With Topinka Gone, How Will Illinois Replace its Comptroller?

-By Warner Todd Huston

With the passing of Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, the state is faced with a bit of a dilemma. How should she be replaced?

After a lifetime of service to the state, Topinka passed away at the age of 70 from the effects of a stroke suffered last week. She was serving her second term as state comptroller to which she was just re-elected this year.

But her passing comes at an inconvenient time for state government as the current governor has only a month to go in his final term and the next governor is from the opposing party.
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With Topinka Gone, How Will Illinois Replace its Comptroller?”

Even in Blue Illinois the GOP Wave of 2014 Had an Impact, But The State is STILL A Major Failure

-By Warner Todd Huston

The Republicans bumped up their gains in the Senate and the House of Representatives and also gained in Governor’s mansions across the nation and even deep, deep blue Illinois was affected by this GOP wave. But even with these few bright spots, Illinois is the worst state in the union on every level.

But, yes, last night there were some bright spots. First of all, two Democrats lost their seats in the House of Representatives.

In the 10th District over in Lake County, Robert Dold re-took the seat he lost in 2012 when Democrat Brad Schneider knocked him out. Schneider rode Obama’s coat tails into the House in the big 2012 Democrat sweep.

Dold endured a vicious campaign full of lies launched by Schneider and the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee. The Democrats claimed Dold was a “Tea Party” extremist and a major anti-abortion activist and neither are true.

But the shocker was the 12th District race where State Rep, Mike Bost just slammed Democrat incumbent Bill Enyart by a wide margin. I don’t think anyone had this major upset on their radar here in Illinois. Enyart only got one term and was ushered into office in 2012 along with the 10th District’s Schneider.

But the biggest upset is the race for Governor in the Land of Lincoln.
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Even in Blue Illinois the GOP Wave of 2014 Had an Impact, But The State is STILL A Major Failure”

How Much Did Illinois Spend on Misspelled No Littering Signs?

-By Warner Todd Huston

Illinois is in such bad shape it can’t even produce no littering signs that are properly spelled, it appears.

Friend to the blog John Ruberry of the wonderful MarathonPundit blog was on a trip through the state when he spotted a no littering sign that read: “Please Don,t Liter.”

Apparently the workers in the sign department in the State of Illinois don’t know the difference between a coma and an apostrophe, nor, apparently, what a contraction is. And spelling? What is with this ‘liter’ business? Are Illinois sign makers saying we should not use the metric system here?

This says an awful lot about Illinois schools, doesn’t it?
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How Much Did Illinois Spend on Misspelled No Littering Signs?”

Food Stamp Sign-ups in Obama’s Illinois Larger Than State’s Job Growth

-By Warner Todd Huston

Obama’s home state of Illinois is struggling to break the Great Recession. A perfect example of this is seen in a recent report that shows that applications for food stamps in the Land of Lincoln is greater than its creation of jobs.

Illinois has had the worst recovery from the recession of any state in the country, the Illinois Policy Institute reported this month. “There are nearly 300,000 fewer Illinoisans working today than in January 2008, and 170,000 fewer payroll jobs. ”

“For every post-recession job created in Illinois, nearly two people have enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps,” the Institute wrote. “In the recession era, the number of Illinoisans dependent on food stamps has risen by 745,000.”
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Food Stamp Sign-ups in Obama’s Illinois Larger Than State’s Job Growth”

Illinois Worst Again With Highest Home Foreclosure Rate in Nation

-By Warner Todd Huston

A website that tracks bank foreclosures on homes across the nation finds that Barack Obama’s Illinois has once again become the worst state in the country for people losing their homes.

Bankrate.com reports that one in ever 747 homes have received a foreclosure notice in the Land of Lincoln. By comparison, the national average in one in every 1,203 homes.
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Illinois Worst Again With Highest Home Foreclosure Rate in Nation”

Illinois a ‘Sinkhole State’: Rates Second Worst for Liability Per Taxpayer

-By Warner Todd Huston

Obama’s Illinois perennially ranks at the very bottom of every statistic that marks a successful state and a new report on America’s “sinkhole states” finds that Illinois again ranks at the very bottom this time for how much state debt each citizen is saddled with.

