Republican Governors Assocation Targeting Illinois

The evidence?

Take a look at the contents of an email received this week:

Rep Gov's Assoc mastheadRunning Scared: Why Illinois Big Labor Is So Worried

“Reports are coming from Illinois over the holidays that government union bosses and the Democratic Governors Association plan to spend millions trying to influence the Illinois Republican gubernatorial primary election, which is an outrageous act of despair. Rather than attempt to subvert the democratic process by meddling in the GOP primary, Pat Quinn and his allies should be willing to defend his record in the general election. Pat Quinn, the DGA and government union bosses should explain to Illinoisans why he lied about his plans to raise taxes by 67% – and is now eyeing another tax grab; why Illinois remains mired with sky-high unemployment; and why Illinois’ credit rating is still among the worst in the country, and remains so even after his so-called pension reform – which, funny enough, the union bosses claim to hate.” – Gail Gitcho, RGA Communications Director

 Scared To Death: Big Labor Looking To Play In Republican Primary

 “. . . Organized Labor Is Moving Ever Closer To Jumping Into This [Illinois Republican] Primary Battle. . .”  (Rich Miller, “Unions Gearing Up While Rauner Lays The Groundwork,” Capitol Blog, 12/13/13)

 But Why Are The DGA and Government Union Bosses So Scared? Because They May Be “Forced To Spend Tens Of Millions” More Defending Governor Pat Quinn In The Fall

“The Idea . . . Is To Spend A Relative Few Million Bucks Attacking . . . In The Primary Rather Than Being Forced To Spend Tens Of Millions . . . In The Fall.”  (Rich Miller, “Unions Gearing Up While Rauner Lays The Groundwork,” Capitol Blog, 12/13/13)

Because Quinn’s Poll Numbers Are Atrocious

Liberal Polling Group – Public Policy Polling – Found Quinn’s Approval Rating At 34%. “In PPP’s latest poll, [Quinn]has a 34-60 approval spread.”  (Press Release, “Quinn’s Numbers Up But Still In Perilous Shape,” Public Policy Polling, 11/26/13)

One Of The Most Unpopular Governors In The Country. “Only 34% of voters approve of the job Quinn is doing compared to 60% who disapprove, tying him for the third most unpopular governor in the country.”  (Press Release, “Illinois Governor’s Race Looks Like A Toss Up,” Public Policy Polling, 11/26/13)

Because Campaigning For Governor, Quinn Vowed To Veto 67% Income Tax Hike

During Pat Quinn’s 2010 Reelection Race, His Budget Director Told Bloomberg News That They Would Probably Increase Illinois’ Income Tax From 3 Percent To 5 Percent In January 2011, A 67% Increase. “Illinois, which is in its worst financial position ever, will raise the income-tax rate in January to address its deficit, Governor Pat Quinn’s budget director said. Lawmakers will likely increase the personal tax to 5 percent from 3 percent, generating $6 billion of new revenue, the budget director, David Vaught, said in an interview. The legislature failed to address the deficit this year because of the pending November election, he said.”  (Darrell Preston, “Illinois Will Probably Raise Income-Tax Rate To 5%, Budget Director Says,” Bloomberg News, 7/28/10)

Quinn Quickly Denied That He Supported The 67% Tax Increase, And Vowed That He Would Veto Any Attempt To Raise The State’s Income Tax Rate Above 4%. “At a July 29 news conference, Quinn denied a published report claiming he planned to raise the state’s income tax by 2 percentage points. A 1 percent increase, Quinn said then, ‘is all that I propose and all that I support,’ an audibly irritated Quinn said. ‘I’m going to veto anything that’s not my plan.’”  (Mike Riopell and Kerry Lester, Quinn Reneges On Vow To Veto 5% Tax,” Chicago Daily Herald, 1/12/11)

 Because Once Elected, Quinn Raised Income Taxes By 67%

After He Was Reelected, Quinn Broke His Promise, Raised Illinois’ Income Tax Rate To 5%. “On the campaign trail, Gov. Pat Quinn told voters he’d veto any income tax hike that would raise Illinois’ rate over 4 percent. But Wednesday Quinn said he’ll sign into law a plan to raise the rate by 2 percentage points, to 5 percent. That’ll raise individual income taxes by 66 percent, compared to the 33 percent he said was his limit. The taxes on businesses also will increase – from 4.8 percent to 7 percent.  (Mike Riopell and Kerry Lester, “Despite Campaign Promise, Quinn Will Sign Tax Increase,” Chicago Daily Herald, 1/12/11)

“If State Taxes Would Have Cost You $2,000 Annually Under The Old Rate Structure, It’s Likely Your Bill Will Now Jump To About $3,300.”  (Bob Sector, “State’s Gain Is Your Pain,” Chicago Tribune, 1/13/11)

