General election endorsement recap
Kane County Board District 2: Abbate
Sal Abbate brings a healthy mixture of private sector experience and government savvy. That, along with his firm commitment to fiscal responsibility, makes the North Aurora resident and Republican candidate our choice in the Nov. 6 election for Kane County Board District 2. Abbate pledges to insist upon accountable and efficient county government. He thinks the county ought to freeze its tax levy in these difficult economic times, and does not see a need for the county to add an administrator position. He touts his technological know-how, a potentially valuable skill as the county deals with upgrades to its computer infrastructure. Theresa Barreiro, Abbate's Democratic opponent, is a seasoned observer of the local political scene, who considers the depth of her Rolodex one of her chief attributes. She lists dealing with the proliferation of foreclosed homes in Aurora – her lifelong home – among her top priorities.
Kane County Board District 5: Taylor
Melisa Taylor promises to dig deeply into the efficiency with which county government is being run. A self-described "fresh set of eyes" on the county in her first two years on the board, Taylor, R-Sugar Grove, backs freezing the county tax levy and pledges to take a leading role in helping to restructure the county's Animal Control Department. While not in favor of adding a county administrator position, Taylor said she would be open to considering the possibility. In the Kane County Board District 5 election on Nov. 6, we endorse Taylor, who brings an empathetic voice to the County Board, having served as volunteer director of a local food pantry. Taylor's Democratic opponent, Norman Martin of Aurora, brings impressive backgrounds in the military and law enforcement, and understands that limiting the tax burden on county residents is crucial. But Martin would face a steeper learning curve on the board regarding some of the major issues facing the county, including how to approach the proposed Settler's Hill development.
Kane County Board District 11: Donahue
Should he be re-elected as the Kane County Board District 11 representative, Mike Donahue would prioritize fiscal discipline and the redevelopment of the Settler’s Hill landfill complex. To date, the candidate already has proven his dedication in both of those areas as a County Board member. Donahue's involvement helped lead to additional – and significant – cuts to the 2012 budget. He also has played a leading role in determining the future of the Settler's Hill area and has worked for more than a year to receive related feedback from citizens and build consensus. We endorse Donahue, R-Geneva, in the general election race for the District 11 seat. The candidate is owner of Midwest Wind Energy LLC and faces Democrat Martha Hanna in the race. In addition to the time he already has spent on the board, Donahue brings 27 years of experience working for and with local governments. District 11 is an area that includes parts of Batavia and Geneva.
Kane County Board District 14: Davoust
When tackling Kane County issues, Mark Davoust strives to be open-minded when new methods and perspectives are introduced. The eight-year County Board member recognizes that times are tough economically and – should he be re-elected – would be a continuing proponent of county government operating within its means. In addition, Davoust, R-St. Charles, would work to identify and implement additional long-term strategies, such as the county's 2040 plan. We endorse Davoust in the general election contest for Kane County Board District 14. The candidate helps run his family’s manufacturing company, Brasel Products in Batavia. He faces Democratic candidate Nadia Blanc Daley in the Nov. 6 race. District 14 includes areas of St. Charles and South Elgin.
Kane County Board District 16 – Kenyon
Mike Kenyon, R-South Elgin, has been a strong voice on the Kane County Board and is the chair of the Kane County Development Committee. He aims to improve infrastructure in his district, which includes parts of the South Elgin area. He says his top priorities will be bringing jobs to the county, finding the funding to update the antiquated computer system for court services and continuing the policies that have brought the county a high credit rating. His opponent, Democrat Jennifer Barconi, is knowledgeable and passionate about the area. She stands against increasing the property tax levy. She also points to economic development as a top priority, and she said she would push for government transparency and ethics reform. Kenyon, a self-employed farmer, has been a good leader. He deserves another term on the Kane County Board.
