LATEST NEWS

Learning from the Best?

November 23, 2021 By Katie Clancy Illinoisans are still waiting for the “New Day” promised by newly appointed House Speaker Chris Welch, even as the Springfield political conglomerate tries to convince you it exists. Case in point, Politico reported that when looking for advice, Speaker Welch consulted with disgraced former Speaker Mike Madigan and Willie Brown, former California Speaker of the House and former Mayor of San Francisco. Both notorious former Speakers have a lot in common. During their prime, they were political forces, and more importantly, both were the subjects of multiple federal investigations. Both saw government and taxpayer money as their own. Leveraging special benefits for their friends ...
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Learning from the Best?

November 23, 2021 By Katie Clancy Illinoisans are still waiting for the “New Day” promised by newly appointed House Speaker Chris Welch, even as the Springfield political conglomerate tries to convince you it exists. Case in point, Politico reported that when looking for advice, Speaker Welch consulted with disgraced former Speaker Mike Madigan and Willie Brown, former California Speaker of the House and former Mayor of San Francisco. Both notorious former Speakers have a lot in common. During their prime, they were political forces, and more importantly, both were the subjects of multiple federal investigations. Both saw government and taxpayer money as their own. Leveraging special benefits for their friends ...
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What Chris Christie Gets Wrong About Illinois

November 23, 2021 By Mark Cavers Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that Illinois is not a "top-tier" state for national Republicans last week, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. Illinoisans pay some of the highest taxes in the nation. Nearly 700 people have been murdered in Chicago as the city is on pace for its deadliest year in a quarter-century. Only 26% of kids performed at grade level in Math and only 31% in English in Illinois' schools. Wirepoints reports that each Illinois household is on the hook for $110,000 in crushing government-worker retirement debts. To see that these policies aren't sustainable, one just has to look at ...
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Pritzker’s Job Record: Total Failure

November 16, 2021 Gov. Pritzker's record on job creation is an absolute embarrassment. A total failure. Gov. Pritzker's picking and choosing what businesses were deemed "essential" to remain open during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis sent working families home without paychecks. His graduated income tax hike was aimed at harming community businesses and shuttering mom-and-pop shops. His band-aid tax incentives to electric vehicle companies are political grandstanding that will earn applause from the media and special interests but do nothing to undo the economic devastation he has wrought. Instead of using the heavy hand of the government to squash small businesses, Gov. Pritzker should be fighting to lower taxes for all ...
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Lessons from the 2021 Elections

November 15, 2021 By: Mark Cavers Illinoisans pay some of the highest taxes to one of the most corrupt governments in the country, which fails to provide even basic services like quality education for kids or safe neighborhoods for families. It has been this way for a generation as Illinois has become steadily more difficult to live in, more expensive to do business in, and more unsatisfactory to raise a family in. Will that change in 2022? Elections from across the nation this year point to an environment that will be favorable for change. In Virginia, candidates who promised to lower taxes, ensure public safety, and improve education won. In ...
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Less Politicking, More Educating

November 11, 2021 By: Katie Clancy As we showed last week, Illinois is in a serious education crisis. Test scores are plummeting, special needs students aren’t getting the services they need, and there is a continued shortage of teachers. While these crises are taking place, Gov. Pritzker’s appointed State Board of Education is focused on fulfilling its own political agenda. The Board’s latest proposal includes state funding for “interventions to have more explicit focus on racial dynamic, including equity direct approaches that offer concrete strategies for teachers’ behavioral changes in the classroom and increased bias awareness.” While kids are struggling to keep up with their reading and math curriculum, the ...
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Illinois Needs An Education Revolution

November 3, 2021 By: Katie Clancy On the heels of Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia, it’s time for a movement in Illinois that prioritizes children’s learning and embraces parental involvement by reforming the state’s failed education system. In the week leading up to the election, polls showed that likely voters in Virginia’s number one issue was education. It was simple. Glenn Youngkin was on the side of parents, and Terry McAuliffe was on the side of teachers’ unions and politically motivated school boards. McAuliffe’s biggest blunders were his comments during a debate in which he said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” And then ...
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Pritzker declares gun violence public health crisis

November 2, 2021 After a summer of violence and lawlessness in Chicago, Gov. Pritzker has finally acknowledged his complete failure to keep families safe. Pritzker declared that “gun violence” is a public health crisis on Monday. But, with his bags packed to jaunt off to an overseas climate conference, his disingenuous words and empty promises are too little too late.  After years of working to defund, demoralize, and demonize the police, downtown shootings have risen 220%, carjackings in Cook County are up 43%, and the number of homicide and shooting victims in 2021 have already surpassed the numbers from the previous three years. While Pritzker and the politicians in charge ...
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Government Overreach Overnight

October 28, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Growing up, my mom used to tell me, nothing good happens after midnight, the same goes for the General Assembly. In this case, when they’re in session, nothing good happens after 10PM. While you were going to sleep last night contemplating your work day or putting the finishing touches on your kid’s Halloween costume, the General Assembly again stuck their nose between you and your family’s health decisions. They weren’t working all summer to curb the second-highest property taxes in the nation or ensure communities are safe as Chicago tops over 700 homicides this year, or demanding more accountability for corrupt elected officials to ...
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Illinois Voters Are Ready for Recall Options

October 28, 2021 Last weekend, volunteers with the Illinois Opportunity Project, Wheatland Township Republicans, Plainfield Township Republicans, and Will County Young Republicans visited voters in Naperville and Plainfield, circulating a petition to give voters the power to recall their elected officials and talking about how we can end the culture of corruption in Illinois. While collecting signatures for the recall petition, volunteers said, overwhelmingly, that voters were excited about the initiative and wanted more ways to hold corrupt politicians accountable.  During a conversation with a gentleman who signed the recall petition, a volunteer asked him if he’s been paying attention to what’s been going on in the state, he responded ...
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The Illinois Opportunity Project Demands Hearing on Recall Proposal

October 22, 2021 Chicago, IL- As the General Assembly reports to Springfield for veto session, the Illinois Opportunity Project calls for Senate President Don Harmon and Speaker Chris Welch to hold hearings on Senator Jason Barickman and Representative Mark Batinick’s proposed constitutional amendments that provide voters with the power to recall corrupt elected officials. “Instead of using the veto session to settle political scores and please special interest groups, the General Assembly should tackle the issues most important to Illinoisans, starting with corruption. In a state that ranks as the second most corrupt in the country, a preventative measure to hold politicians accountable should be at the top of the ...
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A Useful Idiot and A Paper Tiger

October 21, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Politicians in our state and in Chicago don’t police themselves and hold each other accountable. Statistically Illinois is the second most corrupt state in the country and Chicago the most corrupt city. It’s not a stereotype or a running joke amongst political elites, but a true fact. What is even more jarring is that the watchdogs who are supposed to be there to keep the politicians in check, also have virtually no power. According to its website, Chicago’s Office of the Inspector General is “dedicated to ensuring honesty and integrity in City government by rooting out corruption, fraud, other misconduct, and waste.” More generally, ...
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Illinois Voters In Desperate Need of More Tools of Accountability

October 19, 2021 By: Mark Cavers An editorial in the News-Gazette highlighted the “many serious political and policy problems” facing Illinois but failed to acknowledge that it is voters’ lack of power over their state government that allows these problems to fester. In order for families to thrive and prosper in Illinois, they need a government that is responsive to their needs. Today that isn’t the case. The rules are rigged to shield those in power from political pressure, ensconcing them in office and allowing them to serve the politically connected rather than the people. To start to change this power dynamic, we are pushing to give voters the right ...
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EVENT: Knock Doors in Plainfield

