Illinois Conservatives endorse the Illinois Policy Institute’s budget plan

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The biggest issue in Illinois is building to a volcanic crescendo. That issue is the state budget. As everyone knows, there has been a deadlock on the budget since Bruce Rauner was elected governor. The pressure to pass a budget has become so great that Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R) and Senate Majority Leader John Cullerton (D) met to devise a “Grand Bargain.” The plan consisted of 13 separate bills that were heavy on revenue increases in the form of tax increases and borrowing, and light in spending cuts and reforms. The public outcry was so great that the planned votes were tabled until new bills could be created to be voted on the week of February 7th.
In the meantime, the credit agencies have responded to our budget impasse with yet another downgrade of our credit rating. This means that borrowing for the state is more expensive than it was when the “Grand Bargain” was formulated. Even if every provision of all 13 bills could be passed, the “Grand Bargain” as constructed is not balanced. It loses money. Every Illinoisan knows that when times are tough, we need to cut back. We do it in our personal lives all the time. This is nothing new. Unfortunately, in the Twilight Zone that is Springfield, the thought of cutting spending is laughed at. We are told that any serious budget proposal must have a significant revenue component. We are told that this revenue is in the form of additional taxes and borrowing from our future. Growth is not a consideration. These budget schemes and perceptions are what have driven the exodus of citizens from our great state. There is a plan that can reverse this trend. There is a plan that can grow the tax base… a plan that can reduce the scope of government… keep pensions solvent AND hold to the state constitution… a plan that can balance the budget without raising taxes or going further into debt.
This past Tuesday, the Illinois Policy Institute released their plan: Budget Solutions 2018. The IPI budget proposal is a plan that really looks at the budget cost drivers, shows how out of line they are with our neighbors, and what can be done about them with the least impact on rendering services to Illinoisans. All of the news stories and op-ed columns recently have pushed the narrative that we have to accept that revenue (tax) increases will and must be part of any budget solution. We submit that this is a false narrative. One can look at the tax increases in 2010 under Governor Pat Quinn as the proof. The rates were slightly higher than what was proposed in the “Grand Bargain.” Did it balance the budget? No. Did it expedite the outward migration of our citizens and dwindle down the tax base? You bet it did. Will the “Grand Bargain” do the same? Without a doubt.
Raising taxes is the easiest thing for politicians to do. They know they have a captive audience that can’t lobby Springfield, while they can assure their donors that they will not need to make changes in their pet programs. We elect our representatives to make tough, adult decisions. The Illinois Policy Institute budget plan maps out these slightly tough, but decidedly adult decisions. Illinois Conservatives endorses this plan.


Link to IPI Budget



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 (, 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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Independents need to get informed

WACO, Tex., February 28, 2013 – I recently had the pleasure of seeing “Born Yesterday,” an intellectual comedy directed by Jessi Hampton at the Baylor Department of Theatre Arts. The play was originally written by Garson Kanin and first performed in 1946. Set in Washington D.C.,It follows the story of Billie Dawn, mistress of the rough junkyard tycoon, Harry Brock. She is taken advantage of by Brock’s bribery and corruption, completely unaware of the consequences of his actions.

The play documents Billie’s education in the realms of politics and history as she learns to understand Brock’s unethical actions while discovering the beauty of a democratic system. Becoming politically informed allows her to stand up against the injustice in politics.

The plot carries remarkable similarities to our political system today. The danger political ignorance poses to our society can be easily seen by recent statistics. According to George Mason historian Rick Shenkman, only two of five voters can name the three branches of the government, and 49% of Americans think the President has the right to suspend the Constitution.

Ilya Somin, professor of law at George Mason University, agrees that this political ignorance threatens our democratic system. He says, “Democracy demands an informed electorate […] Voters who lack sufficient knowledge may be manipulated by elites. They may also demand policies that contravene their own interests.”

So why not stay “independent” of politics? Many assume independents are free-thinkers, not tied to a particular partisan agenda, and generally more intellectual than those who identify as either conservative or liberal. However, this theory supposes an idealistic view of independents that starkly contradicts empirical observations.

