Friday, August 31, 2007

Archpundit: namecalling but little knowledge

The ArchPundit loves to dish it out, but everyone says he has a thin skin when it comes to criticism. So be it.

In responding to my column on the fight between Blagojevich and Madigan,

Archpundit takes sides, as he always does, with clout, rather than reason. And, to emphasize his ignorance, uses namecalling rather than logic to address issues. Typical. But then, how many journalism awards has he won? Come to think of it, did he ever even serve in the U.S. Military?

Here's the link to the bile:

The fact that he has to address my column is more significant than what he has to say. (You're not on Madigan's payroll, are you Archie?"

You know he's shilling for Madigan when he ignores the fact that Madigan is only really representative of his legislative district and is given power not by the authority of voters, but by the authority is political clout and insider favoritism. He's annointed by legislators who enjoy his largesse. Blagojevich, on the otherhand, is directly elected by the voters and not only has the powers that the ArchPundit articulates, but he also has the right to intervene and insure the legislature does the right thing.

Wow. What a strange concept in Illinois' corrupt political system of insiders, pals and partisan pundits.

-- Ray Hanania

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Letters from irate readers

Ray, is this - "What a bunch of hypocrites?" - actually a question?

Just wanted to drop you a line and say that your column was juvenile,illiterate, and characteristically nasty for a Democrat. Quick question for you: Chris Matthews (Democrat) says that Larry Craig is a "sexual deviant". I wasn't positive that these were his exact words in the interview he didwith another "polite Democrat", but he did us all a great favor and actually wrote the same comment in his blog. "Sexual deviant." Do you, as a polite Democrat, believe that all of the homosexuals who go looking for sex in public places are "sexual deviants"? Your constituency awaits your response with . bated breath. jerry

[Ray hanania responds: The issue was Senator Larry Craig was a hypocrite :)]

Sunday, August 19, 2007

More on the Illi-NOISE battle between Madigan and Blagojevich

Hey, this is a fun topic. If the state is going to sink, we might as well enjoy the swimming, right?

Here's the link to my thoughts, posted on the DAILYKOS.COM:

Ray Hanania

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Letter from a Health Provider possibly?

We have finally found a bigger idiot than our Governor, you. If you actually spent any time reading the actual "IllinoisCovered" bill instead of hizzoners sound bites or actually studied the continuous failures of eleven other states. I probably wouldn't be forced to respond to your unfounded praise of our next convicted Governor

[HANANIA COMMENTS: I bet everyone in the healthcare industry thinks that us regular people are IDIOTS! Don't they? The email above, unsigned by a coward no doubt, originated from: "ABC Healthcare Plans Inc."" Obviously, the disrespectful attitude only reflects on ABC Healthcare Plans Inc. Tsk! Tsk!]

Letters and Madigan, Hynes and Blagojevich budget battle

Here are some letters:

Dear Mr. Hanania;

I've just read your column about the Illinois state budget battle and felt compelled to share my thoughts with you. It's a topic I've been following closely and am passionate about as an Illinois resident. You have identified one of the key problems in the budget situation, that being the power struggle between the Madigans and Blagojevich. Having control over the budget has been an obvious point of contention. However, to suggest that this conflict is the overriding issue holding up the budget seems to overlook some very important details. For one, Blagojevich's plan for universal health care, while filled with the best of intentions, is one of the largest sticking points. While lawmakers have been able to agree on a budget after many disagreements, Blago wants desperately to shove his health care plan in at the last second. But his plan is unfunded and will likely remain so; and for him to shove it onto to the budget after the legislature has already said their piece is stupid and stubborn. It's almost as if he's trying to pull a George Ryan and cover his corrupt legacy and empty list of accomplishments with health care. Now is just not the time. Also, Dan Hynes maintaining that gov't could shut down is still a legitimate concern. The comptroller cannot dole out funds for paychecks and the like without a budget; that would require changing the Constitution. And if this frustrating budget situation continues on, many gov't workers aren't going to see a reason to come into work unless it means money in the bank. And really, who can blame them? Blagojevich has had his share of chances during this budget process and he's used them all up. He's acted like a fussy baby by missing meetings and generally being unwilling to compromise. A good politician knows when he or she doesn't have the political capital to push for their pet projects. As much as he wants to blame this on pork (and I'm sure there's some in there; this is Illinois after all), this budget crisis has a lot to do with Blago's poor choice of timing. He's going to be in office another three years, so let's give it a rest already.

