dream.

    But, Diana Rauner.

    See, the thing always was, Diana didn’t have conscience. Diana has a brand.

    When JB Pritzker and the Pritzker family and trusts bailed out The Ounce, the business decision to hurt social services was easy.

    The social agenda Diana demanded split the party, literally. Ask Jeanne Ives. Ask Proft, and Bruce’s anti labor made the split more pronounced, ask Sam McCann.

    I feel bad for Democrats; you can be angered by Diana, and her conspiring to hurt social services, but no *one* person imploded the ILGOP more than Diana Rauner, the Democrat, and her agenda.

    Which leads us to the Eastern Bloc.

    Taxes, “She-Caw-Go”, where the tax monies go, as the Eastern Bloc takes more monies it gives, but Bruce’s anger and splintering the party allowed angry, white, rural, regional thinking folk a platform, because the party is “no more”.

    Leader Durkin, even Leader Brady, I’m with you both, all day.

    If you allow the festering of a regional, angry, monolithic mindset that is being shrouded with phony thoughts of taxes, to make politics a religious experience, then more (and less total seats) and more the party will die.

    The lone way I can see is embrace the Rauner implosion and let suburban women, minorities, the young, that the Rauner ways of hurting Illinois are over, and *we* are the party that can govern thoughtfully, and be an honest alternative to Democrats… as the policies of the past governor are not who we want to be going forward.

    Otherwise, the regional party of Mr. Chris Miller, his anger, his ruining a party for a religious requirement will make 44 and 19 a dream… especially after a new map.

    Help me… help you.

    Can we start again, please?


  31. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:22 am:

    Blue Dog Dem -
    Your weekend fellow conversationalists - what was their alternative to fixing the roads? Do they understand if the last gas tax increase had been indexed to inflation, it’d be the same as the new level? And I trust you informed them of the Lock Box Amendment when one (or more) of them said “It never gets spent on the roads!”


  32. - lakeside - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    If we had kept up with maintenance on our roads, bridges, etc., there wouldn’t be such a spike in pain today (though I’m going to argue that 200$ for folks making 83k a year seems, to me, modest).

    As always, it’s also frustrating that there are some Republicans who supported the last administration in completely ignoring the problem (except for the mansion), then voted against the cap bill, slam Dems (and RINOs, I guess), and then reap the rewards in their districts.

    If you don’t want to be part of the solution, fine, but at least be quiet when the adults are solving your problems for you.


  33. - thunderspirit - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:26 am:

    == Precisely right. How the Republican party became so warped on taxes into believing that all tax hikes must be stopped is truly a sad tale of governing failure. ==

    You say “tale of governing failure”, I say “deliberate sabotage of government”.

    But to-MAY-to, to-MAH-to.


  34. - OneMan - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:33 am:

    Legit Question for Rep Miller, if you are against any tax increase ever, assuming the cost of road repairs go up at the rate of inlfation, how would you pay for road repairs in 5 or 10 years when the cost per mile/hour has gone up and revenue has not? Would you just do less construction and repair? If so shouldn’t those dollars go to the heaviest traveled roads, aks roads outside your district?

    I have heard plenty of non-rural, non-right-wing folks complain about the increase in gas taxes and the fees. I suspect that even most liberals in their hearts are not going ‘Huzzah! I get to pay more for gas right now’. Not sure what sort of alternative world people live in where folks are happy that their (not other peoples) taxes and fees go up.

    For example I would be happy if the taxes on lite beer went up, not so happy if they went up on whiskey and bourbon.


  35. - LakeviewJ - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    Sounds like Rep. Miller had one too many cans of Democrat Light out on the combine.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    To the taxes themselves;

    We can fix our infrastructure, we can help higher education get back into the game, we can invest social services, and programs and agencies to a plan that will be a 10 year fix of the past four… or be Mississippi.

    I’m not 100% happy.

    I am happy that the need for revenues isn’t being ignored.

    Looking at property taxes, school (all levels) funding, and the fate of the progressive income tax will decidedly put front and center the issues of monies in, monies out… and priorities… and knowing having a priority also means paying for a priority too… like… infrastructure, as an example.


