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Profile Information

Member since: Wed Aug 15, 2007, 03:03 PM
Number of posts: 2,304

About Me

My grandmother, Sarah Taggert Kohr Raulston, widowed with 6 children in 1936, during the Republican gifted Great Depression, always told her grandchildren that she and her children would have starved to death had it not been for FDR and the Democratic Party. I have never forgot her gratitude or failed to heed the following: "It's a mortal sin to vote Republican." I maintain a blog for our local Democrat Party called "Mike's Corner." http://bureaucountydems.blogspot.com/ Please stop by. My wife Bonny and I maintain the educational website, "International Brotherhood Days," http://www.brotherhooddays.com which is dedicated to the vision and memory of my friend Severt Young Bear Sr. Stop by for a visit.

Journal Archives

Tax Burden in Ilinois -it's not what those on the right claim-

Governor Bruce Rauner, his shills, "The Illinois Policy Institute," and many on the right end of the political spectrum are weaving a web of deception by highlighting the fact that property taxes in Illinois are the 2nd highest in the nation. Their attempts to link LOCAL taxes to the totally unrelated 50 year underfunding of Illinois pension funds are misleading at best and when coupled with their frequent claims of taxes in Illinois being out of line with our neighbors are flat out lies.

Close examination of the facts lays the lie to their claims and actually points out that the "flat income tax" structure in Illinois coddles the wealthy at the expense of the middle class and the poor, a fact they'd rather not talk about.

The most relevant, apples to apples comparison, weights the total tax burden by percentage of income. Rated as a percentage of income Illinois ranks 14th out of 51 states and the District of Columbia.

Ranked by percentage of income, Illinois has lower overall taxes than Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Kentucky. Regionally only Iowa and Missouri has a lower overall tax burden and only by 1/2 of a % and 1% respectfully. We are not only in line with our regional neighbors, we are below the median.

If this distinction bothers you, ranked by tax dollars, CNN Money ranks Illinois at #29 out of 50 states. http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/total_taxes/total.html No matter what standard you use Illinois is not one of the highest taxed states. It never has been, especially for the rich.

There is one category however, in which Illinois finds itself in shady company. Our "flat income tax" ranks us as among the worst states in exacerbating the historic income inequality gap by codling the wealthy and putting an undo burden on the Middle Class and the Poor.
This dubious trait is shared by many "Red States" and helps explain in part the historic economic underperformance of these states and regions of the country. If you've ever wondered why Lousiana, Mississippi, Tennesee and West Virginia have always been at the bottom of our national economic dog piles, the chart below points out a big reason why.

This convenient omission of this inconvenient fact by Governor Rauner, "The Illinois Policy Institute," and others of this ilk, cements together their fundamental dishonesty of policy and character. They should be ashamed. But they are not.


A New Low In Illinos Politics

This past week marks a new low in Illinois politics. Two Governor Rauner linked, character assassination pieces were mass mailed to voters in Illinois' 76th House district, attacking Frank Mautino one of Illinois' most respected, knowledgeable and decent legislators. Following is my take on one of these pieces of tripe from "The Illinois Policy Institute:"

Remember the commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” –God-

Budgets are presented by governors in Illinois, and mandated as such by our constitution. We have paid once in the last 50 years the needed amount of money into the pension funds. In that 50 year period Republicans have controlled the Governor’s Mansion for 34 years, Democrats for 16. If assigning blame makes you feel better then by all means assign Republicans 68% of the blame and Democrats 32%.

Total tax burden in Illinois ranks 14th out of 50 states. We pay a lower tax burden in Illinois than Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, and Kentucky. Illinois is higher than Iowa by only ½ of 1% and only 1% higher than Missouri. By zeroing in on part of the overall picture of taxes (property taxes) the Rauner linked “Illinois Policy Institute” is telling a half truth, and insulting the intelligence of the Illinois voter.

Pension fund contributions are discretionary under our constitution (an abomination). If the proper amount had been donated to the pension funds then our budgets would have been in the red for 49 of the last 50 years. By listing only the last 10 years the “Illinois Policy Institute” ignores the 36 years of fiscal malfeasance of Republican Governors. Pension Holidays started under Big Jim Thompson (R), were continued by the felon, Grumpy George Ryan (R) and exacerbated by “The Pension Ramp” which was foisted upon us by Jim Edgar (R).