Steve Mizek

[HANANIA COMMENTS: My only comment is I do not accept this lame excuse from politicians like Dan Hynes that they are helpless to get things done. He's the freaking comptroller and while the State Constitution may legally prevent him from paying employees, the fact is he is STILL Collecting taxes, employees are STILL working. How come them not him? And further I think that the politicians have set up a system where they can pass the buck faster than a casino dealer in Illinois. In fact, I'm going to write the column. Cook County Taxes is the scam of all scams where one official does one thing, one does another and another does another, so that when taxes rise they all shrug their shoulders and plead, "It's not our fault." Still, your letter was the sanest out of the bunch and you make some great points.]

Friday, August 10, 2007

Campaign for Sensible Growth opposes budget without new transit revenues

STATE BUDGET PROPOSAL THREATENS REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT, TRANSIT SYSTEM Campaign for Sensible Growth opposes budget without new transit revenues

(Chicago) … The Campaign for Sensible Growth is appalled that the Illinois General Assembly is preparing to pass a state budget with no new revenues dedicated to Chicago-area transit. The Campaign’s staff leader today expressed concern that planning reforms and innovations passed by the legislature this session will get lost in the same shuffle, despite months of deliberation during the legislative overtime session.

“If adequate funding to support public transportation – a no-brainer in any well-planned region – is left off the payroll, it’s likely that other sensible growth programs and initiatives will be threatened by this nearsighted budget,” said Michael Davidson, manager, Campaign for Sensible Growth.

“Our region is expected to grow by 2 million people by 2030, and add an additional 1.2 millions jobs. At a time when we’re so obviously in need of long-term planning, we cannot abide short-term budgeting.”

Davidson did applaud the Illinois General Assembly for its important work this session to pass SB 1201, which would create a $5 million Comprehensive Regional Planning Fund to help metropolitan Chicago and other regions take a long-term view to plan for more effective investment and development decisions. Now awaiting Governor Blagojevich's signature, the bill is intended to help regional organizations like the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), which was formed recently to integrate planning for land use and transportation in the seven-county region. But that modest funding is just a start, said Davidson, and the state needs to make serious ? not stop-gap ? investments in transportation infrastructure, including transit.

The Illinois General Assembly also unanimously approved the Green Neighborhood Award Act (SB 135), a leap forward for community planning that may take a step back if state funding comes up short. The bill proposes incentives for developers who create communities that feature green buildings and pedestrian and bike-friendly streets, to reduce overall energy consumption, encourage strong local economies, improve public health, and save communities and consumers money.

“A family living in a green neighborhood stands to cut annual energy and transportation costs by $3,148 ? a far cry from most individuals and families across the region who continually brace themselves to dig deeper in their pockets to afford transportation costs,” said Davidson.

Indeed, unless lawmakers identify funding for transit, come September, the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace will move forward with deep service cuts in the city and suburbs as well as significant fare hikes. All three transit service providers – CTA, Metra and Pace – will be forced to indefinitely put off much-needed maintenance projects, threatening the safety and reliability of the transit system as a whole.

“Lawmakers cannot campaign from a platform of a strong economy and high quality of life and then undermine a critical component of both — a regional transit system that helps guide growth,” said Davidson.

“Delay tactics for dedicated funding streams is bad politics and poor public policy, and the result is a disproportionate burden on taxpaying citizens down the road. Investing in the long term pays dividends. That’s just good business.”

Contact: Michael Davidson
Manager, Campaign for Sensible Growth
312-863-6009 / 773-550-7927


Thursday, August 9, 2007

State by State report on the condition of highways in America from the Reason Foundation

The Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Performance Report, which was released in June, contained a category ranking each state’s percentage of deficient bridges. Of the 596,980 highway bridges in the current National Bridge Inventory, 147,913—24.52 percent—were reported deficient in 2005. The Reason Foundation study finds at the current rate of repair it will take 50 years to fix today’s deficient bridges.

Nevada has the lowest percentage of deficient bridges, 3.89 percent. Minnesota, where this week’s tragic bridge collapse occurred, ranked 5th in the nation, with 13 percent of its bridges deemed deficient. Rhode Island’s bridges are in the worst shape – with over half, 53.01 percent, of the state’s bridges qualifying as deficient. In all there are 36 states where at least 20 percent of the bridges are deficient – and 48 states where at least 10 percent of bridges are deficient.

