We had our first Stephenson County Tea Party meeting Jan 14. I would call it a success. We had between 40 and 50 people show up. We had to set up 7 extra chairs. We are just a group of hard working American citizens who are not happy with the way the government, from the Federal level all the way down through the State, County , and a few of the City and Municipalities are taxing and spending our hard earned dollars.
I hear a lot of people complaining about their taxes, and how fast the government is growing and becoming more oppressive. Creating new fees, licenses, permits, codes, and we are wondering where is it going to stop. One man said, “Somebody has to do something about this.” I thought to myself, why not me? It started at Uncle Bob’s Restaurant , Big Joe’s Saturday morning coffee, and Lane View Feed, which are all in the Lena, Waddams Grove area.
We are for the most part, fiscal conservatives, that run our own businesses and understand what it takes to balance a budget. One must make cuts in spending to match one’s income, not raise taxes or it will drive business away. So we say NO! to any tax increase. Government spending is growing faster than the private sector, and many of the government workers understand that, but as State Rep. Jim Sacia said in one of his recent articles that some of the unions still will not give on their 3% increase, thus we get bled a little bit more.
Our first meeting we learned that or Federal Debt is over $12 Tril. or $40K per person, and it is going up $6 bil. per day ($20 per person), and 40 cents of every tax dollar goes just to pay the interest. Our State Debt. is $120 bil., or $9 K per person. Our County govt. debt is about $14 mil. and when you combine all the taxing bodies in Stephenson County the debt is over $89 mil.
Our goal is to slow the spending down. Monitor the meetings, so we can keep the members informed. When it is election time, we will be more informed in how to vote. This is not about Democrat or Republican, but if you like the tax and spend policies of our politicians and some local board members then you would not like to join our Tea Party.
Back Door Referendums, or General Obligation bonds are the pinnacle of Taxation with out Representation. Boards use these tools many times because they know if they put it to the taxpayers for a vote it would fail. Don’t be complacent, don’t complain about your taxes, unless you are willing to do something about it. Start your own county Tea Party.
On Thursday, Feb. 11, Guest speaker will be David Hale of the Rockford Tea Party. Stephenson CountyTea Party meets second Thursday of each month, 7pm at Dietz’s Old School Apartments, 111 E. Mason St. in Lena, IL. E-mail
As everyone knows, I have asked the City of Savanna to open the sale of liquor on Christmas Day. My reason for asking is simple: I own a business in town that sells liquor (Poopy’s). We are first and foremost a restaurant/bar. This is how I make my living. If I was any other type of business in town, I would not have to ask to be open.
I am asking this question: Why would anyone want me to be closed on such a day? For those with families - or no families - I supply a place to go and get a meal, and have a drink and some fellowship.
Are the people who come to my business bad people if they came on this one day of the year? Are you people who choose not to come on this day better than those who would come? Am I a bad person because I would want my place to be open on this day? I think not.
What I do think is that if you don’t want to come out on that day of the year, it is your choice. Stay home and do whatever you do. What you do should not affect me. That is your right as an American.
But I, too, have rights. And the people who want to go out on that day have rights. We would like to know why you won’t leave us alone and mind your own business? You don’t have to come out - it’s not a city ordinance, nor should it be. We are not telling you what to do on your day.
I think you who don’t want my business to be open are thinking, “This is Christmas Day.” There, I said it. Christmas day, a great day in the lives of Christians everywhere. A day to spend with family and friends, and rejoice and celebrate your beliefs. Your religious beliefs.
I understand it, and it is a wonderful way of life for all of those who live it. I am not saying that everyone with these great beliefs agree that the sale of liquor on Christmas Day should be illegal. To the contrary, many of these people would be there on Christmas Day with their families, having a meal and a drink, celebrating at Poopy’s.
