Obamacare and Your Taxes This Year

By Claire Ball

I have, yet, another reason to dislike my government.

Attention tax filers! Were you unfortunate enough to have to get health insurance through the Marketplace in 2016? While doing my friend’s taxes, I came across a new splinter starting with the 2016 tax year, courtesy of Obamacare. If you receive a 1095-A statement for your insurance and there are amounts in column C ‘Monthly advance payment of premium tax credit’, depending on your income, you might have to PAY those amounts back. Here’s how it works:

In column A is the monthly premium for the plan you received, in column B is the value of the second lowest cost ‘silver’ plan. Column C is what the government paid to the insurance provider towards your premiums on your behalf (a mini-subsidy if you will). Depending on your income and where you fall along the federal poverty line, this column C amount will result in either a credit that you can take on your return, or a charge that you have to pay back on your return. You really won’t know where you stand on this until you file your taxes for the year. Case in point – one of my loved ones, who works at a restaurant and goes to college, normally breaks even on her return, but this year had to pay more than $600 because of this. $600 that she did not have nor did she (or I) have any inkling she might have to pay. She lives paycheck to paycheck and is trying to get a college degree and pay the rent, but she earned too much, apparently.

What really angers me about this is that all the documentation surrounding it works really hard to NOT reference that you might have to pay. It is only ever referred to as the Premium Tax Credit, as you can see even on the tax form, and explanations are heavy on the credit portion and incredibly thin on the payment portion. This was carefully crafted to lure people into thinking they could save money on their health insurance and then – Wham! Hello, here’s your tax bill.

For anyone you know that had to sign up for Obamacare coverage, please tell them about this in case they have to pay. This is one of the many sneaky costs they don’t talk about, but has very real impacts and there are more coming. Obamacare COSTS are being phased in, probably in the hopes that if they trickle them in over time, we will be less likely to notice them. This was done by design. Many people use their refunds to pay off debts or just get caught up in life, and to have a debt come due that you didn’t even realize you signed up for is damaging and disheartening, and incredibly unethical. We should not be conditioned to expect this from our government – they’re supposed to be working for us, not against us.

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Expediency vs. Long Term Philosophical Gain

I see an increasing and disturbing trend, in my opinion, for those who align themselves with the libertarian name to choose an expedient path always involving more government. They seek what is “popular” and “practical”. Why push for legalization of drugs when to legalize crystal meth is not a popular position? Why then, should we even advocate our position against the initiation of force? After all, force is everywhere, it appears popular among politicians. If libertarians don’t advocate force, too, we will not be taken seriously.

I would remind those of you who grew up in the Fifties as I did, and suggest to those who are younger, that there were many things that Americans would have been absolutely, 100% against, and would have called it tyranny and un-American that is routine today. Public policy does change over time and what was thought unthinkable 60 years ago in some cases is considered mainstream today.

For example, routine roadblocks would have been thought of as only happening in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. Never happen in America.

Confiscation without due process of law–forfeiture laws would have been regarded the same. It is now routine in America.

Killing citizens without due process of law, under the color of law would also have been unthinkable. Did it happen? For sure, but it was done “under the rug”, surreptitiously, not out in the open. Even the lynchings of black people in the early twentieth century were done by hooded men, not out in the open as was done to Anwar Al Alwaki and his sixteen year old son two weeks later.

Of course SWAT teams were unheard of.

On the other side of the ledger, LGBT rights, what I would call universal rights of man were not universal in the Fifties. Black people were oppressed by law. The environment for these groups has improved tremendously since then. The unthinkable became thinkable over time.

In the early seventies, the Libertarian Party was the only political party advocating the legalization of drugs, which included marijuana. Now it is only a matter of time before the whole country (maybe save a few backward states in the South) legalizes pot. Unheard of back in the early Seventies.

So change does happen. But it takes time. I am reminded of a great line from the movie, “The Power of One” where an instructor in South Africa tells the protagonist student who is anxious to change the apartheid laws that “History isn’t kind to those who wish to rush it.” I would say that it isn’t kind to those libertarians who would choose expediency over principle granting temporary power to the state, which, as is the case of temporary taxes, is never temporary.

Now, lest someone builds up a straw man, let me be clear that I favor incremental steps towards complete liberty as long as it is, indeed, a step forward, and not a step back.

But to allow stop, frisk and confiscate in the inner cities by the feds is very much a step back, counterproductive, a veritable Pandora’s box, an invitation to even greater authoritarian rule than we have now. Not that is seems to matter to some, but it would also be unconstitutional.

