Chicago Mayor (and IL-02, IL-04, IL-05, IL-07): Da Mare Out

As long as this SSP Editor (and newly minted Chicago resident) has been walking this earth, Chicago hasn’t had a mayor not named Richard M. Daley. Some thought it would never happen, but Da Mare is calling it quits:

Mayor Richard Daley says he will not run for re-election in 2011, saying it’s “time for me, it’s time for Chicago to move on.”

“The truth is I have been thinking about this for the past several months,” Daley said at a City Hall news conference that stunned the city. “In the end this is a personal decision, no more, no less.”

With the top spot in the Second City opening up for the first time in 22 years, speculation has already run rampant regarding who might throw their hat in the ring. Northwest/Southwest Side Congressman Luis Gutierrez is already forming an exploratory committee, while West Side Congressman Danny K. Davis won’t rule anything out just yet.

The 800-(fuckin’)-pound gorilla in the fuckin’ room, of course, is Rahm Emanuel, who represented a chunk of the North Side-based 5th district and had made his mayoral ambitions public awhile ago. But with even Rahmbo’s successor in Congress, Mike Quigley, saying that Rahm isn’t a shoo-in (among others, including South Side Congressmen Bobby Rush and Jesse Jackson Jr.), this race just may prove to be the hottest ticket around after November. (Quigley and JJJr. also haven’t ruled out runs, either.)

Other candidates floated include Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, outgoing Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan, North Side state Rep. John Fritchey, South Side state Sen. James Meeks, Circuit Court Clerk (and failed Cook County Board President candidate and ’07 mayoral candidate) Dorothy Brown, and two North Side Cook County Commissioners – Bridget Gainer (10th) and Forrest Claypool (12th, who’s also running as an indie for Cook County Assessor).

A host of Aldermen and former Aldermen (our term for City Councilpeople) are also rumored to be interested, including Manny Flores (formerly 1st Ward – Logan Square/Wicker Park), Bob Fioretti (2nd – South Loop/Near West Side), Leslie Hairston (5th – Hyde Park/Grand Crossing), JJJr.’s wife Sandi Jackson (7th – South Shore/Calumet Heights), Ed Burke (14th – Brighton Park/Gage Park), Scott Waguespack (32nd – Bucktown/Roscoe Village), Tom Allen (38th – Portage Park), Brendan Reilly (42nd – River North/Loop) and Tom Tunney (44th – Lakeview/Boystown). For what it’s worth, a third member of the Jackson family – JJJr.’s son Jonathan – has also been mentioned as a potential candidate.

If I’ve thrown enough neighborhood/area names in to confuse you, here’s a ward map I made, and the City’s official neighborhood map (pdf).

(And because I can’t get enough digs in on Todd Stroger, who knows, the soon-to-be former Cook County Board President – who finished 4th in his primary with 14% in February – might even be delusional enough to run!)

No mention of this race would be complete without a mention of the racial divisions present here. Chicago’s voting-age population, as of 2000, was 36.7% non-Hispanic White, 33.8% non-Hispanic Black, 22.8% Hispanic, and 4.7% Asian; leaders in both the Hispanic and Black communities have stated that they will be represented in the field. There’ll also be a divide between the pro-Daley loyalists and anti-Daley reformists, especially among white voters, probably between the younger “lakefront liberals” and the old-school machine pols on the Northwest/Southwest Sides. (Knowing nothing about the field right now, this Lakefront Lib would love to vote for Claypool, but would also happily vote for Gainer or Waguespack.)

Under Chicago’s quirky off-year municipal election calendar, petitions are due betwen November 15 and 22, with the primary election on February 22, 2011 and the general (i.e. runoff) between the top two vote-getters six weeks later on April 5 should no one receive 50% +1. With Daley – and many of his allies on the Chicago City Council – heading for the exits (and promotion-seeking Aldermen not running for re-election), one thing is certain: Chicago’s political landscape will be quite different come next April.

Update: A few more names I’ve seen bandied about: City Clerk Miguel del Valle, and Ald. Joe Moore (49th – Rogers Park/West RP). All the candidates highlighted here are Democrats…there’s 1 Republican (of 50) on the Chicago City Council, Brian Doherty (41st – Edison Park/O’Hare), and even he’s a close Daley ally.