Kane County Board District 18 – Frasz
Drew Frasz, R-Elburn, has been an active, productive member of the Kane County Board. He is the clear choice to be the Kane County Board District 18 representative. He pushed hard to get wayside horns installed at railroad crossings in LaFox, which help limit the range at which train horns are heard. He helped find solutions for drainage issues at the Mallard Point subdivision in Sugar Grove. And he identifies the completion of the Anderson Road bridge as the top issue for the district, which includes the Elburn and Kaneville areas, as well as the Mill Creek subdivision. With many new faces possible on the board, Frasz can be a leader. He embraces his role, calling himself the de-facto mayor of Mill Creek. His opponent, Kerri Branson, is a strong advocate for those with special needs. We urge her to continue to bring attention to that cause.
Kane County recorder: Wegman
As Kane County recorder, Sandy Wegman has taken on the challenge of running a fiscally responsible department. She cut the size of the office from 31 to 19 workers, and after consolidating some services, she gave back a floor of space to the county. In addition, her office has embraced technological advances through the years. We endorse Wegman, a Republican from Elgin, for a fourth term in office. Her opponent in the general election is Brenda Rodgers, a Democrat from Elgin. Rodgers has good ideas, saying she would engage the public through town hall meetings. But Wegman has been efficient and effective, and she well understands the duties of the recorder's office – duties that include recording important documents into the county's permanent archive of land titles and ownership records.
Kane County circuit clerk: Hartwell
In his bid for the Kane County circuit clerk seat, Tom Hartwell points to his business, government and managerial experience as assets. For more than 27 years, Hartwell has served as an attorney. He currently runs his own practice, and the profession has allowed him to become familiar with the circuit clerk's office in Kane County and other areas. Hartwell's knowledge of local government is further extended by his past experience as a member of the Kane County Board, on which he served from 1996 to 2000. We endorse Hartwell, a Republican, in the general election race for Kane County circuit clerk. The candidate faces Democrat Ed Nendick of Aurora, who is a partner at O'Connor & Nendick Inc., a company that offers equipment, tooling and service expertise to factories in multiple states. Although Nendick is a strong candidate, we believe Hartwell will have a leg up when it comes to identifying waste and eliminating inefficiencies in the circuit clerk's office, as well as leading the office through needed computer system upgrades.
Kane County coroner: Russell
Establishing a well-run and communicative Kane County Coroner's Office will be among the most important tasks that the successful candidate in the November election will face, after former coroner Chuck West – now deceased – had been charged with official misconduct. Democrat Tao Martinez and Republican Rob Russell both say they understand that. And while both are capable of restoring dignity to the office, we think Russell has the edge. Russell, a sergeant in the DuPage County Sheriff's Office, vows to be a full-time coroner and resign from his position with the sheriff's office. He has a plan to professionalize the coroner's office through accreditation. He already has proven he has class, emerging from a hotly contested primary race with his dignity intact. Russell believes the position of coroner is mainly a law-enforcement position. That can be debated, but the skills Russell has learned while working for the DuPage County Sheriff's Office would serve him well if he were elected coroner. Martinez touts himself as a "skilled death scene specialist." He founded a company that helps provide cleanup services after death. He has relevant experience, too. But Russell's 24/7 commitment makes a big difference.
Kane County Board chairman: Lauzen
Two candidates with government experience are vying for the position of Kane County Board chairman in the Nov. 6 general election. Republican candidate Chris Lauzen has spent 20 years serving Illinois as a state senator, while Democratic candidate Sue Klinkhamer served the city of St. Charles as mayor from 1997 to 2005 and as alderman from 1989 to 1997. The candidates' priorities for the top Kane County Board post differ. Lauzen would focus on freezing the property tax levy for the county, strengthening the county's ethics ordinance and providing competent administration through innovation and austerity. Klinkhamer would look to bring on a county administrator and to cut county expenses from the top. Such cuts could include lowering the chairman's salary by 25 percent and re-evaluating whether part-time County Board members should continue to receive the benefits that they currently get. In this race, we endorse Lauzen. The Aurora resident has built a solid reputation as a legislator who responds to constituent concerns, and we hope that he would be able to transfer those same skills to government at the county level. Should he win the chairman's seat, we also would expect Lauzen to help the county avoid unnecessary lawsuits where taxpayer money is used to fund legal representation.
