Lawmakers Sound Off on CPS, AFSCME Standstill

by Hunter Clauss

Republican state lawmakers plan to unveil legislation on Wednesday that would take away mayoral control from the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools, as reported by “Chicago Tonight’s” Paris Schutz.

The plan would create an emergency board to oversee the cash-strapped school district. It would also allow the district to declare bankruptcy and creates an elected school board once it’s fiscally on solid ground.

This all comes as the district could announce any day now the layoffs of thousands of teachers. It also comes as a political stalemate in Springfield has prevented lawmakers from passing a budget for more than six months.

[Sources: Lawmakers to Introduce Legislation Allowing Bankruptcy, Oversight for City and CPS]

Furthermore, contract talks with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the state’s largest union, grew increasingly sour last week when Gov. Bruce Rauner asked the state’s labor board to step in, a move that makes a strike a greater possibility.

Joining us to talk about these issues and more are Rep. David Harris (R-Arlington Heights), Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago), Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) and Rep. Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside).

When asked whether they had been briefed on or heard about Gov. Rauner’s plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday – aside from Paris Schutz’ reporting on the story – everyone said no.

“I think they want to keep a tight hold on this until tomorrow if indeed they’re going to do that,” said Harris.

“When you talk about an oversight board for the city of Chicago, that’s pretty dramatic,” he added. “But it takes legislative action to make it happen. I do support an elected school board for the city of Chicago.”

“This conversation could have been averted, had we been in Springfield as consistently as we possibly can,” said Dunkin. “We should be there right now, talking about how it is that we can avoid this calamitous discussion of laying off [teachers] and closing our schools.”

“Yes, there needs to be reform in Chicago,” said McSweeney. “President Cullerton has been very constructive on this point. But we also need to make sure we’re focusing on the real issue, a state budget. I’m very concerned about legislation to allow bankruptcy. That could actually drive up the borrowing costs for the city; we borrowed money for the state last week at a record-setting spread. I’m also concerned that it could promote risky behavior.”

“The problem with municipal bankruptcy bills is that the creditors and the lawyers get paid first,” said Zalewski. “The House Democratic caucus position is that the money should be going into the classrooms.”

Read the article and watch the video for the full discussion at WTTW TV – Chicago Tonight.

AARP leaders asked state officials not to apply the income tax to retirement income

by Mike Riopell, Daily Herald

The state’s leading lobbying group for retirees said today it’ll push back against attempts to tax Illinoisans’ retirement incomes as the battle over state spending approaches the end of its sixth month.

AARP Illinois Director Bob Gallo said the state shouldn’t pin it on retirees to raise new revenue.

“Millions of Illinoisans, especially older and retired individuals, are living on fixed incomes or struggling with the rising costs of essential necessities,” Gallo said.

Some states tax retirement income, but it’s exempt in Illinois.

The idea of applying taxes to such income has been floated privately this year by some lawmakers and publicly by some interest groups, but no formal legislation has been put in writing.

In the past, the suggestion of taxing retirement income has been seen as a politically dangerous idea by officials in both parties.

Earlier this month, state Rep. David McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican, filed a nonbinding resolution opposing the idea, and state Sen. Tom Cullerton, a Villa Park Democrat, made a similar move today.

“The exclusion of taxing retirement income encourages residents to remain living throughout their retirement in Illinois and encourages newly retired Americans to relocate to the state,” McSweeney’s resolution reads.

Still, Illinois’ deficit is growing as it continues to make court-ordered payments without a budget in place.

Read at The Daily Herald.

McSweeney receives second Republican Endorsement: Cuba Township Republicans

Cuba Township RepublicansBarrington Township: Candidate for State Representative in the 52nd District, David McSweeney, has received the endorsement of the Cuba Township Republican organization. The endorsement marks the second such endorsement after the Wauconda Township organization endorsed McSweeney on Thursday.

“I am proud to receive the support of the Cuba Township Republicans. They are a hard working group of Precinct Committeemen dedicated to electing Republicans who will carry the fight to Springfield. I will not disappoint them. I will go to Springfield and fight to repeal the 67% tax increase and focus my efforts on making Illinois a job creation and business friendly state,” said McSweeney.

“We’re counting on David to be a fighter in Springfield for lower taxes and real reform”, Said Bruce Sauer Cuba Township Republican Chairman. “This endorsement by rank and file Republicans is important. Their confidence strengthens my resolve and I will count on their advice and support throughout my campaign and when I am elected to the Illinois House of Representatives. Reform of our fiscal house starts here in the 52nd District,” said McSweeney.

Wauconda Republicans Endorse David McSweeney

Wauconda Township Republican Club Endorses McSweeney
The Wauconda Township Republican Organization has announced their official endorsement of David McSweeney’s campaign for State Representative in the 52nd District. McSweeney was chosen in a vote of the rank and file members of the club.

“We’re proud to endorse David McSweeney. He is a dynamic leader who will fight for lower taxes and real reform in Springfield,” said Bob Gottardo, Chairman of the Wauconda Township Republican Club.

McSweeney has attended a number of events in the Wauconda area and has been received well with his message of cutting taxes and spending in Springfield. His top priority is to repeal the 67% increase in the state income tax that is killing jobs in Illinois. In addition, McSweeney has supported stopping property tax increases when property values are going down. The legislature in Springfield failed to approve bipartisan legislation providing tax relief to property owners.

