The president of a Lake County teacher union (LCFT) has put the cat among the pigeons by calling Lake County taxpayers who oppose Illinois' recent 67 percent income tax hike "anti-tax zealots" and "Teabaggers," writes Dennis G. Lacomb at the Illinois Review.
Illinois Federation of Teachers Local 540's president Mike McGue wrote:
"Dear anti-tax zealot. I know you'd like nothing more than to take jobs away from the public sector so you can keep more for yourself. I also know that Teabaggers have convinced you that the only race worth competing is the "race-to-the-bottom."
McGue's letter was published as part of the Lake County Teacher Federation's December 2011 newsletter.
There was considerable backlash in the community. Lennie Jarratt, Lake County Tea Party member and GOP candidate for the Illinois Senate, wrote a public response to McGue's newsletter.
"Businesses and families are leaving Lake County and the State of Illinois. Yet we have people like you, Mr. McGue, calling people names and making personal attacks," Jarratt wrote.
"You are even using your position as LCFT President and your relationship with the Benton Teacher Union President, your wife Corrine, to bully and intimidate the District 126 community."
In his letter, Jarratt pointed out that property taxes in Lake County are the highest in the Midwest and that Illinois unemployment rate has risen from 9.0% to 10% since the Legislature passed the 66% tax increase on individuals and 45% on corporations.
The LCFT acknowledged receiving a copy of the newsletter page, but President McGue has not yet confirmed or denied that the column contains his words.