Watch Illinois…And Do The Reverse

Friday, April 27, AD 2012

My beloved State of Illinois is a shining example of what not to do if a state wishes to be prosperous, cursed as it is with probably the worst state government in the Union.  George Will sums up the state of my State in a column this week:

After trying to tax Illinois to governmental solvency and economic dynamism, Pat Quinn, a Democrat who has been governor since 2009, now says “our rendezvous with reality has arrived.”

Actually, Illinois is still reality-averse, so Americans may soon learn the importance of the freedom to fail in a system of competitive federalism.

Illinois was more heavily taxed than its five contiguous states (Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin) even before January 2011, when Quinn got a lame duck Legislature (its successor has fewer Democrats) to raise corporate taxes 30% (from 7.3% to 9.5%), giving Illinois one of the highest state corporate taxes, and the fourth-highest combination of national and local corporate taxation in the industrialized world.

Since 2009, Quinn has spent more than $500 million in corporate welfare to bribe companies not to flee the tax environment he has created.

Quinn raised personal income taxes 67% (from 3% to 5%), adding about $1,040 to the tax burden of a family of four earning $60,000. Illinois’ unemployment rate increased faster than any other state’s in 2011.

Its pension system is the nation’s most underfunded, and the state has floated bond issues to finance pension contributions — borrowing money that someday must be repaid, to replace what should have been pension money it spent on immediate gratifications.

Go here to read the depressing rest.  Illinois is now rated A2 by Moody’s, the lowest credit rating of any state.  When it lowered Illinois’ bond rating Moody’s made the following observation:

Illinois’ general obligation bond rating was lowered to A2 from  A1 on January 6 because of the state’s failure last year to implement  solutions to its largest credit challenges: severe pension under-funding  and chronic bill-payment delays. It remains to be seen whether  the state has the political will to impose new pension reforms and other  measures that restore fiscal strength in the near term.

Not a chance.  No serious reforms will be undertaken until State payroll checks begin to bounce.  Illinois has the worst, most feckless political class in the country.  Louis XV, he of apres moi le deluge, was a dedicated reformer compared to the idiots, crooks and empty suits who misgovern the Land of Lincoln.

 

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46 Responses to Watch Illinois…And Do The Reverse

  • “No serious reforms will be undertaken until State payroll checks begin to bounce.”

    Actually, it’s more like “No serious reforms will be undertaken until the bond markets say “jump” and the State has no choice but to ask “How high?” because the State is so dependent upon short-term borrowing.

    The threat of a bond downgrade was sufficient to get pension plans changes for FUTURE employees (i.e. those hired after 1/1/11) rammed through the General Assembly and signed into law in less than a week last year, before the unions even had a chance to organize a serious protest.

    Now the threat of a further downgrade has Gov. Quinn proposing changes for CURRENT employees and retirees that include raising the retirement age for most state employees from 60 to 67 (That’s actually the age at which one CAN retire though not necessarily with the greatest possible benefits; many wait longer in order to maximize their benefits or get on Social Security or Medicare before retiring). Other possible changes include increasing the share of salary workers contribute to their pensions by 3 percentage points (the employee’s share will go up from 4% to 7% if you are in Social Security, and from 8% to 11% if you are not, like many teachers and university employees) and requiring retirees to pay for all or part of their health insurance.

    Of course, how much of this actually becomes law remains to be seen, as does how much of what DOES become law survives a court challenge based on the clause of the Illinois Constitution that says pensions are a contracted benefit that “cannot be diminished or impaired.”

    If nothing else, however, the proposal has already had one tangible effect: it’s gotten just about every state employee who is eligible to retire now but had been delaying for whatever reason, to consider getting out NOW while the getting is good. My own agency, which has less than 2 dozen people, has had 2 retire in the past year and there are 3 more getting ready to bail out if the pension plan is changed. If one of Quinn’s goals was to trigger a mass exodus of older and higher-paid state workers, he seems to be succeeding in spades.

  • I’ll bet Lincoln is spinning fast enough in his grave to turn a turbine big enough to provide enough power to make fossil fuels obsolete.

  • Meaningful fiscal reform will remain unlikely if the federal government makes
    bailouts an option for irresponsible states like Illinois. With this administration’s
    ties to Illinois, I’d say the politicians in that state have a reasonable expectation
    of not being made responsible for their poor choices.

    Even if a bailout never happens, the perception that the federal government
    would step in, that Illinois is ‘too big to fail’, acts as a drag on meaningful reform.

  • “the perception that the federal government would step in”

    Sorry, but I’m not seeing ANY such perception here on the ground in the Land of Lincoln. I think it MAY be finally starting to sink in that the bag of fiscal tricks is empty and we are on our own.

    A subtle but potentially significant clue: a bill has been introduced and sponsored by none other than powerful House Speaker Mike Madigan, that would abolish the current statutory obligation the State has to subsidize retiree health insurance. If passed and signed, the state COULD, legally, abandon retiree health insurance completely (currently, retirees get subsidized coverage based on their years of service; those who worked 20 years or more get a 100% subsidy and pay nothing for their health insurance).

