In a state where everything political is offensive an already infamous campaign ad from gubernatorial hopeful Jeanne Ives raises the bar. This is a difficult feat in a state with a history of outrageous campaign spots that often have a tenuous connection to the facts. The truth is there is nothing particularly striking or distasteful about her ad except that it challenges national Democratic Party values the GOP allowed itself to be bullied into accepting.
Illinois and California share a lot of bad ideas. One is allowing their illegal residents to drive so they can easily get to work or school. Passing the Illinois driver’s license legislation was an enormous violation of the public trust even considering that the trust of taxpaying citizens is already a lost cause. Now our state is following California’s lead with SB 31, the Illinois TRUST Act.
Whoever said that politics is about solutions? Politics is about competition and conflict. It’s about grabbing as much power as you can. It has nothing to do with the right, wrong, or any other way. It’s about butting heads and coming out the winner. That’s why Illinois’ state budget crisis is perfect politics. Springfield found a way to turn the budget into an absolutely insoluble problem, a crisis so perfect that all it does is serve the needs of entrenched state politicians.
Like many in Illinois with a job and money to lose, I am waiting for the hammer to fall. The state Senate’s failing “grand bargain” is a bad omen for those of us who have lived here a long time and know what it portends. Sooner or later a tax increase is coming. It will likely be a big one.
At the end of another abysmal 12 months Illinois can finally declare without a doubt what its greatest accomplishment was in 2015: talk. Lots and lots of talk.
This time there was a Republican at the helm.
Bruce Rauner has been sitting in the governor’s seat for a year. Before predecessor Pat Quinn left office, he made a final State of the State address that boasted progress that was illusory at best and at worst destructively expensive, or at least would have been if his plans had gone anywhere.