"We're falling further and further behind," said Robert Poole, director of transportation studies at Reason Foundation and an adviser to the Federal Highway Administration. "We're prospering as a nation, driving more as commuters and shipping more goods, and that's pounding the highways and wearing them out. We need to rethink how we fund and repair our roads and bridges."

Deficient Bridges (Percent of Bridges Deficient in 2005)
1. Nevada (3.89%)2. Arizona (5.50)3. Wyoming (12.37)4. Colorado (12.96)5. Minnesota (13.16)6. Wisconsin (15.93)7. Delaware (16.55)8. Utah (17.55)9. Illinois (17.56)10. California (17.59)11. Florida (18.33)12. New Mexico (18.43)13. Idaho (18.91)14. Tennessee (19.26)15. Georgia (20.35)16. Texas (20.56)17. Kansas (21.05)18. Montana (21.20)19. Indiana (21.83)20. Arkansas (22.24)21. Virginia (22.46)22. Alaska (22.84)23. Ohio (23.61)24. South Carolina (23.63)25. North Dakota (24.24)26. Nebraska (24.55)27. Washington (24.55)28. Alabama (24.94)29. Oregon (25.34)30. South Dakota (25.62)31. Mississippi (26.42)32. Maryland (26.93)33. Iowa (27.06)34. Michigan (27.60)35. New Jersey (27.91)36. Maine (29.87)37. New Hampshire (30.54)38. Louisiana (30.67)39. North Carolina (30.91)40. Kentucky (31.45)41. Missouri (31.47)42. Oklahoma (33.04)43. Connecticut (34.18)44. Vermont (34.80)45. Massachusetts (36.38)46. Hawaii (36.85)47. New York (37.08)48. West Virginia (37.10)49. Pennsylvania (39.00)50. Rhode Island (53.01)

Federal law mandates the uniform inspection of all bridges for structural and functional adequacy at least every two years; bridges rated ‘deficient’ are eligible for federal repair dollars.

Full Report Online

The full 16th Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems, with detailed information for each state, is available online at The study measures the performance of state-owned roads and highways from 1984 to 2005 in 12 different categories, including traffic fatalities, congestion, pavement condition, bridge condition, highway maintenance and administrative costs, to determine each state’s ranking and cost-effectiveness.

Reason’s 2006 study showing how congested each city in the country will be in 2030 and how many new lane miles are needed to eliminate congestion is online at

Reason Foundation’s extensive archive of transportation research and commentary is here:

About Reason

Reason Foundation is a nonprofit think tank dedicated to advancing free minds and free markets. Reason produces respected public policy research on a variety of issues and publishes the critically acclaimed monthly magazine, Reason. For more information, please visit

Chris Mitchell
Director of Communications
Reason Foundation
(310) 367-6109

Sen. Durbin rallies fight to save Lake Michigan from BP pollution

Ald. Edward M. Burke followed up on my column of two weeks ago calling for a boycott of BP -- "Bile-filled Pollution" ...

And here is an email from Sen. Dick Durbin on the BP controversy, too.

I am boycotting BP. Are you?

Ray Hanania
Dear Friend,

Watch Senator Durbin challenge BP's plan to increase dumping into Lake Michigan, and e-mail BP's CEO now!

I urgently need your help to protect a vital resource and national treasure: Lake Michigan.
British Petroleum, an oil company that prides itself on its commitment to environmental protection, plans on dramatically increasing the pollution it releases into Lake Michigan. BP’s plan calls for a 54 percent increase in ammonia and a 35 percent increase in solid waste containing dangerous heavy metals to be dumped into Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan and its shoreline are among the crown jewels of Chicago -- central to our city's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The Great Lakes account for 95 percent of the surface freshwater in the U.S. and provide drinking water for more than 30 million Americans, including the entire Chicago-metropolitan region.

We cannot allow the Great Lakes to be treated as a dumping zone for industrial waste.
Email CEO Tony Hayward today and urge him to stop BP’s plans to pollute Lake Michigan.

For years, thousands of concerned citizens and elected officials have worked to reduce pollution and to guarantee the health of the Lakes for generations to come. BP’s plan to increase its dumping of ammonia and sludge by thousands of tons each year threatens these efforts to preserve and protect what even President Bush has called "a national treasure."