    My suspicion is that since a direct attack on pension benefits may be hamstrung by the “no diminishment” clause in the State Constitution, the powers that be will instead use health insurance as the vehicle for pension reform. If all the current pension rules stay the same but retirees have to pay full freight for their health insurance, then no one in their right mind will retire until they are old enough to go on Medicare. This would in effect raise the baseline retirement age to at least 65 and prevent people from retiring in their mid to late 50s or early 60s under the current provisions — which is what’s really killing the pension system.

  • Illinois, like the countries of the Eurozone is in trouble. because it is unable to monetize its debt.

    After all, for a government with its own currency, such as the UK or USA, it is immaterial whether its debt is in the form of government bonds or banknotes, except that bank notes are issued in smaller denominations and pay no interest. It is simply exchanging one liability for another.

    Indeed, there is an advantage in replacing bonds with notes, as this increases inflation and erodes the real value of both domestic and foreign debt (providing it is denominated in the currency in question), as a comparison of the purchasing power of the pound or the dollar over the last hundred years will make abundantly plain.

  • George Will has absolutely no political motives. Nor does the Church hierarchy. Politics is the antithesis of Faith, at it best it is hypocritical; it’s only concern is self interest. To mix Faith with political agendas or parties ends with a corruption of Faith. To me it is becoming more and more evident in Catholic culture. A political ideology with a cover of religiousity. Trust in the Holy Spirit not in political motives.

  • Well, Pesqueira, I suppose you have a political agenda judging from these comments that I assume were left by you at the National Catholic Register:

    “Posted by Pesqueira on Friday, Apr 27, 2012 3:08 PM (EST):

    I found the Bishop’s remarks offensive.

    Posted by Pesqueira on Friday, Apr 27, 2012 3:23 PM (EST):

    In the name of the Holy Spirit, I found the Bishops remarks purposely inciting and offensive.”

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/bishop-jenkys-assessment-of-religious-liberty-battle-raises-question-about/#ixzz1tMaKMSW2

    How you pulled in the Holy Spirit to support your opposition to Bishop Jenky’s comments attacking the HHS Mandate is beyond me, but I assume that you and the Holy Spirit, in your opinion, see eye to eye on politics.

  • I stand by my statements. Unlike some my Faith dictates not politics. Nor do I not hide an agenda or use my Faith to express a political opinions unlike some.

    My “beloved state” sounds designed to garner sympathy. Perhaps sympathy for a political agenda? Your words.

  • As far as the Bishops words, his defenders state he was alluding to a progression of a policy when comparing the President to Hitler and Stalin. Is the Bishop a prophet that he sees the future? If not he has maligned the President. Maligning someone is tantamount to bearing false witness, a mortal sin. I donot condone his statement. I do not stop anyone else from invoking the Holy Spirit. Perhaps if you were so certain of your rhetoric you not be so fearful about doing so.

  • My use of the phrase “beloved state” Pesqueira was to convey that I love my native state where I have lived all but three years of my life.

    “Unlike some my Faith dictates not politics. Nor do I not hide an agenda or use my Faith to express a political opinions unlike some.”

    Yep, just you and the Holy Spirit handing down the Truth from on high. Got it.

  • correction – Perhaps if you were so certain of your rhetoric you might not be so fearful about doing so.

    Thanks for the interest in my comments. I wish I could say the same.

  • “Perhaps if you were so certain of your rhetoric you not be so fearful about doing so.”

    I tend to think that my political opinions and those of God might not coincide, so I tend not to invoke the Holy Spirit when expressing a political opinion as you did. In regard to Bishop Jenky, he mentioned Hitler and Stalin as granting some churches tolerance as long as the churches limited themselves to performing religious services while the State is controling everything else. That is the type of religious freedom that Obama believes in.

  • I often invoke the name of the Holy Spirit in prayer. Do you have a problem with that?

  • “Thanks for the interest in my comments. I wish I could say the same.”

    You came to my blog Pesqueira and I did not seek you out. I assume you read the post you commented upon, so that indicates some interest on your part. As to your comments, yes I found them fascinating as I rarely see anyone invoking the Holy Spirit to lend support to what they are stating in a combox.

  • “I often invoke the name of the Holy Spirit in prayer. Do you have a problem with that?”

    Not at all Pesqueira. You were not praying however when you attacked the comments of Bishop Jenky and enlisted the Holy Spirit to support your statement.

  • “That is the type of religious freedom that Obama believes in.’

    I have no idea what President Obama believes in these regards. What I know is that the Constitution limits the power of the executive in many ways, one being term limits. Term limits would never allow any President to become a despot as implied by the Bishop.

    Religious freedom is also guaranteed by the Constitution so your argument that the President can supercede the Constitution is fear mongering.

  • “You were not praying however when you attacked the comments of Bishop Jenky and enlisted the Holy Spirit to support your statement.

    “That is the type of religious freedom that Obama believes in.”

    Assumptions on you part. You seem to think that you know what people are thinking.

  • Assumptions on you part. You seem to think that you know what people are thinking.

    It tells me something about a person when they make assumptions about people they do not know.

  • “Term limits would never allow any President to become a despot as implied by the Bishop. ”

    Obama is a symptom Pesqueira and not the disease. The mentality he reflects, that the Church must bend to whatever the State dictates, is very much alive among the elites in our society.

    “Religious freedom is also guaranteed by the Constitution so your argument that the President can supercede the Constitution is fear mongering.”

