April 24, 2014

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State politics business as usual PDF Print E-mail

“Tax and Spend,” “Huge Deficit,” and “Healthcare” sound familiar?
It should. We still have the “Same Old Problems” that we had two decades ago, which leads me to ask: What are we doing about it?
The short answer… In Springfield, we are doing nothing.  
One day, not so long ago, I was just “C.D. Davidsmeyer,” an everyday guy who was frustrated by the government and their intervention into the daily lives of each and every one of us. The perceived transformation that followed amazed me… I was sworn in as a Representative for the 97th General Assembly and all of a sudden, to those who didn’t know me, I became an inanimate object, a “politician.”  
I don’t feel any different, yet I am perceived as something totally different.
I came out of Springfield as the same man that originally walked in there eight months ago, still frustrated, yet with a better understanding of why our system is not working for everyday people.  
The majority party in Springfield works to play politics and maintain power, all the while ignoring the well-being of those whom they were sent to represent. They are literally watching their “kingdom” crumble, with the belief that it’s better to be the kings of the trash heap than to be a part of a successful society.
My first day on the floor of the Illinois House at the start of the 98th General Assembly, I was extremely excited to hear a freshman Democrat talk about transparency and open-government. Shortly after that, however, he voted in favor of House Rules that went against his own words and put the power in the hands of the one or two at the top of the majority party. (Now, to be fair, this type of House rules began in the couple of years when Republicans were in control. Unfortunately, when Democrats took control back, instead of turning that around and restoring a system that works for the people, they continued to perfect a system that works for the politicians at the top.)
Later in the session, I served on a couple of Appropriations working groups. Knowing that Illinois has over $100 billion in unfunded pension liability and over $9 billion in unpaid bills, we knew that tough decisions had to be made. We had a good month worth of meetings, openly discussing ideas of where to cut that would hurt the least. Our last meeting, however, was canceled by the majority leaders, who chose to form their own budget that they would force their members to pass along party lines. They called it a “balanced budget.” I called it a sham. How can you have a balanced budget when you aren’t paying your bills?
My first session left me with much frustration towards the system, especially knowing that the rank-and-file majority gave away all of our ability to represent our districts, only to have it bartered back to them in return for their votes. They may speak a good game when they are back in their districts, but they only play games when they get to Springfield.
Personally, I would rather be a small fish in a nice pond, than to be a big fish in a swirling cesspool. How about you?
It’s time for government to rethink the way we do business, before we go out of business dragging everyone down with us!

C.D. Davidsmeyer
State Representative
100th District