I believe that those who condone no liquor sales on Christmas Day are in the very small percentile. I believe these people are narrow-minded and live in a world of the past. I say narrow-minded because they can’t see the other side, the side most of us live in. Families who are working more than one job to make ends meet, and would rather take their families to Poopy’s for that meal and that drink, too tired or just too-whatever to stay home and live the way some people think they should live. Some people don’t want to stay at home. We are Americans, and we have the freedom to choose. That includes the freedom of religion.
There are many religions in this world, and many belief systems. Why is this one religious holiday being singled out, and not all religious holidays? I am sure there are narrow-minded people in all religions, and they may not like the sale of liquor on their special day either. Have I made my point?
I believe that closing down any business based on religious reasons in illegal. This good law gives us, as Americans, the freedom to choose and live the way we want to. It is good for all of us. We, the people. don’t like the government interfering in our personal lives. Do you narrow-minded people want me or anyone else telling you what to do an any day? Do you?
I have been told that “the greasy wheel gets the grease.” You narrow-minded people have been getting the grease for too long. The people of this town are tired of the few who speak out getting their way. Use some common sense before you speak. Stop pushing your beliefs on everyone around you. Just enjoy them! They are yours. What I do or what your neighbor does is none of your business.
As a businessman, and as an American citizen in the town of Savanna, Illinois, I want to be able to run my business as I see fit. I want to serve my customers on Christmas Day. If there is no other reason to close me, other than religion, then I should be allowed to be open. It is my right, and I am asking you to change this stupid city ordinance.
One more thing . . . to all you narrow-minded people who respond to my letter: Thanks for pointing yourselves out, for all of us to see. I, too, think the people of this town need to know who you are.
This letter was not written to offend anyone, and I am sorry if it did. My family raised me to stand up for what I believe in, and to choose the religion or beliefs of my choice. I wasn’t forced to be or do anything. My father told me that “common sense should be the rule of the day.” It’s probably the one thing that I have ever heard that makes the most sense, and I truly try to live by that.
Guest Commentary . . .
What Happened in Illinois’ Primary Election?
By Jane Ryan Carrell
Illinois Democrat Lt. Governor candidate Scott Lee Cohen really threw a monkey wrench into the “Democratic machine” in winning the primary February 2nd. With a last name like Cohen, can we assume he clinched the Jewish vote? With first and middle names “Scott Lee,” did he clinch the Generation- X vote? Didn’t anybody know who he was?
Governor Patrick Quinn, Alexi Giannoulias, the U.S. Senate candidate, and Senator Dick “Turban” Durbin are all calling for Cohen to relinquish his spot on the Democratic ticket. Steven Crowder (scrowder on Twitter), appearing on Hannity’s Great American Panel Friday night, put Cohen’s win in perspective when he said, “Let him who has not put a knife up to the throat of his prostitute girlfriend cast the first stone.” You see, Cohen, unlike his counterpart on the Republican ticket, Jason Plummer, is not exactly your typical clean-scrubbed political candidate. Cohen is a Chicago pawn broker who has been arrested for domestic battery in the incident referred to above, and a user of anabolic steroids who was physically abusive to his wife, according to the couple’s divorce papers. Cohen said that he thought his girlfriend was a massage therapist, until she was arrested for prostitution.
All of this is “high camp” and will be very funny to readers of “The Onion” (the satirical “newspaper” that began on the UW Madison campus and beats Saturday Night Live every time). But it’s a little bit sad, too, don’t you think? Tea Party enthusiasts are credited with Cohen’s counterpart, Jason Plummer, winning the nomination on the Republican side against a slate of better known Republican names. For many voters, Plummer’s history as an associate with the Heritage Foundation sealed the deal, but his experience includes running large businesses, service as a military officer, and serving as party chairman in one of the biggest counties in the state. Many assumed that Matt Murphy had a lock on the Lt. Gov. nomination.
Tea Party’s top choice for governor on the Republican ballot, Adam Ann-Gee-EFF-Ski (Andrzejewski, for those who read Polish) pulled an impressive 15% for his first time run. The GOP never thought he’d break double digits. Andy McKenna, the former state party head who ran an undistinguished race, but had a lot of money for ads, pulled only 19% of the vote. It gives one hope that good voiceovers and a handsome face alone are not sufficient to clinch the highest elected post in the state. McKenna had refused to participate in the final three candidate debates.
