Rob Sherman for State Representative 
Box 7410
Buffalo Grove, IL  60089-7410
Voice:  (847) 870-0700
Fax:  (847) 870-1156
rob@robsherman.com

53rd District         Illinois Green Party
 

Comprehensive Campaign Platform

Taking back our government so that it works for us, rather than against us.

Lobbyists use campaign contributions to bribe legislators into betraying your needs,
so that their clients can get rich off of screwing you.
Let's make us the special interests instead of them
by outlawing practices that screw you.


NEW CAMPAIGN PLATFORM ISSUES

This section will indicate campaign proposals that have been developed during the campaign season.

September 21:  Require a minimum of twenty-eight days from statement closing date to pay your credit card bills.  Credit card companies have come up with a new scam to screw you unjustly for undeserved fee money.  What they do is push up the due date for when your payment is due, specifically so that they can play Gotcha and charge you a late fee, for nothing, when you don't get your payment in by the artificially early due date.  At least one national credit card company uses a due date of just twenty days after the statement closing date.  By the time they print and send you the bill, about a week goes by between the closing date and when you get your bill.  You need to send in your payment about a week before the due date in order to make sure that the payment gets posted by the due date.  That leaves you with about a week, maybe even less, to get the bill paid.  If you are out of town for just one week or even if you're just busy doing what you do, and you don't get your payment out within a few days of that bill showing up in your mail, you get screwed with a late fee, for no good reason at all.  The early due date is simply arbitrary, and done for the specific purpose of generating an unjust Gotcha fee.  I will sponsor legislation to require that no late fee be allowed for credit card bills where the payment is received within twenty-eight days of the statement closing date.  Vote for Rob Sherman for State Rep, and instead of them pushing us around, how about we push them around for a change.  That's not going to happen with the incumbent.  You need me for this.  

INITIAL CAMPAIGN PLATFORM ISSUES

1.  Cap County Sales Taxes at 1% and municipal sales taxes at 1/2 of 1 %.  I will sponsor legislation to limit to 1% the sales tax that any county can impose and to half of that for any municipality.  On March 1, 2008, the Cook County Board raised the county sales tax from 0.75% to 1.75%.  This is in addition to the sales taxes that are imposed by the State of Illinois and municipalities.  Cook County Board President Todd Stroger had requested raising their sales tax to 2.75%, and the County Board could have raised the sales tax as much as they wanted to, because there is no state law limiting how high counties can raise your sales taxes.  County sales taxes over 1% encourage customers to avoid buying things in Cook County, whenever possible, just as high sales taxes on gasoline in Chicago results in nobody buying gas there except as a last resort.  Even I, who live in Cook County, won't shop any more in Cook County unless there is no other alternative, and I live less than two miles from the border, so I have options.  That's bad for business.  Business owners, employees and customers all suffer.  I want to shop in Cook County, so that my sales tax tax dollars go to my county rather than somebody else's, but the sales tax rate is uncompetitive, so I shop elsewhere whenever possible.  I'm sure that you do the same thing.  Similarly, municipalities have been doubling their portion of the sales tax from 1/2 of 1% to a full 1%, not so that they can derive additional revenue, but rather so that they can rebate it to the stores that collect it.  More on that in Item #2, below, but that's not what we're paying sales taxes for.  Elect Rob Sherman and I will sponsor legislation to ROLL BACK YOUR COOK COUNTY SALES TAX and prevent other counties from pulling a Todd Stroger.  I will also sponsor legislation to cap municipal sales taxes at 1/2 of 1%, so that there won't be enough money for municipalities to rebate sales tax dollars to the stores that collect them.  If you think that your taxes aren't high enough, vote for the incumbent, because he isn't doing anything about this.  If you want a cap on county sales taxes, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

