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State Senate Hopefuls Meet Voters

Friedman, Morrison go door to door to hear voters’ concerns.

If retail politics is the key to winning the Illinois State Senate seat being vacated by retiring , the three candidates for the position were doing exactly that by meeting voters Saturday and Sunday. 

, one of two Democrats seeking her party’s nomination in the March 20 primary, and Republican , a Highland Park pediatrician, were knocking on doors in Northbrook over the weekend. 

The other Democrat, Lake Bluff business consultant , was in as well attending a commemoration of the . 

Friedman and Morrison got a sense of what is on voters’ minds and not everyone has the same concerns. When Morrison stopped at the home of Dan and Debbie Rabishaw Saturday, she learned they place a priority on education and Medicaid funding. 

Debbie Rabishaw is the president of Northbrook School District 27 and they both work for a hospice organization. “We were pleased when the funding started again,” Debbie Rabishaw said referring to the fact state Medicaid reimbursements were reinstated recently for people on hospice care. 

Empathy from Morrison 

As the person responsible for administering programs for people in need in West Deerfield Township, Morrison was able to empathize. The township includes all of Deerfield as well as parts of Highland Park and Lake Forest. “I administer to a lot of recipients,” she said. 

Friedman also likes to talk to voters about Medicaid but he finds every time he gets into a conversation about non business related issues, people only want to talk about jobs and the economy. “When I talk about Medicaid they keep circling back to taxes and business,” he said. 

When Friedman asked Jerry Shifrin of Glenview, who was visiting people in Northbrook when they met Sunday, what mattered most, Shifrin’s answer was quick and direct demonstrating Friedman’s point. Shifrin owns the Chicago Mattress Company. 

“I own a small business, we employ 113 people and we have to pay $266,000 for workmen’s comp (premiums),” Shifrin said. “In Wisconsin or Indiana we would pay $65,000 to $70,000. Indiana and Wisconsin have the right environment.” 

One thing Friedman would like to do is reduce the number of taxing bodies in the state. He is critical of people receiving property tax bills from townships, school districts, municipalities and park districts. He hears their frustration. 

“Illinois has the largest number of taxing bodies of any state times two,” Friedman said. “People are frustrated their property values are going down while their (property) taxes are going up.” 

Friedman Wants Less Taxing Bodies 

If elected, Friedman would try to reduce the number of agencies. He also wants to see an environment where business becomes more comfortable in the state so Illinois can grow out of its fiscal problems. 

Morrison finds people concerned about a wider range of issues. They were asking her about pension liability, budgets, transparency and the environment. One person questioned Morrison about fracking, an issue in the natural gas production areas of downstate Illinois. 

“I’m learning about fracking,” Morrison said referring to methods of mining allegedly harmful to the environment. “They (voters she encounters) are very concerned about the environment.” 

Meanwhile, as Morrison went from door to door Saturday she heard complaints about the lack of transparency in Illinois politics. “Illinois has a reputation for corruption and they want me to help dissipate that,” she said. 

Morrison has already dealt with transparency in her current job. “Everything is on line, the budget, the minutes, everything we do,” she said of West Deerfield Township. “If someone calls we give them the answer or get it for them. It’s the taxpayer’s dollars we’re dealing with.” 

While Sumption will save door to door campaigning for another time, he was impressed with the commitment of people at St. Norbert’s Church in Northbrook to do something about gun violence. “We need to redouble our efforts to make our community safe and secure,” he said.

Sharon Levin January 10, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Is this the same Morrison that is staunchly pro-life? Not a good fit for the district.
Dan Jenks January 11, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Where does each candidate stand on solving our pension problems and our structural deficit? Ms. Morrison? Mr. Friedman? Mr. Sumption? Are you out there? Do you support the Tom Cross/Michael Madigan pension reform? How much time are you going to devote to the financial problems of Illinois? Every other issue is irrelevant in this election. For too long, our senators and representatives have taken their eyes off the ball - now is the time to elect individuals who will make it their #1 priority to come up with a plan to make Illinois solvent once again. Whether you cut spending, raise taxes or do a combination of both - at a minimum each our representatives needs to formulate a plan. I won't vote for anyone who hasn't studied up on this issue or designated it as their top priority. Spending time passing bills designating it "Illinois Pig Farmer" week or resolutions congratulating the Division 2 basketball winner shouldn't cut it anymore.
Gary January 11, 2012 at 10:28 PM
From Arie Friedman's web site: "Arie will vote to repeal the state income tax hikes and will offer his expertise in reforming the state’s workers’ compensation and civil litigation systems, as well as restraining the costs of the Medicaid system. " Are you looking for more details than that? I know I am.
Jim March 01, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Julie Morrison is 100% pro-choice and has been endorsed by Personal Pac.

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