The RICO laws, which unconstitutionally legalized theft through forfeiture, were passed under the understanding that they would only be used against the evil mafia, never against your average citizen. Today the RICO laws are used against Major League Baseball, the Catholic Church, insider traders, money laundering (protecting ones assets from the thieves in government) and gambling (the state doesn’t like the competition) among many other activities. The force of Pandora is great indeed.

Turning around the ship of tyranny will take a long time. It probably won’t happen in my lifetime. But expediency will not turn the ship faster. I take solace in the fact that in some areas, our philosophy has come a long way in public policy. And in economics we have made vast gains. In the Fifties, profit was almost universally considered a dirty word. It no longer is in a growing plurality of the population. The growth of entrepreneurship, the very existence of the very popular television show, “Shark Tank” is evidence of how far we have come.

Someday, the notion that the initiation of force is wrong in political and social contexts will be a commonplace belief. But we will never get there by sanctioning force, however incremental, however expeditious. We will get there by sticking to our fundamental principles, by living our fundamental principles, by proudly extolling our fundamental principles without fear, without apology, and with vigor.

– Ken Prazak

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Libertarian Voter Guide for DuPage November Ballot Propositions

NOVEMBER 8, 2016, GENERAL ELECTION – PROPOSITIONS
STATE OF ILLINOIS

CONSTITUTION BALLOT
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE 1970 ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION

Explanation of Amendment
The proposed amendment adds a new section to the Revenue Article of the Illinois Constitution. The proposed amendment provides that no moneys derived from taxes, fees, excises, or license taxes, relating to registration, titles, operation, or use of vehicles or public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, or airports, or motor fuels, including bond proceeds, shall be expended for other than costs of administering laws related to vehicles and transportation, costs for construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, and betterment of public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, airports, or other forms of transportation, and other statutory highway purposes, including the State or local share to match federal aid highway funds. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become part of the Illinois Constitution.

For the proposed addition of Section 11 to Article IX of the Illinois Constitution.

VOTE NO – It’s simply a terrible way of ensuring the allocation of funds. The amendment should either be made in a general way to all apply to all budget appropriations or at least state that in the case of surplus user fees and fuel taxes will be decreased.

VILLAGE OF BURR RIDGE

PROPOSITION TO INCREASE THE LIMITING RATE
Shall the limiting rate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for the Village of Burr Ridge, Cook and DuPage Counties, Illinois, be increased by an additional amount equal to 0.0499% above the limiting rate for DuPage County and 0.048% above the limiting rate for Cook County for the purpose of funding street and other infrastructure improvements within the Village for levy year 2015 and be equal to 0.1612% in DuPage County and 0.161% in Cook County of the equalized assessed value of the taxable property therein for levy year 2016?

(1) The approximate amount of taxes extendable at the most recently extended limiting rates of DuPage and Cook Counties is $1,135,241, and the approximate amount of taxes extendable if the proposition is approved is $1,635,693.
(2) For the 2016 levy year the approximate amount of the additional tax extendable against property containing a single-family residence and having a fair market value at the time of the referendum of $100,000 is estimated to be $16.63 for such property in DuPage County and $12.81 for such property in Cook County.
(3) If the proposition is approved, the aggregate extension for 2016 will be determined by the limiting rate set forth in the proposition, rather than the otherwise applicable limiting rate calculated under the provisions of the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (commonly known as the Property Tax Cap Law).

VOTE NO – this will permanently increase property taxes in burr ridge, home values decline with higher property taxes because less people can afford to live there and even if they can who would willing to? Definitely fewer people

VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE

In 2017, the Village plans to budget $3.9 million for stormwater costs. Currently, annual costs are funded with a stormwater utility fee. The Village of Downers Grove is seeking resident input to determine whether it should fund stormwater costs with a stormwater utility fee, through property taxes or with a combination of both the stormwater utility fee and property taxes. Please answer all three (3) questions below.

Question #1:
Shall the Village of Downers Grove continue to fund all stormwater costs using a stormwater utility fee instead of property taxes?
VOTE YES – people who directly use a government service should pay for that government service

Question #2:
Shall the Village of Downers Grove fund all stormwater costs using property taxes instead of a stormwater utility fee?

VOTE NO – people who are not using government water should not be forced to pay for it plus home values decline with higher property taxes because less people can afford to live there and even if they can who would willing to? Definitely fewer people

Question #3:
Shall the Village of Downers Grove fund stormwater costs using a combination of stormwater utility fees and property taxes?

