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local government

Twitter Isn’t Real Life

Civility may be dying in politics but is it that big of a problem in the real world? Are we undoing decades of progress when people start becoming afraid to express their political beliefs? Will the decline of local newspapers leave local governments unchecked? Washington Examiner reporter, Salena Zito joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Do Regulations Protect Consumers Or Crony Capitalists?

“Don't just get government out of the way, get it out of the corner of the wealthy.” If any state licensing regulations made sense or had substantial evidence to back them up, wouldn’t they be enacted in every state rather than differing depending on the power of the lobby in that state? Is government supposed to be an incubator of entrepreneurship? Vice President and Director of the Open Society Project and co-author of the book “The Captured Economy: How the Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequality,” Brink Lindsey joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Hurricane Relief Update From Contractor On The Ground

100% of the problems happening in Puerto Rico are a result of the incompetence of the local government officials. There is a lot of demagoguery from the media, the mayor of San Juan, and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who don’t want to admit that Puerto Rican leaders were not prepared for the hurricane, but instead, choose to blame President Trump. A former Chicago-area police officer who has just returned from Puerto Rico, Brian Evans, joins Dan and Amy to discuss to his perspective from being on the ground.

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Solutions For Struggling Local Governments

Illinois – with nearly 7,000 units of government – has many municipalities in financial crisis. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes discuss with City Journal's Aaron Renn ways struggling municipalities can bounce back from their precarious financial situations. They also discuss how a Springfield lobbyist has become wealthy from gaming the system, and they talk about a new report showing Chicago as the number one city from which people are leaving. Also, hear the latest developments on the Cook County sweetened beverage tax and the likelihood of its repeal.

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A Northern IL Barber's Fight Against Wasteful Government

With a backlog of bills and tax hike proposals at the state level – and nearly 7,000 taxing bodies in the state at the local level – Illinois taxpayers are hit from all over. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to Mark Glennon of Wirepoints.com about which proposals currently in Springfield actually help taxpayers, and which ones hurt. At the local level, they talk to a newly-elected McHenry Township trustee whose goal is to consolidate or eliminate the township entirely – savings taxpayers' money.

They also discuss the state's ongoing impasse with its largest government-worker union, AFSCME, and how a potential U.S. Supreme Court case could relieve fair share payers of the union's political stranglehold. And Proft and Hughes break down wasteful spending in higher education in the state.

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Recapping The Municipal Elections

Municipal elections took place April 4, and on this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Illinois Policy CEO John Tillman explain what that means for you and your pocketbook. They also talk to two victorious candidates who overcame obstacles en route to election day wins.

And Proft and Tillman give their thoughts on the political dynamics of the grand bargain, and how Gov. Bruce Rauner should message his agenda moving forward.

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Illinoisans Take Their Frustrations To The Voting Booth

If you hold public office and want to continue to do so---work in favor of your constituents---not yourself. Otherwise you’ll be next to go. Pat Hughes explains in this "Two Minute Warning."

This is Pat Hughes with this week’s Upstream Ideas ‘Two Minute Warning.’

So, as it turns out, Illinois families are tired of funding the lavish lifestyles of politicians.

And in this year’s Municipal Elections, they took their frustrations to the voting booth.

In Algonquin Township, Highway Commissioner Bob Miller is out – ending a fifty- two-year family dynasty, passed down from Miller’s grandfather. The Miller family was pulling in over four hundred thousand dollars a year. Apparently, voters in Algonquin Township take issue with a small township office – paid for by their tax dollars – being used as a family business.

Likewise, voters in Orland Park threw out twenty-four-year incumbent Mayor Dan McLaughlin. Seems to have had something to do with the one-hundred and ten-thousand dollar pay increase he got the Village Board to give him. Voters also took issue with being on the hook for the pension he spiked by eighty-thousand dollars per year. Imagine that.

Miller and McLaughlin aren’t the only two public officials in the state who have abused their positions for personal gain. They aren’t the only ones who have funded their life-styles on the backs of families and businesses and acted with total disregard for the trust placed in them by their constituents. There are other politicians who abuse the moral obligation to act responsibly with other people’s money.  But, Miller and McLaughlin’s political demise demonstrates that voters are not static.

They have seen the quality of their lives worsen as government grows more costly and inefficient. They’ve seen their home values and school quality decline while their property taxes go up. And, when armed with information about how their public officials have used and abused their trust and their money, they will rebel.  They just did.

So if you hold public office and want to continue to do so---work in favor of your constituents---not yourself. Otherwise you’ll be next to go.

