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*** UPDATED x1 *** Refugee Democrat makes appearance at Illinois Statehouse

Posted in:

*** UPDATE *** The Illinois Policy Institute’s John O’Hara was on Chicago Tonight yesterday and said the real issue here was whether the country will have “two classes of people: a highly politically powerful, public employee unions and everyone else who pays for their salaries.” Watch

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* One of the refugee legislators from Indiana was at the Illinois Statehouse last night and spoke briefly at a Senate Education Committee meeting

[Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon] said she chose to stop by the education committee because the subject is “one of the reasons we’re fighting.”

“The most important thing that we can do is provide a free and quality education to our students,” Reardon said. “The fact that this governor in Indiana does not recognize the contributions that educators make is very disappointing to me”

State Sen. James Meeks, D-Chicago, chairman of the committee, used his microphone to ask the fleeing lawmaker: “Is there any kind of reward for you?” […]

Reardon said she would remain in Urbana, Ill., for “as long as it takes.”

I was at a different meeting and missed that one. But it’s kind of ironic that she stopped by an education hearing, considering what the Illinois Federation of Teachers thinks about a proposed education reform

(T)he Illinois Federation of Teachers is watching a proposed legislation that they say is an attempt to eliminate collective bargaining for teachers.

“It’s actually worse than that Gov. Walker is proposing in Wisconsin,” said federation spokesman Dave Comerford. He said the proposal would make it so “the district could legally walk in and say they’re going to cut pay and there’s literally no recourse” for the unions.

The group responsible for the proposal, which was heard by a special committee convened by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), is supported by a coalition of child advocacy and business groups. While Comerford said they are by no means taking these measures for granted, “I think our lawmakers are watching what’s going on [in Madison] and saying they hope it won’t happen here.”

* Meanwhile, the top Indiana Democrat holed up in Urbana is going back to Indianapolis today

The leader of boycotting House Democrats plans to return to Indianapolis.

Spokesman John Schorg says House Minority Leader Patrick Bauer will return from Illinois to Indianapolis for a meeting on Wednesday, but it is not clear if the meeting will be with Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma.

House Republican spokeswoman Tory Flynn says Bosma does not have any meeting scheduled with Bauer.

* Wisconsin Democrats and Republicans are also talking, but no progress is reported

[Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville] said he was one of the Dems who met [Monday] with Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, near Kenosha. He said the meeting was cordial and Dems gave Fitzgerald a list of changes to the budget repair bill that they wanted.

Fitzgerald took the suggestions to the speaker and guv, and they exchanged counter offers later in the day, but couldn’t reach a compromise, Cullen said.

He said he spoke with Fitzgerald this morning, but it wasn’t a negotiating session.

“The door may be closed to the kinds of changes that we need,” Cullen said. “But I think the possibility of talking again will be there.”

* Related…

* As the 14 Wisconsin Democrats run, meet the numerous Illinois Tea Party activists giving chase

* Indiana legislators ‘closer than ever’

* South of the border: Dem senators share snippets of life on the lam

* A first-hand look at Wisconsin lawmakers’ life on the lam - Democratic state senator Bob Jauch from Poplar and the rest of the 14 senators who escaped from Wisconsin spent parts of several days last week in the charming northern Illinois town of 22,000 where the movie “Groundhog Day” was filmed.

* Even Without Muni Bond Sale, Wisconsin Not in Fiscal Peril

* Why Your Boss Is Wrong About You: As anybody who has ever worked in any institution — private or public — knows, one of the primary ways employee effectiveness is judged is the performance review. And nothing could be less fair than that.

posted by Rich Miller
Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 9:58 am


  1. So freedom-loving, states-righters, don’t-tread-on-me Illinois Tea Partiers feel the need to harass legislators from other states who are exercising their freedoms as they see fit because the TPs don’t like their stand on Wisconsin issues in which they have no interest.

    I’m shocked.

    Comment by wordslinger Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 10:27 am

  2. I KNOW!

    How dare those darn teabaggers speak to their political masters in such an impudent way. They should know their place and get back to work to pay their tax bills.

    Uppity heathens need to respect those of the ruling class.

    Comment by John Bambenek Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 11:04 am

  3. - “two classes of people: a highly politically powerful, public employee unions and everyone else who pays for their salaries.” -

    That’s pretty rich. Something tells me that the ten percent of the population that controls eighty to ninety percent of the wealth probably aren’t AFSCME members.

    Comment by Small Town Liberal Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 11:08 am

  4. I’m sick and tired of hearing about these Wisconsin and Indiana legislators. Go back to work - the voters elected you to attend and debate!

