The Southtown has a profile of the election battle between Demcoratic State Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Republican challenger Jeffrey Junkas today. (Click here to read it)
In the story, McCarthy makes this incredible claim:
While knocking on doors, McCarthy said voters in his district understand that the state's problems are a result of the economy.
"They also understand this is not a time for beginners," McCarthy said. "They understand I'm independent, and I'm willing to take on tough issues like pensions and the telecommunications rewrite."Although McCarthy has been a lock-stock-and-barrel liberal, the purpose of the story is to make him look "conservative" which might help him stave off the challenge from Junkas, a hardline Republican and conservative.
But McCarthy ignores the key issues facing the district, which includes Orland Park, and the state. The state economy is one of the worst in the nation. It didn't get there because we had a lot of "beginners" at the helm and it was like that even BEFORE the economy tanked. McCarthy was at the helm. The FACT IS voters in his district DO NOT understand that the economy is the problem. The problem is that many incumbents like McCarthy have been disconnected from their constituents and worse, they have been focused on statewide politics and patronage rather than on trimming fact and cutting back on spending.
Illinois is also the center of the political culture of corruption and that's been going on a long time before Gov. Rod Blagojevich was thrown out of office in a gesture intended to distract voters from the fact that corruption still exists at the state level and it is continuing.
It's not a great choice between McCarthy and Junkas, but in situations like that it;s always better to take a chance on a new face than to send the same old people involved in the problem back to office for two more years of failed leadership.
Where has McCarthy been all these years? Taking orders from the bosses. He's not listening to the people and he isn't going to start now.
Stop blaming the economy for everything and take responsibility for the failed situation in this state. Gov. Pat Quinn has a serious problem and I doubt he can hang on to office given his own wishy-washy stands on issues and his PR stunts that hug popular issues like supporting the veterans but closes its eyes to serious problems like the need to trim the fat at the state. Bill Brady is too conservative for most Democrats who are disillusioned with Quinn but at least they have an alternative in Scott Lee Cohen, the independent whose numbers continue to rise.
It might be too late for McCarthy to change his stripes but voters still have a chance to make a difference. The question is will they be part of the solution or remain a part of the problem by being uninvolved and not voting?
-- Ray Hanania