* From a press release…
Downstate Democrat Mike Frerichs, candidate for State Treasurer, is calling on his Republican opponent, 22-year incumbent Republican Tom Cross, to cut his ties with American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and renounce their agenda. This week Google, Facebook, and Yelp joined a long list of companies that have cut ties with ALEC. The national right-wing think tank is accused of undermining efforts to address climate change and spearheading anti-environmental legislation nationwide.
Frerichs, a Certified Public Finance Officer, notes that the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) called on all states to incorporate sustainability practices into their investment standards in 2012. GFOA represents 18,000 public finance experts across the U.S. and Canada. Frerichs has pledged to bolster efforts in the Treasurer’s office to improve sustainable agriculture if elected. Frerichs says the Ag Invest program, which partners with local banks to provide discounted loans, has been underutilized.
“Tom Cross and Bruce Rauner embrace a philosophy of maximizing profits at any cost that has been firmly rejected not just by public finance officers, but also by leading Illinois businesses like Caterpillar and John Deere,” says Zach Koutsky, Frerichs’ campaign manager. “Mike Frerichs has called for a renewed effort to invest in sustainable agriculture that would support farmers looking to purchase the latest green technology and grow our economy. Tom Cross says we should only be focused on maximizing interest rates.”
Frerichs was recently endorsed by the Illinois Sierra Club in his race against Cross, who has a history of anti-environmental votes in the legislature.
Cross is an Identified Leader of ALEC, a rightwing think tank that denies global warming
Cross is a leader within the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a rightwing corporate think tank, according to nonpartisan watchdogs at The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). In 2011, Cross participated in an ALEC conference aimed at restricting the rights of women, racial minorities, gay Americans and older workers in all 50 states to sue for wrongful termination, workplace discrimination and sexual harassment.
Cross Voted Against Legislation Sponsored By Obama To Protect Lake Michigan
Tom Cross voted against a measure co-sponsored by state Sen. Barack Obama to block sludge treatment facilities from being built near Lake Michigan. Cross was one of only 20 No votes in the Illinois House against the bipartisan measure (SB 1003).
Cross Voted Against Legislation to Warn Parents of Contaminated Drinking Water
Cross led House Republican opposition to legislation notifying the public about contaminated drinking water. Cross voted No and was joined by nearly all of his GOP colleagues in opposing the measure. (HB 3264)
That first bill became law - 11 years ago. The second bill was never called in the Senate after passing the House three years ago.
*** UPDATE *** The Cross campaign flatly denies that he attended that 2011 ALEC conference. ADDING: They also point to this story which shows he was in his own district during the ALEC conference.
They also rightly point out that HB 3264 was sponsored by Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, who represents half of Sen. Frerichs’ district. Yet, Frerichs did not pick up the bill in the Senate as a co-sponsor. The bill status shows no Senate sponsors at all. So, if the legislation was that important, they say, why didn’t Frerichs pick it up?