January 11, 2010 | Filed Under Barack Obama, Budget, Business, Chicago, Congress, Cook County, Economy/Finances, Elections, GOP, Illinois, Jobs, Liberals, Republicans, Society/Culture, State Government, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | 1 Comment
-By Warner Todd Huston
Last week I spoke to candidate for Congress Randy Hultgren (R, DuPage County) who would like to win your GOP nomination for the 14th Congressional District. The 14th District encompasses the cities of Elgin in the east, westward toward DeKalb, Dixon and Sterling and as far south west as Coal Valley. The shape of the district is like that of a gas pump handle with the nozzle headed westward.
Attorney and business owner Randy Hultgren is currently the 48th District State Senator elected to that position in 2007. In 1999 he was elected to the State House and served there until elected to the Senate. Hultgren has been involved in state politics for 20 some years.
On his website, Hultgren says he’s running for Congress because he believes “we need real conservatism in Washington,” and that he’s proud to call himself a “real Conservative.” (Website: http://hultgrenforcongress.com/)
I began my time with Senator Hultgren noting that the filed of candidates for the 14th District was once pretty large but that in the last month it has been winnowed down to two candidates: himself and Ethan Hastert, son of former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. It is well known that the national party and folks like Newt Gingrich have announced their support of Hastert and I wondered what Mr. Hultgren’s reaction was to this fact.
Well, I’d like to make the contrast very clear I am running to represent the people of the 14th Congressional District, this is their seat in Congress not mine or anybody else’s to will or to give away. I’ve been committed to serving the people I represent in both the State House and Senate and I really think this shows a contrast of Hastert being an establishment candidate. The Washington folks who consistently think they know better than we know for ourselves have swept in and said “we’ve got the guy for you” in the person of Ethan Hastert.
Hultgren says that he’s the only one in the race that has repeatedly been elected by the very people of the 14th District and Hastert has never done anything to deserve all the support he’s gotten from outside the District. He told me that this election is a chance for the voters to tell those Washington insiders that they want to decide and don’t want to have their choice made for them from outside the District. But Hultgren didn’t deny that it was “frustrating.”
It’s frustrating that the Party is doing it in a way, although I think they are helping make the case for me as well that he’s running on his name and also running on just being an establishment candidate at a time when we are concerned about the establishment, both the Democrat and Republican establishments. So, we need something fresh, we need something new, we need a wind blown through Washington D.C. for people who are committed to serving, not going there to get rich, not going there to take care of their friends and family but more because they’re passionate about their district, passionate about the future for our kids.
But even with the outsiders and “establishment” insiders lighting on young Hastert, Hultgren has picked up some endorsements.
It’s been a good couple of weeks. We got the endorsement of the Illinois Federation for Right to Life, and the Illinois Citizens for Life, The Eagle Forum, Concerned Women for America, National Taxpayers United of Illinois — the biggest taxpayers group in Illinois — and several others that we’ll soon announce. Each week we’re picking up more and more so there’s some momentum there.
I wanted to know what Hultgren’s main focus was going to be should he make it to Congress. What issues did he feel were the focal point of his campaign?
Well our biggest goal is to pull back on this socialistic takeover of our lives by big government. They’re very determined to take over every part of our lives. Like in the financial markets where they moved the epicenter from Wall Street to Washington D.C. that is now the financial center. We saw it with energy, with cap and trade, where they are meddling. It seems that in the minds of Washington D.C. that we live too well, that our quality of life is too good and we need to lower our quality of life. That’s their intention with cap and trade, of taxing everyday people forcing us to do things in energy choices that we make. It will have a huge impact on small business and it will impact the job creators out there.
Hultgren was very passionate about returning to an America that valued entrepreneurship and pledged to do his best to help small businesses grow again.
We need to get government out of the way and and allow that free enterprise spirit to grow again and not feel so threatened by our government. Then we are going to start creating more jobs, our economy can start building, we’re going to have some natural revenue growth because of all of that. And that’s what we need to get back to in creating good jobs, good paying jobs, so we can get back to our economies growing locally once again and it’s not only government that is the only sector of our lives or our nation that they are hiring for right now.