VOTE NO – people not using government water should not be forced to pay for it plus home values decline with higher property taxes because less people can afford to live there and even if they can who would willing to? Definitely fewer people

VILLAGE OF GLENDALE HEIGHTS

Shall each taxing body located partially or wholly within the corporate limits of the Village of Glendale Heights be required to seek voter approval by referendum prior to increasing its annual total property tax levy?

VOTE YES – this will give voters more control and slow the ever expansion of government a little bit

CITY OF NAPERVILLE

Should the City of Naperville and the Naperville Township Road District enter into an agreement for combined roadway services as proposed by the Naperville City Council on June 7, 2016 in order to reduce the real estate tax burden on all Naperville Township taxpayers?

VOTE YES – consolidation of services will improve efficiency and reduce the tax burden

Should a township government be abolished in the City of Naperville when efficiencies and savings in delivery of township services can be demonstrated by either the City of Naperville or another governmental body performing the same services?

VOTE YES – consolidation of services will improve efficiency and reduce the tax burden

VILLAGE OF VILLA PARK

Shall the Village of Villa Park increase the Village’s Non-Home Rule Municipal Retailers’ Occupation Tax and Non-Home Rule Municipal Service Occupation Tax (commonly referred to as a “municipal sales tax”) from one half of one percent (.5%) to one percent (1.0%) for expenditure on public infrastructure in accordance with and subject to the provisions of Sections 8- 11-1.3 and 8-11-1.4 of the Illinois Municipal Code (65 ILCS 5/8-11-1.3 and 65 ILCS 5/8-11-1.4)?

VOTE NO – prevent sales taxes from rising in villa park, no one knows what “Sections 8- 11-1.3 and 8-11-1.4 of the Illinois Municipal Code (65 ILCS 5/8-11-1.3 and 65 ILCS 5/8-11-1.4” is they are hiding how they intend to spend the additional revenue in a bunch of legal bs only attorneys and accountants are meant to understand.

CITY OF WARRENVILLE

Should the City of Warrenville develop the Civic Center redevelopment site #1 (also known as the Musselman Property) as a park?

VOTE NO – the government shouldn’t be in the business of real estate development

BLOOMINGDALE TOWNSHIP

PROPOSITION TO CONSOLIDATE TOWNSHIP MOSQUITO ABATEMENT SERVICES TO BLOOMINGDALE TOWNSHIP
In order to provide greater health benefits and mosquito nuisance control, and to save taxpayers money from the 40 units of governments in DuPage County that have responsibilities in providing mosquito abatement services, shall those government authorities be consolidated into the nine DuPage County Townships to administer mosquito Abatement Programs?

VOTE YES – consolidate government services for efficiency

PROPOSITION TO ASK VOTERS IF THEY WOULD LIKE THE STATE OF ILLINOIS TO USE THEIR LOCAL PROPERTY TAX DOLLARS IN OTHER AREAS OF THE STATE
Should the State of Illinois take your local property tax dollars for schools, park, libraries and fire districts and use them in other areas of the State?

VOTE NO – on government Ponzi schemes to reallocate wealth inefficiently around the state through a bunch of committees and bureaucracies

ADDISON TOWNSHIP

PROPOSITION TO CONSOLIDATE TOWNSHIP MOSQUITO ABATEMENT SERVICES TO ADDISON TOWNSHIP
“Should the mosquito abatement districts located throughout DuPage County be consolidated and distributed equally among the nine townships in DuPage County in order to save taxpayer dollars?”

VOTE YES – consolidate government services for efficiency

WINFIELD TOWNSHIP

PROPOSITION TO CONSOLIDATE TOWNSHIP MOSQUITO ABATEMENT SERVICES TO WINFIELD TOWNSHIP

In order to provide greater health benefits and mosquito nuisance control, and to save taxpayers money from the 40 units of governments in DuPage County that have responsibilities in providing mosquito abatement services, shall those government authorities be consolidated into the nine DuPage County Townships to administer Mosquito Abatement Programs?

VOTE YES – consolidate government services for efficiency

YORK TOWNSHIP

PROPOSITION TO CONSOLIDATE TOWNSHIP MOSQUITO ABATEMENT SERVICES TO YORK TOWNSHIP
Shall the mosquito abatement districts located throughout DuPage County be consolidated and distributed equally among the nine Townships in DuPage County in order to save taxpayer dollars?