“With Personal Tax Rates Rising 67 Percent, The Amount You Owe Will Rise By Roughly That Same Amount As Well.”  (Bob Sector, “State’s Gain Is Your Pain,” Chicago Tribune, 1/13/11)

 Because The Impact Of The Income Tax Hike On The Elderly Is Disproportionate

“For A Senior Citizen With A Base Income Of $25,000, The Annual Bill Would Grow From $660 To $1,100.”  (Bob Sector, “State’s Gain Is Your Pain,” Chicago Tribune, 1/13/11)

 Because Illinoisians Have Had It Rough Enough With One Of The Highest Unemployment Rates In The Country

With An Unemployment Rate Of 8.7% In November, Only Two States And One U.S. Territory Had Higher Unemployment Rates.  (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau Of Labor Statistics Website)

 Because Illinois’ Credit Rating Is Among The Worst In The Country

During Pat Quinn’s Tenure As Governor, Illinois’ Credit Rating Has Sunk To The Lowest Of All 50 States. “Illinois fell to the bottom of all 50 states in the rankings of a major credit ratings agency Friday following the failure of Gov. Pat Quinn and lawmakers to fix the state’s hemorrhaging pension system during this month’s lame-duck session.”  (Ray Long and Monique Garcia, “Illinois Credit Rating Sinks To Worst In Nation,” The Chicago Tribune, 1/25/13)

Under Quinn, Illinois’ Credit Rating Has Been Downgraded 13 Times. “Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Illinois’ credit rating to “A3″ from “A2″ after the General Assembly failed to move forward on pension reform before the end of the spring legislative session. The rating agency also says it has a negative outlook on Illinois’ credit: ‘The negative outlook reflects our expectation that Illinois’ pension liabilities will continue to grow, in the absence of substantive reform efforts, and that annual funding requirements will become unmanageable, particularly if no steps are taken to address the loss of revenue from expiring income tax increases in 2015.’ This was Illinois’ 13th credit downgrade under Gov. Pat Quinn.”  (Ted Dabrowski, “Moody’s downgrades Illinois credit rating: 13th credit downgrade under Quinn,” Illinois Policy Institute, 6/6/13)

 Because Having The Worst Credit Rating Means Illinoisians Pay More To Service Quinn’s Debt

Illinois’ Low Credit Rating Means Taxpayer Pay More In Interest Payments On The State’s Bonds. “Like your cousin who doesn’t pay his bills on time and squanders money he doesn’t have, Illinois is paying the price – in both cash and reputation – for years of ignored warnings about its pension crisis, the worst in the nation. Largely because of its unfunded retirement plans, Illinois has replaced longtime bottom-dweller California as having the lowest credit rating of any state. So when Illinois tries to borrow money, it faces the same problem as the spendthrift cousin: far higher interest rates.”  (Sara Burnett, “Illinois Credit Rating: State’s Worst-In-Nation Rating Costing Taxpayers Millions,” The Associated Press, 6/25/13)

Because Of Illinois’ Poor Credit Rating Under Quinn, Bonds Issued By The State In June Of 2013 Will Cost Taxpayers $130 Million More In Interest Payments Than They Would Have Paid If The State’s Credit Was Better.  “The state got a lower interest rate than budget officials expected Wednesday selling $1.3 billion in bonds for construction projects, but Illinois’ woeful finances means taxpayers here will pay more to borrow money than those in other states. The average interest rate for the bonds was 5.042 percent. In April, the state was able to borrow $450 million at 3.92 percent. Since then, lawmakers and Gov. Pat Quinn were unable to agree in the spring session on money-saving changes to the heavily indebted government worker pension system and the state’s credit rating has taken a hit. The stock market also has been more volatile in the past week. The net effect? Illinois will be on the hook for an extra $130 million over the course of Wednesday’s 25-year loan when compared with states with a AA credit rating.”  (Monique Garcia, “State’s Bad Credit Rating Increases Borrowing Cost,” The Chicago Tribune, 6/26/13)

 Because Even After Quinn’s Pension Reform, Illinois’ Credit Spread Is Still The Highest In The Country – Only Behind U.S. Territory Puerto Rico

“Illinois Still Has The Second Widest Credit Spread Over Municipal Market Data’s Benchmark Scale Among Major Muni Debt Issuers Tracked By The Unit.”  (“Pension Reform Passage Narrows Illinois’ Credit Spread,” Reuters, 12/9/13)

“Topping The List Is Puerto Rico, Which Saw Its Spread Widen 10 Basis Points To 630 Basis Points In The Latest Week.”  (“Pension Reform Passage Narrows Illinois’ Credit Spread,” Reuters, 12/9/13

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Meanwhile Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet tells of a $500,000 contribution to the Democratic Governor’s Association, based in Chicago, from the union United Association.

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