Wednesday, February 9th was the monthly meeting of the Chicago Tea Party Patriots, delayed by a week due to our epic blizzard. Once again “Blackie’s” in the south loop provided a great venue for the gathering of well-informed and concerned citizens. The agenda was jam packed-yet participation was encouraged via Q and A. The featured speakers are almost always available after as well.
Jeff Tucek reported on his mission to shed light on the huge, unaddressed state-pension liability crisis. Jeff has used his talents and background in the private sector to secure meetings with a number of suburban mayors to explore the issue at the Municipal level. I would describe his efforts as in the fact-finding stages and he is preparing a formal report. We can expect some shocking and eye-opening numbers based on what we heard. The public-sector unions and the elected officials who do their bidding have created a situation which is unsustainable. Their preferred solution of raising taxes cannot close the gap.
Next up was Dr. Albert Pecherek, President of The United States Independent Physicians Association. Their website is full of valuable information including a YouTube video featuring Dr. Pecherek that closely resembles the speech he gave at the meeting. Part of the message is that we cannot count on the Supreme Court to overturn the “Obamacare” bill. The best we could hope for is a 5-4 victory, and the age of the Supreme Court justices alone is cause for concern. Full repeal by Congress is our only sure remedy. Arm yourself with the facts and call and write our elected representatives. The USIPA website is a great place to start. Fewer doctors, rising costs and rationing are the nightmare that awaits us if we don’t repeal this government takeover.
Dr. Kurt Erickson is a cardiologist in Chicago and a regular meeting participant. He spoke of his personal experiences both as a physician and an employer of 140 in his medical group, all of whom are provided with health insurance. He has submitted alternative plans for health care reform with no response from Congress. He shared some of the details with a few of us after the formal speeches and Q and A.
This face-to-face interaction is common to these meetings. There is an informal atmosphere that gives attendees a chance to ask that extra question while the meeting stays on schedule. This is not a forum for the airing of grievances-this is for concerned citizens looking to get involved.
Last up was John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute. John was one of the featured speakers at the April 15, 2009 “Tax Day Tea Party” rally in Chicago. John was ready for the quickly assembled rally because the Institute has been actively working for reform in Illinois for years. Because of organizations like this, the grass-roots efforts that have taken shape in the last two years were able to gain traction quickly. John spoke about the recent income-tax rate hike in Illinois and the efforts led by the Institute to repeal it. Visit their website and sign the repeal petition. He also engaged in an interesting exchange with Steve Boulton of the Chicago Republican Party about local media.
Eloise Gerson, Chairman of the Chicago GOP wrote to WTTW Channel 11 in Chicago to note the lack of balance via Republican or conservative points of view on the “Chicago Tonight” program. WTTW has never responded. Mr. Tillman suggested a visible carbon copy on the next email letting WTTW know that the public funding of their station would be called into question. He then described his experience with WTTW and the large staff assembled to conduct an interview, contrasting it with Fox News and their remote cameras in a frequently empty room. The private sector keeps to a budget. Public Television, like much of the public sector, does not live in the real world.
The Monthly Tea Party meetings continue to provide a great forum with varied topics and a way to get or stay involved. And the burger deals are fantastic so get there before the 7:00 cutoff!