According to a 2008 American National Election Study by the University of Michigan, independents are much less likely to follow current events, research political information, watch the news, or donate to candidates than those who report an affiliation with one political party. Most self-declared independents also confess to “leaning” toward one side or another. Those who do are almost 20% more likely to vote than “pure independents.”

Choosing a political side does not indicate a sacrifice of reason, principles, or free thinking. Party labels do not imply blind adherence to the agenda. The choice of party instead reflects a coherent set of informed decisions. Those who are not ashamed to stand behind their political convictions have already done much clear, rational analysis to decide which party or candidate best fits their views on most issues. There are still varying degrees on the left-right continuum, but a middle grounded in apathy is not the ideal place to be by any means.

According to “Born Yesterday” director Hampton, “It is harder for people to be taken advantage of, by government or anybody else, if they are well-educated, which is why Devery (a character in the play) exclaims, ‘A little education is a dangerous thing.’”

Admittedly, “Born Yesterday” takes on a slightly idealistic nature. It is naive to think that if only American citizens (especially independents) would read a little more, the problems of government would magically be wiped away. Becoming politically informed may not solve all of society’s problems, but it is a good place to start.


By: Danny Huizinga

Danny Huizinga is currently studying at Baylor University, pursuing three business majors in Economics, Finance, and Business Fellows with minors in mathematics and political science. Although originally from the Chicago area, he is a Texas resident.”
Article can also be found on the Washington Times

Would New Federal Stalking Laws Have Snared Rep. Bill Foster?

-By Warner Todd Huston

This year the Violence Against Women Act is getting some stronger penalties for stalking, assault, and other crimes. With all these new provisions, one wonders that if this law were around 15 years ago, how it would have hit good old Congressman Bill Foster, a man who is guilty of abusing his wife?

The law, called The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (S47), would most certainly have sent Foster to jail for a long time. You see the Illinois Democrat has a chequered history of violence against women.

Some of the additions to S47 include,

  • Reauthorizes VAWA formula and discretionary grants for five years; consolidates certain grants to streamline grant administration and save taxpayer money.
  • Increases the emphasis on the investigation, prosecution, and services for victims of sexual assault.
  • Increases focus on training for law enforcement and prosecutors and efforts to reduce rape kit backlogs.
  • Expands grants to tribal governments and coalitions to address violence against women on tribal land.
  • Enhances penalties for assault and improves the federal stalking statute.

The latter provision would have hit Foster particularly hard and his divorce papers prove.

As the Washington Free Beacon revealed last year, Foster has some pretty unsavory charges against him.

A March 1996 court filing contends that Foster “pushed, shoved, and caused physical abuse and emotional harm” to his then-wife, who had asked Foster repeatedly to leave the family home because his presence was “upsetting” to their two young children.

Foster’s wife’s attorney requested a temporary restraining order against Foster from “calling, harassing, or touching” his client, the records show.

Foster also tried to get the courts to force his soon to be ex from being allowed to move wherever she wanted after the divorce, even demanding that the courts “fine” her thousands, in fact $50,000, if she dared to move.

“It almost sounds, on the initial surface, as if you are holding someone hostage to stay within any school district, which is not the law of the State of Illinois,” Judge Keith Brown said during the trial in 1996.


Article was originally posted on Publius Forum


Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’,, as well as,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

Students feel entitled to good grades

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 22, 2013 ― On February 18, my university newspaper published an editorial advocating a standardized grading scale. The writer argued that the university should not allow professors to require a percentage higher than 90 in order to receive an A.

The basis for the argument comes primarily from a feeling of unfairness. According to the article, a professor “should be able to lower the threshold to earn an A,” but raising it “is deceiving and can really affect students who work hard.”

That is incorrect. For a grade cutoff to be “deceiving,” the standards must be misleading or confusing to students. “Deceiving” also implies that professors are trying to trick students into receiving lower grades. This is simply not the case. If a grading scale is on the syllabus for the entire semester, there is nothing deceptive about it.

The main problem with the editorial is its use of entitlement language. A highlighted portion of the article comments on students’ “hard work,” claiming “we’re shorted when a professor doesn’t give us the grade we would have earned in practically any other class without a skewed grading scale.”

