GOP state House candidate McCombie calls for term limits, redistricting
Tony McCombie, the Republican candidate for House District 71, took a firm stand on prioritizing the issues of term limits and redistricting while campaigning recently in Springfield.
“I stood up with Dan Swanson and Senator Neil Anderson today to call on members of the General Assembly to listen to their constituents and make term limits and independent redistricting a priority,” McCombie said. "Career politicians have made a mess in Springfield, and it is going to take term limits and independent redistricting to clean it up.”
Gov. Bruce Rauner had also recently called on the Illinois General Assembly to vote on a term limits constitutional amendment when members return for the fall session. He acknowledged that term limit law would not solve all of Illinois’ problems — identifying corruption, conflicts of interest, the pension system, budget balance and property tax reform as problem areas — but envisioned creating an atmosphere designed to retain jobs and residents.
McCombie expressed her strong support of term limits.
“Public servants are supposed to be citizens who represent their communities, but the broken system we have today lets career politicians hold power for decades,” she said. “It’s time for our lawmakers to be accountable to us.”
The governor’s efforts followed a Cook County judge's July 20 ruling against putting a measure on the ballot to allow independently drawn legislative maps. Soon afterward, the Illinois Supreme Court granted a motion for a direct appeal of the Cook County Circuit Court ruling on the constitutionality of the proposed citizen-initiated amendment on redistricting, known as the Independent Map Amendment.
“Term limits and fair maps would give the people of Illinois more control over our broken political system," Rauner said. "A lower court threw out this year’s fair-maps proposal that has the support of nearly 600,000 Illinois citizens and support from both Democrats and Republicans. We cannot let this stand.”
The governor said redistricting is critically needed so that voters can select their elected officials through an independently drawn map — ensuring competitive elections and eliminating “no opposition” instances resulting from artificially constructed legislative boundaries.
“The system has given so many advantages to incumbents in the legislature that it’s very hard to vote them out, even if they aren’t doing a good job,” Rauner said, adding that the only way to overcome entrenched political power is to keep fighting for term limits. “That’s just wrong. We can change that; we must change that. Term limits is an issue I believe in deeply and so do the people of Illinois.”
As he’s traveled the state, Rauner said he’s learned the most by talking to people, not politicians.
“People want us to fix the broken system that has put our state deep in the hole, but in Springfield, too many career politicians hold power and have been too happy to kick the can down the road and do nothing about our biggest problems,” he said.
That, Rauner said, is how the state ended up with a $100 billion unfunded pension liability. Even with the state’s massive tax bills, the government spends $1.30 for every dollar it takes in.
“It simply defies common sense," Rauner said. "The people I talk to every day balance their budgets, and they expect us to balance the state’s. To do that, we need new people with their new ideas in Springfield.”
Rauner said state legislators should return to being more focused on public service, rather than personal gain and a government pension.
“People in business are successful by making things happen, but in politics, career politicians don’t have to make anything happen to get re-elected,” he said. “If they play their cards right, they’ve got a lifetime job. We’ve got politicians in Springfield who’ve been there 20, 30, 40 years -- and look what’s happened to our state in that time. It’s time for change.”
McCombie hopes her being elected will help bring about positive change.
“As your next state representative, I will be a strong voice for the political reforms we need to get our government working for us again," she said.