Thank you for the article on Sam McCann (“Disrupter for governor,” by David Blanchette, Illinois Times, May 17). I am a staunch Republican, and my friend Kevin is a staunch Democrat. What do a staunch Republican and a staunch Democrat have in common? We are both voting for Sam McCann. Drain the Illinois swamp!
SUPPORT FOR SAM
I have been an active conservative and a Republican precinct committeeman. In this role, I have been able to meet with Governor Rauner many times and give him my support to turn Illinois around. Recently I have seen the governor take actions that required me to withdraw my support. I could not circulate his petitions and resigned as precinct committeeman. It also had to do with the way Sam McCann has been treated by the governor and Republican Party, but it mostly had to do with honesty. I think the tax increase was what the governor really wanted; he needed it, and he got it. He also has not been honest to the party, and I decided he did not deserve my support.
I also know Sam personally. I have spoken with him and I trust him. That is what it comes down to, trust. I cannot vote for someone who has lied to me. Will he win? I see him as the only honest candidate, and I do not care if he wins – he will get my vote. Rauner has had his chance and failed. I am ready to give Sam a chance.
ILLINOIS’ PENSION SCANDAL
Assuming Scott Faingold’s reporting (“Digging the state of out of the hole it’s in,” Illinois Times, May 17) is accurate, the May 10 forum titled “Election 2018: Seeking Solutions” should have been titled “How to Pontificate on Illinois’ Financial Future while Ignoring the 800-Pound Fiscal Gorilla Causing Most of the Problem.”
I refer to the forum’s panelists’ apparent disinterest in highlighting Illinois’ $130 billion and growing public employee pension fund shortfall/scandal. Any person of minimal financial and budgetary competence knows Illinois’ status as the #1 deadbeat state (and all that goes with that honor) can’t be repaired until we make the tough choices to fix the pension mess.
Faingold’s reporting never mentioned that the issue even came up. Lots of talk about tax increases (property, income and graduated, retirement income), lots of mutual back-patting over having passed a fake budget last year with a 33 percent income tax increase, but as for the pension gorilla that now eats almost 25 percent of each year’s state revenue – well, you know, it’s complicated, constitutional questions … boring.
Or perhaps one of the reasons the pension scandal wasn’t highlighted was that the entire panel consisted of active or retired government employees who have, ahem, a financial horse in the race. I’m not casting any arrows at the panelists themselves. I know several of them, and they are decent honorable folks.
However, as Winston Churchill once noted, “Where you stand is often determined by where you sit,” and the panelists mostly sit on the side that’s reaping massive pension and insurance windfalls unknown to Illinois private sector workers, many without pensions at all, who are going to get stuck with the bill to keep the public sector gravy train on track.
My point is that all these forums, panels and think tanks on Illinois’ future really need the participation and input of private sector taxpayers who would add a much needed perspective to the discussion at hand. I’ll bet you a moving van out of Illinois, private-sector panelists would have highlighted the pension scandal.