Caulkins sees need to stand up for residents in House District 101
Dan Caulkins insists he hasn’t heard any of the rumblings about Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) working in concert with the Democratic machine in the House GOP leader's 2018 re-election effort.
Still, the Decatur Republican admits there are times when he wishes Republican leaders would stand stronger for what are routinely regarded as GOP principles.
“Siding with (House Speaker Mike) Madigan (D-Chicago) on the tax increase is not something I would have done,” Caulkins, who is seeking the seat of retiring Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) in the 101st District, told the Macon Reporter of the handful of Republican lawmakers who banded with Democrats earlier this year to pass the state’s recently enacted $36.1 billion budget. “They did not stand up to him on the budget. I’m bothered by how Republicans came together to pass that bill without doing anything about reforms. That was a very bad moment for Republicans.”
Reports are Durkin’s Democratic ties don’t end there, as he is reported to have recently received the financial backing of powerful Chicago Alderman Ed Burke. In recent times, Burke’s Burnham Committee has been known to also make political contributions to such Democratic leaders as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), Democrat Cook County Board of Review Member Michael Cabonargi, Democrat Cook County Commissioner and top Madigan aide Ed Moody and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
“As I go from town to town talking with people, what I stress to them is ... I’m only going to Springfield to fight for their interest,” Caulkins said. “That’s my whole reason for running, letting them know that I’m not someone who’s going to cave to the machine.”
Caulkins said most of the voters he’s talked with are most concerned about things like taxes, jobs and pensions.
“There priorities are my priorities,” he said. “The things they tell me are most important to them are the things I will be fighting for in Springfield.”
The 101st House District includes parts of Champaign, McLean, Dewitt, Macon and Piatt counties.