VOTE YES – consolidate government services for efficiency

NAPERVILLE TOWNSHIP

ADVISORY BALLOT QUESTION
Should the City of Naperville and the Naperville Township Road District enter into an agreement for combined roadway services as proposed by the Naperville City Council on June 7, 2016, in order to reduce the real estate tax burden on all Naperville Township taxpayers?

VOTE YES – consolidate government services for efficiency

LISLE TOWNSHIP

PROPOSITION TO CONSOLIDATE TOWNSHIP MOSQUITO ABATEMENT SERVICES TO LISLE TOWNSHIP
In order to provide greater health benefits and mosquito nuisance control, and to save taxpayers money from the 40 units of governments in DuPage County that have responsibilities in providing mosquito abatement services, shall those government authorities be consolidated into the nine DuPage County Townships to administer Mosquito Abatement Programs?

VOTE YES – consolidate government services for efficiency

DOWNERS GROVE TOWNSHIP

PROPOSITION TO CONSOLIDATE TOWNSHIP MOSQUITO ABATEMENT SERVICES TO DOWNERS GROVE TOWNSHIP
Should mosquito abatement services currently provided by more than forty (40) governmental entities located throughout DuPage County be consolidated and distributed geographically among the nine (9) Townships in DuPage County in order to increase efficiency and save taxpayer dollars?

VOTE YES – consolidate government services for efficiency

BLOOMINGDALE PARK DISTRICT

PROPOSITION TO ISSUE $9,900,000 PARK BONDS
Shall the Bloomingdale Park District, DuPage County, Illinois, improve parks and facilities of said Park District, including, but not limited to, the Johnston Recreation Center, Oasis Water Park and Springfield Park ball fields and wetlands, and issue its bonds to the amount of $9,900,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?

VOTE NO – don’t force everyone in your town to pay for something only half of you want. How about a fundraiser and taking up a collection from the people who would enjoy the improvements and utilize them most. Maybe corporate sponsors? Home values decline with higher property taxes because less people can afford to live there and even if they can who would willing to? Definitely fewer people

HELEN M. PLUM MEMORIAL PUBLIC LIBRARY DISTRICT

PROPOSITION TO INCREASE THE LIMITING RATE
Shall the limiting rate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for the Helen M. Plum Memorial Public Library District, DuPage County, Illinois, be increased by an additional amount equal to 0.2160% above the limiting rate for any purpose of said Library District for levy year 2015 and be equal to 0.4923% of the equalized assessed value of the taxable property therein for levy year 2016?

(1) The approximate amount of taxes extendable at the most recently extended limiting rate is $3,630,353, and the approximate amount of taxes extendable if the proposition is approved is $6,468,413.
(2) For the 2016 levy year the approximate amount of the additional tax extendable against property containing a single family residence and having a fair market value at the time of the referendum of $100,000 is estimated to be $72.00.
(3) If the proposition is approved, the aggregate extension for 2016 will be determined by the limiting rate set forth in the proposition, rather than the otherwise applicable limiting rate calculated under the provisions of the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (commonly known as the Property Tax Cap Law).

VOTE NO – are libraries even still relevant I thought they were obsolete after the internet. How about download kindle books for a few dollars or go into a used book store. How about a privately run charitable organization run a library if it’s such a must home values decline with higher property taxes because less people can afford to live there and even if they can who would willing to? Definitely fewer people

SALT CREEK SCHOOL DISTRICT 48

PROPOSITION TO ISSUE $8,000,000 SCHOOL BUILDING BONDS
Shall the Board of Education of Salt Creek School District Number 48, DuPage County, Illinois, repair the Salt Creek Primary, Albright Middle and Stella May Swartz School Buildings and the Maintenance Building and issue bonds of said School District to the amount of $8,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?

VOTE NO – 8 million… how much do you want to be forced to give the government? Home values decline with higher property taxes because less people can afford to live there and even if they can who would willing to? Definitely fewer people

COMMUNITY CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL DISTRICT 181

PROPOSITION TO ISSUE $53,329,194 SCHOOL BUILDING BONDS

Shall the Board of Education of Community Consolidated School District Number 181, DuPage and Cook Counties, Illinois (located primarily in Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills, Illinois), improve the site of and build and equip a new school building and issue bonds of said School District to the amount of $53,329,194 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?

