NTD NEWS     July 19, 2017
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  Commentary     --   Events     --   Your Legislators 

Last week, Governor Bruce Rauner experienced a big set-back in his billionaire elitist dream of turning Illinois into another Indiana-but-with-significantly-more-class. A sufficient number of Republican legislators in Springfield finally recognized that Illinois was days away from disaster, and overcame their fear of the Governor's wrath to help override his promised veto of the long overdue state budget. This meant Rauner's long-term plan to make Illinois a "right to work" state with minimum respect for a minimum wage and hostility toward tax increases of any kind had to be reconsidered.
     Once the Governor saw that his two-year strategy of holding Illinois' human services and educational system hostage to reach his goals had failed, he retreated to his executive suite to develop a new plan of attack. And it didn't take long for Governor Bruce to reveal the new stance his administration and 2018 campaign will be taking.  He simply "doubled down" on his conservatism.
     Virtually overnight, the flannel shirted, straight talkin', cycle ridin' man of the people has now dropped all pretense of being a socially moderate leader open to compromise now, or ever. Within days the Governor began firing his staff and replacing them with rigidly ideological conservatives. Now, other staff members seeing this writing on the wall, have started turning in their resignations.  
     A number of the men and women leaving the Rauner Administration had loyally been with him since his campaign days.  Apparently he was displeased with their failure to guide him and his policies to the 100% victory to which he believed he was entitled. As Rauner's role model in the White House might sum things up, "They're a bunch of losers!"
     So now the Governor is building a new team to lead him and his policies into the 2018 campaign year. His biggest new hire is his new Chief of Staff, Kristina Rasmussen. Ms. Rasmussen was formerly the President and COO of the Illinois Policy Institute. And what is the Illinois Policy Institute? Well, as of August 2016, IPI was listed as a "partner organization" in the Charles Koch Institute's Liberty@Work program. And in the past, IPI has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Donors Trust, an organization created to cloak the identity of donors to right-wing causes - climate change denial, for-profit schools, and other "sensitive and controversial issues," and the Koch Brothers' Donors Capital Fund, a 509(a)(3) organization "dedicated to the ideals of limited government, personal responsibility and free enterprise." IPI is also a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), literally a "bill writing factory" that has an obscene amount of influence on our most malleable (and lazy) legislators.
     Our recent local adventure with outside ideologues attempting to influence our local high school activities and our local election also included a hint of IPI involvement. And in 2015, when the village board of Lincolnshire passed a local "Right to Work" ordinance, a law firm affiliated with the IPI  represented Lincolnshire in two lawsuits related to the ordinance.
     So, what messages can we expect from the new Rauner regime? I imagine they will include language like this recent IPI statement when Ms. Rasmussen left to become the Governor's Chief of Staff: "The 32 percent tax hike without reform that the General Assembly just passed illustrates the imperative to win the fight to put the people of Illinois first. We must reform the system that has allowed House Speaker Mike Madigan and his political machine to create such hardship for working families." -- I have a hunch that the hardship Illinois' working families are feeling has a lot more to do with the policies the IPI wants to expand than it does with an income tax increase this year that's actually less than 1.5%.
     These folks are very, very serious and single minded about their mission. They don't just hate taxes and practically all of the social safety net, they hate the idea of government in general. (This is not a good thing for a democracy.) Make no mistake, they'll do whatever it takes to win - and they have the virtually unlimited money to do whatever it takes.
     But I guess we should give Bruce Rauner credit for not being coy about the direction his administration will now be taking. And in the coming weeks we'll be learning more specifics about our governor's new vision from his new Communications Director, Laurel Patrick. Some of you might recognize her name.  She worked in the past for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. - One more hint of things to come. 
                                                                      Nels Howard
                                                                    NTDO member since 1973 

