Two Republican and conservative doctor friends — Drs. Arie Friedman and Mark Neerhof — offer hope for Illinois as they announce their candidacies for Districts 29 and 58

September 3, 2011

A dinner and fundraiser supporting Doctors-Patients Alliance of Illinois, of which Dr. Arie Friedman is Chairman, was held on Monday, August 29 at Abigail’s American Bistro in Highland Park. Seventy plus people attended with standing room only.

Paul Miller, Executive Director of Doctors-Patients Alliance of Illinois, organized the event along with Chairman Dr. Friedman.

Hosting the event were Long Grove Mayor Maria Rodriguez; Adam Andrzejewski, candidate for governor in the 2010 elections, who now runs a good government advocacy group, “For the Good of Illinois”; and Dr. Mark Neerhof, a Lake Forest doctor associated with the North Shore University Health System, who founded the Chicago Chapter of Docs4Patient Care, an alternate to the American Medical Association to give physicians a voice.

Other listed hosts of the dinner and fundraiser event, but who were unable to attend, were Sheriff Mark Curran, Lake County Sheriff, and Congressman Bob Dold of the 10th District who was out of town.

In addition to the three event hosts (Maria Rodriguez, Adam Andrzejewski, and Dr. Mark Neerhof), District 27 State Senator Matt Murphy and Dan Proft, gubernatorial candidate in 2010, now of WLS, were in attendance as supporters of Arie Friedman. All five presented spoken tributes of affirmation for their friend, Dr. Arie Friedman, which later on will be summarized.

Upon noting Doctor Mark Neerof’s name listed on the invitation as one of the hosts of the August 29th dinner and fund raising event, and as one who supports the Chicago Chapter of Docs4patientcare.org founded by Dr. Neerof, I immediately telephoned my RSVP to attend, so as to affirm my support for Dr. Arie Friedman’s newly formed health-care organization, Doctors-Patients Alliance of Illinois.

I should not have been surprised to discover that not only did the event exceed my expectations, but what had been promoted as a dinner and fundraiser to support Dr. Friedman’s role in founding Doctors-Patients Alliance of Illinois, became a time when attendees enthusiastically displayed their support for Dr. Arie Friedman in his already announced bid to run for the IL District 29th Senate seat, presently held by Susan Garrett of Lake Forest, who is retiring in 2012 after serving five terms or ten years as senator in IL District 29.

Following are snippets of remarks made by those who spoke on Dr. Arie Friedman’s behalf as friends:

Speaker #1, Adam Andrzejewski: “We are here tonight because we have heard that something good is happening here in Illinois.” Two questions Adam asked when he spoke to groups when running for governor were 1) “Do you think Illinois is running well?” and 2) “Do you think IL can be reformed?” According to Adam, Arie thinks reform is possible. Adam spoke of Arie growing up with two liberal parents in the liberal town of Highland Park, yet Arie became a conservative with a leading medical practice here on the North Shore.

Speaker #2, Maria Rodriguez: Maria spoke of how she campaigned with Arie Friedman during his bid in 2010 to win the 10th District U.S. Congressional seat vacated by Mark Kirk when Kirk ran for the Senate. Maria considers Arie as articulate and intelligent and believes that the time is right for Arie to run again, this time for a place in the Illinois Senate.

The surprise of the evening came with Speaker #3, after which the already fired-up Arie supporters received further cause to feel hopeful about the future of Illinois.

Speaker #3, Dr. Mark Neerhof: First off, Dr. Neerhof noted how delighted he was to see so many people present. He then spoke of himself “as just a kid from Wisconsin who came from a humble background.” Continuing, Mark spoke about returning home from college after his freshman year and informing his parents that he wanted to become a doctor, to which his parents displayed disbelief and even laughter at what sounded like an impossible dream from their son.

Dr. Neerhof’s revealed love of country when he spoke of being proud to be part of the best medical system and the best nation in the world. Dr. Neerhof believes that Obamacare will destroy the nation’s medical system. For this reason he founded the Chicago Chapter of Docs for Patient Care whose position it is to repeal Obamacare and to replace it with responsible medical reform.

What followed was Dr. Mark Neerhof’s surprise announcement. He would be running for a political office, as is his medical colleague and friend, Arie Friedman, for the position now held by Democrat Karen May of Highland Park, as the elected Representative for IL District #58.

With one committed doctor in the House and one in the Senate, Dr. Neerhof spoke of how he and Arie would work together to redo and reform Medicaid here in Illinois. Dr. Neerhof, if elected, also wishes to work on tort reform as it relates to medicine and on making Illinois more environmentally friendly for business.

Speaker #4, State Senator Matt Murphy: Senator Murphy thanked Mark and Arie for their willingness to take a stand and run for office. Murphy revealed that Dr. Friedman was planning to run even if Susan Garrett had not decided to leave office after her 5th term as senator of the 29th Legislative District.

Murphy emphasized the deplorable condition of this nation and state and how in speaking to his constituents he often hears the following remark, “I’m leaving the state as soon as I’m able.” Murphy also recounted how fundamental changes must take place in the state, and that this won’t happen if Michael Madigan remains Speaker of the House and John Cullerton Senate President, with Patrick Quinn remaining in the governorship.

With the announced candidacies of Drs. Friedman and Neerhof, Senator Murphy sees a pathway opening up to make Illinois great again. “Both represent individuals who, because of the grave times facing this nation, stepped up to run. They didn’t have to get involved in politics but decided they no longer had the luxury of sitting on the sidelines.

