This past week, between headline-generating (and bizarre) tweets from our nation's Commander in Chief and new embarrassing revelations about President Trump's cabinet, some actual legislation was introduced by the Republican leadership. After years of bad-mouthing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and voting over 50 times to repeal it -- with nothing to replace it -- Republicans have finally introduced a healthcare plan of their own. The American Healthcare Act.
But even though this Obamacare replacement is being introduced with pride by the GOP's youthful leader and former Ayn Rand acolyte, Paul Ryan, and its inspiring elder statesman, Senator Mitch McConnell, the proposed legislation is being met with disapproval from a number of Republicans Some dislike the plan because it still includes "too many entitlements." -- Like what? Ensuring you can have insurance after you get sick? Or, trying to keep the possibility alive that poor people can still receive some insurance coverage?
Other Republicans who frequently said they hated Obamacare, are now concerned that the new GOP plan removes healthcare access for too many of their constituents. Imagine that! Their people have kinda gotten used to having access to healthcare, some for the first time in their lives. If the millions of Americans who will be hurt by this legislation weren't a reality, all this scrambling by Republicans would be amusing. But it isn't.
The basic idea behind the Republicans' plan is to shift health care costs away from the federal government and onto patients and states (just what Illinois needs right now). Tax credits would replace direct subsidies. American's would be encouraged to establish health savings accounts. The use of federal Medicaid funds to subsidize state health care programs for the poor and disabled would be phased out.
As Rep. Jason Chaffetz R-Utah recently said, "Americans (have) got to make a choice, so maybe instead of getting that new iPhone they should invest in their own health care." Yes! That's the answer! Great advice for a single mom earning minimum wage or an out-of-work 50 year-old man with limited job options.
Perhaps you're getting the gist of what "reform" will mean now that Republicans control both houses of Congress and the White House regime. The ACA was hardly universal healthcare to start with, but to many of America's right wing ideologues and think tanks (and the moneyed interests supporting them), Obamacare was anathema to their entire economic philosophy. A nationwide program to provide accessible healthcare to all citizens controlled by the central government? They were against it in 1948 and they're against it today.
And you can be sure that The American Healthcare Act is just the first of many attempts we will see to turn back America's clock. I'm not just talking about turning the clock back to pre-Obama days. I'm talking about legislation aimed at taking us back to pre-Kennedy and even pre-FDR days.
We can expect laws aimed at reasserting old societal norms, diluting federally mandated protections for "minorities" - racial, religious, sexual, gender-identified - any group viewed in some states or regions a "lesser" human beings. We'll see more serious efforts to reverse environmental laws that get in the way of productivity and profits. We'll see attempts to weaken federal agencies that oversee a range of industries and institutions from food processing to education. Watch.
This desire to turn back America's clock has probably always been a part of our political dialogue. But in "modern times" today's battle lines were formed in the Great Depression. The conservative interests had been having a ball throughout the "Roaring Twenties" under super- business-friendly Republican administrations. But the Depression brought in President Franklin D. Roosevelt. And with him came a lot of federal programs and controls, some brilliant, some foolish and some, like Social Security, thankfully still with us today. It was a massive shift of power from the states to federal control. Then, our build up for war and entry into World War II shifted even more power to Washington.
The memory of those good old days under President Coolidge and the dream of someday once again having a government that encouraged "unfettered capitalism" never died. The "holy grail" for conservative ideologues was an America with weak federal institutions (actually weak government at every level).
So today, we're seeing a serious attempt to erase a nationwide system for health care accessibility. Tomorrow, it may be a ideological effort to privatize the social security system or to rethink the funding of public schools. Since this battle began in the 1930's a variety of "think tanks" have been formed to champion related conservative causes. Their issues may vary but they have one common bond - a desire to see government virtually go away.
Today, The American Enterprise Institute is one of those dedicated think tanks. Formed in 1938, among other things they espouse "democratic capitalism" and "limited government." The AEI is one of the largest, most influential and most well funded conservative think tanks in the nation. It's also been called America's most prominent think tank associated with neo-conservatism.