  37. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    Anyone. I am just the messenger.
    But i question taxes and spending. Why,like you and other tax payers,cant we wonder why Illinois ranks 7th in gas taxes, but yet 28th in road standards.


  38. - Blake - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:53 am:

    The primary cause of the Illinois Republican Party’s downturn is most voters choosing which party to vote for, even for state legislative races based on their views of the national parties. The national parties are hurting Republicans in Illinois just as they’re hurting Democrats in some other states. Rauner & Eastern Bloc don’t help, but they’re not the primary cause. The national party will have to be the primary source of recovery or we’ll have to see something to help state parties achieve a more separate brand from the national party.


  39. - Levois - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    How does being a RINO work in a state where Republicans in the legislature is in the minority? This is an eye opening column.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 12:01 pm:

    ===…state parties achieve a more separate brand from the national party.===

    This is the 1,000% correct way to view this opportunity.

    Illinois, today, the alleged “GOP” and that brand, are not going to lead to a “phony GOP” majority here in Illinois.

    The party needs to embrace the implosion, cast out the “party religion” folks, and admit Raunerism, the 99th GA Raunerites, and hatred fueled by a regional belief in race, rural, angry white trappings is not who we want to be.


  41. - phocion - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 12:17 pm:

    ==But i question taxes and spending. Why,like you and other tax payers,cant we wonder why Illinois ranks 7th in gas taxes, but yet 28th in road standards.==
    Well, Blagojevich and Rauner engaged in massive sweeps of the road fund. That ended with the enactment of the lockbox amendment. And we are NOW 7th (following the approval of the long overdue gas tax increase). Also, the road builders are suing Cook County who are openly violating the lockbox amendment to the tune of hundreds of millions a year. There could be other locals who are diverting too.


  42. - RNUG - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 12:58 pm:

    == How the Republican party became so warped on taxes into believing that all tax hikes must be stopped is truly a sad tale of governing failure. ==

    == How did we get here? ==

    While -OW- gave an answer of sorts, it is more addressing the symptoms rather than the root cause. The root cause to all this anger is the misuse (real or perceived) of tax monies, and that leads us back to the budget process that government (both federal and state) uses. I could probably write a doctoral thesis on it, but I’ll try to keep it short.

    The budget process is, or at least used to be, flawed. You have to request more than you need in hopes that what survives is enough to do the job. In addition, you have to spend all that is budgeted because the next year’s budget is based on the previous year; this leads to questionable spending. And annually increasing budgets. The false premise in all of this is because you spent the budget, the money was needed and well spent.

    Rauner’s, and sometimes previous Governor’s solution to get spending under control, was to arbitrarily cut the budgets, ie, starve the beast. But, again, mindless cuts do a different kind of damage. I’m not ignoring Rainer was also driven by the whole ALEC agenda, but a lot of that is half thought out attempts to control spending.

    The potential solution, which neither party wants to address, would be true zero based budgeting. Identify the mission critical functions, honestly budget for them, and then track spending from there. Implementing that at the State level would require a complete mind set / culture change that may not be possible with existing personnel. But I think zero based budgeting may be the only way to begin to address proper / rational delivery of State services and justify the required level of taxation.

    Until you do that, it is easy to just be angry about taxes and whatever entity you want to blame …

    editorial comment … since it is hard to read and format all this on a smartphone while trying to be concise, hopefully it makes sense.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 1:06 pm:

    - RNUG -

    Good stuff, why wouldn’t be.

    To your point, are you of the belief it’s more of a number of anger, or a social anxiety matter aimed at “She-Caw-Go”?

    I’d ask the question, “are you more angered at what you think is waste, or where you think the waste is… located?”

    Your, with respect, and not intended as snark, wonky answer is far from off the mark, and reality does hit the mark, are you suggesting Mr. Chris Miller is more driven as sort of a fiscal hawk, or is that anger towards taxes about regional anger that can be measured by monies to justify that anger?


