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Catching up With Former Congressman Manzullo

(Oregon,IL) This past December, the Illinois Conservatives PAC celebrated our eight year anniversary. During that time our group has grown to nearly 3,500 members. As a group, our first endorsement of a candidate was none other than U.S. Congressman Don Manzullo. To celebrate our anniversary, we thought it would be nice to catch up with now former Congressman Manzullo and see what he is doing these days.
Donald Manzullo served in the United States Congress from 1993-2013, representing the 16th Congressional District in northern Illinois. Manzullo was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and was the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. This allowed Manzullo to meet the various heads of states from several different countries including China, Poland, Romania, Israel, Norway, Italy, and Jordan. Some of Congressman Manzullo’s proudest achievements include passing legislation that saved the U.S. taxpayer millions of dollars by reducing or eliminating unnecessary regulations in several areas including clean air attainment, industry, and education. Manzullo also made it possible for the Chicago Rockford International Airport to achieve its international status, resulting in the airport authorities naming the international terminal after him.   Congressman Manzullo co-founded and co-chaired the bipartisan House Manufacturing Caucus and also served as a co-chair of the House Automotive Caucus. Mr. Manzullo has had the opportunity to meet eight Presidents: Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, Ford, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama.
The former congressman was known for going out of his way to help young people while in office. Manzullo said, “My greatest achievement is having served as a mentor to innumerable young people, some of whom worked in my congressional offices as interns or employees. I hear from them from time to time and share in their success and their choices of professions. Being a congressman is a great opportunity to bend the twig of a young person so that he or she grows in the right direction.” Several former Manzullo staffers continue to serve in Washington D.C. The former congressman gave this advice to young people considering a run for public office: “If you decide to run for office, do it for the right reason. You must have a servant’s heart and truly believe the people you would serve are more important than you are. Holding political office is not about the officeholder. It’s about the people served. During my 20 years serving in Congress, some of the greatest victories are so personal to the individual served that I cannot share the details. Ronald Reagan said that it is amazing the things that can be done if the politicians don’t concern themselves about who gets the credit.”
Manzullo currently serves as the President and CEO of the Korea Economic Institute of America (keia.org), which is a nine person, not for profit, public policy and think tank organization. The purpose of the organization is to strengthen relations between the United States and South Korea. Manzullo does not do any lobbying.
Manzullo still resides in rural Ogle County and has continued to  raise beef cattle on his property. On a personal note, Don Manzullo has been not just a political role model, but a personal hero to me. His love that he shows his wife Freda has showed me how to be a better husband and a person.
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It’s time to cut Illinois property taxes

Property taxes are hurting Illinois families and each day that goes by without tax relief, the worse this problem becomes. Everywhere that I go in my district, people tell me that high property taxes are forcing them to think about leaving the state. We have to stop the exodus from Illinois.

We not only need to freeze property tax levies, we need to cut them. Taxpayers simply cannot afford to pay ever-escalating property taxes.

My constituents are also worried about the massive tax increase being considered by the Illinois State Senate that liberal Democrats and some Republicans are promoting. The Senate tax increase bill would increase both the personal and corporate income tax rates by 33% and impose a massive new job-killing tax on small businesses. In Springfield and at the local level, we need to cut spending – not raise taxes!

Recently, I filed House Bill 1768, which would require most units of government to cut property tax levies by 10 percent over two years and then permanently freeze property tax levies at the reduced level. School districts and community colleges would be immediately required to permanently freeze their property tax levies. The only way that property taxes could be increased is by a local voter referendum.

I also strongly support efforts to reduce unfunded mandates on all local governments.

The relief Illinois residents need is an immediate reduction in property taxes. Only with reduced property taxes can we begin to stop people from leaving Illinois.

Talk is cheap. The time for action is now.

The solution has been in front of us for several years. I have fought for property tax relief since I’ve been in Springfield. Earlier this year, the House approved a permanent property tax freeze bill (HB 6630). I was a Chief Co-Sponsor of the bill. That legislation received 76 votes in the House.

In the House, I have voted more than 20 times in recent years to permanently freeze property tax levies. The House has consistently supported property tax freeze legislation over the past two years.

We do not need to keep debating the issue and defining the problem. Property tax rates are hurting working families and our senior citizens. They need relief – it is really that simple.

We know from a CoreLogic report released last year that Illinois now has the highest property taxes in the country. We also know that Illinois lost nearly 115,000 people from July 2015 to July 2016, in large part due to escalating property taxes here in Illinois.

The longer we delay action on solving the high property tax issue in Illinois, the more people are going to leave. I hear all of the time from my constituents that they simply cannot afford to keep paying their out-of-control property taxes. The current course of action is not sustainable.

The Legislature cannot continue to ignore the negative impact of rising property taxes on our state. The time has come for both legislative chambers to send a property tax reduction bill to the governor and for him to sign it into law. We have debated the issues long enough. What taxpayers need is action, not more talk.

Illinois needs to lower property tax rates now!

• Rep. David McSweeney serves Illinois’ 52nd House District.


Originally Posted: Northwest Herald

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Illinois Prevailing Wage Costs Taxpayers

Prevailing-Wage2Illinois first passed its prevailing wage law back in 1941. It was passed to help protect employee salaries being reduced during bidding for a public project. It was also used as a mechanism to ensure that a labor dispute did not stop work on a public project. Unions once had a majority of construction employees as members. This has drastically plummeted with it down to 14% as of 2013. So it begs the question, in the year 2015 do we still need a prevailing wage law in the State of Illinois?

