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DuPage residents react to Camper's stereotyping

Editor: In response to John Camper's "Tax 'revolting' time in DuPage" (May. pp. 32-33), he is typical of analysts who sit in ivory towers in the "Big City" and attempt to discuss issues down in the trenches.

The taxes were a small part of the upheaval in DuPage. ALL of the candidates who were victorious were pro-life candidates. There is a strong pro-life lobby active in DuPage. The week prior to the primary local churches passed out printed "score cards" urging parishioners to vote for those who profess to support the pro-life movement. Aldo Botti flooded the area with campaign literature which emphasized his pro-life stance. The fact that Ralph Barger, profoundly anti-tax, was defeated after he made a statement to a group of pro-lifers that "If women kept their legs crossed, we wouldn't have an abortion problem'' may also have had something to do with his defeat. There is more here than what is readily visible on the surface, or from behind a desk at Tribune Tower.

Camper's assumption that DuPage residents don't stay here for any length of time is also erroneous. That may be the case in Naperville (as he stated), but Naperville is not all of DuPage County. In Lombard, where I live, everyone on my block has lived here for more than 30 years, and such is the case with most of our contacts.

And lastly, his statement "They're like a woman who's disappointed because her marriage hasn't lived up to the ideal she developed by reading romantic novels" is incredibly sexist. Are they also like a man who's disappointed because his marriage hasn't lived up to the image he envisioned in Playboy?

Thanks for your magazine. I read every word.

           Sherron E. Schiewe

Editor: Regarding John Camper's analysis of the DuPage primary: There are more than two categories of people in DuPage. There are long-time residents and short-timers to be sure. But my husband and I did NOT move to the suburbs "to escape minorities." We stayed in the city until our child graduated from a public high school so that he would have culturally diverse experience. We work in Chicago neighborhoods by choice one a very mixed area on the north side and one a black south side community and are still heavily involved in urban issues. We simply wanted more open space and are willing to pay the ever-increasing price. Camper is right that environment is a big issue, but so was Jack Knuepfer's perceived arrogance. I only hope we don't suffer from a case of "Be careful what you ask for because you might get it," safely and sadly assuming Aldo Botti will beat Mike Donahue in November.

Incidentally, when I went to register to vote in DuPage as an independent, the clerk didn't know it was legal and didn't know how to do it. The first time I asked for a Democratic ballot, another person in line at the poll said, "Oh, you're the other one." That is, slowly and thankfully, beginning to change, Mr. Camper's stereotyping notwithstanding.

           Marti J. Sladek
           Downers Grove

Tax accountability makes for good government and good politics

Editor: The big issue in the Illinois gubernatorial race so far seems to be "tax accountability." Both candidates are for it. One emphasizes he's against higher taxes. The other stresses he's against higher taxes and higher spending.

But real tax accountability entails responsible management of not only the amount of government taxing and spending activities, but also their nature.

Real tax accountability entails the clear public identification and prioritization of public needs, the clear public justification of planned and actual government spending activities in terms of prioritized public needs, and the establishment of formal funding policies that fairly and candidly determine which present and future taxpayers pay for which spending activities.

Real tax accountability is good government and good politics. The gubernatorial candidate who embraces it substantively will win.

           Richard J. Haas

Readers: Your comments on articles and columns are welcome. Please keep letters brief (250 words); we reserve the right to excerpt them so as many as space allows can be published. Send your letter to

Caroline Gherardini, Editor
Illinois Issues
Sangamon State University
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9243

July 1990/Illinois Issues/7

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