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posted: 10/29/2012 5:00 AM

Mathias has earned another tour of duty

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The race for state representative in our district is the only one in Illinois that pits two incumbents, Carol Sente and Sid Mathias. They are both good people and it should not have happened.

Sid has a strong grasp on the impact that decisions made in the General Assembly have on our lives and how those decisions impact our services, from schools to municipal services and the related impact on property taxes. On many occasions in Springfield I have heard him ask thoughtful and key questions in the hearing rooms, and argue persuasively on the House floor.

He has fought within his Republican caucus to win votes for important legislation. Sid is one of those real voices of reason and moderation. He showed leadership during our transit crisis as minority spokesman, working with Julie Hamos to fashion key compromises and solutions. His expertise on transportation has been honed over the years and makes him a voice that people on both sides of the aisle respect.

He fought for legislation to cap real estate assessed valuations. On pensions he has spoken out against shifting the problem to our schools, which may hurt our schools or drive up real estate taxes unless compensatory support is given.

Sid's wealth of experience, knowledge and respect makes him a leader who makes a difference. The barrage of campaign literature and ads suggesting Sid has profited or caused tax increases are patently false and a total distortion. Sid has led many a fight to keep taxes down. Sid is an honest, trustworthy and thoughtful public servant.

Most important he is a caring compassionate individual, not an ideologue, and probably carried more Democratic bills from the Senate in the House than any Republican.

It would be a major mistake to lose a reasonable, moderate voice respected by Republicans and Democrats alike. We must have such people in both caucuses if we hope to ever come up with bipartisan solutions to the major challenges. We cannot afford to lose Sid. He will get a vote from this independent-thinking Democrat; I urge independents, Democrats and Republicans to join me.

Elliott Hartstein

Buffalo Grove

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