Sunday, December 18, 2005

Tom Cross's Letter to the Sun Times

The letter below was sent to the Sun Times in response to Representatitive Tom Cross's letter. The letter was also sent to Tom Cross

Tom Cross is right, “a bipartisan approach is essential to addressing these difficult issues to restore honesty and integrity to the process.” However, until both parties stop taking money from the primary and tertiary lobbyists, the teachers’ unions (IEA and IFT), Illinois will remain in an ethical crisis. That crisis is the under-education of Illinois children by unions that are more concerned about their pocketbooks and lining the pockets of legislators to get a Ponzi scheme retirement system that is sure to bankrupt the State. Their Mantra is underfunding, inequitable funding and unfunded mandates with no regard to actually educating our children and taking the responsibility to do so. Unions prefer the blame game and that game is to blame anyone except themselves while protecting incompetent teachers. The last three decades our K – 12 system has robbed generation after generation of children of a proper education, a greater income potential, and a future as a productive member of society.

Yes Representative Cross, lets have campaign reform. Stop taking money from the teachers union with whom the state contracts. If we solve our education problem, we will solve are social welfare problems as well. The biggest social welfare system that must be reformed is the education system and the protection of incompetent teachers and administrators and their retirement system.

Cathy Peschke
Citizens for Reasonable And Fair Taxes (CRAFT)

The letter below appeared in the December 11, 2005 edition of the Sun Times.

Illinois is in the midst of an ethical crisis. This crisis has shaken the citizens' trust in not only public officials, but government itself.

The issue of ethics in Illinois has now transcended party affiliation and has jaded the minds of the electorate to the point that citizens are rightly left to wonder if public service has changed to self-service.

We are facing substantial public policy dilemmas in many areas: the budget, pensions, Medicaid, affordable health care, education, economic development -- just to name a few.

However, before we can even begin to contemplate the substantive public policy issues affecting every Illinois resident, we must restore trust in our government.

Two years ago, in a bipartisan manner, Illinois House Republicans and Democrats drafted and passed a sweeping ethics reform bill. It was a commonsense package of reforms that were a long time in coming. The measure was heralded at the time as the "nation's toughest" ethics reform package.

Now, however, new issues are emerging in the areas of state contracts and hiring, and their relation to campaign financing, that are again causing an integrity gap.

House Republicans have a number of proposals to address these abuses, as do the Democrats. As we did two years ago, I believe a bipartisan approach is essential to addressing these difficult issues to restore honesty and integrity to the process.

We proved two years ago that by working together, we can make great strides. And now more than ever, we must work together to fix a system both political parties have had a hand in breaking.

Tom Cross
House Republican Leader

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