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VOTING for Public Safety and Victims Rights - ENDORSEMENTS BELOW

IllinosVictims.Org POLITICAL ENDORSEMENT POLICIES:

We are not a 501C3 or C4 or a PAC. IllinoisVictims.Org is an all volunteer organization with no staff and no funding. We have a board of directors and By Laws, and are a state wide advocacy organization whose only interest is in protecting victims rights. We are free to "call them as we see them" of course, but we only evaluate and comment on ONE issue - how the candidate stands on Victims Rights. To be clear: we are only vetting candidates we endorse on victims issues - no other issues are evaluated.  We are not vouching for the total quality of any candidate. And we will endorse multiple candidates in one race if they all seek the endorsement and are vetted as being pro-victim.

We urge everyone to vote~ nothing opens us up more for victimization than apathy. And we believe caring about victim issues should be a top voting priority.   Electing leaders who will make sound public policy makes a huge difference in matters of crime and victimization,  we therefore are vetting and endorsing candidates in many local and state races. We have often found that "pro-victim" officials that prioritize the needs of crime victims are also usually the best leaders on a whole host of other issues. They care about public safety, crime prevention, and helping those who have been hurt through no fault of their own - the voiceless, the innocent, the injured. These are usually the best leaders because they are the ones best able to balance the interests of a healthy, compassionate, stable society with sound public policy and capable and effective government. We do not take these endorsements lightly. We believe it serves an important purpose to have one organization in the state that evaluates candidates ONLY on their commitment to protecting crime victims.

There are so many candidates in so many races - we cannot, without staff, possibly evaluate them all. If we had staff, we would send a questionnaire to all candidates, as most advocacy groups do. But we cannot do this with our limited resources. So we primarily rely on their earned reputation, our personal contacts with some of them, and their reaching out to us. We place their names here only if they or their staff request it, or if we have seen them take extraordinary leadership on victims issues. We vet their policies primarily for their stand on the Victims Rights Amendment to the Illinois Constitution and our proposal to make it enforceable (HJRCA 19), their policies regarding crime prevention, criminal justice, and victim services. These endorsements are not based at all on political party and we have supported members of all political parties below.  We invite any candidates that wish to be endorsed here to contact us. We will endorse more than one candidate in a race if they seek it and support our agenda for improving victims rights in Illinois. 

CLICK HERE FOR THE 2010 ELECTIONS

Downstate Counties should consult their County offices for voting information. These websites provide early voting locations and election day polling locations. The election authority websites for Cook County are: City of Chicago: www.chicagoelections.com and fo Suburban cook county:  www.voterinfonet.com

2010 Elections

2010 Elections in Illinois will be very important to the state for a number of reasons - we elect a Governor, a new statewide Senator to go to Washington DC to replace Barack Obama, and after the recent first ever impeachment of a Governor and deep dissatisfaction with corruption and often dysfunctional government, and recent attempts at some ethics reforms, there will be many changes, many leaving office, and many incumbents challenged strongly. As candidates begin to confirm which races they are in, we will begin to issue endorsements. It is reasonable to assume that if we have endorsed a candidate in the past, that we would continue to do so in their current races- see the 2008 races below. 

The General Election is November 2, 2010.

We encourage ALL candidates to contact us and seek our endorsement.

Here are the questions we ask all candidates to answer to be endorsed as pro-victim:

1. DO YOU SUPPORT HJRCA 19, A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO ENHANCE THE ENFORCEABILITY OF VICTIMS RIGHTS IN ILLINOIS AS EXPRESSED ALREADY IN THE CONSTITUTION?
 
Yes        No        COMMENT:
 
 
2. DO YOU SUPPORT PRESERVING DETERMINATE SENTENCING IN ILLINOIS?
 
Yes        No         COMMENT:
 
3. DO YOU SUPPORT SERIOUS LEVELS OF INCARCERATION FOR THE MOST SERIOUS VIOLENT OFFENDERS IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS?
 
Yes       No        COMMENT:
 
4. WILL YOU BE AN ADVOCATE FOR THE INTERESTS AND NEEDS OF VICTIMS OF VIOLENT CRIME WHEN DECIDING STATE BUDGET PRIORITIES?
 
Yes       No         COMMENT:
 
 
5. DO YOU SUPPORT THE ENFORCEMENT OF ALL VICTIMS RIGHTS, AS ARTICULATED IN ARTICLE I, SECTION 8.1 OF THE ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION?
 
Yes       No         COMMENT:

6. DO YOU SUPPORT A MANDATE THAT THE ILLINOIS PRISONER REVIEW BOARD HAVE A VICTIM OR A VICTIM'S ADVOCATE SITTING ON THE PRB?