2.  Ban Sales Tax Rebating.  There is a tax scam that many corporations are using to increase their profits at your expense and at the expense of your municipality.  It's called "Sales Tax Rebating."  Large businesses are literally engaging in extortion against municipalities.  This is not an exaggeration.  Here's how the extortion scam works:  What large businesses do is tell municipalities that if the municipalities don't "share" (nice extortion term ... it's no different than if they were the mafia) the municipal portion of the sales taxes with the large business, the business will either move out of town, if they are already located in town, or not move into the town if they aren't there yet but are proposing to move in.  There are companies, such as Plante Moran, that even boast in their advertising that they teach corporations how to take advantage of communities by stealing their sales tax dollars from them in this way. The municipalities almost always cave in to the demands, because they figure that half a loaf is better than none, but that results in you paying taxes that go to store profits rather than to the municipality in which you bought the stuff.  This extortion scam has become standard operating procedure for car dealerships, big box retailers and others, throughout Illinois, because there is no law against it, and they wouldn't want to leave money on the table, so you get screwed while the companies laugh all the way to the bank.  The percentage of the extortion kickback usually is in the range of one-half of the municipal portion of the sales tax paid at that store, but ranges as high as a full 100% of the municipal portion of the sales tax, which is what Long Grove was coerced into paying to the new Sunset Foods being built there.  An even more outrageous example is Costco at Randhurst Mall in Mount Prospect.  Costco not only demanded and got a part of the municipal portion of sales taxes collected at their store, they demanded and got a part of the municipal portion of the sales taxes paid at every store in Randhurst.  If you buy a burger and milk shake at Steak and Shake, you are required to pay a tax, not just to the Village of Mount Prospect, but also a tax to the Costco store in Randhurst.  THAT'S NUTS!  That's not what we're paying taxes for!  Remember, this isn't money that the store is paying in taxes.  This is your money that you pay.  The store is merely acting as the collection and remittance agent for the municipality, yet under this corporate extortion scam, the tax collection and remittance agent is keeping part or, in some cases, all of the money that you are paying in municipal sales tax.  If the money is going to be rebated, it should be rebated to you, not the store!  But, just like with the Moment of Silence litigation and the unconstitutional scam to donate one million tax dollars to Pilgrim Baptist Church, nobody is doing anything about it except for me.  If you want the taxes that you pay to go to corporate profits rather than to the government, vote for the incumbent, because he sure isn't doing anything about it.  Not only that, he's a lawyer, and this scam is a classic lawyer trick in which the corporations and the lawyers unjustly screw you out of your money, yet again.  On the other hand, if you want a ban on the extortion scam lawyer trick known as "sales tax rebating," vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

3.  Establish a new County in the northern townships of Cook County.  The approximately 92 precincts of the 53rd District that are south of Lake-Cook Road don't need Cook County.  Cook County government just wants to suck money out of the 53rd District to pay for huge government salaries for the friends and family of county officials who live on the South Side of Chicago, and to pay for the welfare and health care needs of Chicago residents.  Let them pay for their own county tax needs themselves, and let us use our county tax dollars to pay for our county needs, not theirs.  If you want to stay in Cook County, vote for the incumbent, because he sure isn't doing anything about this extreme problem.  On the other hand, if you want to ROLL BACK YOUR COUNTY TAXES by establishing a new county in the northern townships of Cook County, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

4.  Build Road Projects.  Traffic in the 53rd District, as well as in the entire southern half of Lake County, stalls to a crawl every day during morning and afternoon rush hour because Route 53 hasn't been extended north from Lake-Cook Road.  Elect Rob Sherman and I will sponsor legislation to Build 53 all the way through to the Route 12 expressway at the Illinois-Wisconsin border.  In addition, I will sponsor legislation to get Old Arlington Heights Road rebuilt between Dundee Road on the north and the intersection with Arlington Heights Road and University on the south.  Old Arlington is falling apart and badly needs to be rebuilt. The incumbent has for years supported building 53 but, obviously, he hasn't gotten the job done and there is truly no reason to believe that he, personally, will have any more success in the future than he has in the past.  On the other hand, if you want your representative in Springfield to be somebody who will get the job done by getting Route 53 built through Lake County, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th. 

