Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Karen May Won't Run Again in 58th District

Wow, this is some real news. First Susan Garrett decides not to run again for State Senate, and now Karen May announces she will not run in 2012 for the 58th State Rep. District.

Are all the incumbent Dems anticipating that they will be getting a whuppin' in 2012? What happened to the Dem-controlled remap that was supposed to further entrench these incumbents for the next 10 years. Crazy, man, crazy.

So far, two Republican have announced for this race - former State Senate Candiate and businessman Keith Gray, and Mark G. Neerhof, DO. Much more on this race, which has now instantly become a hot one, as we go on.

Here's May's e-mail to supporters and press release:

Dear Friends,

I want to share with you the news that I have decided not to run for re-election in 2012 and to thank you for your support over the past decade. It was a very difficult decision because I love serving the citizens of this district and working in Springfield for the issues that are important to us. With your help, we have had many successes, but without the distraction of a campaign, I can concentrate on completing my legislative agenda in the next 15 months. G-d willing, I intend to sprint across the finish line. Thank you for being the wind beneath my wings.

Karen May

News…from State Representative Karen May

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 28, 2011

State Rep. Karen May: Not Running for Re-Election Highland Park Lawmaker Will Complete 12 Years of Service in Capitol

Highland Park, IL- State Rep. Karen May, D-Highland Park, on Wednesday announced she will not seek re-election next fall to the post she has held since January 2001.

After serving as a member of the Highland Park City Council and Highland Park Historic Preservation Commission, May first took office as state representative after winning election to the office in November 2000. Area voters have re-elected her overwhelmingly since then, but after serving more than a decade in the Legislature, May decided now is the time to finish her legislative tenure.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to serve my community in a number of ways over the years, and having the honor of representing people as their advocate in our state’s capitol certainly tops the list,” May said. “This job allows you to have such an incredible impact on people’s lives. It has been a lot of hard work, but so gratifying and rewarding.”

Since taking office, May has maintained a full-time constituent service office to help meet the needs of local residents. May said that public service begins at home, and that helping to improve access to often complicated government programs has been a priority for her.

“Helping people navigate state bureaucracy and deliver critical services is the most important part of being in public office,” May said. “I’ve strived to be open and accessible. Our jobs involve an incredible amount of constituent service and with the help of an amazing and dedicated local staff we were able to provide resources for people to get the help they need.”

With more than 10 years in office, May has worked on a number of legislative issues, including environmental protection, ethics reform, property tax relief, common sense gun control laws, better access to more affordable health care and state budget reforms.

In light of exponentially growing state pension liabilities, May has spearheaded changes to the state’s pension laws to rein in abuses. Last year, she pushed for significant pension reforms, including banning those receiving public pensions from also receiving taxpayer-paid salaries and reducing the maximum pensions that retired public employees may receive. The reforms in the law are expected to save the state as much as $100 billion over the next 40 years. May has also pushed for new limits on pensions this year by passing legislation to stop abuses at the local level.

As the leader of the Green Caucus in the General Assembly, May has also fought aggressively for tougher laws protecting Illinois’ natural resources and ending the production of harmful consumer products. To remove mercury – a powerful neurotoxin that can critically harm the nervous system and lead to serious brain and nerve damage – from the environment, May passed a law creating a program to capture mercury switches from end-of-life vehicles before they are destroyed. The Illinois EPA believes the plan could prevent the release of up to 400 pounds of mercury a year. May has also passed laws that ban the sale or distribution of medical devices that contain mercury, including blood pressure cuffs, and require all elementary and secondary schools in Illinois to purchase environmentally-sensitive cleaning supplies that do not expose students and teachers to harmful chemicals.

As the economy tanked and state revenues declined, May was a leading advocate of budget reforms that tightened up government costs and demanded the state spend no more than it takes in. She has consistently opposed pay hikes for legislators and helped pass state budgets that reject pay raises for lawmakers.

May looks forward to actively representing the 58th district during the remainder of her term.

“I am grateful for the support of the community that has elected me for six terms and I will continue to provide the representation and services that the district deserves.”

# # #

Monday, September 19, 2011

Another No-Name Democrat Enters the 10th District Race

The Patch has a nice article today noting the entrance of yet another inexperienced, no-name Democrat who is throwing his hat into the race for the Democratic nomination to take on freshman Congressman Bob Dold in the 2012 general election.

