A notable event was held on Friday, March 7 at Lovell's of Lake Forest, featuring Republican candidates for State Representative, Dr. Mark Neerhof and Leslie Munger. Featured guest John Tillman of the Illinois Policy Institute, speaking as a citizen representing his own personal views, endorsed Neerhof and Munger as qualified and urgently needed in Springfield to stand up and plant a flag on principle.
Tillman shot down the idea that Illinois as a blue state will remain a blue state, blaming George Ryan for having destroyed the Republican brand here in Illinois. Some good new for Illinois: 40% of Illinoisans identify themselves as conservative, while 20% admit to being liberal.
Tillman said that most Republicans are afraid to take a stand. They hesitate to say what they believe and why their ideas are the best ways to organize society, despite having the moral authority to do so.
There are two teams of players in politics, Tillman told those in attendance: Public sector unions, private sector unions, non-profits, and the green extremist lobby who use the tax code to extract wealth from others, and on the other hand, the average taxpayer just trying to pursue the American dream. They want to be left alone to pursue their own dreams. They have free enterprise and capitalism on their side.
President Obama believes that our founding principles are flawed, that it's not the object of government to protect our individual liberty, Tillman went on to say. This results in stifling human potential, much like if a crown were pressing down on Springfield holding captive good ideas and policies that could bring jobs and prosperity to Illinois.
"Causes don't start in Washington, D.C. or in Springfield, IL," the group was told. "They start at living room and kitchen tables, one meeting at a time, where a few people willing to stand up and fight can change the course of history."
And despite what is commonly believed, revenue is not down in Illinois. We have record levels of funds coming into the state's coffers, but massive spending. Tillman attributed Illinois' financial mess to high levels of spending due to Medicaid and pensions. And while there are 47 Republicans in the House, very few - perhaps a handful - are willing to plant a flag in the ground and stand on principle, Tillman said.
Dr. Mark Neerhof and Leslie Munger are willing to plant a flag and stand on principle, not only against Democrat Speaker Mike Madigan who rules the House with an iron fist and whose tentacles of power and control are far reaching, but also against the pressure of establishment Republicans who want to keep the status quo in Springfield.
House candidate Mark Neerhof, a physician practicing high-risk obstetrics on Chicago's North Shore for more than 20 years, is unopposed as a Republican candidate in Illinois District 58. He will face incumbent Democrat Scott Drury in the November General Election. Dr. Neerhof described his candidacy as a cause rather than a campaign, one that sets forth limited government, a belief that capitalism and the free market are the surest path to prosperity, and that economic freedom allows individuals to keep as much of their money as possible.
Neerhof feels blessed to have had the opportunity to help so many women and views serving as a state representative an opportunity to assist individuals more broadly across the state of Illinois. Dr. Neerhof vows to fight against interest groups and also for a fair pension system that considers both tax payers and pubic employees.
As a physician Neerhof is an expert on ObamaCare. Cited was a need for Medicaid reform which now consumes 40% of the state budget, and where 60% of those enrolled do not even qualify for the program. Concern was likewise expressed for how Illinois ranks 51 out of 50 (includes Washington, D.C.) in providing care for the disabled.
House candidate Leslie Munger, like Neerhof, expressed her determination to fight against the big union money bags and other special interest groups. Unopposed in the 59th District, Leslie Munger is challenging incumbent Democrat Carol Sente who has been a dependable foot soldier for endorsing the policies of Democratic Speaker Mike Madigan since her election to the House.
Candidate Leslie Munger is a lifelong Illinoisan; a businesswoman with 25 years of business experience at Helene Curtis, Procter & Gamble, and McKinsey & Company where she managed large budgets, cut spending and delivered results; a community leader; and most importantly a mom. It was Munger's role as a mom that prompted her to run for office. One of her sons, having graduated from the U of I with a degree in engineering, was enable to find a job in Illinois. Having found a job 1,200 miles away in Houston,Texas, became the personal wake up call Leslie Munger needed to run for office. Democrat policies are driving businesses out of Illinois and also exporting our children.
Bob Bednar has been added by Thorner as the third principled Republican candidate running for an Illinois House seat from Lake County with 23 years of service to the Republican Party. Although Bob Bednar was not part of the event held at Lovell's, it would be a disservice not to advance his Lake County candidacy along with those of Dr. Mark Neerhof and Leslie Munger.
Unfortunately, candidate Bob Bednar is privy to what is happening at the federal level where House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are basically saying that Tea Party or conservative Republicans need not apply.
In Bednar's case, he is challenging the incumbent Republican representative in District 51, Ed Sullivan, Jr., who has upset many of his constituents by voting for same-sex marriage, supporting a bill to virtually eliminate parental notification of a minor girl's abortion, and failing to hold the line on spending by voting for tax increases.
Representative Sullivan calls the shots in Lake County and can make or break Republican candidates in how he doles out campaign money. Ed Sullivan, trying to save his own skin and to maintain the status quo in Springfield, requested of two well-respected and well-liked Lake County conservative legislators in no uncertain terms (one in the House and the other in the Senate), not only to tell Bednar to drop out of the race, but also not to support Bednar.
What has the status produced in Illinois where Democrats hold a super majority is both the IL House and the Senate?
Recently Moody's Investors Services downgraded Chicago's credit rating one notch to Baa1 with a negative outlook, putting it only three notches above junk-bond states. The downgrade was due to Chicago's huge unfunded pension liabilities.
Ranked by the Mercatus Center, Illinois ranks second from the bottom (New Jersey is last) of state rankings based on long-run solvency scores for Fiscal Year 2012. (Table 7, p. 36) In the same report, Illinois ranks dead last based on ranking of states by Cash Solvency for Fiscal Year 2012. (Table 5, page 34).
It's not only time to sweep house in Springfield, but also to elect candidates who will stand on principle and who will not be intimidated by the powerful on either side of the aisle. Such are the House candidacies of Dr. Mark Neerhof, Leslie Munger, and Bob Bednar.