Here is an analysis by a commented calling him/herself “Out of Towner:”
Re: “Democratic Party candidates for Congress won McHenry County.”
Due to the efforts of [Kristina] Zahorik and McHenry County Committeemen or due to what a Politician can do with phenomenal amounts of political contributions and weak candidates versus strong ones plus throwing in some questionably immoral / illegal activity?
As of Oct. 17, [Randy] Hultgren raised $2,039,078 and [Lauren] Underwood raised $3,957,261; Hultgren spent $1,388,015 while Underwood spent $2,786,072.
It also appears that the Underwood campaign started in June of 2017, but Hultgren did very little or nothing until
September of 2018.
When Hultgren failed to hold Town Halls due to the intimidation of the ‘Resistance’ rabble, his political goose was half-cooked and when he failed to start campaigning until too late, the red popper on his goose popped up.
In addition, the Democrat candidates made a financial investment in getting people to vote early and absentee.
They were aware that the negative ads which come out right before election day would not work in their candidates favor (just look at the results for County Board D-5).
I think [Peter] Roskam lost his Republican base due to his negative comments about the current President.
While Roskam out spent [Sean] Casten (Roskam $6,366,044 raised and $5,680,530 spent; Casten $5,319,273 raised and $4,119,996 spent by Oct 17), just like Hultgren, the Roskam campaign was late getting off the ground and the negative ads came out too late.
A lot of lessons were learned by the Republicans and I would expect the results in 2020 will paint a very different picture especially after the voters find out what a mess they have sent to Springfield (this includes some local Republicans).
Also of interest is that [Joe] Tirio (Republican) beat his opponent (Democrat) 62,043 to 51,494 while in the Congressional races, the Republican vote total was only 56,646 versus 59,636 for the Democrats.
Tirio started his campaign [for County Clerk] during 2017.
Republicans won’t be rolling back the tide in 2020, things are going to get worse for them.
“Also of interest is that [Joe] Tirio (Republican) beat his opponent (Democrat) 62,043 to 51,494 while in the Congressional races, the Republican vote total was only 56,646 versus 59,636 for the Democrats.”
If you ever met the guy Tirio was running against, you’d know why…..
Are Casten and Underwood going to Springfield as you state?
If you imbeciles want to elect politicians to tax yourselves into oblivion, that’s your business.
Just be sure to stay in Illinois and don’t export your stupidity to other clean states.
Underwood raised $3.9 Million and Hultgren raised $2 Million. Would be interesting to see a breakdown of where the monies came from for each candidate.
Underwood was interviewed by a so-called journalist and hack on a Sunday morning broadcast tv news network. It appears she has an open mind and would not commit to voting for Pelosi for House Speaker. We will find out in due time IF she has credibility or will merely fall in line, vote for and take orders from Pelosi. Pelosi has gone down in history for stupidity by a House Speaker at the time of voting for Obamacare when she said that U.S. House Representatives would have to pass the (now failed) Obamacare to find out what was in it.
The problem for Roskam was not distancing himself from Trump enough. Hultgren didn’t even make the attempt.
Trump will bring down the entire Republican Party over the next two years.
The only reason they are in power at all is rapant gerrymandering and the geography of the country which gives more power to rural areas.
The Constitution was designed for a rural society and did not account for massive moves to the cities and later to the suburbs that we now have.
So Democrats have to have a supermajority just to get to a bare majority.
Thanks to Trump they have now done that and it will continue with future demographic changes.
Want to know where the money came from?
Lunch in the campaign and the accounting is right there.
But I’m sure you’d rather speculate than know for sure.
The main problem we Republicans faced was hired workers with a lot of money we as republicans could notevcen afford the mailing costs let alone the printing
there were groups of worker’s hired to plant signs.. republican’s had only volunteers millions of dollars was spent to buy McHenry County for the Democrats….
Adding to the list.
The Democrats had a lot of closed Facebook Groups to communicate with each other.
Cook County Democrat volunteers and paid operatives organized, built support and electioneered in collar county’s starting soon after the Trump election.
As we see on the blog and in the media every day, various types of Democrats use various diabolical tactics to counter almost any message which goes against their various agendas.
Democrats disrupt public Republican rally’s such as the Trump rally at UIC, Roskam Town Halls, Hultgren Town Halls, etc.
Thus in the name of free speech, Democrats shut down Republican free speech.
The Republicans in general are more independent actors, whereas the Democrats are more organized.
The JP Pritzker PAC sent money to the Rock Island County Democrat PAC, which in turn sent money to the other Democrat County PAC’s.
JB Pritzker spent A LOT of money this election cycle on his and various races, allowing Michael Madigan and John Cullerton to redeploy unions & trial lawyer (and other contributors) to select suburban Republican drawn districts at the State level, for example DuPage and Lake County.