5 Stop plan to replace Cole Hall at NIU.  Governor Rod has proposed spending 40 million of our tax dollars to demolish Cole Hall and replace it with a new building that would do essentially the same thing.  Hey, Rod, that's our tax dollars that you're throwing around.  We all regret that several students died there, but we don't tear up and replace the highway every time there is a fatal traffic accident.  We can't afford that.  We clean it up and go on.  That's a common sense, reasonable and fiscally responsible approach.  We need to do the same thing at Cole Hall.  Rod loves to play hero and Gift Boy by spending huge sums of money, but then he always walks away from the job of coming up with a way to pay for it.  He wants others to get blamed for coming up with the mechanism to pay for the gifts that he wants hand out and get credit for.  If Rod wants to play Santa Claus, then he'll have to identify where the money is going to come from.  The incumbent has not taken a public position on this issue, so there is a clear failure of leadership on his part on this issue.  If you want to end the plan to spend 40 million dollars of your money to replace Cole Hall, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th. 

 6.  Stop plan to give $300 State of Illinois checks to families.  Governor Rod has proposed spending millions more to give lots and lots of money gifts to Illinois families, but where does the money come from?  It comes from you.  It comes from the Illinois Treasury, so you'll have to pay $300 in taxes so that the Illinois Treasury can send you this purported gift of $300.  Voodoo economics comes to Illinois.  This plan is nuts, too.  This is completely insane.  The incumbent has not taken a public position on this issue, either, so there is a clear failure of leadership on his part on this issue, too.  If you want end this stupid charade of giving you $300 from the Treasury that you'll just have to pay back so that the Treasury can come up with the money to pay you in the first place, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th. 

7.  Stop unconstitutional laws and expenditures.  Much has been made about the unconstitutional public school Mandatory Student Prayer Act that I am successfully challenging in federal court, and the unconstitutional plan to donate one million of your tax dollars to Pilgrim Baptist Church, for which my team of attorneys is currently writing the lawsuit, which will be filed before the end of this month (April, 2008).  I asked the staff of Speaker Mike Madigan's office to pull the School Prayer Bill from override consideration, last October, on the grounds that the Bill was obviously unconstitutional, but Madigan's spokesman, Steve Brown, explained to me that the House of Representatives doesn't worry about whether or not a Bill is constitutional.  They do what they want, and if it is unconstitutional, they let the courts worry about it.  That policy is severely flawed because going to court creates huge litigation expenses which you, the taxpayer, gets stuck paying for on both sides of the litigation.  The incumbent State Representative in the 53rd District voted against the Student Prayer Act, but didn't get enough of his colleagues to join him, so he effectively failed on this issue, too.  In addition, the incumbent hasn't said a word regarding the Pilgrim Baptist scandal.  If you want to end the stupid, expensive practice of the Illinois General Assembly passing unconstitutional bills, and of the Governor making unconstitutional expenditures, both on the grounds that they'll do what they want and let the courts deal with it, later -- at your expense -- vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th. 

8.  Ban congestion pricing on the tollways.  Here's another outrageous scam to screw you out of even more of your money.  In this scam, tolls would be increased on passenger cars that use one particular tollway, the Jane Addams (Northwest Tollway - Interstate 90) during rush hour.  We're not paying tolls for the purpose of being penalized for using the tollway during rush hour.  We're supposedly paying tolls to pay off the tollway bonds, period.  Besides, the reason that we use the tollway during rush hour is to get to work so that we can pay taxes to support state government.  Not only that, the people who drive on freeways aren't paying any tolls at all, so why should we of the 53rd District, who drive to work on I-90, be charged even more than the excess fees in the form of tolls that we are already paying?  Not only that, this plan won't stop a single person from driving during rush hour.  It will just divert traffic onto the overcrowded arterial streets in the northwest suburbs, making traffic on those streets even worse than it already is.  This plan is nuts.  If you think that the state government should penalize you for going to work to earn money to pay taxes to state government, rather than goofing off by staying home and sleeping late or watching TV, then vote for the incumbent, because he sure isn't doing anything about this.  On the other hand, if you want to stop congestion pricing from being put in place on I-90, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th. 

