Friday, July 16, 2004

Updated July 16, 1:30 pm

Republican legislators stabbed in the back by Dillard, suggests Chris Lauzen

State Senator Chris Lauzen and Rich Miller on Kirk Dillard:

Rich Miller, writing in today's Capitolfax, states that State Senator and potential Republican U. S. Senate Candidate Kirk Dillard has "conservative credentials without scaring anyone."

But, reading the below item, it sounds like State Senator Chris Lauzen could be upset if not "scared," by Dillard's U. S. Senate candidacy and Lauzen has conservative credentials, too.

From an April 15, 2003 posting by State Senator Chris Lauzen on his web site:

...One of the very few exceptions to this rule of a 30-vote “simple majority” is authorization to borrow money, which requires 3/5ths of the Senate or 36 votes. Governor Blagojevich and Democratic majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly want to borrow $10,000,000,000 to refinance a portion of the state pensions’ unfunded liability. This action will cost every man, woman and child in Illinois approximately $4000 (!) over the next 25 years.

In a way, this is like taking out a mortgage on your home to invest in the stock and bond markets. Proponents speculate that the government will make 8% or more over the next 25 years on these investments. If they do, there will be a $1.9 Billion benefit to state citizens. If they don’t, we will lose the savings and this scheme will be looked upon several years from now as just a new, unusually sophisticated and expensive way to raid the pension plans to balance a current budget. Politically-connected investment bankers are already lining up for the cornucopia of $50 million in fees to float the bonds.
Everyone recognized that Democrats needed only 3 votes to pass this doubling of the state’s general obligation debt. Called “plain ol’ defecit financing” by Claire Cohen, a bond analyst with Fitch Investors Service in New York, this is the largest debt issue by any state in U.S. history.

Cynical insiders calculated that they would merely “peel off” several votes with a promise of a road here or a bridge there. But, those of us who have watched with pride and awe for the past 10 years as Republican senators worked as a team to protect Illinois citizens from tax increases, disincentives to job creation, and destructive social policies bet that fiscal responsibility would prevail. Honorable men and women recognize that the important needs of the many outweigh the selfish wants of a few.

Behind closed doors every single Republican senator gave his or her solemn word of commitment to fellow colleagues. Not one of us would vote for the bond issue until all of us were convinced that it was the right thing for all of our constituents back home. The only way any of us had any influence was if we all stuck together. In ten years of work in the Senate, I had never seen a Republican colleague break his word.
Poor judgment and poor political training in the House led Rick “Bull” Winkel to collapse under ordinary pressure of threats to the University of Illinois budget. When he caved in, Kirk Dillard from Hinsdale used it as an excuse saying, “Now that Rick has gone over, everything has changed.” Nothing had changed. Kirk obviously faces less political challenge in his “safe” Republican district than practically any Illinois senator.

To explain the incongruous behavior, some folks in the Senate think that Kirk was still bitterly disappointed that he had not been elected Minority Leader despite having two former governors [Thompson/Edgar] and the current Senate president calling for him. Perhaps this was his revenge. Some believe that Kirk is merely practicing typical, old-time politics. “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” However, there are plenty of people who are sick and tired of Republicans voting like Democrats. We were told over the past four years that we needed to back up George Ryan, and you can see what Illinois voters thought of that.
I realize that no one has died over this. However, the work of 22 loyal Republican senators has now been marginalized for the next two years by the treachery of four. The Four say that they received nothing for their vote. Do they think that we’re really that naive? If giving their word was not enough bond, why should any of these be trusted in the future? What made them think that their individual intelligence exceeds the collective wisdom of our entire caucus?

One person lamented, “These guys are either egomaniacs, naive fools, political prostitutes, or just plain traitors. Every single loyal Senate Republican was stabbed in the back.”
From an April 15, 2003 posting by State Senator Chris Lauzen on his site at