You’re asking, aren’t school vouchers a Republican/conservative/libertarian core belief? You’d expect Democrats to kill it — and certainly many did their part — but why would Republicans join in execution?
The usual explanation is tempting.
Leading the House GOP opposition was one Rep. Roger Eddy, a double dipper from downstate Hutsonville. According to a Family Taxpayers Foundation database, Eddy gets $90,000 as a school superintendent, and his wife, Rebecca, a teacher in one of his schools, earns $40,000. That’s in addition to the $68,880 plus per diem he receives as a state legislator. Wait, there’s more. According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, state teachers unions have given him $79,182 over nine years in campaign contributions, including $7,750 from the Chicago Teachers Union. You fill in the blanks about why Chicago teachers would be working for the election of a Republican from a town that’s a four-hour drive away.
Closer to home, GOP Rep. Rosemary Mulligan of Des Plaines, another voucher opponent, has received $91,482 over 17 years from teachers unions. Of course, when she spelled out the reasons for her nay vote on the House floor, she didn’t mention the contributions. In fact, her explanation was so muddled and unpersuasive that I felt embarrassed for her. Stumbling through a web of non sequiturs, she talked about how all kids deserve a public education. Yes, and so? Does that mean they all must be confined to Chicago public schools?
Some other GOP “no” votes and their teachers union contributions: Rich Brauer, Springfield, $11,400; Renee Kosel, Mokena, $119,371; Bill Mitchell, Decatur, $19,830; Jerry Mitchell, Rock Falls, $130,245; Donald Moffitt, Galesburg, $111,125; Sandra Pihos, Glen Ellyn, $5,700; Raymond Poe, Springfield, $55,561; Dennis Reboletti, Addison, $22,250; David Reis, Olney, $7,750; and Chapin Rose, Charleston, $14,602.
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image Ursuline Academy, Springfield, IL