*This is an opinion piece written by Reboot Illinois' Madeleine Doubek
Why aren't all of us up in arms and screaming about our state?
I think about this a lot lately. I thought about it last week as I visited some of my family members who live in Colorado.
While I was there, I met an expert fly fisherman in Breckinridge who told me that at one point in the past few years, 134 people moved into Colorado every day. Every day.
My sister moved there decades ago. She and some of her children asked what the latest was in Illinois. When I told them about our budget and political stalemate, they shook their heads and asked why people here aren't doing something about it. They couldn't believe there wasn't more uproar. I can't either. Why isn't there?
I point, in part, to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich sitting in that federal prison in Colorado. And to his predecessor, George Ryan. And to Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandi. And former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. And now, in what seems like the shortest tenure ever, Barbara Byrd-Bennett's taking financial advantage of her position at the helm of Chicago Public Schools.
The corruption is killing our spirit.
I returned home to a postcard from a friend who wrote that she thought of me when she saw it. (See the image with this rant.) It sums up our state and our nation.
What are we doing? Why do we allow it? Former governors Jim Edgar and Jim Thompson are beside themselves. One asks new Gov. Bruce Rauner to stop holding the budget hostage. The other spreads the blame and declines to name names.
In actuality, Edgar, Thompson, House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate Democratic chiefs including John Cullerton and predecessors, along with former governors Pat Quinn, Blagojevich and Ryan all share the blame for our gargantuan pension debt and fiscal mess built up over decades of dealmaking, borrowing and pushing debt down the road and into our path. Oh and dear Speaker Madigan, those deals rarely had anything mostly or purely to do with the budget.
And so, because of all of this, we are beaten down. Numb. Tuned out. Unless or until it hits a loved one or friend, we just don't care. But it is hitting each of us. We just can't seem to shake off our lethargy to see it, so allow me to try to help us all wipe our eyes.
Here are seven reasons why it's time to start screaming about the paralyzed state of our state.