Do we really deserve the grades we think we deserve? From my experience, we are quicker to call something “unfair” and blame the system than to acknowledge our own failures. The mentality that says that we, as students, should decide which grades we should get from our classes is jarring.

A growing sense of grade entitlement has surfaced at other schools as well. The New York Times focused on a specific situation in 2009, and another author analyzed some of the responses to the article.

My university has a reputation for academic rigor. We could sacrifice our standards in order to increase students’ average GPAs, but that would be damaging to our national reputation. If we are to be truly concerned with learning and educational attainment, we must look beyond our grades on paper.

The editorial argues in its conclusion that, “at the very least, students should be able to enter a class and know, before a syllabus is given, what an A is.” Why? Where else in life are we able to know the requirements of success before seeing the requirements?

We need to work on teaching responsibility, independence, and motivation to our young people. Let’s stop blaming “unfair” grading scales and instead work on motivating students to excel in their classes, whatever it may require.

By: Danny Huizinga

Danny Huizinga is currently studying at Baylor University, pursuing three business majors in Economics, Finance, and Business Fellows with minors in mathematics and political science. Although originally from the Chicago area, he is a Texas resident.”
Article can also be found on the Washington Times

Gill Sues the IRS, Blames Loss on “Dark Money Groups”

 Dr. Gill lost to Rodney Davis in the run to become the next US Rep. for the IL 13CD.  But Gill blames “dark money groups” who “misinformed” voters about his record.


 Sure, it was the “dark money groups”. Gill’s loss had nothing to do with him running 4 times and losing each time? Think about that for a moment. For nearly a decade, Dr. Gill has been a candidate for federal office. At this point, I would say the voters knew  well who Dr. Gill was and where he stood on the issues.


According to a spokesperson for Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics – the group representing Gill:


 “Under the law as it’s written, 501(c)(4) groups are required to be operated exclusively for social welfare purposes and not for political purposes.”


 So, Dr. Gill is upset about losing a close race. Maybe he thought the 4th time was the charm? Better yet, perhaps Dr. Gill should also sue the groups that fed money into his campaign to ads on his behalf since their efforts did not produce a win for him – the same 501(c)4 groups he and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics are complaining about. What 501(c)4 groups donated to Dr. Gill’s campaign? Great question! Fortunately for us, has the answer!

 Here’s the real deal. Since Citizen’s United was ruled correctly by the Supreme Court, the liberal left has decried PACs donating money and running ads against their candidates. Prior to Citizen’s United, they had no problems with unions, left-leaning PACs, etc. running ads against Republican candidates.  In fact, the left reveled in the fact that outside money poured into various campaigns. Now? Not so much.


 Going through Dr. Gill’s list of donors from this past run, I believe the real question is how the University of Illinois was allowed to give over $32,000 to a candidate running  for office? The U of I is largely funded through our tax dollars here in Illinois along with generous donations from alumni & friends of the university. So how is it that a tax payer funded institution could or should be listed as a donor?


 Oh well, Dr. Gill. 5th time might be the charm and 2014 will be here soon enough. Ten years trying for the same office… That has to be some kind of Guiness Book World Record or something.


By: Brian Milleville

Plenty of Republican Lt. Governor choices exist for 2014

 In 2010, the Illinois legislature enacted a new law that now mandates gubernatorial candidates to pick their own running mate. Before 2010, candidates that wanted the Lieutenant Governor position would run in a primary and the top vote getter would be added to the top vote getter for the primary for governor. In 2010, that left the Republicans with a Bill Brady/Jason Plummer ticket and the Democrats with a Pat Quinn/Scott Lee Cohen. Democrat Scott Lee Cohen later dropped out of the race and decided to run for governor as an Independent. Because of the Cohen mess Illinois changed the law, which will now allow the candidates to decide instead of the voters.

There are plenty of Republicans lining up to be a good choice for Lt. Governor. Below are a few we decided to highlight, in no particular order.

