Don’t just get rid of the governor, get rid of the tollway

By on January 30, 2009

Pat Quinn, once he becomes governor, should not only remove Rod Blagojevich’s name from Illinois’ tollway roads, but he should remove the tollbooths as well.

Over 50 years is a long time for citizens of Illinois to put up with tollway corruption by the governor, present and past; by several toll authority directors, present and past; and by many of our state legislators. Not only is the toll authority a haven for such corruption, it is an embarrassment for citizens of Illinois.

In 2009, the toll authority expects to collect $680 million. After paying the operating costs and paying what is due on the outstanding bonds, $212 million is put into what I call a slush fund. This fund is used any way the governor or the director deems necessary. For example, in 2006 Gov. Blagojevich moved $44.7 million from this fund to the state treasury.

The toll authority can raise the toll/tax any time they want without the approval of our elected legislators in Springfield. I call the toll that we pay a tax because that is exactly what it is—a tax. Remember that this toll/tax is collected not only at the tollbooth, but comes from I-Pass collection and from the monstrous fines paid by innocent drivers not keeping an eye on their credit card expiration date.

Yes, the tollbooths need to go, along with the name of Rod Blagojevich. Pat Quinn was an adversary of the tollway system not too many years ago. I hope he is still today.

Russell Johnson
Sugar Grove