SPRINGFIELD - As if you're not irritated enough the day before taxes are due, and are watching as the Democrats insist the state can't do without the 2011 67% temporary income tax hike, you'll probably not be happy to hear that in the past three years, nearly $100,000 of your dollars have gone for taxpayer-funded political news and gossip.
The state comptroller's website shows that the State of Illinois pays subscription fees to "Ahead of Our Time Publishing" owned by syndicated columnist and CapitolFax blogger Rich Miller. Miller puts out a daily Springfield insider update to those who pay $500 annually - mostly lawmakers, lobbyists and political junkies.
As reported by Illinois Mirror (HERE), the state spent $19,900 in CapitolFax subscriptions in FY2012, $41,000 in FY2013, and $34,000 so far in FY2014.
While not denying the numbers or the fact his company received tax dollars, Miller told Illinois Review, "The premise is obviously false and completely misleading. Correlation does not equal causation. Period."
Miller noted another publication Illinois taxpayers foot subscriptions for as well - the Chicago Tribune.
"I do find it richly ironic that a supposedly pro-business blogger would be attacking a business owner's relative success. I say 'relative' because I ran the numbers for the Chicago Tribune and came up with $165,502.49 spent by the state in Fiscal Year 2013 with that company."
Indeed, the $41,000 the state sent to Miller's company in 2013 shrinks in comparison to the Tribune. However, the Chicago Sun-Times - a competitor to the Tribune that carries Miller's weekly column - and the popular Crain Communications, Inc. received fewer tax dollars than either Miller or the Tribune.
Nevertheless, Illinois taxpayers spent in excess of $218,000 on the four publications in 2013 - that would mean at least 10 married filing jointly couples paying an average of $2000 annually, worked all year to keep Illinois lawmakers and staff informed.