Enjoyed the opinion piece in the paper today about the budget mess. And what a mess it is. The republicans say the democrats aren't serious in wanting a budget, and the democrats say the republicans aren't serious. In reality, I don't believe either party is serious. How else can you explain not having a budget for over two years now? The ONE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU ARE ELECTED FOR, and they just can't pull it off. Oh, they can spend time enacting legislation to name a new state vegetable -- or is it a fruit -- or maybe naming a street in Chicago after our outgoing president, or something else just as significant as that. And then, after accomplishing such important goals, they can then leave Springfield to return to their hometowns in time for their annual fundraising golf tournaments and such. Plenty of time for that. But just can't pull off a budget. How many people at Eastern have lost their jobs? At Western? At SIU? How many more people must lose theirs before our elected officials do their elected duty? Well, here's a novel solution. Vote them out. Get rid of them. All of them. Send someone to Springfield who pledges to craft a budget. Then if they don't come through, vote them out. Now, I'm not a politician. A lot of things in politics I don't understand. But I bet you two things. Number one, I bet you I could vote on and send a budget to the Governor. And number two, if I failed, I wouldn't have enough gall to come forward and ask you to reelect me. How our local representatives can go out and show their faces in public is beyond my comprehension.

Pete Shanks, Charleston

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