Last weekend I spent a day on the beachfront collecting signatures on a petition to block this terrible idea. Today, because of that petition drive, I had the opportunity to sit down with BP’s CEO Bob Malone. I am grateful that Mr. Malone agreed to meet on such short notice and I am happy to say that BP is taking another look at their plans. Unfortunately, BP would not commit to stopping their plans to increase pollution. If we’re going to succeed, British Petroleum needs to hear from all of you -- and hear from you today. Email CEO Bob Malone today to urge him to reverse BP’s plan to dump more industrial waste into Lake Michigan.

It is simply unacceptable that a company that has spent millions of dollars to portray itself as environmentally sensitive would then turn around and propose to dump ammonia and solid waste into our drinking water.

Email British Petroleum today, and let them know that the millions they have spent to burnish their image are about to go up in smoke.

They can’t have it both ways: if they are serious about protecting the environment, then they will join us by protecting Lake Michigan today.

Dick DurbinU.S. Senator

P.S. Keeping Lake Michigan clean is incredibly important to me, to all Illinoisans, and to all Americans – and by sending an email to BP’s CEO, right now, you can make a huge difference. Thanks so much for your attention to this critical issue.

Ald. Joe Moore's City Council Newsletter

Ald. Joe Moore is not from the Southwest SIde, although we might wish hard that he was, or that we might even have someone among the aldermen we do have who is as bright and progressive as he is -- excluding Ald. Burke who leads the council in the wisdom and experience categories for sure.

Anyway, here is a newsletter that Ald. Moore sends out that I thought I would share. Though it does not address the Southwest Side or suburbs, it sure touches on important topics we should all be aware of:
New! Alderman Moore's Report from City Council
Dear Neighbor,

Just ten miles south of Rogers Park lies City Hall, where I serve along with 49 other aldermen as a veteran member of Chicago's City Council. Although the City Council can sometimes seem more like a distant planet, important work is done there which directly affects the people of our ward. Starting with the most recent meeting, on July 19, I plan to share brief, timely reports on the City Council meetings and what they may mean to you.

If you attend a City Council meeting (and they are open to the public), you'll find that there is no written agenda(!) but they always follow the same formula. First there are the honorary resolutions in praise of heroic service by police officers and firefighters, followed by individual resolutions for other Chicago citizens. What follows is a reading of the ordinances, resolutions and other legislation introduced by Mayor Daley and committee reports, which consists of ordinances coming out of the various City Council committees for debate and vote.

The most important ordinance discussed and passed on July 19 established a new Office of Professional Standards (OPS) with authority over the Police Department. It was written in response to years of ineffective oversight of rogue police officers who have sadly coerced and abused citizens under the cover of their office. I was deeply involved in advocating for a more independent Office of Professional Standards and moved to have consideration of an earlier version of the ordinance deferred because I didn't think it was sufficiently comprehensive.

To his credit, Mayor Daley worked with us in the City Council to fashion a compromise ordinance that my colleagues and I felt we could support. Under the modified ordinance, the OPS will have the authority to investigate allegations of improper police coercion in addition to actual physical abuse. The modified ordinance also contains more stringent reporting requirements so that the public can more closely monitor the progress of police misconduct allegations.

Why is this ordinance important for the 49th Ward?

First, we depend heavily on the many good and honest policemen and women who serve us every day. Unfortunately, the misdeeds of a small number of officers taint the reputation of all and make the entire force less trusted and less effective. By enacting a means to more effectively discipline the few bad members, the entire force - and our safety - will benefit.

Second, there's the money. Rarely does a City Council meeting take place without millions and millions of dollars going to settle cases of alleged police misconduct. Think of what this money could do for housing and healthcare, our schools, our parks, and beaches? It's a waste of resources that must stop! The ordinance isn't perfect, but it's a solid step forward.

Finally, every meeting ends with the introduction of new ordinances by the members of the City Council. Along with Aldermen Freddrenna Lyle, Toni Preckwinkle, and Ricardo Munoz, I was proud to co-sponsor an ordinance that would void a new contract that the City made with a private airport security company. The reason is simple: their terms are in violation of Chicago's Living Wage Ordinance. Vigilance on behalf of Chicago's workers is constantly necessary and I continue to pledge to fight for fair wages for all citizens throughout our city.