25th Illinois Senate District: Oberweis
Jim Oberweis has proven he can successfully run a business, and he has carried that message into his quest to join the Illinois Senate. Oberweis, a Sugar Grove resident and the chairman of Oberweis Dairy, gets the nod in the 25th Illinois Senate District race. The Republican touts his skills as a negotiator and his promise to help run the state like a business. When we're asking our state officials to make job creation their top priority, it makes sense to vote for a candidate who has demonstrated an ability to put people to work. The 25th Illinois Senate District includes parts of Sugar Grove, Elburn, Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles. Opponent Corinne Pierog, a Democrat, runs a consulting company, and she is a St. Charles School District 303 Board member. She has relevant experience, and she is a serious candidate. But Oberweis is our choice.
50th Illinois Representative District: Hatcher
State Rep. Kay Hatcher has been an active and responsive member of the 50th District of the Illinois House of Representatives, which covers Blackberry, Campton, Kaneville, Sugar Grove and Virgil townships, as well as parts of North Aurora, Batavia and Geneva. The Yorkville Republican has shown a willingness to work with those in both parties to get things done. She has worked for pension reform, and she says a long-term solution should be in place because "legislators should be thinking less about their re-election and more about the people of Illinois." Hatcher is visible in the community, inviting residents to "traveling office stops" in the areas she serves on a regular basis. We endorse Hatcher for re-election. The incumbent is running against Democrat Andrew Bernard, the Democratic chairman of Geneva Township. Bernard identifies welfare reform as a top issue, and he said he would demand a concealed carry law, adding that "responsible citizens should have the right to protect themselves." But Hatcher has established herself as one of the best legislators in the state. She deserves another term.
6th Congressional District: Roskam
In Illinois' 6th Congressional District, three-term Republican incumbent Peter Roskam of Wheaton is running against Democratic newcomer Leslie Coolidge of Barrington Hills. After redistricting, the new 6th District includes northeast Kane County through the center of DuPage County, Algonquin Township in McHenry County, and southwest Lake and northwest Cook counties. If elected to another term, Roskam, who serves in a leadership role as chief deputy whip of the U.S. House, wants to simplify the U.S. tax code, ending certain loopholes that favor some businesses and industries over others, and creating incentives for businesses and manufacturers to keep and grow jobs in the U.S. He favors repealing President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act and replacing it with a series of reforms aimed at cutting costs, including tort reform that would cap monetary awards from lawsuits and reduce defensive medicine costs. He also would consider expanding state-run, high-risk insurance pools for those with pre-existing conditions. Roskam supports Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity budget plan that cuts federal spending and – over time – tackles the nation's massive debt. Coolidge is a retired CPA. She supports a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, particularly on the wealthy, to balance the budget. She also supports Obama's health care reform package and tougher environmental regulations. We recommend Roskam.
11th Congressional District: Biggert
Republican Rep. Judy Biggert faces Democratic challenger and former Congressman Bill Foster in the Nov. 6 general election contest for the 11th Congressional District. Elected to Congress in 1998, Biggert, of Hinsdale, sits on three committees: Financial Services; Education and the Workforce; and Science, Space and Technology. She supports repealing the federal health care law and in place of it would look to enact bipartisan solutions that include expanding Health Savings Accounts, allowing Association Health Plans and reforming medical malpractice. Biggert believes that eliminating unnecessary regulations, simplifying the tax code and paying down the national debt would help strengthen the economy and lead to job growth. She points to the passage of the JOBS – or Jumpstart Our Business Startups – Act as a bipartisan success. The law encourages small business funding by easing various regulations. Foster voted for the federal health care law and believes that reforming trade policies and investing in U.S. manufacturing will help get the economy back on track. The scientist and businessman lives in Naperville. We endorse Biggert in the race for the 11th District, an area that includes southern Kane County and parts of Will, DuPage, Kendall and Cook counties.
