Illinois Policy Action –
State Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, released a statement conceding the success of our efforts to block a constitutional amendment that could have jettisoned Illinois’ fair, flat tax in favor of a tax increase on families with taxable income over $22,000.
We did it. You did it.
We first became aware in 2009 of the plans to change the Illinois Constitution to allow for a progressive income tax hike. Our Executive Vice President, Kristina Rasmussen, wrote an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune about this in 2010. In public and private, we warned allies and did our research on the policy. We set about building the organizational infrastructure that allowed us to have a strong and respected presence in Springfield. And when the chatter got louder, we were ready to fight – even as a union front group began trucking in professional, out-of-state activists. We got the entire Republican caucus to oppose the progressive tax hike during last year’s General Assembly – and it wasn’t as easy as you might hope.
With the Republicans united and on record, we launched Illinois Policy Action, a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, late last year. Knowing that the House was where the fight would be, we targeted the Democrat legislators we knew were most receptive or most politically vulnerable. And here’s what we spent the past few months accomplishing:
- 50,000 visits to unfairillinois.com
- 750,000 online views of seven different videos on Hulu and YouTube
- 23 million impressions of online display ads in our target districts
- 116,717 specialized mail pieces in targeted districts
- Generated more than 2,850 phone calls from constituents to legislators
- Two different TV commercials aired 2,320 times in targeted districts and were seen by 285,241 people
- Four different radio commercials
- 11,500 petition signatures collected in person and online
- More than 3,000 doors knocked on in targeted districts
The result is a victory for every Illinoisan. I would go so far as to call it historic.
When was the last time you witnessed a victory like this? When was the last time taxpayers stood up to the union bosses and the politicians and won?
I believe this represents the first rays of light in a new day for Illinois. This day will be better than the last, but it won’t be utopia. In this new day, the capabilities in which you have invested and the ideas we’re promoting will allow us to compete for voters’ mindshare. We’ll have a fighting chance. But if you think we can take it easy … well … you’re mistaken.
Now we turn our attention to fighting the effort to extend and make permanent the 2011 temporary income tax hike. Unlike the progressive tax hike, this one needs only a simple majority in both houses. We can win – we just proved it! But we need you to keep fighting with us.
Go – right now – and make a non-tax deductible gift to help fuel the Illinois Promise campaign aimed at making politicians keep their promise to allow the temporary income tax hike to sunset in 2015.
Together, we’ve come this far. There’s a lot further to go. Enjoy the moment. Then go toillinoispromise.com and join us back in the foxhole.