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Thursday, July 2, 2009 05:18 am

Letters to the Editor

State Solution, Civil War and Symphony

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Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn
PHOTO BY NANCY STONE/MCT

STATE SOLUTION

Yes, Gov. Pat Quinn can veto the budget, but that won’t happen. It would be better to take back the Illinois General Assembly members’ initiative money ($500 million this budget) and use it to balance the budget. Then he can (they don’t need members’ initiative money) have the laws changed to keep the legislature from using the taxpayers’ money to buy votes of special-interest groups. That would aid in reducing the proposed cuts.
Then, he can start the process to have our legislators be full-time employees. Their pay and benefits are the highest in the nation. Let’s make them earn their salaries (these are never fully reported by you or the press). All you ever report is their base pay, not what they get when they receive additional income by taking committee positions at $9,000 a year for members and $28,000 a year as chairman (one senator chairs two committees and is a member of five others — and the committees only meet every other year). The General Assembly creates more useless committees every year to augment their salaries and pensions.

Then, let’s remove the useless higher administration positions that were created and filled by Rod. We have too many administrators with six-figure salaries that travel from Chicago every week and do nothing. We don’t need to lay off the lower level employees who are on the front lines.

We in Illinois for years have seen legislators perform very poorly in their duties. They are a self-serving bunch of louts who use the legislature as a lifetime job.

Richard Mathenia
Springfield



GRANDDAD AT ANDERSONVILLE

The recent story by Tara McClellan McAndrew [“Civil War POW protests monument to a ‘monster,’ June 18] about the terrible Andersonville Civil War prison in Georgia was interesting. My grandfather, Robert Ross Faulkner, was in the prison, and by some miracle he survived.

He was a Union soldier from Illinois, and died in 1893, when his son, my dad, was three years old. He was from Gifford, Ill., a small town near Rantoul.

My wife and I drove to Rantoul and went to the cemetery where some Union soldiers were interred. There was a large circle where the Union soldiers were buried. I drove in a little ways and, to my amazement, there on a monument was Robert Ross Faulkner, my grandfather. He served in the company at Appomattox when Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant.

Danny Faulkner
Springfield



SYMPHONY THANKS

Please accept our thanks for your special coverage of the 20th Annual Illinois Symphony Guild of Springfield Garden Tour. We appreciate the thoughtful interview and the inclusion of a picture of one of the six gardens featured this year [see IT, June 18].
We also would like to thank each of the six families who allowed visitors to view and enjoy the beautiful gardens and to appreciate the hard work of the families as they prepared the displays of nature. Our appreciation is extended to the many guild and board members and friends who spent time helping the event run smoothly.

The garden benefit raised approximately $12,000. The funds will be used to assist in support of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra as they provide beautiful live symphonic music for the greater Springfield area.

Kathryn Ransom, president
Illinois Symphony Guild of Springfield



GOVERNMENT STINKS


Too many Americans live for the moment and are oblivious to what is happening to their future. They vote impulsively, and this is the cause of our problems.

The American people have been brainwashed. It began some time ago in our public education system, and our colleges. This is where government is candidly presented as the path to utopia. They are wrong; it is individualism that should be taught, but individualism does not benefit the agenda of a career politician.

The corrupt culture of partisan career politicians has become routine procedure, and they are incapable of believing they are the problem. The people currently have no choice but to live in a country where elected representatives haphazardly manipulate the masses for their benefit.

Call our modern-day government whatever you want, but whatever it’s called it stinks.

Bob Ruble
Springfield

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