Has representative government ceased to exist in Illinois?

Last April, bus loads of public union employees descended upon the state capitol to bully the legislature into passing a 1% tax increase. The crowd of 10-15 thousand public servants carried signs and banners while chanting “raise my taxes, raise my taxes.” The Chicago Tribune reported that union leader Harry Bayer menaced the legislators by threatening “If you try to leave town without doing your job, we’re going to chase you down.” Many in the crowd were members of Illinois powerful teacher’s union who played hooky for the day to lend their support in the battle against the taxpayers. At stake was a taxpayer bailout of the exorbitant public sector union pension system.
 
With an election on the horizon, Illinois legislators found the courage to hold the line on Governor Quinn’s proposed new tax. During the campaign season relatively few members of the legislature were willing to support any new taxes and risk arousing the ire of their constituents. In November Illinoisans went to the polls and expressed their overwhelming opposition to any new tax increases.
 
Fast-forward to the post-holiday lame-duck session of the Illinois legislature, an ever larger and more destructive tax hike was on the agenda. Strangely enough there were no bus loads of public sector union operatives surrounding the statehouse, in fact there was virtual silence from the usual agitators. Perhaps the anger of the already overburdened taxpayers and private sector employers had become so obvious that even the most hard-core union campaigners decided to stay home. Perhaps the union leadership knew that the fix was in, which as it turns out they had one of their own inside the statehouse who was ready, willing and enabled to betray the taxpayers.
 
When the roll was called, the largest tax increase in state history was passed with the absolute minimum number of votes required. In reading the list of Democrat party representatives who cast their votes against the will of their constituents, the usual suspects were evident, led by Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago). Also on the list were a number of legislators who had been rejected by the voters in November and were now free to either exact their revenge or pad their resume in hopes of landing a job in the bloated state bureaucracy or the Quinn administration.
 
Buried in the middle of the dishonor roll was the name of Kathleen Moore. A quick check of the bio page on the legislature’s web site revealed virtually nothing. Kathleen Moore was listed as a member of Illinois’ 96th legislature, but there was no photo, no phone number, fax or email contact information, no office number and no committee memberships. All we could tell from the official web site was that someone named Kathleen Moore had been a member of the general assembly.
 
Incredulous that a total non-entity could have been in a position to cast a vote of such monumental importance which would effect every single citizen in Illinois, I started to do a little digging. My state representative Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) had vowed to do everything in his power to stop the tax hike and prior to the vote he gave an impassioned speech (in which he praised Barack Obama-to what end?) on the floor of the general assembly . Mr. Franks did vote against the measure and seemed sincere in his opposition, so as a concerned constituent I emailed Jack and asked if he knew anything about Kathleen Moore. As of this writing I have received no response.
 
Not willing to fully trust my local Democrat representative, I also sent a similar email to my state senator Pam Although (R-Crystal Lake) in hope of finding out who Kathleen Moore was and what she was doing in the legislature for the crucial vote. As with her Democrat colleague, Ms. Althoff has yet to respond.
 
Who is Kathleen Moore? Well, here is what Andy Shaw, executive director of the Better Government Association has revealed about the phantom legislator. Kathleen (Kathy) Moore is the wife of the politically well connected Chicago zoning attorney Tom Moore. Mrs. Moore is a retired public school teacher with a vested interest in the troubled union pension fund and she has never run for elective office before. Yet this woman was allowed to vote for the most controversial tax hike in Illinois history, during the final hours of the lame-duck session.
 
How could this happen? The incumbent 11th district representative, John Fritchey (D-Chicago) was elected to the Cook County Board and assumed his new office in December. The representative-elect, Democrat Ann Williams was not inclined to vote for the proposed tax hike, so she chose not to fill out the remainder of Fritchey’s term. Rather than leave the seat vacant for the final few days of the session and risk passage of the tax hike, the party leadership found a ‘ringer’ to put their toxic agenda over the top.
 
