Thillens says voters are looking for people outside the box
The people of Illinois are frustrated with the politicians at the state capital, according to Mel Thillens, Republican candidate running for Senate District 28.
Thillens has glimpsed the voters’ disappointment with the current political climate as he speaks to them on his campaign. They react well to some of Thillens' proposals for change, such as term limits.
“People are frustrated with politicians that are more concerned with protecting their power and getting reelected than with serving their constituents,” Thillens recently told North Cook News. “People are responsive to my calls for term limits, property tax relief and business-friendly initiatives. Voters are looking for people like me that are from outside the political establishment.”
The entrepreneur believes that Illinois cannot maintain its previous voting habit and expect change.
"We can’t keep electing the same machine politicians and expect to get different results,” Thillens said. “The problems in Illinois were made by people. They didn’t fall out of the sky. We can get our state back on track if we start sending good people to Springfield.”
Sending good people to Springfield so they can keep good people from leaving Illinois is vital in a state that has seen a shrinking workforce. Recent unemployment numbers showed that while the unemployment rate shrank to 6.4 percent, down from 6.6 percent in April, the labor force shrank as well.
In fact, the state lost 2,500 jobs in May.
“Even with the lower unemployment numbers, Illinois still has the highest unemployment rate in the Midwest,” Thillens said. “Additionally, the unemployment numbers do not account for the people that have left the state’s workforce. Last year alone, 100,000 people left the state of Illinois. Illinoisans are fleeing the state for better opportunities elsewhere.”
Many nearby states offer better prospects with lower cost of living and better job opportunities. Thillens, a business owner, understands the burden families experience in Illinois. He calls out the Democratic majority for their inability to help the middle class.
“Illinois Democrats say they are for the middle class, but they have held power for decades, yet people and businesses are leaving at alarming rates and median household income has stayed stagnant since the year 2000,” Thillens said. “As an employer of 125 people, I understand what it means to have families relying on you to make good decisions. We need more of that in Springfield.”
Good decisions are something the state desperately needs as it faces a budget impasse that has affected almost every aspect of Illinois. Many vital programs aimed at helping the most vulnerable are cutting their hours and manpower. They are fearful they will have to shutter their doors without funding from the state. These programs disproportionately affect women, at-risk youths and the homeless.
Education at all levels is seeing the effects of the impasse. Many schools are unsure if they will open their doors this fall. Universities and colleges in the state have seen a drop in enrollment and funding, as well.
As all of this mess continues, House Speaker Michael Madigan cancelled another General Assembly session this past Wednesday, June 22. This is the third time in a row the speaker has called off a meeting.
“It’s hard to believe politicians like Madigan and Cullerton actually care about the people being hurt by the budget impasse,” Thillens said. “Members of the Illinois General Assembly should be in session every day until a budget is passed. Instead, Madigan, Cullerton and my opponent would rather spend time campaigning than working towards any sort of compromise.”
The Republican candidate insists that it is finally time for politicians to work together for the betterment of the state.
“It’s time these politicians start doing their jobs,” he said.