I hope that this initial report has given you a glimpse of my "other life" at City Hall. A good Alderman works to provide needed local services and improvements, while legislating in the best interests of our ward and our city. My goal is to serve you to the best of my ability in both spheres.

As is tradition, the City Council does not meet in August. The next meeting of the City Council is scheduled for Wednesday, September 5th. Stay tuned for my report following the next meeting!

Joe Moore

Visit the website of the 49th Ward

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A+ Illinois opposes proposed state budget

A+ Illinois Opposes Proposed State Budget

Inadequate budget does not address core problems facing Illinois schoolsA+ Illinois, the state’s leading campaign to reform school funding and quality, announced its opposition to the General Assembly’s proposed operating budget. The budget provides approximately $575 million for education, and does not include any new revenue sources.

The proposal will not fully fund the current foundation level—the minimum funding amount recommended by the state’s Education Funding Advisory Board—or address schools’ other urgent funding needs. “This budget does not address the core problems plaguing Illinois’ education system,” said A+ Illinois Campaign Manager Mary Ellen Guest.

“The gap in funding and student achievement between wealthy and poor communities will continue to grow, local property owners will continue to pay the bulk of school funding costs, and Illinois will continue to rank near-last in the nation in our support for schools.”

Since its inception in 2004, A+ Illinois has urged state leaders to improve school funding, quality and accountability; restore Illinois’ fiscal health by addressing under funded liabilities; and end Illinois’ over reliance on local property taxes to fund schools. The coalition supports a modest income tax increase with protections for low-income families. Recent polls show that Illinois voters are willing to pay more in taxes in order to invest in proven education strategies. In addition, organizations as diverse as the Metropolitan Mayors’ Caucus and the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board have all urged the General Assembly to solve Illinois’ mounting school funding crisis.

“The debate over whether Illinois needs comprehensive school funding reform is over, and the time is now for action,” added Guest. “State leaders have squandered the opportunity to provide every child with a quality education.”

A+ Illinois is urging supporters to immediately contact their state lawmakers and urge them to vote against this budget using the campaign’s toll-free legislative hotline, 1-800-651-0315. A+ Illinois is a coalition of hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals across the state working to improve the funding and quality of Illinois schools, including Voices for Illinois Children, Metropolitan Planning Council, Illinois Farm Bureau, Chicago Urban League, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Illinois Education Association, and Illinois Federation of Teachers.

For more information, please visit

Contact: Mary Ellen Guest, A+ Illinois Campaign Manager, 312-513-6022 (cell)Clare Fauke, A+ Illinois Communications Coordinator, 312-802-2302 (cell)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

41 Democrats surrender to Bush demagoguery and support weakening rights of Americans

41 democrats (including 30 from Blue States) supported President Bush in approving new regulations to compromise our rights as Americans, under the pretext of the so-called "War on Terrorism, approving legislation to continue wiretapping of private Americans. A system already exists to investigate anyone engaged in any criminal act including terrorism, but not being able to violate individual principles, morality and civil rights makes the war on terrorism weak.

Here's the list of Democrats. Ironically, two from Illinois, Melissa Bean and Dan Lipinski, also let our Democratic Party and rights down. But the only comment I can make is that these 41 Democrats buckled under Bush pressure because they are weak, and unable to standup for the principles upon which they have claimed their party membership. Dan Lipinski is a weak congressman, which makes him an appropriate target for either removal of dramatic change. I wonder which he will choose?

Here's the list. Most are from Democratic States and their buckling under to Bush demagoguery pressure is suprising:

