No good deed goes unpunished. Norine Hammond’s punishment is getting “primaried” by her own party because she didn’t fall into lock step with the Governor this past summer when she voted her “district” and supported a budget that would stem the tide of starvation taking place in Higher Education across the state. She had little choice but to do so (as did her colleagues in other university towns) since Western Illinois University is in the center of her district and has a tremendous economic and cultural impact on the region as a whole.
It never ceases to amaze me that voters pretend to want Representatives to vote their districts while using common sense and not always toeing the party line. Then you get someone that does just that and she is rewarded by having her pathway to re-election made more difficult. Worse yet, the guy they brought in to be at the end of the “Chicago Puppet Strings” doesn’t even invest in himself. Ninety-five percent of his campaign money has come from a Political Action Committee (PAC) north of I-80. Tactics no better than Mike Madigan would employ himself. Just more machine politics at work. Make no mistake, they have to make sure us downstate voters get in line-----because they know what is best for us up there in the city.
Mark Twain was once quoted that “There are Three Kinds of Lies: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics”. If I have to hear one more time that we were saddled with a 32% tax hike I think I will have to visit the emergency room for convulsive vomiting. I am absolutely sick of that number being manipulated and twisted around for political purposes. We were bumped by 1.2%. I don’t like taxes either but here is a newsflash---Illinois is broke and we can’t just cut our way out of it. Intelligent bi-partisan groups that have done exhaustive research can tell you we need to cut operating as well as generate revenue. Ironically, most people want neither.
If Mr. Griffith would have been in the same seat as Norine this past summer he, too, would have had to make the choice of choking off Higher Education (and education in general) across the state and permanently damaging the 93rd district ---or he could have stood on his pious moral high ground that he currently has the luxury to do never having been in the hot seat and delt a death blow to this region. There is a reason Republican Representatives from all the state universities crossed over. They had to because it was in the absolute best interest of their voters. Something he clearly has no care for, or understanding of whatsoever.
If folks want to be upset at Norine for making that vote you have every right as a citizen to feel that way, however if you are remotely impacted by Higher Education or K-12, for that matter, in this district then you should be thanking her profusely and voting for her on March 20 because we owe her a profound debt. A vote for Griffith is a vote for an outsider taking outsider money--- held by the puppet strings of Chicago establishment politicians. Norine has the courage of her convictions and she is a voice we can ill afford to lose in Springfield during these turbulent times. Norine stood up for us in a very dark hour. Now it’s our turn to return the favor---because clearly no good deed goes unpunished.