    Comment by formerpolitico Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 11:13 am

  5. ===the voters elected you to attend and debate===

    The voters, it could be said, elected them to represent their districts’ interests. If you think of it that way, stopping this bill could be seen as in their districts’ interests.

    Comment by Rich Miller Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 11:15 am

  6. Its time for full scale war on the teachers. The proposed reforms don’t go far enough. I say throw them all out and start over.

    Comment by Palatine Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 11:16 am

  7. “two classes of people: a highly politically powerful, public employee unions and everyone else who pays for their salaries.”

    No. There is only ONE class of people in any state or nation: those who suffer when their government makes promises it can’t keep and fails to live within its means. Some may suffer more, or sooner, than others, but an irresponsible government hurts everyone — no matter who they work for — in the end.

    Comment by Secret Square Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 11:16 am

  8. It is shockingly irresponsible for anyone, Chicago Tonight or anyone else, to allow the Illinois Policy Institute to spout its falsehoods (since in fact public sector workers are lower paid) especially without disclosing that they are funded by the Koch brothers.

    Comment by Reality Check Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 11:24 am

  9. JB, don’t you find it a bit curious that Illinois Tea Partiers (I don’t use the word that you did), defenders of state’s rights and personal freedoms, concern themselves so much on how legislators from another state (where the TPs don’t vote or pay taxes) conduct their business?

    Comment by wordslinger Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 11:33 am

  10. I love the approach of democracy based on non-negotiable demands. I guess it is all based on Sartre or Malcolm X’s ‘by any means necessary’ quotation.

    The new standard is now to be the prevention of a vote by denying a quorum. That will get things done! - not

    Three cheers to the tea party moms. Without video cams they would be accused of all kinds of ‘evil’ acts against the brave legislators. Keep up the good work ladies.

    Comment by Plutocrat03 Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 11:46 am

  11. “Its time for full scale war on the teachers. The proposed reforms don’t go far enough. I say throw them all out and start over.”

    What a great idea! We’ll hire the lowest bidders, pay teachers the minimum wage as they surely deserve, and as there is no union to protect them, they’ll have to buy malpractice insurance, too!

    Comment by aaronsinger Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 11:50 am

  12. “I love the approach of democracy based on non-negotiable demands.”

    You are referring to Walker, right?

    Comment by Montrose Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 11:53 am

  13. ===The new standard is now to be the prevention of a vote by denying a quorum.===

    It’s not new. It’s been used throughout American history.

    Comment by Rich Miller Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 11:55 am

  14. The linked story regarding the “proposed education reform” that the IFT finds so objectionable is awfully vague. What exactly is in said proposal? What is the bill number? Who are the “child advocacy and business groups” behind it? And why does it scare the IFT so much? (I’m not asking you, Rich, to answer all those questions, I’m just wondering why the authors of the story in question didn’t bother to answer them)

    Comment by Secret Square Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 11:58 am

  15. While I’m a huge fan of what Walker is doing, and I hope he eventually wins this stand off, I don’t know that we need to engage in the hand-wringing about the AWOL Dems.

    Whatever happened to looking through the rule book, and using the rules to achieve your ends? WI has quorum rules that allow the Dems to do this. IL quorum rules call for a simple majority.

    If we had rules similar to WI, I would have cheered the IL GOP if they denied a quorum for the Dem tax increases. It would have been a lever to get deep spending cuts, a ballot question capping government spending, and/or other policy concessions from the Dems. (Not the ILL GOP would ever consider bold policy initiatives that might limit their turn at the pig trough when they get back in power)

    Of course, the ILL GOP lacks such boldness, and the right generally has a bit less of an “ends-justify-the-means” worldview.

    Conversely, the pro-union folks lauding the WI Dems as saviors of all that is good and just, would be excoriating any denial of a quorum by IL Republicans as the end of the known political world, had the ILL GOP been willing and able to do so.

    So it goes.

    To Rich’s point, the WI Dems are doing what their constituents (campaign donors) want them to do. I would like nothing better than the Tea Party and WI conservatives to use existing RULES to begin a recall of all or them.

    It’s the “my side walks on water, your side sucks” partisanship that is getting so tiresome. We all engage in it to some extent, but we need not do so to the detriment of our intellectual integrity or character.

    Comment by Bruno Behrend Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 12:00 pm

  16. Palatine,

    Do you think people move to Palatine because they can’t get enough of those cover bands at Durty Nelly’s? Because of the rich cultural activities available at Medieval Times? Because the two-hour rush hour commute to the Loop is just so convenient?

    No, they move there because Dist. 15 and Dist. 211 are consistently amongst the highest performing public schools in the state. The cause of which is their recruiting/retention of an extremely gifted staff. As a former student of both districts, and former resident of Palatine, I can tell you that many of the teachers were absolutely as gifted as the professors I later had at a private university.

