Readers share endorsements for March 20 primary
Support for Rep. Chuck Jefferson
I render complete support for Democrat State Rep. Chuck Jefferson. Illinois State Rep. Jefferson has phenomenally contributed to the legislative process as a community advocate and servant for the 67th District. Since 2001, Illinois State Rep. Chuck Jefferson has earned the respect of fellow legislators locally, statewide and nationally.
Prior to Illinois Rep. Jefferson’s political career, he provided quality community relations through business affairs. In fact, my late grandfather, Rev. Rob Ellis, held Rep. Jefferson in high regards. Because of this, I have extended appreciation for the Representative’s character and integrity.
I am a proud supporter of Illinois State Rep. Chuck Jefferson. My aspiration is that he is selected to represent the constituents of Illinois in an instrumental manner that can regulate economic challenges, improve education and focus on public safety along with other relevant issues as he has done in the past.
Alesha K. Russey, Communicate Advocate
Thank you to Jefferson
I would like to send a long-overdue thank you our State Rep. Chuck Jefferson for his efforts on behalf of the residents of Rockford on bringing the Amtrak line through our city. His efforts continue our city’s commitment towards being a top-flight destination in our state, one where individuals can live, work and raise a family. It also gives our residents greater access to Chicago, where we can take in a ball game, go shopping or even find a job.
Thank you, Rep. Jefferson, on your commitment to our city. Because of your efforts, our new train route is a huge asset for Rockford’s future, and I hope that you will continue fighting for our community.
Three worthy Republican candidates
As a former member of the Winnebago County Board, I continue to closely follow county government and the conduct of our board members. I’ve grown concerned that some members place politics above policy, and seem more interested in game playing than serving the public. We need to elect some new faces this year.
I’m impressed by three new Republican candidates challenging incumbents in the March primary. In parts of Rockford which I have represented, Michele Corirossi is both informed and level-headed. She will get my vote.
In Loves Park, Ricky l. Davis brings new ideas and energy when we really need them. And in Roscoe, Patty Austin is a breath of fresh air, a candidate with no hidden agenda and an open mind. I urge voters there to support these two.
With the reduction of the board from 28 to 20 members, who serves becomes even more important. Please support these three on March 20th.
Kinzinger votes should trouble taxpayers
Adam Kinzinger stoops low for the congressional race. Kinzinger may have ridden in with the “Tea Party sweep” in 2010, but that was against a liberal Democrat. Now he has a year-long voting record. Manzullo won endorsement for the 3/20 primary by the ILLINOIS TEA PARTY, with 90 member groups, based on voting record, not jet-miles.
Deceptive ads (with delivery of snazzy newspapers to constituents, featuring multiple photos of the handsome pilot) do not bode well for Kinzinger’s actions in office. If he is willing to lie to us now, what will he do in office? If the RINOs in DC will spend millions for Kinzinger, I, for one, am forewarned.
Here are three Kinzinger votes which should give you pause, as you consider whether the “old guy” should retire: (1) voting with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi for a $15M earmark for a California nature preserve; (2) voting with DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to fund left-leaning research projects (EPA STAR program); (3) voting with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky to fund the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) organization providing the actual loan to Solyndra.
Clearly, the Republican DC establishment favors Kinzinger. He’s got all the money and PAC support he needs to win the March 20th primary. Only an educated, discriminating electorate can elect Don Manzullo. Heritage Action (political arm of the Heritage Foundation) rates Manzullo 21 percent higher than Kinzinger in conservative votes.
Coordinator, Northern IL Tea Party
Manzullo’s votes to increase government spending
After hearing from all the supposed leaders of the Illinois Tea Party, I can’t help but wonder out loud whether they expect me to forget Don Manzullo’s nearly 20-year history of voting to increase government spending. Congressman Manzullo has tried to brush aside his record – but come on, Don, you were in Congress the whole time as federal spending spiraled out of control.
You had your chance to change how business is done in D.C., and it has only gotten worse. That’s why I’m supporting Congressman Adam Kinzinger to represent the new 16th Congressional District.
I admire the work and the principled stands that Adam has taken in his first term, and I have been impressed on how quickly he has established himself as a rising star in this Congress.
Please join me in supporting a brighter future for us all by voting for Adam Kinzinger in the Republican primary for the 16th Congressional District seat.
