Illinois State Senator Leaves for Texas: ‘I’m Tired of Subsidizing Crooks.’

By Barbara Hollingsworth

Roger Keats, a former Illinois state senator and Cook County Board president, is packing up and leaving the Land of Lincoln for good. The 62-year-old Keats was a good government reformer who helped clean up the rampant corruption in the Chicago-area courts uncovered by Operations Greylord and Gambat.

But now he’s throwing in the towel, and he and his wife are heading for Texas. “I am tired of subsidizing crooks,” Keats told the Wilmette Beacon.

In “Good Bye and Good Luck,” a letter to all the friends and political supporters he’s leaving behind after 60 years, Keats says he is leaving what he calls “the most corrupt big city…and most corrupt state in America” with “a heavy heart.”

“But enough is enough!” he writes.  “The leaders of Illinois refuse to see we can’t continue going in the direction we are and expect people who have options to stay here.”

Indeed, Illinois’ most populous county, Cook, actually lost population between 2000 and 2010. The state is losing another seat in the next Congress.

And that’s not the only sign of serious, and possibly irreversible, decline.

“Illinois just sold still more bonds and our credit rating is so bad we pay higher interest rates than junk bonds! Junk Bonds!” Keats points out.

“Illinois is ranked 50th for fiscal policy; 47th in job creation; first in unfunded pension liabilities; second largest budget deficit; first in failing schools; first in bonded indebtedness; highest sales tax in the nation; most judges indicted; and five of our last nine elected governors have been indicted.  That is more than the other 49 states added together!…

“We are moving to Texas where there is no income tax while Illinois’ just went up 67%.  Texas’ sales tax is half of ours, which is the highest in the nation.  Southern states are supportive of job producers, taxpayers and folks who offer opportunities to their residents.  Illinois shakes them down for every penny that can be extorted from them.”

As a recent study by Americans for Tax Reform found, migration from high-tax states like Illinois to states with lower taxes and less government spending like Texas will dramatically alter the composition of future Congresses as more and more Americans, like the Keatses, vote with their feet.


  1. We need a “great awakening” across the country. The spending frenzy has got to come to an end. Him coming here makes a great political point. Better wake up and change our ingrained ways, or American will the next 3rd rate nation. Illinois corruption far exceeds it’s state!

  2. This guy is 62 years old! Sure took him a long time to wise up. Or is he just retiring to TX to spend his ill-gotten gains? Good luck trying to get him to let go of his cash.

    I bet you see him at all the “senior specials”.

  3. Kathleen, glad to have you and your husband aboard. Your thoughts exemplify the Texas mindset and fighting spirit. Welcome from a native Texan to an adopted Texan. Blessings on you in Jesus’ name!

  4. My husband and I are both originally from another state, too. But, life in Texas is good because we take personal responsibility and demand it of others. We have our border problem with those who want welfare, but surely we will eventually get that resolved too. Or we’ll get some new leadership.

  5. I am both amazed and amused by the comments and observations of your readers. It brings back to mind WInston Churchill’s famous quote about democracy.

  6. But, weren’t the Yankee carpet baggers all from the “good godly Republican North?” and everyone in the South were “evil democrat pro-slavery” people?

    Isn’t THAT the history that some in the Republican party want to “push off” onto others, when it is “convenient” to put our party in a good light and to “attempt” to attract black votes?

    I of course do not agree with that synopsis or such a fallacy of a broad brush stroke approach to history.

    So basically, my point is we CANT have it both ways, to talk about hte “bad evil yankee carpetbagger North” out of one side of our mouths, then take David Barton’s broad brush stroke position on the time period of 1861-1865 that I point out as fallacy above, out the other side of our mouth, about the “bad evil pro-slavery democrat south”. (as if that is what Lincoln’s war was about)

    Just an observation ;)

    MY view is that had this been 1861, I would have been wearing a Gray uniform defending my state from federal invasion and occupation as most ALL of our great, great or great grandparents/uncles/cousins who were here and of right age did!

    The Yankees NOR the Republican’s in that era (for the most part) would have been our “friends” here in the South.

  7. we certainly do not need any of those Chicago ideas! We have enough from Obama & Al Capone!

  8. How corrupt can you get when a politician flees the Presidents home state? Leaving Illinois because it’s too corrupt. I applaud him for coming to Texas and welcome him as long as he is honest and dont try to inject liberal, socialist communist politics into our government.

  9. We need to remind the Yankees that it gets up to 112 degrees here in the summer. Have him come down here in August and see what it is like to literally melt under the Texas sun. That sun has protected us for centuries from carpet baggers. It’s amazing to me that they make it so bad up North that they would want to come down here and make it “civilized”.

  10. Yes Mr. Keats, remember what got Illinois in the shape they are in. Don’t come here and vote like they do in Illinois for that will eventually do to Texas what has been done there. Look at California and Florida. People moved to those States to avoid Taxes, etc and voted for all the freebies as they did in the States they came from and surprise, surprise–California is gone to the dogs and Florida has had a real wake-up call with the Bush-Gore fiasco. Come here and embrace Texas Independence and Constitutional Values ignored by Liberals for years.

  11. Welcome to Texas.

    Please leave ALL your notions of govenrment behind you. Come here to accept the personal responsibility for yourself that true, genuine freedom requires.

  12. just so he doesn’t use any of those tricks the mafia used in Ill. on the people here. just come and do th right thing-the first time you give in to corruption people will find out-that is your first and last chance here.

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