Oct 25, 2018 at 8:00 PM
Voters in the 48th Senate District have a clear choice on Nov. 6. They’re already represented by Sen. Andy Manar, a legislator who doesn’t shy from tackling some of the state’s most intransigent issues. Even more important, he’s gotten results.
Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill, is most associated with school funding reform, the historic effort to put schools in poorer areas on a fairer footing with affluent districts. It was a multi-year, monumental task, and in the course of leading the fight, Manar had to assemble geographic coalitions and work on a bipartisan basis. No doubt tweaks will be needed as the formula plays out, but this measure is likely to benefit thousands of kids for many years to come.
Yet Manar is not a one-issue legislator. He easily discusses a multitude of other issues, such as the teacher shortage, the state’s unpaid pension liabilities, and the need to find ways to offer property tax relief, an issue he said his own party must embrace in a meaningful way. He recognizes the complexities of such issues and is able to articulate why he’s taken his positions.
His opponent, Republican Seth McMillan, a landscape design company owner from Taylorville, displays a weaker grasp of issues, at times getting assistance from a campaign staffer in responding to questions during his endorsement interview. McMillan also has gone with partisan jabs over facts; for instance, he repeatedly asserted the political trope that Chicago takes an unfair share of state resources. When asked, he said he was not familiar with a recent Paul Simon Public Policy Institute report that concluded that was untrue. Given that he has continued to go with that rhetoric, we’ll have to conclude he chose not to familiarize himself with the report.
McMillan has taken a disappointing tone in his rhetoric, such as in an ad comparing “career politicians” to cockroaches. You can favor term limits, as McMillan does, without resorting to nastiness. It’s hard to envision him collaborating or working across the aisle.
Manar has proven results and leadership. He’s gotten things done — efforts that weren’t easy to do. He is endorsed for re-election.
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October 25, 2018 at 08:13PM