Letter sent to alderman about ride-share regulations

Slamming a typical blue-state proposal . . .

Blithe Spirit

Alderman Patrick O’Connor, 40th Ward:

As a several-times user of Uber, I am very disturbed about the proposed regulations on ridesharing in Chicago. Uber has been very convenient to my wife and me, aged 72 and 84 respectively and recently of your ward, moving from Oak Park, and I know also for our daughters, who live in or near our (your) ward.

We don’t have smart phones but they do, and with their help Uber has been an important convenience both here and, I remember vividly, in Queens, NY, where we attended a family wedding a few years back.

In addition, we read and understand clearly enough how ridesharing has provided new opportunities for Chicagoans to earn extra money, work flexible hours, and control their own destiny. I have special feeling about this, having worked most of my life, after my newspaper (Chicago Daily News) folded, as a free-lancer. The…

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Tax trades, and say bye-bye to the Merc

Blithe Spirit

Argument is simple enough: you would make trades unprofitable.

A proposal for Illinois to tax trades on exchanges in the state is “ridiculous,” according to the executive chairman of Chicago-based market operator CME Group Inc.

The suggested levy—which would charge $1 or $2 per contract, depending on the product—would make many transactions uneconomic, forcing the exchange to leave the state because customers would stop buying and selling, CME Chairman Terry Duffy said.

The bill, designed to increase revenue in the financially troubled state, is in early stages and faces long odds of approval.

Yes, as Sen. Don Harmon told an Oak Park audience in 2013, in this exchange from my Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters.

. . . from the floor came an enterprising suggestion, that even with Harmon’s proposed fair tax (“graduated”) there still wouldn’t be enough money. “So how about the proposed tax…

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Gov. Rauner vows to veto Madigan budget if it reaches his desk – Chicago Tribune

Blithe Spirit

Budget that tries to reverse the state’s downward trajectory vs. one that kicks can down road:

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Sunday vowed to veto a House Democratic state budget bill if it gets to his desk, setting up a potential election-year blame game against Speaker Michael Madigan should public schools throughout Illinois fail to open this fall.

Pension debt solution vs. same-old, same-old:

The threat came as Rauner and Mayor Rahm Emanuel ratcheted up their battle over the governor’s Friday veto of a bill that would have created a new funding timetable for Chicago police and fire pensions. Emanuel labeled a city property tax hike that now could be needed to fund pensions a “Rauner tax,” while the governor faulted the mayor for failing to come to Springfield to work for comprehensive reforms.

Businesses vs. unions and trial lawyers:

The spring session is scheduled to end at midnight Tuesday…

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Those Illinois redistricting blues . . .

Blithe Spirit

. . . are being challenged by non-aligned citizens, as we know

The Ruling Party is opposed to this. It kept such a proposal off one ballot and wants to do it in another, each time deploying an ad hoc group represented by the party’s lawyer, while denying its own involvement.

Constitutional issues are arguable in the matter, but the party has a very big stake here. Drawing electoral district boundaries is a monopoly they have gotten used to.

The system seems blatantly undemocratic — hermetically sealed office-holders deciding whom if anyone they will run against. As such it was raised as an issue at a town hall meeting described in my Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters.

A softball question had just been answered at the mid-July, 2013 meeting at the Oak Park Library. Then . . .

A Certified Public Accountant shifted tone considerably, urging…

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Tough call for Sen. Harmon . . .

Blithe Spirit

. . . as he himself explains.

But it could have been much tougher.

I mean, he could have voted with the Republicans against the new school-funding bill, which passed (easily) on party lines a week ago.

Sure. And I’m the Easter bunny, as TV news man Len O’Connor used to say at the close of one of his “biting commentaries.”

Anyhow, the state funding of public schools arises in my Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters.

It was at a four-legislator forum at Oak Park’s Percy Julian middle school, on a balmy night in October, 2013.

The legislators were there at the invitation of the parent teacher organization, introduced by the district superintendent and questioned by parent members of the district’s Committee for Legislative Action, Intervention and Monitoring (CLAIM).

An interesting evening all in  all, with Harmon on hand plus Sen. Kimberly Lightford and Reps…

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Coming soon . . .

The writing life of Jim Bowman, author most recently of: 

Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters

Do politicians talk funny? To adapt what one of them said long ago about fooling people, some of them talk funny all of the time, all of them some of the time.

This little book tells how two of them and a few of their colleagues talked to constituents in Chicago-suburban Oak Park and neighboring towns and neighborhoods in the summer and fall of 2013.

It’s an exercise in synecdoche, by which parts stand for the whole, in this case some politicians for the entire breed. By these few you shall know the breed, at least in Blue Illinois, where Democrats rule.

— paperback $4

— ebook not Kindle $0.99

— Kindle $0.99

. . . more more more to come, soon . . .,