THE HERALD-NEWS — To the Editor:
Although I’ve lived in Joliet for five years, I’m an outsider to Illinois politics, having grown up in Michigan. I didn’t start volunteering in local politics until last year. So when I attended the Democratic Party fundraiser held Oct. 7 in Joliet, Michael Madigan was the biggest name I’d heard of.
What surprised me was that a candidate for comptroller engaged my attention far more than anyone else. Susana Mendoza spoke warmly of her family and local upbringing, having graduated from Bolingbrook High School. She takes great pride in serving as Chicago’s city clerk, where she saved the city money by streamlining the timing of its services, creating lower wait times and increasing profitability.
But what struck me the most was learning that her opponent, Leslie Munger, had taken advantage of an Illinois law that removes limits to campaign contributions, if the candidate or their family contributes more than $250,000 to their campaign. Munger’s husband wrote it a loan for $260,000, removing the cap. Mendoza rightly saw this as a sign she was being targeted as a serious threat to the governor’s way of doing business.
I think between Democrats and Republicans, we all know where the money is. A room filled with local Democrats could never approach the assets of a few tied-in Republicans – certainly not with less than a month remaining before the election. So it’s no surprise that after receiving her husband’s loan, Munger’s campaign gained $5 million from two billionaires, most of which she funneled to other Republican candidates.
Our form of government is founded on a system of checks and balances. I ask voters: who would place a more effective check on a governor who’s worked to evade democratic engagement? His hand-picked, appointed comptroller? Or an opposing, challenging voice, elected by the people?