9.  Build the Illinois Green Party into the new majority political party in Illinois.  I've been disappointed with the dysfunctional way that the Illinois Democratic Party has performed during the past two years.  We need a new party, with leaders like Rich Whitney and me, who can and will work together to solve our problems, rather than fight against each other to see who will blink first in a game of chicken.  The incumbent is a Republican.  If you want the Green Party to lead the way for a government that works together to solve our problems, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

10.  Ban Property Taxes.  The problem with property taxes is that there is no relationship between property tax assessments on your home and your ability to pay that tax.  Assessments have been skyrocketing, through no fault of your own, even though you don't have the ability to pay a higher tax assessment.  This has resulted in seniors being taxed out of their homes.  They are being forced to sell their homes to come up with the money to pay property taxes which are way too high and assessed unfairly in that the assessment is not based on ability to pay.  Government officials won't like my idea of banning property taxes because they don't want a system that is based on your ability to pay.  They want a system that doesn't take into account your ability to pay because then they can tax you more.  I, on the other hand, want to make sure that your ability to pay is the only basis for your taxes.  I will sponsor legislation to ban property taxes and replace it with income taxes because taxes should be based on your ability to pay.  The component amounts of your income taxes will be based on tax requests from local taxing bodies, such as park districts and school districts, just like property taxes now are, but will be assessed on the income tax base of the community, rather than the property tax base of the community.  The money that you pay in local income taxes for these various taxing bodies will remain in your community, just like property taxes now do.  The difference will be that the taxes will be based on your ability to pay -- meaning your income -- rather than on how much of one particular asset, real estate, that you own.    If you want to ban property taxes, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

11.  Ban Gifting for Votes, also known as Members' Initiatives.  For many years, each member of the Illinois General Assembly has been allocated a certain amount of money, around three million dollars per year, to spend in their district, pretty much any way they want.  The theory was that members know what's best for their district.  In practice, however, what the members actually have done is to use the money for gifting to private organizations, and to local government agencies that serve only a portion of the representative's district.  The expectation by the legislator is that the members of the favored private organization, or the residents of the favored local jurisdiction, will be so grateful to the legislator for the preferential treatment that they got at the expense of everybody else that they will all vote to re-elect the legislator as a token of their appreciation.  In other words, a half billion dollars per year of state tax dollars is being used essentially for vote buying.  Favored constituents benefit, while the rest of us get no benefit but get stuck with the bill for extra services to the favored constituents.  This outrageous practice of gifting for votes, at our expense, must end.  Expenditures of state tax dollars must be limited to state responsibilities.  Local park districts don't donate tens of thousands of dollars to the local fire department to buy a new fire engine.  That's the fire department's problem.  If the fire department needs a new engine, it is the responsibility of the fire district's residents to pay for it, not the residents of other fire districts.  If park district board members acted like the state legislature and used their resources for gifting to other agencies, they'd go broke just like Illinois state government has gone broke.  Park districts need their money for their own priorities.  Similarly, the state needs their state tax dollars for state responsibilities.  I will sponsor legislation to ban members' initiatives because state taxes should be used to pay for only those things that are the state's responsibility, not for gifting to favored constituencies.  If you want a ban on members' initiatives, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

