About the same time the Northwest Herald was endorsing Jim Ryan, the man whose buddy and over-$800,000-contributor arranged (without Ryan’s knowledge) for Mercy Hospital to gain approval from the Illinois Health Facilitates Planning Board, my friend former State Rep. Penny Pullen was endorsing Andy McKenna. Below you see the front of the pamphlet I’ll be distributing in my precinct for Ryan.
The same day of the NW Herald endorsement, I received a mailing from McKenna emphasizing his stand against raising taxes, something that McKenna is bashing both Ryan and Kirk Dillard on not promising.
The front runner for governor, according to a now-probably-outdated Chicago Tribune poll, was former Attorney General Ryan. The three second tier candidates were Andy McKenna, Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady. They had about half the percentage Ryan showed.
Here’s pro-life leader Pullen’s endorsemen of McKennat:
Conservative Leader Penny Pullen Endorses
Andy McKenna for Governor
Key conservative endorsement in final weeks of campaign
Highlights McKenna’s work to defeat tax increases
CHICAGO – Conservative pro-life/pro-family leader and former State Representative Penny Pullen today endorsed Andy McKenna for Governor of Illinois. Pullen is one of the most influential and respected leaders in the conservative movement in Illinois.
“It is with the utmost honor that I accept this endorsement from such a respected leader in the conservative and pro-life community,” said McKenna. “Penny’s endorsement is further indication that top leaders and activists across the state are joining our campaign.”
“Andy McKenna is just the person we need to lead us out of the fiscal mess Democrats have put us in,” said Pullen. “His background as a successful business leader gives him insight and strong determination to advocate for taxpayers and for job creators.
“Further, I like the fact that Andy McKenna knows his way around Springfield — as former state GOP chairman — but has not been a part of the Springfield problem; quite the contrary — he has a proven track record of working to defeat tax increases.
“I believe Andy’s conservative credentials make him the best Republican to win in November, and I trust him to promote strong traditional family policies and justice for vulnerable human beings at any age.”
Pullen served 16 years as a member of the Illinois General Assembly, served on three councils under Presidents Reagan and Bush, is a former Illinois GOP National Committeewoman, and founder of the Illinois Family Institute. Pullen resides in Arlington Heights.
An associate from years past who seems to think he is more of a “Movement Conservative” than Penny replied that he couldn’t understand Penny’s endorsement. He also questioned McKenna’s intellect.
He said he expected Penny would be in the camp of two candidates that registered about 2% on the Tribune poll.
Here is Penny’s reply:
My endorsement is based on what I know, not on what others say.
How nice to hear from you. Brings back old times. Really old times!
I know that Andy met with pro-life/pro-family leaders not once but several times, at his own initiative while state chairman. I know that no other state chairman in my time of involvement in the Republican Party had done that even once. I know that whatever we laid before him, he listened to with respect and attention, responded to, and on everything he agreed to do (which was most), he pursued it thoroughly (even if without fanfare).
I know that he committed the State GOP to join the Marriage-Amendment petition process the second time around — the time he was asked to — but the organizers themselves chose not to move ahead, so this initiative ended up not becoming public.
I know that he exerted great personal effort to prevent Republican legislators from voting for the RTA/DuPage sales tax and wrecking the GOP brand, only to be undercut by Bob Schillerstrom at the last minute. I know that he worked against the Dem income tax hike.
I know that he sought to get the McCain people (who controlled the process) to name at least one pro-life/family at-large delegate (by name) to the 2008 National Convention. I know that he went into the delegation selection committee (controlled by the McCainiacs) at the state convention and publicly argued that Jim Thompson and Bob Schillerstrom were unworthy to be named to the Illinois delegation and then called down the committee in front of the entire convention, specifically criticizing them for including Thompson & Schillerstrom.
I know that he worked to raise funds for specific conservative campaigns.
I believe – and trust – based on much interaction with him, that he is a heart-committed pro-lifer.
Yes, his chief pursuit in his campaign for governor is to get spending under control and give the entrepreneurs who are still left in Illinois an opportunity to build ventures that succeed and offer workers an opportunity to feed their families. Controlling spending and taxes used to be important to conservatives; that agenda is still important to me and appears to me to be of critical importance in 2010.
It was Andy McKenna alone who outlined a concrete agenda for getting the state’s fiscal disaster under control while addressing the Tribune editorial board; it was Andy McKenna alone who criticized the lousy quality taxpayers are getting for the billions we spend on public schools. (I watched the interviews online.)
I am aware that Andy is reserved; as someone who has seen him at work, I reject your assertion that he is intellectually weak. And I am personally aware that he has a good ability to choose the right strategy after collecting sufficient information to make an informed choice.
I knew that my endorsement would not be popular, because I know all the buzz that has attached itself to his name.
Someone sometime has to stand up for what they know to be true and not just listen to the buzz.
I have confidence in Andy McKenna, because I have good reason to. And by the way, I haven’t forgotten who I am.
Thanks for asking.
PS – I would not be found in the Adam or Dan camp for various and good reasons. But I choose not to bash other candidates or their supporters, so I won’t go into that.
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Click to enlarge any image.