Has the prevailing wage laws changed over this same time period to reflect the new membership realities? The answer is no. Wages continue to be set at a union rate while 86% of the work force is not part of the union. There are many studies that show prevailing wage laws raise the cost of a project by 30-40 percent. Matt Crumb from Maclver Institute stated “As it turns out, prevailing wages can be up to 40 percent higher than competitive market wages, meaning taxpayers are hit with an extra cost burden on many government projects.” Reed the full story at Wisconsin Prevailing Wage:

Prevailing wage is a backward policy designed to ensure government contract workers are paid wage rates and receive benefits that are “prevailing” in a given industry or region. As it turns out, prevailing wages can be up to 40 percent higher than competitive market wages, meaning taxpayers are hit with an extra cost burden on many government projects.

Illinois is only one of nine states that require prevailing wage to be applied for every public project. The additional costs to county, towns, and villages are significant with this requirement. These same governmental bodies are all likely to have a reduction in state funding under Governor Rauner’s budget so eliminating the requirement of prevailing wage could be a key way for these types of governmental bodies to save money. It would also encourage governments to continue with long anticipated building projects.

Although the Governor does plan to cut back some revenue to smaller governments it appears with the elimination of prevailing wage and the institution of right to work, municipalities will be able to make up the difference.

As you can see the savings potential with the elimination of prevailing wage could help cover the cost of budget cuts for governments around Illinois.



This is my first post.

American Resolve


Today, America was terrorized with attack leading to the end of several lives and over a hundred injured so far reported. Although it isn’t entirely clear who was behind this attack, what is known in the coming days and weeks fingers will be pointed in every direction. Already a CNN contributor has blamed “right wing extremists” being behind the attack. Here at Illinois Conservatives, it will not matter if the perpetrator is a Republican, a Democrat, a Muslim, a Christian, an American Citizen, or a foreign national, or anyone else. What matters is that . What is known is that this person and his/her actions have no place here in America, and what matters is that justice will and should be the result. This person came with the goal of changing the day to day lives of Americans, and that will not happen. During the toughest of times and the darkest of moments Americans have showed that they will help one another. After the attacks today it was widely reported that Boston Marathon runners continued to run past the finish line after the attacks all the way to a local hospital to donate blood. The quote of the day goes to District Attorney Dan Conley “Seconds after those bombs went off, we saw civilians running to help the victims right along side members of the Boston Police Department and Boston EMS. And in the hours that followed, police and medical personnel from across the region have sent dozens, maybe even hundreds, of volunteers to help us here in Boston. That’s what Americans do in times of crisis; we come together and we help one another. Moments like these, terrible as they are, don’t show our weakness. They show our strength.”

Together, America is always strongest. The best way to show that these attacks only made America stronger is to come together, pray, and to fly your Stars and Stripes tomorrow.

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P.R. Director of the Illinois Conservatives.

Schilling looking towards ’14?

Rumors have been swirling since shortly after election night that now former Representative Bobby Shilling will attempt to reclaim the 17th  Congressional District for the GOP in 2014. Former Congressman Schilling has been mum on his future plans other than to return to his small business. Rumors escalated on Tuesday, however, when Schilling posted the following on Facebook “…To all the people who believed in me, trusted in me and were always there to lift me up, we did what NO ONE could do in 28 years and we can do it again.” The last part, where Schilling saids “we can do it again,” led to some political insiders throughout the state claiming that Schilling is indeed leaning toward another bid for congress. Schilling also voted no on the “fiscal cliff” deal, which led to great praise from conservatives throughout the district and state.

A lot of people have asked “can he win”? The answer to that right now is probably. In 2008, when Schilling challenged former Rep. Phil Hare, the Rock Island Republican won his county by 994 votes (Schilling-23,054 and Hare-22,060). Despite this, in 2012, in the matchup between Democrat Cheri Bustos and Schilling, Schilling lost Rock Island County by a margin of 6,629 votes. This clearly seems that Schilling lost support in his home county, but he actually received 28,789 votes (increase of over 5,500 votes). Cheri Bustos though received 35,418 votes (an increase over Hare’s numbers by over 13,000 votes). A total of 64,207 votes were casted in 2012 compared to only 45,114 in 2010. Therefore, it is very reasonable to expect that in 2014, the amount of votes that are casted will go back down closer to the 45,000 range because of it being an off year election and therefore lower voter turnout. If Democrats stay home, the Republican candidate can possibly win Rock Island County and have an easier time winning the 17th.

Another question being asked is ‘why was it lost in the first place?’ The district went from a Democratic +3 district in 2010 to a Democratic +7 district in 2012. Only 47 percent of the old 17th District from 2010 was placed in the new district in 2012 meaning the incumbent advantage was erased in over half of the district. There were over 90,000 more people that voted district wide in 2012 than in 2010 and in a Democratic leaning district an increase in 90,000 votes is a toxic statistic to any Republican candidate. Obviously, the reason for so many more ballots being cast is because it was a Presidential year. President Obama is still very popular in Illinois and he gave every Democratic candidate in Illinois a bit of a bump with having his name alongside them on the ballot.

Can the 17th district be reclaimed by Bobby Schilling? That is the million dollar question (more likely multi-million dollar question if he does run.) I am confident he can. Even though the numbers show that the district now leans farther to the left, Schilling was able to win in 2010 because he was an independent mind strong enough to stand up to outside pressure. Schilling showed that time and time again in Congress and could have the opportunity to do so some more if he takes the opportunity next year.

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