12Ban Waivers as a Condition for Participating in Government Programs.  In this scam, government agencies, such as public schools and park districts, require you to sign a waiver that absolves them of any and all claims for injury, damage or any other loss you might sustain as a result of your participation in their government program.  Never mind that the Bill of Rights of the Illinois Constitution, at Article One, Section Twelve, guarantees you the right to go to court to seek a remedy for all injuries and wrongs which you receive to your person, privacy, property or reputation.  While the Constitution grants you certain rights, attorneys who work for the government see their job as finding ways to scam you out of those rights.  If the government is so concerned about protecting themselves from liability for their own wrong-doing, the proper way for government to protect themselves is by not engaging in the wrong-doing, rather than coming up with scams to block you from seeking restitution for their wrongdoing.  I will sponsor legislation that will ban mandatory government waivers because you should have the right to go to court against any defendant, even if that defendant is the government.  The incumbent won't do that for you.  After all, he's a lawyer.  If you want a ban on mandatory government waivers, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

13.  Ban Excessive Government Fees and Fines.  If you park on a parking meter in downtown Chicago, feed the meter some quarters and then get back to your car three minutes late, the ticket is a whopping $50.00.  If you don't pay within a week, or if the ticket disappears from your car before you get back to your car, the fee increases to $100.00.  A hundred bucks for being twenty-five cents short on your estimate of how long you'd be away.  That's outrageous!  There are many other fines and fees that are highly excessive.  For example, court costs can be substantial even if the case is tried and decided in just a minute or two.  Government is supposed to use fines and fees as a deterrent for misconduct and to recover the cost of administering justice, but what they've done, instead, is turn fines and fees into gotcha profit centers for the arresting agency.  This results in government making false accusations against completely innocent people, such as minorities who lack sufficient clout to be treated fairly by government or in court, because government can turn a huge profit off of fake convictions.  Fines and fees should be limited to the minimum amount necessary to deter actual misconduct and to pay for the nominal cost of administering justice, not for generating extra revenue for the agencies that accuse you, often falsely, of something.  If arresting and prosecuting you were to cost agencies money rather than being a profit center, then agencies would be discouraged, rather than encouraged, from make false and frivolous arrests.  They would be much more likely to make an arrest only when the infraction was so significant that the safety of the public really necessitated it.  I will sponsor legislation to limit fines and fees to the minimum amount necessary to deter misconduct and pay for administering justice because government should not profit from playing gotcha with people who are arrested and convicted, often falsely.  I will also sponsor legislation to establish to void all pending parking tickets that were issued before January 1, 2008.  You deserve a break, today.  Let's play gotcha right back at them and see how they feel about it.  If you want a ban on excessive government fines and fees and relief from all pending parking tickets that were issued before January 1, 2008, vote for Rob Sherman November 4th.

14Ban Fees for 911 Emergency Service Responses.  Lawyers for municipalities, in their persistence to turn your problems into their financial windfalls, are now charging enormous fees for emergency responses.  Lawyers are in the business of turning your troubles into profit centers, and most village board and city council members are lawyers, so that's where it comes from.  I am not a lawyer.  The Republican incumbent in this district is.  In many municipalities, a 911 call for a Fire Department ambulance now costs you anywhere from $300 to $800 or more.  I will sponsor legislation that will ban emergency services fees, with certain limited, reasonable exceptions, such as repeated false alarms and occasions when the emergency agency incurs extraordinary expenses, such as shoring up a building after a truck drives through a support pillar, because you shouldn't take a pass on calling 911 for fear of the cost.  If you want a ban on fees for using 911 services, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

15.  Ban Excessive Jury Fees.  Here's yet another scam that government uses to screw you out of your money and your rights.  You have a right to a trial by jury, including when you are falsely accused of a minor violation, such as an ordinary traffic ticket.  The government doesn't want you to have a jury, because a jury is much more likely than a judge to acquit you when you've been falsely accused, so the government has come up with a scam to block you from exercising your right to have a jury.  In this scam, the government makes sure that the cost of having your innocence affirmed far exceeds the cost of being falsely convicted.  The way the scam works is that the government makes the fee for having a jury higher than the penalty for getting falsely convicted.  For example, a parking ticket may have a fine of twenty-five dollars.  A moving violation, like running a red light or speeding, might have a fine of ninety dollars.  In order to make sure that you don't ask for a jury, the government sets the jury fee at $250.00.  What's the point of having a jury, if the cost of having one exceeds the cost of being falsely convicted?  This is exactly why the government makes the jury fee so high.  I will sponsor legislation limiting the cost of a jury to 25% of the cost of the penalty for the offense because the cost of being innocent shouldn't exceed the cost of being guilty.  If you want a ban on excessive fees for having a jury, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

