February 5, 2015 | Filed Under Aaron Schock, Congress, Ethics, GOP, Government, Government Corruption, House of Representatives, Illinois, Republicans, Warner Todd Huston, Washington Post | Comments Off
-By Warner Todd Huston
Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock has not had a good week. First he was criticized over his office decor, and today he has had an aide resign over a “racist” posting on social media.
Schock was criticized for ethics violations after initially having his office decorated for free in a garish pseudo-Downton Abby style.
Before that controversy even died down, though, he’s found a troublesome aide that needed firing over some sort of racist remark on social media.
January 24, 2015 | Filed Under Aaron Schock, Adam Kinzinger, Bill Foster, Budget, Business, Chicago, Congress, Danny Davis, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Ethics, GOP, Government, Government Corruption, House of Representatives, Illinois, Jan Schakowsky, Jobs, Liberals, Luis Gutierrez, Progressives, Randy Hultgren, Robert Dold, Senate, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off
(Here is my very first piece over at The Watchdog….)
-By Warner Todd Huston
A recent survey of the wealth of members of Congress revealed that, on average, it would take the combined wealth of 18 American households to equal the wealth of a single member of Congress. While this is an averaged statistic and individual cases vary, a review of the wealth of members of the Illinois delegation to Washington proves the rule rather than the exception.
The January report by OpenSecrets.org found that, “The median net worth of a member of Congress was $1,029,505 in 2013… compared with an average American household’s median net worth of $56,355.”
It is apropos to review what members of Congress are paid as they serve in Washington. Members of the House of Representatives are paid $174,000 a year, a salary that has been frozen in place since 2009. Speakers of the House and majority and minority leaders make a bit more than the average Congressman to befit their higher positions. Members of the House cannot collect a pension until they have served for five years, meaning they’d have to win election three times. Their pensions are never higher than 80 percent of their highest salary and is paid out at retirement age–unless they are still working somewhere in the federal government. In that case, they can’t collect a pension until they are no longer earning a federal salary.
So, what about Illinois? Well, the congressional salary itself certainly puts our representatives in a higher tax bracket than the average citizen of their state. According to information released by the U.S. Census, the median household income of the 13 million some citizens in Illinois is $56,777 annually. That is about 7 percent higher than the national average…
July 24, 2013 | Filed Under Aaron Schock, Adam Kinzinger, Barack Obama, Budget, Business, Congress, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Ethics, GOP, House of Representatives, Jobs, Liberals, Peter Roskam, President, Progressives, Randy Hultgren, Republicans, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off
Illinois House Republicans Peter Roskam (IL-6), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Randy Hultgren (IL-14), John Shimkus (IL-15), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), and Aaron Schock (IL-18) issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s speech in Galesburg, IL:
“Today, President Obama made his 19th pivot back to what has always been most important to Americans, jobs and the economy. With its 9.2% unemployment rate, full-blown budget crisis and sky-high taxes, our shared home state of Illinois is an example of government making all the wrong economic choices. However, no amount of presidential pivots and speechmaking will change the fact that too many Illinoisans are out of work. It doesn’t have to be this way.
“House Republicans have never strayed from our focus on creating jobs and strengthening our economy. We are developing a tax reform package for individuals and businesses that would increase American competitiveness in the global economy. We have passed a jobs and skills training package, approved the Keystone XL Pipeline, acted to protect families and individuals from a costly healthcare law and put forth a plan to permanently fix our student loan crisis. These proposals would immediately and demonstrably boost the economy, and set the foundation for long-term growth. We agree with the president, too many Americans are struggling in today’s economy, and we stand ready to work toward real, bipartisan solutions, not listen to another stump speech.”
January 16, 2013 | Filed Under Aaron Schock, Adam Kinzinger, Budget, Congress, Conservatives, Economy/Finances, GOP, Government, House of Representatives, Illinois, Peter Roskam, Randy Hultgren, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off
-By Warner Todd Huston
We do a lot of carping on blogs and in the media about what our Representatives in Congress do, of course. But once in a while we should praise them when they get together and do something right.
Today we offer a bit of positive reinforcement for our GOP delegation in D.C. for voting against the Sandy Relief package.
No, we aren’t crowing that they’ve voted to deprive victims of Hurricane Sandy of much needed relief funds. No, what we are praising them for is for refusing to vote for a bill that is stuffed with nothing but wasteful, pork spending.
Unfortunately, the bill wasn’t just for Sandy relief. It was also stuffed with billions for FBI agent salaries, road projects in states unaffected by Sandy, cash for upgrades to the money-losing Amtrak rail lines, and other wasteful spending.
