…but love her or fear her, the good Doctor calls it like she sees it, knows the issues, and is an unflinching Progressive who never pulls her punches. Thought this post was critical as the race heats up towards the election; one that may decide the future and fate of the state and it’s people, and whether it returns to the people or is looted to insolvency and ruin by Rauner and the oligarchs. Doctor:
Kennedy – Is He Our Progressive Champion??? A report from the Gubernatorial campaign trail:
I have been going to multiple forums with the candidates trying to push them on a IL State Bank, fracking / climate change, single payer health care, progressive taxing solutions, I toss out as many questions as I can get in.
Yesterday I saw Chris Kennedy at Horner Park. A couple of thoughts: Wow, he really does have a temper – this was the second time he has berated me, without my attacking him, I was just stating some truths, I am not liking that very much!
He does seem to be really angry at Madigan and the IL power elites for their corruption, he wants to end conflicts of interest in Springfield by disallowing them of serving as property tax assessment attorneys, and ending other conflicts of interest, and get everyone back to public service – this is very good.
He states that he wants to bend the rules of the economy to benefit the poor and the average folks – this is very good.
He is very concerned that our youth are leaving the state, that our University system is being dismantled by Rauner, and that 75% of high school graduates across the state are not college ready.
He is for a Progressive Income Tax and something he calls a “Jupiter Island Tax” – (“Some of the wealthiest people in the United States live in Jupiter Island: Worth magazine ranked it #1 in the country for having the highest median home sale, and it has the highest per capita income of any inhabited place in the country”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter_Island,_Florida ). This “Jupiter Island Tax” will be levied on executives or anyone who does business transactions in Chicago, even if they are employed elsewhere – (I am pretty sketchy about this tax and tried to get more details from him last night and could not seem to get him to come forth with any). But it sounds like it would tax who we want to tax – the rich folks.
He does not think a transaction tax would work, he thinks they will squirm out of the tax and get away with it.
He does not want to legalize pot and tax it, (he thinks legalization requires more research – he would be more inclined to support decriminalization, he is pretty conservative on this one).
He is for getting to a Single Payer Health Care System eventually, even on the State level if the Feds destroy Medicaid and Obamacare, but was again very sketchy on the details and did not mention California’s steps in that direction.
He thinks that fracking is not part of our energy future but he thinks that coal will stay at the same percentage of our energy mix that it has right now – I was personally aghast at this comment – his brother is Robert Kennedy Jr. who is a very significant environmentalist, it does not seam that they talk very often about this issue.
I really tried to push Kennedy on the economic issues last night. He was for maintaining our obligations to our pensioneers, but seemed to be behind Rahm’s attempt last winter to come to a pension bargain – this did not make sense to me.
I asked him how we could tax the 25% of corporations that pay no tax in this state, I have to say he was not forthcoming – he asked me if I wanted to get into the weeds of corporate tax issues and I said “yes” and then he did not answer my question.
My sense of him is that he prefers not to be questioned about the details around his policies, he is a bit of an elitist, and he wants us to trust that he is going to act in our best interest – well Mr. Kennedy that just does not fly any more in American politics!
He also was not very happy at the end when we brought him a copy of: “Here Come the Kennedys” https://jacobinmag.com/…/chris-kennedy-illinois-governor-ra…, – a must read about some aspects of Kennedy’s background, but he did not have much to say about it.
I was hoping that Kennedy was our independent progressive in the race who had the balls to take on Madigan, Cullerton, and the rest of the power elites in this state – and this would call for a serious set of kahunas! But I get the sense that Kennedy is really a centrist Democrat, similar to Pat Quinn, with a few pet progressive issues. I am going to continue to push him on a IL State Bank, and some of the other progressive issues – I will let you know if I get anywhere.
…and I will let you know what she finds…