16.  Keep the ban on indoor smoking at businesses.  A lot of businesses and business lobbying groups are trying to get exemptions to the smoking ban or to get the ban thrown out, entirely.  I will never vote for that.  Smoking stinks.  I will never again allow you to be subjected to having your clothes, hair and skin stink for the rest of the day, just because you patronized a business for a few minutes.  If you want to make sure that there isn't a rollback on the ban on indoor smoking at businesses in Illinois, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

17Ban Marriage Discrimination Against Gay Families.  Gay couples should have exactly the same right to marry as straight couples have.  If you don't like gay marriage, don't marry a gay person!  Nobody is asking straight people to sleep with a gay person;  nobody is asking straight people to go to a gay bar;  and, certainly, nobody is asking straight people to subscribe to the gay lifestyle of kindness, warmth, caring, compassion and love.  Gay marriage is not about sex.  It is about love and spousal rights, just like heterosexual marriages are.  Allowing two homosexuals who love each other to marry won't threaten the institution of marriage nor interfere in any way with heterosexual marriage.  We don't need the radical right wing's Defense of Marriage Amendment because gay people are not trying to stop the partners in straight families from getting married.  What we do need is a Defense of Family Act so that straight people can no longer stop the partners in gay families from getting marrying.  I will sponsor legislation which states:  "Every unmarried person who is of legal age shall have the right to marry any other willing, unmarried and unrelated person who is of legal age, regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of those two persons," because that's their family.  Not serving gays at the Marriage Bureau is no different than not serving Blacks at the lunch counter.  If you want to enact my Defense of Family Act, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

18.  Extend, Widen and Innovate Transportation.  It takes far too long to get from here to there in northeastern Illinois.  In many cases, traffic is paralyzed because people want roads built or widened everywhere except in their own neighborhoods.  North-south traffic in southern Lake County is paralyzed.  Route 53 should be extended north to Route 120 and connected east to the Tri-State and northwest to the Wisconsin border to connect it with the Route 12 expressway in Wisconsin.  The Elgin-O'Hare Expressway should be extended to, of all places, Elgin and O'Hare.  Roads like Buffalo Grove Road and Route 45 should be widened from one lane in each direction to two or three lanes in each direction.  Route 355 south should be extended beyond Interstate 80, to Interstate57, Illinois 394 and to the Illinois border, where Indiana can extend it a short way to Interstate 65.  We should establish a high-speed, point-to-point rail system to zap passengers in just a few minutes between distant major strategic points in Chicagoland.  Drivers would be willing to park their cars at regional high-speed rail terminals if they could commute, in a matter of minutes rather than hours, to places where they don't need their cars, like airports and downtown Chicago, particularly if they don't have to pay the high price for parking that is charged at those places.  The high-speed rail grid could be built along or above existing rights-of-way, such as Interstate highways and railways.  It would connect places such as:  Downtown Chicago, O'Hare Airport and Midway Airport;  Skokie, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Elmhurst / Oakbrook and Tinley Park;  Waukegan / Gurnee, Elgin, Aurora and Joliet.  Then, by connecting the grid to the Gary/Chicago Airport and the Rockford Airport and maybe even the Milwaukee Airport, we wouldn't need to build a south suburban airport or expand O'Hare because there would be sufficient capacity available, all linked together, so that you could connect from one airport to any other as easily and almost as quickly as connecting from one terminal to another at the same airport.  In addition, such a system would take a huge number of cars off the road, so that those of us going to places where we need our cars would not have to compete for pavement with those who are going to places where they don't need or want their cars.  If you want to see dramatic improvements to our transportation network, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th. 

