Illinois has become infamous for its corruption and politicians that failed to live up to their promises of “balancing the budget.” Currently, the Illinois’s deficit through mid-2011 is estimated at $11 billion to $13 billion—close to 50% of the expected $26.7 billion in available revenue for the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Illinois health-care and social-service agencies wait three months or more to get paid by the state. Our state pension system is the worst-funded in theU.S. Last year Illinois borrowed nearly $3.5 billion to make its annual pension payment and state auditors estimate that the pension systems are underfunded by $62 billion.
Illinois lawmakers have little appetite for drastic spending cuts but hesitate very little to propose income-tax increases. Although House Leaders concede that there is a “need for budget reform,” state legislators seem to be having the same conversations today about reform that they were having a year ago. Our current budget continues to leave the state borrowing for short-term operations and postponing its bills. Unless we are able to help “principled” candidates win election throughout Illinois, the situation will continue to decline.
This is why the Mission of the IRR-PAC is critical to the state of our State. The IRR-PAC finds, vets, supports, educates and endorses principled candidates who have the courage and conviction to challenge the political status quo. The candidates we endorse for state legislator have promised to balance the budget, end the corruption, create jobs, lesson the burdens placed on state businesses and bring integrity back to Illinois state politics.
We realize, however, that we can’t accomplish this alone and understand that it will take a multi-pronged approach to help candidates spread a positive message that resonates with voters. Candidates that receive our endorsement are supported in a number of ways; help with campaign strategy, on-going fundraising support, introductions to a multitude of like-minded organizations, campaign literature, boots on the ground, etc.
It takes a great deal of TEAMWORK and coordination to help a candidate run a successful campaign. Even if the candidate is experienced, has the best talking points, the smartest campaign staff and the hardest working volunteers they may still struggle to effectively deliver their message to their constituents.
Today, a candidate’s message is much more than a 30 second sound bite. It’s a Facebook Fan page, a Twitter stream, a series of YouTube videos, a dozen Virtual Town Halls, a Money Bomb, a creative Hashtag, a technologically advanced web site, a social networking site…. and the list goes on and on and on.
Long gone are the days where races are won or lost by how many prime time T.V. spots a candidate is able to put on, how many hand-shakes s/he is able to exchange at fundraisers or how many cute babies a candidate can kiss at a State Fair. Today, it is more crucial than ever for candidates to reach out beyond their party affiliation. The influence of Political Action Committees, like the IRR-PAC, are often the key to helping candidates raise enough money and refine their message so the right message gets out to voters.
An endorsement by the IRR-PAC sends a clear message that the candidate is aligned with our Values and that s/he will represent the best interest of his/her constituents. While this may seem overly simplistic, it is what happens behind the scene that is not. The IRR-PAC has a well-established track record of backing winning candidates in a number of highly contested state and local elections.
We also have experience working in a number of distinctly disadvantaged districts, where it’s extremely difficult to make much headway, unless you know the ropes. So, while our opposition may speak with one voice, our organization speaks with many. And our voice and the voice of other like-minded groups and organizations, who we have built relationships with and have formed strategic partnerships which over the years, has allowed us broadcast a clear and UNIFIED message.
We believe that United We Stand, Divided We Fall. If you Support our Mission, Vision and Values, please Donate or Volunteer so we can bring Integrity back to Illinois Politics.