The race for state rep in our district is the only one in the state that pits two incumbents, Carol Sente and Sid Mathias against one another. They are both good people and it should not have happened. It is however necessary to make a choice, and in the sorry economic state that Illinois is in and with gridlock in Springfield over major issues it is critical to to take this choice seriously.
I have thought long and hard about this decision. To secure reasonable and fair solutions for our state it is important to have good and reasonable people on both sides of the political aisle. Sid Mathias having been engaged in local government before he went to Springfield has a strong grasp on the impact that decisions made in the General Assembly have on all of our lives and how those decisions impact what services we get ranging from our schools to our municipal services and the related impact on our property taxes.
I have been in Springfield on many occasions where I have heard him ask thoughtful and key questions in the hearing rooms, and argue persuasively on the House floor. I know he has fought within his Republican caucus to win over votes for important legislation. Sid is one of those unique and important real voices of reason and moderation on his side of the aisle. He has shown important leadership during our transit crisis as minority spokesman working with Julie Hamos a few years back to fashion key compromises and solutions. His expertise on Transportation issues has been honed over the years and makes him a voice that people listen to and respect on both sides of the aisle. He fought for and passed legislation to cap real estate assessed valuations which are the key and basis for our skyrocketing property taxes. He knows that this is the source of the problem and knew how to deal with it. On pensions he knows and understands and spoken out against shifting the problem to our schools which may only hurt our schools or may severely drive up our real estate taxes unless compensatory support is given to our schools.
Sid's wealth of experience, knowledge and respect can and will make a positive difference. The suggestions in a barrage of campaign literature and ads that Sid has profited or lined his pockets or caused increases in taxes are patently false and a total distortion of what Sid has done in Springfield. Sid has always fought for keeping taxes down and led many a fight to do just that. I know it is politics, but it is wrong and unfair to distort someone's character and record.
Sid is an honest, trustworthy and thoughtful public servant who has fought for us in Springfield each and every day he has been there. Most importantly he is a caring compassionate individual, not an ideologue, and probably carried more Democratic bills from the Senate in the house than any Republican.
I have come to the important conclusion that it would be a major mistake to lose a reasonable, moderate voice respected by Republicans and Democrats alike. We must have such people in both Republican and Democratic caucuses if we hope to ever come up with bipartisan solutions to the major challenges facing our state. The bottom line is we cannot afford to lose Sid and he will get a vote from this independent thinking Democrat, and I urge independents, other Democrats and Republicans to join me.