The statistics gathered by the excellent Chicago-based budget watchdog group Truth In Accounting calculated how much state debt–obligations like pensions, healthcare plans for retirees, etc–each citizen would have to pay to retire the debt in a lump sum.

The group has dubbed the worst states as “America’s Sinkhole States.”

Truth In Accounting found that Connecticut is the worst state in the union with each citizens owing 48 thousand dollars per citizen to retire the debt. But coming in a close second is the state of Illinois with a whopping 43 thousand dollars per citizen in debt.
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Illinois a ‘Sinkhole State’: Rates Second Worst for Liability Per Taxpayer”

Despite What Quinn Claims, Illinois Leads In Job Loss

-By Warner Todd Huston

On Monday the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, contrary to Governor Quinn’s rosy statements, Illinois has lost jobs over the last year. In fact job numbers are worse than they’ve been in 35 years.

Earlier in August, as he stumped for re-election, Gov. Quinn made a big show of the fact that unemployment has fallen in the Land of Lincoln. The federal government reported that the unemployment rate fell to 6.8 percent, the lowest level since August of 2008 when it was 6.7 percent.

Announcing the news, Quinn said, “Putting people back to work is my number one priority. There are more people working now than when I took office and today’s good news shows that we are headed in the right direction.”
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Despite What Quinn Claims, Illinois Leads In Job Loss”

Worst American Governor Pat Quinn Urges Obama to Bring all Illegals to Illinois

-By Warner Todd Huston

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has a great idea. He wants Obama to bring all the illegals to Illinois! In a state that sits at the bottom of every metric that makes a successful state–rampant unemployment, lowest job creation, highest debt, biggest pension crisis, worst business climate–Pat Quinn wants to import thousands of people who have no jobs and no prospects for one, people with no education, and people possibly full of diseases right here to the Land of Lincoln.

On Friday evening after the news day was done, Quinn announced that he is prepared to give as many illegals as Obama can spare a place to stay in Illinois.

During the announcement, Quinn spokesman Grant Klintzman said, “If a location is needed we are prepared to aid the federal government in finding a suitable one.”
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Worst American Governor Pat Quinn Urges Obama to Bring all Illegals to Illinois”

Illinois Worst in Midwest for Private Sector Job Creation

-By Warner Todd Huston

I have been chronicling all the major failures of the once great state of Illinois and this week we have yet another one. A new tabulation of private sector job creation finds that Illinois created a dismal 500 non-government jobs in 2013 making it the single worst state in the Midwest and almost the worst in the country (again).

The Illinois Policy Institute put out its jobs report card recently and found Illinois to be one of the worst of the worst. It was the worst of the Midwestern region and the second worst in the whole country.
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Illinois Worst in Midwest for Private Sector Job Creation”

Pat Quinn’s Major Loss Over Forced Healthcare Worker Unionization

-By Warner Todd Huston

Several years ago the Governor of Illinois decided with a fiat decision to hand his union buddies millions of free taxpayer dollars by suddenly forcing all private in-home healthcare workers to be unionized without their knowledge or approval. Today the U.S. Supreme Court said that Illinois was not allowed to do this.

The year was 2003 and Democrat Rod Blagojevich–who later went to jail for corruption–was the governor who decided that all Illinois citizens who get a stipend from the state to help them take care of their mentally and/or physically disabled family member must be unionized.
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Pat Quinn’s Major Loss Over Forced Healthcare Worker Unionization”

Illinois One of the Worst GDP Growth in Entire Midwest

-By Warner Todd Huston

Illinois has earned its spot as the state with the worst GDP in the entire Midwest. So, once again we find that Illinois turns out to be one of the worst states in the country for nearly any and every metric that makes a successful state.

Michael Lucci of the Illinois Policy Institute pointed out in a recent blog post that Illinois ranks only above Missouri as the worst for GDP growth among the 12 Midwestern states in the survey.

“Illinois recorded the second-worst growth in gross domestic product of any state in the Midwest,” Lucci wrote, “according to this week’s release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Illinois economy grew by just 0.9 percent in 2013. Only Missouri grew slower, at a sluggish 0.8 percent.”
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Illinois One of the Worst GDP Growth in Entire Midwest”

Bankrupt Illinois Spent $12 Million on Medicaid for Dead People

-By Warner Todd Huston

Illinois is constantly at the bottom in every metric that measures our most successful states. It is perennially either the 48th, 49th, or 50th worst state in every category. And now we learn that the state is spending up to $12 million a year that it doesn’t have on Medicaid for people who are dead! Can this state become more of a joke?

