Guest Column: State Sen. Syverson’s joke is on us

By Will Rose

In the recent events regarding state Sen. Dave Syverson’s (R-34) controversial Facebook statement about his daughter dating a “Mohammed from Iran,” something no white, middle-aged father would want for his daughter (I’m being facetious), it reminds me of a not-so-distant time when Syverson made similar statements that had a comparable racial tone to them.

In a report by Chuck Sweeny of the Rockford Register Star, Sweeny commented that Syverson was against a revitalization project in Rockford’s west-side corridor. Sweeny quoted Syverson, who said, “I could do 10 projects for what they want to spend on West State.” Syverson went on to tell Sweeny that “… spending so much money in that neighborhood isn’t a wise use of taxpayers’ money.”

The not-so-funny thing about this joke is that “that neighborhood” has been ignored by the city for years. It has been ignored by congressmen, senators, mayors, the county, and every other form of government for 30 some years. “That neighborhood” happens to have a huge minority presence. “That neighborhood” needs the redevelopment more than any area in northern Illinois. Yet, Syverson’s joke continues to go ignored.

The biggest joke to come out of Syverson’s fiasco is his re-election for the last 20 years. As a career politician in Springfield, he has been one of the reasons Rockford gets passed up for big dollars from the state.

During his tenure as senator, we have seen Rockford on the list of worst cities in the country; and we have had one of the worst crime rates and the highest unemployment rate out of all counties. Not to mention, the Rockford Public Schools’ reputation that is known nationally as “drop-out factories.”

I am not trying to beat down the city of Rockford; I grew up on Rockford’s west side. I love Rockford, and I love its diversity. I think the Forest City has a lot more to offer to the state and the country, but with Syverson’s ability to maintain career politician status and the fact that Rockford has had to suffer with his awesome jokes, it seems like the joke is on us.

Every time we re-elect Dave Syverson, we continue the work of a man who is 20 years behind. He lives in a world where he only sees sustainable growth on Perryville with the wine shops, jewelry stores, big car dealerships, and a majority population of white suburbanites. Dave Syverson doesn’t believe in west-side projects because I would bet he hardly likes the view.

It’s time to show him that all of Rockford needs to thrive, and that’s no laughing matter.

Will Rose is a resident of Machesney Park.our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

From the July 20-26, 2011 issue

2 thoughts on “Guest Column: State Sen. Syverson’s joke is on us

  • Jul 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    State Senator Dave Syverson’s small-minded “joke”, with all of its unseemly overtones, comes as no surprise to me.

    He has said even more blatantly not-so-funny things in the past when he was definitely NOT trying to be funny.

    What does surprise me is the negative reaction of the local daily which has endorsed him repeatedly despite his previous outrageous comments.

    Most notable among these is something he said back in 2000, and that I wrote about during the 2006 campaign, as follows:


    Do those who support the re-election of State Senator Dave Syverson realize what his moral values will allow?

    Like our Congressman Don Manzullo, Syverson has a solid pro-business voting record. Most honest Americans, however, would be disgusted with the kind of “business” that these two men delight in.

    Both Syverson and Manzullo have repeatedly acted to protect Red China’s business interests. Time and again they have chosen to ignore Beijing’s many atrocious violations of basic human rights, and supported immoral but profitable business deals with that dictatorial regime.

    Syverson believes that the State of Illinois should be allowed to buy goods made by Chinese slave labor.

    In June 2000, he spoke out against legislation that would prohibit state agencies from doing so. In May 2003, he and a tiny minority of Senate Republicans voted against an identical bill which nevertheless passed overwhelmingly and was signed into law.

    Syverson admits that his support for the slave labor trade is motivated by greed and rooted in appeasement.

    When asked to explain his opposition to the slave labor goods prohibition bill, Syverson issued a warning: “All we need is for China to tell us they won’t buy any more Illinois goods and then we’re all in trouble.” (Rockford Register Star, 3 June 2000)

    Is Syverson aware that the inmates of China’s slave labor concentration camps have troubles of their own? Many of them were sentenced to enslavement because they are pro-democracy activists, labor organizers, or religious believers whose creeds have been criminalized. Besides forced labor, their punishment often includes torture, starvation rations and other health-destroying working and living conditions.

    But their suffering clearly does not trouble Dave Syverson nearly as much as the prospect that business profits might be lost in what he called “a war of words with a country that does a great deal of trading with Illinois.”

    Syverson dismisses the immorality of slave labor in favor of the profitability of doing business with slave-drivers.

    Profit in our time: That’s Syverson’s priority. Is it also yours? If not, please cast your vote against State Senator Dave Syverson on Election Day 2006.


    Sometime after this was published, I was able to question Senator Syverson during a call-in session on a local radio station.

    When I asked him why he had voted against the bill described above, he told me that he thought that it represented an “unfunded mandate” and would not comment further on the topic.

    Just for the record, our other local state senator, J. Bradley Burzynski, was also among the 11 Republican state senators to vote against the “State Prohibition of Goods from Forced Labor Act” which was signed into law on 23 July 2003.

    How did we manage to become represented by not one but two fellows who seem to have no scruples when it comes to promoting “business”?

  • Jul 22, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Well, John, perhaps is it because most of us aren’t far-left lunatics like you and Will Rose.

    Syverson does need to be replaced…but NOT by some lunatic left-wing “tax-and-spend fool. We have far too many Democratic bleeding heart “tax-and-spend” idiots that are willing to tax us out of existence so they can feel good about themseleves.

    Here’s a thought, if you want to give all your money to the poor, go ahead…who’s stopping you? Stay the HELL out of my wallet!

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