VOTE NO – 53+ million… are they insane?! How much do you want to be forced to give the government? Home values decline with higher property taxes because less people can afford to live there and even if they can who would willing to? Definitely fewer people

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Libertarian Party of Illinois State Convention Recap

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By Jennifer Floyd

Election years often see new members flocking to alternative parties and the Libertarian Party is no exception. Opening night of the 2016 Libertarian Party of Illinois State Convention hosted over one hundred attendees in a standing-room-only event to watch seven of the party’s presidential candidates debate before the nominating convention in April.

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The candidates who participated were; Dr. Marc Allen Feldman, Cecil Ince, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Austin Petersen, Derrick Michael Reid, Rhett Smith, and Shauna Sterling. The event was moderated by Libertarian Party of Illinois State Chair Lex Green, video blogger Julie Borowski, and talk radio host from WMAY 970 AM in Central Illinois Greg Bishop. The event was live-streamed via YouTube and is available for viewing through the Metro East Libertarian YouTube page offering a second look at the alternative options in leadership.

Saturday featured a luncheon presentation by Julie Borowski and her topic “Why You Should Be Optimistic” speaking about how libertarian ideals are gaining traction and the strides we have made to be a more tolerant society. Other events included a presentation honoring the memory of Mark Agnini, a pivotal member of several northern chapters who died in a car accident last fall, workshops on interviewing and petitioning, and entertainment in the form of Libertarian-themed Jeopardy.

The convention closed out with the annual business meeting and the nomination of state party candidates. Claire Ball secured the nomination for Comptroller and is the only trained and active accountant seeking the position. Scott Schluter was nominated for the 117th District in the Illinois General Assembly, and Jake Leonard will be running for the 95th District of the Illinois House. Finally, by a narrow margin, Kent McMillen won nomination for the US Senate candidacy over Chris Michel.

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All the candidates must now begin to petition for the right to be on the ballot this fall in Illinois. Libertarians, as “new party” candidates, according to state law, must gather a minimum of 25,000 signatures to gain ballot access whereas Republicans or Democrats must only gather 5,000. This year, however, has seen a small change with the recent court decision striking down Illinois’ full slate requirement, opening the door to the Libertarians and other parties in running for election.

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Libertarian Party of Illinois State Convention

By: Jennifer Floyd

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While the media might be focused on the antics of Clinton, Trump, and Sanders, parties like the Libertarian Party are quietly gathering their supporters and prepping their candidates. One such group is the Libertarian Party of Illinois which will host their annual State Convention on March 11-12th, 2016 in Springfield, IL.

Just like the Republicans and Democrats, the candidate pool for president is quite large. At the time of writing this article 4 of the 8 presidential candidates will be participating in a debate. Slated to attend are Dr. Marc Feldman, Cecil Ince, Steve Kerbel, and Austin Petersen. The debate will be moderated by Julie Borowski, a blogger, writer, award-winning YouTube host, and Policy Analyst for FreedomWorks.

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The convention, while a fantastic way for members to network and grow, also serves a very important purpose; the nomination and selection of candidates for state-wide offices and delegates to the national Libertarian Convention. This fall, the positions of U.S. Senate and Comptroller will be up for election. Current announced candidates for nomination; Claire Ball for Illinois Comptroller and Chris Michel for U.S. Senate will be presenting. The party will also recognize candidates for local elections seeking endorsements from the Libertarian Party in their run for office. Unlike other parties in Illinois, Libertarian candidates are nominated directly at the conventions and approved by vote at the annual business meeting.

However, when a group of Libertarians get together, there will also be entertainment and education. Julie Borowski will be the luncheon keynote speaker, presenting her topic “Why You Should Be Optimistic.” The trivia contest dubbed Libertarian Jeopardy makes its return, there will be an auction to raise funds, and a regional beverage competition. Two workshops will be held on Saturday; “Who’s Driving?” a simulated interview to hone the presentation skills of candidates, and a Petitioning Workshop to help educate members who will participate in signature collection to get Libertarian candidates on the ballot.

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One of the hot topics for discussion this year will be the recent court decision striking down the “full slate” requirement imposed on third party (or “new party” as they are referred to in IL) candidates in Illinois. Originally imposed in 1931 probably to keep communist party candidates off the ballot, it was declared unconstitutional in an order on February 12 by U.S. District Court Judge Andrea R. Wood. This created a massive obstacle for new party candidates running for local office since they would have to find people to run for every open spot in local elections and diluting the efforts of the state party when they would have to run 7 candidates just to run for governor.

