Diary

SB600 - - Let People Decide

-By Senator Chris Lauzen, Illinois State Legislature

Corruption, waste, and now an ill-advised, ill-timed 33% income tax increase during a deep and long recession on already struggling typical families have made Illinois a political laughingstock and butt of humor across the country. I have had enough – – I bet you have, too.

On this coming Tuesday at 1 P.M. in the Senate Elections Committee at the State Capitol in Springfield, a defining vote will take place. Nine senators will decide whether we will debate the question in front of the entire State Senate, “Should the power to vote for political party leadership be restored to Illinois Republicans?”

In Senate Bill 600, I insist that every person who votes in a Republican Primary should have the right to select the equivalent of the Board of Directors of the Republican Party. For many decades before 1988, when then-Governor Jim Thompson consolidated his grip on power by removing our right to vote for leaders, Illinois Republicans voted for their leaders. Basically, Illinois Democrats have always retained their right to vote this way.

The sad decline of the Republican Party in Illinois can be traced back to this decision to disconnect our leadership from accountability to voters. The tragicomedy of Andy McKenna (the current chairman of the Republican Party) helping to shove U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald out of public service, the selection of out-of-state Alan Keyes as the Republican nominee to replace him, the uncontested and undisputed meteoric ascension to power of Barack Obama, the Kjellander-Cellini-Hastert-Ryan fundraising and earmark scandals, the unsatisfactory choices for Governor in 2006 between Rod Blagojevich and Judy Baar Topinka, and now impeachment and tax increases in Illinois with historically staggering debt and broken commitments in Washington, D.C. – – all began with the violation of the basic American value of one-person-one-vote in one party in one State on the American Union.

We either believe in the singular principle of “Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed”, “We, the People”, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth” . . . or we don’t.

I refuse to dishonor the sacrifices of my father in World War II, my friends in Korea and Vietnam, and my sons in Iraq and Afghanistan by turning our sacred tradition of self-government to a handful of self-serving, officious, lying, arrogant thugs who enrich themselves and their pals in public office while teaching their children to be lobbyists, rather than soldiers and teachers.

These few and domineering parasites get away with their crimes because we don’t care enough to generate better choices for leaders. We want our right to vote!

If we are going to restore the checks-and-balance of a legitimate two-party system in Illinois, I need your help to call those nine senators who will decide on whether we will broaden and energize our base for more competitive political campaigns.

I say that the same people who are banging the drum for “Special Election, Special Election” for Roland Burris should recognize the irony and hypocrisy of not submitting themselves to that same political discipline of popular election by the people whom they are supposed to serve.

Please call these nine senators and ask them to vote “Yes” on SB600, then call me to let me personally thank you.

Dale Righter …………………..217/235-6033

Maggie Crotty…………………708/687-9696 &

Lou Viverito…………………..708/430-2510

Randy Hultgren……………….630/682-8100

Michael Bond…………………847/752-7004

Terry Link……………………..847/735-8181

Dave Luechtefeld………………618/243-9014

James Meeks……………………708/862-1515

Dan Rutherford………………..815/842-3632

Senator Chris Lauzen
25th District
630/264-2334