Hultgren denigrated Congress for playing up to unions and for trying to get its fingers in all our lives especially in our healthcare choices.
We also see it very clearly in healthcare where they are trying to put a bureaucrat between you and your doctor, trying to take over one sixth of our economy. And a bigger part of this is they want to unionize a lot of these jobs and they want to give power to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and other official government unions so that they can have more power there, so they have more power over another aspect of our lives.
So you’ll see that too many in Congress think they know better. Our current Congressman, Bill Foster, he thinks he knows better than the rest of us on what we need and we’ve seen that with his healthcare vote, with pushing for public funding of abortion, with his push on this card check. He’s not representing his district but he’s representing Nancy Pelosi and it’s all upside down.
Hultgren told me that he met a constituent that bemoaned that 20 year ago he went into private business instead of going into government, this voter told Hultgren that government seemed to be the only safe job anymore. Hultgren also said that this was “upside down” because government jobs, benefits and pensions are too lavish.
I next asked where Hultgren stood on gun rights.
I’m a 100% supporter of the Second Amendment. I have an “A” rating from the NRA from my service in the State Senate and the House. The Illinois State Rifle Assoc. and the NRA has been consistently supportive of me in my work down in Springfield and I will continue to support the Second Amendment. Some of the best firearms makers in the country are making good jobs and creating great firearms for collectors and sportsmen and for our military, so I want to protect that industry and protect our rights. I am a supporter of the Castle law where you can protect your own home and am against the Chicago gun laws.
I also asked about abortion, but Hultgren has a long history of being anti-abortion and being a pro-lifer in Springfield. He noted that incumbent Congressman Bill Foster voted in favor of federal funding of abortion and said that he would never vote for such a thing.
On school choice and vouchers, Hultgren pledged his support. He noted that he is also a huge supporter of homeschooling pointing out that he and his wife homeschool their own children. “My wife and I, well she does most of the work, but our kids are homeschooled,” Hultgren told me, “And so we’ve made that choice on the best way that our kids can be educated to get all that they can to be the best in the career that they choose.”
I asked his stance on the President’s efforts in Afghanistan and for the most part Hultgren supported the PResident. But he was against the idea of announcing in advance any pull out dates.
It troubles me that we put arbitrary dates out there that you have to be out by a certain date. I think we can give our troops the resources to finish their work there as soon as possible. Again, though, when you throw those arbitrary dates out there I think it just helps our enemies to hold off until those dates. So, I support the troops but I don’t support putting out things that can be used against us.
I gave Hultgren the final word…
I think the message of this race is that we need to turn things around in Washington D.C. we need a representative whose actually representing us. Clearly Bill Foster is not doing that. We need to defeat them and we have to do it this year. This is a key election year and the 14th Congressional District will send a message across the nation that the current Administration, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid are headed in the wrong direction. The people of the 14th Congressional District aren’t going to stand for it any longer. So, to defeat Bill Foster we need a candidate that has a real record, a record of serving people, not the establishment candidate, not the entitled candidate but a candidate that has been actually out there working for people building the experience of public service of fighting against trial lawyers by passing malpractice reform here in Illinois which I was a chief sponsor of and being able to give that Republican authority that can pull together all Republicans once again to beat Bill Foster. We’ve had a divided Republican Party in the past here because of lawsuits and government meddling in our choices. We need to step up and serve, we need to have one of our own, a person that’s been here, that’s been working for us, that’s been serving us, that can be our Republican candidate to unite the Republican Party and to beat Bill Foster in November. And I think I’m the candidate that can do that.
Randy Hultgren has, indeed, shown that he is the choice of the people with his record of having been elected to the State House as well as the State Senate. Let’s see if he can surmount a candidate supported from outside the district and can get his message to the people?
Hultgren’s website is http://hultgrenforcongress.com/.
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