William McGurn’s column in the WSJ explains why the Illinois Assembly failed to pass a school choice bill for Chicago’s schoolchildren.
Illinois has given us a new breed of Republican: Roger Eddy. [He] is what they call a downstater, an assemblyman who serves an east-central Illinois district hugging the Indiana border. His day job turns out to be in government as well, as a public schools superintendent.
Last week Mr. Eddy became the face of the Republican failure to get a voucher bill through the Illinois assembly. The bill had passed the Senate.
[S]ince 2002 Mr. Eddy has accepted more than $76,000 in campaign contributions from the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and the Chicago Teachers Union.
Rev. James Meeks, a [Democratic] African-American state senator [who sponsored the bill], isn’t buying Mr. Eddy’s complaint that vouchers help only some of the students and not all of them… He likens Mr. Eddy to a fire chief who arrives at a burning building and declares, “Since we can’t save everyone we’re not going to save anyone.”
One Republican legislator, a former public school teacher, was in tears on the House floor, begging for this bill. All these people went out on a limb with Mr. Meeks—and Republicans like Mr. Eddy sawed that limb off.