Governor, go home!

Did someone say the governor was coming here again for a visit? The last time he was here, it was an unannounced re-election swing designed to throw the city a few campaign crumbs. It worked, and now we are stuck with him for another four years. Then, he buzzed off before enough informed reporters could assemble to ask him about the continuing federal probe into his hiring practices and other embarrassing questions.

This time, he has the nerve to come to pitch his very unpopular corporate tax plan. Doesn’t he know that our main concern here is jobs? Not the kind of retail jobs that do not pay enough to make a mortgage payment, but real jobs that used to exist in this city… and not the kind of low-paying ones that staffing services get contracts for, that puts a little dent in the area unemployment figures.

No doubt the governor will stop in some neighborhood and tout his plan to get the “fat cats” of industry to pay their fair share of taxes to fund every one of his ludicrous whims. His speech will be full of more idle campaign rhetoric designed to chase away the few companies that still exist in this city with his warped and misguided ideas. Will he speak in religious terms as he did in Chicago recently, or will he talk to the area’s astrologers as he did on a recent interview show when he said the “stars were all in a row,” to implement his tax plan?

Mr. Governor, everything you think of is just more campaign baloney. Are you coming here to try to sell us a plan that will chase away the existing industry by taxing them so much that they take their jobs with them to another state? Do you know that Illinois ranks No. 44 in job creation, and we cannot afford to lose any more companies? Or do you only care about your own future political career?

As far as your plan to give everyone free health insurance goes, yes, that would be nice if the state could afford it. In a recent editorial in the Alton Telegraph printed a few weeks ago in the Register Star, the newspaper pointed out how your administration of smoke and mirrors has tried to cover up the state’s heavy debts and other problems. You cite a recent case where a lady died because she did not have medical benefits. I worked for the state for 19 years, and when you and your cronies reorganized my department in May 2004, you took my job and my health insurance, too.

Mr. Governor, there is no reason to come to Rockford to discuss your tax plan. It is very unpopular and wrong for an area that is already suffering from the lack of job growth and opportunity. Come back to Rockford when you have some real solutions to our problems.

John R. Ghrist is a local resident.

from the April 18-24, 2007, issue

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