    Now while your property value may have taken a hit in the recession, the only reason it ever was so bloated and remains high is because of the school districts and their fine teacher’s reputation. Families want to move there (as mine did)solely because you can get a top notch public education.

    “Throw them all out” and watch your property value shrink down to comparable property in other suburbs. I can’t understand why a homeowner from this part of the state would villanize teachers and thus advocate against their own self-interest (property values). Other parts of the state yes… but Palatine? AhHa! You must rent.

    Comment by Anon Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 12:04 pm

  17. SS, you should subscribe. I had the same sort of story the other day, but briefly explained the proposal. Also, subscribers were given a copy of an analysis months ago. The bill was never introduced because of IFT/IEA opposition. But that pension reform bill zoomed thru both chambers after they thought they had a deal to stop it, so they aren’t forgetting the lesson they learned.

    Comment by Rich Miller Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 12:10 pm

  18. ==pay teachers the minimum wage as they surely deserve==

    Hey, it works for Catholic schools!
    Seriously, I distrust the “we’ll fund your campaign and supply workers, you give us what we want in contract negotiations” conflict inherant in unionizing public employees, but anyone who thinks public school teachers or state employees are overpaid is welcome to apply for the job.

    Comment by Pat Robertson Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 12:22 pm

  19. Anon,

    While the perception of education “quality” impacts property values, your assertion that cutting spending would lower values is another enduring myth created by our needlessly expensive education system.

    There are numerous ways to cut spending while actually improving outcomes.

    The education outcomes = high property values is overstated.

    The good outcomes = high spending is laughable.

    Every OECD nation spends less than we do, and their outcomes are better. Interestingly, their property values (depending upon the nation) are often lower when using Purchasing Power Parity measures.

    Lastly, depending the time frame and interest rate, every $1000 of property tax takes up to $7,000 to $12,000 off the price of your home, simply by shrinking the number of people who can afford (or qualify for) it.

    That hard figure more than balances the “soft” perceptual myth that your Superintendent’s obscene contract is buying your kid a good education.

    Comment by Bruno Behrend Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 12:24 pm

  20. ===The education outcomes = high property values is overstated.===

    Tell that to the folks in Plainfield. Why did all those young families move out there? The schools.

    That also works, conversely, for places like the western side of the 19th Ward, where Catholic families love their parochial schools.

    Good schools do drive property values. Not everywhere, but in lots and lots of places.

    Comment by Rich Miller Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 12:30 pm

  21. Rich,

    I didn’t say schools had no impact on values, merely that the impact is overstated. I’d also add that the school outputs are much more a function of socio-econ status than spending.

    If you cut property taxes and education spending, and still maintained “good schools” (or better schools, even), property values would rise, not fall. Chicago ($12K+/yr/kid) has an opportunity to re-allocate its spending, and may make this point.

    The fact remains that we can have better schools for less money.

    BTW, the interactive report card says Plainfield didn’t make AYP. It spends just over $10K per kid.

    At $10 K/kid (very close to the national average) there is no excuse our educational failure. Every American kid should be head and shoulders above any peer nation. (even accounting for variances in parenting skills and SES.)

    More funding or mere tweaking this system will yield little, if any benefit. We’ve been doing that for decades to no real benefit.

    Comment by Bruno Behrend Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 2:46 pm

  22. Article IV Section 7 of the Wisconsin Constitution expressly permits the members of the Senate to “compel the attendance” of absent members. They only need 1 Dem senator to have the needed 60%. So arrest one of them and drag him to the floor!

    Comment by formerpolitico Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 3:18 pm

  23. Formerpolitico, not even Walker or the Fitzgerald Gang believe that you can “arrest one of them and drag him to the floor!”

    Gov. Walker told the Fake Koch that his crew was trying to trick some of the Dems into entering the Capitol (a beautiful, magnificent building, rivaling Springfield’s) for phony negotiations with the idea that once they were in the building, a quorum would be established if the Senate was in session.

    That’s why those patriots are in the Land of Lincoln.

    The Fitzgerald Boys have been sending their daddy’s armed troopers to bang on the Senators doors in the wee hours of the morning, in their words, to “pressure” them to take the Senate floor. Even they admit they can’t “arrest one of them and drag him to the floor!”

    But your commitment to freedom, liberty and democracy is noted.

    Comment by wordslinger Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 3:29 pm

  24. LOL. Rich, can you edit that to “public”??? :D

    Comment by 42nd Ward Wednesday, Mar 2, 11 @ 4:37 pm

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