James D. Schielein
Illinois can do better than Mitt Romney
The Illinois Republican primary on March 20 is going to mean a great deal in regard to deciding who the GOP presidential nominee is going to be. It is vital that we do our part to help make sure that that nominee is the best possible contrast to President Obama.
We do not need to have the winner of the Illinois primary be a milquetoast or mush candidate. We do not have to pick as our nominee someone who favored TARP and the bailouts. We do not need to select a candidate who wrote the blueprint for Obamacare. We do not have to settle for someone who wanted no part of the Reagan revolution and described themselves a decade ago as a moderate.
Illinois and the Republican party can do better than Mitt Romney to be the person to challenge President Obama. In Rick Santorum, we have a candidate who won’t surrender the Obamacare issue, who opposed TARP and the bailouts from the outset, and has solid conservative proposals and doesn’t treat conservatism as a second language.
On March 20 the choice is clear the principled conservative candidate whom we need to vote to be president is Rick Santorum.
The important March 20th Republican Primary!
Primary elections seldom have large turnouts. Most voters believe their votes only count in November. I’m here to tell you that your vote in the March 20th primary is critical. Especially now, because in this primary, both the chairman and all 20 county board members are up for election. Many of the Republican races will have two Republican candidates but NO Democratic opponents, so these races will be decided on the Republican primary ballot March 20th. Most of these races involve one brand-new challenger and one incumbent. Some of these new Republican candidates are: Patty Austin, Michele Corirossi, Ricky Davis, David Kelley, Michael Kleen, Ed Schmitt and David Strommer. If there ever was a time when voters had a chance to really change the direction of county government, THIS IS THE TIME! I was so motivated by the possibilities for positive change that I’m running as a Republican candidate for Winnebago County Board Chairman. My hope is that as a new chairman (Mike “C” Castronovo), working with a fresh county board that includes a number of new members, will be the key to unlock a better future for the citizens of Winnebago County. I hope you agree and will make sure “Your Vote Counts” March 20th !!!
Mike “C” Castronovo
Cathy Ward serves Boone County well
Cathy Ward has served her constituents well in Boone County District 2 since 2003 and deserves the opportunity to continue as a commissioner. Cathy understands the issues facing the county and works with others to find solutions and solve problems. She understands what good government is and puts forth the time and effort required to make good, and often difficult, decisions.
Cathy has been a resident of Boone County for over 40 years. Her work, in both the private and public sector, has given her the experience to work judiciously on our behalf. The countless hours she gives to nonprofit organizations through her volunteer work speaks well for her dedication to community.
If you believe in fiscal responsibility, inter-governmental cooperation, integrity; fair taxation, open government and safety for our community, please join me in voting for Cathy Ward in Boone County District 2 in the March 20 primary election.
Boone County resident and former county board member
Letter to Senator Dave Syverson
Dear Senator Dave Syverson,
I thought I would drop you a note to let you know I am personally endorsing you in your race against Senator Christine Johnson. I know in our past conversations, I have stated that I must stay on the sideline, because of my position as President/Co-Founder in the DeKalb County, IL Tea Party (DCILTP). Over the past several months, many folks have tapped me on the shoulder to get my thoughts on who I am supporting and/or what do I think of the candidates. At many DCILTP meetings, many ask repeatedly what my thoughts are. Well, it is because of my position in and relationship with the DCILTP that these people value my judgment and are looking to me in their thought process as of what to do. I felt people come to me as they know I am a little more “tuned in” with what is going on, and they have come to trust and value my judgment. This is why I decided to step forward to let my personal decision be known.
This decision is a tough one, as it is in the Republican Presidential race. You or Senator Johnson are far better choices than many that are in office now. It is a shame that the two of you had to run against each other, but a choice has to be made. It has been tough as both you and Senator Christine Johnson are great representatives. Many times voters go into the voting booth and just “throw darts,” not knowing who to vote for. Sometimes it is just name recognition that helps them decide, not the facts. With this letter, I hope this will help people know what a fellow American is thinking.
Some say, “Out with the old and in with the new.” In my job in the IT field, we deal with many new software and hardware choices all the time. I have seen many times that choosing something “Newer” has not been the best choice. Many times when installing the newest release of Windows, I have found many bugs, missing old features and functionality. We knew the old software was not perfect, but it did the job we needed. Now, with the new software, we are facing many challenges. It is not until several revisions later that it becomes a trusted and usable product. That is how I, an IT person, can relate to you in making my personal choice of whom I would choose for my State Senator. You are that trusted revised software. Yes, you may be getting near the EOL, but you are trusted and working.
