* Thursday press release…
Today, Mike Babcock joined Governor Bruce Rauner and three other candidates in signing “The People’s Pledge,” a commitment to give citizens a chance to vote on term limits and a promise to vote for anyone other than Mike Madigan as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. Babcock, who is running for State Representative in the 111th District, called on his opponent Monica Bristow to sign the pledge as well.
“It cannot be said often enough that Mike Madigan has presided over the historic decline of our state,” said Babcock. “His leadership has failed, and his caucus has completely refused to stand up for what’s right and vote him out. This isn’t a partisan issue. My opponent was asked recently if she would support Madigan as Speaker and gave no response. Voters deserve to get an answer to that question because the vote for speaker is the most important one that a representative can make. If my opponent doesn’t take the opportunity to join me in signing this pledge, she needs to explain to the people of the 111th district what she intends to do.”
Babcock’s opponent, Monica Bristow, would not speculate how she might vote on Madigan’s reelection to the Speakership, even after Madigan’s office came under heavy scrutiny following allegations of sexual harassment. Madigan’s Chief of Staff, Tim Mapes, resigned following reports that he oversaw a culture of harassment and actively sought to coverup misconduct. Calls for an independent investigation in light of the issue have been bipartisan, signaling that the Speaker may have found himself in an uncharacteristically defensive position.
Babcock also came down strongly in favor of giving voters a say on term limits. “We hear the term ‘career politicians’ a lot, but we should remember what it really means. It means that some of the people that go to Springfield will stop at nothing to hold onto their power. They will vote for any policy, or any leader, so long as it keeps them in the game because they are there for themselves, not their constituents. I’m proud to sign this pledge today and I look forward both to casting two important votes: one for term limits and one against Mike Madigan and his record of self-serving failure.”
* Alton Telegraph…
Democratic incumbent Monica Bristow, D-Godfrey, responded to the statement when first reached on Thursday.
“The only pledge that I’m going to make is to the people of the 111th District, not to a governor who has turned his back on downstate Illinois,” she said. “What people are tired of are the same old political games being played by Mike Babcock and Bruce Rauner. I stand on my record of creating new jobs here in the Riverbend region, promoting local small businesses, protecting our rights and values, and standing up for the middle class. That’s my pledge to the people that I represent, and if the governor and Mike Babcock would stop playing these tired political games, we could get down to the real business in the state of Illinois.”