Speaker #5, Dr. Arie Friedman: Without hesitation, Dr. Friedman thanked his beloved wife, Michelle, for supporting him all the way and in believing what he believes in. As Arie recounted, “With five kids and a thriving Northshore medical besides, besides other activities, it isn’t that the Friedmans don’t live busy lives!”

Why is Dr. Friedman running? Because he has found that in traveling throughout Illinois and in speaking with people, most residents would really like to stay in Illinois, as does Arie. After all, the Friedman roots in Illinois stretch back five generations. As such Dr. Friedman is proud to be an Illinoisan and is concerned that his five children will leave Illinois when grown if Illinois’s dismal job performance continues.

In introducing his dad, Arie spoke of how his dad would often tell him about growing up in Detroit and of how proud his dad was of the city. Arie was quick to remind his supporters that Detroit is now a shell of itself because of failed policies.

Dr. Friedman placed blame for Illinois’s economic failure on past and present policy makers who believe in “bigger government, higher taxes and less economic freedom.” “The only way to fix Illinois, according to Arie, is to get rid of the present government.” Furthermore, “repealing tax increases and cutting spending must go hand-in-hand.”

Arie Friedman noted how campaigns on behalf of Republican candidates in 2012 will be nasty with all the stops pulled out to discredit Republican candidates. Dr. Friedman predicted that the following ruse (strategy) will be used by Democrat candidates to convince voters to keep the status quo: 1) That Democrats want just what Republicans want, and 2) That the only difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Republicans are extremists.

Arie further surmised that when the above ruse starts to be employed against Republican candidates, it will indicate a realization by Democrats that they have lost the economic debate.

Speaker #6, Dan Proft: Dan Proft spoke of the challenges Dr. Friedman will face in a district that leans Democratic and where so many are still “in the corner” for Obama. Proft’s advice to Arie, and to other candidates as a way to counter opposition if faced with challenging districts, was to first ask non-supporters this question: “Who dug Illinois into the ditch it is today?”

Dan Proft then suggested that the same individuals be asked to hold their state legislators to the same accountability as they did at the federal level in the 2010 Elections, when they rejected the Republican presidential nominee at the polls (and Republican candidates here in Illinois), after being told time and again by Democrats that George W. Bush was the source of this nation’s economic woes (as were all Republican candidates), and that Democratic policies would provide hope, change and good economic times for all.

Dr. Mark Neerhof has never before been a candidate for a political office, but he is committed to serve, if elected, as the congressman for IL District 58. As to his qualification, Dr. Mark Neerhof resides in Lake Forest and specializes in Gynecology, Maternal & Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics, Obstetrics & Gynecology and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine in his affiliation with the NorthShore University Health System Medical Group in Evanston.

As head of the Chicago Chapter of the national organization, Docs4PatientCare, Dr. Neerhof has been active in educating U.S. legislator through regular trips to Washington, D.C., walking the halls of Congress, along with Dr. Arie Friedman, to enlighten legislators about the dictates of the massive 2,500-plus page bill which will harm rather than enhance medical care for the American people.

This quote by Dr. Neerhof is from an article I wrote about an event held at Gorton Community in Lake Forest on Oct. 12th, 2010, at which both Drs. Neerhof and Arie Friedman were featured guests.

“I am proud of being part of the best medical system in the world, but I saw what was coming a year before ObamaCare was passed and felt like a voice crying in the wilderness when alerting legislators and Illinoisans about how the bill would adversely affect health care.”

Dr. Mark Neerhof will have my full support in his bid to reclaim the IL 58th Congressional seat for the Republican side of the aisle in Springfield.

My strong endorsement for Dr. Friedman will continue. It has never wavered from the time I volunteered to assist Arie Friedman’s campaign in the summer of 2010 in Friedman’s bid to win Mark Kirk’s 10th District U.S. Congressional seat, vacated when Kirk decided to run for a U.S. Senate seat from Illinois. Robert Dold was successful in winning the 10th District Congressional seat formerly held by Mark Kirk. Dr. Friedman was handicapped because he entered the congressional race too late to raise the money he needed to mount a successful campaign.

Regarding Dr. Arie Friedman’s qualifications, in addition to being a noted Pediatrician and Published Author on Health Care Legislation, Dr. Friedman holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Pediatrics at Northwestern Medical School. Arie is highly dedicated to responsible health care reform and is a widely recognized expert and frequently requested speaker on the subjects of health care finance and reform.

After serving in the United States Navy as a helicopter pilot during seven years of active duty, Arie Friedman went on to medical school and graduated at the top of his medical school class in 1996 from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Currently Arie has an established and thriving medical practice, which is not unlike running a small business, in which he has provided hundreds of hours of free care for the medically undeserved.

Neither Drs. Arie Freidman nor Mark Neerhof need to run for office; they have much to lose. Both are noted doctors and have successful medical practices, but as citizens concerned with the direction of their state and nation, they could no longer remain uninvolved.

Realizing that self-sacrifice was called for in a time of uncertainty for this nation, as doctors and as friends, they accepted an inner call to become involved politically by becoming candidates, Dr. Arie Freidman for Susan Garrett’s vacated IL 29th District Senate seat and Dr. Mark Neerhof in his bid to challenge Democrat Karen May for her IL 58th District Representative seat.

Hopefully more fine and dedicated men and woman will step forward to challenge the status quo in the upcoming 2012 Elections, both at the state and the national level. As deemed by Drs. Friedman and Neerhof, it was now or never to take action.

This state and our nation requires many who are willing to step forward and give of themselves in a sacrificial way, so that future generations of Americans might be able to enjoy the same liberty and freedom that we so often take for granted, along with continued economic prosperity that is commensurate to maintaining a good standard of living for our children and grandchildren, and for those who follow in the there after

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