June 10, 2012 | Filed Under Aaron Schock, Adam Kinzinger, Bobby Schilling, Congress, Conservatives, Dan Patlak, Dan Rutherford, Democracy, Democrats/Leftists, Elections, GOP, Government, House of Representatives, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Joe Walsh, Judy Baar-Topinka, Liberals, Mitt Romney, Pat Brady, Peter Roskam, Politicians Illinois, President, Randy Hultgren, Republicans, SB600, Senate, State Central Committee, Steve Rauschenberger, Tom Cross, United Republican Fund, Warner Todd Huston | 1 Comment
-By Warner Todd Huston
The Illinois Republican Party held its 2012 Party Convention this weekend. On the docket was addressing some asked for rules changes and picking a slate of delegates to the GOP national convention to nominate Mitt Romney to carry the Party’s banner in the upcoming presidential election. My ultimate analysis is that this was a status quo convention, but signs show that the status quo might not be too long for this world.
Two things first, here. One, I have to state up front that I intended to be a delegate from my district at the Illinois GOP convention. I registered as such and was accepted by my man Tim Schneider of the Hanover Republicans, but forces outside of politics (in other words, real life) prevented me from participating to the fullest extent. Regardless, I wanted to let you know of my intentions upfront so that you can see that I am not just a disinterested bystander in this deal.
Two, if you want a blow-by-blow account of the many great speeches, see Cal Skinner’s report at McHenry County Blog. I will mention a few things, but won’t do the speech-by-speech analysis. Skinner covered that very well so I don’t feel the need to cover that ground again.
Rep. Aaron Schock plies the crowd after his address
Now, The single most controversial issue that was on the docket was the decision to initiate direct elections. For instance, there are many Republicans who want to change how the members of the State Central Committee are selected. Currently they are appointed by the committeemen but many voices in the party want to change that. They want these party leaders to stand for election (like the Democrats do, incidentally) instead of being appointed by the votes of the committeemen. This issue has been in debate throughout the state for several years already and I’ve covered that debate many times. (Check my out old coverage of SB600 using the search feature)
I am told that several attempts were made by various committeemen to get this issue its due during Friday’s Committee meetings. The issue failed in committee on Friday, but a spirited debate continued that afternoon, anyway. Ultimately, John Parrot of Congressional District 15 attempted to get the direct elections issue brought to the convention floor on Saturday for discussion and a vote as a separate issue. Instead party leaders decided to allow a “yea” or “nay” vote on Saturday.
May 29, 2012 | Filed Under Aaron Schock, Adam Kinzinger, Anti-Americanism, Bobby Schilling, Budget, Business, Capitalism, Congress, Crony Capitalism, Economy/Finances, GOP, Government, House of Representatives, Illinois, Jobs, Joe Walsh, Liberals, Pensions, Peter Roskam, PLA, Randy Hultgren, Regulation, Robert Dold, Taxes, Unions, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off
-By Warner Todd Huston
For such a blue state, Illinois has some rather good Republicans in Congress, but on one issue many of them consistently fail. That is in their unfortunate support for Big Labor. The issue of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) is a perfect example of this penchant to support issues dear to the hearts of Big Labor.
Unions love PLAs because the rule forces government construction projects to be conducted under union rules, to pay union pay scales to workers as well as pension payments to the union plans, and requires all work to be controlled by union bosses even if the companies hired to do the work are non-union. With PLAs unions feel they have the best of both worlds because they can still benefit from free government money even when they aren’t hired to do the work. In short, PLAs are a sop to unions.
The main problem with PLAs is that they drive up the costs of government building contracts from word go. This costs us all money and in this era when we need to be cutting back the skyrocketing costs of government adding rules that drive up costs before the first foundation is dug is madness. Worse it is unfair to the largest number of construction companies that aren’t union members as they are forced as a condition of getting the work to pay unions thousands out of their pockets even as they’ll never benefit from union pensions or other programs.
Sadly, too many Illinois Republican Congressmen have been consistently in favor of allowing unions this free government handout. It is probably not a huge surprise that even Republicans in deep blue Illinois might end up bowing to the needs of greedy Big Labor initiatives. But it is not a healthy support regardless.
March 14, 2012 | Filed Under Aaron Schock, Congress, Conservatives, Cook County, Dan Patlak, Elections, GOP, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Joe Walsh, Peter Roskam, Republicans, Robert Dold, Tom Cross, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off
-By Warner Todd Huston
I attended the annual Northwest Suburban Republican Lincoln Day Dinner March 14 and took a handful of photos for your interest. This year’s special guest speaker was Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, in town making the rounds for his run for the White House.
The program was emceed by WLS Radio personality and political gadfly Dan Proft. Also speaking were Congressmen Joe Walsh (8th District), Robert Dold (10th District), Peter Roskam (6th District), and the keynote speaker was Rep. Aaron Schock (18th District).
