Florida Expat Friend of Roger Keats Reflects on Illinois’ Problems

A Blue Ribbon from the Crook County Fair.

Fourteen people have commented on former State Rep. and State Senator Roger Keats fairwell message to the state as he moved to Texas after running unsuccessfully for Cook County Board.

One of his classmates from Evanston High School, now living in Florida, reflected his views about what needs to happen in Illinois on a comment over the weekend.

The advice of former Illinois resident Lance Stouffer is below some information about his background.

“I live in the Orlando area and own my own industry specific consulting business focused on helping struggling construction equipment dealers through this economic depression, who represent construction equipment manufacturers, such as Caterpillar, Volvo Construction Equipment, Case-New Holland, Doosan and others. While all tell me, manufacturers and dealers alike, they are optimistic about the recovery coming in construction; it will be years before this industry in the USA goes fully back to work.

“I am a registered Republican, but am not active locally.

“While I lived in Wilmette I followed Roger Keats, supported him and we bumped into each other now and again at various events. It has been almost 25 years since I have seen or had any contact with him.

“It was just by accident yesterday, that another Illinois transplant said something at dinner about a Roger Keats moving to Texas and being fed up with Illinois politics. I googled and spotted your blog article and felt compelled to say something.

“Can we all be wrong about Illinois politics??”

Roger Keats

CITIZENS OF ILLINOIS – I have known Roger Keats as a classmate from Evanston High School days in the 60’s to the time he entered state politics in the 1970’s in the northern suburbs as a very bright, personable ‘red headed’ go getter that wanted to change Illinois for the better.

It was impossible not like Roger Keats!

You all know the definition of insanity coined by Albert Einstein….’doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

When applied to Illinois politics some of us have seen this insanity sooner… some later, and Roger Keats has finally got it right.

He tired to make Illinois better, wanted to make Illinois better, and like so many in Illinois still wants you all to wake, smell the coffee and work to get it better. (Don’t think for a second Roger doesn’t want it better for you!….he does!)

Now, I lived in Evanston and Wilmette for over 40 years before moving to Florida in 1990 to start a business.

While living in the idyllic Chicago suburbs at that time, I focused on my career, earning a living, and raising a family.

Then the extras – the Cubs, Blackhawks, Michael Jordans Bulls, beautiful lakefront, Art Institute, museums, Bears, Northwestern, Malnati’s Pizza, Portillos, etc.

At the time, I loved Illinois, the rich diversity of its people, the upstate/downstate mentality, its rich place in history and thought the state generally well run, taxes high, but not as high as New York, and very colorful.

Back then there was always work in Chicago for everyone who wanted to work. The new state income tax at 4% was going to put the entire state on an even stronger footing.

We winked and grinned along with Mike Royko as he watched and told us humorously about all the Chicago political shenanigans from ‘Da Mayor’ to Washington, to Bilandic, to Jayne Byrne, to ‘Da Mayor’s son again, the park district, the sanitary district, toll way authority, cook county, etc..

Back then, all that seemed in order, normal, the way it was, everything trucking along just as it should. We then tuned in our floppy eared black and white TV for Fahey Flynn at 10 pm for more soothing, tongue in check Chicago updates.

Pie getting bigger all the time….Illinois getting smarter and stronger all the time.

After moving to Florida and returning often to the Chicago area over the past 20 years, I have gotten new perspectives each time on the “City that used to Work’ and the State that surely “Doesn’t Work.”

Roger Keats list of problems are the top ones that have manifested themselves in the past decade to save a political system that ‘Doesn’t Work.’

You citizens of Illinois have been subjected to the worst political system outside New York’s infamous Tammany Hall and allowed those that serve you do the greatest disservice and harm to the future of Illinois and its people imaginable.

You all have been in this…winking all along the way!

Roger Keats has just listed the results above. Wake up before you turn into Michigan!

Roger’s sacrifice by leaving is Illinois, believe it or not, YOUR gain, if you understand the message he is politely trying to convey to you.

If you will do something about it. (I wish he’d moved to Florida. He would fit right in here and Can make a difference.)

