Friday, December 24, 2010

Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson casts historic vote to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson voted to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on December 15th, 2010.  Halvorson represents the Illinois 11th Congressional District.

You can read the bill here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Illinois 43rd State Senate Election Results: AJ Wilhelmi defeats Cedra Crenshaw 37,876 to 24,276

Incumbent Democratic State Senator AJ Wilhelmi defeated Republican challenger Cedra Crenshaw 37,876 to 24,276.

Here is a map from the Will County Clerk which shows which precincts went for each candidate.  Blue of course represents precincts that went for Wilhelmi and red represents precincts that went for Crenshaw:
 The Will County Clerk's office also has a page where you can see how many people voted for each candidate by precinct.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Get Will County Election Results!

Polls have closed in Illinois and I'm sure everyone is anxious to find out the results of the election.

Want the latest election results in local races such as
Cedra Crenshaw v. AJ Wilhelmi
Ryan Eggert v. Jack McGuire
Debbie Halvorson v. Adam Kinzinger

Go to the Will County Clerk's Election Result Page!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson in Chicago today as Former President Bill Clinton urged voters to turn out in force

Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson was in Chicago today as Former President Bill Clinton rallied voters.

Check out the full story--including a quote from Halvorson--at:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Nick Been and Adam Baumgartner hold Town Hall Meeting in Bradley, Illinois

Adam Baumgartner--Republican candidate for the Illinois 40th State Senate seat--and Nick Been--Republican candidate for the Illinois 79th State Representative seat--held a Tax Town Hall today in Bradley, Illinois.

Nick Been, with microphone, and Adam Baumgartner address the crowd at their Town Hall meeting

The event featured speakers from the Illinois Policy Institute For the Good of Illinois.

Videos of Adam Baumgartner--

Video of Nick Been--

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halvorson launches two new websites advocating "Made in the USA"

Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson has launched two new websites aimed at advocating for increased manufacturing in her district. allows people to upload pictures of products they have purchased which are Made in the USA.  The site features a welcome message from Halvorson which states: 
"It's time that our country stopped shipping jobs overseas, and started shipping goods instead. 
I've made it my mission to shop for goods Made In America.
Submit your photos of things you bought that were Made In The USA, and let's start making the conscience decision to support American made.

- Debbie Halvorson"

Halvorson has also launched the site which highlights her efforts to produce more goods Made in the USA.

Halvorson has also discussed US Manufacturing in relation to the Joliet and Elwood Intermodal Facilities.  The two intermodals make Will County home to the largest inland port in North America.

  At the July 30, 2010 opening of the Joliet Intermodal:
"Halvorson also said she is pushing for manufacturing incentives so that the freight trains leaving the area would carry more American products. The intermodal parks serve as distribution centers, but the bulk of the freight coming through is shipped from the Pacific Coast after having been imported from Asia. "We need to insist (train cargo cars) are shipped back full of items made in America," Halvorson said."


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Will County Politics interviews Green Party candidate for Governor Rich Whitney

Will County Politics interviewed Green Party candidate for Governor Rich Whitney at the Will County Fair.  Check it out!:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Senator Dick Durbin to join Toi Hutchinson at Early Vote Rally

US Senator Dick Durbin is holding a rally for State Senator Toi Hutchinson Monday, October 18th at 6 pm in Bradley, Illinois.

For more information on the Early Vote Rally, visit Senator Hutchinson's website.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Debbie Halvorson believes no family farm or small business should ever be lost due to estate tax

Responding to a recent willcountynewsviewpoints post, Greg Bales--New Media Director for Debbie Halvorson for Congress--provided Congresswoman Halvorson's position on the estate tax--

"Congresswoman Halvorson believes that no family farm or small business should ever be lost because of the estate tax. That is why she is proud to co-sponsor H.R. 3905 the Estate Tax Relief Act.  

This bipartisan bill raises the estate tax exemption level from $3.5 million to $5 million and indexes the exemption level to inflation, which would prevent the estate tax from hitting small businesses and family farms. 