Andy Shaw tells us that Mrs. Moore admitted at a party the week before her brief stint in the general assembly “they tell me what (voting) button to push and I push it.” Rumors that Ann Williams had been pressured to either vote for the tax hike or decline to fill the seat until the next session have been denied by her predecessor John Fritchey, who said “let me be 100% clear, at NO time did I ever pressure or even ask, Ann Williams to vote for an income tax hike. Period.
 
In response to the question of why Ann Williams refused to be seated in order to fill out the balance of his term, Fritchey said.
 
…for reasons known only to Ann Williams, she refused to be appointed early to the office for which she had campaigned for over a year. Her decision meant that there would have been no representative for the people of the 11th district at a time when matters ranging from abolition of the death penalty to approval of medical cannabis were set to be heard by the legislature. Her decision forced the appointment of an interim Representative for the two-week period leading up to her inauguration yesterday.
 
Of course, passionate denials of dirty dealing has become a precise science in Illinois’ Democrat Party and here in the ‘Land of Lincoln’ investigations into wrongdoing by the party leadership are very, very rare.
 
It does appear awfully strange that no one seemed to question the presence of an un-qualified stranger in their midst during such a crucial time. There seems to have been no publicity surrounding the appointment, no discussion of qualifications and no impediment to Mrs. Moore’s appointment.
 
If only one member of the legislature had questioned the appointment of the unqualified Kathleen Moore, it is possible that the job killing tax hike may have been stopped. If only one of our elected representatives would have put their constituents and the overburdened taxpayers first, the tax increase could have been halted. If just one of our duly elected leaders had gone on TV or the radio to shed some light on the machinations of the Democrat leadership, then the people of Illinois may have been spared this disastrous bill.
 
Sadly, no one cared enough about the taxpayers and private sector employers in Illinois to do the right thing. Even after the fact, there is virtually no interest in exposing this betrayal of the principles of representative government in Illinois. Our elected officials and the MSM talk and pound their chest about the horrible tax hike and its dire consequences, but then turn a blind eye to the corrupt process that brought it into being.
 
January 21, 2011
 
paboehmke@yahoo.com
 
 
Last April, bus loads of public union employees descended upon the state capitol to bully the legislature into passing a 1% tax increase. The crowd of 10-15 thousand public servants carried signs and banners while chanting “raise my taxes, raise my taxes.” The Chicago Tribune reported that union leader Harry Bayer menaced the legislators by threatening “If you try to leave town without doing your job, we’re going to chase you down.” Many in the crowd were members of Illinois powerful teacher’s union who played hooky for the day to lend their support in the battle against the taxpayers. At stake was a taxpayer bailout of the exorbitant public sector union pension system.
 
With an election on the horizon, Illinois legislators found the courage to hold the line on Governor Quinn’s proposed new tax. During the campaign season relatively few members of the legislature were willing to support any new taxes and risk arousing the ire of their constituents. In November Illinoisans went to the polls and expressed their overwhelming opposition to any new tax increases.
 
Fast-forward to the post-holiday lame-duck session of the Illinois legislature, an ever larger and more destructive tax hike was on the agenda. Strangely enough there were no bus loads of public sector union operatives surrounding the statehouse, in fact there was virtual silence from the usual agitators. Perhaps the anger of the already overburdened taxpayers and private sector employers had become so obvious that even the most hard-core union campaigners decided to stay home. Perhaps the union leadership knew that the fix was in, which as it turns out they had one of their own inside the statehouse who was ready, willing and enabled to betray the taxpayers.
 
When the roll was called, the largest tax increase in state history was passed with the absolute minimum number of votes required. In reading the list of Democrat party representatives who cast their votes against the will of their constituents, the usual suspects were evident, led by Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago). Also on the list were a number of legislators who had been rejected by the voters in November and were now free to either exact their revenge or pad their resume in hopes of landing a job in the bloated state bureaucracy or the Quinn administration.
 
Buried in the middle of the dishonor roll was the name of Kathleen Moore. A quick check of the bio page on the legislature’s web site revealed virtually nothing. Kathleen Moore was listed as a member of Illinois’ 96th legislature, but there was no photo, no phone number, fax or email contact information, no office number and no committee memberships. All we could tell from the official web site was that someone named Kathleen Moore had been a member of the general assembly.
 
