Berkowitz & Martin discuss GOP GOV primary candidates, issues and a possible emerging IL GOP agenda in Chicago, Aurora & Highland Park & on the Web

Berkowitz and Martin discuss Wirepoints data showing Illinois career teachers across the state retire at an average of 80K per year pensions and state public university employees retire at

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This weekend’s Public Affairs’ shows features show host Jeff Berkowitz and Illinois Channel’s Executive Director Terry Martin discussing key current state and local political and public policy issues.

The show airs in Chicago:

tomorrow morning at 9:02 am in Chicago on Cable Ch. 21 (CAN TV).

–Sunday morning at 8:32 am in Chicago on Cable Ch. 19 (CAN TV)

You can also watch the show 24/7 by clicking here.

You give us 30 minutes and Public Affairs show host Jeff Berkowitz and Illinois Channel’s Executive Director Terry Martin give you an update of the GOP GOV Primary and an assessment of how that contest might proceed over the next year on the key substantive issues.   

The show also airs:

in Aurora tomorrow and Monday on Cable Ch. 10 at 6 pm

in Highland Park next week on Monday and Wednesday night at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 19

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Jeff Berkowitz (Public Affairs) and Terry Martin (Illinois Channel) discuss an emerging agenda for the IL Republican Party by the GOP GOV candidates. Former Senator Paul Schimpf, Senator and farmer Darren Bailey and self-made millionaire businessman Gary Rabine have already entered the race and Richard Porter (Kirkland and Ellis Partner and RNC member) will decide about entering the race by this summer. 

Porter has developed the theme that the IL Democratic Party has become a predatory government that exists to benefit IL state and local government employees and IL Democratic Party politicians, not the people they were elected to serve.

Porter reports polling data showing that the majority of those in Illinois self-identify as conservative but they are aligned with the Democratic Party. So, he says, if the Republicans give voters a reason to vote for them, they will do so. No voters want a predatory government. They want one that cares about their interests.

Although Illinois and its cities have $400 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, we see testimony on the show that the Governor signed a bill recently to expand Chicago’s massively unfunded firefighter pension liabilities, so Illinois is not reforming but making its fiscal condition worse.

Gary Rabine told Berkowitz last week that he is traveling the State, focusing on private sector job creation, cutting property taxes and serving families (improving education quality- not spending more- and public safety). Rabine said that for localities to cut property taxes, the state must help them cut local costs, including local pension liabilities. To do that, Rabine would amend the IL Constitution and Porter would try to get the Feds to give IL that power.

Berkowitz and Martin discuss Wirepoints data showing Illinois career teachers across the state retire at an average of 80K per year pensions and state public university employees retire at an average of 70K per year pensions. These data are in sharp contrast to social security pensions averaging 18K per year.  Certainly some of the GOP GOV candidates (Rabine, Bailey and Porter) will argue these data require actions to restructure Illinois public sector pensions and pension liabilities.

Over the next two and a half years, Illinois, its cities, its schools and various other public entities will receive about $25 billion from the Feds’ stimulus legislation. Berkowitz and Martin suggest that the GOP GOV candidates will argue these funds shouldn’t be spent on new government programs, but should be used to fix the balance sheets, reduce debt of the IL state government, cities and schools and start on true fiscal and education reform.

Moreover, with many of the public schools closed to in person learning in the last year, but charter and private schools staying open, an emerging agenda may be for the GOP GOV candidates to advocate for using a significant amount of the Fed funds coming to IL for much more private and charter school choice funding, especially in the inner cities, where IL’s citizens of color face inferior school performance and few options to better prepare for today’s modern economy. 

The emerging social cultural issues for the GOP and perhaps their application to the meaning of the Adam Toledo shooting are also discussed.   

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