Let me also add that I know both you and Senator Johnson have been serving in office at different levels for several years. As with computer software/hardware, there comes a time, it needs to be replaced and/or upgraded. This is also true when IT people retire. This is not that time as we are in the middle of system failures, and we need an experienced person on the team to help solve the problems we are facing. There are many tough battles ahead! Your experience and knowledge will help you hit the ground running and needed on the “team.”
Best of luck in your race, and thank you for your service and the job you do for your employer. Never forget that the seat you sit in belongs to “We the People.” It is your job to protect their constitutional rights and to keep us free, our liberties protected, and serve as our Founding Fathers intended!
Your Fellow Patriot,
Chairman Christiansen NOT about Open Government
By East State Street Neighbors Citizen Group in Rockford
During election time, we as citizens must stop and take a moment to examine the type of government and leadership holding office and determine if a continuation of that government is warranted or if a change is needed. The question that we all should be asking ourselves, what type of government and leadership do we currently have in Winnebago County? Are they in fact transparent and open? The United States Constitution and Illinois state governing doctrine offers a form of government which holds that citizens have the right to access the documents and proceedings of that government to allow for effective public oversight. Thus allowing for transparency in government and offering government accountability. Transparency allows citizens of a democracy to control their government while reducing government corruption, bribery, and other malfeasance.
As past conduct is the best way to predict future actions, let’s examine a recent example of Winnebago County denying the public right of its citizens’ effective oversight and transparency. It is important to note this is just one example of many that have occurred in the last year.
In December of 2011, the citizen group East State Street Neighbors (ESSN) filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request for Scott Christiansen’s e-mails written to any employee of William Charles and their subsidiaries including the Winnebago Landfill from January 1, 2010 to November 28, 2011. East State Street Neighbors is a citizen group formed to contest the East State Street Quarry asphalt plant permit application with over 300 members. The group has since stayed organized to better understand if government corruption exists in Winnebago County. In order to ascertain what exactly has transpired between Scott Christiansen and William Charles, ESSN decided to request publicly available records on the subject, namely, e-mails from Scott Christiansen directly to William Charles.
Multiple requests and letters were sent back and forth from Scott Christiansen’s office and ESSN on the subject, with Scott Christiansen’s office denying public access for the following reasons: “The above request is overly broad and unduly burdensome on the party receiving it. The time period for which the records are being sought comprises almost two years and there is no list of the names of the William Charles subsidiaries. In addition, requesting all sent e-mails over an almost two year period to or from Mr. Christiansen would, in itself, be unduly burdensome on Mr. Christiansen and his small office staff in the time and effort required for a response.”
ESSN did not stop there. The Freedom of Information Act ensures that Illinois residents can obtain information about their government in order to hold government more accountable. If your request is denied, you have the legal right to request a review by the Attorney General of Illinois. ESSN requested a review on the matter. A public access counselor from the Attorney General’s office received the request and ordered Scott Christiansen’s office to either comply with the law or explain the refusal to fulfill the request by ESSN for Scott Christiansen’s e-mails to William Charles.
Scott Christiansen’s office replied to the Illinois Attorney General stating, “… the County renews its objection that the request is overly broad and unduly burdensome.” “To the best of our knowledge, there is no such entity as Winnebago Landfill…” “Although we are familiar with William Charles Ltd., we are in no way able to determine all William Charles subsidiaries…”
Did you notice that to the best of their knowledge, there is no such entity as the Winnebago Landfill? The same landfill that produces host fees for our county to host trash from a two-state radius including Chicago, the landfill the county just voted in a new discount rate, and Scott Christiansen put on his re-election flier spouting all the good the host fees have paid for in our county, to the best of their knowledge, does not exist. Wonder if the neighbors of the newly expanded landfill have knowledge of its existence?
As it stands today, ESSN has yet to see any e-mails from Scott Christiansen typed by his own hand to William Charles, their employees, or their subsidiaries. By their own written responses to ESSN and the Attorney General, Scott Christiansen’s office admits the volume of e-mails this request covers would be “unduly burdensome” on the office staff to compile. What is Scott Christiansen trying to hide? Is he guarding this information because it is in fact election time? Would these e-mails prove that there are in fact deals being made behind closed doors? That fact would be a violation of the Open Meetings Act, the Illinois State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, and the Chairman’s oath of office.