P.S. The Chicago Tribune Editorial Page has consistently referred to the recent "32% tax hike" in their commentaries, as have most of Illinois' Republican politicians. And I admit that a 32% tax hike sure does sound shocking. How can any Illinois family survive a massive tax hike like that? However I'm reluctant to complain, because as a senior citizen this year I've been the recipient of an almost as shocking boost in my Social Security income. Although my monthly social security check saw no cost of living adjustment in 2016, this year my COLA adjustment was a whopping 17.64% more than the adjustment we received in 2015! Really, it's true!  Shocking!
     I guess I should explain further. You see, the COLA in 2015 adjusted the monthly payment to each Social Security recipient by 1.7% and this year (2017) it was raised by another whopping .003% (three-tenths of a percent). Get it? A .003% COLA raise beyond the previous 1.7% COLA equals 17.64% of 1.7%.
     See how that worked? This is what has consistently annoyed me as the Chicago Tribune, Republican politicians and anybody with a "no taxes ever" agenda keep referring to the desperately needed Illinois income tax increase as a 32% tax increase. The personal tax rate went from 3.5% to 4.95%, folks. That's a tax bump of 1.45% not 32%. These word games are only being used to inflame the public. They do nothing to encourage a thoughtful discussion of the next steps Illinois must take to repair the financial mess it is in. The Tribune editorial writers, especially Bruce Dold, should know better. So should every politician who professes to care about Illinois' future.   


To renew your NTD membership or to become an official member of the New Trier Dems for the first time
, visit our NTDO website. You'll see information on all you membership options.

The Wilmette Sidewalk Sale is  
This Saturday July 22 and Sunday July 23
After you've checked out the shopping bargains and enjoyed some tasty street food, stop by the NTDO table. Say hello, take the political straw poll, pick up some literature, get engaged.
Monday's NTDO Meet & Greet at AVLI was a big success!

Last Monday night, the New Trier Dems had a Meet & Greet at AVLI, the wonderful Greek Restaurant in Winnetka's "Laundry Building." The room was very comfortable. The food was delicious. The crowd was large and a mix of all ages. And the political figures, both office holders and candidates, not only shared their formal comments with everyone but joined in dozens of personal conversations.
If you missed it this year, plan on attending next year. It's a very nice event.

Upcoming events and news items:
Tomorrow, Thursday, July 20 at Arlington Park -
A "Day at the Races" for State Sen. Julie Morrison with
Special Guest John Cullerton 
When: Thursday, July 20, 2017.  Suite opens at 12:30pm, racing begins at 1:25pm
Where: Arlington Park, John Henry Suite, 2200 West Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights
What:   Come out to Arlington Park and enjoy this annual event with State Senator Julie Morrison and Senate President John Cullerton.
For additional information or to RSVP, register online or by email. Or call 312-630-7700

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.

FYI: The NTDO Events Calendar 
for the rest of 2017

9 am-5 pm Downtown Glencoe
9 am-5 pm Downtown Winnetka
566 Chestnut, Winnetka, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

9am-5pm Downtown Wilmette
Lake View Room and Beach Pavilion 1 pm - 4 pm
Maggiano's Old Orchard, Skokie, 5 pm-9 pm
Nov. (Date & Place TBA)  
All North Shore Democrats Invited

The guest speaker for the October 8, 2017 NTD Annual Dinner has been confirmed.

It's Congressman Mike Quigley. As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Quigley will bring his perspective on the possible Russian meddling in our 2016 Election and the seriousness of such a threat to our democratic process.  (Were any Trump operatives involved?) -- By October, who knows what our guest speaker may have to report?

Your Legislators:

Legislators Democratic Legislators
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. 
Jan Schakowsky , 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. 

Brad Schneider , 10th U.S. Congressional District Representative which includes a number of precincts in Glencoe.
Daniel Biss,   State Senator for Illinois' 9th State Senate District.The Ninth District includes all of New Trier Township.
Julie MorrisonState Senator for Illinois' 29th State Senate District. The district includes New Trier's northernmost precincts.   

Robyn Gabel, IL 18th District State Representative. The 18th District includes much of New Trier up to Hazel Avenue and Dundee Road.
Laura Fine , IL 17th District State Representative.
The 17th District includes the East Glenview and West Wilmette areas of New Trier Township.

Scott Drury 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:


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or go directly to ActBlue 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.    
About Us:
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, Suite 112, in Winnetka, IL. Ph: 847-446-8030
Contact: newtrierdemocrats@gmail.com.

*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.