Who is responsible for the dismantling of public education, the closing of schools, the extremely expensive and useless high stakes tests and programs, and the dissolution of a truly competent workforce of career educators?
John Kass, one of the Chicago Tribune’s right-wing columnists, named it that over a decade ago, and, yes, it includes Democrats, Republicans and Tea Party politicos.
“‘What do you call that Illinois political class that’s not committed to any party, they simply want to make money off the taxpayers?’ Fitzgerald said. ‘You know what to call them.’
‘The Illinois Combine,’ Fitzgerald said. ‘The bipartisan Illinois political combine. And all these guys being mentioned, they’re part of it.’
Oh, yeah. The Combine.”
Harper’s Index for August 2014 states: “Portion of people living in Illinois who say they would move elsewhere if they could: 1/2″
The proportion of ex-teachers who would say this is undoubtedly much higher.
[Disclosure: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a right-wing-nut or a Tea Partier. Even though they too oppose Common Core, most do not believe in public, “Guvmint-run,” schools and teacher due process – which is all tenure means for K-12 teachers in America. I refuse to be part of any group that wishes to annihilate public schools, me or my colleagues.]
“The Combine never shows Illinois taxpayers any mercy. Think of the pension bills coming our way. Dem and Republican bosses received the political benefit. They leveraged government to gorge on deals. And now we’re faced with the bill. Time and time again, the Combine slaps us in the mouth.”
“Under Cellini, Thompson etc., the state Republicans argued that conservatives were wacky and divisive. The Democrats rolled those public pension deals, with Republican help, and the unfunded pension liability is what, $85 billion?”
– John Kass’ Facebook page.
Back in 2010 the Furthermore blog spelled it out for us all. “It is not easy to grasp what the term ‘The Combine’ really entails. It is certainly not the same as one-party control of a state that tends to lead to abuse and corruption (recent examples of which are available from both the Democrats in Massachusetts and the Republicans in Alaska).
Both the Democrats and Republicans are guilty in Illinois. It is no surprise that three of our last 5 former governors were either convicted of felonies or currently are under indictment (Blago).
And, the culture of ideological and political corruption runs deep in the veins of both parties in Illinois. If the Gubernatorial and Senatorial primary races showed anything…, it was ‘Bidness as uzual’ in Illinois.”
But, is reporter John Kass “Combinized” himself? The Chicago Reader demonstrates in a compromising video the exchange of gifts between Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Kass. Reader reporter Michael Miner adds to the argument. “In addition to the Illinois combine and journalists with their noses deep in the establishment butt crack, Kass likes to assail the ‘Chicago way.’ ‘Once there were old bosses. Now there are new bosses,’ Kass wrote ten months ago.”
Greedy teachers? Underfunding which really means legislative fraud and theft?
Experienced, highly qualified teachers are flowing out of our public schools. Their wages have been robbed by mandated pension and 401K payments that they are promised will not be there when they need them. Retired teachers are lied to about why the state cannot afford to continue paying what they are owed as earned compensation. Politicos are shoveling vast sums of money to multinational corporations and their billionaire investors while sucking up contributions to their re-election campaigns and Super PACs.
Wisconsin, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Florida, Connecticut, New Jersey… The list goes on and on and…
I personally prefer to call the corrupt political class DemoCRAPublicans. More refined people call that group of cronies Corporatists. But, blunt, broad-shouldered Chicago calls it THE COMBINE.