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Friday, March 31, 2023
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Di Leo: It’s time to stop lying about Tom Morrison and other GOP lawmakers



By John F. Di Leo –

I was born in Chicago, and I’ve lived in suburban Cook County most of my life.

I am also a law-abiding, employed, patriotic devotee of the vision of our Founding Fathers, particularly the Framers of the Constitution.

Unfortunately, these two facts – my geographical location and my worldview – are at odds.  Because of where I live, I have negligible representation in my government.

It wasn’t always this way.  When I was growing up in the northern Chicago suburbs of Evanston and Park Ridge, Illinois was the very definition of a swing state.  We usually had one Republican US Senator and one Democrat US Senator.  The governor’s office flipped back and forth.  Our US House delegation was evenly divided.

In my lifetime, I have been represented in the US House by such great Americans as Don Rumsfeld, Phil Crane, and Henry Hyde… and in the Senate by such stalwarts as Everett McKinley Dirksen and Peter Fitzgerald.

But Illinois Republicans have made some big mistakes over the years, and these mistakes have been destructive to both our representation in government and our state’s well-being as a whole.

We let the legislative cutback amendment effectively kill Republican chances to ever win state house majorities again.  We acquiesced to state worker pension agreements that were never affordable in the best of times and then absolutely sunk the state’s economy when things got tough.

And we never figured out a way to stop the Madigan crime machine, better known as the Illinois Democratic Party.

Mike Madigan is the longest serving dictator in American history. He has served as Speaker of the Illinois General Assembly for almost 40 years, consolidating his power with a brilliant but malevolent use of district gerrymandering, union partnerships (particularly with the teachers’ unions and other government employee unions), special interest groups, and Illinois’s notorious property tax scheme.

This last one merits special attention. Illinois’ property taxes are notoriously high; that’s a given. But the scheme is that they do excessive reappraisals every three years, and tax hikes every year, so that homeowners and other property owners need to appeal their assessments continuously, producing partial wins that are split with the lawyers, creating a cottage industry for property tax appeal attorneys, some of whom just happen to be state legislators themselves… like Mike Madigan.

This corrupt symbiotic relationship has spread, providing Madigan with both massive power and an enormous campaign war chest, enabling his party to fund challengers in districts that ought to unwinnable for them.

Take, for example, State Representative Tom Morrison of Palatine, a former grammar school teacher and small businessman who was first elected to Springfield in the Tea Party year of 2010. 

Tom Morrison represents his district admirably, as a statesman who puts his money where his mouth is. He campaigned against pensions for elected officials, so he has refused to participate in the legislature’s pension plan for himself.  He campaigned for the small government philosophy of our Founding Fathers, so he has spent his time in Springfield opposing government expansion.  He campaigns for the rule of law, so he battles against the Illinois combine’s attempts to hike taxes, spend frivolously, and unconstitutionally regulate our right to bear arms.

This principled commitment to his party platform and his district’s worldview has earned him a post on top of Mike Madigan’s enemies list. Madigan has poured incredible funding into Democrat challenger Maggie Trevor’s campaign. Residents of Tom Morrison’s district receive at least one mailing a day from Trevor or the various Democrat front groups supporting her.

The Trevor mailings are essentially all the same: attacking Tom Morrison as being “against safety” and “against women.” They don’t say how, they don’t say why, they just maintain that he’s against safety and against women. Again and again. 

On what do they base these charges? 

Well, Tom Morrison supports the Second Amendment right of law-abiding citizens to own firearms (in a state living in a perpetual crime wave, one should hardly need to justify that position), and he opposes the Democratic Party’s devotion to taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand. 

The Democrats have built their entire campaign against this excellent incumbent on these two issues… not even a fair telling of the two issues, but a warping of them, to deceptively portray him as an extremist when they – the gun-grabbers and abortion lobbyists – are the real extremists in the race.

In fact, as a legislator who has worked and voted in favor of stronger protections and funding for Illinois’ police forces, and who has opposed the government’s coddling of the criminals who threaten our state, Tom Morrison is the one who’s pro-safety. He has worked for the changes that would improve our economy so it would provide more jobs for employees, more opportunities for entrepreneurship, affordability for an education, safer streets and safer roads.  These are pro-women measures, not anti-women.  Tom Morrison is the candidate who has spent his decade in public service working for all law-abiding citizens, young and old, male and female, employee and employer, urban, suburban and rural.