    Which is not an argument that I nor the Bishop have made Pesqueira. Our argument is that the HHS mandate violates the First Amendment. However, the fact that a law is unconstitutional is no guarantee that it will not be enforced. It was clearly unconstitional for the Supreme Court to overturn all laws against abortion in Roe v. Wade, but the Court did it nonetheless and deemed the laws to be unconstitional rather than the Court’s usurpation of power.

  • “Assumptions on you part. You seem to think that you know what people are thinking.”

    No, I know what Obama has done in this area and that is why I made my statement.

  • “It tells me something about a person when they make assumptions about people they do not know.”

    It tells me rather more when someone clearly has a political agenda, claims not to have a political agenda, and enlists the Holy Spirit to support that political agenda.

  • Just say in the name of the Holy Spirit I believe all that I have stated is not done for a political purpose as I have done. Much like testifying in a court of law, then I will believe you are sincere. If you can not do that I will continue to doubt your veracity.

    Stop with the accusations and assumptions.

  • Politics hiding behind religiousity.

  • “Just say in the name of the Holy Spirit I believe all that I have stated is not done for a political purpose as I have done.”

    No, for two reasons. First, because I believe it is near blasphemy to invoke the Holy Spirit in almost all political discussions, and your doing so I find extremely distasteful. Second, I have a political agenda. I want the State of Illinois to elect new leadership since the current political class has spent the State into near bankrupcy.

  • “Politics hiding behind religiousity.”

    Yes, Pesqueira, you really need to stop doing this.

  • “Obama is a symptom Pesqueira and not the disease. The mentality he reflects, that the Church must bend to whatever the State dictates, is very much alive among the elites in our society.”

    Sympoms of a disease. I am reminded of a glass house and a parable about a twig and a log. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. I make no apologies for expressing a truth and have no problems enlisting the protection of the Holy Spirit when doing so.

  • “Yes, Pesqueira, you really need to stop doing this.”

    You first.

  • “I make no apologies for expressing a truth and have no problems enlisting the protection of the Holy Spirit when doing so.”

    You expressed no truth, but rather an opinion. I doubt if the Holy Spirit has any interest in protecting your political opinions, but you obviously have a direct pipeline to what is on the mind of the Holy Spirit so perhaps I am mistaken.

  • “In the name of the Holy Spirit, I found the Bishops remarks purposely inciting and offensive.”

    Is this statement you consider political? I don’t see it.

  • “You first.”

    Truly a bizarre comment since you intervened in a combox discussion about a purely secular topic.

  • We all have a direct line, some chose not to use it. Tell me that’s not true.

  • “Is this statement you consider political? I don’t see it.”

    More is the pity.

  • “We all have a direct line, some chose not to use it. Tell me that’s not true.”

    On almost all political topics Pesqueira, it isn’t. The Holy Spirit has bigger fish to catch.

  • “Truly a bizarre comment since you intervened in a combox discussion about a purely secular topic.”

    Resorting to attacks again instead of defending your use of religiousity to promote a political agenda.

  • R”esorting to attacks again instead of defending your use of religiousity to promote a political agenda.”

    Nope, making a simple statement of fact. My post was on a purely secular issue and no one breathed a word about religion until your initial comment.

  • On almost all political topics Pesqueira, it isn’t. The Holy Spirit has bigger fish to catch.

    The Holy Spirit doesn’t care about the size of the fish. None too small.

  • “The Holy Spirit doesn’t care about the size of the fish. None too small.”

    I keep forgetting that the Holy Spirit guides your political stances, so I guess I will have to stand corrected.

  • Mac!

    Don’t you have something more pleasurable to do?

    Like cleaning out the gutters, or scouring the toilets?

    I’m watching ND Men’s (#4) Lacrosse play Syracuse on ESPNU.

  • After getting paid all week to argue T.Shaw, one would think that I would have my fill of it, but, alas, that is often not the case!

  • I get it.

    I get paid to annoy people, as necessary.

    Pity my poor wife.

    ND defense is excellent and the goalie has made two spectacular saves. Our Lady is ahead 4 – 0.

  • “I believe it is near blasphemy to invoke the Holy Spirit in almost all political discussions”

    Then Gov. Quinn himself might have skated pretty close when he said, in reference to the pension reform plan, “I know that I was put on earth to get this done.”

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-04-20/news/chi-quinn-wants-government-workers-to-pay-more-toward-retirement-20120420_1_state-pension-pat-quinn-today-pension-funding-crisis

  • Quinn and blasphemy are old drinking buddies Elaine:

    “Governor Quinn recently announced that, on November 17, he will be presenting an award during a luncheon sponsored by Personal PAC, a pro-abortion, non-partisan political action committee.