You’ve been warned.

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Dollars And Sense: School Bd. Demands A Yes Vote

If you are a Glen Ellyn resident, you know your school board is demanding a ‘Yes’ Vote on a $24 million referendum. You may not know that since the last major referendum in Glen Ellyn, enrollment growth has slowed and even fallen. Yet, local property tax spending has increased by 253%. Pat Hughes explains in this edition of "Dollars And Sense."

This is Pat Hughes with this week’s Upstream Ideas ‘Dollars and Sense.’

If you are a Glen Ellyn resident, you know your school board is demanding a ‘Yes’ Vote on a twenty-four million dollar referendum.  

You may not know that since the last major referendum in Glen Ellyn, enrollment growth has slowed and even fallen. Yet, local property tax spending has increased by two-hundred and fifty-three percent.

As your property taxes are pressured higher and higher, your property values drop lower and lower.

In fact, over the past decade, property values in Glen Ellyn have dropped nineteen percent.

If this continues, by twenty-twenty-three, you will pay fifty percent of your home’s value in property taxes.  

The school board’s demands and manipulative “Forward for Kids” campaign are shameless.  If anything, a twenty-four million dollar tax increase leads us “Backward” and “Downward.” Big-spending Illinois politicians like those on the District Forty-One School Board have made it hard enough for families in DuPage.

They continue to raise your taxes with no regard for you or the life you are trying to build. Their campaign and their demands are outrageous and out of touch. Vote against them.

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Dollars And Sense: For Our Students?

You already pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation even while your property values drop lower and lower. Yet, school districts across the state are demanding more of your money, claiming it is "For Our Students." Pat Hughes explains in this edition of "Dollars And Sense".

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Richard Irvin On His Candidacy For Aurora Mayor

A lot of focus is on the state and national level, but municipal elections are right around the corner on April 4. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to a candidate for mayor in Aurora who is looking to make reforms to benefit taxpayers. They also explain how Orland Park's mayor – now one of the highest paid in the world – raised his own salary to spike his pension.

Keeping an eye on the state level, Proft and Hughes also go in-depth on a minimum wage hike proposal in Springfield with economist Don Boudreaux. And they shine light on a $1.5 million proposal two Democrat lawmakers were proposing to translate the General Assembly website from English to Spanish – something that can already be done for free.

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Will You Vote In The April 4th Local Elections?

Orland Park's Decades Of Debt

Dan & Amy discuss the Village of Orland Park's Mayoral Race and 24-year incumbent Dan McLaughlin's efforts to spike his pension by quadrupling his salary.

The South Cook News took an in-depth look at Orland Park and Mayor McLaughlin's record:

When the shopping spree started back in 1998, Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin was warned. 

One trustee asked village leaders “not do something comparable to going to Disney World on a credit card.”

They would do that, and then some.

A recreation center. A pool. A fund to buy vacant land. Renovating a shopping district. More employees. Higher salaries.

Two decades and some $234 million in debt later, the bill for McLaughlin’s borrowing and building, hiring and public employee pension-increasing has come due.

The mayor, 63, is preparing for retirement. Orland Park property owners are girding themselves for years of suffocating property taxes.

Read more here.

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Glen Ellyn Schools Chief Admits To Sharing Community Emails With Pro-Referendum Group

Glen Ellyn School District 41's school superintendent has taken responsibility for giving the email addresses of school parents to a local political advocacy group.

After numerous inquiries from school board members and village trustees, Paul Gordon, District 41 school superintendent, finally acknowledged late Thursday that he released all community email addresses the district had to 41 Forward for Kids, which is supporting a referendum to borrow $24.2 million.

Gordon made the admission in an email to school board members, the DuPage Policy Journal has learned.

Read more here.

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Pension Spiking: Same Story, New Cast

Another Illinois politician is raising his salary to maximize his pension benefits before he retires. This time it's Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin. You've been warned.

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In Glen Ellyn A School District Asks Taxpayers For More Money. Out Of Thin Air.

Glen Ellyn District 41 is bigger and spends more today than it did in 1987. Enrollment is 32 percent percent higher. Its five schools serve 3,163 students, versus 2,300 back then.


Local property tax spending by the district has grown nearly eight times as much over the period, by 253 percent, from $13 million to $46 million in 2015.


Most of this increase has gone to teacher salaries. Two years after the 1987 referendum gave it a bigger pot of money, the District 41 Board of Education approved a 20 percent pay increase for teachers. Salaries and pension benefits have steadily grown ever since.

Read more from DuPage Policy Journal.

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