Enter Vivek Bavda, 34, a Chicago attorney who lives in Mundelein. Like fellow Dem hopeful Ilya Sheyman, he is the son of immigrants, and he feels he has a compelling story to tell. From what I can tell from the Patch article, Bavda is another far-left Democrat who believes the government must step in to solve all of our problems. Swell.

I bet Dan Seals is watching all of this from his new job at DCEO and grinding his teeth, given that he could easily walk into this race today and take the nomination, I'd bet. I'd also bet that he'd lose the general, even with the revamped 10th District, so he's probably a lot better off with his new cushy state job.

Friday, September 2, 2011

State Senator Susan Garrett Appears Poised to Endorse in 29th Senate District (UPDATED)

A blurb in the Lake County News-Sun caught my eye this morning:

State Sen. Susan Garrett, D-Lake Forest, and West Deerfield Township Supervisor Julie Morrison, Democratic candidate for the 29th Senate District will hold a joint press conference Sept. 8, at 11 a.m. at the Italian Kitchen Restaurant, 648 Deerfield Road, Deerfield. Garrett said she will be making a statement about the upcoming election for her Senate seat, which she has held since 2002. Morrison announced last month her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for that seat.

It's not too difficult to figure out that Garrett will be endorsing Morrison to run as the Democratic candidate to fill her spot. So far, I don't believe any other Democrats have announced their intention to run, although Township High School District 113 Board Member Annette Lidawer of Highland Park said she was thinking about it. The Garrett/Morrison announcement, timed right before petitions are due to begin being circulated, may well be designed to scare away any competition and clear the field for Morrison.

In any case, whichever candidate emerges on the Dem side, they will have a formidable opponent in veteran navy pilot and physician Arie Friedman. With Sid Mathias having announced to run against Carol Sente in the 59th Legislative District, Friedman should have a clear field on the GOP side, and is already kicking his campaign into high gear.

If I were the Dems, I'd be more than a bit nervous about this seat.

UPDATED 9/5/11 7:20 pm: Well, we didn't attend the press conference, but it turns out we were right about Garrett endorsing Morrison. Not like it wasn't a no-brainer.

Constituents have expressed a need for legislators in Springfield to create jobs. Morrison said she heard that message and would work to bring more jobs to the district if elected.

Oh, really? Would you have voted against the 66% income tax hike? Please, someone ask her that, stat.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lake County Political Races Heating Up With New Candidates for State Senate and State's Attorney; Is Michael Bond Serious About IL-10 This Time?

A couple new announcements on the Lake County political scene this week show that we're in for a lot of hot races leading into the March primary.

First, yet another candidate has declared for State's Attorney in the wake of long-time State's Attorney Michael's Waller's announced retirement, Reginald "Reggie" Mathews, of Lindenhurst, who like fellow candidates Louise Hayes and Chris Kennedy, is also a current Assistant State's Attorney. That brings the total up to six candidates, three Republicans and three Democrats, for those keeping track.

Next, current Lake County Board Member Melinda Bush (District 6), of Grayslake, has announced her candidacy for state senate in IL-31, against Republican incumbent Suzi Schmidt. Schmidt knows Bush well, given that they served on the County Board together when Schmidt was county board chairman. Some were expecting former State Senator Michael Bond to run again for this seat and try to recapture it for the Dems. He still might; Bond has not announced his intentions, and may still also be considering a run for Congress in IL-10. Bond, as Team America readers may recall, made a short-lived, abortive attempt to gear up for a congressional run in 2010, but backed out before he really got started (although he did actually announce his congressional candidacy and set up a website). He lost his bid for re-election to the State Senate that same cycle. More background on Bond here.

Given the lackluster field in the IL-10 race on the Dem side, and the prospect of facing Bush in a Dem primary for his old job in IL-31, I would not put it past Bond to make a run for Congress (for real, this time), but I guess we'll have to see.

In other news, Dr. Arie Friedman has made official his bid for Susan Garrett's State Senate Seat in the 29th Senate District, and one of his colleagues, Dr. Mark Neerhof, is planning to run against State Representative Karen May. Much more on that race later.