The Associated Press recently filed a Freedom of Information Act request and uncovered a disturbing memo from the Illinois state auditor.

“State auditors identified overpayments for services to roughly 2,900 people after the date of their deaths,” the AP wrote.

This was more evidence that Obama’s claims that Democrats are fixing the Medicaid enrollment system is a failure.
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Bankrupt Illinois Spent $12 Million on Medicaid for Dead People”

Obama Library Starts Off With $100 Million in Corruption in Chicago

-By Warner Todd Huston

Why is it not a surprise that the first moves to make Chicago the home of the Barack Hussein Obama Presidential Library are born in corruption? But I suppose it is a fitting way to start a library for one of the biggest failure and most corrupt politicians ever to sit in the White House.

In the most bankrupt state in the union the Illinois Democrat Party floated the idea of using $100 million in taxpayer dollars to set up the BO Library and the way they went about it all was 100 percent corruption.

Illinois Democrats are desperate to have Chicago named as the site of the Obama Presidential Library, so desperate they pulled a sneaky “off-site” vote to spend $100 million in tax dollars on its construction. But the underhanded vote and the unfunded expenditure of millions the state doesn’t have had Democrats running for cover after politicians, the media, and the voters erupted in criticism of the move.

The snap decision to throw $100 million tax dollars at a project that isn’t even assured came in for heavy criticism in a state that has one of the worst budget overruns in the country. But the way the decision was made and the many conflicts of interest involved in the campaigning for the library also raised eyebrows all across the state.

One such conflict is that the woman who heads the Illinois Arts Council Agency is the wife of the Speaker of the Illinois House, Democrat Michael Madigan. Shirley Madigan expects to have a big role in the planning and construction of an Obama Presidential Library, a project of which her politician husband is a big booster.
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Obama Library Starts Off With $100 Million in Corruption in Chicago”

Illinois Wins Again: Worst Unemployment Record in USA

-By Warner Todd Huston

Illinois continues to rack up plaudits as one of the worst states in the entire country for every measure that makes a successful state. Bad bond ratings, among the highest for people moving away from her, worst pension messes, crummy education, etc. And now, Illinois has won the booby prize as the single worst state in the union for its unemployment track record. Yaaaa, Illinois.

At 9 percent unemployment, Illinois now has the worst unemployment rate of every state around it in the Midwest. But even worse for the Land of Sinkin’–er, I mean Land of Lincoln–the state has the worst downward trends in employment for the whole country. Illinois’ unemployment rate has gone up more times than its gone down and that is the worst record in the whole country over the last five years.

As the Illinois Policy Institute recently noted, “Illinois’ recovery from the Great Recession has been hindered by self-inflicted wounds. After the 2011 tax hikes, the Illinois jobless rate jumped from 9.4 percent to 10.2 percent. The US average declined in the same period.”
Meanwhile, in the surrounding Midwestern state, every state but Illinois has had a downward trend for unemployment by about an average of some 2 percent. And yet, Democrat controlled Illinois has seen unemployment go up and up.
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Illinois Wins Again: Worst Unemployment Record in USA”

Four More Years: Pat Quinn Wins 2014 Illinois Governor Race

The Illinois Democratic Machine would like to congratulate Governor Pat Quinn on his 2014 re-election!

And a special thanks goes to Illinois Republicans for making it possible! Their support of our pension plan helped the Governor seem like a reformer instead of just kicking the can.

You know, it’s a funny story… Democrats control Illinois, so we were getting hammered for not fixing the pension crisis.

To avoid getting blamed, we hatched a plan: repackage old ideas, call them “reform”, and the Republicans do the rest. They took the bait and let us off the hook. (No joke, it was really that easy.)

So here’s a toast to Illinois Republicans–for passing a a pension bill that does nothing but give us another four years.

Video courtesy of Da Machine.

