Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part Four

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Tales from the Illinois Exodus–Part Four

Blog­ger in down­town Chicago

By John Ruberry

It was another bad week in Illi­nois, the unhap­pi­est state in the union.

The ward office of Ald. Car­rie Austin, the second-​longest serv­ing mem­ber of the Chicago City Coun­cil, was raided by the FBI on Wednes­day. The irony was thick as Austin, who as appointed to her posi­tion as alder­man of the 34th Ward after the death of her pre­de­ces­sor, her hus­band Lemuel, was attend­ing a press con­fer­ence at a high school in her South Side ward. She beamed as the feds were stuff­ing files in boxes, “Today is a day truly that God has made because he made us the star of the show.”

She’s a star for sure, albeit in a vil­lain­ous role. Also, Austin has been unapolo­getic in regards to nepo­tism out­rages involv­ing her sons.

What about the per­son who has been an alder­man even longer than Austin? That man is Ed Burke of the South­west Side. His ward and City Hall offices were raided by the FBI late last year. Burke was elected alder­man of the 14th Ward 50 years ago in a spe­cial elec­tion after the death of Joseph P. Burke, his father.

Yes, Chicago and ILL-​inois need term limits.

And using elected office as fam­ily jew­els is how Illi­nois rolls. Son replaces father. Wife suc­ceeds hus­band. Some­times a pol, after win­ning a pri­mary elec­tion in a super-​safe dis­trict, chooses not to run in the gen­eral. That’s how Dan Lip­in­ski – who, coin­ci­den­tally was an entrant in the same 3.2 mile race I ran this morn­ing – became Illi­nois’ con­gres­sional rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the Third Dis­trict. Barack Obama’s men­tor in the Illi­nois State Sen­ate was Emil Jones, Jr. He pulled the same stunt – which is why Emil Jones III sits in the same seat his dad did.

As WIND Radio’s Dan Proft likes to say, Illi­nois isn’t bro­ken, it’s fixed.

Only two states have lost pop­u­la­tion for each of the last five years. West Vir­ginia, the vic­tim of Barack Obama’s own Green New Deal, and Illi­nois. And among those leav­ing Illi­nois, at a pace higher than those in other states of course, are retirees col­lect­ing state pen­sions. Jake Grif­fin of the Daily Her­ald reported last week that 70,000 Illi­noisans col­lect­ing state pen­sions are spread­ing their wealth around in other states. How much wealth? Over $2 bil­lion worth. Illi­nois’ oner­ous prop­erty taxes, which are the sec­ond high­est in the nation, are believed to be one of the rea­sons for the Land of Lincoln’s Long Gray Line march­ing out.

But per­haps these pen­sion­ers, who have been closer to the stench that passes for state and local gov­ern­ment here than most peo­ple, have also had enough of the cor­rup­tion and nepo­tism that is endemic here.

If vot­ers approve a pro­posed con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment next year, Illi­nois will drop its flat income tax rate for a grad­u­ated one. The tax hike is said to be needed so the state can attempt – yes, attempt – to pare down its nearly-​worst-​among-​the-​fifty-​states pen­sion debt. Voter rat­i­fi­ca­tion of what the Democ­rats are call­ing the Fair Tax will surely has­ten the Illi­nois Exodus.

Burke was indicted on cor­rup­tion charges six months after his offices were raided.

As the say­ing goes in regards to adver­tis­ing by finan­cial firms, past per­for­mance is not a pre­dic­tor of future results, Still, Austin should be very ner­vous and she may want to ask God not to pay such close atten­tion to her.

Decline and fall.

John Ruberry reg­u­larly blogs at Marathon Pun­dit while he eyes his own Illi­nois Exodus.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

By John Ruberry

It was another bad week in Illinois, the unhappiest state in the union.

The ward office of Ald. Carrie Austin, the second-longest serving member of the Chicago City Council, was raided by the FBI on Wednesday. The irony was thick as Austin, who as appointed to her position as alderman of the 34th Ward after the death of her predecessor, her husband Lemuel, was attending a press conference at a high school in her South Side ward. She beamed as the feds were stuffing files in boxes, “Today is a day truly that God has made because he made us the star of the show.”

She’s a star for sure, albeit in a villainous role. Also, Austin has been unapologetic in regards to nepotism outrages involving her sons.

What about the person who has been an alderman even longer than Austin? That man is Ed Burke of the Southwest Side. His ward and City Hall offices were raided by the FBI late last year. Burke was elected alderman of the 14th Ward 50 years ago in a special election after the death of Joseph P. Burke, his father.

Yes, Chicago and ILL-inois need term limits.

And using elected office as family jewels is how Illinois rolls. Son replaces father. Wife succeeds husband. Sometimes a pol, after winning a primary election in a super-safe district, chooses not to run in the general. That’s how Dan Lipinski–who, coincidentally was an entrant in the same 3.2 mile race I ran this morning–became Illinois’ congressional representative in the Third District. Barack Obama’s mentor in the Illinois State Senate was Emil Jones, Jr. He pulled the same stunt–which is why Emil Jones III sits in the same seat his dad did.

As WIND Radio’s Dan Proft likes to say, Illinois isn’t broken, it’s fixed.

Only two states have lost population for each of the last five years. West Virginia, the victim of Barack Obama’s own Green New Deal, and Illinois. And among those leaving Illinois, at a pace higher than those in other states of course, are retirees collecting state pensions. Jake Griffin of the Daily Herald reported last week that 70,000 Illinoisans collecting state pensions are spreading their wealth around in other states. How much wealth? Over $2 billion worth. Illinois’ onerous property taxes, which are the second highest in the nation, are believed to be one of the reasons for the Land of Lincoln’s Long Gray Line marching out.

But perhaps these pensioners, who have been closer to the stench that passes for state and local government here than most people, have also had enough of the corruption and nepotism that is endemic here.

If voters approve a proposed constitutional amendment next year, Illinois will drop its flat income tax rate for a graduated one. The tax hike is said to be needed so the state can attempt–yes, attempt–to pare down its nearly-worst-among-the-fifty-states pension debt. Voter ratification of what the Democrats are calling the Fair Tax will surely hasten the Illinois Exodus.

Burke was indicted on corruption charges six months after his offices were raided.

As the saying goes in regards to advertising by financial firms, past performance is not a predictor of future results, Still, Austin should be very nervous and she may want to ask God not to pay such close attention to her.

Decline and fall.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit while he eyes his own Illinois Exodus.