Erika Harold– Erika is from Champaign and is a graduate of Harvard University’s Law School. She is well known for being Miss America in 2003, but she does have a share of political experience as well. She was the Youth Director during the 2002 Republican gubernatorial primary campaign of Patrick O’Malley. In 2004, she served as a delegate at the Republican National Convention and in 2012 she even threw her name in the hat during the selection process of former-Congressman Tim Johnson’s seat.

Matt Murphy– Murphy is State Senator from the 27th district (Palatine). He lost a very close race to Jason Plummer for Lt. Governor last time in 2010 and could be right back in the mix this time. His current term expires in 2014 because of redistricting rules, so if he decides to run for a statewide office he may not have the state senate on which to fall back. Also, he could be a candidate for governor or another statewide office yet still.

Jason Plummer– Another strong name from Southern Illinois is Jason Plummer. He was the 2010 nominee for Lt. Governor and the 2012 Republican nominee in the 12th Congressional District. A lot of questions remain though. Will Jason run for Congress again? Will he have a gubernatorial campaign of his own? Or will he choose to take an election cycle off? Time will tell.

Dan Duffy– Duffy is the State Senator from the 26th District (sections of Lake, McHenry, and Cook counties) and would be a strong choice from the suburbs. Rumors have Duffy considering a bid for another statewide office. An advantage that Duffy has is that he is not up for re-election for his State Senate seat until 2016. 

Demetra DeMonte– She is currently the Republican National Committee’s secretary is from Pekin, IL and has served in that role since January of 2011. DeMonte would bring the spotlight of the national party to the race, which could help her potential running mate significantly.

Steve Kim– Steve was the 2010 Republican candidate for Attorney General. Steve, who has a legal background and an impressive job resume, travels the world often on business and some wonder if he has time to run for Lt. Governor. He is young and smart and might be a good choice for a downstate candidate like Dan Rutherford.

Kyle McCarter– McCarter is the current State Senator from the 54th District (Vandalia). He, like Matt Murphy, has a term that will come to a close at the end of 2014. If he decides to run statewide he may not have a state senate seat to return to. McCarter ran against Christine Radogno for Senate Minority Leader this year but lost. He is a successful small business owner and has been a good conservative voice and has a bright future within the party. He is a good pick if a candidate is looking for someone from Southern Illinois.

Sam McCann– McCann is the State Senator from the 50th District (Jacksonville). McCann’s term doesn’t end until 2016 so he has the senate as a fallback in case a statewide bid is unsuccessful. McCann, a small business owner, is another good Southern Illinois option for the candidates. Some rumors have him running for a different statewide office but only time will tell.

Patrick Hughes-Here is a wild card pick. Mr. Hughes ran for Senate in 2010 against Mark Kirk in the GOP primary. He struggled to gain traction but he did build some relationships along the way. One potential candidate that might look his way could be Dan Proft, as they have been seen at events together. Hughes could also give it another go for Senate in 2014.

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Illinois Conservatives to host Tea Party Express on Monday

Convention Review

(Lemont, IL)

  • Call to order was made by President Oltmanns at 1:15pm.
  • Attendance was taken by Vice President Spitzer in attendance were President Oltmanns, Vice President Spitzer, Speaker Kaiser, Rep. Jarratt, Rep. McCabe, Rep. Kirk, Rep. O’Connell. It was determined that a quorum was present and the meeting continued.
  • It was determined that the Illinois Conservatives would move forward to create a Federal PAC.
  • Annual fundraiser will take place on Flag Day (June 14th, 2012) for the 3rd consecutive year.
  • New literature will be ordered to replace out of date literature.
  • A reporter from the group will be sent to CPAC-Chicago to give our members live updates.
  • Discussion took place on our meeting structure and how we endorse candidates.
  • Budget was presented by President Oltmanns.
  • Much discussion followed about third party candidates.
  • Floor was opened to the public with many people addressing the leadership team.

