Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Syverson: I was against tax increases before I was for them.

Berkowitz has it. Sen. Syverson also says he wouldn't sign a pledge to constituents to oppose any and all tax increases:

"Jeff Berkowitz: Is that a problem with the Republican image? Should Republicans take the pledge? Would you take the pledge not to raise the income or the sales tax?

Sen. Dave Syverson: No.

Jeff Berkowitz: So, you don’t believe in that?

Sen. Dave Syverson: No, because as a conservative, it doesn’t mean that you’re—it means doing the right thing. Every generation in this country, the leaders have sacrificed so that the next generation could have a better life. This is the first generation we have elected officials who are saying: we don’t care about the next generation. We’re going to spend today. We’re going to..."

There's just one problem. Syverson took the pledge in 1992 and has been listed as a signatory since. I confirmed that Americans For Tax Reform has his pledge on file. Here's the list of all state signatories.

Now, 1992 was awhile back, but if he can't recall such a solemn pledge then perhaps he's been in office too long. Either that, or the guy has personal integrity issues.

UPDATE & CLARIFICATION: An anonymous commentor tells us that 1992 was a long time ago. And mentions anulment or divorce as ways of getting out of other pledges.

When a candidate signs the pledge he or she is informed in writing that to get out of the pledge you simply let ATR know and hold a joint press conference with Grover Norquist announcing that you want out of the pledge and you intend to vote for tax increases. Senator Syverson hasn't done that. Holding to anon's analogy, Syverson is more of adulterer. That doesn't get you out of the marriage. It just means you are a bad person.


Anonymous,  3:02 PM  

"Either that or the guy has personal integrity issues. "

Either that or the guy's thinking evolved. 1992 was a loong time ago. The state budget has gone up and down since then. Do you really think one pledge is a lifetime commitment, no divorces, no annulments?

Greg 3:11 PM  

It's a statement of principle. Adultry doesn't get you out of marriage, it just means you are a bad guy.

Jeff Trigg 3:24 PM  

When has the state budget gone down?

Skeeter,  3:25 PM  

Wasn't Syverson the guy who thought that Alan Keyes was a good idea?

Haven't people learned not to listen to that guy? Why do people vote for him and why do Republicans consider him a leader?

Greg 3:31 PM  

Yes, I wasn't going to mention Keyes because I felt that would be piling on...

steve schnorf 3:39 PM  

George Ryan's last budget was down from the previous one, and it included the statutorily required pension contribution.

Syverson is a smart guy. He realizes the spending has long since been committed to, and he's being an adult in saying it needs to be paid for.

Greg 3:56 PM  

Adults don't run up the bill and leave it to others (the taxpayer) to clean up the mess.

We could reform Medicaid instead of expanding it. Hell, we can improve it and still slow Medicaid inflaiton. We could privatize services instead of hiring cousins to clean salt domes. We could stop giving away corporate welfare to businesses. We could transform public education by expanding choice and using competition to deliver better services at lower prices. We could bite the bullet on pension reform. BUT WE'RE NOT DOING ANY OF THOSE THINGS, ARE WE?

Hiking taxes isn't the "adult" thing to do. It's the easy childish thing to do. "I've screwed up so give me more." Only in government do "adults" say such things.

Once we've reformed education and Medicaid, once we've cut the endemic waste and fraud in state government, I will then entertain that tax cuts are "adult."

steve schnorf 8:35 PM  

are you so totally unaware that you consider Syverson one of the problem spenders? Do you have any idea what you're talking about?

Syverson didn't get us into this mess. Actions taken 20 years ago got us into this mess. Syverson understands that we have to get out. I don't agree with him a big part of the times, and I thought Keyes was a terrible decision (but at least I understand what his thinking was in pushing Keyes).

We could spend zero more money on Medicaid, education, and everything else for the next 5 years and still not be able to cover our bills--we probably couldn't cover the interest on our bills.

Get a clue.

Greg 9:51 PM  

Well...I suggest you talk to Sen. Syverson, then. He said higher taxes would be temporary. He wanted only to get through this year.

You can watch the whole thing at Jeff Berkowitz's web site.

I quite frankly -- and I don't mean to be rude here -- I don't care about the fiscal health of Illinois state government. I care about the people of Illinois and our local economy. You hike taxes you hurt people -- you hinder their ability to work; to raise their family.

The politicians gave away the state for votes, the bill has come due. Let them pay, let state govt. suffer but leave the taxpayer alone.