19.  Ban Judicial Fraud and Prosecutorial Fraud.  I've seen more fraud in the Illinois court system during the past ten years than I could have ever imagined was possible.  Defendants who are completely innocent of any wrongdoing spend months or years incarcerated solely for having the wrong ethnicity or for engaging in political dissent.  It costs the defendant tens of thousands of dollars for defending himself against the fake accusations, he loses tens of thousands of dollars more in lost wages and he loses months or years of his freedom, all for refusing to be coerced into false confessions.  The reason that judges and prosecutors fake the conviction of so many innocent defendants is that they face no penalty for doing so.  The worst that can happen to a judge is that a judge gets reversed.  Big deal.  That's not enough to deter prosecutors and judges from faking it.  To stem the epidemic of corruption in the Illinois courts, I will sponsor legislation that will establish criminal penalties for judges and prosecutors who:  A) pull element swapping scams after the trial for the purpose of falsely convicting a defendant for a false accusation that the defendant has no opportunity to respond to;  B) time hostage taking scams to coincide with a defendant's appeal brief filing schedule to keep innocent defendants from appealing fake convictions;  C) conceal conflicts of interest until after the trial to enable judges to fake the conviction of innocent defendants whom the prosecutor or judge doesn't like;  D) bribe witnesses to obtain fake testimony against innocent defendants;  E) stall the issuance of rulings or the start of a trial to ensure that an innocent defendant is kept in jail for at least as long as he would have served if he had actually been guilty;  and F) falsify interpretation of the law, the facts or the testimony to justify a fake conviction of an innocent person.  Most importantly, I will sponsor legislation to prohibit lawyers who prosecuted cases for the state's attorney's office from getting themselves appointed as judges in criminal court, because then you have a conflict of interest whereby lawyers from the same law firm are both prosecuting and deciding the case.   If you want to ban judicial fraud and prosecutorial fraud, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

20.  Allow Juries to Rule on the Law and Establish Appellate Juries.  Illinois statute 725 ILCS 5/115-4(a) provides that trial juries in Illinois are only allowed to determine matters of fact (what are the facts;  who's telling the truth) and that judges have exclusive authority to decide matters of law.  This statute gives judges unchecked authority to deliberately, intentionally and maliciously misinterpret and misapply the law to unfairly rig a case against one of the litigants in a trial.  Too often, the Illinois Appellate Court is more concerned about covering up for their trial court judge buddies rather than ruling fairly on appeal matters.  The Indiana Constitution, at Article 1 (The Bill of Rights), Section 19, grants juries the right to decide both matters of fact and matters of law.  I will sponsor legislation to authorize juries in Illinois to decide matters of law because judges regularly rig the outcome of trials against one of the litigants by intentionally misinterpreting the law.  I will also sponsor legislation to establish appellate juries who will have the authority to rule on the fairness of the way a judge interpreted the law because an appellate jury would be much more likely than a group of appellate court judges to take seriously an appeal brief that proved that a corrupt judge misinterpreted the law to rig the outcome against one party to the litigation.  If you want juries to be able to decide whether a judge is fairly interpreting the law and if you want litigants to be able to appeal the fairness of a trial court decision to an appellate jury, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

21Require the State to Fully Fund Its Share of Public Education.  The State of Illinois has only been funding around 37% of the cost of public education.  That percentage may be off a little bit, but the percentage is definitely well below 50%.  Article Ten, Section One of the Illinois Constitution says that the State has the primary responsibility for funding public education.  I will sponsor legislation that requires that the State of Illinois to pay for at least 51% of the cost of public education in this state because the state constitution requires it.  If you want the State of Illinois to pay its constitutionally-mandated share of the cost of public education, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