30 under 30 (Day 3)

Thank you for reading our 30 under 30 list. We hope you found it informative. These 30 individuals will be at the head of our movement in the years to come. We also want to recognize some of our fellow under 30 leadership members Charlie Kirk (18-SOS Liberty/Illinois Conservatives), Dalton Gray (19-Illinois Conservatives), JC Hagen (28-Illinois Conservatives), Andrew Spitzer (22-Vice President Illinois Conservatives), and MaryAnn McCabe(Illinois Conservatives). We also want to thank McHenry County Blog, Illinois Review and Ulysses S. Arn with (29-Blogger, Author, Activist) for cross posting our list.  Series was written by Joe Kaiser and Zach Oltmanns

Jon Schweppe– is a 24-year-old Communications Director for the Bobby Schilling for Congress Campaign. His hometown is Aledo and he currently lives in the 17th Congressional District. In 2010, Jon graduated from Augustana College with a bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics. In the future, he would like to not only get Congressman Schilling re-elected but to also get other hard working conservatives elected throughout Illinois.

Timothy Stoll– is a 27-year-old Chairman of the Kane County Young Republicans and Precinct Committeeman for Rutland 1. Timothy is from West Dundee and lives in the 14th Congressional District. He is also currently doing district outreach and casework for Congressman Randy Hultgren. His goal is to make Illinois a state where business thrives, private sectorjobs are plentiful and people are free to create the life they want with minimal governmental interference.

Mark Cavers– is a 25-year-old policy analyst from Mundelein in the 18th Congressional District, working for the Illinois Policy Institute. His job duties include government relations and talking to state leaders everyday about the conservative cause. Mark is hoping that Illinois will become the land of freedom and prosperity, while also holding a future goal to someday become the Governor of Illinois.

Lucas Hawley-is an 18-year-old fulltime student at Victor J. Andrew High School. Lucas is from the 1st Congressional District and lives in Tinley Park. He recently finished his work on severalcampaigns during the primary season including a congressional race, state representative race and state senator race. In 2010, he interned for Jeff Junkas. A short term goal for Lucas is to get elected to a local office in the Tinley Park area. He would also like to reform the GOP party in Illinois byclearing the party of corruption and the ineffective leaders. A long term goal of his would be to get involved with U.S. Embassies, mainly the embassy in Berlin, Germany.

Katie Salvi– is a 23-year-old college student and soon to be law student from Mundelein and the 14th CongressionalDistrict. She recently worked on the Santorum for President Campaign in Illinois and has helped other conservatives get elected as well. Her futuregoal in politics is to get more conservatives elected to office and to return this country to greatness. She believes anything is possible for her in thefuture.

Mick Paskiewicz– is a 24-year-old who is the State Chairmen for the Illinois College Republican Foundation. Originally from Indianapolis, Mick now finds himself living in Illinois in the 7th Congressional District with the current job of working for the Joe Walsh re-election team. He hopes in the future he can help get more Republicans get elected in Illinois.

Anthony Barry– is a 25-year-old staffer for Congressman Joe Walsh. Anthony is from Yorkville, which is in Kendall County and in the 14th Congressional District. While his short term goal is to get Joe Walsh re-elected to congress, his long term goal is to restore America back to the way the founders intended it to be.

Jon McLean-is a 29-year-old who is currently the Chairman of the St. Clair County Republican Party. He lives in Belleville in the 12th Congressional District with his two daughters and wife. His goal as chairman has been to get more Republicans elected to the St. Clair County Board, whose chairman position he is currently running for.

Adam Brown– is a 26-year-old farmer and State Representative from Decatur, IL. Adam currently represents the citizens of the 101stDistrict, but he will be shifted to the 102nd district with the new maps. Adam lives in the 13th Congressional District with his wife Stephanie and is the youngest member of the general assembly. Before becoming a state representative, Adam served as a Decatur City Councilman. In the future, he plans to advance a pro-jobs agenda that allows families and businesses to prosper in Illinois. Adam would like to lessen the burden of government red-tape and eliminate abuses of our tax dollars.

Terry Schilling– is a 25-year-old from the 17th Congressional District, where he lives in Genesco with his wife Kaite and his two young daughters. He currently serves as Campaign Manager for Bobby Schilling’s re-election bid in the 17th District. In 2010, Terry laid the grown work for Congressman Schilling’s win against Democrat Phil Hare. His future goal is to turn the country around by electing conservatives to as many public offices as possible.

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