Sticky post

Rep. Shimkus is Retiring

Ask most farmers, they’re over President Trump’s Trade and Tariff War.

Ask businesses, both small and large, the growing uncertainty in the Trump economy is making life more difficult.

Ask working families, they’ve not received much if any of the benefits of the Trump-Republican massive tax cuts that have created historic Trillion Dollar Deficits.

It would be difficult for anyone to defend let alone to fight to prolong these failing economic policies for our rural communities. Continue reading Rep. Shimkus is Retiring

Sticky post

Sensitive President, Party Flails in Europe

Considering the unfortunate state of our international relations with our longterm allies, the frayed nature of the alliances that have helped prevent a third World War continue to be stretched under the Republican Trump Administration. On one hand, you have the President demanding our NATO allies to step up to the plate with more money and forces. On the other hand you have both the President and Sen. Graham complaining about these same allies discussing setting up such an army while they increase funding to the alliance. It’s not easy to see through the hyperbole and double standards.

Subservience to a party over the people is a road paved in good intentions without checking in on the results.

When our national security is at stake, it’s crucial we get it right. Continue reading Sensitive President, Party Flails in Europe

Sticky post

Solidarity After Anti-Semitic Attack

The fear of being attacked and killed for who you are and for your faith is something no one should have to experience. It is the experience of many Americans. We can do better. We do that by working together, standing up to hatred and bigotry in all of its forms, and not turning away when those in our own families and communities use divisive and hostile rhetoric that we know is against our American values. Continue reading Solidarity After Anti-Semitic Attack

Sticky post

Social Security Fairness Act

I would support the Social Security Fairness Act of 2017, which has broad bipartisan support. It’s one of the areas where my opponent and I are in agreement.

Unfortunately for our teachers and spouses, this bill has been sitting in the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security since March of 2017. It is not even listed on the Subcommittee’s website as a bill introduced in the 115th Congress, so the GOP is not serious about solving this problem. Continue reading Social Security Fairness Act

Sticky post

Early Childhood Education

If we don’t create equity in the early education system in the 15th District, many of our communities will never catch up in the modern global economy. We all know that funding education through property taxes is a failing policy for businesses and families alike. Rural school districts suffer while booming communities are able to fund robust education programs. Our children deserve better. Early Education is the foundation on which a child’s future is built. With a renewed American investment in our children, we will better compete in a global economy, halt the brain drain, and bring better paying jobs back to the 15th District. This is what having a broad, generational vision can bring to America. It is long overdue. Continue reading Early Childhood Education

Sticky post

Tired of Falling Behind

Instead of electing career politicians who rely on big dollar donors and offer rubber stamps and excuses, we should be focusing on what will build an economy, rebuild our infrastructure, and deliver education that provides for a better future. 
That’s why I decided to run against a 21-year incumbent who I saw as being out of touch with the hardworking people of the 15th District. They deserve someone that will listen to their experiences and concerns and act upon them in Congress. 
That’s what I will do as your representative and why I am fighting to earn your support and your vote this November.  Continue reading Tired of Falling Behind

Sticky post

Separating Families: Broken Immigration

I’d say there is plenty of common ground, common sense, and common values on this issue. Separating children from their parents is not just a tragedy, it’s traumatizing. I’m also concerned about our broken immigration systems, as many Americans are. We need to fix our broken immigration system so that people can come here legally, so that those seeking asylum can do so safely, and that we can grow as a nation and provide for hardworking Americans that have spent a lifetime working hard for their own families and communities. Continue reading Separating Families: Broken Immigration

Sticky post

People Over Party.

To me, I’m focused like a laser on changing the conversation. Moving beyond this blame game. Finding common ground, using common sense, and utilizing common values to move our district forward. That is why I’m showing up, standing up, and speaking out everywhere I go. Wages have been stagnant for decades, in some industries wages have actually been decreasing. This is why the economic environment is so hostile to both workers and especially to business. Without eliminating the disincentives and punishments for getting back to work, the bridge to self-reliance is non-existent. When you examine downstate politics, the Republicans have one mantra. “Madigan.” That’s all they run on mostly, adding in one or two social issues that divide and separate as opposed to build and boost our local economies. I know that the People are exhausted by that boring, tired playbook. Continue reading People Over Party.

Sticky post

The Time for Accountability with Firearms is Now

At some point, all of the people supporting the Second Amendment and all of the people that want to minimize gun violence in America, especially at our schools, must come together. I stand with both. Some people refuse to do so. Those that do not aren’t really in the conversation.  Continue reading The Time for Accountability with Firearms is Now

Sticky post

Fiscal Failure Under Shimkus-GOP

Yes, our 21-year incumbent representative in Congress, John Shimkus, did vote for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would have allowed the federal government to raid the Social Security trust fund in order to balance the budget.
It’s about time we throw them out and get back to work.
Failure is not an option because our communities are on the line. Continue reading Fiscal Failure Under Shimkus-GOP

Sticky post

Middle East Diplomatic Vacuum

The lack of a diplomatic presence in the region is harming our efforts considerably.

Regardless of the results of the missile strikes, without a diplomatic strategy there is no chance for success.

From the hollowing out of the State Department to the continued struggles at the VA, when are the People going to hold Congress accountable? Continue reading Middle East Diplomatic Vacuum

Sticky post

Responding to Syrian Chemical Attack

By allowing these regimes to use these weapons without exacting an extremely high cost, we’re sending a message to other hostile regimes that we will look the other way while their innocent civilians are tortured and slaughtered.