Update 2: Even more candidates rumored, two of the Daley family: Da Mare’s brother William Daley, and his son Patrick Daley. More state officials include outgoing comptroller (and failed gubernatorial candidate) Dan Hynes and Attorney General (and daughter of state House Speaker Mike) Lisa Madigan. There’s also Cook County ClerkDavid Orr (who briefly served as mayor after Harold Washington’s death), former State Senate Majority Leader Emil Jones, and Ald. Gene Schulter (47th – North Center/Lincoln Square).

SSP Daily Digest: 4/8

IL-05: Congratulations to our newest House member, Mike Quigley. The Cook County Commissioner won the special election in this safe Dem seat last night, defeating GOPer Rosanna Pulido 70-24 (with the balance going to Green Party candidate Matt Reichel). (There were only about 34,000 votes cast in this election, compared with about 58,000 in the primary, since that’s where all the action was.)

AK-Sen: Gov. Sarah Palin will not be challenging Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the 2010 senate primary; in fact, she’ll be assisting Murkowski with raising money (despite simmering tensions between the two factions). It remains to be seen whether she’ll be running for re-election as governor in 2010, or bailing out after one term to focus on the 2012 presidential race (which, geographically speaking, is hard to do from Alaska).

VA-Gov: If there’s one thing Terry McAuliffe is good at, it’s raising money. He raked in $4.2 million in the first quarter for his gubernatorial campaign. He started April with $2.5 million CoH as the race heads toward the June 9 primary.

IA-Gov: With Iowa’s Supreme Court having effectively made same-sex marriages legal, the 2010 governor’s race could turn into a proxy referendum on the issue (with Gov. Chet Culver unwilling to amend the state constitution to block the courts). And this may draw a higher-profile challenger to the race: nutty GOP Rep. Steve King, whose name has been occasionally associated with this race, says the sudden rise of this issue makes him “more likely” to enter the race.

GA-Gov: As noted by fitchfan28 in diaries, state House minority leader Dubose Porter has thrown his hat into the ring for the Democratic nomination for Georgia governor. He joins AG Thurbert Baker and former SoS David Poythress as announced candidates, with former governor Roy Barnes scoping out the race as well.

NJ-12: Rush Holt may receive a credible challenge in 2010, from Fair Haven mayor Mike Halfacre, who just filed exploratory paperwork. Fair Haven is in Republican-leaning Monmouth County; the district as a whole, though, is blue, if not overwhelming so (Obama won 58-41).

EFCA: In the wake of yesterday’s announcement that Blanche Lincoln would oppose EFCA’s current form, two more moderate Dem wafflers got off the fence in favor of EFCA (or, more technically, in favor of cloture): Mark Udall and Mark Warner. Campaign Diaries has a very handy head count, indicating that possible passage is still very close, and an unpacked version of the bill (for instance, containing the binding arbitration portion, leaving ‘card check’ for another year) may still be passed.

CfG: With Pat Toomey about to leave the helm of the Club for Growth to pursue his senate bid against Arlen Specter, they need someone new to wave the sword for the circular firing squad. Looks like the job may fall to yet another ex-Rep who brought the crazy to a swing district, Chris Chocola. (Chocola got bounced from IN-02 in 2006 by Joe Donnelly.)

Omaha-Mayor: In last night’s Omaha mayoral all-party primary election, former GOP Rep. Hal Daub (himself a former Omaha mayor) squeaked into first place with 35.6% of the vote to Democratic concilman Jim Suttle’s 34.3%. Republican Councilman Jim Vokal came in third, picking up 28.2% of the vote. New Nebraska Network’s Kyle Michaelis argues that despite the Republican candidates picking up more votes overall, Daub’s weak finish is not a good sign for his chances in the general election. (J)

SSP Daily Digest: 4/7

MN-Sen: After the court-ordered opening of the 351 previously rejected absentee ballots, Al Franken’s lead just grew to 312 votes (up from 225 votes after the hand recount). Although the Minnesota Supreme Court still has to rule on some miscellaneous issues (the possibility of some double-counts), these questions affect fewer than 300 ballots, meaning that it is now mathematically impossible for Norm Coleman to prevail.

RI-Gov: After backing off and saying he wouldn’t decide anything until May, it seems like Lincoln Chafee has turned around again and has officially formed his exploratory committee. He will be “putting together a plan that will lay the groundwork for an Independent campaign for governor in 2010.”

