So, what should Family PAC’s Paul Caprio do?
Declare victory because his campaign to kill the RTA sales tax hike succeeded.
House Speaker Mike Madigan has played medical examiner and pronounced it dead.
Instead of raising sales taxes in the six county area, Madigan indicates he is willing to accept House Republican Leader Tom Cross’s plan to rip $380 off the top of the General Fund.
While most lobbying organizations attempt to convince their members to call their legislators on an issue, Family PAC commissioned phone calls to be made to eleven legislators’ constituents.
Now one quarter of one percent in the collar counties, the RTA sales tax proposal would have increased it to three quarters of one percent.
That doesn’t sound like much, but my calculations for McHenry County families led me to conclude that it would cost an extra $200 per year for each family.
That would have been a pretty steep price to bail out the Chicago Transit Authority.
At this point, let me point out that an attempt was made to buy off collar county board members. Half of their sales tax hike would go for roads. What no one mentions is that county boards, if they have the guts to propose it, could already ask voters to approve a sales tax hike to finance roads.
This CTA bail-out bill would have allowed collar county boards to short circuit the sales tax referendum process.
No “short circuit” is too kind a word.
It would have allowed county board members to ignore their constituents.
But, back to what Family PAC did.
Caprio targeted eleven suburban legislators and poured 90,000 phone calls into their suburban districts.
Whose staffs got the privilege of fielding the calls?
Republican Beth Coulson of Glenview
Republican Sandra Pihos of Glen Ellyn
Republican Ruth Munson of Elgin
Democrat Fred Crespo of Hoffman Estates
Recently turned Democrat Paul Froehlich
Republican Sandy Cole of Grayslake
Democrat Careen Gordon of Morris
Republican Renee Kosel of New Lenox
Republican Mike Fortner of West Chicago
Republican Joe Dunn of Naperville
Republican Mark Beaubien of Barrington Hills
Republican Ed Sullivan of Mundelein
Republican JoAnn Osmond of Antioch
“As a result of these calls and other grassroots pressure,” Caprio wrote, “Madigan did not have the votes to pass the sales tax increase which would have cost taxpayers in Cook and the collars more than $380 million annually to further subsidize a failed transit system.
“We won this battle, but as long as the Legislature is still in Session the threat of a tax hike continues.
“State GOP Chairman Andy McKenna also worked hard in opposing the Tax Increase and House Minority Leader Tom Cross came out against it. It is amazing to me what we can accomplish when we all work together. Lets keep up the pressure!”
How about that?
A political action committee actually doing something to keep taxes from being hiked.