Editorials

I will remain transparent as your elected official

During election season, a parade of politicians put on their dog and pony show for constituents. My opponent, 25-year incumbent Jay Hoffman, alleges he’s fighting for the middle class and knows we’re overtaxed. Really?

Rep. Hoffman’s record:

• Legislative pay increased more than 100 percent since entering office, while Illinois residential property taxes increased 3.3 times faster than median household income.

• Since 2015, Illinois lost 14,200 manufacturing jobs, highest loss since the Great Recession.

• January 2011 — Voted yes to the historic 2011 67 percent massive tax hike, taken to pay backlogged bills. Collected approximately $25 billion additional tax dollars and we’re in more debt now than then.

• April 2016 — Voted yes to HB696 freezing skyrocketing property tax for only Swansea (where Rep. Hoffman resides), excluding Belleville, Fairview Heights and others. Belleville’s property tax levy is nearly three times that of Swansea.

• May 2016 — Voted yes to SB2048, $7 billion out-of-balance budget requiring a near 50 percent tax increase to afford.

• June 2016 — Voted yes to “Stopgap Budget.” This isn’t a budget. It’s a spending plan that’s nothing more than a continuation of the status quo that’s made Illinois insolvent (providing $625 million bailout for Chicago Public Schools, taking $275 million from Illinois’ rainy day fund).

And what’s the standard operating procedure for Illinois career politicians during election season? Certainly not to stand behind their shameful record, but to lie and deceive the people they represent. My goal as an elected official is to be honest and transparent and ensure that the citizens of the 113th are informed and empowered regarding our government.

Rep. Hoffman states I’ve raised property taxes “tens of millions” of dollars. The actual increase was approximately $650,000 over three years (for police, fire departments and public schools). He states I raised sewer rates by 90 percent. Another lie. St. Clair Township raised rates on their residents in a negotiated sewer services contract with Swansea, to help pay for debt service associated with the Swansea sewer plant.

I’m running for state representative because I’m tired of career politicians like Mike Madigan and Jay Hoffman spending more money than we have and taxing people out of their homes and work. We need a balanced budget, term limits, and more jobs. I’m not a career politician. I’m a wife, mother, small business owner and legal advocate for seniors, veterans and the special needs community. If elected, I will owe no duty to anyone but to the good people of the 113th District who have sent me to Springfield.

I’m simply unwilling to sit on the sidelines and hope that career politicians who have clearly lost touch with St. Clair County finally get it right. We can’t afford to wait.

I humbly ask for your vote so that together we can bring our state back to solvency, doing right by us in Southern Illinois, saying “no more” to Jay Hoffman’s and Mike Madigan’s Chicago bailouts, so that we can continue to live the lifestyle and values that are important to us in Southern Illinois.

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