Caulkins says lottery chairman violated 'unspoken oath'
Dan Caulkins feels Illinois Lottery Control Board Chairman Blair Garber violated an unspoken oath assumed by all public servants when he blasted East St. Louis as the “sh**hole of the universe" in a Twitter post.
“Anyone in authority, elected or appointed, needs to be careful of what they say,” Caulkins told the Macon Reporter. “That’s nothing a responsible person working for state should say, especially in these fragile times where everyone has an agenda and there are sides to everything.”
Garber has since resigned from the post he was appointed to by Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2016, but for some his words are still having an impact.
Several local lawmakers, including Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), who is running against Rauner in the Republican primary, have come forward to blast him for his glaring insensitivity.
Caulkins, who is running for the seat held by retiring Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) in the 101st District, is another one of them, though he adds Garber deserves some credit for taking responsibility for his mistake and owning up to it.
“Everyone has to live up to their own standards,” he said. “A lot of times politicians try to hide behind one thing or another. If we had more of them that would own up to their shortcomings we probably would be better off.”
Some have argued Garber's words take on even more consequences given that he also serves as a member of the Republican State Central Committee, representing the 9th Congressional District that includes Rauner’s hometown of Winnetka.
“What he said was wrong, what he did maybe says something about him understanding that,” Caulkins added.
As for his own campaign, the former Decatur City Council member who previously served more than two decades in the U.S. Army, wants voters to know sending him to Springfield will be all about addressing the issues that cause them the most concern.
“People are always asking me why aren’t the politicians doing the things we want and the things we sent them to Springfield to do,” he said. “For me, this is all about public service and being accountable to the people of the community.”
The 101st House District includes parts of Champaign, McLean, Dewitt, Macon and Piatt counties.