Republican candidate says NoMoreMadigan pledge is gaining support
Mike Strick, Republican candidate for District 84 in the Illinois House of Representatives, said his NoMoreMadigan pledge has been garnering positive responses among voters and candidates these past few weeks.
The pledge asks elected officials to vote against appointing Democrat Michael Madigan as speaker of the Illinois House.
“I’ve received about 25 Republican responses so far,” Strick said. “It’s only been a week and half, and I’m expecting more of these to trickle in or be posted on Facebook. We’re getting a lot of traction. People are fed up in the state of Illinois. We need to turn things around.”
Strick’s message of turning things around recently hit the airwaves when he sat down for an interview with a local radio station. Among the topics of discussion were term limits and remapping.
“I just gave a radio interview on Joe Walsh, AM-560, on Monday,” Strick said. “I received a pretty good response to that. We were talking about NoMoreMadigan.com and how we need some term limits in the state of Illinois. As a matter of fact, I was reading about how Iowa has let an independent team pick the districts for state legislatures and how Illinois, especially the people in power, are fighting back because they want to keep the status quo. They want their gerrymandered districts the same way.’
Strick insisted that Madigan and his group prefer the current system of mapping, alleging that the system is assembled in a way to maintain Madigan’s hold of the capital.
“They want to hold on to what they have,” Strick said. “You have Mike Madigan and his cronies like Michael Kasper who are fighting tooth and nail to keep the redistricting maps in the hands of the people in power. It does not translate into a representative government for the people because they pick their constituents instead of the constituents picking the person they want to move Illinois forward.”
Strick noted that redistricting has been in the pipeline since 1970. It has been 46 years since the Illinois Constitution has been ratified and times have changed, stressed the small business owner.
“Madigan was running in 1971,” Strick said. “When I talk to people at their doors, they roll their eyes (at Madigan) and say ‘Oh, yeah. We need term limits. Mike Madigan has been in office for such a long time.'”
Strick said that while he has received 25 responses back from fellow Republicans, he has yet to hear anything back from Democrats.
“I sent out 165 letters to all the people that are running for the Illinois House,” he said. “I haven’t received one Democratic pledge back that they will not vote for Mike Madigan. Not one. I did receive a call from a Democratic down south. I asked him if he will send the pledge. He said ‘Oh no. What I am proposing is going to go further than term limits.’ But it made no sense to be me that he would not sign (the pledge).”
As he waits for the Democratic response, Strick said he fears for the recovery of Illinois, especially for its residents. A recent report has revealed that personal income recovery in Illinois is the worst in the Midwest and the second worst in the nation. The slow recovery is very telling for him.
“It tells me that we’re definitely in dire straits,” Strick said. “When is enough enough? I talk to people at the door and I ask “Hey, are you going to see your taxes going down this year?’ and they roll their eyes and they say no. And I tell them, ‘Yeah, you’re right. The only way I see taxes going are up.’ So when are we going to get a break? When are the people of Illinois going to get a break?”
He offered some solutions that would alleviate the situation.
“We need some tax reforms,” Strick said. “We need to mandate a property tax freeze. And let’s see some reduction. We never see any reduction. We never see any spending decreases on anything. When is this going to happen?”
Strick insisted that residents are not only experiencing a loss in income recovery but a loss in essential services which, he said, are being reduced in order to pay for redundant programs and pensions.
“More and more services are being taken away from the residents to pay for these bills and pensions that were drawn in the 1970s,” Strick said. “With most of these folks making over $70,000 or $80,000, it’s unsustainable.”
Some of the services to which Strick referred are those that assisted with the most vulnerable of Illinois such as the homeless, at-risk teens, and the disabled. No money is going to those programs and are instead being funneled to pay for pensions. He said he finds this heartbreaking.
“People are hurting,” Strick said. “Illinois needs to pay its bill to all these charities and services in the state that are doing a great service to the people of Illinois. They need to be paid first or we are going to see more and more of them going out of business which is going to hurt more people.”
He emphasized that the state should put their priorities on services which assist the disadvantaged so that they may have the opportunity to be successful. Strick reiterated that the state needs to carefully evaluate its spending and start reducing. Illinois needs a jolt to its economy.
“We need reductions,” he said. “We need to jump start the Illinois economy. We need to have companies and people stay in Illinois. I have seen so many people tell me that they are leaving the state once their children graduate from high school. The more people and companies that move out of Illinois, the more burdens it places on the people who are still staying here because we have to make up the difference.”
This is why Strick is so adamant on term limits and remapping, reforms which Madigan has allegedly opposed. He said he is asking candidates and voters to support the reforms and the removal of Madigan.
One person on whom he is still waiting for a response is current incumbent state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit.
“Kifowit has not sent her pledge into to me to not vote for Mike Madigan as a speaker of the House and yet she espouses to be on the people’s side in her district,” Strick said. “I haven’t seen a lick of that. She tells the people — from what I hear when I talk to voters — she tells them what they want to hear. And then nothing happens in the district. So she needs to send the pledge back if she is so concerned about property taxes and making changes in Illinois.”
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