In addition to Federal State Rep races and State House Races, suburban County Boards were targeted, was was witnessed in McHenry County.
Michael Madigan, John Cullerton, and Democrat strategists crafted several key pieces of legislation they knew Rauner would likely vote for and new would likely split Conservative and Moderate Republicans, and that’s exactly what happened.
The Democrat messaging during the election cycle pretty much completely ignored the long term fiscal problems at the state and local levels, keeping true to form for the last 48 years.
To a lesser extent, but still very problematic, the Republicans have been part of the long standing fiscal problems.
The slow moving financial pension debt sloth in Illinois, which ex Governor Quinn’s marketing team infamously called Squeezy the Pension Python, is progressing.
The root of the fiscal disaster is one of many sentences approved by voters in a statewide special election on December 15, 1970 on which the only question on the ballot was whether or not to approve a rewritten state constitution.
Here is the pension sentence.
“Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State,
any unit of local government or school district,
or any agency or instrumentality thereof,
shall be an enforceable contractual relationship,
the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.”
That means state and local public sector pension and retiree healthcare benefits cannot be reduced.
But they can be and were increased.
Even while the pensions and retiree healthcare was underfunded at the time of the increase.
Which is stupid financial behavior, but works to get one re-elected because the ramifications are easy to hide from voters.
In other words you can charge more items to your credit card, even if you don’t pay the monthly balance.
The big resulting problem is interest.
Public Sector workers and retirees get richer, as taxpayers go further in debt.
Pension debt is a mystery to most taxpayers.
What is a pension benefit hike?
Pension benefit hikes vary per pension plan but here are some examples for TRS Tier 1 (teachers and administrators in public school districts).
In general pension benefit hikes are anything which makes the pension more attractive to the worker.
– Reduce the age one needs to reach to receive retirement benefits, from 66 years to 54.5 years.
– Reduce the number of years of service one needs to receive the maximum percentage of final average salary pension payout…say from 45 years to 35 years.
– Increase the accrual rate (from 1.5% to 2.2% for example).
35 years of service x 1.5 accrual rate = 52.5%
35 years of service x 2.2 accrual rate = 77%.
$100,000 final average salary x .525 = $52,500 starting pension.
$100,000 final average salary x .77 = $77,000 starting pension (except the maximum rate is capped at .75, so the starting pension is $75,000).
– That maximum rate was previously capped at 70%….another benefit hike.
Final average salary is generally the average of the last 4 years worked.
As an example of final average salary, $98K + $100K + $102K + $104K = $404K.
$404K / 4 = $101K.
K = $1,000.
– Increase the cost of living allowance (COLA) from 1.5% not compounded to 3% compounded.
$100,000 starting pension x .015 COLA = $1,500 COLA increase per year flat (never increases)…that’s non compounded aka simple interest.
2nd year pension is $100,000 + $1,500 = $101,500.
3rd year pension is $101,500 + $1,500 = $103,000.
4th year pension is $103,500 + $1,500 = $104,500.
Contrast to compound COLA (compound interest) at 3%.
Starting pension of $100,000 x .03 COLA = $3,000.
2nd year pension is $100,000 + $3,000 = $103,000.
3rd year COLA is $103,000 x .03 = $3,090.
3rd year pension is $103,000 + $3,900 = $106,900.
4th year COLA is $106,900 x .03 = $3,207.
4th year pension is $106,900 + $3,207 = $110,107.
Thanks to the compound COLA hike, the 4th year pension increased from $104,500 to $110,107.
– Increase the number of accumulated sick days allowable from 85 days to 340 days.
Accumulated sick days can be exchanged for years of service credit or cashed out at retirement.
Accumulated sick days is the main reason why years of service credit is used in calculating retirement, rather than years worked.
Can you exchange 340 days of accumulated sick days to change the payout of your 401k or Social Security?
A TRS year is 170 days, even though the school calendar is typically 180 days or so.
So 340 days is two teacher years.
To get all these goodies, the teacher contribution rate was hiked from 6% to 8%.
Here is the TRS Tier 1 breakdown:
7.5% Retirement Benefits
1.0% Survivor benefits (refunded at retirement)
Previously there was also 0.4% ERO which was also refunded at retirement if not utilized.
ERO was allowed to expire a few years ago by the General Assembly (it was set up to expire every 3 or 4 years unless renewed).
However in the majority of school districts in Illinois, teachers contribute little to nothing of that 9%, in a scheme negotiated with the local school board called board paid TRS.
If the salary schedule add-on method is used, this hikes teacher pay.
In other words, teacher gross pay increases with a board pension pickup using board paid TRS.
Taxpayers in general are clueless about pension hikes.
If nothing else remember the cost of government increases due to the interest that taxpayers must come up with to compensate for the loss of investment returns.
TRS is less than 40% funded.
