Five Illinois Senate candidates weigh in on SCOTUS vacancy, Illinois bailout

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(The Center Square) – Five candidates are vying to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate and they have different takes on a possible federal bailout for the state and filling the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin doesn’t want President Donald Trump to pick a nominee for the high court before the election. He said so in a joint statement with other Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“In light of the vacancy created by Justice Ginsburg’s death, we call upon you to state unequivocally and publicly that you will not consider any nominee to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat until after the next President is inaugurated,” the Senators said in the letter to the Republican chairman of the committee, Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina.

Willie Wilson, running for Senate under the Willie Wilson Party, said Republicans should hold off from advancing a nomination like they did with an Obama nominee in 2016.

“The president’s is an office that needs to be consistent with everybody, regardless of what party you happen to be in,” Wilson told WMAY radio.

Green Party Senate candidate David Green agreed what happened four years ago should set the precedent.

There was a Republican controlled Senate in the final two years of Democratic President Barack Obama’s term. This year, Republicans control both the Senate and the White House with President Donald Trump.

Liberarian Senate candidate Danny Malouf said the constitution gives the president and the Senate powers to fill the seat before the election. The politics, he said, is a distraction.

“I’m not going to get into the political circus that we see now,” Malouf said. “The Republican controlled Senate [in 2016 with Obama’s nominee] kind of pushing that off and now playing the exact opposite game where the Democrats are playing the exact opposite game saying ‘you can’t fill this right now,’ we’ve come to realize that Republicans and Democrats have zero principles.”

Republican Senate candidate Mark Curran said if the president submits a name, the Senate should take a vote.

Another issue looming that could get new life after the November election, depending on the outcome, is whether there should be federal tax dollars given to states with poor finances. Illinois is one of those states president Donald Trump said is poorly run and shouldn’t get a bailout.

Illinois lawmakers also passed and the governor enacted a state budget that bases $5 billion of spending from money provided by the federal government. That money has not been approved by congress, and isn’t expected.

Durbin has said Illinois should get assistance.

Smith, who said as the Green Party candidate he’s the more progressive choice from Durbin, agreed Illinois should get aid.

“Money is money, it doesn’t matter. If the state needs the money, it is spent a great amount because of the virus, it’s lost income because of the virus, and I believe that the next package needs to include money for state and local government,” Smith told WMAY. “We have to keep our vital services going.”

Wilson also said Illinois should get the money.

Malouf said Illinois shouldn’t get a bailout, and COVID-19 wasn’t the cause of the recent economic turmoil.

“It’s not COVID and the virus, it’s these government forced shutdowns that caused the problem,” Malouf said. “I don’t believe the federal government is responsible for bailout Illinois. We shouldn’t have rural farmers in Tennessee and Kentucky who pay federal taxes bailing out the estate of Illinois. That’s not how the constitution was destined. That’s now how our federal government was designed.”

Curran, who said he’s a former Democrat turned Republican, said he’d consider federal aid for Illinois.

“Probably, because I’m the Senator from Illinois and I don’t want to see Illinois go under, but by the same token, I don’t see that happening unless there are drastic reforms for Illinois in terms of spending,” Curran said.

Early voting begins Sept. 24. That’s also when local elections authorities will begin sending out mail in ballots to voters who have requested them.

Politics

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September 22, 2020 at 03:27PM

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