By Nancy Thorner –
The Illinois Forum celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a banquet on Saturday, August 23rd, at the Round Barn Banquet Center in Champaign, Illinois. The Illinois Forum was founded by Robert S. Redfern and U.S. Congressman Dan Crane in 1989 as a statewide grassroots coalition of nonpartisan political activists. Since 1989 Illinois Forum has become one of the largest citizen groups in the state working to promote a smaller state government, to restrain spending, and to encourage tax cuts.
Redfern continues to serve as Chairman of Illinois Forum, with Daniel Crane as its Board Chairman. Additionally there is a Board of Governors consisting of 19 additional individuals from various parts of Illinois. The Hon. Phil Crane (Wauconda) is a member of the Board of Governors. Heading the the list of eleven pledges cited in the Illinois Forum Pledge for Better Government is “Term limits for Illinois constitutional offices.”
Illinois Forum, first group to issue a proposal for term limits in Illinois
Following the “Pledge of Allegiance” and the Invocation, Robert Redfern, as Chairman of the Illinois Forum, welcomed those gathered, with comments on the issue of term limit. It was only the day before, Friday, August 22, that Bruce Rauner was dealt a blow when the IL Supreme Court rejected Rauner’s request.
It was in 1989 when Robert Redfern called together 60 individuals to create the Illinois Forum as a non-partisan group to get something done in Springfield. The first project put together by the newly formed group, and the first group to do so in the state, was a term limits proposal limiting service in either the House or the Senate to 10 years. The 10-year time limit was retroactive. Anyone who had already served 10 year had to leave.
The term limits referendum Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner wanted to appear on the November 4 ballot would not have been supported by Redfern, as it reduced Senate Districts from 59 to 41. Furthermore, the initiative didn’t even kick in until January 1, 2023! As such Rauner’s proposal was not good for the people of Illinois. It would have been especially devastating for those living in downstate Illinois where constituents many times would have been 100 miles or more away from their state senator.
In speaking with Robert Redfern by telephone after the event, Thorner was informed that four years ago a petition initiated by Illinois Forum was to change the General Assembly from meeting every year to every two years, with a budget to reflect the two-year period. This would cut down immeasurably on the 7,000 bills now advanced in committees every session, and, most importantly, on the amount of taxpayer money spent.
Robert Redfern then invited Jim Tobin to join him at the podium. Jim Tobin, president of Tax Payers United for America, presented outrageous facts about IL State Pensions. Click on the link noted on the left side of this Tax Payers United of America website to hear Jim Tobin speak about IL State Pensions on a CBS Chicago WBBM News Radio program aired 4/30/14. Per the annual April, 2014, report issued by the Taxpayers Unit For American, there are 78,000 state pensioners who receive more than 50,000 a year and 11,000 who receive more than 100,000. Larry Flemming, a retired educator was noted as a pensioner who is projected to receive an 11 million lifetime payout. Yearly payment amount to $258,163, yet Mr. Flemming paid in only $326,000 or 2.8% of his estimated lifetime pension payments. Handed out by Jim Tobin was a sheet containing State of Illinois Top 200 Government Pension as of April 1, 20l4. Remarked by Tobin is how unfunded pensions in IL went from $100 billion to $200 billion even after the income tax hike by Quinn.
Fair.Tax Nation was represented by Marilyn Rickert. Although Ms. Rickert didn’t speak, literature was handed out. Its mission is to Replace All Federal Taxes on Income with the Fair Tax Act , HR 25 and S 122. Visit this site for grass roots participation information
Comments were heard from three Illinois candidates, all who advanced conservative values and policies. Unfortunately all three are unknowns outside of their own districts.
- Dianne Harris is running for state legislator in Will County, 86th District. As a staunch conservative, Dianne wants to serve but never be self-serving.
- Julie Fox (Juliefox2014.com) is a candidate for state Comptroller as a Libertarian Party candidate. She’s both an accountant and a CPA, and believes that all elected Comptrollers should first be accountants. Being a Libertarian, Ms. Fox would not be beholden to either major party.
- Mark Smith is running for governor. He is a Christian with a firm belief in God, who believes that God must be put back into government. Mark will take God with him into office. Mark gave up his job in the U.S. Postal System to campaign for governor.
Introduction of Joe Walsh as Featured Speaker
Rick Biesada, co-founder of the Chicago Minuteman Project, introduced Joe Walsh as a Walsh supporter since Joe’s congressional campaign in 2010. Biesada noted that the Republican establishment and the media were 100% against Joe. What prompted Biesada to throw his support enthusiastically behind Walsh was when the media reported that Walsh had his house foreclosed on him. At this point Biesada knew that Walsh was his man, for this made Walsh just like an ordinary average person. A prudent comment made by Rick Biesada is how the Republican and Democrat Party are but one party with two wings. A bit of humor took place when Mr. Biesada, after finishing his remarks, forgot to extend a welcome for guest speaker Joe Walsh to advance to the podium.
Undaunted and in his usual spirited way, Joe Walsh, now a talk show radio host on AM560, didn’t miss a beat as he bounded to the front of the room to inform attendees with his booming voice that a podium or a microphone weren’t for him. Emphasized by Walsh is that he considers himself a Tea Party member, not a Republican. Elected in 2010, Walsh spoke of the promises he had made while campaigning and which he then honored when sent to Congress to represent the 8th District. Among them were: He would never vote to increase the size of government; he would sleep on the floor of his office; he would not take his health care or pension benefits; he would face the pubic by holding open town hall meetings, and he would limit himself to six years in the U.S. House.