I got a bit rushed by the Secret Service, sadly. I had taken a chair just to the right of the stage (audience right, not stage right) and had all my computer gear and whatnot out and in use and the Secret Service decided I wasn’t allowed to be there for what ever absurd reason. I was 5 tables away from the stage and in a corner, not in an aisle. Anyway, they grabbed all my gear and rushed me to the back of the room. Sheese.
Still I settled in and was at least allowed to take my photos. So, as the program began Radio talker Proft began the night with a joke. Not that this is uncommon, for an emcee to start with a joke, but it was an amusing one, so I’ll recount it here.
Dan Proft, WLS Radio
“What is the difference between a Democrat politician in Illinois and a mobster,” Proft asked. The answer: “A pension.”
Proft next introduced Newt’s wife Callista who then introduced the Speaker.
Newt Takes the Stage
Seeing as how this was the Lincoln Day Dinner, Newt began with some words about the 16th President, noting that he was the president of technology for his day. Lincoln held a patent as an inventor, was a railroad booster (and corporate lawyer) and was always keenly interested in new war tech as he led the union to victory.
October 18, 2011 | Filed Under Aaron Schock, Adam Kinzinger, Bobby Schilling, Budget, Business, Congress, Democrats/Leftists, GOP, Government, House of Representatives, Illinois, Joe Walsh, Liberals, Mark Kirk, Peter Roskam, President, Randy Hultgren, Republicans, Robert Dold, Stimulus, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off
This morning, Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (IL-06), 8 House GOP Committee Chairs, and the entire Illinois GOP Delegation sent a letter to Illinois’ legislative leaders and Gov. Quinn in advance of next week’s Veto Session. Gov. Quinn wrote in his FY 2012 Budget earlier this year that his Administration was considering “seeking a federal guarantee of the debt” for Illinois’ $85 billion unfunded pension liability.
They write, “we urge you to seize the opportunity to appropriately reform the State’s public pension systems to address their massive unfunded liabilities,” but “we can say with clarity: there will be no legislative bailouts from the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Roskam was joined by the Illinois GOP congressional delegation and Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, Education & Workforce Chairman John Kline, Energy & Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus, Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith, Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa and Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp.
Statement of GOP House Members from Ill. on the Proposed Congressional Map Filed Today in Federal Court
August 4, 2011 | Filed Under Aaron Schock, Adam Kinzinger, Anti-Americanism, Bobby Schilling, Congress, Democrats/Leftists, Elections, GOP, Government, House of Representatives, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Joe Walsh, Peter Roskam, Redistricting, Republicans, Warner Todd Huston | 1 Comment
“The Fair Map filed in federal court today proves that it is possible to create congressional districts that respect both constitutional and democratic principles. More importantly, this map stands in stark contrast to the contorted map passed by the Democrats, which is so gerrymandered that it can have no goal but to maximize partisan advantage by disregarding the will of Illinois voters.
“The Fair Map specifically addresses the problems with the Democrats’ map by providing a second district for the state’s growing Latino population, creating district lines that satisfy the tests for compactness, and protecting communities of interest by keeping them wholly within individual districts.
“We look forward to an impartial hearing in court that exposes the fatal flaws in the Democrats’ Illinois congressional redistricting scheme and recognizes the fact that creating fair, compact, and representative congressional districts is not only possible, but necessary.”
Rep. Peter Roskam (Il-6)
Rep. Joe Walsh (Il-8)
Rep. Robert Dold (Il-10)
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Il-11)
Rep. Judy Biggert (Il-13)
Rep. Randy Hultgren (Il-14)
Rep. Don Manzullo (Il-16)
Rep. Bobby Schilling (Il-17)
Rep. Aaron Schock (Il-18)
Rep. John Shimkus (Il-19)
August 2, 2011 | Filed Under Aaron Schock, Adam Kinzinger, Bobby Schilling, Budget, Congress, Conservatives, GOP, Government, House of Representatives, Illinois, Peter Roskam, Randy Hultgren, Republicans, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off
-By Warner Todd Huston
So, it was claimed to be the end of the world if Congress didn’t vote on the debt bill. But not every Illinois Republican voted to support GOP leader and House Speaker John Boehner’s bill. Let’s see how the Illinois GOP delegation voted, shall we?
The most vocal opponent of the bill was the 8th District’s Joe Walsh. He said that he could not, in good conscience, vote yes on the bill. Amusingly, he said in a radio interview on WLS that if he saw Speaker Boehner headed his way with the intent to change his mind, he’d turn and run the other way.
To his credit, Walsh did not try and claim that he would stand fast in the face of a direct Boehner appeal, but he did say that he was voting his conscience regardless.
