Kolber says Illinois' economic model is broken
The financial crisis in Illinois found temporary solace in a stopgap measure passed at the beginning of July, and while many are relieved that vital services such as education are being funded, others are weary of the battle of the wills happening at the capital.
Vincent Kolber, Republican candidate running for the Fifth Congressional District of Illinois, said he believes that the entrenched political nature of the state has left it in chaos and corruption.
“All we have is a stalemate,” Kolber told the Will County Gazette. “We have entrenched powers...who are corrupt by the fact that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We have this whole situation where we have leaders both in Chicago and Springfield who make their real living solving the tax assessment and the property of anyone who will pay them their fee.”
Kolber asserted that these individuals are so well placed in the ecology of Illinois’ economy that they attract plenty of businesses due to the fact that those leaders can reduce a company's assessment fees.
“It’s the height of a corrupt system along with the fact that we don’t have term limits and we can’t change state government in Illinois and attempts to the contrary that have persisted over the decades have yet to bear fruit,” Kolber said.
Kolber related that he has seen the frustration of voters who are calling for term limits and remapping as he campaigns. These reforms have been on the table for over 30 years and progress on them has faced opposition from influential lawmakers, he alleged.
“The Supreme Court of Illinois, in the pockets of whatever powers, mainly Democratic leaders, will not allow the term limit initiative to go on the ballot even though signatures have been raised,” Kolber said. “They won’t let that go in front of the voters of Illinois. The voters, when polled, all want it. The polling is 75 percent. It’s a lay up once it gets on the ballot. But nope. They won’t let it go on the ballot.”
Kolber said he believes that the current system is not reflective of the voters and is not reflective of democracy. It is pretend; it is a fake democracy.
This belief is why he tells voters to hold their elected leaders accountable. Yet it is not easy because some voters are not concerned about the whole state as is the case with House Speaker Michael Madigan, Kolber said.
“For a state rep — in the case of Madigan, who has been there for over 40 years in his district — people there are not focusing on the whole state,” Kolber said. "All they really are focusing on is their immediate community and, if things are well enough there relative to other places, they [will] continue to keep him in. He does a very aggressive effort to keep competitors away. That’s just the reality.”
This is why Kolber said he believes it is essential to get the word out; to make voters aware of the situation. He comes back around to his endorsement of allowing Illinois to have access to federal bankruptcy courts to referee the financial crisis the state faces.
“I don’t think Illinois can afford to wait for Madigan and [Senate Leader John] Cullerton to have a midlife crisis or a career change or whatever,” Kolber said. “That’s why I think it is essential that we get legislation in Washington, D.C. for all states to have access to the federal bankruptcy courts because we are going to need a federal referee to sort out Illinois’ broken economic and state fiscal model.”
Kolber cannot emphasize enough how clearly broken is the state’s economic model.
“It’s broken,” he said. “It’s just plain broken. There is nothing more complicated to say. It’s broken. And it needs to be fixed and it needs to be fixed now. We cannot wait and if we keep sending the same people to Springfield and Washington, guess what? It’s not going to be fixed.”
He pointed at mass outward migration that Illinois is currently facing as a sign of the state’s broken system, relating that his children may not want to return to the state after college and start careers or how his business may struggle with expansion and be forced to move
This problem of out-migration is detrimental to the state, he concluded.
“It’s been going on for years,” Kolber said. “We have to stop this. This is just an unacceptable situation. And that pay stoppage [to lawmakers] in Springfield…let that be the call; let that be the signal to our state and the people of the State of Illinois that the government here is broken and the reason it is broken is because of the entrenched power that has been transigent with respect to living within the means of the revenue that the people of Illinois provide Springfield. That’s what you have to do, that’s what I have to do, and that’s what all the struggling families who are working in Illinois have to do.”