The state's oldest, conservative Republican organization announced its initial list of 2012 endorsements for the Illinois General Assembly today. The United Republican Fund (URF) based its selection on several criteria, including candidates' response to a questionnaire from a coalition of conservative groups, as well as incumbent ratings on the URF Legislative Scorecards.
Dennis LaComb, Executive Director of the URF, said both measures were important. "The questionnaire provides Illinois voters a complete picture of where the candidates' stand on critical issues facing our state," noted LaComb. "Any candidate unwilling to be honest and transparent about the issues is simply not qualified to serve the people of this great state."
As to the use of voting records for incumbent candidates, LaComb said "Those who have been given the public trust must be held to a higher standard. Where the questionnaire reveals a candidate's position on the issues, their voting record exposes the courage of those convictions."
A primary issue for the URF this year was whether a candidate would accept campaign support from public-sector unions. "Given the fact that Illinois' fiscal crisis will force every legislator to vote on the size and cost of government, it is important to know which government groups will be able to exert influence on each elected official," said LaComb.
The URF congratulated the endorsed candidates for the respect they've shown the voters, and encouraged them to continue to exhibit leadership.
Going forward, the URF will be recommending these endorsed candidates to their members and fellow conservatives throughout the state. They'll also be working to drive money and volunteers to each campaign, and to generate excitement and recognition for each candidate.
The URF's endorsed candidates are:
Illinois State Senate
- John Bambenek (52nd Dist) (questionnaire)
- Barbara Bellar (18th Dist) (questionnaire)
- Don Castella (30th Dist) (questionnaire)
- Sen. Dan Duffy (26th Dist) (questionnaire)
- Peter Hurtado (42nd Dist) (questionnaire)
- Sandy Johnson (43rd Dist) (questionnaire)
- Karen McConnaughay (33rd Dist) (questionnaire)
- Jim Oberweis (25th Dist) (questionnaire)
- Jim O'Donnell (28th Dist) (questionnaire)
- Garrett Peck (49th Dist) (questionnaire)
Illinois House of Representatives
United Republican Fund
The United Republican Fund (URF) occupies a unique place in Illinois political history. Founded in 1934 as the Citizens Finance Committee, the URF [as it was renamed in 1956] was established by Illinois business and civic leaders who felt it essential to have a committee of volunteer citizens who would raise and distribute Party funds fairly, efficiently, and ethically.
As Illinois’ oldest, independent, Republican organization, the URF has spearheaded numerous GOP programs and activities since its inception seven decades ago. Today the URF remains a professionally managed, board-driven, corporation that pools and invests resources in conservative Republican candidates, organizations.
The mission of the URF is to advance conservative principles, policies and people by equipping and electing to office men and women who endorse and promote the Republican values of individual freedom and responsibility, limited and ethical government, the rule of law and free markets.
URF LIFT Principles
- LIMITED GOVERNMENT: Government should be fiscally responsible. Waste, fraud and duplication must be eliminated. Public debt should be avoided, and government budgets should fit within existing revenues. Spending reductions, not tax increases, are the solutions to revenue shortfalls.
Taxation should be restricted to minimal levels, and the burden of taxation should be spread as equally as possible among all citizens. Taxation should never be employed for the purposes of redistributing wealth or restricting productivity, economic growth, or savings.
Government policy should encourage self-sufficiency and promote the work ethic. Public funds should not be used to support persons who are capable, albeit unwilling, to provide for themselves; and should strive to elevate the dignity of the individual, strengthen families, and encourage self-sufficiency.
- INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY: Laws restrict the free exercise of liberty. Consequently, no law should be passed unless there is a compelling reason to do so. The proponents of any law should have the burden of proof that passage is necessary.
The rights of a citizen include those guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. They also include those God-given rights, not specified in any written document, which exist in a nation where the individual is more important than the state. Conversely, these rights do not negate the responsibility of the individual and their obligation to conduct themselves as a responsible and productive member of society.
Government's primary task is the maintenance of law and order to ensure that individual rights are protected. Accordingly, our system of justice must afford citizens equality before the law, access to representation, and a level playing field to ensure the imperatives of justice can be met.
- FREE ENTERPRISE: Free markets allow individuals and groups to form relationships and exercise self-government. The state should only intervene to establish minimum standards and encourage competition. When the government does regulate, it should use the least burdensome method possible.
Individuals have the right to choose in a free market system, and are vested with the responsibility to inform themselves. While government should actively enforce fraud statutes, it should not attempt to protect the public from poor choices by eliminating those possibilities from the market.
Private property is the cornerstone of a free nation. Therefore, communal or community needs should override private property rights only in the most compelling circumstances. And in those instances, property owners should be justly compensated.
- TRADITIONAL VALUES: Representative democracy cannot survive by inertia alone. It must be led by ethical people who share the values necessary for such government to thrive.
Therefore, traditional American values must be preserved and impressed upon each generation. Duty, honor, country, hard work, and integrity are just some of these values.
The family is the foundation of society, and the state should encourage its formation and interfere in its function as little as possible. Family inter-dependency is essential for long-term national stability. Hence marriage is intended to be a permanent relationship between one man and one woman, as the basis for strong families.Human life is sacred and inviolable from conception to natural death. Protection for the unborn and elderly, and compassion for the sick and infirm, are essential elements of all healthy societies.