Incredulous that a total non-entity could have been in a position to cast a vote of such monumental importance which would effect every single citizen in Illinois, I started to do a little digging. My state representative Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) had vowed to do everything in his power to stop the tax hike and prior to the vote he gave an impassioned speech (in which he praised Barack Obama-to what end?) on the floor of the general assembly . Mr. Franks did vote against the measure and seemed sincere in his opposition, so as a concerned constituent I emailed Jack and asked if he knew anything about Kathleen Moore. As of this writing I have received no response.
 
Not willing to fully trust my local Democrat representative, I also sent a similar email to my state senator Pam Although (R-Crystal Lake) in hope of finding out who Kathleen Moore was and what she was doing in the legislature for the crucial vote. As with her Democrat colleague, Ms. Althoff has yet to respond.
 
Who is Kathleen Moore? Well, here is what Andy Shaw, executive director of the Better Government Association has revealed about the phantom legislator. Kathleen (Kathy) Moore is the wife of the politically well connected Chicago zoning attorney Tom Moore. Mrs. Moore is a retired public school teacher with a vested interest in the troubled union pension fund and she has never run for elective office before. Yet this woman was allowed to vote for the most controversial tax hike in Illinois history, during the final hours of the lame-duck session.
 
How could this happen? The incumbent 11th district representative, John Fritchey (D-Chicago) was elected to the Cook County Board and assumed his new office in December. The representative-elect, Democrat Ann Williams was not inclined to vote for the proposed tax hike, so she chose not to fill out the remainder of Fritchey’s term. Rather than leave the seat vacant for the final few days of the session and risk passage of the tax hike, the party leadership found a ‘ringer’ to put their toxic agenda over the top.
 
Andy Shaw tells us that Mrs. Moore admitted at a party the week before her brief stint in the general assembly “they tell me what (voting) button to push and I push it.” Rumors that Ann Williams had been pressured to either vote for the tax hike or decline to fill the seat until the next session have been denied by her predecessor John Fritchey, who said “let me be 100% clear, at NO time did I ever pressure or even ask, Ann Williams to vote for an income tax hike. Period.
 
In response to the question of why Ann Williams refused to be seated in order to fill out the balance of his term, Fritchey said.
 
…for reasons known only to Ann Williams, she refused to be appointed early to the office for which she had campaigned for over a year. Her decision meant that there would have been no representative for the people of the 11th district at a time when matters ranging from abolition of the death penalty to approval of medical cannabis were set to be heard by the legislature. Her decision forced the appointment of an interim Representative for the two-week period leading up to her inauguration yesterday.
 
Of course, passionate denials of dirty dealing has become a precise science in Illinois’ Democrat Party and here in the ‘Land of Lincoln’ investigations into wrongdoing by the party leadership are very, very rare.
 
It does appear awfully strange that no one seemed to question the presence of an un-qualified stranger in their midst during such a crucial time. There seems to have been no publicity surrounding the appointment, no discussion of qualifications and no impediment to Mrs. Moore’s appointment.
 
If only one member of the legislature had questioned the appointment of the unqualified Kathleen Moore, it is possible that the job killing tax hike may have been stopped. If only one of our elected representatives would have put their constituents and the overburdened taxpayers first, the tax increase could have been halted. If just one of our duly elected leaders had gone on TV or the radio to shed some light on the machinations of the Democrat leadership, then the people of Illinois may have been spared this disastrous bill.
 
Sadly, no one cared enough about the taxpayers and private sector employers in Illinois to do the right thing. Even after the fact, there is virtually no interest in exposing this betrayal of the principles of representative government in Illinois. Our elected officials and the MSM talk and pound their chest about the horrible tax hike and its dire consequences, but then turn a blind eye to the corrupt process that brought it into being.
 
January 21, 2011
 
paboehmke@yahoo.com
 
 

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