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"gabriel neely" Discussed on Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network
"Gas tax increase will cause many of us to drive less. Even if we haven't changed our habits yet eric stock reports the long-term sensitivity is much greater and and we cut back a lot more in the long run than in the short run Mike Seaborg economics professor at Illinois Wesleyan University says once motorist feel the effects of paying more at the pump that likely start to make changes to reduce their need for fuel people ah who are deliberating on whether to keep that second car or facing the different additional expenses they get rid of the second car or maybe shorten your trips a little bit to save on expenses. The gas tax hike was a key component. Tired of Illinois it's forty five billion dollar. Capital Plan Seaborg says many companies that have to budget for higher transportation costs will pass that cost onto their customers. I'm Eric Stock The AUCOIN State Fair Mr over a month away but people are talking about in that conversation centers around a band that was booked to play the grandstand but now won't be appearing the group confederate railroad was signed to perform then the pritzker administration pull the plug on that show Gabriel neely straight as a reporter with the Southern Illinois newspaper newspaper and he's been reporting on the decision and the fallout and he joins us now Gabriel. What was the reasoning that was given behind the administration's move to call off this show well for a long time? There wasn't much of a reason given a one line fine. <hes> statement basically said that the state fell up that cancelling the show would be in the best interest of you know representing all citizens of the state. It wasn't until you know this kind of thing is blown up that we got a more detailed detailed explanation of who cancelled the show and why the state believes that it's not appropriate to have a band called confederate railroad and that uses symbols like the confederate flag on t shirts and merchandise not appropriate to have a band like that at a state venue and that decision is certainly left up to the fair or the administration to decide but what was interesting I think about this was that the band was already signed to play even announced to the public and then the change took place. Oh very public reversal here that's happened but by the PRITZKER administration apparently someone higher up weighing in on that decision right well you know it was originally done very quietly. You know we noticed that the band had been removed from the lineup and I think the first people to ask doc the administration about it and even prompt that <hes> initial brief explanation was the do coin weekly newspaper so it is also kind of a nice indication of the way that the important still of of very hyper small town you know news in creating a larger statewide conversation. This is a band that has been around for a while. It didn't just come on the scene a couple of years ago. They've been playing for many years. I believe they may have played the fair before yeah you know they they do a whole circuit of fares you know <hes> and that's I mean that's a lot of their summertime concerts <hes> and you know I. I don't think they're the first band to play. I mean other other folks who are playing currently or have played have reached reached out expressing their support for the band. The band itself is <hes> made some comments <hes> about you know to them the name representing their southern heritage and <hes> rebelliousness <hes> so yeah they don't appear to be directly directly advocating for any kind of <hes> like like slavery or any other sort of of the dark legacy of the civil war and and the way we associate what we associate with the word confederate you can look at it from a administration viewpoint of feeling as though this is something not appropriate they feel to be displayed at the fair. It'll be promoted by the fair at the other end of that spectrum. You have people who are saying now. Wait a minute. <hes> this is a freedom of speech issue or you know some type type of censorship. That's taking place bright. There's I mean there's a couple. I think issues going on here. One one issue is freedom of speech and the other issue is just representation. You know I think people in Southern Illinois <hes> some are frustrated with the idea that folks in Springfield or Chicago might decide what kind of entertainment they get to enjoy and their feeling is like well. It's obvious a lot of people in southern Illinois wanted to go see confederate railroad and <hes> it's not really affair that in this case we learned later basically a few senior officials from the PRITZKER administration. <hes> were responsible for the cancellation. You know people feel that it's not really fair but then like you said also there's this larger debate going on about about <hes> freedom of expression whether whether there's something materially different about you know the confederate flag being represented on a state fairground versus an artist Snoop Dogg the rapper whose going to perform at the Springfield state fair and who has you know lyrics that some people might find offensive that include you know <hes> denigrating women and you know talking about glorifying violence including against police officers <hes> there's a lot of people down here who feel that you know that's just as objectionable actionable as the confederate flags and a local state representative from your area has has raised that scene point representative Terry Bryant's of Republican as she met with the administration. What did she say took place I? I don't think she got what she wanted out the meeting you know her goal was to <hes> get them to reinstate confederate railroad and <hes> the folks she met with told her that's not happening. She felt like <hes> she tried to show them why she believes that Snoop Dogg and confederate railroad or essentially intially equivalent <hes> in terms of how objectionable they are and then <hes> the those those the pritzker administration expressed its own view which is that you know the the confederate flag is a very powerful symbol <hes> and then it continues to be used <hes> in you know by white supremacists and that it you know it it's just not it's not something that people might feel safe or comfortable around and it's never going to be appropriate. Terry's position is that you should either you know cancel both shows which would then of course have a larger first amendment implication of wall. Should we cancel every show where artists says something that people might find objectionable <hes> or you should cancel neither one her overall stance she thinks is that you know both should be allowed to play. She said I would never fly confederate flag and I consider it to be a symbol of slavery but I would not stop my neighbor from flying a flag in front of their house if they so chose well this might have gone as you mentioned. <hes> somewhat unnoticed certainly local media might have picked up on what I think seems to have gotten more. People's attention has been an effort. That's underway to try to at least call for a boycott of the new coin State Fair. <hes> believe there's a facebook page for that that seems to be gaining some some momentum minimum. How serious does that seem to be? It's growing really fast. The facebook page was created on July fourth <hes> six days later. It's got over four thousand members <hes> part part of that I mean and and I spoke with the the guy who started the facebook. Page was a local guy and he he said he he has no way of knowing really how many of those people are local people and there is a question about that given the fact that the story has been picked up pretty <hes> heavily we buy like national conservative outlets so like <hes> Fox News commentators like toddstarnes and Glenn Beck headed on his please TV network. It's possible that people are piling into this facebook group from outside the region but you know I've spent a good amount of time on it. <hes> for my reporting and I think that there are a lot of people in it and a lot of people who are pretty interested in trying to make their opinion felt in Springfield through a boycott. The interesting thing is that there's a lot of different opinions about the way the most effective way to boycott the fair and also the potential danger of doing that given that the fares lost attendance year-over-year recently and is widely regarded down here to be in pretty dire financial straits. I mean to the point that people worry it might disappear someday which would be unfortunate because it's a pretty big economic driver for <hes> a small town in a region that need just before. I let you go the the night that confederate railroad was supposed to play the fair. Is there still a concert. That's it's going to be taking the stage that evening. Yeah <hes> to other country bands will still play that night at the grandstand and <hes> confederate railroad <hes> just announced <hes> that it will be performing <hes> a makeup show about a week later September kimber fifth at a motorcycle dealership down here in southern Illinois so it'll be interesting to see how well attended that is and how many people decide to boycott the state fair this year the do Coin State Fair runs August twenty third through September the second Labour Day eh thanks to Gabriel neely straight. He's reporter with the Southern Illinois newspaper for joining us here on statewide. Thanks Gabriel thank you after we spoke with Gabriel. Governor Pritzker made some comments to reporters about the decision. We're talking about a.