Power to the Pork
Well, we’ve got another case of Power to the Pork brewing among Illinois machine Republicans.
In the past weeks, former governor Jim Edgar and GOP gubernatorial candidates Kirk Dillard and Jim Ryan all refused to close the door on tax increases for the people of Illinois. Dillard has said those of us who pledge not to raise taxes are “pandering.” Edgar—in his endorsement speech of Dillard—said it was “irresponsible” to take a tax increase off the table. And Ryan has said he would look at “revenue enhancements” (one of the loveliest descriptions of tax increases I’ve heard!). This comes on the heels of three top DuPage Republican leaders—Dan Cronin, Kirk Dillard, and John Milner—voting for the sales tax increase to bail out the CTA and allow free rides for ALL seniors.
Now, I understand that these leaders—who surreptitiously support two of my opponents—may criticize my specific plans to slash the budget and to refuse to raise taxes as “pandering.” It could very well be that Dillard himself was pandering when he signed the Americans for Tax Reform Taxpayer Protection Pledge—only to break his pledge and vote for tax increases.
And I understand how some may see my stance as naïve. Of course, it’s always easier said than done, right? And I’ve heard all the talk that “you change once you get to Springfield.” And that makes sense. I can see how it happens. Particularly, when you are beholden to these same machine politicians, the special interests, and the pork that are sinking this state’s budget, crippling our economy and shrinking taxpayer’s bank accounts.
The truth is, it is hard for many politicians to take hard lines in cutting the budget because their power comes from this pork. It’s money from these special interests (either directly or funneled via other machine politicians’ coffers) that pays for many campaigns. So, instead of representing the hard-working people of this state and using the power they’re granted by the people, many of our leaders clamor for more power and influence by using your money to give favors—and this is much of the stuff that lines our budget.
My approach is different. I want to represent the people. Not the pork. And I don’t even want the power from the people as much as I want power for the people—to make our own decisions on how we spend and give our money, on how we educate our kids, and how we live our lives.
This year’s primary gives Republican voters in the 41st District and all across Illinois a chance to take back our state. To end the wasteful, power hungry machine politicians who have ruined this state. It’s the time to vote for candidates who represent our values, who want to do well by the people, not the pork.