22Require Lap/shoulder Seat Belts on School Busses.  Every time that there is a rollover or side-impact collision involving a school bus, kids go flying through the air until they crash into something really hard.  The result is that, in almost every major school bus accident, every kid on the bus is injured, many severely and some permanently.  In addition, many kids die in school bus crashes simply because they don't have lap/shoulder seat belts.  The reason that there are no lap/shoulder seat belts on school busses is that kids don't vote and kids don't make campaign contributions, so kids don't have the clout to have their safety protected.  I will be the clout for kids if you will send me to Springfield.  I will sponsor legislation to require lap/shoulder seat belts on all new school busses because kids shouldn't be maimed for life or die a horrific, painful death just because politicians are too cheap to put lap/shoulder seat belts on their school busses.  If you want lap/shoulder seat belts on school busses, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

23.  Ban Coerced Student Signatures at Schools.   Attorneys for our public schools think that they've gotten really clever by having teachers ask children, some so young that they barely know how to read, to sign contracts, agreements to do things and waivers, all without their parents' knowledge.  Sometimes, the parents are coerced to sign the documents under threat that their child will be excluded from an educational program if the signatures are not forthcoming. I will sponsor legislation to ban all schools, public and private, from requiring or even asking any student to sign any document, ever, because the job of schools is to educate students, not to trick or coerce students into signing away their civil rights.  If you want to ban public schools from coercing students into signing legal documents, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

24Increase the Speed Limits on Interstate Highways.   The speed limits on most Interstate highways are way too low.  In the suburbs of Chicago, most people drive quite safely at 65 to 70 miles per hour.  Indeed, the speed limit on suburban expressways and tollways used to be that high.  On Edens Highway, for example, the speed limit was 65 back in 1965.  On the Tri-state Tollway, the speed limit was 70 back in 1970.  Since then, most suburban Interstates have been re-engineered and rebuilt so that they are even safer than before.  Downstate, most people drive the Interstates quite safely at 75 to 80, particularly our legislators who travel Interstate 55 at that speed, or faster, when commuting between Chicagoland and Springfield.  If you've been on I-55, you know what I'm talking about and so do they.  Having posted limits unrealistically low breeds complete contempt for posted speed limits.  This leads to motorists not taking seriously the posted limit when it actually means something, such as in residential  neighborhoods and in highway construction zones.   As a result, dozens of highway construction workers are injured or killed every year.  Let's get serious about linking the posted speed limits to the speed at which motorists can drive safely.  I will sponsor legislation to decriminalize safe driving by raising the limits on Interstate highways, because the way to end the carnage in construction zones is to demonstrate that there is a real relationship between the posted limits and safety.  If you want speed limits raised on Interstate highways, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

25.  Ban resort fees.  Another lawyer trick that is used to scam you out of your money is resort fees.  You rent a hotel room, and when it comes time to pay your bill, surprise!  There's a "resort fee" of 7 to 10 dollars per day, per room.  There's no actual justification for it.  I know.  I own a travel agency.  It's just a scam to pad profits, a "gotcha" fee.  Hotels can charge as much as they want.  All I oppose is the bait-and-switch scam of promising a room at one price, but then saying, "Surprise.  Resort fee!"  In addition to working to get resort fees banned here, I am working with other members of the travel industry to get this law implemented across the country and around the world.  If you want to ban resort fees, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.

26.  Cap other excessive "gotcha" fees.  Yet another scam that is used to screw you unjustly out of your money is other "gotcha" fees.  Credit card fees for being over-limit or for being a few days late on a payment can be huge.  In fact, they want you to be late or over-limit so they can play "gotcha" are charge you huge fees for nothing.  There are many banking fees that work the same way, such as for an overdrawn checking account, even if you have money on deposit in other accounts in that very same bank.  I will sponsor state legislation to cap these and other "gotcha" fees, but I look to your suggestions on which fees are being used in an abusive way to screw you.  I want you to be my lobbyist on this issue.  E-mail me at rob@robsherman.com to let me know what fees that you want capped through state legislation and how much you think that the cap should be.  Let's take back our government so that it works for us, rather than against us.  If you want to cap "gotcha" fees, vote for Rob Sherman on November 4th.