Representative Mautino is fighting for people in his district. Wrong Way Rauner is attempting to destroy working people and their ability to organize. It took the Wisconsin Weasel, Scott Walker, 5 years to plummet to 41% approval. Rauner has death spiraled to 35% in just 7 months. Atta boy Bruce.

Everyone that pays local taxes better wake up and pay attention to what Rauner is doing. He is cutting spending in Springfield by pushing the problems onto local governments.

ex. His proposed cutting 1/2 of the local share of state income taxes wouldl cost Bureau County local governmental bodies over $2 million dollars. Last week the governor zeroed out all motor fuel tax disbursements to local governments. While the county of Bureau’s Highway Department has reserves to carry us until sometime next year (good fiscal management requires reserves) some township Road Districts will be in the red by year's end. If you live on a potholed, rutted gravel road, get used to it. If a bridge fails be prepared to have it remain closed for a while. Maybe a good long while.

These political character assassination pieces cost $20,000.00 a mailing. These 2 pieces of tripe were mailed out last week, the week before Representative Mautino undergoes surgery to remove a cancerous growth. Nice touch Governor. What's next, zeroing out funds to bury indigent people? Oh ya, You've already went that route.

To a billionaire plutocrat like Rauner, this utter waste of $40,000.00 is chump change but take hope in the fact when he spent a record $65 million to buy the governor’s mansion in 2014, a year noted for the lowest turnout since 1942, Rauner picked up ZERO seats in the House and Senate.

Republicans in Springfield are complaining to their Democratic counterparts that the votes Rauner has forced them to take will cost their party between 3-6 seats in 2016. From their lips to God’s ears.

Governor Rauner has proposed approx. $820 million in cuts. He is short approx. $3.4 BILLION from scratch. .In percentages, after 7 month's Rauner is almost 19% of where he needs to be. That's an F minus to the 10th power. Rauner should issue a balanced budget as the constitution mandates him. His failure to fulfil this basic duty has created this crisis. He should come up with an additional $3.4 billion in cuts and/or a combination of cuts and new taxes. This is not rocket science.

Addressing the budget requires simple math skills, which I am sure Rauner possesses. But it also requires courage, and a moral compass. Rauner has bluster and certitude down pat. As to actual courage however he falls somewhat short and his ethical needle points far south of true north.

“The Chicago Tribune,” frequently refers to Rauner as a “rookie.” That’s generous. He’s an oaf, a bully, and a sociopath, a typical CEO and a personification of why such blights on humanity are so uniquely unsuited to public office.

On election eve Rauner issued a statement that he had called Speaker Madigan and Senate President Cullerton, talked with them and offered his hope for bipartisan co-operation. These calls and discussions did not happen. The governor-elect then spent the next 3 days walking this series of lies back with another series of lies.

We don’t expect much from our governors here in Illinois, but never in our history has a governor sold his credibility out so fast, for so little gain and so inexplicably.

It’s going to be a long, unproductive, 4 years and yet another wasted opportunity.

Prepared by the Selby Township, precinct #1, Committee for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.
mike kohr –President-


Here's One County's Take-A-Ways Under Rauner's Looting of Local Governments

-Here’s the details. Prepare to looted-
by mike kohr, Bureau County Board, District 18

Governor Rauner’s proposed budget has so many flaws in it, that it would be difficult in one short piece to cover them all in detail. But perhaps the most galling is the transfer of the State’s problems onto county and local governments. County, village and city governments have had no part in the State’s 50 year record of underfunding of the pension systems, but Governor Rauner is proposing they help pay for Springfield’s fiscal malfeasance.

