Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Come On: Feel the Illinoise

I love politics. 

Democratic members of the Indiana legislature have fled to Illinois:

INDIANAPOLIS — Most Democratic members of the Indiana House of Representatives have decamped for Illinois, stalling even routine legislation in the state house Wednesday in order to avoid being forced to vote on legislation that includes a bill that would allow workers in private sector unions the right to opt out of their unions and not pay dues.

The Democratic lawmakers, who are in the minority in the House, have refused to attend the chamber’s sessions in order to prevent a quorum. And despite a pledge from Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, not to send state troopers after them, the Democrats said that they thought it best to secretly leave the state Tuesday night.

The Democrats, who are staying at a hotel in Urbana, Ill. — about a two hour drive across the state line from Indianapolis — say they do not plan to return until Republicans make concessions, including withdrawing several bills.

Pat Bauer, the House Democratic minority leader, said the union legislation had not been the sole reason for the Democratic exodus — rather that it had “escalated” political tensions in the chamber.

“We’d like to make peace,” Mr. Bauer said during a phone call from Urbana to reporters who had gathered in his Indianapolis office. “This is a class war that is being fought in many states.” The Democrats have mentioned 11 individual bills they say they are concerned about, including several aimed at diminishing the power of labor and others that would change elements of Indiana’s public education system.

Meanwhile, back in Wisconsin... their Democratic legislators are also hanging out in Illinois, trying to avoid a vote that would drastically limit the role of unions, in part by striking down the collective bargaining process.  The legislation being considered there is the baby of Governor Scott Walker who "has warned that if the bill was not passed, layoff notices could be sent to state workers as early as next week."

To counter the governor's threat, the South Central Wisconsin Federation of Labor has announced plans for a general strike should Walker sign the bill limiting collective-bargaining rights.

Of course, what USAmericans really want to know is what the heck is going on in Illinois?  Is it more than just Democratic control of the governorship and the Legislature there that attracts politicians from other states, luring them to the high life in the Land of Lincoln?

Did you know that Lincoln came to Illinois at the age of 21 via... Indiana?

Did you know that the Illinois state motto is State Sovereignty, National Union?  That the name Illinois comes from Illini, a confederation of the Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Michigamea, Moingwena, Peoria and Tamaroa Indian tribes? 

Obviously, a bunch of subversives!

Remember that troublemaker those Illini sent to Washington as a freshman legislator -- now the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama? 

Did anyone else notice that Rahm Emanuel took over Chicago?

Clearly, there is something going on, something like a gravity-and-democratic-legislator sucking vortex, and it is happening in Illinois.  Watch out Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, and maybe even Michigan...

* I dunno, but someone does, and he's sayin' to me that the answer lies in a dedicated deconstruction of Sufjan Stevens' seminal album, Illinois. 

Oh great intentions
I've got the best of interventions
But when the ads come
I think about it now

In my infliction
Entrepreneurial conditions
Take us to glory
I think about it now

Cannot conversations cull united nations?
If you got the patience, celebrate the ancients
Cannot all creation call it celebration?
Or united nation. Put it to your head.

Oh great white city
I've got the adequate committee
Where have your walls gone?
I think about it now

Chicago, in fashion, the soft drinks, expansion
Oh Columbia!
From Paris, incentive, like Cream of Wheat invented,
The Ferris Wheel!

Oh great intentions
Covenant with the imitation
Have you no conscience?
I think about it now

Oh God of Progress
Have you degraded or forgot us?
Where have your laws gone?
I think about it now

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