A New Can Of Worms
13 May 2004
The Democrat Circular Firing Squad

This Chicago Tribune discusses the family feud in the Democrat Party.

The circular firing squad is often used to describe the Illinois GOP. However, they are the exception rather than the rule. The IL GOP is still fighting the 1970's battles between the old line GOP permanent minority and the Reaganites. Since that battle has been won at the national level, and the Republican Party is the Party of Reagan, look for it to happen in Illinois, too.

(This of course begs the question of whether or not the Repbulican party becoms the dominant party in Illinois. That's a different discussion>)

The liberal make up of the democrats makes a split a forgone conclusion. This is because they are all competing for government attention. Nationally, Republicans have determined they only want one thing from government and that is to be left alone.

It's easier to unify around not wanting something than competing for funding...That's the current national Republican coalition's advantage.
12 May 2004
The SJ-R seems to be on the same page as me.

Although they don't understand why Blagojevich is holding firm on general taxes. So, I'll give it a try. It's ambition.

If you want to be elected to national office these days you must have a strong record on taxes. Bill Clinton won on a middle class tax, and lost the House after hiking taxes. He had a solid fiscal record in Arkansas which made it impossible for Rep. to turn him into Michael Dukakis.

In Nevada and Alabama up and coming rep. governors have ended their political careers over taxes. Same goes for Bob Taft in Ohio. Mark Warner in VA will never be a successful national candidate either. Oregon, too recently turned back a tax hike.

No one ever gets kicked out of office for cutting state spending (or in the Springfield vernacular "services", they do get thumped over taxes.

Governor skips his own prayer breakfast

Bill Clinton was always late for this kind of stuff, but at least he showed up. Oh yeah, after the '94 takeover, he improved immensley.

Between this and the press conferences and the sound bites, I beginning to believe that these people watch too much "West Wing."
11 May 2004
This is News???

Give me a break...
NIU Survey Gives Gov. Bolshevik's Budget Strategy High Marks

SJ-R editorial suggests that there is popular support for Blagojevich's strategy:

"As we know from the NIU survey, most people would happily go along with the more state services part of the equation, but the social service coalition's call for higher income and sales taxes will meet with a much different response. In fact, nearly 70 percent of the 1,200 who responded to that survey opposed an income tax increase. A gasoline tax hike garnered even less support.

And what did people support? Sixty-five percent favored higher corporate or business taxes. Coming in second with 54 percent approval was laying off more government workers. You can question Blagojevich's effectiveness, his ability to show up on time or even his intentions, but don't question his ability to read a crowd."

Hiking taxes on businesses hurts the economy and job growth. The fundamental message not being delivered in Illinois is the impact of business fee and hikes on the economy. In the words of James Carville, "It's the economy, stupid." As long as the subject revolves around the fiscal health of state government, the state economy loses.

Two groups need to do a better job. First off is the business community. From last year's comments regarding a temporary income tax and sales tax increase to carping about how tax and fee hikes affect THEIR businesses, the business community acts no better than any other special pleader in Springfield seeking funding at the taxpayer's expense. Some did band together to help fund campaigns, but they have done little to prepare the ground -- nor have they sought much public attention.

The other group is the republcian opposition. First, they need to work with the business community to get them better organized. Second, they are doing a better job at pointing out that state spending is the problem. But more must be done.

Finally, I'll have to check up on the NIU study. Will you get different resulsts if the questions are phrased as state services or state spending? If phrased differently, I doubt the state would be so contradictory.

...Note to SJ-R, learn the meaning of hypocritical. The polling results suggest the representative sample was contradictory not hypocritical. I doubt there was any moral element to the sample's responses....

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