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State Rep William Black to Dems in legislature: Dems must stop spending!

State Representative William Black (R-- Danville)

On April 22, 2010, I reprinted a comment written by state representative Jack D. Franks regarding the need to stop spending in Illinois. State Representative William B. Black (R-Danville) responded to rep. Franks in today’s Chicago Tribune.

That rebuttal, entitled “Less posturing needed to solve budget crisis” is provided below. Representative Black’s pertinent stats are provided on his Illinois government webpage, provided here:

Less posturing needed to solve budget crisis

I read with incredulity the recent Tribune op-ed by my colleague, Rep. Jack D. Franks, which laid out a simple solution to Illinois’ budget crisis — just say no to spending. I agree wholeheartedly with his suggestion. However, I believe my Democratic friend left out a few details.

We are facing a $13 billion budget deficit and owe our health care providers, social service agencies and schools nearly $6 billion. In my district, the Vermilion County Health Department has been forced to cut half of its workforce and slash programs because the state owes it more than $500,000. Most every community-based service provider in my district has cut services and laid off personnel. Read more »

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Does the Law Apply to the Police? Maybe Not.

In November 2007, off-duty Chicago police officer John Ardelean, was out drinking at Martini Ranch. Security videotape shows the police officer drinking beer and shots at the bar. The videotape shows Ardelean drinking three beers and four shots in just over two hours.

After leaving the bar, Ardelean slammed his vehicle into another killing that vehicle’s two occupants. Last week, Judge Thomas Gainer ruled that there was no probable cause for the arrest and detention of Ardelean. Why? Because the police officers at the scene did not do a field sobriety test or force Ardelean to blow.

If that were you or I that slammed our vehicle into another– killing two– would the four responding police officers NOT give us a field sobriety test? Read more »

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Did Crist Leave the GOP or Did the GOP Leave Crist?

The beginning of the end, when Charlie Crist supported President Obama's stimulus package.

Did you know Ronald Reagan, the most celebrated Republican President of the last 50 years started out a Democrat? When asked why he left the Democratic party, Reagan responded: I didn’t leave the Democratic party, the Democratic party left me.

Is that what we are starting to see with the Republican party? Its latest defection, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, was on John McCain’s short list for Vice President in 2008, when Crist was a popular Republican moderate. Now the term “moderate”in the Republican party is worse than the word “liberal” in the 1980s.

The GOP is continuing its march to the right– far right. With some few exceptions, Mark Kirk being one of them, moderates are a dying species of Republican. Think about what we’ve seen over the last two years: Republicans sucking up to Rush Limbaugh and when one gets out of step with Mr. Limbaugh, they are forced to genuflect and apologize. I’d have more respect for Republicans if they didn’t care so much about what a talk show host says. Read more »

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Arizona Immigration Law a Wake Up Call

The usual suspects on Fox News– specifically Sarah Palin, again fearing actually thinking before speaking– came out in defense of the Arizona law on immigration. Ms. Palin accused the Obama administration of a “shameful” attempt on making it a racial issue by suggesting that the Arizona law will encourage Arizona cops to stop and question Hispanics in search of illegal immigrants.

However, you don’t have to be a Democrat to dislike the law. Many prominent Republicans have come out noting its problems. Jeb Bush and California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman both expressed reservations about the law. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina stated that the law would probably be held unconstitutional. While the Florida conservative Marco Rubio (currently polling ahead of Charlie Crist for the U.S. Senate GOP nomination) hit the nail on the head when he said: requiring people to carry documentation is “not really something Americans are comfortable with, the notion of a police state.” Even former Colorado Congressman Mike Trancredo, posterboy against illegal immigration said: “I do not want people here, there in Arizona, pulled over because you look like you should be pulled over.” He said the law went too far. Read more »

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Are we closer to vouchers in Illinois?

“In America, every child should have a dream and every dream should have a chance.” Rev. James Meeks and Andy McKenna, Jr.

Yesterday, the House Executive Committee voted 10-1 to advance a bill that allows students from the bottom 10% of Chicago elementary schools have the opportunity for a voucher to be applied to a private school.  The bill has already cleared the Illinois Senate.  My only question is why does this bill only apply to Chicago schools– should not the bill apply to the bottom 10% of  all schools in the state?  Otherwise, it looks like a good start.  The Rev. James Meeks and Andy McKenna wrote about that bill and this opportunity for children in Wednesday’s Chicago Tribune. Their words are as follows:


Because of irresponsible leadership, Illinois is running out of money. Still, the educational mission of state government is critical to our future. As U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said, education is the “civil rights issue of our generation.” These two realities confront us with a simple demand: We must spend money much more effectively.

Each day, this imperative becomes clear to more and more people. It is the reason Democrats and Republicans are joining together to support Senate Bill 2494, the Illinois School Choice Act. They believe it is one way to spend our money more effectively. Read more »

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Scott Stantis on Governor Quinn









Thanks Scott.  This is what I have been saying about Governor Quinn for months.   For example, good start on the pension reform for future hires– now make a tough and politically unpopular decision and extend them to current state employees!