The Libertarian Party of Illinois State Convention will be held on March 11-12th, 2016 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 3100 S Dirksen Pkwy, Springfield, IL. Attendance is free and open to the public on Friday, March 11th. Attendance at the Saturday workshops and luncheon requires registration available at LPIllinois.org.

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It’s Officially An Election Year, Now…

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First off, I would like to congratulate Steve Dutner on being elected as the new Vice Chair for the DuPage Libertarians. Continuing to serve in the other roles are Jennifer Floyd as Secretary, Todd Zimmerman as Treasurer, and myself as Chair.

So there were plans to have a huge blog written and ready for the beginning of the year, but that didn’t pan out, because we have been WAY too busy. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? I don’t know yet; everyone is too exhausted to make a judgment call…

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The biggest event coming up is obviously the state convention in March. On Friday, March 11th and Saturday, March 12th, the Libertarian Party of Illinois will hold its annual state convention at the Hilton garden Inn in Springfield. The event includes some pretty amazing highlights, including the Friday night debate between several of the leading Libertarian presidential candidates, including Steve Kerbel, Austin Petersen, Marc Allan Feldman, and Cecil Ince. Attending this event means you may have a chance to personally ask a question from one or all of these candidates.

The keynote speaker for Saturday is Julie Borowski, who (as the rumor mill goes) may also be moderating the debate on Friday night. You can also expect to hear speeches from Claire Ball and Chris Michel, and as a state party member, have an official vote in making them the official Libertarian Party of Illinois candidates for the November general election.

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The next big event is the one occurring right after the convention, and the one that requires the most help – our Petition Drive. The good news about the petition drive is that you can get ALL the information from your source right here, or at our Facebook page. That information includes weekday and weekend events where candidates and volunteers will go out to collect signatures. We can pretty much guarantee that there will be an event going on every weekend through the 90 day period, and that we will be reaching out to volunteers to help us collect as many signatures as we can from registered Illinois voters. You are all invited to help us out.

The Petition Drive will be made up of multiple smaller events throughout the state, such as kickoff parties, campouts, and festivals that you can join in on.

So yes – we haven’t been bored. Everyone has been working tirelessly to put these events together and to coordinate our efforts to make it all happen. If you are someone who would like to get involved, this is a damn good year where we could definitely use your help.

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Leaving Behind 2015, Here We Come 2016…

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Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this article, I first want to thank all the members of the DuPage Libertarians, and surrounding chapters, who came out and made our charity holiday dinner party the huge success that it was. We filled several large boxes and bags of canned and dry goods to donate to our charity of choice, the local affiliate of Loaves and Fishes, a charity that ensures 97% of all it raises goes directly to those who need it, while getting less than 1% of their funding from government. Our members are awesome and generous; thank you all.

So… what is happening now?

A lot. Way more than we were anticipating; quite frankly.

On Sunday, December 13th, Chairwoman of the College of DuPage board of trustees Kathy Hamilton surprised everyone by announcing that she was stepping down from the board, for personal reasons.

Whatever those reasons may be, the board of trustees at COD is now in chaos – worse than usual. Two days after Hamilton made her announcement, the college was put on academic probation by the Illinois Higher Learning Commission. This probation period lasts two years, in which time the board must prove that they have made the necessary corrections to the issues at the college… or the college could lose its accreditation.

The remaining six board members are split with regards to how to handle issues, stemmed from the incident over the last 18 months with ex-president Robert Breuder. They now have less than 60 days to appoint a seventh trustee to the board, or the Illinois Community College Board will appoint someone.

Before you ask, the answer is yes – many have been reaching out to ask if Claire Ball will apply for the position, and many have been publicly calling on her to step forward.

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So what has been her official response? As of this point, she has not decided if she will apply or not. With a brutal campaign over the next ten months for Illinois Comptroller, combined with wrapping up her studies to earn her CPA, the girl is a bit overwhelmed at the moment – and we here at the DuPage Libertarians do not want to stretch her too thin, as her race for Comptroller will be a hard one.

However, taking on the role of trustee at COD would be a great way for her to directly make a positive impact on the community, while also helping demonstrate to the state of Illinois just how honest and effective a libertarian in office can be. The opportunity is one to not let slip away.

So as you can see, there is a lot happening with the DuPage Libertarians, and volunteers have been coming from everywhere to help support us in the election next year, including working on the campaign teams for Chris Michael and Claire Ball. There is always room for more, and all our members and readers are more than welcome to jump in at any point and help us along the way to make Illinois a better place to live and do business.

