Will State Senator Debbie Halvorson ‘s Fate Track House Speaker Bob Blair’s?

Looks like I messed up big time with this article. Oh, the analysis is OK. It’s the premise that is wrong.

My eyes read the roll call wrong. State Senator Debbie Halvorson did not vote on the RTA sales tax hike bill. that probably was a smart move.

Sorry, Senator Halvorson and thanks to “Illinois De” for pointing it out.

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That’s what I thought when I saw that State Senator Debbie Halvorson had provided the deciding vote to raise sales taxes in her home county of Will.

When the Regional Transportation Authority passed the legislature in 1973, House Speaker Bob Blair was its leading advocate.

He was positioning himself to run for governor and thought saving mass transportation was the way to ingratiate himself with Chicago’s power brokers, including the media.

In the March.1974 referendum, Will County went heavily against RTA. Not as opposed as the 93% “No” vote in McHenry County, but so substantially that Senator Cecil Partee commented about the one-sided collar county votes at a meeting of the Illinois Economic and Fiscal Commission the day after the vote.

“You have your river wards, Cecil,” I observed. “We have our river counties.”

Indeed, Blair’s support of the RTA referendum was an anomaly among suburban legislators. His running mate Bill Kempiners and the Democratic Party colleague in the three-member district, George Sangmeister voted against the bill.

And, they were re-elected that fall.

Blair was not.

He lost to LeRoy VanDuyne. Halvorson had followed in Blair’s footsteps, I wondered if that would hurt her chances to replace Jerry Weller in congress.

My guess is that a skillful opponent can craft effective hit pieces on how much she has cost the average family in Will County.

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