But the Democrats have latched onto two single issues, totally misrepresented them, and poured millions into the disinformation campaign to put a stealth candidate – just another extreme leftist masquerading as a moderate – into office in Springfield, to replace a mainstream stalwart who has represented his community so well for ten years. 

All to empower the corrupt Madigan machine.

But don’t think this article, or this election, is just about Tom Morrison’s seat.

What’s happening to this district is happening in districts all over the state, wherever there’s an incumbent Republican in the state house or state senate. 

The Democrat strategy is the same: refer to being pro-security as being “against safe homes”… refer to a pro-life position on the abortion issue as being “anti-woman” (need we mention for the millionth time that half of aborted children are female, and half are male? This is hardly a male-vs-female issue)… and then pound the incumbent with ads, bury the district’s residents in junk mail, all pushing the same theme.

Every day, the Democrats’ flyers and postcards get fancier.  If you have five in your family, you get five times the flyers.  And if you’ve lived through decades of campaigns, as I have, then you’ll see that, this time, they’re five times more shameless in their lies than ever before.

Want to talk about safety?  Illinois Democrats have made Chicagoland a magnet for criminal illegal aliens; we have at least half a million in Cook County by most counts, many of whom vote, many of whom are gang members. Illinois has district attorneys like Kim Foxx who refuse to prosecute criminals outright; Illinois has a governor who issues massive prison release programs to flood the communities with convicted felons.

Illinois Democrats have rendered whole neighborhoods, whole towns even, too dangerous to walk safely from your car to your job or home… that’s hardly pro-woman or pro-safety, but the sad reality of this miserable state is kept secret by Mike Madigan’s brochure-writers.

While Republican candidates across the state cover clear policy, cite real statistics, and offer solid solutions to Illinois’ economic malaise and crime infestation, the Democrats just keep hammering those two bullet points, in bright color print on glossy cardstock, in district after district, suburban and rural, hoping to repeat their successes of 2018 in shooting down a few more of these rarest of birds – the Elected Illinois Republican.

How can the Democratic Party of Illinois afford to fund such campaigns in what have always been solid Republican districts?  It’s all part of the combine.  The system produces money for the insiders, and those insiders will happily spend money to keep their gravy train running smoothly. The power brokers of the capitol in Springfield and the city hall in Chicago aren’t satisfied with simple majorities; they need unanimity to keep their irresponsible actions under wraps.

The only solution, long-term, is to defeat the combine at the ballot box, top to bottom, once and for all.  That’s not in the cards yet; it will take years of work.

But we can at least keep our existing, responsible minority in office, the valiant Republicans who, despite minority status, shine the light of truth on Illinois politics and provide enough NO votes for the record to enable the voters to remember – next time – that there is indeed a choice.

We’ve spent our year – heck, we’ve spent four years – talking about the presidential race, and yes, that one is imperative too – but don’t forget the quiet dangers at the bottom of the ballot too, as Mike Madigan, sitting in his distant fishing boat, operating under the radar, continues to pull the strings to put ever more of his surrogates in office, all over the state.

The deceptive campaigning of today’s Democrats needs to be called out and terminated, with a resounding defeat at the polls. 

Tom Morrison – and, frankly, the vast majority of our remaining Republican officeholders in Illinois – are tough, dedicated to their communities, and committed to the principles of liberty. You have to be, to have the courage to run as a Republican in Illinois.  If we’re ever to turn this state around and start fixing our problems, we need to build on this base of principled statesmen.

This is the land of Lincoln, Reagan, Dirksen and Hyde.   We can, and must, start winning our state back from the Left, and return it to the principles of our true American heritage again.

Copyright 2020 John F Di Leo

John F Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer, writer and actor. His columns have been run in Illinois Review since 2009.

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  1. “Against safety” and “against women.”
    The Democrat machine is pulling the same crap against Al Skillicorn, and Jim Oberweis too.
    Allan is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and a family man. I have known him for years. He is being slandered.
    This seems to be a recurring pattern in Democrat election ads: lie, make unsubstantiated attacks, and attempt to sucker the undecided (read “stupid”) voters
    to elect the Democrat.
    Such are the tactics of a desperate, unprincipled degenerate political party.