CHICAGO - Illinois' chapter of Americans for Prosperity celebrated quietly Friday night when the Illinois General Assembly adjourned until November 19th.
AFP-IL - headed by executive director David From - was a key part of an anti-tax team that pushed back House Speaker Mike Madigan on three different income tax hike measures: 1. making the 2011 temporary income tax hike permanent 2. raising taxes on taxpayers making over $1M and 3. amending Illinois' Constitution from a flat to a graduated tax system.
"This spring, taxpayers sent the clear message to politicians that they do not want to send more of their money to Springfield in the form of higher taxes," From said in a statement Friday night "Fortunately, many legislators heeded this sentiment, killing three major tax hike proposals- the Progressive tax, the Millionaire’s tax and making permanent the 2011 tax hike."
The feat of stopping - or at least slowing down - the tax hikes with Democrat majorities in both the Senate and House took coordination and support among active anti-tax groups - including Illinois Policy Action.
From's group took the populist approach, manned with dozens of volunteers some would dub "Tea Party-esque." AFP-IL raised funds to run radio and television ads, hit vulnerable politicians' districts with mailers and phone banks, and led a multi-faceted online campaign against the tax hikes.
Internet memes and snail mailers called Democrat lawmakers out on previous comments they had made about opposing making the 2011 tax hike permanent, such as:
The group held in-district door knocking and live call marathons:
And they ran memes like these on the Americans for Prosperity Illinois Facebook page:
"AFP-Illinois will continue to stand with Illinois taxpayers and help give voice to their demands for more good jobs and more pro-growth policies, while opposing future attempts to raise taxes,” From said.