Susan Sweeney should be a good candidate to keep the 55th House District seat in Republican Hands. She is well educated, seems to know the issues, speaks well, is an attractive single mom and apparently knows the District she would like to represent.
One problem: somebody higher up seems to want her to mush up the issues. It is almost as if they want her to lose. Or, they just don’t know how to play this here game of politics.
Pro Life: With apologies
Instead of stating cleanly her pro-life views and attacking her opponent, Mayor Moylan, for his views on partial birth abortion and parental notice, she is almost apologetic on the abortion issue as she bounces off it and runs to discuss pension issues. Yes, the real issue, as she states, is the economic issue, the jobs issue, the enormous pension unfunded liability and the need for true pension and economy reform in Illinois. As Bill Clinton said twenty years ago, “It’s the economy stupid.”
But, don’t get evasive on abortion. State your views with pride. Talk about the rights of the unborn. Say you respect those who disagree with you. But, point out that your opponent, Mayor Marty Moylan (D-Des Plaines), doesn’t even think that a minor daughter should have to tell her parents about an imminent abortion. Wouldn’t you as a loving mother and father want to be with your daughter if she were to get an abortion—or would you want a stranger from Planned Parenthood or perhaps an abortion mill out of state to hold your daughter’s hand or talk her into an abortion? Well, would you, Susan?
Partial Birth Abortions: Infanticide?
And, do you think, as Mayor Moylan does, that partial birth abortions are fine and dandy. The late great Democratic U. S. Senator Patrick Moynihan said partial birth abortions were almost infanticide. What does the esteemed Des Plaines Mayor have to say to Senator Moynihan? Perhaps you could ask him, Susan.
I mean show a little backbone and spunk, Susan. Look, the voters of Illinois loved the late, great Democratic Senator Paul Simon not because they all agreed with him, but because they respected him. He didn’t get defensive. He told his constituents what he thought, always. And, they loved him for it. Republicans and Democrats. [As an aside, Simon was a guest on Public Affairs a few years before he passed away; Susan Sweeney cancelled her appearance on Public Affairs, 21 hours before she was scheduled to show up, telling the producer, she “Had to be careful, this is a Tier 1 race.” A profile in courage? Sweet Jesus, Susan, Obama appeared on "Public Affairs," six times and he became President. Did you ask Leader Cross what he had to say about that? Maybe if Cross had appeared on “Public Affairs,” six times he could have been President].
Susan Sweeney’s specifics on Pension Reform: What are they?
And, Susan, if you are going to attack your opponent for not having a specific pension reform plan, I think you have to have something more specific than a preference for moving toward a 401 K. How about saying you favor an increase in the retirement age for state pensions? An increase in the employee contribution? A decrease in the COLA [cost of living adjustment]? No more compounded COLAs.]? Those actions, Susan, will cut the unfunded pension liability by 50 to 70 billion dollars right now. That doesn’t solve all of the pension reform problem. But, it is damn good start and it can be passed right now.
The Rosemary Mulligan story: Early dementia?
Finally, tell the voters who Rosemary Mulligan is. Yes, she once was a honorable State Rep. of that area. But, something happened to her mind. Early dementia? She couldn’t even get herself on the ballot. She is now a disgruntled state employee who will be out of work in three months and she needs a job. So she endorsed your Democratic Party opponent. In order to get a job from Speaker Madigan? from Mayor Moylan? Is there any reason why the voters of the 55th should listen to Rosemary Mulligan. Not one. Tell them, Susan and tell them now. Show a little backbone and show a little spunk. The voters love spunk.
Bye Bye, Mr. Stefanski Pie? Bye Bye, Leader Cross?
Do it, Susan and do it, now. Jettison your campaign manager, Bob Stefanski. Jettison Republican Leader Tom Cross. Between them, they have won hardly any state house seats in the last decade. Go ahead, Susan. Be your own woman.
And, I tell you all of the above, Susan, not because I care a whit if a Republican beats a Democrat.
Indeed, I would tell you the same thing if you were a Democrat running against a Republican (Mutatus Mutandis, i.e., making all the appropriate changes).
Can’t anybody play this here game?
I tell you this for the same reason Casey Stengel screamed to his beloved Mets—“Can’t anybody play this here game.” He hated to see baseball played so poorly. And, I hate to see politics played so poorly. Go ahead, Miss Susan Sweeney, do it right—for the last two weeks of the campaign. Trust me, even if you don’t win, you’ll feel so good. A politician’s high like you never had before.
From last night’s debate at the Des Plaines City Hall. The participants were State Senator Dan Kutowski (D-Park Ridge, 33rd District), running for election in the 28th District; State Senate Candidate Jim O’Donnell (R-Park Ridge, candidate for State Senate in the 28th District); Mayor Marty Moylan (D-Des Plaines), candidate for the State House from the 55th District; Susan Sweeney (D-Park Ridge), candidate for the State House from the 55th District.
Todd Wessell (Journal &Topics Newspapers, Editor and Publisher, Debate moderator): The issues of women’s reproductive rights, partial birth abortion and abortion in general continues to be a lightning rod in Illinois and throughout the country; where do you stand on these issues?
Pro-Life, with exceptions
Susan Sweeney [R-Park Ridge, candidate for State Rep. in the 55th State House District]: I know that this is a very concerning issue to many people. I am a mother, I care and I have deep convictions. I have thought about this a great deal. I am pro-Life, but I do have exceptions, and I might add that I have been receiving many of the mischaracterizations and misinformation. I do have exceptions in the cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother.
Mayor Marty Moylan [D-Des Plaines, candidate for State Rep. in the 55th State House District]: I am pro-choice and we need to get the government out of women’s issues.
