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Thursday, April 1, 2010
ILGP Media Coordinator
GREENS CRITICIZE SECRET PLAN TO CONVERT STATE CAPITAL INTO SIMPSON’S THEME PARK
Green Party leaders sharply criticized a secret plan by the state’s Democratic lawmakers to convert the state capital of Springfield into a citywide theme park modeled after popular television show, the Simpson’s.
“With our state’s current fiscal crisis, we cannot afford to bet everything on a wacky scheme to attract tourists,” said A.J. Segneri, ILGP Membership Steward and Whiteside County Chair.
Segneri said that the plan is being quietly implemented through a series of seemingly unrelated actions. A bill that recently passed the Senate, for instance, will lift the moratorium on new nuclear power plant construction, allowing the state to build a working replica of Homer Simpson’s fictional employer.
In another move, Rep. David Miller (D) pushed a tire burning amendment in the House that would allow theme park planners to create a perpetually burning tire fire in downtown Springfield, mimicking a Simpson’s landmark. Mass layoffs of public school teachers are intended to recreate deplorable conditions of the fictional Springfield Elementary School. And river crews have been hard at work for weeks searching for three-eyed Asian carp to serve in the theme park’s food court.
This park’s construction is being financed with $680 billion in state bonds, along with across the board fee and sales tax hikes. License plate sticker fees will be raised to $12,000 per year, for instance, and taxes on everything from candy and gum to shampoo and toilet paper will increase to nearly 800% the suggested retail price.
Sen. Terry Link (D) is working on a measure that would set up cameras in the middle of city blocks targeting jay-walkers with fines of up to $200. Link’s plan would also make video poker mandatory in all bars and restaurants, as well as movie theaters, schools, churches, airports, libraries, hospital waiting rooms, public beaches, polling places and Scott Lee Cohen’s pawn shop. Out-of-state visitors will be required to pay a cover charge upon entering Illinois and will be held to a two-drink minimum.
Despite their criticism, Greens stopped short of calling on Democrats to scrap the plan.
“Like it or not, we do have a $13 billion financial crisis, and we’ve been waiting a long time to hear how they’re going to address it. And as bad as this plan is, we’re a little bit afraid to hear their Plan B,” said Media Coordinator, Patrick Kelly.
“All April Foolin’ aside, though, the state legislature would be extremely misguided in lifting a ban on new nuclear facilities and redefining tire burning a ‘renewable energy’. Both of these plans have serious implications for Illinois’ environment and public health. I think they’ll find they can’t dispose of nuclear waste and used tires as easily as they can burn through $13 billion.”
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