Skeeter,  10:22 AM  

Let's be blunt about why Syverson pushed Keyes:
Syverson thought that since the Democrats were running a Black man, the Republicans should too.
It is as simple as that.
I am not sure if it racism, but it is pretty close to it.

steve schnorf 10:30 AM  

I don't believe that is the true reason at all, though it could have been a factor. I believe the real reason was that Syverson believed Keyes' arch-conservative views would resonate well with voters in 1 or 2 Senate districts the R's believed they had a chance of taking.

Skeeter,  11:36 AM  


Get real.
There were no "arch-conservatives" in Illinois?
There were no other "arch-conservatives" elsewhere in the country?

Keyes was chosen because of the color of his skin. It is that simple.

Syverson thought that if the Democrats ran a Black man, Black voters would be dumb enough to vote for a Republican Black man if the GOP tossed one at them. That's Syverson's thought process in a nut shell.

That's "affirmative action" at best, and racism at worst. Deny all you want, but it is a simple fact.

Certain things you just cannot defend, and Syverson's actions with regard to Keyes just cannot be defended on any level.

anonie!,  1:52 PM  


Are you claiming racism by the GOP against potential WHITE candidates that they passed over for Keyes?

Skeeter,  1:59 PM  

I am claiming that Syverson believes that all Blacks are interchangeable: "They have one, so we need ours." As long as the Black man called himself a Republican, it was fine by Syverson. That is racism.

Or, in a best case scenario for Syverson, affirmative action in its worst sense.

Greg 5:08 PM  

Honest to God, they just didn't know Keyes' personna. They had limited exposure to his arrogance and ego. There decision was purely based on seeing him on cable TV or hearing about him from others. The guys picking him were ill informed. And by time it became decision time, he was the only one willing to do it.

steve schnorf 12:04 AM  

you must just know Syverson better than I do, because I've never see any hint of racism in him.

Skeeter,  6:02 AM  

Steve and Greg:

Only one willing to do it? We didn't have any Illinois State Senators who would have put their names out there? That's just not true and you both know it.

Steve denies seeing Syverson act in a racist manner. I have.

When he decided that any Black man will do to run against Sen. Obama.

You must have missed that one.

In all honesty, it is easy for people to talk about not being racist. Then we see their actions.

The actions of Syverson were either "affirmative action/quotas" or racisim.

Take your choice, or provide some explanation as to why the first time that Syverson had the idea to reach outside Illinois for a candidate, it was to choose a Black man to run against a Black man.

I've provided an explanation. Got a counter?

The ILGOP is the weakest party in tne country. People like Syverson are a big part of that problem. As long as you keep supporting people like him, the closest thing we will have to checks and balances in Illinois is when Madigan and Blago don't get along.

Greg 12:49 PM  

Actually, a lot of people floated their name and then made unrealistic demands to the SCC behind closed doors. One potential candidate wanted to be assured of funding and assurance that the President would fly in to help. The problem is that SCC cannot make promises for the RNSC nor the White House.

Other candidates weren't so extravagant to demand Presidential attention but wanted funding; some of which I doubt is legal under federal campaign finance laws. So yeah, lots of people came forward to get their name in the paper, but no one was willing to accept a) an almost certain loss which kept people from volunteering and b) and very little financial support.

That's why you didn't want to dump Ryan unless you had a replacement in line.

Skeeter,  5:22 PM  


So, according to you, in a mere coincidence in which race played no role, Syverson turned to Keyes, a proven loser who just happened to have black skin?

It is hard to respond to your posts in a polite manner. The most polite things I can say is that if you really believe that race played no role, you are seriously detached from reality.

OF COURSE the color of his skin was THE reason that Keyes was chosen. Any suggestion to the contrary is out of touch with reality and a sign of delusional disorder.

steve schnorf 7:27 PM  

So, Skeeter, just how well do you know Syverson personally?

Skeeter,  8:31 PM  


I don't. Never met him.

I am sure that if I did, he would say all the right things. You don't get elected to office unless you can be charming.

However, his actions speak much louder than any words could.

He actions say that he believes that one Black man is as good as another.

You got a better explanation for Keyes against Obama, or are you sticking with "No Illinois Republicans would take the race"?

Greg 8:40 PM  

There were no candidates coming forward besides those who did. Yes.

Was it a happy coincidence that Keyes was African American for some in the GOP? I don't doubt it. Is that racism? No. Was it A factor or one of many factors? Could be. I wasn't THE factor, given that the only other person not putting demands on the SCC was the guy in the George Washington wig living out of his car.

Were there other Republicans willing to do it who didn't come forward? I don't doubt it. Could they've run a credible campaign? Not likely if they didn't even come forward.

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