PA-Sen: Arlen Specter has come out firing against Pat Toomey’s likely primary challenge… and he’s already shooting blanks. He had to pull down and revise his attack ad for a factual error. He had accused Toomey of having traded credit default swaps while a Wall Street trader in the 80s (turns out CDSs hadn’t been invented yet at that point). Trying a new tack on today’s Morning Joe, Specter said that Toomey is too conservative to win statewide, accusing him of being “to the right of Rick Santorum.”

AR-Sen: Looks like Wal-Mart may have sent Blanche Lincoln a cheap Chinese-made horse head for her bed. Lincoln, who supported the Employee Free Choice Act last time it came up, has announced she won’t be supporting it this time around, at least “in its current form.” Even if Franken gets seated and Specter flip-flops again, this probably defers EFCA until after 2010 (unless it passes in a gutted form).

NV-Sen: John Ensign is making his first speaking appearance in Iowa later this spring. Signs of a presidential run? Possible, considering the paltry lot the GOP has on tap so far. This is of SSP interest primarily because Ensign is up for re-election in 2012 and would leave behind an open seat in this newly blue seat in order to run.

IL-Sen: Big first-quarter haul for Treasurer (and Friend of Barack) Alexi Giannoulias, the only announced candidate for IL-Sen so far. He pulled in $1.1 million, none of which was from corporate PACs.

FL-Sen: When asked for his assessment of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s job performance, Democratic Senate candidate Kendrick Meek dodged the question, telling the St. Petersburg Times that “I haven’t yet reviewed his work”. Sharp answer! (J)

FL-Gov: Hey, pallie – you better watch it! Charles Bronson says he’s going to run for governor of Florida if Charles Crist runs for the Senate. And you thought Charles Bronson was dead! Wrong again, pallie! (D)

FL-02: State senator Al Lawson, who’s primarying Allen Boyd from the left, seems like he won’t be pulling punches in going after Boyd. Lawson (who’s said a few Blue Doggish things of his own in the past) says “From my perspective, a Blue Dog is just a closet Republican,” and is “committed to being a true Democrat.”

LA-Legislature: There were three special elections in Louisiana legislative races over the weekend (a Democratic senate seat in Opelousas, a Democratic house seat in New Orleans, and a GOP house seat in Baton Rouge suburbs). Despite the GOP contesting all three seats, Democrats held the line in their two open seats (including one to replace Don Cravins, who’s moved to Washington). The candidates in both runoffs will be Democrats, meaning Dems will hold their 4-seat edge in the senate and 1-seat edge in the house.  

IL-05: It’s special election day in the dark, dark blue 5th. Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley faces off against GOP activist (and Minutewoman) Rosanna Pulido and a Green party candidate. In a big surprise, SSP will not be liveblogging the results.

IL-05: A Detailed Look at the Special Election

(More phenomenal work from jeffmd – promoted by James L.)

If I lived a few miles south, I’d live smack in the middle of Illinois’ 5th Congressional District.

Given that 12 candidates were running in the election on Tuesday – and that Quigley won with no more than 25% of the vote, I wanted to take a detailed look at the results by precinct.

A few Saturdays ago, I was running errands in Ravenswood. As I rode the Brown Line south towards the Loop, I noticed a distinct pattern in yard (or perhaps more accurately, window) signs – each neighborhood had the majority of signs supporting one candidate. North-South, they roughly went O’Connor, then Fritchey, then Quigley, then Feigenholtz.

So using the results available from the Chicago BoE, I tried to see if these yard signs were actually reflective. I also look at if each candidate did better in the district (whether State House, County Commissioner, or City Ward) that they represented.

I only got around to analyzing results within the city of Chicago though. Illinois (go figure) establishes separate election authorities for the City of Chicago and Suburban Cook County, and the Cook Suburbs didn’t give me the requisite shapefiles to play with.

So, here’s the goody that I think we’re all waiting for: the winner by precinct (within the City of Chicago).

More maps and results below the flip.

Of course, this map doesn’t show what the magnitude of the win in each precinct was, so this is a map that does. The legend might be unclear, so a color in the first column of the box indicates a precinct won by a candidate with 0-20%. In the second column, 20-30%, etc.