Illinois Gov. to Make it Easier for Convicts to Get State Jobs

-By Warner Todd Huston

It’s Illinois, so naturally our accidental Governor had to figure out a way to make it easier for convicted felons to get a state job. After all, what would half of the state’s politicians do after they got out of prison? Live off the millions they stole from the government before their trial? Sheyeah, like that will last forever!

So, coming to the rescue is Illinois Governor Pat Quinn who may be about to issue an administrative order eliminating one particular little check box that appears on applications for state jobs. It is the box that demands that applicants inform the state whether or not they have been convicted of a crime or pleaded guilty to one.

Quinn is under the microscope of a group called the Worker’s Center for Racial Justice, a group pushing a campaign to urge the Illinois Governor to “ban the box,” and eliminate the self-reporting requirement on job applications. Quinn has promised that in the next few weeks he will acquiesce to the activist group’s demands.
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Illinois Gov. to Make it Easier for Convicts to Get State Jobs”

Mercatus: Illinois Ranks in Bottom Among The Least Free States in the Nation

-By Warner Todd Huston

One can’t be surprised that Obama’s home state of Illinois is one of the worst five states in the nation–like it is for most other things–in the Mercatus Center’s study of the level of freedom in each state. Naturally Illinois ranks close to the bottom of the most free states.

This is unsurprising since Illinois is situated at the bottom of all states in several different categories of what makes a successful state.

In this new Mercatus survey, Illinois has slipped two spots since last time now ranking as the 45th state on that evolving scale.

Here is how Mercatus has it…

Analysis of Ranking

Illinois is one of the least free states to live in from the perspective of regulatory policy and personal freedom, but on fiscal policy it ranks in the middle of the pack. However, there are still some fiscal issues in dire need of improvement.

Illinois’s tax burden is dead-center average, while government spending and employment are below average. Government spending has been increasing over time, however, and certain categories, such as employee retirement, are way out of line with national norms. The main fiscal problem is debt: state and local debt make up 25.1 percent of personal income.
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Mercatus: Illinois Ranks in Bottom Among The Least Free States in the Nation”

Illinois Tops Nation in Growth of Food Stamp Recipients

-By Warner Todd Huston

President Obama’s home state of Illinois has gained a new distinction: it tops the nation in the growth of the number of its citizens on food stamps.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 15.7 percent of the Land of Lincoln’s population are now enrolled in the food stamp program.

As Joe Schoffstall points out: “The USDA’s latest data shows 2,023,635 Illinoisans were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in February 2013. In February of 2012, 1,831,898 people took part in the program. That’s an increase of 10.5 percent in just one year.”

Schoffstall further notes that, “Illinois was the only state to see a double-digit increase of the number of residents enrolled in the SNAP program from the same time period last year.”

This should come as no surprise. Illinois consistently ranks in with the bottom worst states in nearly every metric used to measure a successful state.
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Illinois Tops Nation in Growth of Food Stamp Recipients”

All Other Problems Solved, Chicago Democrats’ New Law Worried About Dogs Behind the Wheel

-By Warner Todd Huston

Having apparently solved all of the other debilitating problems Illinois is facing, Chicago Democrats have now turned their considered attention to making sure dog owners don’t let their puppies get behind the wheel of an automobile.

This important bill (HB1581) amends the Illinois vehicle code to ban drivers from putting their pooch on their laps as they drive. Presumably the Democrats understand it is the humans that are doing the driving, not the dogs–but we may need to launch a second legislative campaign to clarify that.

As Chicago-based Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill, Rep. Bully Burke, says, “Because I travel, I can’t help but observe the number of people with dogs on their laps.” And so, ol’ Billy is out to correct this egregious public safety issue. He’s all about solving the puppy-distracted driver issue.

This is a vital issue, to be sure.

Why? Well, it’s obvious that Illinois Democrats have solved every other nagging issue in the Land of Lincoln, right?
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All Other Problems Solved, Chicago Democrats’ New Law Worried About Dogs Behind the Wheel”

Illinois Passes Drivers Licenses for Illegal Immigrants

-By Warner Todd Huston

After a vote on January 8, Illinois is set to join only two other states, New Mexico and Washington, to allow illegal immigrants to apply for state drivers licenses. A third state, Utah, allows illegals to drive on temporary permits.

