BRADLEY: State Senator Daniel Biss of Evanston is running for Illinois governor with State Rep. Litesa Wallace of Rockford.
She was not his first choice. Chicago Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa was Biss’s first running mate, but Biss dropped Ramirez-Rosa after just six days over differences involving Israel.
Ramirez-Rosa backs the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, also known as BDS, which calls for international pressure on Israel to stop building settlements in the West Bank. Biss, who is Jewish, strongly opposes BDS.
Did you not vet Ramirez-Rosa?
BISS: Well, actually, I would disagree with that characterization of the video you’re talking about. I think it’s quite unclear.
BRADLEY: This is the video in question.
CARLOS RAMIREZ-ROSA: For too long, the US government has subsidized the oppression of the Palestinian people.
BRALEY: But Ramirez-Rosa backs the Democratic Socialists of America, which has endorsed BDS. Biss said the men talked about Ramirez-Rosa’s position.
BISS: He and I had a series of discussions before he joined the ticket and we had an understanding at that time, and that understanding has changed.
BRADLEY: It was a major misstep for a candidate who is trying to appeal to the left.
BISS: It’s a campaign about Medicare for all, it’s a campaign about a $15 minimum wage, it’s a campaign about college affordability, it’s a campaign about tax fairness.
BRADLEY: During his tenure in Springfield, Biss has cast difficult votes, some at odds with progressives.
You voted for Medicaid reform, cutting $1.6 billion. You voted for SB 1556, to strip some public employees of collective bargaining. You voted for increasing charter school funding. You voted for the Exelon subsidy. Those are not progressive positions.
BISS: Well the last bill you mentioned, for example, is a bill that is one of the most significant expansions of clean energy in the history of this state. Listen, during my time during the course of the legislature, we’ve had a series of difficult budgetary situations that have resulted in a lot of painful choices.
Biss was right to point to the Exelon bill as a whole. But he did vote for those other bills, not to mention pension reform.