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Grey indicates a tie in both maps. Just some quick qualitative comments: Wheelan’s 7 precincts all came in Lincoln Park – the most affluent neighborhood of Chicago. Feigenholtz’s strength was in Lakeview, especially in Chicago’s LGBT center along North Halsted. Fritchey did well in Rahm’s homebase of North Center, as well as some outlying precincts here and there. Forys did best in Portage Park – a predominantly Polish neighborhood, and O’Connor did well in his base in Lincoln Square. Quigley’s strongholds are harder to point out – some precincts in Albany Park and Irving Park in the center of the district, but also the sliver of Edgewater that isn’t in the 9th CD, and much of Wrigleyville and Lakeview beyond Belmont.

Just to recap, here were the results from the city of Chicago:

Wheelan Feigenholtz Fritchey Forys Geoghegan Quigley O’Connor Other
5th CD 3,501 8,261 9,147 5,495 3,228 11,551 6,139 3,452
6.90% 16.27% 18.02% 10.82% 6.36% 22.75% 12.09% 6.80%

Overall, there are 486 precincts in the Chicago part of the district. Quigley won 153, Fritchey 98, Forys 90, Feigenholtz and O’Connor 57 each, and Wheelan 7. Additionally, 23 precincts were tied.

So sure, the maps are pretty and all, but what do they actually indicate? Well, let’s break it down by the various districts involved.

For those of you keeping score:

-Fritchey represents the 11th Legislative District; Feigenholtz represents the 12th.

-Quigley represents the 10th Cook County Commissioner District.

-O’Connor represents the 40th Ward of the City of Chicago.

So by LD first:

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Wheelan Feigenholtz Fritchey Forys Geoghegan Quigley O’Connor Other
11th LD 1,244 1,674 2,238 94 865 2,812 591 438
12.49% 16.81% 22.48% 0.94% 8.69% 28.24% 5.94% 4.40%
12th LD 652 2,587 440 74 413 1,916 184 238
10.02% 39.78% 6.77% 1.14% 6.35% 29.46% 2.83% 3.66%
Other LD 1,605 4,000 6,469 5,327 1,950 6,823 5,364 2,776
4.68% 11.66% 18.85% 15.52% 5.68% 19.88% 15.63% 8.09%

As you can see, Feigenholtz clearly had the ‘in-district’ effect – earning 40% within the 12th LD compared to 13% outside. She dominated here, winning 42 of 63 precincts, including half with 45%+.

The effect for Fritchey is less clear, he earned 22% within the 11th LD compared to 17% outside. He carried 26 of 91 precincts, compared to Quigley’s 48.

For Cook County Commission Districts:

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Wheelan Feigenholtz Fritchey Forys Geoghegan Quigley O’Connor Other
10th Commis. 1,296 3,577 1,089 235 795 3,477 1,876 508
10.08% 27.83% 8.47% 1.83% 6.19% 27.05% 14.60% 3.95%
Other Commis. 2,205 4,684 8,058 5,260 2,433 8,074 4,263 2,944
5.81% 12.35% 21.25% 13.87% 6.42% 21.29% 11.24% 7.76%

The effect for Quigley is of questionable magnitude as well. He got 27% inside the 10th Commis, compared to 21% outside. Precinct-wise, his numbers weren’t amazing either, winning 37 of 121 – compared to Fritchey’s 48. For those of you with fast math skills, that means Quigley won 30.5% of precincts within his district and 32% of those not. Go figure.

Incidentally, yes, the 10th Commissioner district is contiguous – it simply runs outside the 5th, so I did not display it here.

Lastly, by city ward:

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Wheelan Feigenholtz Fritchey Forys Geoghegan Quigley O’Connor Other
40th Ward 97 323 197 16 200 445 1,562 91
3.31% 11.02% 6.72% 0.55% 6.82% 15.18% 53.29% 3.10%
Other Wards 3,404 7,938 8,950 5,479 3,028 11,106 4,577 3,361
7.11% 16.59% 18.71% 11.45% 6.33% 23.21% 9.57% 7.03%

The ‘home district’ effect is clearest for 40th Ward Alderman O’Connor. He earned a stunning 53% within his ward, compared to 10% throughout the rest of the city. He swept 22 of 27 precincts as well. 12 of these 22 yielded 60%+ for him. Remnants of the machine? I’ll leave you to decide.