    Quinn’s argument in defense of his decision is that it is the “proper, Christian thing to do.” The female recipient, Jennie Goodman, to whom Quinn is presenting the award is a victim of rape who, according to Quinn, is a very strong advocate for helping women who have been sexually assaulted. But regardless of this woman’s heroism and desire to help other victims, the point is that even though Goodman did not have to choose to abort her own child because she did not get pregnant as a result of the rape, she associates herself with a state-wide pro-abortion organization. She appeared in a political ad prior to the last election, speaking out as a victim of rape and against the pro-life Republican running against Quinn. ”

    http://www.all.org/article/index/id/OTQ2OQ

  • Getting back on topic, consider this: the proposal that caused teacher’s unions all over the nation to go nuclear on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was to have teachers START paying their 6.2% (of income) share of their pension instead of making local school districts pay that. In Illinois, teachers ALREADY contribute 8% or more (unless the local school district picks up the cost — some do, some don’t) and Quinn’s proposal would raise that to 11% or more. Also, Illinois teachers are NOT in the Social Security system, while (I think) Wisconsin teachers are. So tell me again, who’s the real bad guy here (from a labor union point of view)? Methinks the union protesters who turned out in Springfield to protest Gov. Walker’s speech to a business group should have focused their wrath a bit closer to home….

  • T Shaw.

    Mac!
    Don’t you have something more pleasureable to do?”

    Oh, I think, after a hard week plying his profession, Don was having some light relief fun, T Shaw. A bit like a cat playing with a mouse 😉

  • Pesqueira,

    If you do come back, I remind you that it is a cardinal sin to take the Lord’s name in vain specifically in support of one’s own idiosyncratic interpretations. It is a violation of the Second Commandment. Since Jesus Christ alluded to the terrible fate awaiting those who go against the Holy Spirit, I am rather afraid of Him and would counsel you not take these matters lightly.

  • Pesqueira

    “We all have a direct line, some chose not to use it. Tell me that’s not true.”

    As Joseph Butler, the celebrated Anglican divine, philosopher and apologist, as Bishop of Bristol said to John Wesley, the noted ranter and enthusiast, “Any pretension to revelations or gifts of the Holy Spirit is a horrid thing, sir, a very horrid thing.”

Blagojevich Guilty Today on 17 Counts

Monday, June 27, AD 2011

Well, it wasn’t quite as exciting as the above courtroom scene from The Untouchables, but today Rod Blagojevich, twice elected governor of the Land of Lincoln, was found guilty on 17 counts in the Federal criminal prosecution brought against him:

  • Count 1-Wire fraud related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY
  • Count 2-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 3-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 4-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 5-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 6-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 7-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 8-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 9-Wire fraud related to the Racing Bill-GUILTY
  • Count 10-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 11-Attempted extortion related to School Shakedown-NO VERDICT
  • Count 12-Attempted extortion related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY
  • Count 13-Bribery related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY
  • Count 14-Extortion conspiracy related to Racing Bill-GUILTY
  • Count 15-Bribery conspiracy related to Racing Bill-GUILTY
  • Count 16-Attempted Extortion related to Tollway Shakedown-NO VERDICT
  • Count 17-Bibery related to Tollway Shakedown-NOT GUILTY
  • Count 18-Extortion conspiracy related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 19-Attempted extortion related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 20-Bribery conspiracy related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
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28 Responses to Blagojevich Guilty Today on 17 Counts

  • But Donald, at least Blago will get his just deserts in prison in ways that he has previously never envisioned.

  • It is true Paul that bad Elvis impersonators do rank pretty low in the prison pecking order. 🙂

  • So much for the theory, voiced by some jury “experts,” that a female-dominated jury (11 women and one man) would take pity on him and be less likely to vote for conviction.

    Methinks in this case, however, that the women on this jury had fully functional horse hockey detectors (the same kind they use on husbands and children) which enabled them to tell when Blago was lying to them… basically every time he opened his mouth.

    Personally, I think justice will be done if he stays in prison long enough for his hair to turn gray and/or fall out.

  • “Personally, I think justice will be done if he stays in prison long enough for his hair to turn gray and/or fall out.”

    That would be poetic justice indeed Elaine! 🙂

  • Hooray. I know he has retired, but maybe Daley next.

  • Of course 0bama and Emmanuel knew nothing of this. Innocent bystanders I tell you.

  • God love him. I may disagree with Blogo on most issues but I would have voted for him. Why? He is one of the few honest politicians out there. He is only guilty of being stupid enough to voice the thought process that most politicians go though when they make decisions and appointments, i.e., How will this benefit me? How will this effect my poll numbers? Will this effect my ability to raise funds or cause others to support my opposition?

    I was listening to the Chris Mathews show on the way home from work tonight and his guests agreed that Blogo was going to do nothing different with the open Senate position than any other politician. He was just “too crass” saying it out loud.

    How true, we have now made being crass a federal offense. But I think more importantly Blogo was guilty of destroying the illusion held by the public that politicians are “public servants” and aren’t self serving SOBs who only work to consolidate more and more power.

  • No Eva, we have made engaging in criminal acts a criminal offense. Too many politicians are just as corrupt as Blago, but that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be going to prison, but that they also should be punished for their crimes.

  • Corrupt Illinois Politician Headed for Jail…this is news?

  • Don:

    Just curious. How are Blogo’s actions any different then handing out ambassadorships to your top contributors? Or, naming political opponents to plum political positions to gain their support, i.e., Hillary to State or Bush as VP. Again, if Blogo had had been more discrete and kept his mouth shut he could have gotten everything he wanted and been praised as an sure politician.

  • Meant to say “astute” politician.

  • Blago intended to profit personally from his nefarious schemes. He made that quite clear on the tapes and that is quite illegal.

    “I’ve got this thing and it’s f—— golden” and “I’m just not giving it up for … nothing.”

