State Rep. David McSweeney Offers Road Map for Illinois GOP Future

An op-ed piece re-printed with permission of State Rep. David McSweeney:

“You can’t be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.” -Ronald Reagan

The most recent election night was not kind to Republicans in Illinois.

David McSweeney

Former Governor Bruce Rauner, who didn’t accomplish anything as Governor and presided over a massive tax hike and more out of control spending, was defeated in a landslide.

The election was not a repudiation of Republican ideas – it was a repudiation of Raunerism.

The Democrats led by Governor Pritzker may be pushing Illinois to become the California of the Midwest, but we are still a long way from that. There is a path to victory for Republicans in Illinois.

The Republican Party will always lose statewide in Illinois if it doesn’t give voters a clear choice on economic issues.

The Republican Party must stand united for lower taxes, less spending and real reform.

Republicans have made significant gains in the rural parts of Illinois.

Districts that were once Democrat strongholds are becoming Republican districts, but the gains in downstate are not enough to overcome big losses in the suburbs.

If the Republican Party is going to turn its election fortunes around, the party must be able to win in both downstate Illinois and in the suburbs.

Republicans must first focus on advancing a positive agenda for Illinois.

Only talking about House Speaker Michael Madigan is not a cohesive message.

The best way to weaken Speaker Madigan is for Republicans to pick up legislative seats.

Republicans must make the case that big government and high taxes are hurting, not helping, regular people.

We must show how these taxes are hurting real families and make an appeal to stop driving families out of Illinois by continuing to raise taxes.

Republicans must go on the offensive.

The progressive income tax, the linchpin of the Pritzker plan, wouldn’t hurt the wealthy a lot – they can easily move out of Illinois.

It would harm the middle class.

There is a reason we do not see a tax rate schedule from those supporting the progressive income tax.

They do not want voters to see exactly who the progressive income tax will affect.

Do you really trust Illinois career politicians to set your tax rates?

The Illinois Republican Party also needs to stand united for cutting property taxes.

Cut Illinois Taxes” was Palatine State Rep. Bernie Pedersen’s mantra in the 1990’s.

Specifically, the General Assembly should extend the statewide property tax cap (PTELL) to all units of government (including home rule units of government) and then mandate a 10 percent cut in property taxes levies over two years (5 percent per year).

Property tax would then be permanently frozen unless local voters approve an increase.

Local governments would be forced to cut administrative expenses and make hard spending decisions just like Illinois families are required to do every day.

Illinois has 7,000 units of local government.

The key to long-term lower property taxes is to give voters the right to consolidate many local governments.

Republicans must oppose tax increases and offer solutions to reduce the cost of government.

The most meaningful way to reduce spending is to enact meaningful pension reform.

Arizona, like Illinois, has a Constitution that makes changing pension benefits very difficult.

The best path for Illinois is to follow the Arizona model and, as part of an overall negotiation with unions on other issues, pass a constitutional amendment to limit annual benefit increases.

Also, all new state workers should participate in a 401(k) plan.

Another important way to reduce Illinois spending is to do a much better job of managing the state’s Medicaid program.

In addition to eliminating Medicaid waste and fraud, Illinois should be actively pursuing multiple innovative waivers that would save money and make the program more efficient.

We should also be aggressively fighting to increase the federal government’s unfairly low 50 percent Medicaid matching percentage for Illinois.

Many other states are receiving a far higher percentage of federal support.

In addition, Republicans need to present a positive agenda on health care.

Republicans must strongly make the case for keeping coverage for pre-existing conditions at the state and national levels.

Republicans must promote cost savings ideas such as allowing health care to be purchased on a national basis, providing vouchers for low income families to purchase health insurance and enacting meaningful medical malpractice reforms.

Finally, Illinois Republicans must recruit better candidates to run and that recruiting process must begin now – not later.

Republicans must look for candidates who can connect with voters and offer fresh ideas.

These candidates must be inclusive and must be diverse and most importantly must stand for something.

Republicans Party leaders must also focus on better integrating the use of technology and vote by mail programs in their campaign strategies.

Most importantly, Republican candidates need to work harder to keep up with their well-organized Democratic opponents.

Illinois Republicans must rally around lower taxes and meaningful reforms as the only way to save the middle class and stop the mass exodus from Illinois.

As Ronald Reagan said, “Simple fairness dictates that government must not raise taxes on families struggling to pay their bills.”

It is time for Republicans to rally around the message of standing up for the people of Illinois by supporting sound economic policies that can turn our state around.

If we do that, we can win again.

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You can find lots of comments here.


State Rep. David McSweeney Offers Road Map for Illinois GOP Future — 13 Comments

  1. “The election was not a repudiation of Republican ideas – it was a repudiation of Raunerism.”

    Except republicans were repudiated coast to coast at every level of government.

    You guys really don’t get the message, do you?.

  2. “Government is like a baby: an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”

    ― Ronald Reagan

  3. McSweeney wants to give folks ‘more stuff’ and lower taxes in the process.

    Have IQs just dropped sharply?

  4. Just another day of disappointment for Kvidera.

    As the remote jungles of McHenry County, remain unreceptive to his offer of redemption, through penitent voting for the highest taxes and sanctuaries for all.

  5. There is no future for the GOP in Illinois, at least at the state level, and possibly not much more for the country as a whole thanks to DJT.

    The whole party became obsolete a couple of decades ago but has hung on by ruthlessly pursuing gerrymandering, voter suppression, and appealing to the worst instincts in people.

    The demographics, however, are now taking their inexorable toll and the GOP will be limited to rural and semi rural areas as was confirmed in the results of the last election.

    The only hope is that Trump will decide not to run for re-election or the Senate Republicans will finally see the handwriting on the wall and vote to remove him from office once the House has impeached him.

    The state GOP, however, is and will remain irrelevant.

  6. btw, GetAClue needs to get one.

    The Senate gained because there were more Democratic seats up than Republican ones this past election cycle plus the arrangement of giving each state equal representation in the Senate regardless of size favors large rural areas with smaller populations.

    Had the Congressional map not been gerrymandered by those same rural state legislatures, the Democrats would have picked up 50 to 60 seats.

    Likewise we only have Trump as President because the Constitution was written for a rural population and gives disproportionate weight to states in the Electoral College.

    If we can all adopt the automatic runoff system that Maine has pioneered, there would be opportunities for more than two political parties.

    The GOP could then become several parties to reflect its main components, ie: establishment centrists, evangelicals, Tea Party/Libertarian.

    The Democratic Party could do likewise with a quasi socialist wing and an establishment centrist party.

    In a two party framework, however, the GOP is doomed.

  7. Don’t confuse Joey “Blowhard” Kvidera with the facts, we need him for the low I.Q. entertainment he
    so generously provides us – MAGA#45 !

  8. Joe- Why is it you never have an idea of what the message is other than Republicans bad and how “We” just don’t get it.

  9. GettaClue brings up a good point. Here is more info on mid-term results:

    Trump fared better than both Clinton and Obama with regard to losses of U.S. House seats in their first mid-term election.
    Obama lost 63
    Clinton lost 54
    In contrast, Trump lost 40.

    Trump also fared better than both Clinton and Obama with regard to the Senate.
    Clinton lost 10
    Obama lost 6
    In contrast, Trump gained 2

    Overall, Trump did better than both Clinton and Obama in the first mid-term of his first term in office.

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