Rock Island, IL – Surrounded by family and friends, Neil Anderson, a Moline firefighter, announced his candidacy to be the next State Senator for the 36th District.
“I am running for the State Senate because it’s time for new leadership, new energy and a new direction in Illinois,” said Neil Anderson. “I am not a politician, I am just a dad that wants to take the fight to Springfield and challenge the status quo.”
Anderson, a Republican, was joined at his announcement by his wife Brandi and their children, Steele and Sophia.
“I am not running to make a career out of elected office, I am running to make a difference for our families,” Anderson added. “On day one, I will refuse to accept the pension and healthcare perks offered to state legislators and I will work to enact term limits for state officeholders.”
Also joining Neil at his announcement was Sen. Christine Radogno, the IL Senate Minority Leader, Congressman Bobby Schilling, State Senator Darin LaHood, State Senator Tim Bivins and numerous local community and business leaders.
“Neil Anderson is exactly the kind of new leader this state needs to be successful again,” said Radogno. “Neil can genuinely relate to the challenges that families are facing in Illinois and will bring that perspective to the legislature.”
Congressman Schilling added, “I’ve known Neil for a long time. He is a leader that understands the value of service to others and I have no doubt that residents of the 36th district would be proud to call him Senator.”
The 36th District has been represented by Mike Jacobs since 2005. In that time, Illinois has been in a steady decline and currently owns the nations 2nd highest jobless rate, worst credit rating, record levels of debt & billions in unpaid bills. In 2011, Senator Jacobs supported the largest tax hike in Illinois history.
“Neil understands the devastating effect misguided policies are having on our state,” stated Sen. LaHood. “He is committed to rolling back the 2011 income tax hike and enacting meaningful tort reform, both of which will create jobs and grow the economy in Illinois.”
As we get deeper and deeper in Obamacare nationwide, one may wonder “what will this do to the local paid on-call and volunteer ambulance services?”
Update 1: Oberweis had a staffer passing out petitions at the regular Downers Grove Township Republican meeting. Date and time for a formal/official announcement is TBA.
BREAKING: State Senator Jim Oberweis is running against Senator Dick Durbin in the U.S. Senate race in 2014. Details are limited.
h/t Bruno Behrend for the article find.
College is expensive for students/parents & the taxpayers pure & simple. A recent article in the Washington Post discusses how to lower college costs & is based off of a report by the Third Way think-tank that highlights how a $10,000 Bachelor’s Degree would work through 6 reforms of the college system. I have some further suggestions myself & I encourage you to read the article as my comments under each proposal are reflective upon my take of what I read.
1. Reduce administration
This doesn’t mean instructors but the administrators of the college which according to the article accounts for roughly 70% of a college’s budget. One area specifically I agree with changing the academic adviser role to a professional based academic counselor. I learned pretty quick while in college that neither your major adviser nor the university’s academic advisers were of no help whatsoever. The major advisers were the worst pumping you with bad information about job prospects when you get out of school & prodding you to do additional coursework to “make yourself more marketable”.
2. Reduce perks
The author of the study cuts dorms, food service, sports program subsidies amongst others “perks”. The study suggests that if a student wants those perks that they should pay for it, not the taxpayer. Of course you pay already pay extra for living in a dorm & you pay for a meal plan for food service. However, what the real cost is for dorms/food service vs subsidized costs is beyond me. Sports & extracurricular activities would be extremely difficult to change given how much money is involved in those areas inside & outside of college. It’s almost like the military-industrial complex only it’s the sports-industrial complex.
3. Boost graduation
The study suggests that graduation have a self-paced component to it vs based more on how many years of classroom time a person sees. I can see this approach taking root as more classes are available online. Colleges already offer accelerated course work during the summer when they offer 6 or 8 week courses worth the exact same about of credit hours than if you sat in a class for 18 weeks.
