Concerning his (Doug House’s) letter to the editor in the July 1 AdVantage News, it is certainly no surprise that the president of the Democratic County Chairmen’s Association would like to blame Gov. Bruce Rauner for the Illinois state government’s budget mess and indicate how prior Republican governors have been willing to compromise to pass budgets.
Of course, we all know how those prior compromises have worked out for us over the years, don’t we? Republican Gov. Jim Edgar compromised by delaying payments into the pension plan but did not reform the structure of the pensions and now the Illinois pension debt is over $100 billion. No legitimate compromise is possible as long as the Democratic legislatures are so beholden to (Speaker of the House) Mike Madigan that they won’t even tie their shoes without first getting his permission. We all know that it is Mike Madigan and the Democratic Party’s incestuous relationship with the public sector unions that has taken us to where we are today.
Where else but in public-sector jobs can an employer be facing bankruptcy and the workers continue to demand and generally receive increased benefits? It is total madness. In private industry, there would be reductions in force and pay cuts trying to keep the business afloat. That is what should be happening across the board in Illinois. Since 2004, Illinois state workers have seen their salaries increased by 41 percent while private-sector worker salaries have remained flat.
It is laughable how the president of the Democratic County Chairmen’s Association is blaming and finger-pointing at Governor Rauner and at the same time makes an appeal to Governor Rauner to stop the blaming and finger-pointing. For good measure, a comparison to Donald Trump is even offered up, thinking Trump’s negatives will reflect on Rauner. However, being a successful businessman and a hardened negotiator might be exactly what this state needs at this point in time.
History has shown what established politicians and “business as usual” have wrought on this once great state and country. “Business as usual” is no longer an acceptable alternative and tax increases without meaningful reform should not be considered.
Perhaps you, like me, enjoyed Fourth of July fireworks celebrating “our God-given right to vote.” However, the March 15 primary inconvenienced many Republican voters, while still others didn’t get to vote. As a Republican candidate, I felt disappointed the three precincts I ran strongest in all ran out of ballots.
Judges stated Saline Precincts 2, 3 and 5 ran out of Republican ballots. Republican judges told me “at Saline 5 we were out of ballots all afternoon ... at Saline 3 we were out of ballots in 3 hours, 15 minutes ... at Saline 2 we were out of ballots a good part of the afternoon and had to stay open until 9 p.m.” One Judge reported “no one answered at the county office when I called.” This is unacceptable and should never happen again.
Afterward, Ms. (Debra) Mendoza, the county clerk, stated: “I wish I could have had a crystal ball to predict that 70,000 people would vote. I know people are upset.”(Source: Belleville News-Democrat, March 16, 2016)
It won’t take a crystal ball to auger how many ballots are needed for this fall. As my dad used to say, use “common sense.” I propose some possible solutions:
Print more ballots than usual: Interpolate the number of ballots needed for the fall based upon the high spring turnout.
Err printing more ballots vs. not enough: Paying the cost for possible excess ballots is better than not having enough. Given the choice, your right to vote should prevail over cost.
Maintain printing personnel at county administration building: Ensure additional ballots are printed as needed.
Employ designated “runners”: Ensure personnel to take ballots immediately to sites.
Ensure phone personnel: Keep open lines of communication to precincts.
Place a red warning sheet in ballots: A red warning reminder sheet would alert judges to order more.
Philip W. Chapman
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