The legislation also reduces the top estate tax rate from 45% to 35%. These changes are phased in over 10 years to minimize the impact on the deficit. 

Congresswoman Halvorson believes that Congress should act on this legislation immediately in order to prevent the estate tax rate from rising back to 55% in 2011. "

With an exemption of 5 million and a hypothetical family farm of 300 acres which is valued at 10,000 an acre, that farm could be passed down without any inheritance tax because the 300 X 10,000 is 3,000,000, which is obviously under the proposed 5 million exemption.  

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Adam Kinzinger and Debbie Halvorson to debate tomorrow at Illinois State University

Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson and Republican challenger Adam Kinzinger will participate in a debate tomorrow, October 12, 2010, at Illinois State University.

The debate will take place from 6-8 pm at the Bone Student Center-Brown Ballroom.

The race between the two for the Illinois 11th Congressional seat has been heated.

If you want to listen to the debate, it will be streamed live by Bloomington radio station WJBC at

Map of the 11th Congressional District of Illinois
Illinois 11th Congressional District map, from

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson announces "Export Goods, Not Jobs" Initiative

Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson has announced a new initiative on her website:

"Fighting to continue the work of putting our economy on the road to recovery and putting Illinois families back to work, Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson (D-IL) announced her ‘Export Goods, Not Jobs’ initiative today, presenting a series of plans to bring jobs back to Illinois while fighting against new unfair trade deals that have proven to ship jobs overseas.

“As I have traveled our district talking to voters, I hear every day that we need to export goods, not jobs from Illinois, and work to bring jobs back for Illinois families,” said Debbie Halvorson. “We have seen what Adam Kinzinger wants to do, and it’s pass more unfair trade deals that have already shipped thousands of jobs overseas. I’m focused on helping working class families find good-paying jobs that provide the peace of mind they deserve, and that’s exactly what my ‘Export  Goods, Not Jobs’ initiative aims to do.”

Halvorson's 'Export Goods, Not Jobs' Agenda features a series of plans that pledge to end unfair trade practices, establish a national manufacturing strategy, modernize workforce investment programs, and provide new tax incentives and lines of capital for manufacturers to grow and create jobs.

Discussing this new initiative and how we can continue to focus on creating jobs in Illinois, Halvorson will launch a tour throughout her district, talking with constituents about the costs of Kinzinger’s trade policies and the details of her plan. Further information on the ‘Export Goods, Not Jobs’ tour will be released closer to the tour dates.

Details of the 'Export Goods, Not Jobs' agenda can be found below or by clicking here.

‘Export Goods, Not Jobs’ Initiative

America’s economic prosperity depends on the success of our manufacturing sector and over the last few decades millions of American manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas because of unfair trade agreements and tax loopholes.  Now is the time to act to jumpstart our nation’s manufacturing sector with policies that will create new, good-paying manufacturing jobs right here in America.  Although we are moving in the right direction, we can not afford to wait to pass a comprehensive manufacturing job creation bill that will include the following:

End Unfair Trade Practices

    * For years China has undervalued its currency, which allows Chinese producers to sell its goods in the U.S. market at artificially low prices, undercutting American manufactures.  Halvorson is a co-sponsor of legislation to keep countries like China from harming U.S. manufacturers by putting them at a competitive disadvantage with these abusive practices.  The House has already passed this legislation and the Senate must act now to send it to the President.
    * Halvorson is also calling on Congress to address the issue of the U.S. government losing $84 million annually and thousands of American jobs due to foreign governments unfairly dumping or subsidizing products and then using evasive trade practices to avoid U.S. imposed duties.  Halvorson proposes legislation to hold these foreign governments accountable by allowing the Department of Commerce to investigate evasion of trade remedy laws, establish a rapid-response plan to allow the U.S. to respond to allegations of evasion, and improve the safety of imports.
    * Halvorson is also fighting to limit U.S. government purchasing of goods made in China until the Chinese government allows procurement of goods made in the United States by supporting legislation to end this practice.
    * Standing up to Democratic leaders to oppose the Korea Free Trade Agreement as currently negotiated and calling on Congress to work together to ensure that the Korea Free Trade Agreement is renegotiated to include language that protects Illinois manufacturers from unfair trade practices.

