By Chairman Tim Schneider
Last week, the Democrats in Springfield wrapped up their legislative session for the year, praising themselves for a job well done.
But here in the real world, Illinois still has the highest jobless rate in the Midwest (3rd worst in the country); a broken budget with billions in unpaid bills; the worst credit rating of any state; and a governor who desperately wants to make the biggest tax hike in Illinois history permanent.
The Democratsâ€™ failure to address those challenges was shameful, but not surprising.
Hereâ€™s a snapshot of what the Democrats â€œaccomplishedâ€:
- They passed a $35.7 billion state budget with no GOP support, which even their own members admit is â€œincompleteâ€ at best.
- They kicked the can down the road with a budget that fails to reform the broken system, and adds billions to Illinoisâ€™s backlog of unpaid bills.
- Democrat leaders and Gov. Quinn pushed hard to make their 5% income tax permanent. Bipartisan opposition (only 34 of the 71 House Democrats were ready to vote for it) has killed the tax hike for now, but Quinn is pledging to keep up the fight.
- Democrats ignored Republican calls to halt legislative pay raises, and to ban lame-duck tax hikes â€“ remember, the biggest tax hike in Illinois history happened in lame-duck session following the 2010 election.
Last month also saw Democrats joining Republicans in demanding answers for Pat Quinnâ€™s â€œpolitical slush fundâ€ before the 2010 election, and a court challenge over patronage hiring at Quinnâ€™s Department of Transportation. Every week that passes brings more and more trouble for Gov. Quinn, it seems.
Thereâ€™s only one way we can prevent the â€œsame old, same oldâ€ from continuing in Springfield, and thatâ€™s by electing Bruce Rauner and Republicans up and down the ticket in November.
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Editorials Rip Democrats Statewide
Itâ€™s not just Republicans who are sick and tired of the constant failure of the Democrats in charge of our state. The following is a brief sampling of the editorials and headlines calling Gov. Quinn and the Democrats to task for their failures:
Chicago Tribune Editorial: Hey, Illinois legislators. Knock knock. Your promise is here.
Chicago Tribune Editorial: Part II: About your promise of an Illinois tax rollback, lawmakers
Chicago Tribune Editorial: Quinn should be livid about Illinois incidents: â€œQuestionable spending, patronage hiring; the old Quinn would be livid.â€
Chicago Tribune Editorial: New jobs for Illinois? No rush on that
Chicago Sun-Times Editorial: Protect Lincoln Library from sneaky Madigan maneuver
Daily Herald Editorial: House votes more about politics than responsible budgeting
Rockford Register Star Editorial: Our View: Illinois is a fairy tale without a happily ever after
Quad City Times Editorial: 500,000 Illinois voters take aim at Madigan â€œIllinoisans are disgusted with the results of Madiganâ€™s rule.â€
The Herald-News Editorial: Send Message to Lawmakers â€“ No more tax hikes
The Pantagraph Editorial: Democrats need to wake up, smell their error
The Pantagraph Editorial: Madiganâ€™s non-binding resolutions a waste of time
The Southern Illinoisan Editorial: Voice of The Southern: Budget crisis only an ugly symptom
ILGOP In The News
On the other side of the coin, the Illinois Republican Party has been aggressive in the press: pushing our message of more jobs, lower taxes, less wasteful spending, a high-quality education, and term limits. A sampling of our recent coverage:
Crainâ€™s:Â Whatâ€™s the top priority for new Illinois GOP chief? – We have the third-highest unemployment rate in the country. Company CEOs say we’re the third-worst place in the nation to do business,” said Mr. Schneider, who will keep his day job as a suburban Cook County commissioner. “We’re ready to take over the governor’s mansion in November and win races top to bottom statewide.”
GOP Leader Tim Schneider: â€œWeâ€™re going to win in Novemberâ€ – If Tim Schneider has his way, Bruce Rauner will be Illinois governor in 2015. “We have the third-highest unemployment rate in the country,” Schneider tells Crain’s Chicago Business. “Company CEOs say we’re the third-worst place in the nation to do business. We’re ready to take over the governor’s mansion in November and win races top to bottom statewide.”