The 65-46 vote where 11 Republicans, some in leadership positions, joined Democrats to extend legal licenses came after a long, heated debate (SB 957).

Conservative activist William J. Kelly criticized the law.

“This kind of legislation has spurred a serious fraud problem in New Mexico and other states where it has been enacted,” Kelly wrote in the State Journal-Register. “Papers have been forged, auto repair shops have been regularly listed as places of residence, and more illegal driver’s licenses schemes have caused headaches for law enforcement as foreigners from other countries come to the state to fraudulently receive a U.S. driver’s license.”

Indeed, New Mexico’s Governor has been fighting to repeal her state’s licenses for illegals law.
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Illinois Passes Drivers Licenses for Illegal Immigrants”

Magnum TI and the Case of Illinois’ Fiscal Crisis

It’s been a tough year, 2012. This state economy is in the tank. It’s got something to do with that income tax hike from a year ago: 67%. A ball and a chain for a guy like me. The boys in Springfield said it’d be temporary, that it’d expire in 2015, but I’m betting otherwise—they need taxpayers to bankroll their gold plated pensions.

It’s a hell of a gig, these pensions.The cats meow. Put in your due as a public servant and you’re retired early, living on easy street. Meanwhile, I just had to lay off my secretary Susie. It’s too bad, she does good work. But we can’t all put it on taxpayer tab, keep kicking the can down the road. And that’s all you’re gonna get from Springfield: a bait and switch, smoke and mirrors.You want real solutions? Voters better make some changes this November, starting with the big cheese at top: Speaker of the House Mike Madigan.

He’s been Speaker for three decades, he’s got more power than Mike Tyson’s left hook. The income tax hike, pension policy—nothing gets passed him without his 10-4. And voters have taken notice. Now, I’ve looked at it two ways to Tuesday and there’s no chance in voting the big cheese out of office. But listen up, if we knock out enough Springfield Democrats—six by my count—he’ll lose his leadership role and he’ll no longer be speaking for you and me. Sounds pretty nice, eh? Just remember, vote out the Springfield Democrats and this case will be closed.

Courtesy of http://www.taxpayersunited.org

Illinois’ Quinn Gets ‘F’ in U.S. Governors Fiscal Report Card

-By Warner Todd Huston

Illinois ranks at the bottom of the nation in nearly every single category of rankings of successful states and now the Land of Lincoln can rack up yet another great failure. Illinois’ Governor, Pat Quinn, has received the grade of “F” in a new “fiscal report card” of the 50 states’ fiscal health.

Congratulations once again, Illinois. Your almost unbroken record of failure goes practically unchallenged. You are pretty much the worst of the worst in all of the country.

Oh, happy days.

So, once again Illinois rates at the bottom of the pile with a governor that gets a well-deserved failing grade. This time joined Quinn is joined at the bottom by four other guvs. Chris Gregoire (Washington State), Neil Abercrombie (Hawaii), Mark Dayton (Minnesota), and Dan Malloy (Connecticut), each received the grade of “F” for their monumental failure as their state’s chief executive.
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Illinois’ Quinn Gets ‘F’ in U.S. Governors Fiscal Report Card”

Ill. Gov. Quinn Bestows Award at Pro-Abortion Group Event

-By Warner Todd Huston

Steven Ertelt reports that Illinois’ Democrat Governor Pat Quinn has come under fire by the state’s Catholic bishops for agreeing to present a leadership award to a pro-abortion group.

Quinn will present the award at a Nov. 17 event being held by Personal PAC, a pro-abortion activist group that supports pro-abortion candidates in Illinois.

Naturally, this pro-abortion group gave $5,000 to Quinn’s reelection campaign in 2010.
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Ill. Gov. Quinn Bestows Award at Pro-Abortion Group Event”

Gov. Quinn Appoints Muslim Linked to Terror Groups to State Advisory Council

-By Warner Todd Huston

(Apologies, but we had a server switch yesterday and we lost the whole day’s worth of posts.)

Recently Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced the formation of the Illinois Muslim American Advisory Council, a group that will somehow “ensure” that Muslim American concerns are taken into account in state government. Among those appointed by the Governor to this board is ISNA Secretary-General Safaa Zarzour, a man who has been linked to organizations that fund Islamist terrorism.

