Facing restless voters in the September 12, 2013 town hall meeting at Galewood Community Church, Sen. Don Harmon and Rep. Camille Lilly had another matter thrust before them, . . . .
. . . the recently publicized expensive copper doors for the state capitol, which the questioner said demonstrated a “let them eat cake” attitude.
The money for those doors did not come from general revenues, Harmon explained. It came from the Illinois Jobs Now! program, a capital spending bill signed into law (and nicknamed) by Governor Quinn in 2009.
This program, named as if it was job creation, was to cost $31 billion over six years and was to pay for more along lines of these copper doors — $17-plus million for two zoos, Brookfield and Lincoln Park, $1.2 million for the Muntu Dance Theater, and $.5 million for the Chicago Baseball Museum and Stadium, to name a few of its beneficiaries — all of it with accompanying taxation and borrowing.
Raise taxes on “cronies,” man said.
A man emptied a grab bag of populist-progressive complaints: “People in power need money, they get it,” he complained. “The state has a revenue problem, not a spending problem. We should raise taxes on the people who can afford it,” especially “cronies.”
Furthermore, he did not want Harmon and Lilly (“you guys”) to “follow lockstep with Rahm [Emanuel] and the others in closing [Chicago] schools.”
This tore it for Lilly, who . . .
. . . bristled at it. She was “one of the few” to oppose the closings,” she protested, and was “very concerned” and was “going to make sure this issue [city schools] is revisited in our great state.”
Nonetheless, austerity was in order, she said. “Everyone will have to help. . . . It’s not easy, it’s not comfortable. . . .” Someone spoke up, she cut her off. “Not yet,” she said, raising her voice a notch.
More to come, from Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters— available in paperback, epub and Amazon Kindle formats.