Chicago Sun-Times:Â New Illinois GOP chairman sees energy, unity in party â€œI think the state GOP is energized and excited to be in the position where weâ€™re at,â€ Schneider said. â€œPat Quinn and Mike Madigan have nothing but failed policies. That perches us on the threshold of a great victory in November.â€
Crainâ€™s: Is national GOP putting serious money into Illinois? – â€œIt’s no secret that the national GOP is going to put some money behind the party’s nominee for governor here, Bruce Rauner, although Mr. Rauner has plenty of his own to spend on the campaign. But now comes word that the Republican National Committee is hiring 193 field staffers nationwide, boosting a variety of data collection and analytical tools and even springing for campaign offices as part of a Victory 365 program.“
Chairman Schneider on CLTV â€“ â€œPolitics Tonightâ€ – â€œMy job is to grow the Republican Party in Illinois â€“ my job is to get republicans elected up and down the ticket.â€ â€¦ â€œI bought into [Bruce Raunerâ€™s] message after hearing what he had to say. He believes in lower taxes and less spending, term limits, a great education for our kids, and a booming economic climate for Illinois. That is not what we’re seeing right now.â€
Chairman Schneider on WTTW â€“ â€œChicago Tonightâ€ – â€œI think this is an exciting time for the Republican Party in Illinois. We are invigorated under the broken promises and failed policies of the Quinn administration in Springfield, we have an unemployment rate that is third worst in the nation, the largest in the Midwest, the third-worst environment for business in the United Statesâ€¦ We can do much better in Illinois. The people are tired with the stats quo and need new direction.â€?
ILGOP Chairman Tim Schneider on Bloomington 92.9 FM (interview starts at 4:39) – â€œWe are a big-tent party. We are not a big-government party, and Iâ€™ve never been a big-government person. We are going to unite Republicans around those values that unite us as a party. And that is Lower taxes, less wasteful spending, quality education for all the children of Illinois, term limits, and developing a blooming economy in Illinois.â€
WLS-AM â€“ Bruce and Dan interview with Chairman Tim Schneider 5/27/14 â€œMy role as Republican Party Chairman is to grow and strengthen the Republican Party. I think we have a tremendous opportunity this November to elect Bruce Rauner as governor of Illinois. Youâ€™ve seen over the last years the failed policies and the broken promises of the Quinn/Madigan administration. And I think weâ€™re going to take that to the voters in November. And tell themâ€¦ Are you satisfied with the status quo? Are you satisfied with a governor whoâ€™s under investigation? With 5.4 billion in unpaid bills? With all the corruption, the waste thatâ€™s going on, the jobs leaving? I think thereâ€™ a clear-cut decision that Illinois voters will be making in November.â€
The First Ward: I hope Tim Schneider can pull it off! The reason I generally vote Republican is because Iâ€™m bleepinâ€™ sick and tired of other people spending my money. That resonates with voters. And as long as the Illinois GOP can stick to that single cohesive message, I guarantee you theyâ€™ll start kicking some Democratic butt. To make a long story short, I canâ€™t tell you how much Iâ€™m pulling for Tim Schneider to pull this off. The problem is, he just got dropped into a mile wide minefield without a map. It will be interesting to see if he can find his way out.
News You Can Use
- Although the Obama administration is boasting higher-than-expected enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, Americans’ attitudes toward the healthcare law have changed only marginally since the open enrollment period ended for 2014.
- Fifty-one percent of Americans disapprove of ObamaCare.
- Fewer than four in 10 adults (37%) say the law will ultimately make the healthcare situation better in the U.S., consistent with past measures. A plurality of Americans (44%) say it will make things worse, and another 16% say it won’t make much of a difference.
Washington Post Forecast: Republicans have a 77% chance of taking the Senate