McConchie: 'Self-absorbed' state lawmakers put paychecks ahead of principle
State Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Dist. 26) recently suggested that some lawmakers may be waylaid by their own sense of importance when it comes to priorities.
"The idea that some legislators think they should get paid ahead of social services and other vendors is laughable,” McConchie said. “It shows just how self-absorbed some in public office are.”
A prime example came recently in the form of a recent complaint from state Rep. Robert Martwick (D-Dist. 19), who bemoaned paycheck delays in Springfield. When his remarks drew public criticism, instead of addressing constituent concerns, Martwick reiterated his position.
“Now, all decisions that affect middle-class and poor communities are made by wealthy people who most likely do not deal with the same daily struggles as the people who their decisions are affecting,” Martwick said via his Facebook page Aug. 10. “That is nothing less than a corruption of our democracy.”
The firm stance followed a reference to the topic on Aug. 5, when Martwick said, “Politicians in Illinois are not very popular. I often hear ‘you should work for free.’”
Martwick’s response did little to elevate his status among struggling Illinois families. Family connections tie him to property-tax law firms in the greater Chicago area. Martwick and his father, Robert Martwick Sr., as well as Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and Chicago Alderman Ed Burke, run property-tax law firms in Cook County.
As one of 31 state representatives who voted against a property-tax freeze in April, Martwick fights the very policies that would benefit his constituents.
Yet, when Martwick and his colleagues weren’t paid sooner than the state’s vendors — who themselves must deal with untimely payments due to Illinois’ $7.5 billion budget backlog — he nevertheless cried foul.
While politicians often make claims about defending the middle class, proving their commitment mandates making tangible decisions and creating solutions to minimize Illinois’ current economic struggles.
"Serving the public means putting yourself last,” McConchie, a resident of Hawthorn Woods who is being challenged by Democrat Kelly Mazeski, said. “The legislature created the state's fiscal mess. We shouldn't get paid until we fix it."