Implement a National Strategy for Manufacturing

    * In order to compete in a global economy, we must have a strategy to create manufacturing jobs right here in America, including proposals to boost productivity and incentivize growth.  Halvorson cosponsored and voted in favor of requiring the President to submit a National Manufacturing Strategy every four years to Congress that includes comprehensive manufacturing proposals to save and create manufacturing jobs in the U.S.  Now the Senate must act so that hard-working middle-income Americans are not left behind as we create the next generation of jobs.

Modernize Workforce Investment Programs

    * American workers can outperform anyone in the world, if given the opportunity.   Unfortunately, too many of our workers are not trained in the skills needed to compete in a rapidly changing global economy. Halvorson worked with the National Association of Manufacturers to introduce and pass the AMERICA Works Act, and now calls on the Senate to pass this bill which will modernize workforce training programs to better prepare participants for high-tech jobs in the manufacturing sector.

Tax Incentives for American Manufacturing and Clean Energy

As a small business owner with her husband, Congresswoman Halvorson understands what small businesses need to invest—the certainty that comes from incentives to invest right here in America:

    * Tax Relief for Manufacturers:  Halvorson fought to provide incentives for manufacturers to make capital investments.  Currently, because of legislation introduced by Halvorson, manufacturers can deduct immediately up to $250,000 spent on new equipment and machinery until the end of 2010.   Halvorson also sponsored a related recently enacted provision that allows companies to immediately deduct up to 50% of the cost of new equipment and machinery. However, we must not let something that helps so many manufacturers grow and expand.  Halvorson calls on Congressional leadership to extend both of these provisions  through 2012 to give manufacturers the certainty they need to continue to invest in new equipment and machinery.
    * Tax Incentives for U.S. Expansion:  Halvorson is also proposing new federal tax incentives through the Economic Development Agency for manufacturers that choose to expand a current facility or open a new facility in the United States instead of overseas.
    * Clean Energy Tax Credits:  The next generation of manufacturing is going to focus on clean energy manufacturing.  Halvorson supports legislation to extend tax credits for investments in clean energy manufacturing and mechanical insulation, which promises to create tens of thousands of jobs across the country and in the 11th District home to several clean energy and mechanical insulation manufacturers.

Increase Access to Capital for Manufacturers through Loan Guarantees

    * Small and medium sized manufacturers should have the resources they need to grow and hire new workers.  With credit markets still very tight, many manufacturers are having difficulty accessing the capital they need to expand, even manufacturers with strong credit histories.  Halvorson calls for the creation of a new loan guarantee program under the Department of Commerce that will guarantee private loans made to small and medium sized manufacturers who implement job creating expansion plans.

Increase Opportunities for Exporting Local Products
    * Local manufacturers must have access to the raw materials to produce their goods as well as the customers across the country and across the world in order to compete globally.  Halvorson has worked with local and state officials, community leaders, and other stakeholders to ensure the development of one of the largest intermodal facilities in the country right here in Will County which will provide local manufacturers the ability to produce their goods and export to foreign markets.  Halvorson calls on the leaders of both parties to work together to pass the highway authorization bill and invest in our transportation infrastructure so that local manufacturers are able to transport their good made in America to consumers across the country and the globe.  
   * Halvorson is also a strong advocate for modernization and repair of our nation's waterway system. Every year more than $16 billion worth of goods transit on the Illinois Waterway, but much of the waterway system is aging and badly in need of upgrade. Our nation's waterway infrastructure is essential to the export of American manufacturing goods and agricultural products."

Southtown Star endorses Adam Kinzinger in the Illinois 11th Congressional District

The Southtown Star has endorsed Adam Kinzinger for the Illinois 11th Congressional District.

Kinzinger is the Republican challenger to incumbent Democrat Debbie Halvorson.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cedra Crenshaw and AJ Wilhelmi debate on WJOL

Democratic State Senator AJ Wilhelmi and his Republican challenger Cedra Crenshaw went head to head on WJOL.  The debate got heated as Crenshaw accused Wilhelmi of "pay to play" politics while Wilhelmi questioned how Crenshaw planned to cut state programs when 90% of state spending goes to health, education, and social service programs that depend on state money to serve children and families.

