Recent moves by two metro-east Democratic state representatives who are facing Republican challengers in November’s election could be seen as listening to constituents’ concerns as well as political expediency.
Last week, state Reps. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton, and Monica Bristow, D-Godfrey, voiced support for bringing back the death penalty in cases beyond doubt where a firefighter or police officer is killed, or there is a mass murder. […]
Bristow and Costello also recently voted against legislation that would allow for a mechanism to temporarily take someone’s guns away if they’re deemed dangerous. On Tuesday, they voted against a new version of a proposed gun dealer licensing bill. […]
Bristow and Costello on Tuesday also participated in a news conference where a bipartisan group of legislators objected to taxpayer-funded abortions being included in the state budget. Rauner signed a bill last year to provide state-mandated health insurance and Medicaid coverage for abortions. […]
Costello also has not endorsed anyone for governor and doesn’t know if he’ll formally back any candidate. He was not present when Democratic legislators from the metro-east formally backed Pritzker in December
One area the two disagree on is a progressive income tax. Costello is strongly opposed, but Bristow voted for Speaker Madigan’s resolution in support of the concept yesterday.
* From Rep. Bristow’s Republican opponent Mike Babcock…
“Rep. Bristow’s first session as a lawmaker is wrapping up and we know that she wants a pay raise for legislators and higher taxes for working families. Bristow just voted in favor of a graduated income tax hike crafted by Chicago democrats. She has shown time and again that when Mike Madigan asks for her help in sticking it to taxpayers, she follows along. Enough is enough - let’s grow our economy instead of raising taxes and cut spending instead of passing unbalanced budgets every year.”
* As I told you yesterday, Democratic Rep. Natalie Phelps Finnie, who is also a Tier One target, voted for the progressive income tax resolution. From her Republican opponent Patrick Windhorst…
“Over 30,000 people fled the state of Illinois last year because the financial burden of living here is too great. Rep. Phelps Finnie just voted to make the tax burden even greater on our working families. Raising taxes, again, on the middle class and those just trying to get by in Southern Illinois is fundamentally wrong. When Rep. Phelps Finnie takes our voice to Springfield and uses it to echo Mike Madigan’s tax-raising agenda, Southern Illinois loses.”