Why Red Light Cams Are Increasingly Costing You Money… and How to Fight Back

by Juliette Fairley | MainStreet

NEW YORK—Privatized traffic law enforcement systems are spreading rapidly across the United States. As many as 700 local jurisdictions have entered into deals with for profit companies to install camera systems at intersections and along roadways that automatically detect violations of traffic laws, take photos of offending vehicles and identify license plates. Typically, tickets are delivered by mail to the registered owner of the vehicle. Traffic ticket expert Steve Miller encourages drivers to fight back.

“You can’t lose by contesting a ticket. The worst case scenario is winding up right back where you started,” said Miller who founded TicketBust.com.

The National Motorists Association estimates between 25 and 50 million traffic tickets are issued each year. Assuming an average ticket cost of $150, the total up front profit from tickets ranges from $3.75 to $7.5 billion dollars. In California alone, 18 million tickets were issued, more than in any other state and with less than 5% of drivers contesting.

Miller receives an estimated 10 calls a day from drivers seeking assistance with a ticket in collections. Below are his tips for getting a ticket dismissed before it gets that far:

ECC should halt plan for Ayers speech planned for 9/26

The idea that my property taxes are paying Bill Ayers a speaking fees disgusts me! -Allen

An open letter to Dr. David Sam, President, Elgin Community College:

We had the pleasure of meeting you at the dedication of the brick walk honoring ECC alumni last fall. As you remember, we were among the oldest alumni in attendance having received our associate degrees in 1955 and 1956. ECC holds a special place in our hearts since it brought the two of us together, and we will celebrate our 56th wedding anniversary next April. We were giving serious consideration to including a bequest to ECC in our wills, but that will be on hold if your plan to feature William Ayers as the highlight speaker of the Humanities Speakers Series does in fact take place.

You cannot imagine how disappointed and heartsick we were to read about this development in Saturday’s edition of the Daily Herald. We were young adults when Ayers and Dohrn were making (small?) bombs and using them, directly causing the death of at least one human being. At that time, we had friends and relatives in Vietnam defending Ayers’ right to express his views without fear. Some of them never made it home. They were not there to defend anyone’s right to commit acts of terrorism.

Hold local officials accountable by demanding more transparency

by Nancy Thorner – 

Illinois Policy Institute holds periodic telephone conference calls open to the public in which staff members are featured and interact with participants.  Last Wednesday, the Institute’s Director of Government Reform Brian Costin used the opportunity to discuss The Institute’s Transparency Project.

Their “Ten-Point Transparency List” serves as a government watchdog and provides a framework for both legislators and citizens to use to improve local government transparency and accountability.  On the checklist is information to help citizens become active participants in their communities and gather information on spending and taxes, and submitting Freedom Of Information Act queries.  Since 2010, more than 200 local government agencies have been assessed according to The Institute’s guidelines.

Chicago gives Whole Foods $10M in TIF money

by Brian Costin | Illinois Policy Institute

In a free enterprise system, businesses grow organically by providing customers with products of value, and in return customers reward those businesses with their hard-earned money.

Unfortunately, in Illinois the free enterprise system has been corrupted by bad government policies.

Because of Illinois’ high taxes, regulations and anti-free-market policies, many businesses now resort to playing the game and seeking out cronyism packages to beat their competitors and survive.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently announced that organic-friendly Whole Foods Market will be getting an artificial taxpayer subsidy of $10 million in Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, district funds to build a new store in Englewood.

Unfortunately, this scenario plays out hundreds of times over each year in Chicago. Many of Whole Foods’ competitors, such as Jewel-Osco, Target, Walgreens and Mariano’s, also seek – and profit from – cronyism giveaways through TIF districts, which are special economic zones that gives taxpayer money to developers. This creates an unfair playing field for local businesses – especially smaller businesses. These smaller businesses are often left feeling the burdens of higher taxes and onerous regulations when their bigger, politically connected competitors win multi-million-dollar subsidies.

I don’t primarily blame companies for playing the cronyism game, especially when all of their local competitors are receiving subsidies. It’s the rigged system that’s created by politicians that’s to blame.

Just how costly is the TIF district problem? Chicago taxpayers paid out more than $457 million to TIF districts in 2012 alone. Most of the money will go to economic development projects similar to the Whole Foods deal. Statewide, more than $1 billion in property taxes is collected and spent via TIF districts.

Union Boss Salaries

-by Fred Wszolek | Buzzfeed

Union membership is down but Big Labor bosses’ profits are up. More than 400 labor chiefs pocketed at least $250,000 each last year, even as their collective ranks fell by 400,000 members. They say they are fighting for the working class. Not quite. We did the math…

Let’s Turn Illinois Red!

Join Allen Skillicorn and Charlie Kirk at an event focusing on Turning Illinois Red, Sunday October 13th, 4-6PM at Bandito Barneys Beach Club, 10 N. River St, East Dundee, IL 60118.

Keynote Speaker – Charlie Kirk, Founder of Turning Point USA

$25 Suggested donation
$75 Sponsors

Pay at the door or mail checks to:
Taxpayers for Skillicorn
245 Dunridge Circle
East Dundee, IL 60118

RSVP to allen@allenskillicorn.com
or 847-417-5611


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Here’s the radio ad playing now on WRMN and WIND!


$670k Doors and $323k Chandeliers part State House Renovations

“These $700k doors were made by  Imperial Woodworking (Palatine, IL). Imperial is owned by Union Labor Committee Trustee Frank Huschitt.” – Allen

Three sets of these doors cost IL taxpayer's $669,608.

Three sets of these doors cost IL taxpayer’s $669,608.

By State Journal-Register

More details about ornate renovations at the state Capitol – including more than $323,000 for four chandeliers – have drawn sharp criticism from lawmakers who say Illinois is not in a position for such pricey upgrades when it’s facing massive financial problems.

The nearly $50 million taxpayer funded renovation in Springfield includes nearly $160,000 for two sculptures of maidens at a staircase and the chandeliers, which resemble gas and lamp fixtures, according to a story in Sunday’s Chicago Sun-Times. Capitol architect J. Richard Alsop III confirmed the details late Friday.

The price tag of another renovation has already drawn heavy scrutiny: nearly $670,000 for copper-plated wooden doors, a cost first revealed in a column by The State Journal-Register’s Dave Bakke.

Wisconsin vs. Illinois; which state has a better economy?

ILLINOIS/WISCONSIN (WITI) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn have taken opposite paths toward improving the economy. So who’s approach is working better?

2011 was a tough year for Illinois and Wisconsin. Both faced big deficits — Wisconsin at $3.6 billion and Illinois at $13 billion.

It was a problem Gov. Walker and Gov. Quinn responded to in opposite ways. Wisconsin cut the budget and collective bargaining, while Illinois raised taxes by 67%.

Business leaders across the region watched closely.

Tim Roberts is the CEO of Catalyst Exhibits, a leading maker of exhibition displays like the ones seen at convention halls. At the time, he was thinking about a change of scenery for his company, but says Illinois’ tax hike made his decision easy.

“When the 67% increase happened. Boom. Done,” Roberts said.