June 15, 2011 | Filed Under Aaron Schock, Bobby Schilling, Budget, Business, Capitalism, Congress, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Free Trade, GOP, Government, House of Representatives, Illinois, Jobs, Liberals, Peter Roskam, PLA, President, Randy Hultgren, Republicans, Right To Work, Taxes, Unions, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off
-By Warner Todd Huston
On Monday I alerted you all to a jobs-killing, union-favoring amendment being considered in the House of Representatives in Washington, one that needed to be defeated. Unfortunately, the amendment was successful and now, in this dour economy, unions will be able to make matters worse just when we need a shot in the arm. (See previous post for particulars of the bill.)
Sadly, we lost this battle by one stinking vote and this example shows that even though we may have a GOP controlled House of Reps. they still don’t always support conservative measures — and they need to be carefully watched! Those supporting this jobs-killing amendment numbered 204 and those voting in favor of economic success only numbered 203. (25 representatives did not vote at all)
Now, seeing as how I am from Illinois — the most corrupt state in the union — I focused in my previous post on those of the Illinois Republican delegation that had in the past supported Big Labor bills similar to the one in question. So, this is a follow up to that report.
Urge Congress to Vote ‘NO’ On Striking $$ Saving Section From Federal Construction Projects Bill (Illinois Especially)
June 13, 2011 | Filed Under Aaron Schock, Anti-Americanism, Barack Obama, Bobby Schilling, Budget, Business, Capitalism, Congress, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, GOP, Government, House of Representatives, Illinois, Jobs, Joe Walsh, Liberals, Peter Roskam, PLA, Randy Hultgren, Republicans, Right To Work, Unions, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off
-By Warner Todd Huston
Today there may be a vote on striking a section of H.R. 2055 that will insure that federal construction projects for the military are fairly priced and will save money for the taxpayers. Some representatives want this advantageous section struck out and replaced with a union-favoring provision that will cost the tax payers millions and will cause even more job loss in an already failing economy.
The bill is the Military Construction (MilCon) and Veterans Affairs (VA) and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2012 (H.R. 2055). The section the Democrats want to eliminate is section 415.
Section 415 removes the requirement for companies bidding for federal construction projects for the military to sign anti-competitive project labor agreements (PLAs) that will force these companies to pay union dues, union benefits and adhere to union rules regardless if the companies themselves are staffed by union members of not.
February 25, 2011 | Filed Under Aaron Schock, Budget, Campaign Finance, Chicago, Congress, Democrats/Leftists, Elections, GOP, Government, House of Representatives, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Liberals, Republicans, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | 1 Comment
-By Warner Todd Huston
This is why Illinois politics is called “the combine.” It’s because all too often there doesn’t seem to be a whit of a difference between Republicans and Democrats — not always, but all too often. They even donate to each other’s campaigns. RepublicanNewsWatch.com has the latest examination of the sort of one-hand-washing-the-other-style of politics that has destroyed Illinois.
In this case it is the story of all sorts of Republicans donating many thousands of dollars to the campaign of Susan Mendoza, the liberal that ran (and won) for Chicago City Clerk.
February 25, 2011 | Filed Under Aaron Schock, Adam Kinzinger, Budget, Congress, Conservatives, Democrats/Leftists, Earmarks, GOP, Government, House of Representatives, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Liberals, Regulation, Republicans, Taxes, The Heritage Foundation, Warner Todd Huston | 1 Comment
-By Warner Todd Huston
Last week, the House of Representatives passed HR 1. This bill was the 2011 continuing appropriations act, the bill that makes provisions to fund the federal government. It also contained $61 billion in cuts.
There were 21 different cost cutting measures in the bill. So, how did our Illinois Representatives vote on HR 1? How many of the amendments did our reps vote “yes” for?
Walsh (R, 8th): 100%
Manzullo (R, 16th): 95%
Roskam (R, 6th): 81%
Johnson (R, 15th): 76%
Shimkus (R, 19th): 67%
Hultgren (R, 14th): 62%
Schilling (R, 17th): 57%
Schock (R, 18th): 57%
Dold (R, 10th): 38%
Kinzinger (R, 11th): 38%
Biggert (R, 13th): 25%
Congratulations to Joe Walsh for being a 100% man! Manzullo and Roskam are not too shabby, either. Sadly a few of our newest Reps are in Democrat territory with their weak support of the most number of cost cutting measures. I mean, 38 percent for Kinzinger?? That is horrible. Is Adam Kinzinger a big government guy after all his claims on the campaign trail? Left-winger Biggert’s Democrat-styled votes are no surprise. One is continually surprised she is still pretending to be a Republican.
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