Why do I mention the AEI in these comments? Because it appears that they and other organizations with similar ideological views are in the process of influencing our non-partisan local elections on April 4. And why would devotees of the AEI want to get involved in our obscure elections? Because conservative strategists at the national level have shown that if candidates with far right views can win office locally, they can hone their political skills while in office, try to interject their ideology and, when an opportunity appears, be ready to run for a higher office. That's how Tea Partiers eventually found themselves in Congress.
Even though I identify as a New Trier Democrat, I am also a 44 year resident of Wilmette. So, I appreciate the fact that our local governments in our villages and at the township level is non-partisan. And based on how this system of non-partisan officeholders, staff and volunteers has made our region a great place to live, I especially resent the idea that one ideology should presume to dictate how our institutions operate. I urge everyone reading this to investigate this situation further and I have included two Internet links below that will help you understand what's going on much better than my words can.
NTDO member since 1973
These are the two websites I implore you to visit before you leave this newsletter. They will give you a a much clearer picture of what is going on behind this unusual local election:
The first website
was created by
"The Wilmette Friends."
It has a clear (and short) explanation of why these local residents are supporting specific candidate slates. It also offers information on each recommended candidate, a list of the supporters and an invitation to join them.
To visit that website
The second website has a compelling trailer to a crowd-funded film now in production titled "New Trier - Tip of the Spear."
(It should be appearing at the Wilmette theater soon.) The trailer does a fascinating job of connecting the dots between what may be dark outside money and our local community elections. It's only about 3-minutes long but it packs a wallop.
To visit that website click here.
Don't Forget -- April 4 is
New Trier Township Election Day!
Have you visited Senator Biss' website "The Road Back" --
click on the link to his video -- then, throughout the summer follow his plan's development on the website.
Daniel explains a lot about how Illinois got where it is today and how we can begin the journey on the road back toward achieving our state's tremendous economic potential.
Mark you Calendar now for March 18
the New Trier Township Candidate Forum --
sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Wilmette.
Saturday, March 18,
Wilmette Village Hall
1200 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette
Off year elections traditionally draw an embarrassingly low voter turnout. This situation has the potential to produce results that we sometimes come to regret. This election year it is more important than ever that you participate in the voting process. You can learn more about the candidates at this valuable forum. This is especially important in the contested races such as for District 39 and for the N.T. Township Board.
9:00am Village of Wilmette Board of Trustees
10:00am Wilmette Park District Board of Commissioners
11:00am Wilmette School District 39 Board of Education
12:00pm Wilmette School District 37 Board of Education
1:00pm New Trier Township Board of Trustees*
The League of Women Voters of Wilmette
*In cooperation with LWV Winnetka/Northfield/Kenilworth
Other upcoming events and news items:
Tomorrow night -- March 9 in Deerfield --
The PFLAG Monthly Meeting
Thursday, March 9, at 7:15pm
BJBE Synagogue, 1201 Lake Cook Rd., Deerfield, IL
Monthly meeting of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). This month's topic will be LGBTQ activism from the Age of AIDS to the Age of Trump - how to cope and how to persevere. Featured guests are attorney Mike Bauer and his husband, Roger Simon.
PFLAG meets at 7:15pm the second Thursday of each month at BJBE Synagogue, Deerfield.
For additional information, visit the PFLAG website here or email here
Tuesday, March 14 in Washington, D.C. -- NARAL Pro-Choice America's The Power of Roe Event.
When: March 14, 6:30 - 9:00pm
The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW, Washington, DC
NARAL Pro-Choice America's The Power of Roe event. Featured speakers: Senators Tammy Duckworth and Maggie Hassan.
Friday morning, March 17 in Chicago - Breakfast with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.
Friday, March 17, from 8:00 - 9:30am
Where: Ema, 66 W. Illinois, Chicago
(valet parking is available)
lunch and program: 12:00 - 1:30pm
Friday, March 17, Registration/reception: 11:00am;
Friday, March 17 in Chicago -- ACLU Lunch: Fighting for a More Perfect Union.
go. 720 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
The ACLU Lunch with guest speaker Jelani Cobb, author and journalist who writes about injustice and the complexity of race in America for The New Yorker. To sit with Tenth Dems, Reserve your seat now-register here, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (847) 266-8683.