Tea Party was happy that Bill Brady will be the GOP’s Governor candidate in November. Brady performed well at the December 22nd hearing in Sterling Illinois, on the commission responsible to decide whether to sell Thomson Prison to house GITMO detainees (his vote was to maintain the prison for state use). He is pro-life and has served capably in the Illinois Senate.
Northern IL Tea Party has invited Bill Brady to appear at their 9:00-4:00 Tea Party Town Hall event Saturday February 20th, at Stockholm Inn. The event will feature14 panelists and opportunity for attendees to ask questions and offer their comments. For reservations, email RKDgathering@gmail.com, or call Sharon at 815-964-4588.
Jane Ryan Carrell is a stateline resident who writes on issues of government and politics. Carrell is a board member of Northern IL Tea Party, an outgrowth of the Rockford Tea Party group, and a member of Get Out Of Our House, a non-partisan group with a plan to replace every member of the lower House of Congress with candidates chosen without political party involvement. Carrell can be reached at ILGOOOH@GMAIL.COM
“In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one
useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more
is a Congress.” -- John Adams
By Jim Sacia, State Representative 89th District
I learn so much from you, my constituents, when you call, visit or e-mail my office or speaking to your group. I also learn much from the thirty minutes of reading I do each day while I ride my stationary bike. I also learn from Beasley, my way-overweight Dalmatian and from Spanky, my wound-up Jack Russell Terrier with scraggly wire hair (I didn’t think there could be such an ugly Jack Russell terrier, but after we lost our Wishbone, this is what we got from the Jack Russell Rescue).
Here is a novel thought from the book I am currently reading: “100 People Who Are Screwing Up America” by Bernie Goldberg; it’s a quote from William F. Buckley (who is definitely not one of the 100) “I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than the faculty of Harvard University.” Similarly, I would rather turn over the reins of Illinois government to the last 177 people who have contacted me, than to be a part of failing to fix our financial crisis.
Why would I choose the last 177 who have contacted me? You are citizens concerned about issues, not about “protecting your seat” (not to be confused with covering your - - -. You would objectively and fairly assess our situation, and simply conclude that this cannot go on.
I recently visited the home of Nancy Stevens, a teacher from Winnebago. I spoke with Nancy along with several of her fellow teachers and Superintendent Dr. Dennis Harezlak about the state’s bleak financial picture after which they asked me “Jim, are the 177 members of the General Assembly ready to make the radical changes necessary?” I responded “We’d better be, or we deserve to be gone.”
Several days ago I spoke at a morning meeting of the Freeport Kiwanis where several of the members brought up an interesting idea. They agreed that we have a problem with multi-generational welfare in Illinois. They also noted that if you are unemployed, but want to work, you will lose all of your unemployment benefits if you accept even a job paying minimum wage. How about returning people to the workforce with the state, at least temporarily, paying the difference between the lower minimum wage and the higher unemployment benefits? Can we make that happen, they asked. It’s sure worth a try.
And what is it that I learn from my dogs? Beasley, my Dalmatian is old and fat, and also insanely loyal. It’s that type of loyalty I owe to you in listening to your concerns and advocating on your behalf. Recently, I spoke with a gentleman who admitted that he hadn’t contacted my office about an issue because he’s a Democrat. I couldn’t believe it. Partisanship is not something engaged in by me or any member of my staff. We are here to serve you. It bears repeating: “Representative” means to represent you. That is our mandate and our commitment.
Then there is Spanky; wound like a 7-day clock. She makes the energizer bunny seem like a sleepy old hound. You have allowed me to serve you these past 7-plus years and I owe you Spanky’s level of enthusiasm and commitment.
As always, you can reach me, Sally or Barb at 815/232-0774 or e-mail us at email@example.com. You can also visit my website at www.jimsacia.com. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.