Zarzour is known as a supporter and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group well known for pushing extremist Islamism and for funding terror throughout the world.

As a site that tracks the murderous efforts of the Muslim Brotherhood notes, Zarzour was an official in a Chicago-area Mosque that donated thousands to several terror groups.
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Gov. Quinn Appoints Muslim Linked to Terror Groups to State Advisory Council”

Reform Illinois Pensions Now!

-By Warner Todd Huston

Springfield must reform pensions now or our children will pay.

According to Illinois Is Broke, “The 30-second spots, in English and Spanish, will begin airing on Tuesday, October 18th and are scheduled to run through the veto sessions, which begin October 25th. The television campaign will be supplemented with a billboard, print and radio campaign, timed to coincide with the legislative sessions. In addition to nightly newscasts, the spots will run during sporting events, and programming such as 60 Minutes.”

Connect with Illinis is Broke on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/IllinoisIsBroke

Follow them on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/IllinoisIsBroke
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Reform Illinois Pensions Now!”

Bad News For Illinois Teachers: Illinois is Broke and You Might Not Get Your Pension!

The unions and the Democrats are lying to you, teachers.

In Illinois we have a $140 billion retirement pension deficit for teachers, folks. Don’t let the unions lie to you all the way until you decide to retire only to find out you lost everything.

And you police, firemen, and other state employees… don’t think you are better off than the teachers. You aren’t.

Illinois Government Continues War Against Religion

-By Warner Todd Huston

In the first week of August the Thomas Moore Society filed an emergency injunction to prevent the State of Illinois from taking away the foster children that are currently under Catholic Charities’ care during the appeal currently underway.

Shockingly, the government of the State of Illinois has determined that religious people are ill-suited to being allowed to be foster parents for at risk children to to help place such children in safe and loving homes. And so, in his infinite wisdom, Governor Pat Quinn and his irreligious cohorts want to make it illegal for groups such as Catholic Charities to deal with child services.

The state has decided that Catholic Charities and other religious-based organizations that deal with children should not be allowed to observe their own religious principles in the doing. In other words, the State of Illinois is refusing to allow these Christians to follow their freedom of religion.
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Illinois Government Continues War Against Religion”

Illinois Budget Deficit: Worst of the Worst

-By Warner Todd Huston

Illinois ended 2010 as the most indebted state in the union. Sadly, not a thing has been done so far in 2011 to make it better. Instead, it will get worse.

As State House News reports, the state rings in at number 50 in the nation’s most broke states.

Illinois owed $37.9 billion more than all of its assets combined, including cash, investments and property, as of July 1, 2010, according to a recent statewide financial audit by the Illinois Auditor General William Holland and Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.

So far and just like the states unpaid vendors, even taxpayers expecting refunds got stiffed because the state somehow forgot to put $1.4 billion in the refund fund for taxpayers that overpaid their taxes. Now those awaiting refunds will have to wait.
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Illinois Budget Deficit: Worst of the Worst”

Quinn’s Big Cuts Amount to a Mere $8 Per Citizen

From the Illinois Policy Institute…

Over the past week, there has been a lot of news coverage of the line item vetos Gov. Quinn made before signing the budget. Many have mischaracterized this budget as one that is austere.

As we’ve said before that is not the case and these additional “cuts” the governor made don’t change that assessment.

The cuts are minimal at best. The actual cuts equate to only $8 per person and still are not enough to allow for the scheduled sunset of the tax hikes.

To learn more, check out the latest in our portfolio of budget work.
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Quinn’s Big Cuts Amount to a Mere $8 Per Citizen”

Illinois So Broke They Want to Sell Ads on License Plates

-By Warner Todd Huston

You know things are bad when governments start selling things they “own.” The latest is the state of Illinois so over spent and in a budgetary hole that authorities are floating the idea of selling advertising space on its auto license plates.

The Democrat led general assembly has given the Secretary of State’s office a directive to begin researching the pros and cons of “corporate plates,” or sponsors for license plates (SB1360). The hope is that more money will be brought into the treasury and, perhaps, the state won’t have to raise taxes… as much.
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Illinois So Broke They Want to Sell Ads on License Plates”