So was there a home district effect? Maybe. I think Quigley was able to win simply because he wasn’t limited to it. He was able to perform consistently both within and outside the 10th Commissioner district – enough to squeeze out a win.

IL-05: Predictions Open Thread

Voters in Illinois’ Fighting 5th are choosing the Democratic nominee to replace Rahm Emanuel tonight. We won’t be liveblogging the race tonight (sorry, liveblogging fans), but if you have any predictions, now’s the time to put it all on the table.

UPDATE (David) (9:40PM): With 80% of the vote counted, Mike Quigley has a pretty substantial 2,100 vote lead.

10:27PM: The AP calls it for Quigley. Congrats to the newest member of our caucus. (Okay, yeah, there is a general election, but check out how many total votes there were in the GOP primary.)

If You Are Shopping for a Candidate, Ask Yourself These Questions


  1. What is the most important issue in this race, and who is most qualified to deal with it? I believe it’s the economy, and that I’m uniquely qualified to deal with economic issues. I teach public policy at the University of Chicago and wrote a book called Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science that has been published in 10 languages. I’ve spent my entire adult life working on issues like education, health care, tax policy, and transportation.

  2. Why do we end up with so many corrupt politicians? Because we keep electing the same kind of people. Whenever we have a political opening – like this Congressional seat – we always go looking for a replacement in the same places, as if there is some kind of political farm league. But that means we usually end up with career politicians who have a powerful incentive to protect their careers.

     If you want a different outcome, elect a different kind of candidate. As I always say on the stump, “Chicago produced both Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama-but only one of them taught at the University of Chicago. So stick with that model!”

  3. Can one representative really make a difference? Yes. In fact, the U.S. has a long history of academics who have become highly effective politicians (on both sides of the aisle): Paul Douglas; Daniel Patrick Moynihan; Paul Wellstone; Newt Gingrich; Hubert Humphrey; Phil Gramm; Woodrow Wilson. They were all professors before they went to Washington. And they all “punched above their weight” because they brought an intellectual heft to the job that they could put to work right away on important issues.

This is a great time for substance over politics, and that is exactly what I would like to bring to the job.

So tomorrow before you vote, ask yourself these questions. I think you’ll feel very comfortable that the answers begin with voting for me.



SSP Daily Digest: 2/27

NH-Sen: Oh, darn. Ex-Sen. Bob Smith isn’t planning to run in the GOP primary for Judd Gregg’s open senate seat. He said he prefers to remain a Florida resident.

OH-Sen: Add a fourth candidate (and, with Tyrone Yates, a second African-American with a less-than-statewide profile) to the mix in the Ohio senate primary: Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones. Last week he told Ohio Daily Blog that he’d be forming an exploratory committee this week. (No telling if that actually happened.)

OH-02: You may remember David Krikorian, an independent who racked up double-digits in last year’s Schmidt/Wulsin faceoff. He’s announced that he’s going to seek the Democratic nomination for a rerun, as a loud ‘n’ proud Blue Dog.

IL-05: It’s the last weekend of campaigning before the Mar. 3 primary for the special election to fill Rahm Emanuel’s seat. With 12 candidates and projected low turnout, basically anything can happen. While Emanuel hasn’t endorsed, Politico does observe that there’s a Sara Feigenholtz sign in his yard in Chicago.

DCCC: Chris Van Hollen announced his 2009-10 chair for candidate recruitment: Rep. Steve Israel (of NY-02). He also announced that Robby Mook, most recently Jeanne Shaheen’s campaign manager, will take over as the DCCC’s political director.

FEC: This ought to make James’s job a lot easier: Russ Feingold has introduced legislation, widely expected to pass, requiring Senate candidates to electronically file their campaign finance reports with the FEC, the way House candidates already do. Currently, Senate filings are paper-only.

KY-St Sen.: Here’s a bit of good news that’s a few weeks old that eluded us until now: a Democratic candidate, Mike Reynolds, won the Feb. 11 special election to fill the state senate seat vacated by Republican Brett Guthrie (elected in KY-02 in November). The 32nd, based in Bowling Green, is in a deep red area at the federal level, but apparently still maintains a downballot Dem tradition. The GOP still controls the state senate, 21-16-1.

NYC: SSP doesn’t usually delve into county-level governance, but this involves one of the legal community’s most legendary members: Bob Morgenthau, the District Attorney of New York County (aka Manhattan), has decided not to go for a 10th term. Currently 89 years old, he’s been in office for 35 years.

Retread Watch: Yeah, there’s some precedent for this. But isn’t it a little sad that twice-defeated House loser Jeb Bradley is considering a run for New Hampshire state Senate?

Charlie’s Thoughts on President Obama’s Housing Relief Plan

President Obama’s Homeowner Relief Plan is an important step towards resolving the current financial crisis. In particular, I support the key premises of the plan: 1) Preventing foreclosures will keep houses from being dumped onto the market, which drags down the value of neighboring properties and perpetuates the downward spiral in real estate prices; and 2) It is crucial to keep families in their homes in order to minimize the human toll of this serious economic downturn.

However, the President’s plan can be improved in a way that would accomplish both of those objectives while minimizing the cost to taxpayers and holding borrowers accountable for imprudent borrowing decisions. The government should place a lien on any property that is eligible for mortgage relief equal to the difference between the old and new mortgages. If the property is eventually sold at a profit, as is likely to happen with many of these properties when the real estate market eventually recovers, then taxpayers ought to recover some or all of the government funds that were used to keep homeowners in their homes during these difficult times.

As an example, the program might work like this in the 5th District:

A homeowner currently has a $200,000 mortgage on a home in Franklin Park that is now worth $180,000 and the payments are no longer affordable. The President’s plan would avert foreclosure by offering a new, more affordable $150,000 mortgage. However, this plan should also include a lien on that home for $50,000, which is the amount of taxpayer-funded relief offered to this homeowner.

If the property is eventually sold for $280,000, the government would receive $50,000 at the time of the sale. The property owner would still benefit from the appreciation in the value of the property; however, it is fair that the taxpayers be reimbursed for having averted foreclosure during this sharp downturn in the real estate market.

If a home does not appreciate in value before being sold, then the lien would not be exercised. Similarly, if a property appreciates only modestly, then only some percentage of the lien would be collected. The point of the program is simply to recover the cost of taxpayer assistance from the profits that would otherwise go to homeowners who have benefited from this government program.

President Obama’s plan is a crucial step towards stabilizing the housing market. This modification would reduce its total cost for taxpayers and impose a reasonable responsibility on the homeowners who take advantage of the mortgage relief.

Raise Taxes to Lower Taxes and Protect the Planet? It is possible – thank the Carbon Tax

The economic stimulus bill generated a lot of talk about taxes. As we work our way out of this economic mess, we need innovative, effective solutions to taxes – not just short term band-aids. We need to move in a new direction. Here’s a big idea: let’s phase in a carbon tax, to protect our planet and reward productive investments.

How does this work? Raise the cost of carbon-based fuels through some form of federal tax on carbon emissions; these new revenues should be fully or partially offset by cuts in the income, payroll, or corporate income taxes.

In other words, let’s tax the things we don’t want and use the revenues to reduce taxes and costs on inventors, investors and innovative new businesses in the development of alternative energy sources. By permanently cutting taxes on workers and investors, we can help the economy recover through growth and higher employment- and have a cleaner, greener environment.

It’s extraordinary that groups ranging from the Sierra Club to the American Enterprise Institute recognize that a carbon tax makes sense for America. If you are up for a good read, check out:…

And, to shamelessly plug my own writing on the topic,…

In addition, let’s ensure that the stimulus bill starts this process, by shifting the transportation funding formulas to increase the amount that is dedicated to mass transit. Historically, only 20% of federal funding goes to transit with the remaining 80% focused on automobile infrastructure. This is out of whack with the future.  By investing more in transit, and removing various administrative hurdles, we can create more sustainable communities throughout the nation.

I know that the transition to a carbon tax will not be easy, but our current path is reckless and short-sighted. It must change.

I’m running for Congress in the 5th District in Illinois, because more than at any other point in my lifetime, good policy truly matters. I’m an economics expert who can bring big ideas – and practical solutions – at a time this is needed most.

Our national and local economy is the single most important issue in this election. We’re all scared. We’ve lost jobs. We’ve watched our retirement and college savings shrink, or disappear. We put our trust in our financial system, and it robbed us. Congress must act to stop the downward spiral and- more importantly- take steps to make sure this can never happen again. The carbon tax is one tool in our toolbox that can fix our energy and environmental issues for the long term.