God bless this comment from frequent contributor Correcting in the recent article concerning 14th district candidate Jim Oberweis’ criticism of Congresswoman Lauren Underwood over H.R. 3525:
It was OK for Oberweis to state his feedback via press release on recent legislation sponsored by Underwood that passed the House on September 26. As another comment stated from a supporter of Catalina Lauf in that same article, Oberweis’ press release was nearly a week after-the-fact. Catalina Lauf tweeted her feedback on the same legislation the night after it passed the House, which was part of an article on September 28 here on McHenry County Blog.
But Correcting’s main point is accurate concerning all of the Republican candidates to “…put out substantive proposals on an important issue.” Let’s go further, Republican candidates need to state their substantive positions on ALL of the major issues. And they need to be put in writing as soon as possible.
Thank you Jeanne Ives!
It was terrific to see 6th district candidate Jeanne Ives publish a policy/position paper on healthcare on September 30 and have it published here on McHenry County Blog and on Illinois Review. Her position paper is a very good, thoroughly researched informative publication.
It must be recognized position papers are dynamic, working documents which candidates will need to refine after initial publication. As the candidate talks to voters, hears informed feedback and adapts their position based on voter input, multiple versions will likely be needed. Additionally, since Ives and the other Republican candidates in the 6th and 14th hope to be in a general election against an incumbent freshman Democrat, the incumbent might have a key vote which should be updated and documented in the candidate’s policy position.
Feedback I hear concerning voters’ sentiments on the candidates is voters want to make informed choices, with discernment, on the issues. That was basically what Correcting said in their comment.
Voters want to know, beyond the “platitudes”, sound bites, bromides, abstracts and talking points, how a candidate will represent them in Congress if they’re elected. This includes some specifics, including votes in Congress where the candidate would be different than the Democratic incumbent. This is important for primary voters who will have electability at the top of their candidate qualifications to earn their vote in the Republican primary.
Let’s encourage all of the Republican candidates in the 6th and 14th to get their positions on the major issues in writing by the end of the year. And give the candidates feedback on their policy positions, and where we, the voter, think the candidate should include or reconsider.
Obviously, outside of a focus group, candidates cannot go into a lot of detail while speaking or in media advertising. But the candidates can encourage prospective, discerning voters to read their detailed positions at their campaign web sites.
And look how Senator Elizabeth Warren’s steady rise and competitiveness in the Democratic presidential nomination field was made possible. She wrote detailed policy positions on nearly all of the major issues, and over the past 6 months, her polling and fundraising show voters responding to her thoroughness.
If a congressional candidates wants to get noticed, the sooner they do the same on the major issues, the sooner they may separate themselves from the pack of Republican competitors. And what are the major issues? Here is a start on the various issues both primary and general election voters want to know:
Back in July, McHenry County Blog suggested the following policy/position paper topics for the 6th and 14th, and on many of these topics over the past six months, the blog has articles covering legislation on these issues:
- Taxes and Spending
- Specifically defending or recommending changes to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017
- Cutting Spending? What would you cut, be specific
- Tax cut, which taxes and how would you pay for it
- SALT deduction limitations, including H.R. 1757 which Underwood sponsored and Casten is chief co-sponsor
- Healthcare including H.R. 1868 and other legislation
- Undocumented immigrants
- Asylum seekers
- H.R. 6, H.R. 2203, H.R. 3525, H.R. 3239
- Veterans Issues
- Long wait times at VA facilities
- Legislation currently being pursued in Congress
- Homeland Security in addition to Immigration
Those topics are for starters, and 2nd amendment, Right-to-Life and H.R. 1585 should come up somewhere, too.
It’s October, let’s not go easy on ANY of the candidates. The nomination must be earned, and the candidates refined by fire, because nothing they’ll experience in the primary will compare to the onslaught in the general.
Knowing where the Republicans stand before the primary will help the eventual Republican nominees face their Democratic incumbent after March.