We're going door to door collecting signatures for the recall initiative and discussing our shared conservative values in Plainfield! Door to door canvassing remains the most effective way to activate our voters and persuade new ones. We'll start at noon with a quick training on how to use the app and talk to voters at the door. From there, we'll head out to nearby neighborhoods in small groups. We'll have clipboards, petitions, and pens. Please bring a smartphone and dress for the weather! It's an exciting time to be building a movement in Illinois. See you there! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ...
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“It Doesn’t Make Sense”

October 7, 2021 By: Katie Clancy “Kim Foxx inspires me everyday through the work she does to protect Cook County- We need to keep unwavering, reformative leadership like hers in office.” That was high praise from then-candidate Pritzker in support of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in 2018. “We don’t know where to go. It’s not seeming like the justice system is working for us. And that’s disheartening, it’s just angering,” grandmother of six-year-old Serenity Braughton who was shot and killed in Chicago and whose murderer faced no charges. "It doesn't make sense. It was murder. It wasn't self-defense. My son never swung. He never had a chance to ...
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Come to IL for the Abortions and Stay for the High Taxes and Crime

September 28, 2021 By: Katie Clancy In a desperate attempt to lure businesses to the Land of Lincoln, Gov. Pritzker touted Illinois’ lax abortion laws in hopes of garnering the attention of some major corporations based in Texas. In the letter sent to CEOs of major companies such as Oracle and Hewlett Packard, Pritzker states, “So as radical legislators in Texas functionally eradicate the autonomy of half of the state… I invite you to consider a new home base for your company… And last I checked, the majority of Americans aren’t too interested in living in a place where abortion isn’t an option.” What Pritzker fails to mention in the ...
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EVENT: Kick Out Corrupt Politicians

Illinois Opportunity Project and dedicated Illinoisans across the state launched a ballot initiative to ask voters if they want the power to recall their elected officials. Our movement seeks to empower voters with another tool to hold elected officials accountable between elections since the politicians have proven to be incapable of doing it themselves. Join us on Tuesday, September 28 at 6:30pm for a discussion of the policy and learn the tips and tricks you need to effectively circulate the recall petition. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kick-out-corrupt-politicians-a-discussion-on-the-recall-initiative-tickets-177505783577 ...
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Rep. Batinick, Sen. Barickman and IOP Launch Statewide Initiative to Empower Voters with Ability to Recall Politicians

September 21, 2021 Chicago, IL- Today, Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield), Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington), and the Illinois Opportunity Project announced their statewide grassroots campaign to place an Advisory Question of Public Policy on the November 2022 ballot asking voters if they want the power to recall their elected officials. “Voters should have the ability to hire and fire their elected officials,” said Rep. Batinick. “Illinois’ culture of corruption has gone on for far too long, and the people of Illinois have lost faith in their government. That begins to change today.” Illinois Democrats have ignored calls to increase accountability and empower voters. Last year, Sen. Barickman and Rep. Batinick introduced ...
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TAKE ACTION: Recall Corrupt Politicians

Thank you for joining the fight to end the culture of corruption in Illinois and change our state. Our goal is to get an advisory referendum on the ballot asking voters if they want the power to recall their elected officials. Download and sign the petition, ask your friends and neighbors to sign it, and then send it back to us. DOWNLOAD PETITION AND INSTRUCTIONS (NOTE: PETITIONS MUST BE PRINTED ONE-SIDED):Download Our movement seeks to empower voters with another tool to hold elected officials accountable between elections since the politicians have proven to be incapable of doing it themselves.  Sign up below to be a part of our team knocking ...
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EVENT: Register Voters at Franklin Graham’s Route 66 God Loves You Tour

Before Franklin Graham shares his message at the Chicagoland Speedway, we'll greet attendees and help them get registered. Registering voters is one of the most important steps we can take to change the state into one that reflects our values. We'll bring forms and all of the materials necessary. Just bring a smile and a good pair of shoes. The event is free and you're welcome to attend after volunteering. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/register-voters-at-franklin-grahams-route-66-god-loves-you-tour-tickets-169178935751 ...
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EVENT: Run Gen Z Activist and Candidate Training

IOP is thrilled to partner with Run GenZ and Turning Point Action for a Candidate and Activist Training Workshop. Join us September 18th in Schaumburg to hear from some of America’s youngest elected officials, grassroots strategists, as well as prominent speakers from Illinois to discuss the importance of activating and mobilizing youth in politics! WHERE: 900 National Pkwy, #260 Schaumburg, IL 60173 WHEN: Saturday, September 18, 20219:00 AM – 5:00 PM CLICK HERE TO REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/illinois-candidate-activist-training-workshop-tickets-168305754041 ...
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General Assembly Members Who Lied About Their Support for Independent Maps

September 1, 2021 By: Katie Clancy The General Assembly was called back for a special session this week to take another vote on legislative maps. After rushing through a partisan map in May before the census data was released, they were forced to do some tweaking and strike a balance between fixing the maps but still consolidating their power. According to redistricting analyst Frank Calabrase, they did just that. He called the maps “partisan.” This map drawn behind closed doors solely by partisan actors was voted on by Democrats, some of whom tried to position themselves as supporters of a fair/independent map-making process. Don’t forget Governor Pritzker also pledged he ...
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“This Is Not Political”

August 30, 2021 By: Mark Cavers and Katie Clancy Gov. Pritzker has repeatedly defended his COVID response and mitigation efforts claiming his actions have always been motivated by science and not politics. Those who have been paying attention for the last year and a half know he has been nothing but political. He has used COVID as an excuse for his policy failings, he’s dodged responsibility at every turn, leveraged every opportunity to use the pandemic as a political tool to bludgeon his opponents and shore up his own reelection campaign, and has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars running campaign ads touting his role in the crisis. With ...
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Send funds for students with disabilities directly to families

August 18, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Original version published in the Chicago Sun-Times: Last week, the Sun-Times Editorial Board wrote a meaningful commentary on the failure of Chicago Public Schools to provide services for students with disabilities. While it is important to shine a light on the abject failure of CPS and hold it accountable, it’s time for new solutions to this decades-old problem. Instead of sending more and more funds to a failed bureaucratic system, families should receive the funds directly. CPS has been given decades to get its act in order and has continued to show it is incapable of doing the job. Parents and children can’t wait ...
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Pritzker and the Democrats’ Record of Delivering

August 20, 2021 Yesterday at the State Fair, Gov. Pritzker said: “Over and over it’s Democrats who deliver for the people of Illinois…” Gov. Pritzker and the Democrats have a record of delivering: - The second-highest property taxes in the nation - Unfettered corruption - Gerrymandered Maps - Never ending lockdowns - Rampant crime The Democrats have been delivering, and the people of Illinois are tired of what they’re receiving. Voters rejected this style of governance in 2020 when they defeated Pritzker’s Tax Hike Amendment, and they will continue to demand reform in 2022. Voters are fired up and want to take their state back from politicians like Pritzker, who ...
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The Anti-Public Safety Governor

August 13, 2021 This week, Chicago is mourning the tragic loss of Ella French, a 29-year old Chicago Police Officer who was murdered while on duty in the West Englewood neighborhood. Another officer was also shot and severely injured and is fighting for his life at the University of Chicago. As the tragedy unfolded Saturday evening and into Sunday morning, we didn’t hear one word from Gov. Pritzker. Almost 24 hours after the incident, Pritzker finally tweeted, “My heart goes out to the family, friends and colleagues of @Chicago_Police officer Ella French — a selfless public servant that we lost at merely 29 years old. May she rest in peace.” ...
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IOP Statement Regarding Pritzker’s New Mandates