Purchase your tickets quickly: this event will likely sell out.
the Peoples Climate March on April 29 in Washington D.C.
Wednesday, April 19 in Chicago -- ICPR Presents
the Mikva Award to Hon. Adlai and Nancy Stevenson
ICPR Presents Mikva Award to Hon. Adlai and Nancy Stevenson
: Wednesday, April 19, from Noon - 1:30pm
: Petterino's, 150 N. Dearborn St., Chicago
: Judge Mary Mikva will join The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) to present the Stevensons with The Mikva Legacy Award For Truth and Justice for their extensive work in Illinois through advocacy, public service, and the Stevenson Center on Democracy.
You can RSVP online or call ICPR at 312-436-1274 for questions.
Start making plans now for
On Saturday, April 29 in our nation's capital and across the country, marchers will stand together to demand that Donald Trump act in a meaningful way to address the climate crisis and stop attacking the hard-won protections for all our communities, especially people of color, indigenous people, women, and more. Together, we can show the world that we demand climate action. To sign up for the Washington march click here. -- (More details for events across the country to follow.)
When: Saturday, April 29, 9:00 AM -3:00 PM
Where: Washington D.C.
who represent New Trier Township in
Washington, Springfield and Cook County
You'll be hearing a lot from these exceptional public servants. --
And they want to be hearing a lot from you.
The fact is, they need to hear from you and want to hear from you in order to represent you most effectively. So, the first thing you can do is get to know who these people are. The links below to their campaign websites are a good place to start.
, 9th U.S. Congressional District Representative
and Chief Deputy House Democratic Whip. The new Ninth District boundaries include all of New Trier except for Glencoe.
, 10th U.S. Congressional District Representative which includes a number of precincts in Glencoe.
Julie Morrison, State Senator for Illinois' 29th State Senate District
State Senator for Illinois' 9th State Senate Distric
t.The Ninth District includes all of New Trier Township.
. The district includes New Trier's northernmost precincts.
IL 18th District State Representative
. The 18th District includes much of New Trier up to Hazel Avenue and Dundee Road.
, IL 17th District State Representative.
The 17th District includes the East Glenview and West Wilmette areas of New Trier Township.
IL 58th District State Representative.
The 58th District includes the northernmost precincts in Glencoe.
Larry Suffredin, Cook County 13th District Commissioner. The 13th District includes all of New Trier, Evanston and Niles Townships.
Dear Fellow Democrats,
If you are not already an NTDO member, and enjoy our Newsletter, we hope you consider joining us as a dues-paying member. NTDO is a not-for-profit political action organization. We depend on our membership dues to support our Democratic causes and candidates.
There are two options for dues payments: by check or credit card.
By Check: Make check payable to NTDO and mail to our office:
800 Oak St., Suite 112
Winnetka, IL 60093
By Credit Card: visit our website by clicking here
Click on the "Get Involved" tab
Find the link for "contribute with ActBlue"
or go directly there by clicking here.
|Still not a member of the New Trier Dems? Your participation in grassroots political action will make a difference. -- Come join us.
When you're a member of the New Trier Democratic Organization, you have an active role in affecting the political process; participating in grassroots campaigns, staying in touch with elected officials, playing a role in deciding which candidates are endorsed. You'll also gain free admission to select forums and events throughout the year.
Come be a part of New Trier's grassroots political community.
The New Trier Democratic Organization is made up of hundreds of grassroots volunteers dedicated to advancing progressive ideals through the political process. We welcome your participation.
Dean T. Maragos, Committeeman New Trier Township
We are located at 800 Oak Street in Winnetka, IL. Ph: 847-446-8030
*This Internet communication paid for by the New Trier Democratic Organization and not authorized by any federal or state candidate or campaign committee. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is available for purchase from the State Board of Elections in Springfield, Illinois.