Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

November 6, 2013

Political positions

Usually, professional politicians view taking a position on an issue as a means to getting elected — not a reason to get elected.

In other words, they ask themselves, “What can I say — or not say — to please enough voters to win an election?” But what they ought to be asking themselves is “What are my core beliefs and how can I persuade voters of the rightness of my cause?”

That’s why so often our elected officials end up being followers rather than leaders.

It’s one of the most annoying things about Springfield: the politician with the whetted finger in the air trying to discern which way the political winds are blowing.

In such cases, voters find themselves not voting for a set of principles but for a candidate who is nothing more than an amalgamation of political calculations.

But what’s even sadder is that politicians often refuse to take a stand on an issue.

For example, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin have passed forms of Right-to-Work legislation in recent years, and Missouri and Kentucky are considering moves in that direction. And Iowa, the Land of Lincoln’s only other neighbor, has had one for many years.

Essentially, a Right-To-Work law prevents people from being forced to join or pay money to a union as a condition of their employment. Without such a law, workers can be forced to financially support a union they may not agree with — such is the case for many workers in Illinois.

It is possible Illinois will become an island of forced unionism in a sea of Right-to-Work states.

If that happens, there will be enormous economic consequences. Not the least of which is that employers looking to expand may choose our neighbors over us.

So along with my colleagues at Illinois News Network, I contacted each of the Illinois gubernatorial hopefuls and asked how they stood on this issue.

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