Claire has made one thing clear; if she does decide to apply for the position and is chosen by the board (also a long shot), she will continue to be the Libertarian Party of Illinois candidate for Comptroller. As soon as she earns her CPA early next year, she will be a force to be reckoned with.

No wonder the two parties are terrified of her.

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The Holidays Always Bring Out the Best In Us!

Well damn, have we been BUSY in the past few weeks!

Candidate for US Senate Chris Michel and candidate for Illinois Comptroller Claire Ball both made a trip to visit the Libertarian Party of Central Illinois in Peoria, led by chair Ben Hausam and including former candidate for Illinois Governor Chad Grimm. A journalist from the Peoria Star attended to see the candidates, while chapter members talked about everything from campaign strategy to the upcoming petition drive.

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Chris and Claire also took part in a campaign event hosted by the Chicago LP, led by chair Gayle Deick, and including special guest, state party chair and former candidate for Governor Lex Green. With almost 40 people in attendance, with the majority of them signing up to volunteer for the party or a campaign, it was definitely an amazing event.

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The following week, the DuPage Libertarians decorated our sponsored tree in Veteran’s Memorial Park in downtown Westmont. It was one of the first bits of snow we had, and the park was filled with people all decorating their trees. Our ornaments were all ascribed with liberty quotes – though they are tough to read, they were a lot of fun making them.

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On Thanksgiving weekend, we also marched in the Westmont Frosty and Friends Night Parade, which allowed us to decorate the car (and ourselves) with lights.

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The following morning we drove out to join our friends in the Fox Valley Libertarian Party for their annual Woodstock Christmas Parade in the town square.

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Last but not least, we can’t forget the monthly gun shows we continue to host a table at for the Pioneer Valley Sportsman’s Association gun show at the DuPage County Fairgrounds.

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Thank you to EVERY volunteer who marched in parades with us, staffed tables, and helped with campaign meetings.

We have one last event coming up before the year is over, and that event is doubling not just as our final meeting of the year where we celebrate the holidays, but also as a charity event. The location for this year’s event will be at Cozymels Coastal Mex @ 311 E. Loop Rd. in Wheaton, IL. It starts at 6:30pm; special guests include candidate Claire Ball for Illinois Comptroller, and Libertarian Party of Illinois State Chair Lex Green. There will be the annual awards given out to members who are recognized for their outstanding help, and of course there is the charity aspect of the event.

We will be holding a food drive for Loaves & Fishes located in Naperville, IL. They are a 501(c)(3) organization in operation since 1984 which provides food and other services to the poor of DuPage county and surrounding areas. The majority of their donations come privately with only 1% of their budget from government funding. They put what they are given to work as well, passing 97% of their donations to those they serve.

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Those coming to our December event are encouraged to bring canned or boxed foods to donate. In addition, Loaves & Fishes also accepts household items such as paper towels, 1 gallon Ziploc bags, toiletries, and diapers. Our event is registered with Loaves & Fishes and we will also pass along any monetary donations we receive for them.
Help us celebrate the holidays and the end of an exciting year by attending our final meeting for 2015 and by helping us bring in a huge load of donations for those in need. Everyone is invited to join us, but if you can’t make it out, we wish you peace and happiness to you, your family, and your loved ones. Thanks everyone – hope to see you at the party!

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So Many Local Libertarian Events Going On In November!!

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With Halloween out of the way, and autumn now firmly established in Illinois, we are getting back to focusing on the events we have booked for November… which are a LOT.

Coming up early next week, the Chicago LP is hosting a meet-n-greet with candidates Claire Ball for Illinois Comptroller and Chris Michel for US Senate. This event, taking place at Wills Northwoods Inn @ 3030 N Racine Ave. in Chicago, will allow voters to meet with and ask questions from both candidates on all the issues that matter to them. The event is free, open to the public, and starts at 6:30pm.

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The following week on Wednesday, Nov 18th, Claire Ball will have a table set up at the Heartland Institute for the Women In Politics event, which includes State Rep. Jeanne Ives and radio host Amy Jacobson. It starts at 6:30pm at the new location 3939 N. Wilke Rd. in Arlington Heights, IL.

Thursday, Nov. 19th @ 7pm will be our usual scheduled monthly meeting for the DuPage Libertarians, where we will be getting crafty as we make decorations for our sponsored Christmas Tree in Westmont, which we will be decorating a few days later at noon on Sunday, Nov. 22nd followed by all of us going out to grab lunch shortly afterward. Anyone who wants to jump in on this is welcome!