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Illinois Representative Jack Franks (D) to Legislature: Stop Spending!

The following was written by Jack Franks, a Democratic member of the Illinois House from Marengo.  I think he hits the nail on its head. Illinois legislators– and Governor Quinn– have to start making some tough decisions. If the state’s tax receipts are third highest in Illinois history, then why is Illinois $13 billion over budget?

Here’s his website:


On his website, Representative Franks says: “Since being elected State Representative, I’ve strived to be an independent voice in the legislature, fighting for the interests of McHenry County– not political parties or the special interests. I want to continue to build on the successes of the past by working together with everyone– regardless of party– to improve our quality of life.”We could use a few more Jack Franks out there. Good luck Representative Franks.

His words are as follows:

 Want to solve the budget crisis? Say no to spending


I sit in the Illinois House week after week, listening to debate, moving bills, and I think: We are out of control.

We have a $13 billion budget deficit, the worst in memory. We run the government by shooting from the hip: borrowing money and not paying our bills.

We are in trouble. And we won’t get out of trouble unless Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois legislators have the courage to put a stop to the unchecked spending that got us where we are today. We have a disaster. It is man-made. Read more »

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Rod, You might want to use that right to remain silent!

Today, I was packed into a CTA “el” car with two girls yelling back and forth so they could hear themselves over the roar of the train. During this process, I learned that if you converse real loud, soundwaves are able to travel through the four people standing between the two engaged in conversation. Physics 101 on the Red Line this morning. Thank you ladies. My problem, and everyone else’s problem on that traincar, was that nobody could hear themselves think as these two teenaged girls yapped about their men and how those men treated them badly.

Maybe their boyfriends aren’t good people– but by the end of my ride they were saints, because they had to deal with these two day in and day out.

That’s how I feel about Patrick Fitzgerald after Rod Blagojevich challenged him to a fight yesterday.

That’s right, our ousted Governor challenged the US Attorney to meet him in court. “I’ll be in court tomorrow. I hope you’re man enough to be there tomorrow, too.” Rod challenged Patrick Fitzgerald, just like the tough guy in high school challenging someone to meet him at the railroad tracks after school.

That’s our Guv! Read more »

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Run Forrest Run!!!

No, not Forrest Gump. This week, County Commissioner Forrest Claypool announced that he is running as an independent for Cook County Assessor. He’ll be running mainly against the Democratic candidate, Joseph Berrios. Claypool is running for the position because Berrios would pose such “a clear threat to homeowners and senior citizens throughout the county” if he wins, Claypool felt compelled to run against him.

The county assessor’s office sets the value of property for taxing purposes. Over the last two weeks a controversy has been brewing over the timing of the second installment tax bills being delayed until after the November 2nd election. Berrios points his finger at outgoing assessor, James Houlihan, for the delay; whereas, Houlihan has said the delay is designed to prevent the delivery of tax bills until after the November 2nd election to avoid angering voters.

In reading the Tribune over the last couple months, one would think that Joe Berrios is, if not the Antichrist, close to it. I don’t agree with the Tribune’s assessment, but Joe Berrios is the ultimate insider. Although Claypool isn’t exactly an outsider, he just might be better than Berrios.

I like Claypool coming into this race because the more choices for the voter, the better. Those choices include Sharon Strobeck-Eckersall, Republican running for the office. As the three-term Assessor for Evanston Township, Strobeck-Eckersall may be the best qualified to do the job, in terms of actual experience.

If I had to vote today, it would be Claypool but its great to have time to learn more about Strobeck-Eckersall. We could use a little new blood in county politics.

Make your own choice:

Sharon Strobeck-Eckersall:

Forrest Claypool:

Joe Berrios:

May the best candidate win.

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Thinking Aloud….. April 10, 2010

  • Two weeks ago, Democrats, on a wholly partisan basis passed health care legislation. My world changed, as in my world Democrats have been the party of hand-wringing sissies in the back room considering all the reasons not to pass legislation it wants (please note, I’m describing national Democrats– Illinois Dems are exactly the opposite).

On the other hand, Republicans have never worried about opposition to legislation it wants. The GOP tells the public that the legislation is in its best interest. The GOP then announces if you don’t like the bill you are a ______________ (Fill in the blank with liberal, elitist, socialist, communist, anti-American, unpatriotic). Within that sentiment is an invitation to move to Canada.

That all changed March 21, 2010.

And the person with the cojones to ram the legislation through: Nancy Pelosi. The first woman Speaker of the House got the job done. Although I don’t agree with everything in the bill, it certainly is a good start and ultimately will prove to be a legislative victory for Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Good job making history.

  •  FDR was called a socialist.


  • Ronald Reagan called Medicare socialist.


  • President Nixon had a healthcare plan too. President Nixon and Senator Ted Kennedy almost passed universal health care in 1974. President Nixon said in his 1974 State of the Union address: “The time is at hand this year to bring comprehensive, high quality health care within the reach of every American.” Read more »
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