Republicans seem determined to turn our country into an oligarchy, controlled by the 1 percent. Smaller government, fewer regulations, anti-labor laws and low education funding make up their agenda, and voter suppression of those likely to vote Democratic may help them get elected.
In November we need to rein in President Trump’s narcissistic and dangerous impulses by stripping Republicans of their control of the House and Senate and sending them a message that we will not be cowed by their bullying tactics.
Statewide we need to do the same. Republicans running for office in our area are supporting policies that will not help Illinois citizens.
The race between Gov. Bruce Rauner and J.B. Pritzker seems to be turning into a contest of “Who is worse?”
Do we condone the fact that Pritzker removed toilets from his mansion to get a tax break? Of course not.
But consider Rauner: In 2015 there was a fatal Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy. According to WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times (April 4, 2018), state officials waited six days before informing the public, a delay a disease expert called “mind-boggling.”
Several residents fell ill during the six-day period, and eventually 14 people died. Rauner’s administration has redacted documents to make them practically unreadable and tried to hide related emails. Eleven families are suing the state.
Faced with a choice between someone tearing out toilets to get a tax break and someone allowing 14 people to die, we know whom we would pick.
An Oct. 10 article in the Chicago Tribune reports that neither candidate has released complete information about his wealth or his entire tax records. Both have offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands. But an editorial in the Sun-Times points to Rauner’s remark to a questioner who said four Illinois governors have gone to prison: “You have number five right here.” The editorial calls this a low point that was “beneath Rauner.”
Later he said J.B. stood for “jail bird.” Honestly, is Rauner a bona fide adult?
When James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one and injuring 19, Rauner initially refused to call it terrorism or the perpetrator a white supremacist. After much criticism, he finally labeled it “domestic terrorism.”
Rauner was behind a decision blocking unions from charging “fair share” fees, yet has the nerve to say immigration is hurting union workers. In 2015 he proposed cutting higher education, Medicaid, state employee pensions, public transit and local government support. He suspended funding for programs addressing domestic violence, homeless youth, autism and immigrant integration.
Rauner’s tactic is to cut necessary services, and when people suffer without them, to blame it all on Madigan.
J.B. Pritzker has a better vision for Illinois. He will fight for women’s rights; he has invested in women-owned businesses and will support legislation to guarantee equal pay for women. He will restore funding for health care for low-income women and increase access to the Child Care Assistance Program so that working parents can keep their jobs.
Pritzker will work to raise the minimum wage and has a real plan to achieve economic growth. He will resist Trump’s anti-immigrant programs and fight to protect the “Dreamers.” He wants to reduce mass incarceration, especially for minor drug offenses.
Pritzker vows to put Illinois on a path of clean, renewable energy. He will invest in infrastructure and expand energy-efficiency efforts. He plans to join the U.S. Climate Alliance to uphold the provisions of the Paris agreement.
He has our vote.
Chuck and Pat Wemstrom live in rural Mount Carroll. Reach them at email@example.com.
Region: Northern,Feeds,City: Freeport,Region: Rockford,Opinion
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October 18, 2018 at 05:51PM