4. Blended learning
Interesting concept of melding together technology & real-life interaction between instructor & between students. When I was in my education classes, our professors always wanted us to utilize technology as much as our classroom would allow. Interactive videos, presentations, etc. were to be integrated in nearly every lecture or lesson plan. Long gone were the days of popping in a video in lieu of actual teaching.
5. Fewer majors
The author of the study breaks down all majors into a few areas: “engineering, biology, education, computer science, English, communication, accounting and economics”. A great line from the 1994 movie PCU “That’s the beauty of college these days, Tommy! You can major in Game Boy if you know how to bullshit.“. At some point, we’ve made fun of some major we considered absurd. However, there is some element of truth in our taunting of certain majors as in just because you are at college, it doesn’t mean that a college has to provide a major for what you want to study. Another way to put it is why should the taxpayers provide funding if you want to major in Underwater Basket Weaving?
6. Four levels of college
The author says there should be 4 levels of college with each college focused on a different style of student/studies ranging from adult to research to remediation. Interesting but I’m not sure that diversification of actual colleges are the answer compared to offering those same programs within the current structure is better.
I feel there are two additional reforms that could be implemented immediately that would lower the cost of a Bachelor’s Degree significantly.
7. No General Education requirements
Eliminate the re-teaching of college students. Taxpayers fund students’ education in high school & if the students haven’t learned Math, English or Science before they go to college then that is the fault of the high school and/or the students. We as taxpayers should not have to pay for our colleges to teach kids subject matter they should have already been taught before getting to college. Colleges call these Gen. Ed. requirements an attempt to create a “well-rounded individual”. In reality, our colleges are forcing students/taxpayers to pay for 1 1/2 to 2 years of classes BEFORE they get to take their major courses in years 3 & 4. Eliminating Gen. Ed. requirements would allow college students to graduate in about 2 years depending on their major & cut a huge portion of college costs in the process.
8. Allowing credits to transfer
There are several state colleges to choose from in Illinois. However, if I take a major level course like History of Latin America at Eastern Illinois University, that credit will not transfer to Western, Southern or any other state college. Most, not all Gen. Ed. courses will transfer though. Even Junior Colleges have credit transfer problems. I can’t take many, if any, major level courses at a Junior College & expect those credits to transfer & count towards my major at a state college. Credit transfers would also allow students to take summer courses at university closer to home & transfer those credits to the university where they attend full-time.
There is no doubt that higher education needs to be reformed. Tuition & fees continue to increase at colleges which in turn increases the costs to the taxpayer & students. Reforms don’t have to all be painful or spartan but reform must happen.
Term limits are popular with people and there is no doubt about that. Many don’t like either the US Congress or our IL General Assembly as a whole which helps fuel support for term limits. While term limits on the surface are a good idea, underneath it all there remains problems that term limits cannot solve.
When someone gets elected to the IL General Assembly – or Congress for that matter - chances are they will be re-elected for years afterwards & will only find their way out of office by retirement or resignation due to corruption or being handed a cushy government agency job. Sure, there are instances where a seat changes hands due to redistricting as a whole, redistricting to create a split district politically or there is a wave of voter discontent as evidenced by the Tea Party movement in 2010.
I’m not sure when an elected official crosses the line to becoming entrenched in office. It would seem some would say 8 years. I don’t quite understand how one derives a useful political life is 8 years like some kind of Logan’s Run Carrousel scenario. But what happens at the end of those 8 years?
Changing the person in office doesn’t mean the voters will get somebody completely different politically – or even less “corrupt”. That is a major flaw in term limits. Plus, what stops a lame duck legislator(s) from voting for whatever they want in the last part of their outgoing, term limited time in office? A conscience? Doubtful. We’ve seen that lack of conscience during other lame duck sessions of the General Assembly.
Besides, elections are the ultimate term limit decider…but more on that a little later.
