I think Eric Krol wrote this in the Dec 23, 2005 Daily Herald, (Krol's byline missing on the electronic version)
Here's your 2006 Illinois political preview. Next year's election largely will be determined by two factors: U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and the war in Iraq.and devotes the balance of a good column working out the consequences.
Problem is both of these issues don't deal directly with Illinois's problems. So let's speculate if both become non-issues in the next few months.
I commented in an earlier post in Illinoize that I had read Major Garrett's Enduring Revolutionon; How the Contract with America Continues to Shape the Nation and wondered what a republican contract with Illinois today might look like. Extreme Wisdom responded back suggesting for starters,
1. Constitutional ChangesThis post by Jeff Trigg that 64% of General Assembly races unopposed has been on my mind too, so let me suggest another piece of a contract here a long the lines of California's recently voted down Proposition 77 on redistricting.
a)A SPENDING CAP on all State & Local Government funds (Inflation+Population Growth)
2. Conversion of all Pensions to "Definecontributionon" (Defined Benefit is unsustainable)
3. Binding Referenda/Initiatives - allowing voters to bypass our ossified & sclerotipoliticalal class.
A Bold Education/Tax Reform Plan
1. Abolition of Local Property tax for schools and education being funded 100% from the State, with an inflation indexed scholarship for each child - chosen by the family
2. Abolition of the School District and conversion of every school to an Independent Charter.
I'm not certain what the Republicans will think of Extreme Wisdom and myself writing contracts for them, so why note ask the readers to write the contracts for the Democrats, Libertarians, and Greens too.
The contracts might come in handy for thinking about Illinois should Iraq's elections bring stability and Fitzgerald springs no surprizes.
All I ask is keep the ideas specific as something that could be turned easily into legislation. And while pledging no new taxes tells use what a party won't do, it's really nice to hear what the party expects too do given whatever budget limits they set up for themselves.
So if taxes aren't part of your solution, tell us how you'll solve Illinois's problems without increasing them. If you plan to spend a lot of money to solve problems, you better tell us how you'll pay for that too.
Interesting topic I hope for those of you on Christmas - New Years vacations.
Cross Posted at Bill Baar's West Side