Meaning the pension fund has 40 cents of every dollar that actuaries calculate it should have.
So if 60 cents of every dollar are not invested, there is obviously no investment return on the 60 cents.
That’s a huge problem for taxpayers, because in lieu of investment returns, taxpayers are required to pay pension interest.
So unless a way is found to somehow reduce benefits, taxpayers are obligated for massive interest costs for underfunded pensions.
This is the #1 fiscal problem in the state.
Massive pension interest.
The Illinois Pension Scam book has 300 pages of mostly TRS pension examples.
Scam is a strong word but when one understands what happened, it’s evident why the author Bill Zettler used the word in the title of the book.
Mark. How are you so knowledgeable about public sector pensions in Illinois?
Will we citizens and homeowners of Illinois be slapped with increasing burdens of bailing out the public sector pension mess? Higher Illinois taxes for all? Senior citizens taxed on their SS and pensions? Homeowners given a special yearly tax based on the market value of their homes?
Or, more fairly, bankruptcy for the State of Illinois and all government retirees and employees forced to take haircuts on their very lavish pensions and/or benefits?
Here are some sources for Illinois public sector pension information.
Financial and actuarial documents, public sector pension fund websites, Illinois Department of Insurance > Public Pension Division > Reports / Orders > Pension Data Portal (for local police and fire), property taxing district and State websites, Illinois Pension Scam, Illinois Policy Institute, Civic Federation, Taxpayers United of America, Truth in Accounting, newspapers, Illinois General Assembly website for the sickening number of pension laws in this state, Wirepoints, state legislator website, ChampionNewsOnline (all one word) YouTube channel, Upstream Ideas, McHenry Times and other Dan Proft newspaper publications, Better Government Association, Project Veritas (political operative tactics), talk to people, US Debt Clock – State Debt Clock, Chicago Morning Answer’s AM 560 Radio 5-9AM Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson, Stump Mary Pat actuary, etc.
There is no way to predict what will happen with public sector pension debt in Illinois.
Current taxes, services, and pension payouts are impossible in the long run.
Meaning something has to change
One almost definite change is various sources of additional revenue for the state will be signed into law now that Illinois Democrats have the Governor office and super majority’s in the State House and State Senate.
But that won’t be enough money to solve the problem long term.
But that hasn’t ever seem to be the true concern of Illinois lawmakers in our lifetime.
The power brokers are notorious for passing legislation to get re-elected, not to operate on a structurally sound long term fiscally healthy plan.
They’ll often justify such legislation by claiming they are making progress.
Taxing all retirement income (Social Security, pensions, 401K withdrawals, etc.) is an option for the state as other states do that.
A state tax on all property is an option for the state.
A few at the Chicago Federal Reserve have suggested such an approach as being the most fair option.
That does not seem likely given Illinois property taxes are already among the highest in the country (depending on where you live).
Municipal bankruptcy or some type of restructuring is an option if Illinois adds that option as a state law.
Hard to see a majority Democrat legislature voting for that in the next two years.
The Federal government passing a law to allow states to go bankrupt does not seem likely in the next few years.
Some cities such as Chicago, Harvey, Ford Heights, East St. Louis, Rockford, and many more have huge problems; it remains to be seen what will be done to get them through the next few years.
Pretty much everything revolves around the next two years, because the most powerful politician in Illinois, Michael Madigan, is elected every two years as a State Representative.
Changing the pension sentence in the constitution is an unknown, lots of controversy about that.
Those last three possibilities would result in lawsuits from unions who would claim the result is diminishing or impairing pensions.
Taxpayers and unions have already spent lots of time and money on such lawsuits.
Mr. Pritzker has said he is considering a pension obligation bond (to pay a portion of the unfunded liability).
The pension fund would get a big wad of cash from bondholders upfront, which they would invest, the idea being to reduce the amount of pension interest.
But guess what.
Annual bond payments from the pension fund to bondholders include interest.
The pension fund then pays the bondholders semi annual or annual principal and interest payments until the debt is retired (payed off).
So the pension fund believes it will pay less interest using that approach, which may or may not happen.
Mr. Pritzker has also said he is considering re-amortizing the state unfunded pension liabilities (that means extending the state’s annual pension contribution payment plan by many years….turning a 15 year mortgage into a 30 year mortgage to lower annual payment would be an example.
The result of re-amortizing is, once again, hiked interest payments (the total interest paid).
Previous Governors (Edgar, Blagojevich, Quinn) have tried both.
The result is we now have more pension debt than ever.
They are both bad ideas for various reasons, but it would not surprise me if the state did one or both, simply because they have done both in the past.
The bottom line is will enough taxpayers stay in the state to fund the pensions 100%.
No one knows for sure.
Think about it.
At one point does one decide to move because overall taxes and fees are too high given the quality of life.
Some people think about that a lot.
Especially at retirement.