Redistricting/restructuring the General Assembly is also being proposed. The current idea is to lower the number of State Senators & increase the number of State Representatives. Downstate will be the loser in this proposal. My State Senate district, the 54th, already stretches from Madison County down to Washington County over to Effingham then south to Marion County. The 55th Senate District already stretches from Coles County all the way down to White County. How will expanding the size of the State Senate districts make those districts more representative of the people or make those holding that office more accountable? It won’t on both accounts.
The other provision suggested to reform the General Assembly by changing the vote from 3/5ths to 2/3rds to override a Governor’s veto. I have mixed feelings on this issue. On one side, it allows the Governor to be a true check on the Illinois legislature & the veto override was once set at 2/3rds during at least one previous incarnation of the Illinois Constitution. At the same time, Illinois has a history in populism (Jacksonian populism/democracy, Grangers movement, etc) that has traditionally kept the General Assembly as one of the strongest branches of the Illinois government & those past incarnations of the Illinois Constitution are proof. A move back to a 2/3rds required vote to override a veto would weaken the General Assembly against a Governor who would use the veto power often. Additionally, not every measure passed by the General Assembly is veto proof – even in the Democrat super-majority in the General Assembly now so the chances of a veto being overridden would diminish.
Ultimately, the power to change the Illinois government doesn’t lie with the legislature, the judiciary or the executive branch. It doesn’t even lie with a referendum to change the Illinois Constitution. It certainly doesn’t lie with any candidate or non-candidate promising to be a reformer like some conservative political prophet. The power to change Illinois government lies within one office & one office only – the Precinct Committeeman.
The gripes about term limits are really rooted at angst against political power & who possess that political power. We falsely lay that power on elected officials (leadership positions aside for the sake of this argument). The reason why the higher ups, the “establishment”, the “insiders”, whatever you want to call them, have the power is because we allow them to have it – because we choose to leave our precincts empty.
I’m sure you are like me & have received emails from candidates asking your help to sign and/or get signatures for their petitions so they can appear on the ballot this upcoming Primary election. Have you received the same email from your party “leadership” about finding people to run for Precinct Committeeman? How about an email reminding you to pick up your petition & get it signed to re-run as a Precinct Committeeman? No? Me either. Perhaps that’s because these same people know that the actual power to change anything lies within the Precinct Committeemen.
The ELECTED (not appointed) Precinct Committeeman gets to vote on who the Chairman of the county party will be for the next 2 years. Why is that important? Because having the right (figuratively & literally) Chairman can help decide the direction of the county & state parties & office holders. As an example, imagine if there were a majority of conservative Chairmen in the room when they decided to pick Rodney Davis over Erika Harold to replace US Rep. Tim Johnson on the ballot. Do you think outcome of that pow-wow would have been the same?
In addition, the Precinct Committeeman gets to vote on who represents their Congressional district on the State Central Committee, who as we should know by now, selects the next Chairman of the state party – who then in turn sets the direction of the state party.
Lastly, but certainly not least important, the Precinct Committeemen are the ones who help get candidates elected (or defeated) by leading the door-to-door, get-out-the-vote campaigns. They also do what they can to increase voter-turnout of their candidate of choice to get that person re-elected or get somebody defeated in the next election. Getting people to vote. Now there’s your term limits.
If you want term limits by throwing out the bad politicians, if you want to change your party from the ground up & if you want to really change Illinois government to being more responsive & more responsible then recruit others and run yourself as to make sure there are conservative Precinct Committeemen on the ballot this spring. Outside of Cook County, it takes just 10 signatures of registered party voters in your precinct to get on the ballot to be a Precinct Committeeman. Just 10 voters’ signatures to be elected to the single most powerful office in Illinois. 10 signatures to begin the road of real change in Illinois government.
Partisan bickering, grid lock and not much productivity. Everyone can agree for the most part that Washington D.C. is busier with internal conflict among political parties, special interests, and in the end the taxpayer literally pays the price. The group “No Labels” came into being three years ago working to bring the most powerful interest groups together to forge solutions to the nation’s problems 1.