  44. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    - RNUG -

    To put an even finer point to your premise;

    If the thought is Mr. Chris Miller is honest to the fiscal concerns and taxes… and to the 51st state ideal…

    Why won’t Mr. Chris Miller point out the fiscal impact, revenue and investment, to this 51st state premise?

    Why not make it a “dollars and sense” argument if it’s a fiscally driven argument?


  45. - Dude - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 1:31 pm:

    Rep. Miller is apparently not a student of history. His predecessor, Rep. Reggie Phillips was a self proclaimed Tea Partier and he voted “yes” on both the budget and the override during the Rauner years as it was critical to EIU and other entities in his District.

    Does anyone really think Reggie Phillips is a different person or a Rhino? Ridiculous.

    I am not sure who the least effective Representatives in IL history were to heretofore, but with the advent of the Eastern Bloc, there is a new leader in the clubhouse.


  46. - Jimbo2 - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 1:39 pm:

    Will the eastern block also call out the president as a Rino for the huge tax increase that are called tariffs. Will the farmers return the large federal bailout intended to soften the effect of those tarrifs on themselves or will they call for additional dollars to help others also impacted by the tariffs?


  47. - Back to the Mountains - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 1:43 pm:

    ==I guess the largest peacetime tax hike enacted by Reagan wouldn’t count?==

    +1. The cognitive dissonance is painful to watch.


  48. - Jibba - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    ===they haven’t had an impact on the statehouse===

    Nor will they. Not even sure that they want to. It’s a great gig to be able to collect farm subsidies and a lawmaker’s paycheck and not need to work to get it other than rile up the voters with feign outrage about the world as it can never be.


  49. - Still Waiting - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 2:03 pm:

    What an utter embarrassment he is to those of us in and around Coles County.

    Chris Miller sure likes it when we pay taxes for his farm subsidies, though: https://farm.ewg.org/persondetail.php?custnumber=A03212963

    You don’t like taxes? How ’bout we start our cuts there?


  50. - RNUG - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 2:10 pm:

    == or is that anger towards taxes about regional anger that can be measured by monies ==

    Both … and it is driven by some misconceptions, such as the mistaken idea that money flows from downstate taxpayers to Chicago wastrels. And the misconceptions are not helped by the liberal Chicago Elite’s thinking all of downstate is a cultural wasteland populated by relatives of Jethro Bodine.

    I think I’ll just leave it at that …


  51. - JS Mill - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    =You don’t like taxes? How ’bout we start our cuts there?=

    C’mon now, that is different. He was ENTITLED to those “subsidies”. Everywhere else he supports market economics. But, farming is different. /s

    What a hypocrite.


  52. - JS Mill - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    =I think I’ll just leave it at that …=

    As often is true, spot on.


  53. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 3:30 pm:

    Blue Dog Dem
    In the distant past, the 3 worst interstate highway systems were California, Texas, and Illinois. Why? These were the top 3 states with most miles of paved freeway & great cropland. Anyone can pave on rock, like I-44 in MO (or various interstates in the Confederacy, and, to be fair, I-80 in California’s Sierra Nevadas). Do your “fellow conversationalists” want IDOT to put crushed granite under the interstates they build?


  54. - cover - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 3:50 pm:

    = How do we get to the RaunerS and the Eastern Bloc? Anger. =

    OW, as long as the GOP is led nationally by someone who stokes anger among the “faithful” every single day, it’s going to be difficult for Illinois’ GOP to rebuild itself. If anything, there will be more “Eastern Bloc” types in the 102nd General Assembly (one will almost certainly replace Rep. Reitz).


  55. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 15, 19 @ 4:00 pm:

    - RNUG -

    Well said. My point in that is the matrix these Eastern Bloc folks want are numbers and economics, and because they aren’t with them, it’s the anger towards what they “believe” driving them, not the numbers at all.

    - cover -

    All politics is local. If a party decides that running candidates focused on issues locals care about and be an alternative to another party, locally, can’t work, then why have locals involved in parties at all?

    At some point, local politics matter, state politics matter.

    Good candidates know that, great politicians live by it.


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* Question of the day
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* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
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