August 4, 2021 For the 2020-2021 school year, Gov. Pritzker stood on the sidelines empowering teacher unions and school boards who kept children out of the classroom and in front of screens. Students with special education needs were left to suffer and regress, and parents could not return to work. Now in reelection mode, Gov. Pritzker feels like he has “to do something.” So after months of leaving families in limbo with a patchwork of 859 districts making their own decisions on their own timelines, he is mandating masks for students and teachers. Even more confusingly, Gov. Pritzker is simultaneously taking a victory lap with TV ads celebrating his COVID ...
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Chicago’s Governor Makes His Pitch to Southern Illinois

July 23, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Gov. Pritzker announced his reelection campaign with a disingenuous video that included Southern Illinoisans. I say disingenuous because, despite their prominent placement, these hand-picked stars don’t represent the majority of downstate voters. In 2018, sixty percent of downstate voters rejected JB Pritzker by casting their ballot for a different candidate for Governor. Then in 2020, after two years of raising taxes and buddying up with Mike Madigan, an overwhelming majority of 67% rejected Pritzker’s cornerstone policy issue, the Tax Hike Amendment. And things have only gotten worse for Pritzker since then. According to a poll conducted by 1892 Polling, 51% of voters outside of ...
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“Look I may not have gotten every decision right.”

July 20, 2021 By: Katie Clancy After playing coy for months, Gov. Pritzker finally launched his re-election campaign yesterday. He may have thought he was keeping us on the edge of our seats, but the $35 million donation to his own campaign a few months ago was a not so subtle tell that he would run again.  His announcement video was revisionist history on what the state of Illinois has endured under his failed leadership for the past three years. Let’s go through some of those failures to refresh our memory on why the state is in desperate need of new leadership. Pre-Pandemic Although most of the video focuses on ...
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EVENT: Knock Doors to Blast Governor Pritzker’s Failed Record

Date and time Sunday, July 18, 202112:00 PM – 3:00 PM Location Palatine Township Republican Organization765 North Quentin Road Palatine, IL 60067 Governor Pritzker is a failure. His latest budget raises politicians’ pay by $1,200, increases taxes on businesses by $665 million, cuts programs for adults with disabilities, and provides no property tax relief for working-class families. We're organizing now to defeat him in 2022 and win for our values. The most effective way to reach voters is through one on one, door to door conversations. We'll meet up for a quick training, then head out into the neighborhoods in pairs. No experience is necessary. Please bring a fully charged smart ...
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Lawlessness in Pritzker’s Illinois

July 12, 2021 By: Katie Clancy President Joe Biden made his first visit to Illinois last week after Chicago suffered one of its most violent and deadly weekends over the 4th of July holiday. Chicago’s horrific violence was the biggest story in the nation but it was ignored in the President’s 31 minute speech at McHenry Community College. It was said that President Biden had private conversations with Mayor Lightfoot, Speaker Chris Welch, and others about the violence. It’s no surprise that President Biden would rather not speak publicly on the manner. The White House is busy ignoring the problem or shifting blame. Recently, Biden’s Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, had ...
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Running List of Indicted Illinois Politicians Since 2019

Updated as of June 23, 2021 Chicago Alderman Ed Burke Chicago Alderman Ed Vrdolyak Chicago Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson Chicago Alderman Ricardo Muñoz Chicago Alderman Danny Solis Chicago Alderman Proco ‘Joe’ Moreno Chicago Alderman Willie Cochran Chicago Alderman Mike Zalewski State Representative Luis Arroyo Senator Terry Link Senator Martin Sandoval Senator Tom Cullerton Former State Representative and Worth Township Supervisor John O'Sullivan Cook County Commissioner and McCook Mayor Jeff Tobolski Patrick Doherty, chief of staff for Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski Crestwood Mayor Lou Presta Former Markham Mayor David Webb Former Gubernatorial Candidate and State Senator Sam McCann Paris City Councilman Steve Kemper Alorton Mayor Jo Ann Reed Columbia Mayor ...
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ICYMI: Welch Won’t Give Up On Hiking Your Taxes

June 22, 2021 During an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Speaker Welch was asked if under his Speakership he would again trying to change the state's tax system from a flat to a graduated system. Welch responded with: "I think at some point that it has to be revisited." Speaker Welch will never give up on raising your taxes. Voters overwhelmingly rejected sending more of their hard-earned dollars to politicians like Welch. For years, the leadership in Springfield saw no other vision of governance other than raising taxes. Welch is no different. His views on raising taxes are not in line with the reform voters demanded in 2020. GET INVOLVED: ...
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Overtime

June 18, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Politicians gathered in Springfield again this week. Two weeks after the official session deadline. With 5 months to work and supermajority control, Gov Pritzker and legislative Democrats still had to kick session into overtime, wasting even more taxpayer dollars. As we mentioned in our previous blog, they said they had to go back to work on issues mainly related to an elected Chicago school board and a multi-faceted energy bill. Catering to special interests. Turns out they were able to pass the school board bill at the dismay of Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot. But, with the cloud of corruption hanging over ComEd and potential ...
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We Still Pay More

June 17, 2021 By: Katie Clancy As seen in the Riverbender. State Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) and Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) are disingenuously celebrating reducing the trailer fee from $118 to $36. I say disingenuously because $36 is still double what the fee was before Governor Pritzker and the Democrats in the General Assembly pushed through 20 tax and fee increases, including the $100 increase in the trailer fee, in 2019. Only a Springfield politician could spin a 100% fee increase into something to celebrate. Now, $86 is nothing to sneer at, but reducing this fee hike likely won’t make a dent in the exodus of families to lower-cost ...
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Special Session for Special Interests

June 10, 2021 By: Katie Clancy After trying to cram everything from a 3,000-page budget to weak ethics reform during Memorial Day weekend, the General Assembly is returning to session next week to resolve some unfinished business. The budget that we now know increased lawmakers’ pay by $1,200, raised $665 million in new taxes on businesses, cut programs for adults with disabilities, and provided no property tax relief; surely, they are returning to Springfield to fix these mistakes. Of course not. Instead, they are returning to please special interests: Public utility giants and the Chicago Teachers’ Union. After a year of indictments surrounding the ComEd bribery scandal, lawmakers are back ...
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Left Out of the Celebration

June 9, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Gov. Pritzker’s reelection campaign has officially begun. He’s sitting down with news station reporters and holding press conferences touting his record as Governor. He calls the budget passed last month a “significant turning point for our state.” Says the ethics reform legislation will stop corruption in Illinois in ways that we have never before. And he thanked the Illinois State Police Director for working with advocates and lawmakers on gun safety efforts. Speaker Welch echoed the same sentiments. Praising Pritzker’s signing of the new maps claiming it was a “win” for the people of Illinois. He even exclaimed how proud he was of Leader ...
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The Growing Illinois Grassroots Movement

June 8, 2021 Change doesn’t happen overnight. Movies tell us that corrupt politicians are thrown out of office on election night in dramatic fashion or that mismanaged governments crash down. But the truth is, the flashpoints we see on the news or crammed into a one-hour Netflix documentary just show the final visible moments. They ignore the years leading up. In that sense, they miss the whole point. If you want to change Illinois for the better, to make it a better place for families and businesses to reside, you have to understand change doesn’t happen overnight. It happens every night. A movement for change develops slowly, in starts and ...
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Gov. Pritzker Cannot Be Trusted

June 4, 2021 IOP Statement on Gov. Pritzker signing gerrymandered maps: Gov. Pritzker cannot be trusted. He lied when he said he would veto a legislative map that was drawn by politicians. He lied when he threatened to hike your income taxes by 20% if you didn't support his Tax Hike Amendment. And he lied when he vowed to root out corruption while also thanking Mike Madigan for his "dedicated public service.By signing gerrymandered maps today, Pritzker again demonstrates his disdain for Illinois voters and his priority of always putting politics before people. GET INVOLVED: ...
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Intentional or Incompetent?