It’s their slogan that essentially states exactly what they want, “Stop fighting, start fixing” 2. The group released two action plans to what they say is focused on breaking down the structural problems pushing our leaders apart, one is “Make Congress Work” and “Make the Presidency Work” 3. “No Labels” is led by honorary co-chairs Senator Joe Manchin (D) and Governor Jon Huntsman (R), and among the new projects they’ve worked on is a group called “the Problem Solvers Coalition” 4, composed of Democrats, Republicans, and one independent. Essentially this group publicly states that they strive towards solving problems through cooperative bipartisanship and compromise working across the aisle to arrive at better solutions for the nation’s major issues. However, further research into the group’s action plans and also who is involved in the group’s “Problem Solver’s Coalition” may suggest that there is a particular political ideology that is taking a more dominant hold overall. All of these parts will be investigated in due time, the first will be the “Problem Solvers Coalition”.
As mentioned before, the coalition is composed of Republicans, Democrats, and an Independent, showing that this is a bipartisan group. The actual numbers of members of Senators and Congressmen from each party are as follows: 42 Democrats, 38 Republicans, 1 Independent. Automatically, one will see that there are four more Democrats than the Republicans in the group, which will tend to sway on decision-making for various issues and policies. Whether four more Democrats joined the group very recently or four Republicans have jumped ship makes little difference, and it will need to be something that No Labels will need to work on correcting on bringing in a more balanced number of members from each party to retain the bipartisan composition in it’s Problem Solvers Coalition.
It’s one thing on how many members a group has from each party to determine how bipartisan it really is, it’s significantly quite another on how the members vote overall that ultimately decides where the Problem Solvers Coalition goes politically. Below is a list of the members of the Problems Solvers Coalition, divided up by parties and there are two rows of numbers.
For the Republican side, they were graded on their overall lifetime scorecard by Freedom Works, the conservative organization. For the Democrats, they were graded on their overall lifetime scorecard by Progressivepunch.org, a progressive liberal organization. We decided to grade the members on their lifetime scorecards to get a better sense of how each member votes politically as opposed to just one year. The results were calculated adding the percentage points of each member in the political party and dividing them from the total number of members within the party in the coalition.
The overall scorecard according to Freedom Works for the listed Republicans in the coalition had an average of 63% conservative, and the overall scorecard according to Progressivepunch.org for the Democrats in the coalition had an average of 82% progressive liberal. That is a stunning 19 percentage point gap with Democrats in the group voting more progressive liberal than the Republicans voting conservative. This also plays into affect how coalition will vote overall in various legislation and issues more likely favoring the progressive liberal position than conservative.
It appears the Republicans that are in No Labels generally follow a more moderate political path versus the Democrats in the group that generally follow a more hard-leaning liberal route. This is not to say the Republicans in the group knowingly follow a group that leans towards a more liberal path, but information such as this researched and investigated should prompt Republicans within the coalition to question whether they feel as a Republican if their principles and ideas do have a place at the table in No Labels, or worse if the (R) label next to their name is something they feel has little to no value anymore.
US Representative John Shimkus (R-IL15) knows how to talk a good game. He has found a great way to keep his district eating out of the palm of his hands & as a side effect, has allowed him no serious challenger in a primary or in the general election. The reason? Because he portrays himself as a “good conservative”.
Having heard Shimkus speak on multiple occasions, I can pretty much tell you what he will say & he’ll sound like the most conservative person in the room when he does it. He’ll start off thanking everyone & move on to say something about God. From there, he’ll talk about his military background. Finally, he’ll talk about how messed up Washington is & about all the bad things the Obama administration has done or is planning to do to us. Simple. Straightforward. Prime Cut red meat for the Republican conservative faithful.
His speeches always get a rabble or a harrumph out of the crowd. I used to be one of them.