    Blago is an attorney, and so I assume that he knew what he was doing was illegal. If he didn’t then, he does now. Thank God he was too stupid to cover his tracks effectively as many another politician has.

  • Don:

    I understand where you are coming from; but again how does that make Blogo any different from any other politician. Let’s be honest they all use their positions to their personal profit (either direct or indirect). Blogo just spoke out loud what other politicians think. Not to be insulting, but it is somewhat naïve to think that Presidents and Governors make political appointments based upon who is the best person for the job and not based primarily upon personal political considerations, i.e., Will it help me get re-elected? Will this appointment or decision get me more political contibutions? Politicians aren’t an altruistic class.

    There are few, if any, politicians who don’t enter the political system (especially the federal system) as paupers and don’t leave as millionaires or who don’t enter the system as millionaires and leave as multi-millionaires or billionaires. There are few congressmen who after leaving office (voluntarily or involuntarily) don’t step into a nice cushy job with industry (Haliburton, Blackstone), lucrative speaking engagements before those groups that were favored by your policies or votes, or as a lobbyist. Politicians often remind me of the wicked steward in Luke 16:1-9.

  • It is as wrong Eva to say that all politicians are crooks as it is to say that all politicians are self-sacrificing statesmen in the mode of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. I tend to think that politicians overall reflect the people they come from, and if the current crop of politicians are a poor lot, they might mirror a general decline in morality, and educational standards come to think of it, over the past few decades.

    When dealing with those who wield power, it is always important to prosecute those who cross the line into illegality. As is true with all criminal prosecutions, far more escape prosecution than are prosecuted, but those who are caught deserve the full severity of the law. As for the rest, it is up to the voters to elect good men and women to public office. As long as the average voter is content to be apathetic and often shockingly ill-informed, idiots, charlatans and outright crooks will continue to be elected to high office in our nation.

  • Thanks for deleting my post, Donald. Sometimes I am an idiot. 🙁

  • There are few congressmen who after leaving office (voluntarily or involuntarily) don’t step into a nice cushy job with industry (Haliburton, Blackstone), lucrative speaking engagements before those groups that were favored by your policies or votes, or as a lobbyist.

    Last I heard, Gary Condit and his family were running an ice-cream parlor. A none too lucrative one.

  • Art:

    I guess leaving Congress under a cloud of suspicion of murdering an intern doesn’t do much for your market value. Definitely an exception and not the rule

  • …that bad Elvis impersonators do rank pretty low in the prison pecking order

    On the news item over here, the TV commentator suggested that Blago wasn’t very inclined to do Elvis’ “Jail House Rock” 😆

    (Back in my callow youth, I thought that was a great movie) 🙂

  • Elvis had his moments Don, although most of his films are better relegated to the memory hole.

  • Well, I’d feel all superior to you flatlander folks – if it wasn’t for the Wisconsin Supreme Fight Club we have goin’ up here. Justices in their golden years accused of choking each other, rushing each other with upraised fists and so on. Boy, wouldn’t you subscribe to pay-for-view to see a Prosser vs. Bradley smack down?

    Really, to all of you who are tired of Wisconsin politics – I agree wholeheartedly! I’m tired of Wisconsin politics too! I now HATE Wisconsin politics!

  • And I believe that is exactly one of the tactics Alinsky advocated – wearing down conservative folk to the point where they would simply give up.

    Well, I am tired of Wisconsin lefties, but that does not motivate me to stay at home come election day. Quite the opposite, Mr. Alinsky.

  • Each of the charges for which Blago was convicted carries a maximum prison term of 20 years, which means his theoretical maximum sentence would be more than 300 years… that must include time in purgatory 🙂

  • “Wisconsin Supreme Fight Club”

    That is hilarious Donna! In my experience appellate court and supreme court justices not uncommonly have fairly poisonous relations with some of their colleagues, but usually they are bright enough to restrict it to some tart rejoinder in an opinion. They forgot that the cardinal rule of Wisconsin Supreme Fight Club is that you do not talk about it! 🙂

  • For a Illinois politican to be indicted and convicted is not a shame, it’s a career move! LOL!

  • Talk to your kids before they get involved in Illinois politics!

  • Friends don’t let friends… run for public office in Illinois 🙂

  • Paul Simon, Charles Percy, and Richard Ogilivie. Were any of these men crooks?

  • Paul Simon was a loon but not a crook. Percy was a Rino’s Rino, but too rich to be a crook. Ogilvie was an honest man, but radically expanded the size of Illinois government during his one term in office and championed passage of the Illinois state income tax.

New Jersey Loves Illinois!

Thursday, January 27, AD 2011

I was on my way to court yesterday morning when I heard this ad on WLS attempting to lure businesses from Illinois:

“Hi, I’m Chris Christie, Governor of the State of New Jersey. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Move my business to New Jersey? Really?’ Really. My administration has worked hard to change the direction of our business climate, plus our state has many advantages. We have an incredible talent pool to drive your business. Innovative financing, incentive and assistance programs. And an exceptional quality of life for the people who live and work here. Oh, and one more thing. As long as I’m Governor, I will not raise your taxes. I am proud of the new direction we’ve brought to New Jersey: lower taxes, reduced government spending and less regulation: a better home for business — today and in the future. Don’t let Illinois balance its budget on the back of your business. Choose New Jersey – we mean business.”

