Interview: Kyle McCarter

Kyle McCarter challenges Rep. John Shimkus

We recently interviewed Kyle McCarter about his decision to challenge John Shimkus for the 15th District seat in Congress.

Last December, Illinois Review reported that both the Political Action Committee “Club for Growth” and state Senator Kyle McCarter blasted “Illinois Republicans that sided with Paul Ryan’s $1.1 Trillion Omnibus bill,” among them, twenty-year incumbent John Shimkus.

McCarter said, “Once again John Shimkus has abandoned the people of southern Illinois by supporting the liberal Obama-Pelosi spending agenda. Whether it is funding Planned Parenthood, supporting amnesty, or now voting for runaway spending, the truth is Washington has changed Congressman Shimkus into just another big-spending politician.”

“We deserve better from Washington. Congress has to learn to live within its means without these type of wasteful mega spending bills. As a Congressman, I would work towards a balanced budget and holding the line on spending.”

Q: Why are you taking on a 20-year incumbent, and can you raise enough money to be competitive?

A: Everyone knows that Washington DC is broken. And unfortunately, John Shimkus has become a part of the problem. I’m a calculated risk taker. This is a good time to be running.

Q: Discuss your accomplishments in the state Senate that make the case for your candidacy for Congress.

A: I think people in the state legislature know a lot more about, for instance, workers comp – than they ever knew when I came because I have beat that drum from day one. I said from the start that’s what I was going to do and I did it.

I think we’re close to achieving workers comp reform – I think we’re close to getting an agreement for that. I don’t know if it’s going to happen in a month or three months or what – but it’s obviously one of the priorities of the governor. And I believe we’re going to have success.

I think we’re going to have success with unemployment insurance reform as well. That was another thing that I was working on.

I guess the question in this campaign is term limits. Are term limits the answer? It’s not the total answer. But it’s the one thing that I believe that addresses part of the problems in politics today.

People say “you need time to get things done.” Well you sure don’t need twenty years. If you haven’t been able to do anything in twenty years you perhaps weren’t the right guy. It doesn’t take twenty years to get something done.

I feel I’ve gotten a lot done in the legislature. Especially being in the super-minority.

Q: With lackluster performance of the GOP controlled U.S. House and Senate, many republicans are skeptical about the notion that elections have consequences.
A: If I’m elected, the people in the 15th district will have the loud clear voice that they should’ve had over the last two decades.

This is one of the most conservative districts in the state and there’s no reason for the person that represents it not to be one of the loudest. For instance, if you make a promise for term limits – keep it – or don’t make one.

I’m not sure if Shimkus’ pledge was for 3 or 4 or 5 terms – even if it was 5 – he’s a decade off.