Name: Mike Leheney
Office seeking: Illinois State Treasurer
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City of residence: Bourbonnais
Campaign website: www.leheneyforillinois.com
Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I am running for office because our state is on the brink of financial disaster, and it is time for someone to act in the best interests of the people and represent them as a fiscal advocate in the Treasurer’s office. A financial leader should act independently in the best interests of the taxpayer, and I am the only one on the ballot who can truly be independent of the two major parties in the legislature. I bring 19 years of professional experience, not only in Finance, but also in crafting business relationships, which will serve me well as I work with our General Assembly to create fiscally responsible policies and programs.
What qualifications do you have for this position? As I stated, I have worked in Finance for 19 years across a variety of industries. I have both the expertise and the integrity to create meaningful change in the economic landscape of Illinois. I understand what will bring new business, more jobs, and higher wages. Additionally, I know how to make tough decisions in order to balance a budget.
What changes would you make to the Treasurer’s office and why? I have two priorities upon assuming the role of Treasurer. First, I would expand the reporting mechanisms of the office to create greater transparency for the taxpayers of Illinois so they understand what is happening with their money. I would create easily digestible reporting to help them discern what programs are working, and those that are broken. The electorate should be armed with information so they can make responsible choices at the ballot box. Second, I would work to build relationships on both sides of the aisle, in order to help the General Assembly, and our Governor, to create fiscally responsible policies. We need the Treasurer to be an independently minded, fiscal advocate for the people of Illinois because the status quo is failing us.
What is the most important issue facing the Treasurer’s office? How would you handle it? The most important issue facing all state offices is the state of our economy. Make no mistake, we are heading down a path toward bankruptcy. The so-called solutions coming out of Springfield will only make the problems worse. We have all heard about the many tax proposals, but these are simply bandages laced with poison. We have a spending problem in Illinois, and it needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Would you term limit yourself? If so, how many terms? I would be happy to term limit myself and am an advocate for term limits in all roles within state government. Frankly, I couldn’t see myself serving more than two terms.