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Oh, and we have two parades to march in on the weekend of Thanksgiving! The Festival of Lights Holly Days parade in downtown Westmont kicks off at 6pm on Saturday, and the Woodstock Christmas Parade at 2pm on Sunday. Help us carry banners and flags, or hand out candy and business cards to onlookers. These events are always fun, and as usual, we all get together for food afterwards.

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Also, don’t forget the PVSA Wheaton Gun Show on Sunday, December 6th at the Dupage County Fairgrounds. It is $5 admission to get in, unless you show up early with us and help work the table – then you get in for free AND you feel the satisfaction of helping your local libertarians out.

There are some changes to this year’s Annual Holiday Party. Instead of a gift exchange, we will be holding a food drive for Loaves & Fishes located in Naperville, IL. They are a 501(c)(3) organization in operation since 1984 which provides food and other services to the poor of DuPage county and surrounding areas. The majority of their donations comes privately with only 1% of their budget from government funding. They put what they are given to work as well, passing 97% of their donations to those they serve.

Those coming to our December event are encouraged to bring canned or boxed foods to donate. In addition, Loaves & Fishes also accepts household items such as paper towels, 1 gallon Ziploc bags, toiletries, and diapers. For a full listing of what they accept and what their current needs are, you can visit their website and check out the Most Needed Items list. Our event is registered with Loaves & Fishes and we will also pass along any monetary donations we receive for them. Donations also can be made directly to the organization at their website.

thThe location for this year’s event will be at Cozymels Coastal Mex @ 311 E. Loop Rd. in Wheaton, IL. It starts at 6:30pm; special guests include candidate Claire Ball for Illinois Comptroller, and Libertarian Party of Illinois State Chair Lex Green. Awards of appreciation will also be given out, and we will cover usual group business, though it generally takes very little time at these events.

If you’ve never been out to a DuPage Libertarian event before, there are plenty of opportunities right now to jump in on – take your pick! If you are a long time member but haven’t been active in a while, don’t hesitate to jump in whenever you get the urge to see all the old members and meet the newer ones. We hope you all enjoy the rest of autumn and Thanksgiving. See you soon…

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Remembering Mark Agnini

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Last week, on the morning of Thursday, September 24th, Mark Agnini passed away. At the age of 67 years, he had the passion and dedication of a career-driven person in their thirties, the energy and motivation of a college student in their twenties, and the dirty joke-telling humor of a high school kid.

In a single conversation, Mark could enrich you with philosophical conversation, right before he makes a witty comment that makes you and everyone standing nearby laugh out loud.

He had a warm heart and a cheerful attitude. You always felt better when Mark was around because of his jubilant demeanor, regardless of how bad of a day you were having or how stressed you were about a situation. Not many human beings who grace their presence on this small globe have that ability to charm people and evoke positive emotions. His optimism was unmatched, and his smile infectious.

As for his dedication to the philosophy of libertarianism, and the party in Illinois that he was part of, you’d be hard pressed to find many who were more dedicated to increasing awareness and helping to get candidates elected.

Mark and I had lunch together just two weeks before his passing. It lasted several hours, and involved a lot of note taking, as him and I planned out the projects each of us would be tackling, along with a step by step guide so we could follow each other’s progress and offer assistance when needed.

He was an active member in three different chapters, was working to help develop two more, and had roles in candidate campaigns for the 2016 election.

He regularly attended meetings for the Fox Valley Libertarian Party, the Libertarian Party of Lake County, and the DuPage Libertarians – and was once the Chair in DuPage. He even assumed the role of the State Organizing Committee representative for Lake County, and actually attended the monthly phone conferences, which is more than can be said for most other chapters in the state.

The night before his passing, Mark had driven out to DeKalb County to visit with some college students to discuss plans on starting a chapter out there. He was THAT dedicated to spreading liberty and freedom in Illinois, and was willing to take on any and all projects that he could to help out.

His robust character and charming humor will be greatly missed at all three chapters that Mark regularly attended. His insight and intellect during the campaign meetings cannot be replaced. His 22 years as a Theology professor at Elmhurst College had sharpened Mark into a person who could easily hold his own in a debate, while applying myriad tactics to educate others throughout the discussion. Luckily, plenty of us learned from him, and can put that education to great use in the coming years.

Thanks, Mark, for everything.

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