Halpin accused of diversion to make voters forget tax hike vote
Rep. Michael Halpin (D-Rock Island) voted to increase the income tax on Illinoisans by 32 percent, and Mike Steffen, chair of the Rock Island County Republican Central Committee, doesn't want voters to forget.
In an email to the Rock Island Today, Steffen labeled Madigan "32 percent Mike," in reference to House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who led the tax hike efforts.
"Candidate Halpin is trying to define himself as the champion of education, according to his last mailing," Steffen wrote. "A great diversion tactic so you and I will forget that he voted for our 32 percent tax increase."
Steffen said that while Halpin originally voted "no" on the tax-increase measure in the budget "so he could tell constituents that he voted against the tax increase, he changed his mind when the Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto override vote came up.
"32 percent Mike was trying to vote no the second time; however, when fellow Democrats were yelling at him in the House chamber to change his vote, he crumbled like a sugar cookie," Steffen wrote. "32 percent Mike should heed the advice of Harry Truman when he said 'If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.'"
The override passed with 71 votes in favor – the exact number required.
The chairman said voters shouldn't be fooled by Halpin's attempt to identity himself as an education champion and instead remember that he is a supporter of the budget and tax hike that is causing more pain to taxpayers.
"I’ll define Halpin as 32 percent Mike instead of education champion so voters will remember his deciding vote come November 2018," Steffen said. "32 percent Mike is hoping you will forget. Rauner was right that a budget deal should have been tied to comprehensive reform and a real plan to fix our state."