We have lived within our means. We cut, scrimped, shaved and saved yet proving the old axiom that no good deed goes unpunished, Governor Rauner is proposing reducing the local share of State Income Tax from 8% to 4% as our reward. Below is a breakout of what Governor Rauner’s proposal means to your community and county:
1. Bureau County Government: -$439,894.00
2. BC Mass Transit (BPART) -$212,122.00
3. Arlington -$9,537.00
4. Bureau Junction -$15,912.00
5. Buda -$26,585.00
6. Cherry -$23,818.00
7. Dalzell -$35,431.00
8. Depue -$90,825.00
9. Hollowayville -$4,151.00
10. Ladd -$63,993.00
11. Lamoille -$35,875.00
12. Malden -$17,888.00
13. Manlius -$17,740.00
14. Mineral -$11,711.00
15. New Bedford -$3,706.00
16. Ohio -$25,350.00
17. Princeton -$378,521.00
18. Seatonville -$15,516.00
19. Sheffield -$$45,759.00
20. Spring Valley -$274,650.00
21. Tiskilwa -$40,965.00
22. Wyanet -$48,971.00
Total Reductions -$1,838,920.00

I urge everyone to consider how this will impact your communities and county. I urge you to contact your Representatives and Senators and the Governor himself. Springfield created the State’s fiscal problems over a period of 50 years. The solution should not be bore on the backs of those that lived with-in their means and governed responsibly and prudently.

Special thanks to Rosemary Laudani for providing the link to this information.
link to full article:

Studies I have seen have shown that the Millenial Generation are voting MORE Democratic

as they age. It is not just the policies of the Republican Party that turn them off. They despise faux drama and outrage. The style and personality of the Republican Party turns them off.

This is not a death spiral. Combined with minority demographics it is a generational black hole. Once they are drawn into the gravitational force of the singularity they will be crushed.

But until then, (4-8 years) they will hang onto power through shaving the rules to suit their increasingly desperate needs. -Voter suppression, Gerrymandering, attempts to change how electoral votes are counted. etc., etc..-
It is because of those tactics, particularly gerrymandering after the 2010 redistricting year, that they will hold the House until 2023.

Ignore them at our collective peril. In their short time left they can really "F" this country up.

Compare President Obama's upbringing with the multi married, draft dodging, mobbed up Giuliani

1941, shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor two brothers, related to six US presidents, enlisted in the Army.

In 1944, these brothers, Stanley and Ralph Dunham went ashore at Normandy, and served their nation fighting the Nazi’s across France, Italy and Germany. Another young American, Stanley’s, brother-in-law, Charles Payne, fought with Patton’s Third Army and was among the troops that liberated the prisoners at the Nazi Death camp of Buchenwald.

In 1945, upon return from the war zones of Europe, Stanley Dunham and his wife Madelyn, who had served the nation’s war efforts by working on a B-29 assembly line, settled down and started a family.

In 1961 a grandson was born to the Dunham’s at the Kapi’olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In 2008, that grandson won the election for President of the United States with 52.7% of the vote, a 9,522,186 margin, in an election noted for the highest voter turnout in 40 years.

Today Sergeant Stanley Dunham rests in the Punchbowl National Cemetery where he was buried with full military honors. The light from Sergeant Dunham’s life, and the example of his family’s sacrifice, and selfless service to this nation, will forever brighten the pages of American history.

Best Jury Results and Explanations. Ever

On Wed Jan 21, 2015, 05:44 PM an alert was sent on the following post:

Somehow I knew you would!


This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate.


Over the top.


You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Wed Jan 21, 2015, 05:58 PM, and the Jury voted 7-0 to HIDE IT.

Juror #1 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: Yes OTT and crazy CT stuff.
Juror #2 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: Troll.
Juror #3 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: The post is nonsensical. A non sequitur. What does MK Ultra have to do with this? Which make the reference to ejaculation equally pointless, just a slam on others' pleasure with POTUS' response.
Juror #4 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #5 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: Library girl is a pig.
Juror #6 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: This doesn't even make sense.
Juror #7 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: I can't figure out exactly what point was being made here. Or what planet it was beamed in from.

Thank you very much for participating in our Jury system, and we hope you will be able to participate again in the future.

Younger Voters Are The Key To Democratic Success and Failure at the Polls

There is a lot of soul searching right now about how we fell short on Tuesday. The chart below lays out in clear detail what happened not only this year but in 2010 as well. Progressive ballot initiatives passed everywhere by overwhelming majorities which show, even considering the demographic metrics of this last election day, the American People are with us on individual issues.