Jason Altmire (4th Pennsylvania)
John Barrow (12th Georgia)
Melissa Bean (8th Illinois)
Dan Boren (2nd Oklahoma)
Leonard Boswell (3rd Iowa)
Allen Boyd (2nd Florida)
Christopher Carney (10th Pennsylvania)
Ben Chandler (6th Kentucky)
Rep. Jim Cooper (5th Tennessee)
Jim Costa (20th California)
Bud Cramer (5th Alabama)
Henry Cuellar (28th Texas)
Artur Davis (7th Alabama)
Lincoln Davis (4th Tennessee)
Joe Donnelly (2nd Indiana)
Chet Edwards (17th Texas)
Brad Ellsworth (8th Indiana)
Bob Etheridge (North Carolina)
Bart Gordon (6th Tennessee)
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (South Dakota)
Brian Higgins (27th New York)
Baron Hill (9th Indiana)
Nick Lampson (23rd Texas)
Daniel Lipinski (3rd Illinois)
Jim Marshall (8th Georgia)
Jim Matheson (2nd Utah)
Mike McIntyre (7th North Carolina)
Charlie Melancon (3rd Louisiana)
Harry Mitchell (5th Arizona)
Colin Peterson (7th Minnesota)
Earl Pomeroy (North Dakota)
Ciro Rodriguez (23rd Texas)
Mike Ross (4th Arkansas)
John Salazar (3rd Colorado)
Heath Shuler (11th North Carolina)
Vic Snyder (2nd Arkansas)
Zachary Space (18th Ohio)
John Tanner (8th Tennessee)
Gene Taylor (4th Mississippi)
Timothy Walz (1st Minnesota)
Charles A. Wilson (6th Ohio)


Thursday, August 2, 2007

Gov. Blagojevich blasts the EPA on allowing BP to continue to pollute Lake Michigan

August 1, 2007 Abby Ottenhoff 312/814.3158
Rebecca Rausch 217/782.7355
Gerardo Cardenas 312/814.3158

Statement from Governor Rod R. Blagojevich

On the federal decision not to stop BP

from dumping pollutants into Lake Michigan

SPRINGFIELD – “I am deeply disappointed by today’s U.S. EPA’s decision to allow the BP refinery in Northwest Indiana to increase the level of pollution they dump into Lake Michigan.”

“We’ve spent decades cleaning up the Great Lakes and BP’s decision to increase the pollution they dump into Lake Michigan flies in the face of all progress made to protect this priceless resource. BP is earning record profits and surely can afford state-of-the-art water treatment technology to better protect water quality and the environment.”

“I strongly urge the U.S. EPA to reconsider this decision and to work with Congress in a long-term plan that stops pollution and protects the people and wildlife that rely on Lake Michigan.”

- 30 -

<<08.01.07 GOV Statement on BP dumping EPA decision.pdf>>

Annie Thompson
Press Assistant
Office of the Governor
205 Statehouse
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: 217/782.7357
Fax: 217/524.1676

Tax on cigarettes discriminatory, says National Taxpayer's United


407 S. Dearborn, Suite 1170 * CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 60605

(312) 427-5128 * Fax (312) 427-5139 * Web Site * E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jim Tobin: (773) 354-2076 (Cell)

August 2, 2007 (312) 427-5128 (Office)


CHICAGO—The president of Illinois’ largest taxpayer organization charged that the plan proposed by State Senate leadership to raise the state cigarette tax by $0.90 per pack discriminates against the state’s low income users.

“Members of the Illinois General Assembly have a duty to protect the state’s low income families,” said Tobin. “This proposed regressive tax increase is inherently discriminatory, and would severely impact low income tobacco users. It also would hurt small retail businesses, especially those in poor areas, which depend on tobacco sales to shore up their extremely narrow profit margins.”

“State cigarette tax revenues over the past few years have trended downward, due in no small part to previous tobacco tax increases that have made Illinois’ tobacco tax very high, and Chicago’s tobacco tax the highest in the nation. Cigarette revenues went down from $760 million in 2004 to $639 million in 2007. Further increases will reduce the state’s revenues even more.”

“The best way to increase cigarette tax revenues would be to lower the tax to be at least competitive with surrounding states, if not lower.”

“The proposed huge tax increase on cigarettes could have devastating effects on the lives of persons in poor neighborhoods. As a result of these outrageous tax rates, how long will it be before poor children are gunned down in the streets fighting over turf where they can sell their smuggled, contraband cigarettes?”

“The proposal also would allow every Illinois county to enact cigarette excise taxes up to $2.00. In other words, the bill would give every county in the state Home Rule Taxing Powers. Every attempt to give counties Home Rule powers has been defeated at the ballot box by voters in those counties. The election results clearly show that county-wide home rule taxing powers are extremely unpopular with voters, who have long memories when it comes to tax increases.”

“The state budget should be balanced by cutting spending. It should not be balanced on the backs of the state’s low income families.”


Founded in 1976, NTU is the largest taxpayer organization in Illinois with over

10,000 members and affiliation with more than 200 local taxpayer groups.