While campaigning, Walsh faced skepticism over his campaign promises, even from one of his most ardent supporters, Rick Biesada. But what kept Joe in line with every vote when in Washington, D.C. was knowing that Rick Biesada would not be at all happy with him if pledges were broken. As it was, Walsh held 363 town meeting, more than any other legislator in Congress. All were open to the public. Walsh likewise voted against every single budget bill Congress tried to pass that raised taxes. Unfortunately, Walsh was sent home after two years.
Joe Walsh rips apart Common Core AP History course
Joe Walsh went on to explain that we have somewhere between four and five years remaining to change the direction of this nation, a nation that is fast progressing toward Socialism with atheism as the norm. It doesn’t help that U.S. History will take a drastic left turn this fall. The AP History course, which will be taken by the nation’s best and brightest high school students, rewrites America’s past, cutting out the Founding Fathers. George Washington is only given a quick, passing nod; our founding document, the “Declaration of Independence”, merits only two brief mentions. What is more, children are taught a hatred for their country. Not surprising is that David Coleman, Common Core’s architect, is responsible for writing the new AP History standards.
As related by Walsh, it’s no longer a free country when the government takes 60 cents of every dollar; when its citizens can’t carry a firearm wherever they go for protection; and when government can force a Catholic priest into jail if he doesn’t do what government wants him to do.
Regarding the Ferguson shooting, according to Walsh most of America just doesn’t get it. The Ferguson shooting of a black teenager by a policeman had nothing to do with race or the victim Michael Brown. Rather, it has only to do with one man’s innocence or guilt. Eric Holder’s entrance onto the scene, served to stoke the already burning fire of the felt hostility of blacks against white cops.
While in Congress Joe Walsh was blunt and forceful in his rhetoric, not unlike the tone of his remarks before the Illinois Forum gathering. There was, however, a difference. The Republican Party didn’t wish to hear what Walsh had to say. Joe Walsh went on to say that he considers House Speaker John Boehner clueless as to what to do and even in understanding what is presently going on in this country.
Joe Walsh on Republicans and Amnesty with hint of a third party threat
Concerning amnesty, Walsh knows why Democrats want amnesty. It is for the votes, 19 million of them. But what about Republicans? Congressional Republicans are scared to death if they don’t support amnesty. Out of the 233 Republican representatives in Congress, only twenty-eight agree with Joe’s stance against amnesty. All others want to pass an amnesty bill after November. It Republicans do pass amnesty, warned Walsh, this will end the Republican Party. It isn’t what Walsh wants to happen, but this would so rile the Republican conservative base that a new party would surely emerge. It can truly be said that most Republicans are not adverse to big government, just as they are convinced amnesty would benefit this nation. Is it any wonder why this nation is in the trouble it is in today? Even with Obamacare, which represents 1/6 of this nation’s economy, and which passed in the dead of night with a purely partisan Democratic vote, little is heard from House Republicans about repealing it. Much of the talk involves nibbling around the edges of a bill which is still evolving and which can’t be fixed.
Walsh believes we have not been so close to losing our nation since the Civil War, and that presently we are going through a revolutionary period of time. Many Americans have no clue as to what was created by our Founding Fathers as the foundation upon this nation was built, as embodied in the “Declaration of Independence” and the “Constitution.” As a nation we are close to losing it if we don’t do what it will take to preserve it. The Republican Party is our only chance to take this country back. If the party refuses to fight in the next six years, it’s goodbye for America. It took 100 years for this nation to get to the point she is now at: morally and financially bankrupt. i.e.: While all seniors are taken care of under Medicare, only seniors who are really needy should be afforded this type of care.
Joe Walsh bemoans what has become a stupid country
Obama was an accidental president, as reflected by a nation which has morphed into a stupid country. Inform your elected representatives in no uncertain terms, that if they don’t start straightening up to change what is happening, then you will go elsewhere. Even should Republicans miraculously begin to understand the urgency to change policy, it might take an election or two to get government out of our lives. Our Founding Fathers would be appalled to see what has happened to a nation conceived with such hope and promise. Yet today there is more government tension and control in our lives than what our Founding Fathers were escaping from in the Old World.
Here in Illinois and at the federal level a false belief exists that if Republicans are elected here and there all will be fine. History tells us that most great nations last only 264 years. We are now somewhere in the middle of the 4th quarter. Time is of the essence. There is no time to lose if we care about what succeeding generation of Americans will inherit from us. Are you willing to allow what was once a proud and prosperous nation to slip into the dustbin of history?
An addendum to Joe’s remarks
A hand was raised after Joe Walsh finished his comments, comments that were received very warmly and with hearty applause. The hand belonged to David Crane, a practicing Indianapolis lawyer and psychiatrist, and a brother of Dan and Phil Crane. His comments were worth noting, as they were in line with the concerns of the writer.
- American is doomed. It took 100 years for the liberal take over to happen which started in 1910. We have blown it during the past 100 years, doing nothing to stop the liberal advance. Why should it take less time to take our nation back?
- Precincts must be filled to get the vote out. Young people must be trained. 50% of precincts are empty in Illinois. The Republican Party in Illinois has all sorts of excuses as to why it can’t win, but had Bill Brady obtained 2 or 3 more votes in each Illinois precinct, he would now be governor instead of Pat Quinn.
- Illinois ranks 49th in the loss of personal rights.
- In speaking about FDR, the only area of agreement is that organized labor shouldn’t have any place in government. Other than that, FDR has helped place this nation in the shape it is in today.
WE CAN’T AFFORD TO SIT OUT THIS ELECTION CYCLE!. GET TO WORK TO SAVE THIS NATION!