C.T.B.A. (or quaere verum)
Latin: The phrase “Quaere Verum” means literally “to seek the truth.” C.T.B.A. is the abbreviation for the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, a bi-partisan not-for-profit research and advocacy think tank that promotes fair, efficient and progressive tax, spending and accounting. Led by Mr. Ralph Martire, the C.T.B.A. has made many presentations and appearances to provide reasonable and alternative answers to solving the pension debt issues in Illinois. The C.T.B.A. also provides research and various white papers on a variety of monetary issues made available at their website www.ctbaonline.org. More than any other person or organization, Martire and the C.T.B.A have been the force behind the truth: "Illinois faces a revenue problem, not a pension problem."
Last evening on WTTW’s McLaughlin Group, moderator John McLaughlin tried to convince Eleanor Clift that the results of the national election of Barack Obama as President proved that the Supreme Court Citizens United decision made no difference in politics whatsoever. Clift was having no part of that cynical observation, and she replied that it was indeed having a major influence by flooding the political scenes on all levels – especially the states – with obscene amounts of money in order to undermine the democratic process. She couldn’t have been more right.
The Koch brothers and other groups will spend barrels of money to bend the truth or shift the playing field for millions of the middle-class. Never mind that so many $ billions were lost trying to defeat Barack Obama. There’s plenty more where that came from, and if you believe “trickle down” doesn’t work, think again. What a PAC like FreedomWorks cannot achieve on the national level is not so important as what it does on the state level. Multiply that with many more PAC's and... The influence of money works on the state level quite well, and Illinois is certainly no exception.
Organizations like the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Civic Federation, the Chamber of Commerce, etc., can and do pump enormous amounts of money into the political system and media machinery to provide self-promoting and convenient forms of truth; specious slants on numbers and outcomes; and a callous disregard for facts, morality or honesty. Witness their constant mantra that Article XIII, Section 5, of the Illinois Constitution cannot withstand successive outrageous proposals to ignore the contractual promises made by the State of Illinois to those who toiled for the public interest. Remember also, with those vast sums groups like the Civic Committee can enlist the aid of confederates like Sidley Austin LLP to construct potential frameworks for ignoring the legal promises made to public sector workers in our state.
I believe we desperately need groups like the C.T.B.A. to seek truth and promote an accurate and alternate vision against those who would purchase the power, influence, and political connections in Springfield. I urge you to make a donation.
Thanks for the reminder, Glen. See you in Springfield!