“Embarrassed by Illinois”

At the Oak Park library, July 17, 2013 — from Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters — “some dramatic government failures”

The CPA who had urged Sen. Harmon to “do something about corruption” continued.

“To say the pension situation is complicated is a classic delaying tactic. We are spending way more than we are taking in. People leave Illinois [in large numbers]. . . . Taxes are huge, hit even homeless people, some of whom I help. You are part of the problem. not the solution.”

Not even the voluble Rep. Lilly directly engaged him. Harmon did not. Nobody in the audience picked up on his complaints. In the ensuing lull, someone asked about taxing retirement income.

It’s “on the table of [sic] discussion,” Lilly said.

Another man said he was “embarrassed by Illinois.” He cited National Public Radio, Wall Street Journal, and other outlets. “It’s the worst state . . . “

Lilly denied it. “I have an opinion. The media doesn’t represent the facts accurately. The facts don’t state that. . . . I’m very proud to live in Illinois . . . Look at your [sic] history . . . We must come together . . . I celebrate that. . . . This is a great state [in which] to raise your family!”

Harmon conceded “some dramatic government failures,” naming none. “We are climbing out of the hole.”

The Chicago Tribune, he said, “has bashed the heart out of us.”

Illinois Blues is available in paperbackepub and Amazon Kindle formats.

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