Monday, October 20, 2014

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Dr. Mark Neerhof and 10th CD candidate Bob Dold

By Nancy Thorner – 

In a show of unity, Dr. Mark Neerhof, a Republican challenging incumbent Democrat Scott Drury in IL Representative District 58th, was joined by Republican candidate Bob Dold of the 10th District, who offered his enthusiastic support for “Dr. Mark”, in an evening reception on October 14 at the home of David and Kelley Delaney in Lake Forest. Bob Dold is running to reclaim the seat he lost to incumbent Democrat 10th District U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider in 2012, an office Dold held from 2011 – 2013.

Dr. Mark Neerhof, as a high-risk obstetrician, has been caring for pregnant moms and their babies on the North Shore for more than 20 years. Long a resident of the North Shore, married to his wife Betty for 26 years, Dr. Neerhof is an attending physician at North Shore University Health System and a Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. The IL House desperately needs a doctor in the House, especially to deal with the problems inherent in Medicaid.

Bob Dold’s support of Dr. Neerhof

Bob Dold praised Dr. Neerhof for being a good listener and as one who has a good grasp on the issues facing Illinois. Present among the guests were Dold’s dad and mother, Bob Dold, Sr. and Judy Dold and Mark Neerhof’s wife, Betty. Dold noted how there is presently “no doctor in the House.”  Dr. Neerhof is urgently needed to deal with healthcare issues.

As to the question, “Is Springfield working?”, sorely missing in IL is a business friendly environment, to which Dold cited businesses cited who have picked up and left the state because of oppressive regulations, taxes, and corruption. Illinois is still down 170,000 jobs since the beginning of the recession in 2008. Quinn never meant for his temporary income tax increase to be short term, so hold on to your wallets in the coming year.

Believing the November election to be a crucial one, Dold is optimistic that Republican candidates will do well. Learning from Democrats who won races after the number of early votes had been counted, the Republican Party has taken note by following suit and has made an effort to increase the number of Republicans voting early for the upcoming November elections.  This election is all about turnout.

Gov. Quinn is not well liked by many Illinoisans, which may account for the very unusual happening of why so many Democratic heavy-hitters are coming to Illinois to campaign for Democratic candidates. Voting for Republican Bruce Rauner at the head of the ballot is needed to change the direction of Illinois.  It will also help other Republicans down on the ballot.

In reflecting upon the legislators sent to Springfield to speak for us, and whether those elected will really do so, Dold believes that better days are ahead for Illinois if principled candidates like Dr. Mark Neerhof are elected.  But Democrat House leader Mike Madigan doesn’t think so, who has given money to incumbent Scott Drury to buy his election.

“Dr. Mark” speaks:

“We don’t have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem at both the state and national levels.” Tax revenues have increased by 50% in Illinois over the last 10 years, but Illinois is deeply in debt with no end in sight. In questioning Governor Quinn as a “voice of reason”, Neerhof suggested that Quinn, when sworn into office, should have at the same time taken an oath to do no harm.

Governor Quinn as a voice for reason?  Consider that 1.3 million people have left Illinois in the last 15 years.  High taxes and regulations have driven jobs, competition and people from IL.  Illinois now has the highest unemployment rate in the Midwest.  Meanwhile, Medicaid represents 40% of the budget and will continue to increase rapidly. Over 40% of Illinoisans on Medicaid don’t even quality for the benefit.  Pension liability is astronomical and is stifling Illinois’ economic development. Shameful is that Illinois ranks 51st out of 50 states in providing care for handicapped individuals.

Neerhof in asking those present to support his campaign, requested that they do even more, “support a cause.”  This cause, which Dr. Neerhof holds as his own, involves a belief in limited government which encourages American freedom and free market capitalism. Instead of trying to bribe companies and people to locate in IL, the state should be having people and industry beating down its doors to get in. Education freedom must include vouchers and charter schools. Fairness must exist in our pension system, which merits transfer to a defined pension program. Healthcare freedom requires means testing individuals to help them purchase insurance that best suits their means.

As to what is required to win, Dr. Neerhof stressed the importance of voting, of spreading the word by speaking to friends and neighbors, and getting involved in making phone calls and knocking on doors for candidates.

Drury’s lawsuit filed against Dr. Neerhof to silence him

When Dr. Mark Neerhof was asked how he was doing in his race against Rep. Scott Drury, Neerhof revealed that he is being sued by his opponent, Scott Drury, for slander.  Rep. Drury is being represented by his dad in what the doctor called “a baseless lawsuit,” seeking a court ordered halt of Neerhof’s campaign and an additional $9 million.  Although the judge denied Drury’s request for an emergency injunction that would have effectively shut down Dr. Neerhof’s campaign, the final verdict will be  issued Monday, October 20.

The lawsuit originated from an independently-funded, third-party mailer that the Neerhof campaign had no knowledge of nor participated in in any way.  This mailer was sent out to voters in Democrat Scott Drury’s 58th IL District indicating that Drury was in support of the SB16 (School Funding Reform Act of 2014), which was passed by the top-heavy Democratic Senate in May of this year. If enacted SB16 would make sweeping changes in how the state funds education and its apportionment among school districts. Those school districts with higher assessed property values would receive much less state funding, while other districts (like Chicago) would receive a sizable increase in funding, in an attempt by the state legislators to provide greater equity among school districts across the state.  As Scott Drury’s District 58 includes a number of North Shore school districts that would receive big cuts in their funding if the bill were passed, Rep. Drury is adamant that he will be voting “No” on SB16 (A public hearing has not yet been held on the bill. The House — including Rep. Drury — will not be officially voting for SB16 until sometime in November, following the fall election.).

Dr. Neerhof related how is was unusual for an incumbent legislator to sue his challenger and offered these thoughts:

In that the core group of Republicans is growing in the IL House and Senate, with a good possibility that more Republicans will be elected in November, Democrats, seeing their control slipping away if more Republican legislators are elected despite having super majorities in both Houses, are determined not to allow this to happen.  Democrats have been in control of the IL General Assembly for decades; it has been their livelihood. They will pull out all the stops to win.

House Leader, Mike Madigan, has given Rep. Drury nearly a quarter of a million dollar for a cash advantage over Neerhof.

Of consideration: How does Rep. Drury explain away his campaign donations of $10,000  by “Illinois Stand for Children” and $14,000 by the Illinois Network for Charter Schools, both of whom support SB16?

Random thoughts:

  • How to prevent fraud?  Not having to show an ID to vote is of big concern. This voting regulation passed by Democrats and upheld by the IL Supreme Court, applies only to the upcoming November election.
  • Volunteer to be an election pollwatcher by visiting your County Clerk’s Office.  In Lake County, Clerk Willard Helander has Pollwatcher Credentials available for the Nov. 4th General Election. Check for information about becoming a pollwatcher in Lake County
  • Three more votes per precinct in Illinois would have elected Bill Brady as governor in 2010 instead of Pat Quinn.  We have less than three weeks left to change the direction of our country and our state.