I used to campaign for John Shimkus. I walked precincts for him in the late 90s. I used to tout how John Shimkus was an example of how the people have sent someone good & right to Washington. But I woke up from that fantasy world. I wiped away the scales from my blind eyes & I started actually looking at John Shimkus’ voting record in the US House. What I found I didn’t exactly like.
I could make a long list here of previous votes/bills that were giveaways to the bio-fuel lobby (Open Fuels Standard Act of 2011) or were fluff legislation congratulating someone or some Eastern European country for doing something. We’ll stick with recent memory for this article to keep it as short as possible.
- Shimkus will tell you how the government should stay out of our lives, yet he was quick to help defeat, with the help of the Wicked Witch of the West Nancy Pelosi, by voting against Rep. Justin Amash’s amendment that would have barred the NSA from snooping in on US citizens not already investigation.
- Shimkus is nowhere to be heard of or seen of when it comes to Obamacare being applicable to Congress & their staff. A pending new regulatory ruling will allow Rep. Shimkus to keep his insurance while you & I will not be as fortunate starting later this year & into next year.
- Shimkus has sided with President Obama by allowing project labor agreements (aka union rules) to be required for all federal contracted bids. Every vote on to overturn President Obama’s Executive Order 13502 regarding PLAs whether by amendment or on the rare occasion when inserted into a bill’s language has met with a no, abstain or non-vote from Rep. Shimkus.
Rep. Shimkus has been in office since 1996 (several terms after his self-imposed 2 term limit). He’s a Boehner Republican. He’s the kind of guy that Speaker Boehner can count on in a crunch to vote his way. He’s a team player. Go with the flow.
Rep. Shimkus has become the Unrepresentative Representative. I look to the district north of us & I’m a bit jealous. Rep. Rodney Davis has a primary challenger in Erika Harold. Sad part is that Davis has drawn a challenger & he has a better voting record the Shimkus. Shimkus has a worse rating (36%) than Davis (42%) on the Heritage Score Card. Shimkus even scored worse than Sen. Mark Kirk! Rep. Shimkus is the last on the Republican list before you start getting into the Democrat portion of the list! Yet Shimkus never draws a serious usurper for his crown in a primary.
Nothing will change. Shimkus will go on voting against conservatism. He’ll go on giving speeches about how conservative he actually is, whitewashing away the reality of his voting record. The Republican rank & file will believe every word he says. The Republican County Chairmen in his district will continue to defend him to the death. And he’ll go on getting re-elected. If assumption is the mother of all f–k ups, then apathy is the mother all of Shimkus’ reelection wins.
In light of the recent email composed by Jim Allen regarding Erika Harold, the Illinois Conservatives would like to take this opportunity to rescind support of Allen, who is the Montgomery County GOP Chairman. Allen unnecessarily pointed a finger at Harold, calling her a “street walker” and referring to the Democratic party as her “pimps”. The Illinois Conservatives do not support the extraneous name calling, or comments which are racist and sexist. In light of this email, we would like for Allen to step down from his post as Montgomery County GOP Chairman.
Public Relations Director of the Illinois Conservatives
“Miss Queen is being used like a street walker and her pimps are the Democrat Party and RINO Republicans.”
This is just a portion of an email sent by Montgomery County GOP Chairman Jim Allen to Republican News Watch Editor Doug Ibendahl about GOP primary challenger Erika Harold facing incumbent Congressman Rodney Davis.
The email was in response to an article written by Doug Ibendahl regarding the primary battle in the 13th congressional district where Erika Harold, a black woman who won the 2003 Miss America title and worked at a law firm in Chicago, jumped in the race against the freshman Republican Rodney Davis. Jim Allen, who was until recently, a member of “Rodney Davis 2014″, a group working to re-elect and retain Congressman Davis, launched verbal bombs towards Erika Harold with offensive and sexist language.