Go here to listen to the ad.

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23 Responses to New Jersey Loves Illinois!

  • Actually I think this latest move proves that what has long been known as the “economic war between the states” has gotten way out of hand. In fact I will soon be doing a post on that very topic.

    I have been rather an admirer of Christie but to be honest, my opinion of him just went down a few notches because of this stunt — and yes, it is a stunt. Seriously, his own state still has a long way to go in fixing its problems, and it is still losing people at a faster rate than Illinois, so he ought to focus on it. Some of Christie’s budget cutting devices (like skipping the state’s payment into the employee pension fund) were already tried in Illinois years ago with the disastrous results we see today.

    Also, don’t forget that:

    1) several of the states that are now attempting to poach jobs from Illinois have combined state and LOCAL tax rates that are about equal to or in some cases HIGHER than what Illinois has now, and

    2) a lot of corporations get tax breaks from Illinois or whatever state they are in so the official tax rate doesn’t apply to them anyway.

  • I think Christie is moving in the right direction Elaine. Considering the economic basket case the state was in when he took over, and the fact that he confronts a hostile state legislature controlled by Democrats, I think he has done well.

    On the other hand we have too many people in Illinois who are in denial and simply will not admit that this state is about to hit a fiscal wall. This really atrocious piece by Rich Miller at Capitol Fax is typical of the whistling at the top of the abyss. Attacking other states to divert attention from the fact that Illinois is on the brink of fiscal collapse is amusing, but that is about all I can say for it.

    http://capitolfax.com/2011/01/18/the-propaganda-continues/

  • There are limits to everything.

    Is it that big governments try to be “all things to all people”, with private sector taxes paying for it all?

    At what point do high taxes chase away, or ruin, the state’s private sector?

    A number of states’ rulers have serious “heads in sand” issues.

  • That goes for the DC Dim crowd’s adamant adherence to fiscal destruction: freeze government spending at $1.5 trillion more than tax revenues????

    Er, cut the annual deficit to $1.1 trillion over ten years????

    I didn’t even need to go to my HP-12 financial calculator to estimate that would add $12+ trillion to the already unsustainable National Debt.

    Does the bloviator-in-chief think we are stupid? Not 75% of us. How can 25% be so stupid? Ans. a. the kool aid b. Public school brainwashing. c. Food stamps.

  • …Plus, we in New Jersey have great landfills…Come ride the NJ Turnpike, where you still have to pay a toll even though the road was paid for years ago. Even the legendary Jimmy Hoffa probably has found a home here. Our economy is so good that the Mafia hasn’t laid off a judge in at least a decade. And that great smell around Bayonne of old tires and petroleum fumes is something you just can’t find anywhere else.

    Yes, come to the Garden State and visit beautiful downtown Camden, but make sure you bring a gun because there’s no one there to protect you because most of the cops have been first. But, hey, we have to start making cuts somewhere and business comes first and there are plenty of opportunities for profit on the hundreds of foreclosed homes and empty storefronts.

    And if you think the politicians in Illinois are crooked (after all, how many of our ex-governors are in jail?), we still know how to accept a “campaign contribution” with the best of them. Please use a brown paper bag, however, and make it cash. Dollars are acceptable but Euros and Asian currency are preferred.

    Thanks for stopping by! We look forward to your business!

  • I doubt this would impact anyone’s decision. If you’re a business owner or leader and you find that you need to relocate in order to stay afloat or prosper, you’re going to appreciate Christie’s attitude. However, that doesn’t mean it is New Jersey’s attitude, and it’s doubtful the attitude the remain once Christie is gone. If you have to go through the pain and expense of uprotting, you’re going to look for a location that can suit your business needs and do so economically over the long haul. If you’re finding Illinois unworkable, you’re likely going to find most traditionally blue states a poor choice.

  • …correcting typo: “…most of the cops have been FIRED.”

  • Joe, I must stand up for the honor of Illinois! When it comes to political corruption we are second to none. In the past four decades we have had three of our governors go to the Big House, with a fourth on the way. Try and match that!

  • RL, I think most of the businesses leaving Illinois will probably head to Indiana and Wisconsin. However, I would not be surprised if Christie isn’t able to lure a few businesses as the SS Illinois sinks beneath the waves after hitting the fiscal iceberg.

  • Agree, Donald, that NJ has a ways to go, but they’ll get there eventually. Meanwhile, can’t wait for Blago’s new TV reality show.

  • Wisconsin’s new slogan: “Wisconsin is open for business.” Translation: “We can grease palms with the best of them”

  • NJ may be starting to appeal to some businesses, people should look at NJ’s very high property taxes:
    Average property tax in NJ is about $6.3K a year whereas in Illinois it’s about $3.3K. That extra $3K might come in handy for some families.

    source: http://www.illinoispolicy.org/blog/blog.asp?ArticleSource=1497
    (NOTE: this data is slightly out-dated, I thought I saw newer data for NJ that said property tax has increased to over $7K.

  • I live in Illinois, and there’s no chance I’ll be moving to the East coast. Like Don says, our Midwestern image of New Jersey is that it’s NYC’s Mafia-run landfill (no offense). But I live 5 miles from the border with Missouri and work online from home, so I’m going to look into whether I can get a post office box or rent a small office on the other side of the river and officially make my income in that state. I probably don’t make enough money for it to save me that much, but it’d be worth it to poke them in the eye even if I break even on the deal.