“I am very proud to have the endorsement of the Wauconda Township Republican Club. These are the people who are in the trenches carrying the Republican banner and I look forward to working with them in the campaign and when I get to the legislature. I will be a fiscal hawk cutting taxes and spending and making sure that property tax payers get relief,” said McSweeney.

In the News – Northwest Herald

crossposted from the Northwest Herald:

Objections filed to petitions for local House, Senate districts
By KEVIN P. CRAVER – Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Candidates in both of McHenry County’s contested GOP primaries for the General Assembly are facing objections to their petitions.

David McSweeney, running for the 52nd House District against Rep. Kent Gaffney and Danielle Rowe, filed challenges Monday with the Illinois State Board of Elections to disqualify their petitions. Chad Koppie, who dropped out of the race for the 33rd Senate District, challenged the candidacy of Craig Powers.

McSweeney’s challenge alleges that Gaffney, R-Lake Barrington, illegally used state government staff to circulate petitions, and that the true identities of the circulators were masked, making any signatures they collected ineligible, McSweeney, of Barrington Hills, said in a news release.

He alleges that many of Rowe’s signatures came from outside the 52nd District, and therefore don’t count.

“I have taken this step in order to sustain the
integrity of the petition process and to respect the high ethical standards that the people of the 52nd should expect from candidates and elected officials,” McSweeney wrote.

Gaffney’s campaign declined comment because they had not yet been served with a copy of the objection.

Rowe, of Island Lake, could not be reached for comment.

Republican leadership selected Gaffney earlier this year to fill the remaining term of Mark Beaubien, who died in June.

Under post-census redistricting, the 52nd House District covers parts of McHenry, Lake, Cook and Kane counties, including parts of Lake in the Hills, Algonquin, Cary, Wauconda and Hoffman Estates…(read full)

Ban Red Light Cameras

red light camera
Big Brother is Watching…

But who is Watching Out for Us?

Illinois Red light Camera Laws:
Anatomy of a Scam

-National Motorists Association, July 21, 2009

“Thanks to the stories by the Herald and Tribune, legislators are feeling the public pressure on this issue and are considering reforming the red-light camera laws.”

ban red light cameras

Conservative David McSweeney supports a ban on red light cameras.

Big brother is watching more than ever as red light cameras have gone up throughout our communities.
But many have questioned their purpose – and whether they benefit the people or the politicians.

“When the very first red-light camera was planted in the suburbs at 25th Avenue and Harrison Street in Bellwood, it instantly became more than just a traffic control device. It became a cash machine.”

As State Representative, David McSweeney will support State Senator Dan Duffy’s legislation banning Red Light Cameras for right turn violations.

“As many news reports have proven, the red light cameras are not for safety of life but rather for safety of bureaucrats’ jobs who have found this hidden tax. Government exists to serve the people, not the other way around.” -David McSweeney

David McSweeney. Watching Out for Us.

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Economic Growth Agenda

Cutting Taxes. Reducing State Spending.
Economic Growth

“The only way to grow our Illinois economy and lower our unemployment rate is to cut taxes and reduce spending. More money will then stay in the hands of individuals and businesses and the result will be a better economic climate.”
-David McSweeney

Economic Growth Agenda
Freeze Property Tax Levies and Empowering Voters
If property assessments go down, the property taxes should not go up.

Repeal of the 67% Tax Increase on Individuals and Businesses in Illinois
Businesses and people are leaving Illinois because of higher taxes. In fact, since the tax increase, unemployment in Illinois has gone up.

Reduce State Spending
Illinois needs pension reform and budget cuts to help our economy: For the last several budget cycles, Illinois State Government has annually spent more money than it received in tax revenues and federal aid. The result: budget deficits, pension liabilities, and an unfriendly economic and business environment.1

Government Reform
Reduce legislators’ pay, eliminate legislators’ pensions, and stope the use of taxpayer dollars for their campaigns.

1. The Tooling and Manufacturing Association

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Leading by Example

legislative pensions

“These are part-time jobs. This is public service. Why should legislators build a retirement out of them?”
-Daily Herald, 1/29/11

Leadership by Example, An Agenda of Real Reform, Real Change

Conservative Businessman David McSweeney

Setting the Example

With a base salary of nearly $68,000, Illinois state representatives and senators earn the 5th highest legislator salary in the country.*

“End pensions for Illinois legislators”
-Daily Herald, 1/29/11

“These are part-time jobs. This is public service. Why should legislators build a retirement our of them? At a time when the state budget must take severe cuts, legislative pensions ought to be one of the cuts on the table.”

David McSweeney believes government must start tightening its belt – with legislators leading by example and cutting their own budgets first. McSweeney supports a repsonsible reform agenda that will rein in legislator salaries and end their pensions, beginning with his own.

The McSweeney Reform Agenda:

  • Eliminate legislator pensions
  • Cut legislative salaries by 10%
  • Eliminate wasteful taxpayer funded mailings
  • Cut the administrative budget of the legislature by 10%
  • Prohibit the use of legislative staff for campaign work
  • End special legislative scholarships

“We can’t tell taxpayers to tighten their belts without the legislators setting the example. As your State Representative, I will not accept a pension and I will push for a 10% pay cut. Keep in mind that the legislature is only in session for part of the year.”
-David McSweeney

Real Experience. Real Change.

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