As this particular example shows, the current Winnebago County Chairman, Scott Christiansen, prefers to run our local government in a backroom, keeping records legally available to its citizens private. In public he gives the impression that he is all about his constituents, when in fact it appears he is only concerned about protecting his communications with the local “special interest groups” and “good ole boys club.” He evidently feels he has to answer to no one, even the Attorney General. Scott Christiansen continually forgets that he is an “elected official,” anything and everything that pertains to his position is in fact public knowledge. We are the individuals he must answer to, not the political contributors.
Show Scott Christiansen as an elected official you must and do answer to your constituents, that the power to him as Chairman is not absolute, and it can be taken away for reckless disregard of the law. The Republican Primary is March 20th.
As a citizens’ group, we support the following for Winnebago County Board:
- Steve Schultz: For his ability to stand for his convictions even with extreme pressure from special interest groups and other board members.
• Mike “C” Castronovo (running for Chairman of the board): For his solid business experience and his need to make our county government more open and transparent.
• Michael Kleen: For his promise to not vote for any measure that reduces personal freedom or that creates more of a financial burden for constituents.
• Ed Schmitt: For his solid business experience and sound tax policies.
Time for new leadership in Winnebago County – Elect Mike ‘C’ Castronovo
Mike “C” Castronovo is just like you and me. Mr. Castronovo is not a politician. He has not spent his life hoping for power and grandeur in politics. Mr. Castronovo is just a concerned resident and local business owner. For 30 years, Mr. Castronovo ran his business, Studio B, a local recording studio, and raised his two daughters here in Rockford.
The idea of running for County Board Chairman arose when he started attending a number of Winnebago County Board meetings in 2009 and found a Chairman and many Board Members failing to be responsive to citizens’ concerns. Instead, they seemed biased toward special interest groups and pet projects. Mr. Castronovo decided something needed to change, for the county’s sake. Mr. Castronovo, at 59 years old, decided to take a stand, put his name on the ballet, and push for a new kind of leadership for Winnebago County.
On Mr. Castronovo’s website, he states, “Our County faces many serious challenges going forward into 2012. Times are urgent. We need a Chairman that will help local businesses create jobs, fix our tax structure, encourage home improvements without raising taxes, address road safety, citizens’ concerns, and so much more. With such challenges we need a leader that works for all the citizens. The issues continue to change, but it’s the moral fiber, wisdom, and character of the elected officials that will determine how our community needs will be addressed and resolved. It’s time for a positive change to come to Winnebago County, where citizens are truly represented by their elected officials again.”
Mr. Castronovo believes it’s time to stop the runaway spending and giveaways our county leadership supports. He believes in a user-friendly government that HELPS citizens and businesses. Mr. Castronovo believes in the Constitution, including the First Amendment and wants to work to make the county meetings more accessible to the public. He would like to bring back the idea of town hall meetings to give citizens an opportunity to express concerns and assist in solving the county’s problems.
Mr. Castronovo is running for Winnebago County Board Chairman for the right reasons. His experience as a successful businessman in our community, his integrity, and natural leadership skills will take Winnebago County into the right direction for all residents.
Please mark your calendars for March 20, 2012 and remember to vote for Mike “C” Castronovo on the Republican Primary Ballot.
Nichole Larison Sammon
Help Re-elect Mr. Steve Schultz
I am behind Mr. Steve Schultz and his bid for re-election to the Winnebago County Board. Mr. Schultz, from my perspective, is the kind of leader we need to keep on the county board. Mr. Schultz understands he is there to represent all citizens of Winnebago County and not the small list of special-interest groups. These groups over the past couple of years have won millions of dollars through projects and voting loop holes, from what appears to be every budgetary bucket the county possesses.
Mr. Schultz has been the lone vote on many of those votes, not afraid to speak up for fiscally responsible government and balanced smart growth for our community. For it is the long-term perspective Mr. Schultz is protecting with his vote. Protecting the beauty and quality of our natural landscape, preserving our local farmland, and considering the impact of decisions on citizens, Mr. Schultz has been there recognizing the need for county growth and supporting limited government.
Someone must be there to consider the impact each vote will have on our children’s future here in Winnebago County. The father of eight children, mr. Schultz understands the impact the quality of schools has on our county’s fiscal future. His valued vote on the county board will protect the interests of our kids.
