Primary Opponent Pressures Schmitz On CTA Tax Hike

With the filing deadline for state legislator being Monday afternoon, most potentially vulnerable incumbents will probably think they vote for a CTA/RTA bailout or tax hike with impunity.

After all, no one can get 1,000 signatures after the vote and before the filing deadline.

None, but House Speaker Mike Madigan, will remember the outspoken suburban Republicans who bit the dust because of their support of the Regional Transportation Authority tax hikes in 1974.

Just to remind you, House Speaker Bob Blair, the RTA’s House sponsor, and the Senate sponsor, John Connolly, a Republican from Lake County, both lost to Democrats in the fall of 1974.

Because of their outspoken support of RTA.

Just because a suburban Republican doesn’t have a Democrat running against them yet, doesn’t mean one won’t pop up, if a suburban Republican casts the wrong vote.

Others, like Tim Schmitz, already have a primary opponent. His is Jim Krenz.

Thursday, Krenz issued the following press release warning that a “Yes” CTA bailout vote would be a primary election issue.

Other suburban Republicans rationalize they are about to “do the right thing.”

Just like Governor Rod Blagojevich in his rationalization that taking the sales tax money now collected on Motor Fuel (and, now that you mention it, on the MFT itself) won’t be labeled as a re-imposition of the RTA gas tax. (Can it really be possible that House Republican Leader Tom Cross came up with this idea and sold it to his buddy Rod?)

I don’t know where Blagojevich was in the late 1970’s as a revolution against the RTA was building statewide, but I can safely predict that someone will raise the same objections again, if he agrees to impose what amounts to another RTA gas tax to bail out the CTA.

They will point out, as my allies and I did, that when you take money from general revenue (sales taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, for example), it can be prorated to show how much everyone in Illinois is subsidizing the Chicago Transit Authority.

After all, the money comes right off the top.

Ask Mike McClain, the only state rep. younger than I was when he and I served in the House, why he lost his Quincy seat. I’ll bet he’ll remember the radio ads shouting that he was “taken for a ride by the CTA.”

That’s the issue that got Lynn Martin elected to the Illinois House in Rockford the only time Zeke Giorgi ran third.

Downstaters who don’t think potential opponents can figure out a similar issue to use against them are deluding themselves.

Dave Winters, who seems prepared to vote for the CTA bailout, comes to mind.

So, it doesn’t matter whether one is a suburbanite or a Downstater.

You may be thinking you are “doing the right thing.”

And, you may well get whatever you are promised for your vote.

But with Blagojevich being governor, don’t count on it.

Think about Blagojevich’s promise to re-open the Lincoln Developmental Center, both during the 2002 campaign and in a legislative deal that a certain Springfield state senator was positive would be fulfilled.

Unfortunately, if you vote for the CTA bailout, it won’t be until too late that you will realize that your tax hike bailout vote can and will be used against you.

If not next year, then in future election contests.

Suburbanites who are forced to drive to work don’t take kindly to being forced to help pay for rides to work of those fortunate enough to take the train to and from work.

Surely suburban legislators can figure out that the cost of commuting by car has increased a lot in the last year or so. I can guarantee those driving to work know that. They will not understand why train fares have not increased proportionately and they are being forced to take up the slack.

And Downstate constituents won’t like it when they are told how much they are personally being forced to pay to subsidize Chicagoans’ bus and train rides to and from work because of your vote to bail out the CTA.

Tim Schmitz’ opponent Jim Krenz’ press release follows:



CARPENTERSVILLE, IL November 1, 2007 – Republican candidate Jim Krenz, who is running for State Representative in the 49th District, called on his opponent Tim Schmitz (R-Batavia) to vote NO on proposed legislation to increase taxes in order to fund mass transit in the Chicago region, which would help fund the CTA, Metra and PACE. The proposed legislation would increase taxes by tens of billions of dollars.

“I am calling on Schmitz to vote NO on this proposed legislation to increase taxes by billions of dollars,” said Jim Krenz. “Taxpayers should not be obligated to bailout the habitually mismanaged government agencies that have squandered taxpayers dollars and patience to this point.”

In order to bailout the CTA, Metra and PACE, Illinois lawmakers are looking at a quarter of a percent hike in the regional sales tax.

“Schmitz is being called out here because he has a past history of raising taxes,” said Krenz. “Over the years Schmitz has raised taxes over $100,000,000. I call on Schmitz to put a stop to political deal making and protect the 49th district and the rest of the Chicagoland area.”

Jim Krenz is running for the Republican nomination for State Representative in the 49th District. Krenz, a lifelong resident of the Fox Valley region, is running his election on important issues such as pro-life, lower taxes, slashing government waste, opposing illegal immigration, supporting 2nd amendment rights and reforming the current health care situation. One day after his announcement to seek the Republican nomination in the 49th District, Krenz pledged to wave his legislative pension if elected because it was a waste of tax payer dollars and unfair to the general public to have to pay for it. The Primary Election will take place on February 5, 2008. The 49th District covers St. Charles, Geneva, South Elgin, Elgin, Hampshire, Gilberts, West Dundee, Carpentersville and other communities in Northern Kane County.

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