Chicago Tribune endorses Allen Skillicorn for State Representative

I’m honored to receive the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune. Proves that the people of Illinois have the will to reform our state! #IL66

“66th District: Republican Allen Skillicorn has an important characteristic that makes him Springfield-ready: He led a movement to freeze the tax levy in East Dundee, where he is a trustee. He understands the urgency to enact policy changes that make Illinois friendlier for businesses and residents. He faces Nancy Zettler, D-Algonquin, an attorney who says she’s running to represent the middle class and end “corporate welfare.” Maybe she doesn’t realize most of the corporate giveaways during the last decade in this state were handed out by Democrats, not by Gov. Bruce Rauner. Skillicorn is endorsed.”

Chicago Tribune Endorses Skillicorn For The Illinois House

Editorial Board | Chicago Tribune

66th District: Our first question to the four candidates running for this House seat: Anyone play guitar? Because someone might have to fill in for retiring Rep. Mike Tryon, R-Crystal Lake, member of the Boat Drink Caucus, a band made up of several lawmakers. Tryon announced last year he would not seek another term. Four Republicans are vying to replace him: Lakewood trustee Paul Serwatka, West Dundee trustee Dan Wilbrandt, East Dundee trustee Allen Skillicorn and McHenry County Board member Carolyn Schofield of Crystal Lake…

Editorial: Who’s afraid of a fair map for Illinois?

by Chicago Tribune Editorial Board

Two sure signs that the fight for a fair legislative map is off to a strong start: Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment have collected more than 263,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot. And the attack mailers are already coming in.

Opposition letters started hitting mailboxes a few days ago, soon after the Independent Map Amendment campaign announced that it was more than a third of the way to its goal of 600,000 voter signatures. (The group needs roughly 300,000 valid signatures before May 2016.)

Feds allege Redflex conspirator talked to Madigan and Daley

by David Kidwell | Chicago Tribune

The former city transportation manager indicted in a $2 million conspiracy to bring red light cameras to Chicago met with then-Mayor Richard M. Daley and House Speaker Michael Madigan as he championed the agenda of the company that was secretly bribing him, federal prosecutors alleged Wednesday.

It was the first time federal authorities alleged publicly that John Bills, the man at the center of the case, personally reached out to Chicago’s two most powerful politicians in his efforts to steer lucrative contracts to Redflex Traffic Systems Inc…

Recycled rhetoric and no progress as Rauner, Madigan meet

by Monique Garcia and Kim Geiger | Chicago Tribune

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the four legislative leaders sat down together Tuesday for the first time since May, only to discover little has changed since then to resolve a budget impasse that’s entered month six.

Even the talking points on both sides were recycled. Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan again labeled Rauner’s political agenda “extreme,” blaming the governor for a state “awash in debt” as various court orders and laws mean spending carries on even though fewer tax dollars are flowing into state coffers.

Rauner quickly shot back, saying Illinois must take on the “structural causes” of the state’s financial problems. Lawmakers, he said, can’t just raise taxes and make “modest cuts,” otherwise “we’ll still just chase our tail.”

“I respectfully disagree that any of our ideas are extreme,” Rauner said.

The back-and-forth played out before cameras that broadcast the opening remarks online. The gathering then continued behind closed doors for about another hour. While a major breakthrough was hardly expected, the politicians emerged with little more to celebrate than an agreement to meet again next week. Continue reading

Skillicorn to officially seek 66th State House seat

Erin Sauder | The Courier News

In May, East Dundee Trustee Allen Skillicorn said he was “exploring a run” for the 66th State House Seat.

During a gathering Thursday night at Bandito Barney’s, Skillicorn said he is officially throwing his hat in the ring, making the March Republican primary a four-way race.

This summer, current State Rep. Mike Tryon, who has served in the Illinois House of Representatives since January of 2005, announced he will retire in 2016.

The 66th State House District includes parts of Algonquin, Crystal Lake, East and West Dundee, Elgin, Gilberts, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Lakewood and Sleepy Hollow.

“There’s a lot of talk in the 66th District about lower taxes, fiscal responsibility, and who’s ‘the real Republican,'” Skillicorn said to attendees Thursday. “I appreciate the discourse on these issues which are near and dear to my heart, but the state of Illinois needs more doers, not talkers.”

Gov. Rauner, ignore the Surrender Illinois Caucus

For far too long my fellow Republicans have waived the flag of surrender on the issues that matter to IL families. That changes now!
-Allen Skillicorn

by the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board

Insurrections disrespect the established order and agitate its protectors. So it’s logical that, as the war for the future of Illinois gets tough, some formerly friendly voices would go wobbly on Gov. Bruce Rauner and his revolutionary vision of a solvent, prosperous, jobs-friendly state:

First, former Gov. Jim Edgar told The State Journal-Register of Springfield that Rauner shouldn’t “hold the budget hostage” by pushing for term limits and policy reforms that could stop other states from stealing Illinois jobs. Former Gov. Jim Thompson then fretted to the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, “This is the worst position the state of Illinois has ever been in.” Crain’s Chicago Business editorialized, “Rauner, even your allies are losing patience” — although the only “ally” cited was the backsliding Edgar.

To which a more resolute Rauner ally, Illinois Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Maisch, retorted: “The chamber recognizes that the current budget stalemate is causing real pain across our state. … Four months is a long time to go without a budget. But it pales in comparison to a 12-year wait for state government to return to fiscal sanity, basic competency and a partnership with business that allows both to prosper. Those things are more than important. They are vital. They are also hard and worth the wait. Hang in there, Governor.”

Why Redistricting Matters

Ohio wants a fair map. Sound familiar, Illinois?
by the Editorial Board | Chicago Tribune

Tired of talking about how Democrats in Illinois rigged the legislative maps to elect more Democrats? Let’s talk about how Republicans in Ohio rigged the legislative maps to elect more Republicans. And about how Ohio voters are trying to fix it.

In the 2012 election — the first using new maps based on the 2010 U.S. Census numbers — Republican candidates for the Ohio House of Representatives got 49 percent of the vote and won 60 percent of the seats. Republicans running for Senate got 68 percent of the vote and won 83 percent of the seats.

Those maps weren’t drawn to ensure that voters had their say. They were drawn to benefit the politicians who controlled the redistricting process. Using sophisticated software and voter history data, Republicans drew grossly misshapen districts, surrounding their allies with friendly voters and busting up communities to disadvantage their enemies.

It worked. Based on a “partisan index” that measures how strongly a district is stacked in favor of one party, the League of Women Voters of Ohio determined that the results of the 2012 election were dictated by mapmakers in 97 of 99 House races and in all 18 Senate races.

Does that sound familiar? It should. It’s exactly what goes on in Illinois. Actually, it goes on in every state that allows politicians to draw their own districts. The only thing that varies is which party has the upper hand.