Marty Moylan: I would like to thank [former 55th District] State Rep. Rosemary Mulligan, she endorsed me today and she says, “Marty Moylan is a leader who shares my belief that a woman’s personal medical decisions should be made by her and her doctor, not politicians in Springfield.”
Susan Sweeney (R-Park Ridge, candidate for State Rep. in the 55th State House District): I would second what Jim [O’Donnell,] just said. I think we all have different opinions on this. I understand that there is reasonable disagreement on it. My concern is that this issue is not the issue that we are trying to solve right now. We currently have Roe. V. Wade, which is the law of the Land.
Democrats use abortion to distract and distort?
Susan Sweeney: What’s going on here is as Jim has just said. This is a reason to try to take our eye off of what the most important issue is in the state. We are about to fall off a fiscal cliff and if we don’t wake up and realize it and try to impact that—then what are we doing to our next generation? We cannot afford to keep the same policies that are impacting us like this in the future. I mean, if we want to keep devaluing our homes, if we want to keep seeing property tax increases because we are not dealing with our debt—and we are simply passing it along to future generations when our children won’t be able to support and buy a home—that’s unconscionable. It’s unconscionable that we have an 8 ½ billion dollar debt. You call our budget balanced. Is it really balanced? On the backs of whom. Who’s not getting paid 8 ½ billion dollars? Nursing homes, nine months behind on our bills, when they don’t even have state vendors that they can contract with any longer.
Todd Wessel: …Question to Marty Moylan: …Some people have said that your long time affiliation with unions in Illinois will make you beholden to them. For instance, generally speaking, unions do not favor pension reform. What kind of influence would unions have on the way that you conduct yourself as a state representative? After Marty answers this, then we’ll go into another question with Mr. Kutowski. Marty?
Moylan: The Union Rep.?
Mayor Moylan [D-Des Plaines, candidate for State Rep. in the 55th State House District]: I am a working man. I worked for the …union for 46 years. I just retired [from a business position at the union, 100K salary? 70K/year pension?, 10K /year salary as Mayor? Free car as Mayor? Now wants to add 60K per year as a State rep, to be followed by a second pension? Working man?]. …My father was a union man. I am grateful for the living that I earned. I am currently on pension from the IBW. I believe that pension reform is paramount. As I mentioned earlier, I lead by example. I opt out of the pension system for the state of Illinois. The pension system is broken. We need to—certain union officials and administrators have taken advantage of—I have talked about this earlier. We have to cut them off. We have to stop double dipping in the pension system. One pension and then work your salary alone. That’s how I plan to attack it.
Todd Wessell: Susan, did you want to respond?
Susan Sweeney [R-Park Ridge, candidate for State Rep. in the 55th State House District]: I would like to ask Marty what his plan is for pension reform- besides just shifting the [pension] debt down to the local taxpayers, via the school district, which is what Michael Madigan wants to do. He is beholden to Michael Madigan, he has taken hundreds of thousands of tax dollars from [Speaker] Michael Madigan to support his campaign. …I would like to know how he going to stand up for pension reform and what his plan is.
Pension reform and unions
Mayor Marty Moylan [D-Des Plaines, candidate for State Rep. in the 55th State House District]: Both of us are receiving support from both of our parties. That doesn’t have any influence on how I conduct myself or how I will campaign. As I mentioned, we have to cut legislator’s pensions. We cannot afford to put the pensions into a 401(k) plan. People have to work; they cannot be accountants; they cannot be worried about their pension system. Certain administrators- they took advantage of the system. Now, they’re going to punish the little guy at the bottom. Those people have paid into their pension for years. It’s not fair that we go and punish them and take away their pensions. The issue of Colas, cost of living raises and health insurance issues will be decided by the court. I believe in negotiations. As the Mayor of the City of De Plaines, we negotiate with our unions and that’s how you get things done. You can’t negotiate and push a solution onto somebody and then have it reversed in court.
Todd Wessell: Susan, you can respond to that if you want to and then I’ll give Marty a chance as well, and then that’s it.
Does Sweeney want real pension reform?
Susan Sweeney [R-Park Ridge, candidate for State Rep. in the 55th State House District]: Here’s the point: If we don’t deal with pension reform, there’s no real pension reform here. What we’re talking about is a ticking Titanic and we are re-arranging the deck chairs on it because…if we have a cost shift that goes back to the local school districts, it’s going to impact our property taxes. What I don’t want to do is—I want to solve the problem of pensions. What’s happened in the state for so long is we promised pensions to people [who] are counting on them. I don’t want to hurt the people that have already earned the pensions that are in retirement that are getting and living on a fixed income. I want to try to protect those pensions. I also want to protect the pensions for what existing teachers or state workers have earned to date and then moving forward to transition to something like a 401 K. But, if we don’t—the object should be to protect what’s earned to date and to protect those who are already in retirement to the greatest extent we can. It is all about prioritizing. It is all about living as principled people. We don’t want people in retirement who are going to fall off a cliff because they have no source of income. We want to try to make good on what was promised to them and it’s very sad that we didn’t fund the pension system in prior years.
Mayor Marty Moylan [D-Des Plaines, candidate for State Rep. in the 55th State House District]:: I am against the cost shift to the school districts. My opponent says she is against it but also would consider it in the future. I would not consider it in the future.
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Tags: 28h Senate District race., abortion, Dan Kutowski, IL 55th House District race, Journal&politics state house and state senate races, Mayor Moylan, Moynihan, state employee pension reform, State Rep. Candidate Susan Sweeney, State Rep. Susan Sweeney, State Senate candidate Jim O'Donnell