Wilhelmi and Crenshaw are battling it out for the 43rd State Senate Seat.  The 43rd District includes many Will County Townships, such as: Manhattan Township, Jackson Township, Joliet Township, Troy Township, and DuPage Township.

Map of the 43rd Illinois State Senate District, from

Listen to the entire conversation at WJOL.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Breaking News: Silver Cross to be used for Veterans, Halvorson announces

Local American Legion Commander reports he was called by Congresswoman Halvorson with the good news that the Silver Cross Building would be used for local vets:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tea Party Event in Joliet tomorrow

The Will County Tea Party Alliance, Illinois Tax Day Tea Party, and the group Americans for Prosperity-Illinois are hosting "Battle Plan 2010: November is Coming" tomorrow, September 15, 2010 at 7 pm in downtown Joliet.

The event will take place at the Renaissance Center, 214 N. Ottawa St., Joliet Illinois, 60432 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

This event is part of the larger "November is Coming", a project of Americans for Prosperity.  According to the Americans for Prosperity November is Coming Website:
"After a year of political wrangling, citizen outrage and backroom deals, the government’s takeover of our health care system has passed. Speaker Pelosi strong-armed the votes to pass the monstrosity that emerged from the Christmas Eve Senate vote. Over 360,000 citizens signed the November is Coming petition to proclaim their opposition to the government mandates, special deals, and higher taxes; but 219 House Democrats and all 59 Senate Democrats in Washington didn’t listen. Pelosi, Reid and Obama think they know what’s right for the country.
But they won’t be able to ignore their constituents in November. You can send a clear message to our elected officials by signing the November is Coming petition. You can tell them that if they support big government programs or other freedom-killing policies, you will remember in November. Please sign the petition and send a message to our elected officials, and tell your friends and family to sign the petition too!
November is Coming is a project of Americans for Prosperity. Americans for Prosperity does not support or oppose candidates for public office.
Contact Us:
2111 Wilson Blvd | Suite 350 | Arlington, VA 22201
Email: | Phone: 703-224-3200

There are several active Tea Party Groups in Will County, such as:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kinzinger releases "Pathway to Prosperity"

Adam Kinzinger, Republican candidate for the 11th Congressional District, has released a "Pathway of Prosperity" document on his website.  According to Kinzinger's website, the document "is designed as a contract to provide a clear understanding of Kinzinger's priorities when he becomes the Representative for 11th District residents in January, 2011."

Read the entire text of Kinzinger's Pathway to Prosperity.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Politicians out at the Manhattan Illinois Fun Days Parade

Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson's entry in the Manhattan Illinois Labor Day Parade

Will County Treasurer Pat McGuire's entry in the Manhattan, Illinois Fun Days Parade

State Senator AJ Wilhelmi's entry in the Manhattan, Illinois Labor Day Parade

Debbie Halvorson for Congress sign at the Manhattan Fun Days Parade

Ray Nash for Judge entry at the Manhattan, Illinois Fun Days Parade

Adam Kinzinger--Republican candidate for the 11th Congressional District--at the Manhattan, Illinois Fun Days Parade

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cedra Crenshaw at the Manhattan Labor Day Parade in Manhattan, Illinois

Cedra Crenshaw--Republican candidate for the Illinois 43rd State Senate District-- discusses the business climate in Illinois:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Independent Voters of Illinois endorse Green Party Candidate for IL 79th Representative District George Ochsenfeld

MONEE, Ill. -- On September 1, 2010, the Independent Voters of Illinois (IVI-IPO) endorsed George Ochsenfeld, Green Party candidate for state representative for the 79th district.

-IPO is a multi-partisan, not-for-profit, independent political organization that works to ensure fair, clean government across the state.