    Many locals already drive over there to save 10 cents/gallon on gas, and there’s a string of other businesses among the gas stations that exist only to serve Illinois residents (there’s no town over there to speak of). I bet they were all cheering when they heard about Illinois’s 66% tax increase.

  • Funny how competing sovereign states can highlight the errors and the best practices of each other. We must put a stop to this if we are to remain a Union. I suggest that Illinois raise up the militia and invade New Jersey to force a regime change.

  • Joe your bitter grapes with regard to Wisconsin are surely not on account of the Packers crushing da Bears???

  • Uh CL, nothing against the Pack, but “crushing”?

  • You say tomato, I say tom?to . . .

  • Lawyer…FYI, I am a transplanted Cheesehead whose veins now run green and gold. I am not responsible for any inferences drawn that my state’s politics are in any way corrupt : )

  • This just in… the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled, unanimously, that Rahm Emanuel CAN stay on the ballot for Chicago mayor, based on established precedent from an eerily similar case that was decided in the 1860s (that’s not a typo, we’re talking 140 + years ago) and was considered settled case law until called into question “a few days ago”. Intent DOES count when establishing residency for purposes of running for public office, as well as for voting for public office.

    Now back to our show…

    I have to differ with you, Don, on that Capitol Fax article you linked to. While Miller may be a bit over the top in his writing style there all his information was accurate. If you read him habitually (as I do), you would know that he’s been sounding the alarm about Illinois’ looming fiscal disaster louder and longer than just about anyone in the legacy media. What he was attempting to do here was NOT ignore or dismiss the problem but put it in some perspective, and point out that it’s not necessarily the end of the world, or of Sucker State civilization as we know it.

    I agree that Miller comes down pretty hard on Christie, whose budget deficit is at least headed in the right direction, however slowly. Still, I’m puzzled as to why Christie would do this except in an attempt to play to a national audience and not miss out on the “pile on Illinois” game being played by other GOP governors (including prospective POTUS and VPOTUS candidates).

    It’s one thing for Wisconsin and Indiana to try to persuade Illinois businesses to move — they are right next door, and one could locate in those states and still be within easy reach of the Chicago metro area. And I could even see states like Texas and Florida getting in on the act, after all, they offer freedom from both income taxes and snow shoveling 🙂

    But New Jersey? Seriously, what Illinois business owner is going to pack up and move 1,000 miles just to put up with equally bad if not worse weather, higher property and income taxes, and even more entrenched corruption (mainly at the local level)? Not to mention Snooki and The Situation taking the place of Mr. and Mrs. Blago as your least favorite reality TV stars?

  • In regard to the Emanuel opinion Elaine, I thought it interesting that in the concurring opinion they took exception to the caustic tone of the majority towards the two appellate court judges who wrote the opinion that the Supreme Court reversed. I applauded that. The Illinois Supreme Court harps on the necessity of civility by attorneys and lower courts, and then they write fairly unprofessional opinions, the tone of this one was not that much worse than others I have read, in which they let their inner jerks have free reign. I also agree with the concurring justices that the law in this area was not clear and I think the Supreme Court has made it murkier. The next time that a Chicago cop is fired for non-residence, it will be interesting to see if the Supreme Court still believes that the law is crystal clear on the issue of residence.

    As to Capitol Fax, I am not inclined to be charitable. I think Miller leans to the Democrat side, and I think he is unfair to Christie who is making heroic efforts to balance the books of New Jersey:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-09/christie-targets-medicaid-benefits-as-new-jersey-deficit-looms.html

    In regard to Christie and Illinois, I think his attitude was it would give his efforts to woo businesses to New Jersey nation-wide publicity for a modest radio investment, and he was right. I think it was a shrewd move, even if he doesn’t get a single Illinois business to jump ship.

  • At the risk of being snarky (oh, what the hell), perhaps Mr. Christie would do well to tighten his own belt — that is if he could find one to accommodate his girth.

  • Better a fat belly than a fat head Joe. If it would make them fiscal hawks like Christie, I’d send each governor a case of Christie’s favorite desert.

    Corzine of course tried the “Christie is fat” attack during the campaign, and Christie just rolled right over him. 🙂

  • Go to the link below, run the video, and see why Chris Christie is a great leader to end the drunken sailor government spending this country is addicted to:

    http://coalitionoftheswilling.net/?p=11921

Illinois Appellate Court Kicks Rahm Emanuel off Chicago Mayoral Ballot

Tuesday, January 25, AD 2011

The above video exemplifies the attitude that many politicians in Illinois demonstrate  to laws that stand in their way.  Rahm “Never let a crisis go to waste” Emanuel was a Chicago congressman.  Besides being noted for a fondness for a  certain four letter word which I discussed in this post, Emanuel is also noted for two things:  he came up with the strategy of running phony conservative Democrats for Congress around the country, which helped the Democrats take back the House in 2006, and pad their short-lived majority in 2008, and he was Obama’s chief of staff.  After tiring of being chief of staff, after Richie the Lesser, Mayor for life of the City-State of Chicago, decided that he didn’t wish to go on being Mayor until he died, like his father Richie the Incoherent, Rahm decided that becoming Mayor of the Windy City was an excellent escape plan from the Obama administration.  After he announced, he quickly became the front runner, facing only token opposition.  The election is set for February 22.