Above all, Mr. Schultz is a leader who listens to the people he represents. He is accountable to his constituents and wants to keep all information available for public understanding. He embodies the word integrity, freely shares all facts surrounding votes, and does not try to hide or twist facts to shroud truths. He has not and will not accept campaign contributions.
In short, Steve Schultz is a vote you can trust. Please support Steve Schultz. Learn more about Mr. Schultz at www.facebook.com/ElectSteveSchultz.
Nichole Larison Sammon
Supports Castronovo for Winnebago County Board Chairman
I hear Scot Bertram’s interview of Winnebago County Board Chairman candidate Mike “C” Castronovo Tues. morning, and was impressed at the candidate’s practical ideas for a more effective county government. His commitment to restoring citizen input to the board was commendable. I had watched this candidacy from its start, and have seen Mike’s growth in understanding of the problems we face. He has a practical plan to increase employment, simply by allowing home businesses to add one employee or two part-time employees – how simple and doable! He says there are 10,000 such businesses in the county. If only 500 added one employee, it would help!
Support for Don Manzullo
Many in the 16th Congressional District believe America cannot handle a second round of government as we’ve known it under the Barack Obama administration.
A truth many fail to recognize is: “If we do not re-elect representatives like Congressman Don Manzullo, the antithesis of all that has been crammed down our throats the past three years, President Obama does not need a Democratic majority to carry out his agenda.”
I suggest a congressman elected from the Democratic stronghold, Illinois’ 11th Congressional District, even with an R by his name, doesn’t make decisions the same way one raised in the seedbed of Reagan conservatism makes decisions. Can a tiger change his stripes, or a leopard his spots? I don’t think so!
There’s a saying, “You got what you wanted, but you lost what you had.”
Consider what we have in Congressman Don Manzullo, a proven, principled gentleman, who has served his district conscientiously, bringing industry and jobs to the region for two decades, before we exchange him, a veteran public servant, for a savvy politician.
I have known Don Manzullo for 20 years, and I’ve never met a more humble person at his level of service. When you meet Don Manzullo, the conversation is generally a lot more about you than it is about him. I urge you to re-elect Don Manzullo on March 20. You don’t get a second chance to do the right thing, this time around.
Mayor Bob Logan
Franklin Grove, Ill.
George Gaulrapp could win 17th District for Democrats
On March 1, I attended the debate of the three Democratic candidates for Congress (House of Representatives) for 17th District, held at Highland Community College, sponsored by the League of Women Voters. The winner of the primary election on March 20 will run in the November election against the Republican incumbent. I believe George Gaulrapp is the one who could win this election for the Democrats.
Gaulrapp is currently mayor of Freeport, where he has been able to maintain a balanced budget with a surplus of $1.39 million in difficult times, even taking a 10 percent cut in his own salary.
The focus of the debate was the economy as well as discussion of health care issues, energy, farming, foreign aid, immigration and gun control. Gaulrapp talked about creating jobs by promoting an environment favorable to business and manufacturing.
He would favor repairing and rebuilding the infrastructure, thus creating jobs and encouraging new businesses. He supports small business loans so important to rural areas and supports crop insurance to help farmers, rather than current subsidies.
He also talked about working to bring 12 million undocumented workers into the tax system, closing tax loopholes and tax incentives for businesses that create new jobs.
Gaulrapp supports sportsmen and legal gun owners’ rights under the Second Amendment, an issue that has been important to many residents of the 17th District area recently. An issue that didn’t come up at the debate which I know is important to Gaulrapp is support of veterans, their families and their benefits.
Education, health care and energy are important for Illinois and for our nation, and Gaulrapp would make these a priority.
Attracting good teachers and keeping them in the schools with competitive salaries and benefits would be a good start for schools.
Energy plans would cover a range of sources like solar, wind and alternative fuel development and steps to conserve energy. Gaulrapp said energy-efficient cars will need to be more affordable to increase sales for most consumers.
Creating new jobs in the field of alternative and existing energy sources would help the economy and promote clean air.
In health care, he also talked about educating more health care professionals, controlling costs, eliminating waste and fraud. Making health care more affordable was a concern of 31 CEOs Gaulrapp consulted and many of the taxpayers he has talked with. He plans to keep listening to their concerns and follow through, as he has done as mayor.
I urge everyone to vote for George Gaulrapp on March 20 to be our voice in Congress.
From the March 14-20, 2012, issue
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