So as the Baby Boomers age, and an influx of retirees materialize, that might be one of the straws that breaks the camel’s back.
More people in Illinois move out of the state (net migration) than other states, and some poll results indicate a primary reason for moving is high taxes.
Once there is massive debt, there are no good choices to pay the massive interest.
The pension interest is why the pension sentence in the state constitution is unfair to taxpayers.
If pension benefits were frozen at 1970 levels, and salary hikes were held in check, pensions would be 100% funded today.
That didn’t happen.
Instead, unions lobbied politicians to hike pension benefits, retiree healthcare benefits, salaries, and current benefits….even though pensions were already underfunded.
The union thought was there is an absolute guarantee pensions will be paid 100%.
The state constitution does not mandate one to stay in Illinois.
Since the pensions are defined benefit, the taxpayer is responsible for 100% of the aforementioned interest cost.
That’s another reason the unions were not focused on pension interest…they thought not my problem, that’s the taxpayer’s problem (even though they are also taxpayers).
But let’s say one moves to another state.
The Federal deficit follows them.
The Federal deficit is bigger per taxpayer than the Illinois (or any state) state and local debt.
So no matter what state one lives in, it is good to start educating oneself about Federal government debt too.
Back to local, a good place to start to learn more about the pensions associated with your property tax bill, is to look at the property tax bill (or your landlord property tax bill).
Both are available on the McHenry County Treasurer website.
Look at all the units of government on that bill.
Identify the pensions associated with each by obtaining the audited financial report (AFR) or Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for each government unit.
Search on “net pension liability” in the audited AFR or CAFR.
Note, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) requires school districts to submit an AFR to the ISBE.
That is not the audited AFR being referenced here.
The Illinois state representatives, senators, and Governors since 1970 have collectively created a very big taxpayer pension interest debt.
The media has not adequately covered the topic.
Underwood at her Victory party
Johnsburger? Cool racist commenters you have, Cal. Classy company you keep.
Bred – “Pelosi has gone down in history for stupidity by a House Speaker at the time of voting for Obamacare when she said that U.S. House Representatives would have to pass the (now failed) Obamacare to find out what was in it.”
While Pelosi said that statement (key word is SAID), this last Congress and the GOP voted on an overhaul and repeal WITHOUT EVEN F&@*&#*#*#& GETTING THE F&#@*(&#*&#&# BILL SCORED BY THE CBO BECAUSE THEY KNEW IT WAS A DISASTAR. THE CBO SCORED THE BILL AFTER AFTER AFTER AFTER THE VOTE. THE CBO SAID THE BILL WOULD TAKE HEALTHCARE AWAY FROM 23 MILLION AMERICANS. BUT IT WASN’T SCORED. COMPARE THAT TO A STATEMNET PELOSI MADE. NO ONE KNEW WHAT THE BILL WOULD DO. NO ONE KNEW WHAT THE BILL WOULD DO. NO ONE KNEW WHAT THE BILL WOULD DO. NO ONE KNEW WHAT THE BILL WOULD DO. A DAY BEFORE THE VOTE REPUBLICANS DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WOULD BE VOTING ON.
But Bred and Cal and all the right wingers hold their hat on a statement she made.
COMPARE THAT TO BRINGING TO THE FLOOR A VOTE THAT WASN’T EVEN F#&(#&#&(#& SCORED!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway, that’s why GOP lost. They lost on heath care and only those in an echo chamber get upset with that Pelosi quote. So keep talking amongst yourselves, Bred and Cal. It worked out well for you guys.
P.S. – Obamacare is popular. Even though it was a politically stupid thing for Pelosi to say, she was vindicated in the end. People like Obamacare. More importantly, actually MOST IMPORTANTLY, Republicans promised a better plan and passed nothing when they had the chance. The only thing that House GOP passed was a bill so hugely unpopular that it went nowhere and cost the GOP their majority. How anyone who holds himself out to follow politics but yet can’t get this simple truth and just harkens back to the Pelosi quote is beyond me.
The House GOP at their victory party. LOL.
Sad, but that’s what happens in a dying land.
the 2024 Victory Party.
This blog post is very well stated.
However, it neglects to refer to the influence of the media.
From national media to local media (i.e., the Northwest Herald), Leftist candidates, such as Underwood, received the equivalent of billions of dollars of free and unrestricted donations on their behalf.
The media worked ceaselessly with direct support and indirect support.
With the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh and the fake bombs shortly before the election, a perfect publicity storm was brewing as voters headed to the polls.
Oh on,how is that racist???? You’re an idiot and a whiner. Grow up!
Here is the blog post containing Out of Towner’s comment:
McHenry County Blog
McHenry County Democratic Party Chair Heads Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association
November 11, 2018
Underwood Victory Party
Walsh would never have lost to Hultgren. It’s that simple!