When Assad did this during the Obama administration, I thought military action was justified. Congress flinched as did the President. When this happened last year, the Trump administration waited too long, allowing Assad to move his air force units elsewhere, making the strikes less effective. Continue reading Responding to Syrian Chemical Attack

Sticky post

On Tariffs and Trade

I’m all for a reinvigorated American-based steel industry. We need these jobs to come back to America. Not only does that increase inflation risks but it could lead to layoffs in the manufacturing sector. We need to elect representatives that listen to workers, stand up for workers’ rights, and start doing their jobs. The people deserve nothing less than that.  Continue reading On Tariffs and Trade

Sticky post

Focused on the 15th District

My dedication and perseverance is to each and every citizen here, not some committee in Springfield or Chicago. Not some group that came up with a talking point list for politicians to regurgitate on command. 

I respond to and for the constituents of my district. That’s what they should expect from their representative, and that’s what they should demand from any candidate seeking their support and their vote in any election.
Continue reading Focused on the 15th District

Sticky post

‘Pray the Gay Away’ Still a Threat

There are some that strive to demonize, castigate, and perpetuate subclasses of humanity in order to raise their own stature above others. This behavior is the reason why children, adolescents, and adults are traumatized, roughed up, and killed. This behavior is why Ryan White was cast out of his home when he was suffering from HIV and AIDS.  Continue reading ‘Pray the Gay Away’ Still a Threat

Sticky post

Building a Better Campaign

We’ve raised nearly $6,000 in just 6 months. That’s not a lot when compared to Rep. Shimkus’ special interest money, but it is more than our opponent in the primary has raised in a year.

We also have more cash on hand as well, because I spend only the money necessary to reach the citizens of this district. I also spend campaign monies at great Illinois union businesses that do amazing work every day.

One thing I will never do is loan our campaign any money. My primary opponent has loaned his campaign over $12,000. That’s nearly triple what he’s raised. We all make choices, but that’s just a bridge too far for me. Continue reading Building a Better Campaign

Sticky post

A New Year, A New Direction

2017 was a year of tremendous change for our country.

So many of us have responded to this change by standing up and doing something about the problems our families, our communities, our state, and our country face.

As the drivers of the change we deserve, we can lift our families and communities up.

We can only do that together.  Continue reading A New Year, A New Direction

Sticky post

Ending Net Neutrality

With the ending of net neutrality, providers can make consumers pay for faster speeds. They can limit what sites we have access to unless we pay more.
It’s actually the same dilemma workers often face when negotiating with the boss, which is why collective bargaining is such a crucial right for workers. Individually, they have little power.
There are reasons why consumers see rises in both their prices and the profits of these companies. We have few mechanisms afforded to us to protect us from the decisions of companies and government. Continue reading Ending Net Neutrality

Sticky post

The Reality of the Shimkus Tax Plan

Our current over two-decade incumbent Representative John Shimkus is now sitting on the House-Senate conference committee responsible with hammering out the final tax reform bill to be sent to the White House to become the law of the land.

The unfortunate reality for the 50% under the median is that they will be hurt by this tax bill. That’s what happens when you focus on one point along a continuum in order to obscure the massive tax cuts for the top 50% and permanent corporate tax cuts that we all know won’t be used to increase wages but be given to stockholders instead.
Continue reading The Reality of the Shimkus Tax Plan

Sticky post

Say Never to Privatization of VA

What we should do is the following:

continue repairing the damage of decades of denial and decay
have representatives show up and hold the VA accountable in hearings
have representatives show up in their districts by listening to veterans and the groups that serve them
increase assistance to hard hit areas like Danville and Vermilion County
open VA sites within community health providers where VAs hospitals don’t exist
make the pipeline bigger for people going into healthcare specialties
increase grants and scholarships for students
increase money to colleges and universities
increase faculty and staff that educate and train these specialties
actually stabilize funding for Medicaid, Medicare, and local healthcare providers instead of starving them of resources. Continue reading Say Never to Privatization of VA

Sticky post

Terrorism, Immigration, & Precise Action

I believe we should be talking about real immigration reform, not immigration deform. We need to be focused on real threats to our country, not some expensive unfunded Trump Wall that would be ineffective at stopping ladders and tunnels.

I believe we should be debating how better to track visa overstays, not hyper focused on people who’ve been here for most of their lives, working, paying taxes, and living their lives for decades free from violent crime.

I believe we should be talking about real policies that protect people instead of dividing the country on cultural and racial lines. Continue reading Terrorism, Immigration, & Precise Action

Sticky post

Savings Drain, Wage Stagnation Major Concerns for Economy

Signs of strain emerge in the Trump-GOP economy, says Chandra and Golle of Bloomberg. When savings are drained, it limits consumer spending. This is especially troubling ahead of the holiday season and the all important 4th Quarter where many companies … Continue reading Savings Drain, Wage Stagnation Major Concerns for Economy

Being Grateful, Giving Thanks

On this Thanksgiving Day, I find myself feeling amazingly grateful for all of the wonderful people I’ve met over the last few years. Your strength, stories and experiences remain with me every day.

Our country has been through many periods of prosperity and challenges. We have much to be grateful for and much to give thanks for in these more divisive times. We’ve faced far greater challenges. We will make it through these as well. Continue reading Being Grateful, Giving Thanks