Illinois Republicans’ featured speaker at the fair Thursday, U.S. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, said liberal policies in Illinois highlight what he called the foundation of the 2020 election: Individual liberty versus government control.
The chairman of the Illinois Republican Party says Democrats may have beat the state’s GOP down in 2018, but the majority party is not addressing the things he said taxpayers care about.
Wednesday morning at a hotel away from the Illinois State Fair Illinois Democrats hosted U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, as the featured speaker. Pelosi heralded progressive policies Illinois passed and said that will be an example to America that mainstream policies can be progressive.
Scalise, R-Louisiana, spoke at the Illinois State Fair’s Republican Day lunch Thursday. He said progressive policies in Illinois are an example of what not to do.
“Where you’re seeing such high tax rates, such overwhelming government control and policies that take freedom away from people and frankly are running the middle class away,” Scalise told reporters.
He said the GOP’s fight in Illinois resembles the cornerstone of the 2020 election.
“It’s going to be based upon individual freedom and what it does to help empower people and get people the ability to live the American dream versus government control, not only where it’s failed in other countries, but where it’s failed in very far left liberal states in Illinois,” Scalise said.
Republicans attending the lunch held up signs that said “Resist Socialism.” There were also signs that said, “Fight the machine.” In the state legislature, the Republican party is in the minority in the state Senate and in the super-minority in the state House.
Scalise talked about how Louisiana Republicans were once in the minority, but they turned things around and are now in the majority.
Illinois GOP Chairman Tim Schneider said Illinois Democrats didn’t talk about corruption during public speeches Wednesday for Governor’s Day, the same day Democratic state Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park, was arraigned on embezzlement charges.
“We also have raids on three homes of people known to Speaker [Michael] Madigan,” Schneider said. “We’ve got the indictment of [Chicago Alderman] Ed Burke. We have a number of corruption issues going on in Illinois. They need to answer to that. Not to mention Toilet Gate. I really think that our governor should be under scrutiny for what he did to remove the toilets out of the mansion next to his home to reduce his own property taxes.”
Schneider also said Democrats didn’t address the outflow of people from Illinois. He said the Democrats proposed change to the state’s flat income tax would raise taxes by $3 billion on Illinois taxpayers. Pritzker has said 97 percent of taxpayers would see modest tax cuts while only the wealthy would pay more.
“If we pass the progressive income tax you’re going to see an even greater mass exodus out of Illinois,” Schneider said.
The party rallied Thursday to push for more Republican elected officials.
Scalise also told the state fair crowd about his faith and how important that was for him after he was shot and injured while practicing for a Congressional baseball game. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville was also on that baseball field when a man from Illinois opened fire on the group of Republicans in 2017.
Both Scalise and Davis praised U.S. Capitol Police officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner who engaged the shooter, ending the 10-minute attack. Bailey was at the fair Thursday on duty protecting Scalise.