There was one pesky thing standing in the way of Rahm and his coronation.  A provision in the state municipal code which requires that someone actually live in a city for at least one year, before seeking office to run the place.  However, this is Illinois!  When is the last time that the law in Illinois prevented a powerful Democrat from doing whatever he pleases?  (If you regard the question as other than entirely rhetorical, I will assume you do not live in the Land of Lincoln.)  The Cook County Board of Elections determined that although Emanuel resided in DC while he was Chief of Staff, and had rented out his Chicago house, he was, mirabile dictu!, still a resident of Chicago.  A Chicago Circuit Court judge affirmed this decision.  However, in a stunning development, an Appellate Court panel ruled two  to one that Rahm is not a resident of Chicago and is not eligible to have his name appear on the ballot.  The decision may be read here.

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18 Responses to Illinois Appellate Court Kicks Rahm Emanuel off Chicago Mayoral Ballot

  • I think it’s going to be reversed, and not because of Chicago political shenanigans. Frankly, the dissenting opinion strikes me as having the better of the argument.

  • Maybe he can go back to Wasserstein Perella for another tour as an ‘investment banker.

  • Donald,

    We in Indiana thank Illinois for its anti-business insanity.

    Sincerely,

    Jonathan

  • Now comes the real fun. There are seven justices on the Illinois Supreme Court. Four are Democrats and three are Republicans.

    One of the Democratic justices is Anne Burke, wife of Ed Burke, a powerful and very wealthy Chicago Alderman who is known to support one of the other candidates for mayor (Gery Chico).

    Assuming that the three Republican justices would rule against Rahm, and that the three other Democratic justices would rule in his favor (both pretty big assumptions), that means Justice Burke would cast the deciding vote.

    However, some suggest she should recuse herself because of the potential conflict of interest with her husband being a supporter of another candidate. But if she does, the court might end up deadlocked 3-3. That would let the appellate ruling stand, and keep Rahm off the ballot. Seems to me she’s in a bit of a “damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t” situation.

  • Also, should Rahm be kicked off the ballot it’s highly likely most of those who would have voted for him will gravitate toward Gery Chico and HE will become the new front runner. Carol Mostly Fraud has VERY high negatives among white and Hispanic voters, and even to a considerable extent among black voters as well. Plus her fundraising has been really pathetic in comparison to Emanuel and Chico.

  • Well, if Obama can become POTUS without showing a birth certificate, don’t see why Rambo has to establish residency before getting on the Chicago ballot. Surely, you can’t be serious. I am serious and don’t call me Shirley.

  • In true Chicago fashion, the 3-member appellate court actually voted against Rahm 593 to 349, with 201-year old Abraham Lincoln voting with the majority.

    This is a painful lesson in how well-intentioned laws can be useless or worse. I’m convinced that one day this country will be choked to death by red tape.

  • Do not underestimate CMF Elaine. I still remember how stunned I was when she toppled Dixon, a sitting Illinois Democrat senator in the primary in 1992. Chico might be able to beat her, but my money would still be on her to pull it off.

  • You’re right about our Illinois policitians being good for very little except for entertainment. If so, why do we keep bringing them back for sequels? it’s a sad commentary on us Illinoisians, isn’t it?

  • Having now read the opinion, I have to agree with Dale. It’s pretty clear that Rahm meets the residency requirement under the law, and that the Court of Appeals got it wrong.

  • Here is an interesting look at the case from David Ellis, the prosecutor of Blagojevich in the Senate trial for removal after his impeachment:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-ellis/resident-evil-the-chicago_b_813832.html

    Having practiced law in Illinois now for 28 and a half years I agree with this sentiment at the end of his post:

    “But predicting the outcome of that appeal? You might as well predict the weather in Chicago this April.”

    I would say that the stay given to the appellate decision by the Court is probably a good sign for Rahm.

  • “If so, why do we keep bringing them back for sequels? it’s a sad commentary on us Illinoisians, isn’t it?”

    The penchant for the voters of the Illinois to vote for obvious crooks is something that has astounded me for years, and it is a sad commentary on the aptly named Sucker State.

  • Pingback: ‘Nuff said’ – Opinions Rants Raves – Garysworld USA – Jan 25th - GarysWorld USA
  • I have to side with Dale and Blackadder also — the arguments in FAVOR of Rahm’s residency are stronger. If intent is key, it seems to me that by not SELLING his home, and by keeping his voter registration and driver’s license in Chicago, all that indicates clear intent not to abandon Chicago residency.

    As strange as it may seem, it’s the decision AGAINST him that reeks more of crooked Chicago politics.

  • I too lean towards the dissent but I don’t think it’s a slam dunk. As far as I can there there’s no case law on point and “reside” in other contexts like where to serve process refers to the usual place of abode, which was DC, not Chicago. All the cited cases deal with other laws in other sections of the municipal code enacted at different times. I think they’re similar enough that they should be applied here but there’s no reason why they MUST be.

  • And just in case anyone was wondering who NOT to vote for, Carol Mostly Fraud has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood and Personal PAC.