"I'm pleased and honored by the endorsement," said Ochsenfeld."In my travels throughout the district, I am getting support from Democrats, Republicans, and especially from independents. People are angry and disgusted with the Illinois political establishment. They want new voices, new public policies, and candidates that are not owned by special interests."

Ochsenfeld is running against incumbent Democrat Lisa Dugan and Republican candidate Nick Been.

The 79th Illinois State Representative District covers parts of Will, Kankakee, and Iroquois County.

Map of the 79th District from

If you are a candidate who has received an endorsement, please let us know at  Thanks.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Republican Candidate for the Illinois 11th Congressional Seat Adam Kinzinger to participate in Manhattan's Fun Days Parade

According to Adam Kinzinger's website, the Republican running against incumbent Debbie Halvorson will be at Manhattan IL's annual Fun Day Parade on Saturday, September 4th, 2010.

The Illinois 11th Congressional District:

Map of the 11th Congressional District of Illinois
Map of the Illinois 11th Congressional District from Congresswoman Halvorson's website.

The Manhattan Fun Days Parade will begin at noon, with line-up for parade participants starting at 11:30 am.

Willcountynewspolitics will try to ask Captain Kinzinger a few questions regarding his plans to improve the economy if elected to the Congress, and also questions on other issues as well.

What questions do you want to ask Captain Kinzinger?  If you have any questions you would like willcountynewspolitics to try to ask, post them in the comments section.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at Will County Fair

The non-profit, non-partisan group Illinois is Broke staffed a booth at the Will County Fair. at the Will County Fair

According to their pamphlet, is "made up of concerned organizations and citizens from across the state--including business executives, civic organizations and social service agencies, small business owners and employees, parents and students.  This effort was initiated by the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago.  We are unified by a common concern for the future of Illinois-its economy, the public services it provides, its business climate and its quality of life.  The state is on the brink of insolvency--the consequences of which would impact every person in Illinois.  We have joined together to say: Enough is enough! The State's budget must be reformed-key programs must be restructured and we must live within our means.  The largest problem is an obsolete and costly retirement system for public employees.  The Illinois Legislature recently enacted needed reforms for future employee--those not yet hired--but it did not go far enough.  We must implement reforms to restore Illinois to stability."

According to the interns at the Illinois Is Broke table, the group is concerned that Illinois now has a worse credit rating than California.  The group is also concerned that new businesses will not want to locate in Illinois--and thus create new jobs--because of the budget situation.

Illinois Is Broke intern Molly Miller of Wilmette, Illinois said the group has reached out to citizens at events throughout the state, such as fairs and festivals in Kankakee County, Kane County, Naperville, and Lake County.  According to Miller, at the Lake County Fair, business owners talked about locating their business in Wisconsin instead of Illinois. 

According to Miller, Illinois Is Broke has attended Chamber of Commerce meetings and done interviews with radio stations in order to make sure Illinois elected officials and candidates know the budget is a major concern for the people of Illinois.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Political Groups, Elected Officials and Governmental Agencies at the Will County Fair

With the upcoming November elections, politicians and groups interested in government are reaching out to fair goers at the 107th Will County Fair in Peotone this weekend.  Friday is Green Party Day, Saturday is Democrat Day, and Sunday is Republican Day.  Many elected officials and candidates will be at the Fair in order to campaign and reach out to voters.

Here are some photos of displays in the Will County Fair Commercial Building:

Will County Democrats Booth at the Will County Fair

Will County Democrats Booth at the Will County Fair

Green Party Booth and Green Party 79th State House Candidate George Ochsenfeld at the Will County Fair

The non-partisan group Illinois is Broke at the Will County Fair

James W. Glasgow booth at the Will County Fair

Will County Recorder of Deeds Booth at the Will County Fair.  The booth's projection screen highlights the Will County Recorder's online document search page, where you can search property transactions in Will County.

Fair Tax Nation reaches out to citizens at the 107th Will County Fair in Peotone, Illinois.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nick Been--Republican Nominee for the Illinois 79th Representative District--

Nick Been responds to the question: Why are you running for the Illinois State House of Representatives:

Women for Toi Hutchinson Go Door-to-Door, hold Fundraiser for State Senator Toi Hutchinson's Election Campaign

State Senator Toi Hutchinson represents the 40th State Senate District of Illinois:

Illinois State 40th District

Hutchinson was appointed to the State Senate to fill out the term of Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson. Hutchinson was previously Halvorson's Chief of Staff.