June 3, 2021 By: Katie Clancy As in years past, the General Assembly went late into the night on Memorial Day and into Tuesday morning to pass a budget for the State. Speaker Welch and Senate President Harmon have supermajority control and had months to hammer out the details on important issues such as the budget, ethics reform, and an energy bill that was never even able to be filed. Yet, they still couldn’t get done on time. Was it intentional to release these major bills at the last moment without time for public comment or scrutiny? Or was it their own incompetence that they couldn’t produce the necessary legislation ...
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EVENT: Demand Property Tax Relief with Wirepoints’ Ted Dabrowski

In typical fashion, the General Assembly introduced and passed a 3,000 page budget in less than 24 hours. This would be Gov. Pritzker’s third unbalanced budget in a row since he has taken office. His economic policies continue to drive up your already skyrocketing property taxes with no urgency for relief. However, there is still time to demand property tax relief and call on the Governor to veto this budget. We are thrilled to have Ted Dabrowski, budget expert and President of Wirepoints, join us this Thursday, June 3 at 5:30PM to break down what is and isn’t in the budget. Following Ted’s expert analysis, we will provide you with the ...
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Behind the Scenes in Springfield: The Calm Before the Storm

A preview for the weekend ahead By: Katie Clancy May 28, 2021 Legislative Session ends Monday, but you wouldn’t know it with the lack of urgency from the General Assembly. Major issues such as the budget, real ethics reform, pension reform, and property tax relief have yet to surface. That’s if they ever will. But if you’ve been around long enough, you know that this is by design. Back in January, when Speaker Madigan was ousted for one unethical incident too many, we were promised a “New Day.” We were promised increased transparency and collaboration. Speaker Welch started his celebratory speech praising the leadership of Mike Madigan and stating, “this ...
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4 Things You Need to Know About the Fight for Independent Maps

May 27, 2021 Here’s the latest on what you need to know about our fight for fair representation in Springfield: Late Friday night, Democrats released the legislative maps that they drew behind closed doors. Politicians such as Sen. Melinda Bush, Speaker Welch, and others campaigned on instituting an independent commission to draw legislative maps instead of leaving it in the hands of partisan politicians. Unfortunately, they did not stick to their promise and drew the maps in the same corrupt, untransparent way that politicians did a decade ago. Now that the maps have been introduced, the House and Senate Redistricting Committees are holding hearings on the Democrats' proposed maps where ...
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Don’t Take the Bait

May 21, 2021 By: Katie Clancy As seen in the Chicago Tribune. It worked. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has successfully taken the attention away from the sprawling violence in the city, the confusing/anti-science reopening plan for the City of Chicago, rising property taxes, and the poorly run Chicago Public School system in which she completely bent the knee to the Chicago Teachers Union. Job well done. While members of the media were bickering about proper representation and consumed with her latest antic, a family in Archer Park on the Southwest Side of Chicago was robbed at gunpoint while waiting for soccer practice to begin. Over the weekend, two Chicago police officers ...
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Senate GOP Introduces Ethics Reform

May 17, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Every election year, politicians campaign on “cleaning up Springfield.” They claim they will work to restore the trust that has been broken after years of corruption. Ironically, over the years most of these TV commercials and paid mail pieces were funded by Mike Madigan, guaranteeing there would be little action on corruption and proving the insincerity of these politicians and their advertisements. Madigan was finally forced out of his position as Speaker as a federal investigation swirls around him and after multiple alleged cases of sexual harassment of members of his team, including the resignation of his Chief of Staff. Remember, Gov. Pritzker has ...
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Behind the Scenes in Springfield: Accountability

May 14, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Last week’s bombshell Inspector General report about the COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home that led to the death of 36 veterans is still rocking the statehouse. From one party at least. House Republicans, on top of pushing for legislative hearings, want an Attorney General investigation to figure out if the fatal mismanagement involved any criminal aspects. On the other side of the aisle, we’ve heard very little to nothing from Speaker Chris Welch and Senate President Don Harmon on the matter. The families who lost loved ones deserve accountability. Some of them have already taken action and filed lawsuits. The Chicago Sun-Times ...
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LaSalle Veterans’ Home Hypocrisy

May 10, 2021 By: Katie Clancy 36 veterans tragically died from a COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home. Even more tragic, these deaths could’ve been avoided according to an investigative report from the Illinois Department of Human Services Inspector General. The mismanagement and failure at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home is an inexcusable failure. While running against Gov. Bruce Rauner, Pritzker slammed the former governor for the legionnaires’ outbreak at the Quincy Veterans Home. During an ABC 7 Chicago debate, Pritzker said, “We need to stand up for those who defend our nation and the way to do that is to make sure that they’re safe and especially when they’re ...
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Illinois’ Partisan Political Process

May 5, 2021 It’s obvious that Illinois is increasingly an outlier in protecting the corrupt process of giving the power to draw maps to partisan politicians. Since 2000, 22 of the 28 states that had a similar process created some sort of alternative independent commission to redraw the maps.Both red and blue states have made changes to create a more free and fair map-making process that ultimately benefits the voters and not the politicians in power. Gov. Pritzker continues to support this corrupt practice even though he promised voters while running for governor that he supported Independent Maps. He made the calculated decision to protect his political allies rather than ...
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Behind the Scenes in Springfield: Another Bad Week for Pritzker

May 3, 2021 By: Katie Clancy It went from bad to worse for Gov. Pritzker last week. First, the Governor started the week with the news from the US Census Bureau that Illinois would lose a congressional seat due to the state’s declining population. This news is a complete indictment of the policies the majority party in power has driven for decades. Families and businesses have been leaving the state because it has become unlivable for those trying to get ahead--they keep getting hit with higher taxes and spending from Springfield. Instead of acknowledging the very real problems that working-class families and small businesses have to deal with every day, ...
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Pritzker’s Pattern of Lies

April 25, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Voters rejected Gov. Pritzker’s Tax Hike Amendment because they didn’t trust him or the rest of the politicians in Springfield with more power and more of their tax dollars. Their grounds for not trusting Gov. Pritzker turned out to be valid. Weeks before the November election, the Pritzker administration threatened to hike income taxes by 20% on everyone if the Tax Hike Amendment failed to pass. A warning to taxpayers to give them more power or else. Fortunately, voters called their bluff and they did not raise the income tax. That is because it was never about the money, it was about power. Pritzker ...
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Behind the Scenes in Springfield: Take A Hint

April 23, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Gov. Pritzker wants to use money from the “Local Government Distributive Fund” to close his massive budget hole. Mayors from the Chicagoland region held a press conference this week demanding Pritzker keep his hands off those funds that belong to their constituents. Local governments are handcuffed with Springfield mandates that they can’t afford and that drive up property taxes. Springfield and Gov. Pritzker can’t have it both ways. They can’t force unfunded mandates on local governments and be allowed to keep dipping in their funds due to their own fiscal mismanagement of the state. Springfield politicians spend more than we can afford. Voters know ...
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Lightfoot and Pritzker Are Fighting for the Same Thing: Power