Where we fell short is on turnout among our younger voters who are overwhelming more diverse. The Millennial Generation are a historical aberration in that they are breaking in unprecedented numbers away from previous generations in voting patterns and skewing heavily Democratic.

Steve Bennen writes, "The age gap between younger voters and seniors was huge in 2010 and had a lot to do with the Republican wave election. As NBC News’ exit polls found , this was even more pronounced yesterday."

The overall Republican demographic shrinks by approx. 2% every 4 years, but they also have increased their total participation rate in off year elections since 2008 from 29% to 35% while the under 30 generation remains static in such years at 12-13%.

Father Time will eventually erase this trend permanently, but we would be better served to reach out, inspire and engage these voters now. Elections are after all about the future and no voter group has a longer future or more to lose than the Millennial Generation.

see also: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/11/05/msnbc-pundit-sees-doom-victorious-gop-old-white-people-die-some-day-video/ . .


I Did, -won re-election for the 3rd term on Illinois Bureau County Board-

This seat was held by the Republican Party for 16 years. First time I ran I lost by 3 votes in 2004. In 2008 I won with 64%, in 2012 I won with 71%, this year I was unopposed.

I make no apologies for being a Democrat in this heavily Republican county and defend our record vigorously, enthusiastically, and doggedly.

following is the text of my speech at our local fundraiser, "The John Mitchel Dinner."

My name is Mike Kohr and I’m running for a 3rd term for district 18 of the Bureau County Board. I’m so happy to be here tonight. I am reminded of the words of my Grandmother, Sarah Taggart Kohr, “Don’t be picky with anything in life except the company you keep. And by God isn’t this the best of company here tonight?”

I am tonight both humbled by the legacy of John Mitchel and honored to stand alongside those that would ensure his commitment to working people is never forgotten, and never forsaken. It has been said that greatness skips a generation. I am proud to share the stage tonight with two exceptions to that rule, Representative Frank Mautino and Lieutenant Governor Shelia Simon.

Many of you here tonight know I lost my father on March 3rd of 2013. Dad, a former precinct committeeman, had encouraged me first to run for this seat. He lost his father at age 5 in 1936, during the Republican gifted Great Depression. Once a month, the relief wagon came to Cherry. By the end of the month, the only thing left in the cupboard was a 5 gallon tin of lard and a sack of flour. They ate lard sandwiches the last week of every month, but they were grateful that FDR and the Democrats cared enough to see that they had something, anything to eat at all. His oldest brother John volunteered to serve in the Navy on PT boats off the waters of Guadalcanal and the Philippines during WWII and was awarded the Bronze Star. My father volunteered to serve in the Air Force on a SAC base in Goose Bay, Labrador, during the Korean War. His youngest brother Bill volunteered for service in the Army. Their 3 sisters married, raised families, and one died a millionaire. FDR and the Democratic Party extended a hand when they needed help most, knowing that investing in people is the wisest bet a nation can make and one that pays the biggest dividends.

But what did our Republican friends say about FDR when he was wresting this country from the misery of the Great Depression? They called him a communist! They called him a socialist! They called him a Marxist! They said he was destroying the fabric and institutions of this nation! They said Social Security would bankrupt the nation’s treasury and the moral fiber of the American People! Does that sound familiar?

What they said about FDR then, they are saying about our current President now. Like FDR before him President Obama inherited a colossal economic collapse from his Republican predecessor. Like FDR before him his economic policies stopped the frightening slide into the black hole of recession and depression. Those policies saved the auto industry. They have produced a record 56 straight months of private sector job growth. They have reduced George W. Bush’s yearly deficits, the greatest ever recorded, by an amount greater than every other president combined. All this accomplishment without a shred of co-operation from the 112th and the 113th Congress, that under Speaker Boehner, has been recorded as both the 2nd least, and the least effective House of Representatives, Ever!

The orange man with no plan has tried 53 times to kill the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act but has not passed a single jobs bill. Congress has tied their pay to the cost of living but refuses to do so for minimum wage workers. That action would be the greatest single step in helping reverse the historic disparity in the income gap that exists in this country today.
The day before my father died he told me he was glad he had lived long enough to see President Obama re-elected. He knew the “Bottom Up,” Middle Out,” Democratic economic policies were righting a ship ran hard aground on the rock headed policies of Republican Trickle Down Economics. Dad was confident in this belief, because he had seen it play out before.