Most of you in Illinois are still brain washed into thinking everything is normal and AOK, and you in good hands, like Allstate, but look around.

Take a good look.

This economy since 2006 has exposed everything that is bad in our society.

What works and what doesn’t work.

What needs to be changed and what needs to be fixed.

But how?


Take a good look at the score.

The problems you have are all identified.

Changing the mess you are in will take decades of men and woman’s effort a lot smarter than me to fix your stew.

It’s about changing habits.

About changing your attitude.

It’s about changing a Illinois political system that has rolled Abe Lincoln over in his Springfield grave so many times he is in a perpetual spin as we speak.

Carl Sandburg, if alive today, could probably find a ‘painted lady’ in Chicago, but no broad shoulders and not one hog exists probably in the whole state.

Where did the business go that drove the engine?

Where are the mighty corporations of Illinois’s birth?

  • The Illinois Central Railroad-Now owned by the Canadians.
  • The International Stockyards – moved to Omaha.
  • International Harvester – Now owned by Fiat in Italy.
  • Montgomery Ward
  • Carsons
  • Marshall Field
  • Goldblatt’s
  • Weiboldts
  • south side steel mills
  • Old Chicago Beer

and many more all gone all together.

Caterpillar would like to move out of Illinois today, as you are putting the tax squeeze on them, but they have just swallowed the Governors’ ‘chill pill’ fix on their taxes. (Quinn is not that dumb to let them slide away!)

However, that won’t keep them from moving from Illinois.

Probably to Texas!

It’s just a Band Aid on the problem of Illinois government. Just wait!

Now, if you still believe your elected officials have done a great job for the State of Illinois in its totality to date, your are part of the problem…continually fostering the illusion that you can afford the political mess you are paying for. The mess these guys and gals have put you in in the last decades.

The dividend of HHD (Hopelessness, Helplessness and Despair) foisted on you Citizens of Illinois.

Are you waiting for the next big political fix to make everything right?

The political silver bullet?

The ghost of Paul Powell and his ‘shoebox’ is what you are worshiping.

Can the kool aid cocktail solution be far behind? One sip and you won’t have to worry about Illinois’s problems anymore.

To start with, adopt this as the new state motto:


All it takes is a first step you Citizens of Illinois!


Florida Expat Friend of Roger Keats Reflects on Illinois’ Problems — 5 Comments

  1. I’m a Florida ex-pat, too. Lived in Evanston, too. Graduated high school from ETHS, too.

    And moved to McHenry County in 1980 to escape Crook County Politics, considered McHenry County my home.

    In 2010, after having had enough of corrupt Illinois Democrats and the crooks running the state, I moved to Florida.

    I “voted with my feet” as they say, just as many in Eastern Europe did before the Soviet Union imposed the “iron curtain” to contain the exodus.

    The financial situation in Illinois is grave.

    Illinois (says the Illinois State Bar Association’ and ABA) is fighting ex-pat residency of high wage earners, in order to retain their income taxes. Illinois is try claiming the income taxes of people who leave Illinois using any flimsy pretext they can find.

    Like their Soviet Union/Communist cousins, today’s progressives and IL Democrats. deep down, abhor liberty.

    The Constitution prohibits Illinois from forbidding people from leaving – so look for the state to do whatever they can to “stem the flow” of other people “voting with their feet,” or to otherwise retain the dollars these people will not longer be paying to Illinois.

    Trying to challenge residency in order to tax “rich” ex-pats is just the opening gambit.

    There’s a real, understandable, reason that Illinois is losing population to the sunbelt – and congressional representation.


  2. And, the online dictionary agrees with you, citizen editor.


  3. Damn all those irish buttholes.

    Am really tired of the mess all those greedy, backwards white folks have made of my home state.

    The irish politicians (dems in the city, repubs in the burbs and downstate; they’re all the same) rape the state for all it’s worth, then blame the poor folks (who, of course, have no power to control anything anyway).

    Then, they take all their money and run.

    Only now they’re running to another state.

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