April 21, 2021 By: Katie Clancy A recent Wall Street Journal editorial pitted the Democrats in Springfield, including Gov. Pritzker, against Chicago and Mayor Lightfoot after the Mayor expressed dismay over legislation that was passed at the state level. But in reality, Pritzker and Lightfoot are two sides of the same coin. They believe in big government, and both want more power. They just differ on who should have the power. The two bills that struck a chord between them are a Chicago firefighters pension bill that will inevitably raise Chicagoans’ already high property taxes and a collective bargaining bill that gives the Chicago Teachers’ Union even more power to ...
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Providing Stability

April 19, 2021 By: Katie Clancy and Dylan Sharkey One reminder from this pandemic is that states serve as laboratories of democracy. Each state across the country has been handling this ongoing crisis in its own way. Changes once thought of as temporary are here to stay and for good reason. In late March, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a statute that protects businesses from COVID-19 related lawsuits. Florida businesses are now protected from such lawsuits unless they acted with “gross negligence.” The goal is to encourage businesses, schools, religious institutions, and health care providers to follow the recommended government health standards by preventing potential plaintiffs from filing ...
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Behind the Scenes in Springfield: Ignoring the Real Issues

April 16, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Legislators were back in Springfield this week after a two week break. Despite the opportunity to regroup and organize, they are still ignoring the biggest issues facing our state. Republican State Rep. Amy Elik expressed her frustration during a press conference on Thursday saying, “The Democrat-controlled legislature has failed to put forth any meaningful or substantive legislation dealing with fighting corruption, providing tax relief, and unfortunately no plan put forth to adopt a balanced budget.” Illinois hasn’t passed a balanced budget since 2001. They have been gaslighting Illinoisans threatening higher taxes and more spending each year. This year is no different with Gov. Pritzker ...
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Why Rural Voters Have Rightly Given Up On Democrats

April 15, 2021 By: Mark Cavers, President, Illinois Opportunity Project A version of this piece appeared in the Chicago Tribune. In the Chicago Tribune, State Treasurer Michael Frerichs argued that Illinois Democrats shouldn’t write off rural voters. He has the dynamic backward. The Democratic Party hasn’t abandoned rural voters. Rather, thousands of rural and suburban voters have left the Democratic Party because it pursues policies that undermine their livelihoods and consolidates power in the politicians’ hands. For years, rural voters have been trying to convey that they aren’t happy with the Democrats’ policies. In 2014, Mr. Frerichs was first elected Treasurer with 48% of the statewide vote. He won by ...
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They Are Lying to You

April 14, 2021 By: Katie Clancy While on the campaign trail in 2018, Gov. Pritzker was asked if he would veto a legislative map that was “in any way drafted or created by legislators, political party leaders and/or their staffs or allies?” He said YES, he would veto. He went on to say, “We should amend the constitution to create an independent commission to draw legislative maps, but in the meantime, I would urge Democrats and Republicans to agree to an independent commission to handle creating a new legislative map.” In 2020, Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) penned an op-ed in the Daily Herald in support of the Fair Maps Amendment ...
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Pritzker’s Assault on Your Child’s Education

April 8, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Last week, Gov. Pritzker announced his $7 billion plan to get kids back in school. Pritzker says the direct payments are intended to help schools catch up on the academic and social costs of remote learning. There are students in Illinois who have not set foot in a classroom in over a year. As Gov. Pritzker lays out his “lofty” plan to get kids back in school, he is simultaneously supporting policies that will do the exact opposite and hoping you won’t notice. He recently signed legislation that gives the Chicago Teachers Union even MORE reasons to strike. The Chicago Teachers Union has come ...
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Your Tax Bill on the Ballot

March 31, 2021 By: Dylan Sharkey On April 6th, many voters across Illinois will directly vote on their tax bill in their municipal elections. Back in November, voters made their voices abundantly clear: no new taxes. They rejected Governor Pritzker’s Tax Hike amendment handing him his biggest political loss and demanding reform. Now, only 5 months later, taxes are back on the ballot, this time at the local level. Getting involved in your local elections and supporting anti-tax hiking candidates can help serve as a check on Gov. Pritzker and the Springfield Democrats who are constantly pushing for higher taxes. Typically, consolidated elections see the lowest turnout of any cycle, ...
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Behind the Scenes in Springfield: IDES Disaster

March 26, 2021 By: Katie Clancy As we pass the one year mark of the COVID-19 shutdowns, Governor Pritzker’s failures at the Department of Employment Services (IDES) remain in the news. Every week there seems to be a new story on a case of ridiculous fraud or ineptitude from the department. This week a debit card was sent to a woman’s home who has been dead for more than five years after fraudsters managed to claim she was recently laid off. Another woman who was a victim of an unemployment scam was sent a letter claiming her state tax refund was being withheld because she had been overpaid. Yet, she ...
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Behind the Scenes in Springfield: Consequences

March 19, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Gov. Pritzker’s 2019 budget included 19 tax hikes and fees. The most egregious, the doubling of the gas tax, keeps getting worse for Chicago and suburban residents.  Pritzker's gas tax hike opened the door for local government tax hikes that we are still paying the price for today. Counties continue to hike taxes because of the power and encouragement Pritzker gave them. Lake County raised its gas tax last week. Will, DuPage, and Chicago have also increased their gas taxes. As gas prices and taxes continue to rise, Illinoisans pay the 9th highest in the country at the pump right now. As if the ...
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The 2022 Opportunity

March 19, 2021 There is an unprecedented opportunity to shift the power in the state so that families and businesses can thrive here.  I share your hope for an Illinois that welcomes jobs and families instead of pushing them out. A responsible government that serves the people, not the special interests. And leaders who step up in times of crisis rather than shift the blame on their political opponents. The only way to change our state and improve lives is by changing our neighborhoods and driving action at the grassroots level. Change will come from leaders like you who care about your community. Not from the politicians in Springfield. Join ...
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Pritzker’s Declining Political Capital

March 16, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Local families are suffering while Gov. Pritzker is flailing and losing support on all fronts. We have been documenting Gov. Pritzker’s failures since May of 2020 including his mishandling of the COVID response, push for ever-higher taxes, and his complicity in the state’s corruption. It’s now clear that average families in Illinois are catching on. Gov. Pritzker’s approval ratings were 63% in April 2020 and have been declining ever since. Today, he stands about even with 40.6% favorables and 41% unfavorables in the latest polls with 18% having no opinion. A significant drop as voters review his record. His unfavorable ratings shouldn’t come as ...
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Behind the Scenes in Springfield: Less Power, More Oversight

March 4, 2021 By: Katie Clancy And the winner is...Congresswoman Robin Kelly. After 23 years of Madigan’s reign, Illinois Democrats voted on a new Party Chair this week. The Pritzker-Madigan backed candidate, Chicago Alderman Michelle Harris, fell short. This chalks up another political loss for both Madigan and Pritzker. It has not been a good run so far for this less-than-dynamic duo. Pritzker suffered the defeat of his cornerstone campaign promise - the Tax Hike Amendment and Madigan’s handpicked State Rep. successor resigned after just two days on the job. What else doesn’t look good: the indictments of three more Madigan allies that stem from the ComEd bribery scandal investigation ...
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Rep. Stuart’s Misguided Political Priorities

