Local municipal leaders don’t get to hide behind politics or party leadership. We don’t get to paper over unbalanced budgets or show phony revenue to offset overspending. We can’t hide from our constituents down in Springfield and surround ourselves with supportive lobbyists and special interests.
Instead, we have to abide by a more disciplined set of rules. We have to be fully transparent with our finances and in the way we make decisions. We are 100% accountable to the public we serve, and we have to make decisions based on what’s best for our community not what’s best for our political ambitions, party leadership, or special interest allies.
My mission is to instill this local municipal mindset in our state government. This accountability, transparency, and discipline could do Springfield some good!
I am leading by example, using my local municipal experience. I’ve turned down the extravagant pension and health care benefits afforded Illinois legislators. I am refusing to participate in the typical horse-trading and deals that go on behind-the-scenes, and I don’t do favors to accumulate power.
Instead, I’m trying to return us to the honest transaction of government. I am talking with anyone willing to have a discussion about what is best for the people of Illinois. I make decisions based on the merits of the arguments of those on both sides of the issue. I’ve made the best possible decisions for the people I serve in the 27th District, which sometimes required standing up to immense pressure from special interests and even my own party leadership.
One specific example of this is when I was the only Republican to vote for the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, a bill that holds gun dealerships in Illinois to the same standards as many other businesses. Lobbying on this bill was intense, but it was clear that the residents in my district supported this measure because of the levels of violence we’re seeing in Chicago and elsewhere. I stood up to the political pressure and voted for the bill.
We need more leaders in Springfield who follow a local municipal mindset of public service. My hope is that I am able to encourage others to follow my example. With more leaders instead of politicians in Springfield, we might finally be able to see some common sense in Illinois government!