I wrote the President a letter expressing to him my father’s thoughts. The President wrote back on September 3rd, 2013.
Dear Mike:
Thank you for the moving letter you sent this spring. I was touched by your words, and saddened to learn of the passing of your father, Patrick.
Stories like your father's remind me why I ran for this office in the first place, and I trust you take great pride in his legacy of service and in the values he passed on to you. Please know your message will remain in my thoughts, and I will not stop fighting to build a brighter future for our nation.
Barack Obama

The President’s critics have deserted the interests of the Middle Class and chosen to give aid and comfort to the enemies of prosperity, hoping that American failure is their path back to power.
I see their lives as failures, their politics a farce! They play at false outrage, lies and low ideals because they don't get it, and they never will!

Just look at who the Republicans have driving their clown car here in Illinois. Mitt Rauner wants you to trust him with the keys to the Governor’s mansion, but he doesn’t trust you with his tax returns. What’s he hiding? His budget has a 4 billion dollar shortfall in it that he promised to explain 15 months ago. He still has not. If what he is peddling sounds like a con job, it’s because that is exactly what it is!
If you want a preview of what Illinois would face under Rauner just look at what Governor Sam Brownback did to Kansas. Brownback’s Voo-Doo economics has pushed Kansas so far into the red that they are auctioning off a warehouse of sex toys to pay off their debt. What’s wrong with Kansas! I’ll tell you what’s wrong with Kansas! They elected a Republican Governor! And God help us if we elect one here in Illinois!

Misery is easy to create. It is the tool of the malicious and the lazy. And no one is better at creating misery than the Republican Party.
Republicans have been in charge for 9 of the last 10 recessions. Over the last 70 years they have managed to average only 78,000 jobs created per month. Democrats average 174,000, more than double! There is not a single economic metric that Democrats don’t far out-perform their Republican counterparts. Not A Single One!

Happiness on the other hand takes work. Happiness is the reward of a life well lived. Priorities well placed. Democrats are happy warriors. We always have been. We always will be. Whatever winds blow our way it is the power of our faith in people that sustains us. We put people before profit, and principle before privilege. John Mitchel had that faith and shared those priorities.

In closing, Margaret Meade once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever does.”

You, we, are that small group of thoughtful committed citizens. Let’s go out and change the world.

Thank you and May God bless you! God Bless John Mitchel and may God bless the Democratic Party!

Progressive ballot initiatives passed by huge margins

Yet the ultimate dichotomy in this election is that while ballot initiatives like increasing the minimum wage, passed by overwhelming majorities these same voters gave Republican candidates that adamantly oppose those same policies, their vote as well.

Proudly and Enthusiastically Supporting Gov. Quinn

Governor Quinn has done what voters say they want in a leader. He has made tough , principled, unpopular decisions to fix the cluster f he inherited from that asshat Blagojevich and 24 years of Republican governors before that.

We paid the pension funds the proper amount once in the last 50 years. You don't undo that kind of FUBAR overnight and without pain.

When Governor Quinn took office our back due bills were 18-24 months old. We are now down to a 30-60 day schedule.

It's about damn time we Democrats quit dumping on our office holders that are making the tough decisions we all say we want them to.

Just look at who the Republicans have driving their clown car here in Illinois. Mitt Rauner wants you to trust him with the keys to the Governor’s mansion, but he doesn’t trust you with his tax returns. What’s he hiding? His budget has a 4 billion dollar shortfall in it that he promised to explain 15 months ago. He still has not. If what he is peddling sounds like a con job, it’s because that is exactly what it is!

If you want a preview of what Illinois would face under Rauner just look at what Governor Sam Brownback did to Kansas. Brownback’s Voo-Doo economics has pushed Kansas so far into the red that they are auctioning off a warehouse of sex toys to pay off their debt. What’s wrong with Kansas! I’ll tell you what’s wrong with Kansas! They elected a Republican Governor! And God help us if we elect one here in Illinois!
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