March 3, 2021 By: Katie Clancy In a letter to the editor last week, Rep. Katie Stuart defended her support of the controversial new teaching standards unilaterally imposed by Gov. Pritzker’s State Board of Education. In a challenging year for students, families, and teachers, Representative Stuart is focused on the wrong things. Two-thirds of Illinois students are failing to meet expectations in the basic subjects of math and English. Some students haven’t had in-person learning in almost a year. And the state is facing a teacher shortage of more than 2,000 vacancies. Rep. Stuart sponsored legislation that eliminated the passage of a test of basic skills for teachers, but ironically ...
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Behind the Scenes in Springfield: The Good and the Bad

February 25, 2021 By: Katie Clancy On Chicago’s southwest side, the week started with a new successor to Madigan’s House District seat and then ended with yet another new successor. Rep. Edward Kodatt was on the job for just about two days before Mike Madigan and 13th Ward Alderman Marty Quinn called on him to resign after learning of Kodatt’s “alleged misconduct.” It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time someone from the Madigan camp was forced to resign for their bad behavior. One in particular, Kevin Quinn, the brother of Alderman Marty Quinn, ended in a $900,000 lawsuit. On Thursday, Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar who received the second most votes ...
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IOP Statement on Speaker Welch Floating Another Graduated Income Tax Hike

February 24, 2021 Last week, Governor Pritzker proposed balancing the budget with billions of dollars in tax hikes on community businesses and blue collar workers. This week, Speaker Welch advocated for Pritzker's failed Tax Hike Amendment after voters soundly rejected it in November. This is what we get from the political class in Springfield. No solutions to the state's fiscal problems. Just brazen attempts to take more money from you. Tax hikers Pritzker and Welch refuse to consider the reforms Illinoisans demanded and repeatedly expose how out of touch they are with the average small business owner or Illinois family. They will always turn to the failed policies of more ...
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Gov. Pritzker Turns His Back on Law and Order

February 24, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Mike Madigan is officially out as Speaker of the House, State Representative for the 22nd District in Chicago, and after nominating his handpicked successor over the weekend, he stepped down as the powerful Chairman of the State Democratic Party. In a shocking turn, Madigan's handpicked successor has already resigned "after learning of alleged questionable conduct by Mr. Kodatt." Kodatt was on the job for less than 72 hours. Even with Madigan's bad judge of character and awful policy record, he remained in power for so long because of the support from his Democrat colleagues.  In January, the majority of House Democrats (51) still voted ...
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Behind the Scenes in Springfield: Exposing the Pritzker Playbook

February 19, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Even though there was no session this week, it was a big news week for Illinois politics!  First off, thank you again to all the volunteers who took the time to call members of the Joint Committee on Legislative Rules. A special thanks to those who went above and beyond and called voters urging them to contact their legislator. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the outcome we worked for. Still, it was inspiring to see how quickly Illinoisans from across the state mobilized and made their voices heard against this policy to put politics in the classroom. On Wednesday, Gov. Pritzker gave his combined, pre-recorded ...
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IOP Statement on Gov. Pritzker’s Partisan Budget Address

February 17, 2021 “Today, Governor Pritzker carried on his tradition of spending more than families can afford and punishing community businesses with tax hikes disguised as “closing corporate loopholes.” “After two years of unbalanced budgets, record spending during a damaging global pandemic, and a structural deficit, Gov. Pritzker proposed a status-quo budget that does nothing to improve Illinois' underlying fiscal mess and will continue to drive families out of the State. “Illinoisans have come to expect this from Gov. Pritzker. But, when families desperately need innovative, solution-oriented leadership, Pritzker’s partisan speech was filled with cheap political attacks and blatant attempts to blame everyone else for the state’s budget disaster. Pritzker ...
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Pritzker’s Push To Put Politics in Classrooms Clears Legislative Hurdle

February 17, 2021 Despite thousands of phone calls and emails from concerned advocates like you, the Democrat members of JCAR blessed the highly-controversial “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards” rule change. Two-thirds of Illinois students are failing to meet expectations in Math and English. Thousands of kids face catastrophic consequences as schools have been unable to find safe ways to open. Facing these two crises, Gov. Pritzker and his State Board of Education, with the support of their Democratic allies in the House and Senate, prioritized their own political agendas to force politics into classrooms (remote or in-person). But it did not go unnoticed. This issue went from a backstage ...
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Behind the Scenes in Springfield

February 12, 2021 By: Katie Clancy Last week, the House gathered for the first and only day of Session this month to vote on the House rules. While there were some highlights such as enacting term limits for leadership positions, there’s still too much power wielded by the House Speaker and a lack of transparency and public notice of bills that affect all Illinoisans. The House rules vote broke down along party lines with Democrats voting yes and Republicans voting no. But the larger issue is that the party that continues to hold power, no matter the rules, is the party of higher taxes, unwillingness to act on ethics reforms, ...
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TAKE ACTION: Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards

Thank you for joining the fight to stand up for students and their education! JCAR (Joint Committee on Administrative Rules) is scheduled to have a vote on the Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards on February 16. In order for the rule to be defeated, eight of the twelve members must vote to object to the rule. We need your help to defeat this rule because two-thirds of Illinois students are already failing to meet expectations in Mathematics and English and Language Arts. Our schools should be focused on teaching these basic subjects, rather than injecting a political ideology. How can you help defeat this rule? 1. Call and email ...
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Be The Change: Oppose Teacher Training Requirements

January 29, 2021 The Illinois State Board of Education has proposed a new rule which would put political ideology at the forefront of classroom instruction in both private and publicly run schools throughout the state. The “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards” would serve as a guide in preparing new teachers and then be carried over into their lesson plans and curriculum. In 2019, 61% of Illinois students failed to meet expectations in English Language Arts and 68% in Mathematics. As students are falling behind, the State Board of Education is more interested in virtue signaling and pushing their politics than educating children. The focus of the State Board should ...
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Make The Invest In Kids Act Permanent

January 26, 2021 By: Katie Clancy It’s a bit ironic that at the beginning of National School Choice Week, the Chicago Teachers’ Union is threatening a strike and voted not to report to their classrooms in preparation for the return of K-8 students on February 1. The Liberty Justice Center believes the strike is illegal, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the union continues to stand up for the adults in the system and not the children they are supposed to serve. Chicago Public School students are approaching the one year mark without any in classroom instruction. Throughout the negotiations and bickering between politicians and union bosses, ...
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The Dishonesty of a “New Day” in Illinois

January 21, 2021 By: Katie Clancy House Democrats and some members of the media are attempting to declare a “New Day” in Illinois state government. In reality, the selection of State Rep. Chris Welch (D-Hillside) to  replace Mike Madigan as Speaker of the House will result in very little systemic change. Up until the last moments before the coveted vote for Speaker, Madigan still enjoyed support from newly elected State Representatives Maura Hirschuer (D-Batavia) and Janet Yang-Rohr (D-Naperville) and old allies like Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville), Lance Yednock (D-Ottawa), and Mike Halpin (D-Rock Island), and even Welch. When it became clear that Madigan would not get the votes, they turned to ...
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Madigan’s Legacy

January 14, 2021 Speaker Madigan, the longest serving Speaker in American history is done. But, Democrats won’t be able to wipe out his decades long legacy of high taxes, pay to play politics, and financial destruction of Illinois.  What else will they be unable to undo? Their complicity. Cycle after cycle, House Democrats reaped the benefits of Mike Madigan’s political power and trove of campaign dollars. Exchanging campaign contributions for loyalty, favorable remaps, or even jobs for their friends and family turned out to be enough for the Speaker to hold power for four decades with the overwhelming support from his caucus. Public sector unions, other various special interest groups, ...
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Lessons Learned in 2020

