Two opposing approaches to governance demonstrated in Lauzen v. Michaels

State Senator Chris Lauzen’s Republican primary opponent Sean Michaels wants to go to Springfield to fix bumpy roads. According to Sean’s comments in the press and on the web, it’s all about working with others to get things accomplished.

What Michaels doesn’t understand because of having spent too much time in municipal government is that at the state level, not everyone is headed in the same direction. The bumpy road is actually a very good metaphor for the current condition of the Illinois Republican Party. Too many Republicans are travelling on the same road of overspending as the Democrats.

If you want to know how bad the finances are in the State of Illinois, I’d recommend the website of the Institute for Truth in Accounting. I think Sean might be surprised to learn that the problem here isn’t guys who support the right solutions (as Chris Lauzen does), but those who have been irresponsible or silent as the mess was made worse.

It’s not about “working with others despite a difference in opinion” as Michaels keeps chirping. It’s about providing the kind of principled leadership where the truth is told even when it’s unpopular among some local Republicans.

Here is a recent, straightforward statement from Lauzen on his service:

“When I was first elected as your State Senator, I made three promises: To work hard, stay honest and use common sense. I have kept those promises to you.

‘Common sense’ to me is the Republican Platform: pro-life, pro-Constitution (including the Second Amendment), pro-traditional family, and a whole bunch less government, and more freedom.

To the best of my ability, this is how I have voted and my voting record is the closest to the Republican Platform of any member in the Illinois General Assembly.

Together our priorities are trust in God and the United States Constitution.”

The United States Consti-what? Isn’t it rather unusual for a politician to mention the U.S. Constitution? Unfortunately, yes, it is, and it shouldn’t be unusual.

This week in one press account the reporter noted that “Lauzen wasn’t shy about his differences with his party’s leaders” –

“‘I’m going to speak up when people are enriching themselves, their family and friends,’ Lauzen said.

But his primary opponent questioned how Lauzen could be effective while being a thorn in his party’s side.”

The Republican Party has failed because they refused to listen to those in the party warning against the path that was (and is still too often) taken.

Here’s another edited excerpt from a news report:

“There are four gripes the GOP has with me,” Lauzen says.

No. 1: He criticizes party leaders. “The leadership job has been poor,” Lauzen says, leading him to propose legislation that would change the way state Republican Party leaders are elected. “If the results were good, I would not have a problem.

The bill referred to there is of course SB600, the single most important legislation for bringing about the reform of the Illinois Republican Party. Chris has championed the bill from the beginning.

No. 2: That he doesn’t bring home the bacon – i.e., money for projects and programs in his district. Lauzen contends that he has; and that furthermore, his reputation as “Senator No” may be unfair. He says his district is one of the tops in getting state money. He also says he was “ready to bite the bullet” on approving sales tax on Internet purchases, to fund the recent capital bill – “but when they put the crack cocaine of gambling – the video poker – in” he voted no.

No. 3: “They say, ‘You won’t shut up about corruption in your own party,’ ” Lauzen says. He’s gone so far as to criticize members of former Congressman Dennis Hastert’s family for profiting from land sales near the path of the proposed Prairie Parkway… Hastert’s son, Ethan, is running for the nomination [of that] Congressional seat.

No. 4: They don’t like his temper. ” ‘Chris, you’re not as happy-go-lucky as you used to be.’ If you saw what I’ve seen in 17 years …”

Residents of the 25th state senate district should re-elect Chris Lauzen. To learn more about his candidacy, visit www.lauzen.com.

©2010 John Francis Biver