Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Yet another day, yet another failed lawsuit: IPI “Fair Tax” TRO denied
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*** UPDATED x1 *** Yet another day, yet another failed lawsuit: IPI “Fair Tax” TRO denied

Friday, Oct 9, 2020

* More background is here if you need it. From the Illinois Policy Institute a few days ago

Chicagoan Don Wojtowicz worked for nearly 50 years in public service in hopes of a decent retirement. But for Don and more than 2 million retirement-age Illinoisans like him, a progressive income tax constitutional amendment up for a vote Nov. 3 threatens that retirement security.

Making matters worse: extremely biased language on the ballot that deprives Illinoisans of a fair, informed vote on the progressive tax question.

Don joined the Illinois Policy Institute and two more retired Illinoisans in a lawsuit filed Oct. 5 to challenge that language in court.

“I try to stay out of political conversations,” Don said, “But this is how I feel about it and I don’t know how anyone could feel different when you’re getting taxed and taxed, and the politicians keep lying.”

* I heard this morning that the group’s TRO motion was denied, so I checked with the attorney general’s office. Their response…

Hi, Rich.

The plaintiffs’ TRO was denied – I’ll send the order when I have it.

That was quick.

You’ll know more when I know more.

…Adding… Press release…

Vote Yes For Fairness Chairman Quentin Fulks released the following statement in response to the court throwing out the Illinois Policy Institute’s desperate and frivolous lawsuit:

“Today, our legal system agreed with what we already knew to be true – the Illinois Policy Institute’s frivolous lawsuit was nothing more than a desperate and egregious stunt to try to mislead voters and trick them into thinking the Fair Tax has anything to do with retirement income. As the court has made clear today, the Fair Tax does not tax retirement income, and will not make it any easier to do so.

“Opponents of the Fair Tax know that they have no excuse for why they’re against a tax cut for 97% of Illinoisans, and that’s why they’re resorting to desperate attacks in this campaign. We hope this ruling today settles this issue once and for all, and that opponents will stop with this outright lie.”

…Adding… Press release…

Statement of Vote Yes for Fair Tax Chair John Bouman on Failed Frivolous Lawsuit from Illinois Policy Institute:

“The wealthy special interests are desperate to avoid paying their fair share, but their latest ploy has failed. Their frivolous lawsuit was a publicity stunt meant to confuse and silence voters. The court was right to reject it.

“The fact is the Fair Tax amendment does not tax retirement income. Period. That’s why seniors and their advocates like AARP Illinois support Fair Tax reform.

“The people of Illinois are voting yes for a tax cut for everyone who makes less than $250,000, yes for new funding for schools and health care, and yes to make the very rich pay their share. The time is now: Vote yes today for a better tomorrow.”

…Adding… Press release…

A lawsuit challenging the misleading progressive tax ballot language, brought by the Illinois Policy Institute and Illinois retirees, continues to its next legal phase.

Although a Circuit Court Judge denied an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order in the lawsuit Wojtowicz, McGann, Sutherland and the Illinois Policy Institute v. Jesse White and the Illinois State Board of Elections, et al, the case is ongoing.
Austin Berg, vice president of marketing at the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute, issued the following statement:

“Today, the court concluded that, under the circumstances, we were not entitled to emergency relief without an evidentiary hearing. However, the lawsuit to address the misleading ballot language surrounding the progressive tax was not dismissed, and it continues to work its way through court procedures. Along with our co-plaintiffs, we expect to file a motion with the court in the near future to allow for an evidentiary hearing.

“We are committed to prosecuting our claims in court and will continue to fight for Illinois voters’ right to fair and accurate information on the ballot and in state-issued pamphlets. We look forward to our next opportunity to argue on behalf of voters and retirees.”

To obtain a TRO, you have to claim that you have a large likelihood of success. Those odds can be overcome, but it ain’t gonna be easy.

*** UPDATE *** Rep. Darren Bailey had asked the Supreme Court to reconsider and clarify its order consolidating various cases (click here and scroll down) and handing them all to a Sangamon County judge who had already ruled against him. Today, the Supremes denied the request.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 9, 20 @ 1:00 pm:

    Notice, it’s not the Fair Tax that’s arguing the fear, it’s the Frerichs Tax that might follow it.

    The big winner today? Lawyers.

  2. - walker - Friday, Oct 9, 20 @ 1:02 pm:

    “”in public service”"

    IPI is now defending the rights of public pensioners? That’s rich.

    The complaint was absurd on its face; the language in question was provided by the Republican caucuses.

  3. - Huh? - Friday, Oct 9, 20 @ 1:15 pm:

    “IPI is now defending the rights of public pensioners?”

    They had to find someone to be their new janus.

  4. - Shytown - Friday, Oct 9, 20 @ 1:28 pm:

    The PR stunt didn’t hold up in court? Say it ain’t so.

  5. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Friday, Oct 9, 20 @ 1:53 pm:

    The irony of a group devoted to ending the “retirement security” of state workers using this goofy argument is precious.

    It’s almost as if they are completely devoid of self awareness.

  6. - Norseman - Friday, Oct 9, 20 @ 2:03 pm:

    === in public service ===

    If this were Twitter, I’d post a spittake GIF.

    It’s really sad that the Fair Tax opposition has to focus on deceiving retirees to protect the wealthy.

  7. - Roman - Friday, Oct 9, 20 @ 2:13 pm:

    The IPI suit was not a serious legal effort, it was a political maneuver — and a successful one at that. But their attorneys should be sanctioned.

  8. - Jed Bartlett - Friday, Oct 9, 20 @ 4:12 pm:

    Not sure why these guys aren’t using history as their argument:

    Trust us this will only hurt the top 3%…

    Parking Meter sale
    Red light camera scandal
    Soda Pop Tax
    Cook county sales tax cut and reinstatement
    Doubling of the gas tax
    Pat Quinn’s “temporary” tax hike
    20,000 pensions over $100k
    Senate Seat for Sale
    Expressway tolls will be removed when the roads are paid for

    These are just a few examples of what happens when voters trust politicians in Illinois…

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