In this email, Allen spelled Chicago (the city where Harold worked at a law firm) in an extremely derogatory manner referring to it as a fecal city, and that after Harold loses, she would be “working for some law firm that needs to meet their quota for minority hires.” Allen also called Harold the “love child” of the Democrat National Committee, comparing both Harold and Nancy Pelosi as “former queens, their crowns are tarnished and time has run out”. He even insulted her statements promoting abstinence and claims her winning the crown was due to be being bullied.
Jim Allen has since apologized for his statements, for what he called very inappropriate and wrong, and apologized to both Harold and her campaign supporters. No doubt that was the right thing to do, but Allen is not off the hook. His comments were incredibly reckless, disturbingly offensive, and that damage not only the image of the Republican Party in Montgomery County, but the state as well. The Republicans of Montgomery County can not and should not have a chairman who makes such a poor decision to write up and send an angry email filled with remarks disparaging someone’s race and gender.
As a GOP precinct committeeman as well, words like this only further the false stereotype that the Republican Party is “anti-minority” or “anti-women”. The county and state party as of now is on damage control, and as long as Jim Allen remains the GOP Chairman of Montgomery County, Democrats will use this in commercials, literature and other forms of attack ads against Republican candidates.
Who Jim Allen supports in this race makes zero difference, in such a leadership and figurehead role of a county party, an apology for writing such an angry piece offending so many people is not enough. We believe Montgomery County GOP Chairman Jim Allen must resign in the best interests for the Republican Party.
Vice President, Illinois Conservatives
Link to Ibendahl’s article with Allen’s email message: http://republicannewswatch.com/wp/?p=12708
We’ve heard the stories from other school districts – no Musical Chairs, no Duck Duck Goose, no Tag, etc. Why? Because these games are inherently unfair or somebody might feel left out.
I live in one of the most conservative areas in Illinois – Effingham County. Fox News once said that Effingham County is the “base of the base of the Illinois Republican Party”. So you can imagine my surprise when I heard what took place at Effingham Junior High School this past week.
My girlfriend’s granddaughter was running for 8th Grade class President at EJHS & therefore, there would be an election by her peers. My future granddaughter was ready to campaign & was excited at the prospect of winning class President. She even spent her own time after school designing homemade campaign fliers.
Then she went to school.
When she went to the EJHS Office to get her fliers approved so she could hang them in the hallways, she was informed by the secretary that her campaign fliers were not going to be approved. Of course, she was upset by this because she had spent so much time making her posters.
When she got home, her mother called the school to find out why her daughter’s homemade campaign fliers were not approved. The answer? “Because it would make it unfair for the other candidates”. She was also informed that all campaign posters are supposed to be done using computers to make it fair.
First, isn’t making students do the work on computers inherently unfair? Not every student has a computer at home & if they do the work at school not every student has the same computer & creative skills to make a campaign poster that would look like everyone else.
Second, what is more inherently unfair than elections, whether in life or in school? Somebody has to lose & somebody has to win. In life, some candidates have a bunch of money, others do not. Some candidates have a grassroots effort in place & others do not. So why make elections fair in school? What possible lesson can you teach a kid if you level the playing field for a school election?!
Life is unfair & life’s outcomes are unfair. Yet our schools are teaching our kids that life IS fair & outcomes should be as fair as possible. That’s not how society works. That’s not how our economy works. That’s not how the workplace works. And it sure isn’t how elections work.
I’m ecstatic that my future granddaughter won her election but the ends don’t justify the means. She should have been able to campaign as she saw fit within normal school rules. The same goes for the other kids who ran for school office.
Why get bent out of shape over such a trivial thing when she won? Because “rules” like this are wussifying our kids to the reality of life & cuts down on any creativity or imagination they might have – the later an important skill to have in the workplace. This time it’ll be making school elections fair. Next time it’ll be getting rid of games that produce a clear winner & loser. Then it’ll be nobody gets an F on anything. Slippery slope my friends. Always, always be mindful of the future.Read More Posts From This Category »