Wisconsin lieutenant governor rallies Tea Party crowd in Daley Plaza
By Abdon M. Pallasch Political Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org April 16, 2012 5:30PM
Chicago Tea Party Patriots hosted a Tax Day Tea Party, with speakers that included Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch at Daley Plaza on April 16, 2012.| Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times
Updated: April 16, 2012 8:05PM
The day before federal income taxes are due, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch helped rile up 300 Tea Party faithful in Daley Plaza, pledging to keep “poaching” businesses from Illinois.
“I’m the lieutenant governor who cold-calls your companies, and I’m happy to poach more if Gov. Quinn continues to march down the path he’s on right now — it’s all fair in economic development,” Kleefisch said after the rally.
Kleefisch, who could be recalled by Wisconsin voters along with Gov. Scott Walker this summer, said she cold-called Rockton-based FatWallet.com after Illinois passed a tax on Internet sales and the company moved to Beloit, Wis.
Walker and Quinn have argued over whether more jobs have flowed from Wisconsin to Illinois or vice versa since they assumed their respective posts. They have also argued over which state taxes companies more.
Quinn plans to announce Tuesday morning a major international company is moving its headquarters to Illinois, spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said.
Attendees at the Tea Party rally said federal, state and local taxes should all shrink, as should the size of government. Mentions of Quinn, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton all prompted “boos” from the Tea Party crowd when speakers blamed them for Illinois’ financial crisis.
Just before the Tea Party rally, Democratic Congressional candidates Tammy Duckworth, Bill Foster and Brad Schneider held a joint news conference to challenge their Republican incumbent opponents to vote for the “Buffet Rule” designed to tax the wealthy at the same rate as their secretaries.
While the Tea Party ralliers held signs saying they were over-taxed, the Democrats said the wealthiest are being taxed less, and the middle-class are making up the difference.
The Democrats said they were amenable to cutting the federal budget in areas such as defense contracts, but they opposed the Republican budget plan of Wisconsin’s Rep. Paul Ryan, which they said would cut college scholarship funds and support for the poor to finance greater tax breaks for the wealthy.
“We have been promised for decades that if we provide unlimited tax breaks to the wealthiest in our country that it will magically trickle down to everyone in our society, and we’ve seen very dramatically over the last 10 years how false that premise is,“ Foster said.
The answer is to cut tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations such as oil companies and General Electric, Schneider and Duckworth said.