14th Congressional District: Hultgren
Since last year, Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren has met with more than 100 small business owners and job creators in the 14th Congressional District, which he represents. The goal? Finding out what it would it take for each of those employers to add just one job. Elected to Congress in 2010, Hultgren, of Winfield, has taken job creation to task, supporting more than 30 jobs bills in the House, including the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011, which was signed into law by the president. Hultgren believes the federal health care law should be repealed, and he wants to bring an end to "out-of-control" federal spending through cuts and lower taxes. In the general election race for the 14th District, we endorse Hultgren. He faces Democratic challenger Dennis Anderson of Gurnee, who is retired but most recently worked for the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center at the University of Loyola-Chicago as the assistant director for research support. Anderson supports the federal health care law and believes a combination of cuts and revenue increases can help lower the national deficit. The 14th District includes parts of Kane, McHenry, Lake, Kendall, DuPage, DeKalb and Will counties.
When voters go to the polls Nov. 6 to elect our next president, the questions they should ask are these:
Which candidate will best be able to lead the U.S out of the economic funk it has been in for the past five years?
Who can better help the private sector grow jobs?
Who has the ideas and the will to reduce our massive debt and eliminate annual budget deficits?
Who will best be able to get the country's economic engines turning again?
President Barack Obama has a record on those issues.
Under his leadership, the unemployment rate has hovered at or above 8 percent almost his entire presidency. Far too many unemployed Americans have been unable to find decent work.
Median household income has fallen by more than $4,000 since 2009, when President Obama, a Democrat, took office.
About 30 million Americans received food stamps in 2008. Today, about 46 million do.
With budget deficits of more than $1 trillion a year, the national debt has ballooned by $5.4 trillion during Obama's presidency. The country now owes its creditors more than $16 trillion.
While the economy has grown under President Obama, it has done so at a snail's pace, not nearly enough to make up for the damage caused by the Great Recession and the housing crisis.
Frankly, we can't say we are better off today than we were four years ago. And we see nothing in Obama's policies that leads us to believe we will be better off with four more years of President Obama in the White House.
As when he first was elected, President Obama still stands for bigger government (see the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare) and a bigger hindrance to private business (see his tax policies).
We fear another four years would look exactly like the past four, or worse.
The Republicans' nominee for president, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, represents a return to America's founding principles: Personal responsibility, smaller government, more people contributing to the overall good of the nation.
His record as governor of Massachusetts is better than Obama's as president.
Romney became governor in 2003, during a recession and with a large majority of Democrats controlling the state's Legislature. His state faced a $1.5 billion budget deficit.
Through effective cost-cutting, user fee increases, and a restructuring of state government, Gov. Romney balanced the state's budget in his first year. He also fought to reduce the state's income tax, arguing that it would help create private-sector jobs and increase state revenue, but the Democratic legislature wouldn't let him do it.
Before he was elected governor, Romney was a hugely successful businessman. He co-founded Bain Capital and built it into the giant investment firm it is today.
While his opponents paint Gov. Romney and Bain as greedy corporate raiders out to squeeze struggling companies out of every penny, the fact is that Bain invested in many startup companies that today successfully employ tens of thousands of Americans. Gov. Romney and Bain also invested in financially struggling businesses, turning them around and saving thousands more jobs.
Before becoming governor, Romney took over the financially troubled committee organizing the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. As CEO, he cut costs, increased fundraising, and the 2002 Games ended with a $100 million surplus.
Gov. Romney is a proven leader in both the private and public sectors.
His policy proposals have the best chance to improve the U.S. economy, grow jobs, control the budget deficit and, eventually, reduce our national debt.
We recommend Gov. Romney.