When Rodger Cook ran for Congress in the Republican Primary in 2012, I attended one of his meetings. I listened patiently as Cook laid out his ideas and qualifications. When the time for questions came, I only asked Mr. Cook one question. I asked what his thoughts were regarding the Volume Earned Ethanol tax credit, a $6 billion dollar line item on the budget. He said he had never heard of it.
When Mr. Cook ran for County Treasurer in 2014, I worked on his campaign. Wanting to unfairly malign his opponent, Charles Suarez, Mr. Cook desperately wanted to make it appear Mr. Suarez had given preference to certain tax buyers like Fred Bathon had a few years earlier in Madison County. But because Cook knew so little about being a County Treasurer, he didn't know what records to ask for or even how to analyze the data obtained through my Freedom of Information request. Not to mention Mr. Cook had not the courage to ask for the very public records himself.
I do not advocate for any party these days, but whether you agree or disagree with our current leaders, the fact remains, guys like Rodger Cook and Bob Romanik make a lot of noise, make lots of broad and general statements, but simply don't have the solutions, knowledge, or qualifications to effectively represent the interests of Southern Illinois in Springfield.
Brad VanHoose, Belleville
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