Tea Party Hosts Will County Candidates, Who Warn Against 'Political Annexation'
Republican candidates for the Will County Board and other positions met with the Lincolnway Tea Party last week, and their main concern was keeping "Cook County politics" out of Will County.
Taxation without representation was one of the rallying cries of the American Revolution, when colonists joined together to break free from the British Empire.
Last week, members of the Lincolnway Tea Party shouted that sentiment when they met to talk about the 2012 election and redrawn maps they fear will effectively diminish their representation in state and national government.
The Tea Party, a national movement that began to grow during 2009, stands for no new taxes, free market principles and an originalist interpretation of the Constitution. The party has been fairly active in the area, most notably in 2009, when New Lenox played host to a Tea Party Express rally that drew more than 10,000 people.
During the meeting last week, Tea Party members met with candidates for the Will County Board and other county positions that will represent voters in Frankfort, Mokena and New Lenox. Besides stressing fiscal responsibility, the candidates largely focused on redrawn state maps that impact the area's representation at the state and federal levels.
Cory Singer, a Republican candidate for the Will County executive office, said he and the county board could be the "last line of defense" against what he called Cook County policies.
"(The new maps) specifically abuse your rights as a citizen," Singer said. "Our political voice will be gone. But we're going to restore fiscal responsibility and conservative values back to (the county executive office)."
The new maps, which were redrawn after the 2010 Census, extended Cook County districts into Will County, such as longtime Chicago Democrat Bobby Rush's 1st Congressional moving south to cover the Lincoln-Way area.
New county maps were also drawn, but the one approved was proposed by Republican leadership. Earlier this summer, the Will County Board approved new district boundaries that increased the number of districts from nine to 13 but cut the overall number of representatives to 26, or two per district. That will alter the local representation on the county board, with Mokena and New Lenox largely covering one district while Frankfort and Manhattan cover another.
Current county board chairman Jim Moustis, of Frankfort, will run for re-election, blasted current county executive Larry Walsh, a Democrat, for proposing pay raises in his budget last year.
"He's selling out Will County to the people in Chicago," Moustis said. "There's more pressure than ever now to raise your taxes. But we’ve had a lot of expansion in Will County, and I think we’ve handled it pretty well and kept it at a sound fiscal level."
Without discussing specific candidates, the local Tea Party members began to state a plan of action for the 2012 election. Founder Kathy Hurst said the March primary election will be vital for the Tea Party to get a "good Republican" on the presidential ballot.
"This state is probably going to go blue in the presidential election unless we works our butts off," Hurst said. "We can influence the primary, though, and I'd feel like that's a huge accomplishment."
Also at the Meeting
Besides Singer and Moustis, other candidates spoke to the Tea Party. They include:
- Steve Balich (R-Homer Glen) started the Homer-Lockport Tea Party and is running in District 7, which includes a couple New Lenox precincts but mostly represents the Homer and Lockport area.
- Marlene Carlson (R-New Lenox) is an IBM employee with a background in IT. She's running for circuit clerk, which handles court records, against Democratic incumbent Pamela McGuire.
- Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) is a current Frankfort Township clerk. She's running in District 12, which will represent Mokena, New Lenox and a small portion of Orland Park.