Women for Toi Hutchinson meet before heading door-to-door 

Women for Toi Hutchinson are holding a "Jazzin with Toi" fundraising event in order to support Hutchinson's election campaign on August 26th at the Lincolnshire Country Club in Crete, Illinois.

willcountynewspolitics also sat down and spoke with Phyllis Hayes, Chairperson of Women for Toi Hutchinson.  Hayes answered questions regarding why she supports Toi Hutchinson, and why she thinks Toi Hutchinson is the best person for the job of representing the citizens of the 40th District in Springfield.

Hayes also answered the question: "What makes Hutchinson able to represent the needs of such a diverse district, ranging from Bloom Township in Cook County to Green Garden Township in Will County to Pembroke Township in Kankakee County and more?"

Obviously, the District has many needs.  Pembroke Township, for example, is one of the poorest townships in the country.  According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, 44% of adults are unemployed and 98% of children qualify for free lunch.  Pembroke lacks basic infrastructure such as natural gas lines and homes lack running water.

Also, in the Chicago Tribune's report of Pembroke Township:

"Hopkins Park's 800 residents are mainly African-American, and many are descendants of the founders. The village, about 60 miles south of Chicago, was founded as a place where African-Americans could use their farming skills and build a life after slavery.

But today, the village has a 44 percent unemployment rate, and the average household income is about $14,000, Payton said.

In 2000, when jobs were plentiful and home values soared, 44 percent of Hopkins Park's residents were living below the poverty level, four times the state average, according to U.S. census data."

The 40th District includes part of the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, in Florence Township.  The proposed "Peotone Airport", also known as the "South Suburban Airport" or "Third Chicago Airport" is slated to be built in the 40th District.  There is much opposition to this plan from residents residing near the proposed airport.

Interview with Phyllis Hayes, Chairperson of the Women for Toi Hutchinson Committee:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson to hold office hours in Joliet on 8/4/10

According to the Trib Local, Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson will hold office hours Wednesday, August 4 from 10 am to 11 am at her office in Two Rialto Square Building in Joliet, Illinois.

Congresswoman Halvorson is running against Republican Adam Kinzinger  in November.

Map of the 11th Congressional District of Illinois
Map of the 11th Congressional District from Congresswoman Halvorson's website.

The 11th Congressional District covers a large portion of Will County, along with parts of Bureau County, Grundy County, Kankakee County, La Salle County, Livingston County, McClean County and Woodford County.

2008 Illinois 11th Congressional District election results: Halvorson won, receiving 58.4% of the votes, while Republican Ozinga received 34.5% of the vote, and 7.1% of the vote went to "other".

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Nick Been--Republican Nominee for the Illinois 79th Representative District--releases statement on expected Quinn tax hike

Nick Been, the Republican nominee for the 79th State House District, has released a statement responding to news Governor Pat Quinn's administration is planning a tax hike in January.

The statement on Been's website reads:

"Reaction to Quinn Budget Director’s Boast: “We’re going to pass a tax increase in January. We expect it to be substantial.” Manhattan – Nick Been, the Republican nominee for the 79th State House District seat, had the following reaction to Gov. Pat Quinn’s Budget Director David Vaught’s statement Wednesday that the Administration expects to pass a massive 67% increase in the state income tax rate in January. “An income tax increase on working families, while the State continues to increase spending is reckless,” said Been. “Illinois’ current group of leaders can’t cut spending or balance a budget; it is unfathomable that they would demand more money from taxpayers. While I pledge to never raise taxes, my opponent has already voted for an income tax increase. It is time for some new faces in Springfield.” Quinn Budget Director David Vaught said in an interview on Wednesday; “We’re going to pass a tax increase in January. We expect it is going to be substantial.” Vaught said lawmakers are likely to increase the personal income tax rate from 3 percent to 5 percent (a 67% increase) generating $6 billion of new revenue."