Yes       No          COMMENT:

VOTING RECOMMENDATIONS

Candidates who have asked for our endorsement and we have identified as PRO-VICTIM for the 2010 elections:

Rep. Dennis Reboletti for State Representative from Elmhurst/Addison area

Josip 'Joe' Trutin - Candidate for State Representative for the 2nd District of Illinois - www.joe4illinois.com

Jennifer Bishop Jenkins for Cook County Board, 14th District

Candidates in general we recommend:

COOK COUNTY:

One interesting development for us at IllinoisVictims.Org is that our co-founder Jennifer Bishop Jenkins is now a candidate for the 14th District Cook County Board of Commissioners -see her website at www.JenniferBishopJenkins.com. It will be important to have a knowledgeable crime victim activist and representative working to help oversee one of the largest criminal justice systems in the world, which makes up half the budget of Cook County government.

Cook County Board: other races Pat Maher for the 17th, Larry Suffredin  for the 13th

Cook County wide - Tom Dart for Sheriff

STATE LEGISLATURE:

A good guide prior to our actual endorsement process towards voting pro-victim in 2010 in the state legislative races is to look at who were the bi-partisan recipients of our IllinoisVictims.Org Legislator Hero Awards for 2009 - we do not consider these automatic endorsements for 2010 because some of them are running for different offices, and we have not heard yet about all these races - but its a good place to start:

STATE SENATE:
State Senators Tim Bivins, Maggie Crotty, William Delgado, Kirk Dillard, Michael Frerichs, Susan Garrett, William Haine, Don Harmon, Linda Holmes, Mike Jacobs, Davod Koehler, Dan Kotowski, Terry Link, Edward Maloney, Iris Martinez, John Millner, Antonio Munoz, Mike Noland, Kwame Raoul, Dale Righter, Dan Rutherford, Jeff Schoenberg, Ira Silverstein, Heather Steans, Dave Syverson, and A.J. Wilhelmi.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
State Representatives Edward Acevedo, Patricia Bellock, Bill Black, Mike Boland, James Brosnahan, Linda Chapa LaVia, Elizabeth Coulson, Fred Crespo, Tom Cross, John D’Amico, Lisa Dugan, Jim Durkin, Robert Flider, John Fritchey, Paul Froehlich, Careen Gordon, Julie Hamos, Jay Hoffman, Chuck Jefferson, Kevin Joyce, Lou Lang (sponsor of our important effort to amend the Illinois Constitution to make victims’ rights enforceable in the state HJRCA 19), Frank Mautino, Michael McAuliffe, Susana Mendoza, Harry Osterman, Randy Ramey, Dennis Reboletti, Chapin Rose, Jim Sacia, Michael Smith, Ronald Wait, and Dave Winters.

GOVERNOR'S RACE

The only candidate that has reached out to IllinoisVictims.Org and expressed support for our concerns, actually several times, is DAN HYNES. We heartily endorse him as being a pro-victim candidate. He lost the primary - just barely and we hope to hear from the other gubernatorial candidates.

Lt. Governor - Sheila Simon has been endorsed as PRO-VICTIM. Her record as a prosecutor and domestic violence attorney give her impeccable victims rights credentials. She is supportive of having a crime victim on the PRB.

Another candidate that is running for Governor has been a recipient of the Legislator Hero Award, KIRK DILLARD, based on his good votes in the legislature on Victims Rights issues. We have known him in the past to be a reliable vote for victims rights issues. He lost his primary just barely as well. We hope that Sen. Brady's poor record on violence prevention previously will improve, and note that he has received the support from our Friends at the Fraternal Order of Police for Governor.

SENATE SEAT

Alexi Giannoulis has met with us and strongly supports our agenda. We have reached out to Mark Kirk and he has not responded. Giannoulis is endorsed as pro-victim and we are grateful for his strong support of crime victims.

Candidates we do NOT recommend:

We recommend that everyone who cares about violent crime and its victims work to defeat Rep. Eddie Washington (D-Waukegan, 60th District) in his attempt at re-election to the Illinois State General Assembly. Representative Washington has not only been consistently anti-victim in his policy proposals (which we have handily defeated) but has been openly hostile to us in his personal behavior and rhetoric towards victims of violent crime. We have met with him, and tried to meet with him, only interested in genuine dialogue about his proposals to release murderers early and to undo determinate sentencing in Illinois. We all recognize the right to political disagreements, but all responsible professionals should be able to converse respectfully on important public issues. We have never met a public official with audacity of Rep. Washington who has been deliberately rude, even hateful, in his personal attacks on victims rights activists. He misrepresented his position to victims representatives just four hours before a key vote about how he would vote on an important bill to prevent violence (HB 48). We feel he attacked our very victim status in a televised program, saying that we "did not really know what it is to be a victim", that his history as a person of color meant that he knows more about being a victim than we do. (Columbia College, August 2008). We reject the blatant racism of this statement, as well as his fundamental misunderstanding of what victims are legally defined to be when crimes are committed against them. We have heard concerns from many in his area of the state, in Lake County, that he can even be somewhat unbalanced and unprofessional in other ways.

We share similar concerns about Rep. Annazette Collins (D-Chicago, 10th District). She has also been openly very rude to murder victims family members attempting to dialogue with her about her attempts to end the life sentence for murderers in Illinois.