No cuts, no butts, no coconuts.

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– Posting from Brooklyn.

Crain’s is reporting an increase in voter interest in Tuesday’s mayoral primary. Registration is easier and their numbers are up (thank you, Chicago Votes).

“Everybody seems to be under the impression that this is going to be a low-turnout election. I am not sure of that,” says long-time Chicago election watcher, Don Rose.

My buddy Glen Brown has a good collection of responses to the Private Equity Governor’s budget address.

It includes this from the Chicago Teachers Union.

There is only one equitable solution to Illinois’ budget: Generate revenue from those most able to pay. A report issued this week from the Center for Budget and Tax Accountability pointed to the real impact of the reduction of the state’s income tax level – a massive transfer of wealth to the richest Illinoisans. Illinois is “broke” because the governor and his biggest supporters do not pay their fair share. The solutions continue to be clear. Rauner should advocate for a surcharge on millionaires. He should support a graduated income tax. He should propose eliminating tax loopholes that allow corporations to avoid hundreds of millions in Illinois taxes. He should assist municipalities’ finances by pledging to withhold state business from any bank that refuses to renegotiate toxic interest swaps. The governor provided practically no detail and proposed none of these revenue proposals.

Illinois’ success depends on the collective support of public services to fuel the entire state economy.

Taken collectively, Gov. Rauner’s proposal only worsens Illinois’ economic challenges and unnecessarily harms working people across the state. Evidently, successfully shaking up Springfield means more of the same discredited 1980s economic theory to benefit the wealthy. Way to go, ‘overnor.

Glen also includes the response from our IEA President Cinda Klickna.

The governor’s plan to drastically cut pension benefits for active employees is obviously unconstitutional and does nothing to address the state’s pension debt. Cutting retirement benefits would only make it harder to attract and retain the people we need to teach our children.

The good news about today’s speech is that Governor Rauner cannot autocratically impose his dark vision for Illinois. We will share our ideas with the governor and we will work with the members of the Illinois General Assembly, both Republicans and Democrats, to develop a plan to move Illinois in the right direction.

Fine words.

Cinda Klickna is absolutely right. Rauner is no king.

What I look forward to is the plan to fight the Private Equity Governor.

Certainly, every member of the Illinois General Assembly must be reminded of The Quinn Rule.

If you desert us, we will desert you.

But sharing our ideas with Rauner and members of the Illinois General Assembly will not nearly be enough.

Membership in all the state public employee unions and impacted communities must be moved into action: In the voting booth, on the internet and in the streets. Mobilized, not paralyzed.

And lastly, if you want to know why interest in the Chicago election is up, you need look no further than my 35th ward where Carlos Rosa is charging hard against the Mayor’s current water carrier, Rey Colon.

Polls show that it is in contested aldermanic races like ours where there is the greatest interest.

2 thoughts on “No cuts, no butts, no coconuts.

  1. Early voting will certainly help if people get to the polls (even this morning, when it’s below zero out). I used to pride myself on (a) always voting and (b) usually being the first or one of the first ten people to vote in my precinct. That was then, this is when I’m almost seventy and not as agile as I once was. Do rather than risk a bad weather day on February 24, I added Early Voting to my list of chores yesterday (do a little each day when you reach our demographic, etc.), and it was very VERY easy.

    In the 45th Ward, we can early vote most easily at the local police station up on Milwaukee Ave. a half mile north of John Arena’s headquarters. The whole process, from “Hello…” to “Thanks for your help…” and “Thank you for voting…” took me less than 15 minutes. Highly recommended. And you can park literally at the door (the farthest north door) where you enter for the voting (which is set up in the big conference room where the police hold their monthly constituent meetings, or, at Halloween, the annual Haunted House)…

    Early voting. I’ll probably never be the first voter in my precinct again, but it’s great to be sure I’ll never miss a voting again either…

  2. Don’t know where the coconuts come in here, Fred (meaning Rauner & hack aldermen-?), but it’s funny you mention them. We were fortunate enough to have been at Mardi Gras this year, and the most prized throw (actually, the Zulu Krewe HANDS the coconuts to spectators from their floats/marching members) is the Zulu coconut (not a whole coconut–they used to do that–but some nice carvings). Of course, us being us, we didn’t attend that parade because it was so early, wasn’t really all that close (navigating through New Orleans on Mardi Gras is like driving the Kennedy southeast bound during morning rush–but worse!), and–like the rest of the country (well, Ken, except Florida!), was darn cold (went down into the 30’s!) And yet, there are still global warming deniers!
    Anyway, one of my favorite teaching colleagues would affectionately call his goofier middle schoolers (& aren’t they all?) coconuts, which they loved.
    I, myself, have a good idea of what to do with a real coconut with respect to this post…but I’ll let y’all draw your own conclusions! In the meantime, I’ll be making phone calls…

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