December 28, 2020 It has been a tough year for many families and small businesses, but there was also much to be celebrated.  We have seen small businesses step up and serve their communities like never before. Providing meals for healthcare workers and first responders battling on the frontlines, switching production to create sanitizers and other essential personal protective equipment, and adapting to the everchanging barriers and restrictions dictated by Governor Pritzker. Families across the state did their part and made masks, organized food and blood drives, purchased gift cards, and checked in on elderly neighbors who were in most need of help. It was ordinary citizens across the state ...
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Madigan’s Loyal Stragglers

December 15, 2020 By: Katie Clancy, Communications and Marketing Manager The Special Investigative Committee officially put an end to their “investigation” into Mike Madigan’s alleged involvement in the ComEd bribery scandal Monday afternoon. Each Democrat member of the committee headed by State Rep. Chris Welch (D-Hillside) voted to strike down a motion to discipline the Speaker. Republicans on the Committee, Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-Westmont) and outgoing Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville), slammed the Democrats for putting their loyalty to Madigan above the very real questions that need to be addressed after 4 people, including Madigan’s closest confidant, have been indicted. So far 19 House Democrats have said they will not support ...
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Gov. Pritzker’s Accountability Issue

December 4, 2020 By: Katie Clancy, Communications and Marketing Manager Last week, Mike Madigan's closest confidant, Mike McClain, and three others were arraigned for their alleged involvement in the ComEd bribery scandal. All four plead not guilty and are set to appear again in court on February 16, 2021. Mike Madigan’s support is starting to plummet amongst Democrats in the House, including a member of his leadership team, State Rep. Kathleen Willis (D-Addison). They clearly see the writing on the wall and now find it best to show their opposition to the powerful Speaker. Most of the 19 Democratic Legislators calling for his resignation stood silent as scandal after scandal ...
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Reasons To Be Thankful

November 23, 2020 In a world with more lockdowns on the horizon and threats of tax increases from Governor Pritzker, it is hard for many Illinoisans to come up with reasons to be thankful. But hopefully the examples below will make you feel optimistic about the future of our state. In addition to the major defeat of Governor Pritzker’s Tax Hike Amendment that gave struggling small businesses a fighting chance and working families a little protection, there were also conservative reformers who defeated Madigan loyalists throughout the state. Amy Elik (R-Alton) defeated Monica Bristow, David Friess (R-Red Bud) defeated Nathan Reitz, Chris Bos (R-Lake Zurich) defeated Mary Edly-Allen, and Seth ...
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The Coalition That Saved Our State

November 6, 2020 By: Matt Rodewald, Director of Communications In the months-long effort to educate myself and fellow voters on the dangers of the Tax Hike Amendment, there were few moments when I sat down to see the impact of what people were really thinking about the proposal. Even in the chaos of Election Night, I saw numbers, but didn't see people. That changed Wednesday afternoon. My wife and I decided to enjoy the unusually balmy November weather by having lunch in Geneva. Doing so safely outside along Third Street, with masks, socially distant, the whole nine yards. As my wife and I rehashed the political events of the evening ...
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You Did It!

November 6, 2020 Families, small businesses, farmers, and seniors stood up to Governor Pritzker and the political ruling class and said NO MORE TAXES. For decades, Springfield politicians have laid the blame for their own financial mess on anyone but themselves. Their only solution is to look to taxpayers for bailouts. This time, you held the line. You said no more. You said fix it another way. You demand and deserve reform from our leaders, not higher taxes to prop up an unsustainable system that benefits politicians and special interests at the expense of our families. Rejecting the Tax Hike Amendment was the first step in saving our great state ...
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Finally, The Chance to Save Springfield

November 3: The Moment for Illinois is Here October 26, 2020 By: Matt Rodewald, Director of Communications Famous Fake Weatherman Brick Tamland has a brilliant line in the movie 'Anchorman' that sums up the 2020 walkup to the Tax Hike Amendment: "Loud Noises!!" Sometimes, I don't know what we're yelling about either. On one hand, the people who are pitching this Tax Hike Amendment say that it will fix all our problems. We've heard that before. 2011’s version was supposed to be temporary. It wasn't. 2017’s was supposed to pay down pensions. It didn't. Yet, on the other hand, I hear Pritzker’s spokesman Quentin Fulks say, "The notion that this ...
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Forget About Pritzker. This Is About You.

October 22, 2020 By: Katie Clancy, Marketing and Communications Manager By this time, with the millions of dollars spent for and against, you have been inundated with advertising on Gov. Pritzker’s so-called “Fair Tax.” Pritzker himself put in $56 million of his own fortune into the “Vote Yes” campaign. A lot of the conversation has been focused on the fact that Illinoisans cannot and do not trust Springfield politicians. Rightfully so. Speaker Mike Madigan, the longest-serving Speaker in American history, is at the center of a federal investigation alleging a bribery scheme with public utility giant ComEd. His already low credibility has been absolutely decimated. In addition to serving as ...
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Save Illinois Small Businesses!

Gov. Pritzker has shut down small businesses for months and expects them to pay even more in taxes. He wants to use this lame duck session to eliminate state-level tax benefits that were created in the CARES Act. Now is the worst time to raise taxes on struggling small businesses. Sign here to save small businesses! ...
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A Devil of a Deal This November with Madigan

The Recent History of Illinois Tax Hikes and Proposals Should Make You Skeptical October 16, 2020 By: Matt Rodewald, Director of Communications Illinois has big problems. It has a Mike Madigan problem. It has a tax problem. Sure the ComEd admission this summer was jarring, but we sit on the brink of yet another tax hike. The theory that the House Speaker made people "pay to play" isn't a new one. But now we're seeing it in plain English on written 30-plus pages of federal court documents and it proves these aren't the little whispers going around Springfield or the southwest side of Chicago anymore. This storyline is especially important ...
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“If you don’t pass this tax hike, we will hike your taxes.”

October 1, 2020 By: Matt Rodewald, Director of Communications Only in Illinois. This is the approach of the people elected to be fiscally responsible in the Land of Lincoln. The empty threat last week lobbed by Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton proves that the folks in Springfield have no interest in tackling the real issues that have dragged the state's finances through the mud for decades. The argument that the Tax Hike Amendment will only involve the rich is fool's gold. If you think Wilmette types will be the only one forking over money, you're dead wrong. People from Alton to Antioch will find out how "rich" they really are. When ...
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Pritzker Pleads for Blue State Bailout

September 23, 2020 By: Katie Clancy, Marketing and Communications Manager Gov. Pritzker signed an unbalanced budget this year banking on a blue state bailout from the federal government or now, a potential Joe Biden presidency. While the Governor blames President Trump and Senate Republicans for Illinois’ financial disaster, other state executives across the country have taken steps to reduce state spending due to expected shortfalls in revenue. Respecting taxpayers and seeing the writing on the wall. Back in May, Gov. Abbott (R-Texas) sent a letter to state agency heads asking them to trim 5% of their budgets. Gov. Evers (D-Wisconsin) called for the same cuts back in May and then ...
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The Politics and Power of the Graduated Income Tax Amendment