Been is running against incumbent Democrat Lisa Dugan and Green Party Candidate George Ochsenfeld.  

Check out the Will County Politics interview with Nick Been.

The 79th Illinois State Representative District covers parts of Will, Kankakee, and Iroquois County.

Map of the 79th District from

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Manhattan Illinois Mayor Borgo demonstrates why there is a Tea Party

The Joliet Herald News ran an article on July 25, 2010 headlined "Metra SouthWest Line Keeps Saturday Service."  The article discussed funding for Saturday service on the Metra SouthWest Line.  The article also discussed the recession's impact on ridership, and then quoted Manhattan Mayor Bill Borgo as such:

"In the meantime, Manhattan Mayor William Borgo, who along with other mayors along the southwest corridor lobbied for Saturday service, said Manhattan's Metra station is a key piece of the tiny town's long-term planning. On any given day, about 40 cars can be spotted parked in the Metra lot, he said.

"When you get a Metra station, it means you've kind of arrived. You're no longer considered in the boonies," Borgo said. "No doubt as the years progress, this (line) will continue to thrive and to expand, and 30 years from now they'll say, 'Gosh, do you remember when only 40 cars parked here every day?' "

No longer considered "the boonies"?  Why use such an unaffectionate term for Rural America?  It is little comments like these from politicians that make people feel the people in charge are out of touch with the everyday lives of regular people.  The boonies?  It's Rural America.  It's our history.  It's Manhattan! Manhattan was since its inception a small community surrounded by farms.  Things have changed, yes, and many new developments have been built in the past decade, but using a term such as "the boonies" gives the impression one does not know or does not appreciate the area's agricultural past.  It gives the impression one does not understand the people who live in "the boonies."  

It gives the impression one can not see what is great about "the boonies", such as open space, birds, history,  fresh air, a slower pace of life and more.  Just as if one were to use a disparaging generalization for a city, it could give the impression one can not see what is great about cities, such as museums, history, cool buildings, interesting restaurants and more.  

The mayor's "boonies" comment reminds me of a recent column regarding admission to elite colleges in The New York Times. Columnist Ross Douthat wrote: 

 "while most extracurricular activities increase your odds of admission to an elite school, holding a leadership role or winning awards in organizations like high school R.O.T.C., 4-H clubs and Future Farmers of America actually works against your chances. Consciously or unconsciously, the gatekeepers of elite education seem to incline against candidates who seem too stereotypically rural or right-wing or “Red America.”"

Is that true?  Who knows.  I thought of this very quote, however, when I read Borgo's "boonies" statement.  Again, articles and columns such as these may make citizens feel they could be perceived by elected officials or admission officials differently because of where they live, where they went to high school, or whether they decided to participate in 4-H.  (Just for the record, I think 4-H is great!  Just check out these projects by Will County 4-Hers at their Summer Show.  4-H is one of the only organized options for leadership, learning, and fun outside of school for many rural students, so it seems very unfair to "incline against" these kids)

I'm not saying I agree with the Tea Party, or any political party for that matter.  I like many people am an independent voter (although I had a lot of warm feelings when I saw the float of a Green Party candidate at the recent Beecher, Illinois Independence Day Parade because they at least made their position on an important issue--the use of eminent domain by the State of Illinois for the "Peotone Airport" --loud and clear).

As an independent voter, I am tired of the little comments, whether it is a mayor of a small town using the word "boonies" in a negative way, or someone at a Town Hall meeting shouting over other people.   Whether you agree with the Tea Party or not, the Tea Party's gatherings show some people are unsatisfied with their government, and I think these little comments are at least a small reason for that unhappiness. 

To end things on a lighter note, Borgo's "boonies" comment reminded me of Dwight Schrute's impersonation of his rival Jim on The Office.  Dwight, of course, is from a rural background, and in his imitation of Jim, mocks Jim's tendency to make a "little comment".  Would Dwight be offended by Borgo's "boonies" comment?  Make your own comment in the comments section: