The Daily Herald recently endorsed Tom Morrison over Matt Flamm to represent the 54th district in the Illinois House of Representatives. The basic stated premise of the endorsement is that Mr. Morrison has a "stronger" position with regard to budget reduction. However, I believe the editors left out the most necessary ingredient of all: the ability to get the job done once Mr. Morrison or Mr. Flamm takes office.
Like his party's candidate for governor, Mr. Morrison takes a "slash and burn" position that has little regard for either the economic realities or the political nuances he will have to comprehend once he is into the actual give and take of the legislative process. The Brady solution only skims the surface, taking 10 percent here, a billion there, and leaving untouched over $10 billion of the budget shortfall.
I see that Mr. Morrison emphasizes Medicaid reductions for good measure. Again, a red herring with no greatly consequential impact on the budget problem and poorly timed besides given the state of our economy, the loss of jobs and, consequently, health care coverage.
I do not live in the 54th district but have been actively helping Matt because I have known him for over 20 years. I have seen him in action and know that his style is to avoid histrionics and bring people together to resolve their differences and come up with workable solutions.
No matter how attractive hot pre-election rhetoric is right now, we absolutely must be able to rely on the people we elect to sit down together for the next legislative session in Springfield and, find a way to reconcile their differences. They will have to find some point of compromise between pensions and revenues and ultimately pass legislation that puts the budget back in balance and begins the reduction of our long term liabilities to a manageable level.
Slash and burn will not be the answer. Reduce and reconstruct will be more like it. Tom Morrison represents the former, Matt Flamm the latter. I urge the voters of the 54th district to support Matt on Nov. 2.