September 14, 2020 By: Katie Clancy, Marketing and Communications Manager Last week the Special House Committee kicked off hearings investigating Mike Madigan for his alleged involvement in a bribery scheme with ComEd. Gov. Pritzker wants to have it both ways. He seems to want Madigan in power, but also wants to appear tough on corruption. When asked about the Speaker and the upcoming hearings, Gov. Pritzker offered a bland, “There are questions that need to be answered by the speaker.” Pritzker, the highest-ranking elected official in the state, could do something about it and pressure Madigan to answer the questions or resign. But Pritzker seems content. He refuses to demand ...
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Madigan Isn’t Going Anywhere

September 2, 2020 By: Katie Clancy, Marketing and Communications Manager Michael Madigan continues to withstand the test of time and scandal. As the Illinois Democratic Party shifts farther to the left, the southwest side Representative remains King. He remains in charge of four different political campaign war chests, as head of the State’s Democratic Party, and as Speaker of the House. Because in charge, is where rank and file Democrat legislators want him. Despite being named by federal investigators in an alleged bribery scheme, despite over 300 women signing a letter alleging the rampant culture of harassment and toxicity in the statehouse, and despite his failed policies that have resulted ...
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Recent COVID Closures Lead to More Uncertainty for Small Businesses

August 26, 2020 By: Katie Clancy, Marketing and Communications Manager Gov. Pritzker is looking to impose more restrictions in different regions throughout the State. He wants stricter guidelines on indoor dining at restaurants and the size of gatherings, on top of the already established mask mandates and fines for businesses that fail to enforce his orders. The Metro East was threatened to get their house in order by September 2 or they will face “mitigation.” This comes after much push back from local leaders who understand the consequences it would have on struggling small businesses. The same goes for folks in Kankakee and Will Counties. Pritzker has ordered the end ...
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Looting Sheds Light on a Huge Chance for Chicago’s Mayor

August 11, 2020 By: Matt Rodewald, Director of Communications Leadership matters in times of crisis. More than 100 arrested, two people shot, 13 officers hurt. After the latest round of unrest, wreaking havoc from Lincoln Park to the Loop, we'll see how long it takes Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Governor J.B. Pritzker to call the National Guard this time around. It took 72 hours in June. That's a lifetime for businesses struggling in the pandemic and watching their life's work disappear in a heartbeat. A graduated income tax would kick businesses in the Chicago Loop while they’re down. The 4,000 or so organizations that closed up shop since the pandemic ...
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School Choice Now

August 7, 2020 After threats of striking for the second time this year, Chicago Public Schools and Mayor Lori Lightfoot caved to the Chicago Teachers Union again and are starting the school year out of the classroom and doing remote learning. Since March, the City of Chicago has three recorded Covid-related deaths for children and teenagers aged 0-19. During the same time frame, four died by suicide. Twelve died in accidents. Forty-six died by gun violence. Families need the option to do what is best for their children. CPS teachers and administrators say they are confident in their ability to provide a decent education in a remote environment. However, their ...
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Pritzker’s $7 Million Question

July 28, 2020 During Governor Pritzker’s 2018 campaign, he repeatedly promised that he was independent from House Speaker Mike Madigan. But it was obvious that these two were plotting behind closed doors the whole time. Following his election, Pritzker immediately filled nearly 3 dozen prominent roles in his administration with Madigan’s recommended list of hires. Pritzker’s promise to remain independent from Madigan went down the drain, like most of his other promises. Fair maps and ethics reforms to name a couple. Now, following the bombshell report from the feds alleging Mike Madigan’s involvement in a bribery scheme with ComEd, the Governor is attempting to distance himself from the longest-serving statehouse ...
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Looking Back on Madigan Gives Us a Chance to Look Forward in November

July 21, 2020 By: Matt Rodewald, Director of Communications Just the name Michael Madigan brings out the idea of being a hypocrite. I'm not just talking about Madigan's feeble effort last week to transfer Illinois' ethics problems to Donald Trump and Roger Stone. Something the House Speaker did just one day before the explosive court papers that had Public Official A planted front and center in a decade old pay-for-play scheme with ComEd that forced the utility to agree to a record $200 million fine. I'm thinking more about the people who've had their chances to stand up - even now - and have said nothing. It's not like this ...
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July Tax Deadline Approaches as Pritzker’s Progressive Tax Weighs on Taxpayers’ Minds

July 10, 2020 Back in March, many Illinoisans were satisfied with Gov. Pritzker’s decision to move the tax filing deadline to July 15, following suit with the federal government. Delaying the deadline was a move intended to soften the blow that many Americans are facing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This was a fair decision on behalf of struggling families and small businesses, but the Pritzker administration should have done more. To Gov. Pritzker, moving the deadline was a facade to pretend that he understands the financial concerns of Illinoisans. He temporarily avoided backlash from leaders in his party and residents alike. Attempting to signal that he cares ...
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50 Million Reasons Why Pritzker Doesn’t Care About You

July 6, 2020 By Matt Rodewald, Director of Communications Governor J.B. Pritzker doesn’t care about you. He cares about himself. Any Illinois resident should be able to see that after this weekend’s late-night dump of $51.5 million into his pet project progressive tax. There are so many issues that Pritzker could care about and put his money where his mouth is, but he doesn’t. $51.5 million. That could go a long way to helping fix some serious problems. Let me count the ways! Pritzker spent $17 million on failed masks that were so flawed they had to be recalled. He spent nearly $2 million just to fly them here from ...
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Expect More than Fireworks this July

June 30, 2020 July will bring us more than just fireworks and freedom this year. July 1st signals higher taxes in Illinois and increased pressure on already burdened small businesses. As if the past few months were not enough to cause distress and financial panic for many Illinois families and small businesses, Governor Pritzker will take more of your hard-earned money. When you go to fill up your gas tank before driving to that fireworks display, you may be disappointed to see that it costs more than usual. The gas tax increases again on July 1st, after being doubled last year, and it will continue to do so for the ...
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Defund CTU

June 22, 2020 By: Katie Clancy, Marketing and Communications Manager For decades, Chicago Teachers Union members have failed to educate Chicago’s youth, while simultaneously demanding higher pay and better benefits. This past fall, they went on strike for 11 days, costing classroom time for students and burdening parents. Now Chicago Public Schools have been out of school for months and will be for the foreseeable future because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking back, the lack of classroom instruction due to the strike and the closures, may cause irreparable damage to students’ educational futures. CTU is known for its radical agenda that boasts about the leadership of dictators like Nicholas Maduro ...
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Cooking Up An Illinois Budget Disaster

June 17, 2020 By: Leslie Munger, Former Illinois State Comptroller When I was the comptroller, I used an analogy called “the kitchen table”. Think of it as your good ol’ fashioned Midwestern middle-class family going through the finances late one weeknight, planning for how to pay the month’s bills. The kids are in bed, the news is on the TV in the background, it’s finally quiet. You have the groceries from the new supermarket in town (they have a wine bar!). You have money to pay the kid down the street who mows the lawn every Saturday (when he’s not grounded). The car payment is almost done, but it’s due ...
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A Threat or Not? Gov. Pritzker Can’t Make Up His Mind on Anything

Governor Pritzker income tax illinois
June 12, 2020 By: Matt Rodewald, Director of Communications Governor J.B. Pritzker cannot seem to make up his mind: Is the coronavirus still a massive threat to Illinois? You've all seen the memes on social media. "You can do this, but you can't do that." Some examples: I can go protest, but my kids can't graduate? I can go to Walmart, but I can't go into a shop on Main Street? I can stand by while criminals destroy my business because Pritzker didn't call in the National Guard quick enough, but I can't open my business or I'll go to jail? We have to stay at home, but Pritzker's family ...
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