Vince Romano is once again challenging state Rep. Lou Lang in district 16, which includes parts of Chicago, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, and Skokie. Rep. Lang has held his Illinois House seat for 30 years, and is Speaker Madigan’s Deputy Majority Leader.
Romano, a former financial advisor for Morgan Stanley, senses a growing discontent with Rep. Lang around the district, even among Democrats. Lang has a growing reputation of not being a man of his word, Romano said, “he makes a lot of promises and doesn’t have to bother fulfilling them because he sees his reelection as guaranteed — he’s a part of the Madigan machine.”
Speaker Mike Madigan, who has been House Speaker for all but two years since 1983, is becoming a more familiar name as Republicans target him as one of the main sources of Illinois’ problems. Rep. Lou Lang serves as the House Democrats’ Deputy Majority Leader.
When asked by Illinois Family Action why he was running, Romano answered that there are a lot of reasons — among them high taxes, increasing state debt, and a sluggish economy, but “what it really came down to — why I decided to run — I’m sick of seeing my friends and family suffer.”
On the campaign trail Romano likes to ask people he meets if they have kids or grandkids, and for those who say yes, he raises the increasing likelihood that after graduating from college they might very well have to leave the state to get a good job. This fact is backed up by how often he’s heard, “my daughter had to move out of state to find a job,” or “my niece had to move out of state to go find a job.”
Once out of state, Romano continues, “then they find his or her spouse — where do you think they’re going to raise their family? It has gotten to the point where Illinois politicians, through their policies, are driving families apart. That’s what it comes down to.
Chicago area communities that have been decades in the making are breaking apart as more residents decide to relocate to more tax- and job-friendly states.
“We’re getting taxed for everything,” Romano says, “property tax, sales tax, fees — everything — and finally people are getting fed up.”
Romano found interesting the fact that the recent scuffle about a penny an ounce soda tax was what it took to get a reaction from taxpayers. “Meanwhile, they’re stealing you blind on every other tax.”
When I ran in 2012 one of my sayings was, “the first one out wins.” The first one that leaves pays less in taxes, gets the most in the sale of their house, and whoever is left must pick up that lost tax bill. The more people leave, the more your taxes go up.
We’re taxing people out of here. Business is my number one thing. If you don’t have business in Illinois you’re not solving anything. I don’t care what you do — if we don’t have business and income and jobs here, we’re done.
Romano says that Illinois is losing the competition with other states in attracting those businesses.
Romano brought these two recent press reports to my attention:
Then he outlined what he calls an imaginary land that has access to Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico:
It has rail and trucking hubs that connect everything and that everything must pass through. It has two international airports it has some of the best farm land in the whole world. It has a metropolis that is a world class city — image all that — it’s a pretty good land, right? And you’re bankrupt.
That’s like taking the 1985 Chicago Bears and going 0-14.
How do you mess that up? You have all these assets and you bankrupt it.
Our policy makers, Romano says, need to have a tactician’s mind – they have to think three or four steps down the road, asking “is this approach going to work?” The absence of this thinking by the General Assembly and the Governor’s office created the condition this state is in.
Romano acknowledges that taking on Rep. Lang is an uphill battle since Lang has over a million dollars in his campaign account. Videos like this one from 2012, however, should remind constituents that they are not better off than they were six years ago:
Vincent Romano’s campaign is asking for help with petition signature gathering events. For more information and to connect with the campaign, visit the Vincent Romano for State Rep Facebook page.
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