Former Rock Island GOP chair moves to Iowa
Bill Bloom, former chair of the Rock Island County Republicans, says that he and his wife, Ruth, joined thousands of other Illinoisans by leaving the state.
The announcement came after a tough mid-term election battle saw a majority of results across the state favor Democrats. Analysts have linked high property and income taxes, fueled by unfunded pension liabilities, to the state’s problem with outmigration.
In a statement provided to Rock Island Today Bloom called the move to Le Clair, Iowa, “a deeply personal decision” for his family, whose Illinois roots date back 150 years.
“For me this came down to Illinois and its government,” Bloom said. “I spend (still spend) part of every day thinking about Illinois, its problems and what can be done to get it on a better track.”
Back in 2017, Bloom resigned from the Rock Island Republicans to take a position with Deere and Co., NPR affiliate WVIK reported. At that time, the story noted, Republicans held eight board seats.
In the release announcing the Iowa move, Bloom reminded readers “plenty” of Republicans remain in Illinois. Combined with Independent voters, they outnumber Democrats.
“That means there is still a path forward somewhere,” he said.
He decried what he called the way some Republicans hide their political affiliation for fear of damage to their reputations.
“I found it frustrating that at this point in the condition of the state there are still people who consider themselves ‘Republicans’, but who do not lift a finger to help,” he said. “Business owners may come up and say, ‘Psst, I am a Republican,’ but for fear of hurting their business they stay neutral.”
Going forward, he urged citizens to make their voices heard in the political process.
“Illinois will only find a better path when the people who are sitting on the fence and watching get off the fence and get engaged in the game,” he said. “Donate to your home team. Volunteer your time. Consider Running for office. Engage your voice in the paper and talk radio. Sit and do nothing at your own peril.”