If you’re going to take a poll, at least ask the right question.

Ralph Martire

My friend and retired teacher colleague Curtis writes, “And so called “Pension Reform” is still the only action being considered while all other “real” and effective means of generating revenue for the state are ignored. The allegiance of Rats and Fat Cats continues. They should be sent to prison with the other political crooks!”

Curtis is right, of course.

Take, for example, the poll that Bill Daley’s people just released.

I actually think I was part of this telephone survey the other day. Answering the question, “Who was I for?” I answered, “None of the above.”

Daley’s poll, not surprisingly, shows that Lisa Madigan leads until her relationship with her father is brought up. Then her numbers sink like Lake Michigan sludge.

Did you need a poll to tell you that?

Me neither.

What Daley’s poll doesn’t ask is how Bill does if his relationship to Richard J and Richard M is brought up.

Capitalfax is running a poll that ask their readers if they expect the General Assembly to solve the pension issue by July.

The last time I looked 70% said no.

However, as Curtis points out, the other 30% are being asked the wrong question.

Because solved isn’t possible given the choices on the table.

Solved means addressing revenue, a graduated income tax and ending corporate tax give-aways.

Who I favor for Governor would have to include the name of someone who is talking real solutions.

I offered a poll the other day and 80% favored Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Ralph Martire for Illinois Governor.

Leaders of We Are One, the coalition of state public employee unions, should take notice. Union members and public employees want desperately to be asked the real question about solving the pension problem and offered real alternatives to the current pretenders to the Governor’s Mansion.

Martire for governor. Why not? So far the joke has been on us.

Ralph Martire

When I posted the idea of drafting the Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability to run for governor the other day the response was swift and positive.

The question that I raise to the leaders of the state’s public employee unions: Why not?

The list of announced and un-announced candidates is pretty depressing, particularly from the viewpoint of working men and women, both in the public and private sectors:

Proven pension bombers.

Millionaire Wall Street investors, bankers and one percenters.

Tea Party Republicans.

The current governor who has betrayed every promise made to the state’s unions.

A guy who attacks Chicago public schools and then uses his connections to Arne Duncan and Duncan’s wife to get his kid into a Chicago school even though he lives on the suburban north shore.

Mike Madman’s daughter.

Jeez. Could the outlook for the race for governor be any more grim?

Look. I may have disagreed with the We Are One coalition’s agreement with Senate President Cullerton on SB2404.

But that looks to be pretty dead in the water  now that Mike Madman has shredded it.

I’m still betting that nothing is going to happen with pensions this session. And with the election looming? Not next session either.

But there is electoral power among the union members of We Are One.

CTU President Karen Lewis has talked about changing the political landscape of Chicago and the CTU has organized a mass registration campaign targeting the Mayor and hostile alderman and legislators.

Why not make this the vision of We Are One?

Why not recruit a working people’s candidate for governor? Why wait until it’s the hold-your-nose and vote for another Pat Quinn?

My suggestion of Ralph Martire is no joke.

Because so far the joke has always been on us.

Illinois Governor polling results.


As I suspected, there is great support for the draft movement to have Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, run for Governor against the present choices of Curley, Moe, Shemp and Lisa.

It is interesting to me that “Any forgettable Republican” beats all the announced candidates, including the incumbent, Governor Squeezy. “Any forgettable Republican” comes in second to Martire.

Nerarly 300 people voted in my poll over a 24 hour period.

Double that amount and you have the number that the IEA leadership claimed supported their conciliation with Senate President Cullerton on SB2404.

I think the use of polling rather than the IEA’s constitutional democratic process is questionable. But since they are using their polling results to justify policy, details of which are available to few and only on a need-to-know basis according the Communications Director Charlie McBarron, then this poll might suggest a path to endorsement.

Who better to represent the interests of public employees in Illinois than Ralph Martire?

When is the endorsement hearing?

Ralph Martire: “Nobody likes taxes. But everybody should be thankful Illinois increased its income taxes in 2011.”

Ralph Martire


By Ralph Martire

Nobody likes taxes. But everybody should be thankful Illinois increased its income taxes in 2011.

Here’s why. Illinois lawmakers just enacted a General Fund budget for fiscal 2014 that starts July 1. Even a cursory review of that budget makes three things abundantly clear. First, a structural imbalance between revenue growth on one hand and service-cost growth on the other continue to plague state government.

Overall, the fiscal 2014 budget calls for $9 out of $10 dedicated to education, health care, social services and public safety — a total of $24.5 billion in spending on services. Of that amount, however, anywhere from $8.35 billion to $8.9 billion, or 34 to 36 percent, will be deficit spending. Which is nothing new. According to the state comptroller’s office, this will be the 22nd consecutive year in which Illinois has run a General Fund deficit.

Second, spending on services doesn’t drive these ongoing fiscal problems, but flawed tax policy does. Indeed, overall service spending is scheduled to be $214 million less in fiscal 2014 than the previous year, the fourth consecutive year spending on services will be reduced in nominal dollars. In fact, after adjusting for inflation, service spending will be 28 percent less in real terms in fiscal 2014 than in fiscal 2000. Again, this is nothing new.

Illinois historically has been a low-spending state, ranking 32nd in General Fund spending as a percentage of GDP, despite having the fifth-largest population and economy of any state and the 17th-greatest GDP per capita. Yet state tax policy is so flawed that even when spending is flat or reduced in real terms over time, deficits nonetheless materialize because of insufficient revenue growth.

Read more: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130614/OPINION/130619864/phasing-out-states-income-tax-hike-would-be-a-disaster#ixzz2WDeVATpo