He’s Bob Galhotra, of Galewood, a public defender in Cook County since 1990, past president of the public defenders’ union, AFSCME Local 3315, and avid opponent of the pension legislation that Pat Quinn signed in December — and more importantly, that Don Harmon pushed through.
A “painful and difficult” decision it was for Harmon, he told The Daily Herald, the most so of his 11 years in the senate.
Galhotra would like to make it even more painful, as he explained in an open letter in the Sun-Times to “participants in the Chicago Police, Chicago Firefighters, Chicago Municipal Employees, Cook County Employees, Chicago Public School Teacher and Judicial Retirement Systems.”
“Your pension and retirement security is under attack,” he wrote. “Our state government has sent us a clear message: You and I are next. You can’t stop this alone, but we will, together.”
The senate bill “stole the pensions of hard working families,” passing with the minimum number of votes. Change one vote, he said, and “we can protect what’s been promised to us.”
Harmon’s is the only Democratic Senate seat contested in the primary, he said. “Tell our Democratic Party leaders that there are consequences for stealing our pensions.”
The Herald explained:
That’s the bill [what Galhotra would hope to get passed if elected] Harmon said he and other Senate colleagues preferred, but it didn’t have enough votes in the House. Some estimates say the bill wouldn’t have saved the state as much money as the one that passed — a projected difference between $55 billion and $160 billion.
In other words, what Galhotra wants was not achievable, or so Harmon and other judged.
And though Harmon says he and others have had doubts about the constitutionality of Senate Bill 1 [which became law], “we had to act. We couldn’t politically posture.”
“It doesn’t solve the problem, but I think it gives us a fair amount of headroom to climb out of this hole. When you’re in the bottom of the hole, the first thing you do is stop digging,” Harmon said. “We could not sit on our hands and say, ‘No, we’re just going to let the state sink.’”
In other words again, the senate has just begun to fight; and union members and supporters are bound to have even more to complain about, assuming Harmon wins again.
Not to mention that if he does not, the Dem leadership is bound to find another vote to fend off Galhotra and his allies, because as Harmon told The Herald, the problem remains to be solved.
Being an avid supporter of toxicology centers, I can hardly object to Sen. Don Harmon’s latest in a flurry of legislative initiatives geared also, if tangentially, to keep him in the public eye in this election season.
A state senator’s effort to keep the Illinois Poison Center open has cleared a key hurdle.
Oak Park Democrat Don Harmon’s legislation passed from a state government committee Wednesday and now heads to the full chamber for consideration.
Harmon’s office says the Chicago-based toxicology call center handles about 82,000 cases each year.
The center has [suffered] a number of recent budget cuts. Harmon says it could close for good at the end of June without more funding.
Lawmakers face a tight budget year due in part to the expiration of the state’s income tax increase next January. [italics added]
Harmon’s plan would direct a small portion of the fee charged by cellphone companies . . . for 911 services to pay for poison control.
This initiative also serves to call attention to the expiration of an income-tax increase, for which his solution is a constitutional amendment he is now promoting that would provide a progressive income tax to replace the current flat tax (one rate for all incomes).
This latter he continues to designate a “fair tax,” seeking to steal thunder from “fair tax” legislation — introduced in 1999 and reintroduced every session since then – that abolishes the IRS and substitutes a national consumption tax. He likes to fool around with terminologies, as in his “two percent” Illinois income tax increase, from 3% to 5%, which demonstrates shocking innumeracy, and the less egregious because arguably justifiable “marriage equality” for same-sex marriage.
From our dear village authorities:
Sidewalk shoveling required
Village ordinance requires property owners to remove snow and ice from the public sidewalk within 24 hours following any snow, sleet or freezing rain. Being a good neighbor is important, too, so property owners are urged to help those who may need help clearing a sidewalk. For more information on the shoveling requirement or help resources, call 708.358.5700 or email publicworks.
Being an inveterate walker, I have a dog in this fight. Do it!
Was most impressed the other night, Feb. 25 — at the county board candidates forum — oddly enough by Ike Carothers, who got caught, took a plea, and at the forum defended himself plausibly (news accounts not reliable, “I paid the price”) and less relevantly (“I have been contrite . . . I believe in a God that believes in forgiveness”). If elected, he will demonstrate Democratic Party honesty about itself.
Was least impressed by Blake Sercye — Fenwick Fresh Face, Rahmfather’s pick, a glib fellow whose unbridled confidence oozes from every pore.
Only 27 years old? No problem: He withstood Rahm to his face, he implied. About what? Where? When? Publicly? Was it reported? Who else knows about it? He’s “young, not new,” has been involved in — what? politics? the community? — his “entire life.” He brings “new energy to the table.”
He’s master of the talking point. Solution for county jail problems? Reduce its population! (Let’s do that thing!) Don’t raise tax rates. Do promote a progressive income tax, sparing “the middle class.” County hospital? “Make it competitive.”
As a photogenic young black guy with Ivy League schooling, U of Chi law degree, now at a major local law firm, at a loss for no words — “clean, articulate,” to quote a current American statesman speaking of another rising star — whom does Sercye remind you of?
Add the unanimous endorsement and promised future help from Oak Park Dems, as they provided early in the career of the current U.S. president a few years back, and you have the progressive people’s choice, smart as a tack at repartee and with a work resume as long as your little finger.
More to come in reflections on this event, reported in adjunct fashion by Bob Skolnik and Michael Romain of Wed. Journal (“In big week, Sercye wins backing from Oak Park Democrats, Preckwinkle, Emanuel . . .”) but nowhere else that I can find . . .
“Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.” — Albert Einstein
Oak Park’s new econ development creature to be headed for now by John Hedges:
“My expectation for the next months is I don’t want to miss a heartbeat,” Abu-Taleb said. . . .
Hedges was the unanimous selection of the EDC’s executive committee, [its] release said. He will assume the position on Feb. 24, but only serve until the agency appoints a permanent executive director in a few months, it said.
Hedges was one of nearly 12 candidates reviewed by the board and the executive committee, the release said.
Like Holiday Inn, no surprises here. Businesslike boiler-plate report as befits business-development people.
Oak Park Newspapers at same session:
President Anan was asked by a woman who hesitated to put it but finally asked why Hedges? — whom Anan had roundly criticized, at least by implication, during their campaign.
Tiny pause by Anan, who knows how to use one, then: “Next question.”
Got a laugh, did not stop there.
“A lot is revealed about a man” in a campaign, he said. In any case, the choice was “for the village as a whole, regardless of how I feel personally.”
“Knowing what I know” about how government works, he said, “it takes time to find the right person.”
Hedges is a “temporary pilot” for this vessel of business development as it moves “from old to new.” He “is a placeholder, we know that.”
[Rep. Danny] Davis noted that [then-Gov.] Blagojevich, who was convicted in a corruption case in 2010, including for trying to sell the U.S. senate seat once belonging to President Barack Obama, had offered Davis a U.S. senate appointment. Davis rejected the offer, which came after Blagojevich’s 2008 arrest.
“Knowing how people felt about him, I declined the appointment and said, ‘No Mr. Governor, can’t do it because I think the perception is so great in terms of how you have handled your office that a person would have a hard time getting elected,’” Davis said. “Although it would have been great to be a United States senator. Oh my God, it would have been wonderful.”
It’s in the air they breathe . . .
We have no such heroines in OP or Chi area, do we? No one has fired a weapon in self-defense with such a result?
That’s one possibility. Another is, dare I say it? mine-run mainstream liberal bias, whereby gun-totin’ mamas are not really grist for the mill. Tsk, tsk.