Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

November 6, 2013

Political positions

(Continued)

Yes, I realize that such legislation would flounder in the current Illinois General Assembly.

But legislative bodies change over time, and with the proper leadership lawmakers can be persuaded to vote differently.

Also, voters deserve to know not just what a candidate says he will do — but what he believes. After all, political environments change and a bill that would never pass now may stand a fighting chance down the road.

If a candidate has already stated a position early on, he can say “the voters knew this when they elected me, and I have a mandate for change when the opportunity presents itself.”

For the record, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn opposes all Right-to-Work laws.

GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner supports the concept of allowing individual Illinois counties and municipalities to vote on whether they want to keep the status quo or adopt a local Right-to-Work ordinance.

But the other three Republicans running for governor wouldn’t commit to a position.

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, and state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard all said the political reality in Illinois is such that it would be impossible to pass a Right-to-Work law in Illinois.

Such comments show a certain lack of confidence in their political party’s ability to eventually claim a majority in the General Assembly. And it shows a lack of assurance in their own abilities to lead a disparate Legislature.

But there’s value still in asking questions like these, because they help shed light on a politician’s values and opinions.

More importantly, they act as guide stones for where a politician may lead in the future.

Where candidates stand on an issue such as Right to Work is important to know – after all, it has the potential to be one of the most important economic issues facing the state.

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