Only in Illinois (12/4/2015)

from Reboot Illinois

When reporter Kurt Erickson began covering the Illinois Statehouse, Jim Edgar was governor, George Ryan was secretary of state, Rod Blagojevich was a little-known state representative and a civil rights attorney from Chicago named Barack Obama was about to win election to his first term in the Illinois Senate.

In nearly two decades of covering Illinois government and politics for Lee Enterprises newspapers, Erickson saw a transition from an atmosphere of deal-making amid a healthy state economy to the current state of budget gridlock and partisan bickering as leaders argue over the cause of the economic malaise that’s gripped Illinois since the Great Recession. He has covered five governors, including two who would go to prison on corruption charges.

House Speaker Michael Madigan has worked all year to show Gov. Bruce Rauner that he’s still the most powerful person in Springfield, but that wasn’t the scene when Erickson arrived at the Statehouse. Continue reading


East Dundee, IL – Allen Skillicorn, Republican candidate for State Representative seeking Rep. Mike Tryon’s open-seat, challenges statements by Speaker Michael Madigan. During a public meeting arranged by local good government groups to facilitate budget negotiations, Madigan criticized Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposals as unbalanced and extreme.

“I have to point out that Speaker Madigan calling Governor Rauner ‘extreme’ for just a few modest reforms, is, in itself extreme.” Skillicorn continued, ”Speaker Madigan has been Speaker of the House for thirty years now… No one else owns Illinois debt like Speaker Madigan… He controls a veto proof majority. He could override the Governor and pass a budget today, yet he doesn’t.” Continue reading

Open The Books Finds Billions In Wasteful Government Spending

by Ulysses Arn | Illinois Review

Open the Founder Adam Andrzejewski spoke Tuesday night in Ottawa to the Lasalle county Tea Party about the multiple examples of government waste that he and his small team of government watchdogs have found over the last 5 years.

From the myriad of scandals at the College of DuPage, to the EPA spending millions on military equipment and public relations, to the VA giving out millions in bonuses to the very same people responsible for the lack of care and access to our nations veterans, which cost some of them their lives, to farm subsides going to people living on the island of Manhattan or in downtown Chicago, the waste, fraud, and abuse of our money is everywhere.

Only in Illinois (10-23-2015 )

Here’s why you should care about Illinois’ credit rating getting knocked
by Matt Dietrich and Madeleine Doubek | Reboot Illinois

What does this mean to you?

Mainly it means that more of your tax dollars now will go toward paying interest on state borrowing.

With the worst credit rating in the nation, Illinois is like the home buyer whose credit score is so bad that he gets his mortgage through a payday lender.

How Illinois Democrats hoodwinked the middle class

by Kristen McQueary | Chicago Tribune | 10/22/2015

In 2011, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan attended a private fundraiser for Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner. Madigan was a guest of the host, Terrence Duffy, chairman of CME Group, the parent company of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade.

Four months later, Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton gathered lawmakers in Springfield for a rare special session to approve tax-break legislation that included CME Group, cutting the company’s annual state income taxes nearly in half.

At the time, Illinois was facing the possible shutdown of seven facilities, including mental health institutions and a home for the developmentally disabled. For weeks, parents with adult disabled children were visiting the Capitol trying to save the facility slated for closure. They pushed their loved ones around in wheelchairs or sat outside the House chamber carrying framed pictures of their kids.

Their efforts didn’t work. Jacksonville Developmental Center was eventually closed. But CME Group got its tax break.

CME Group is one of many big-donor firms to benefit from a form of corporate welfare from a Democrat-led state government. From 2010 to 2014, the state handed out tax breaks worth roughly $4.6 billion to Sears and Mitsubishi, Motorola and others, according to a subsidy tracker website.

Remember that the next time you hear Madigan or Cullerton or any Illinois Democrat boast that their party is the one putting the interests of the middle class ahead of big business.

It’s a theme you’ll hear repeatedly as the election cycle takes off.