Edgar backs Barickman in GOP's 53rd Senate District race

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar on Tuesday endorsed Jason Barickman over Sen. Shane Cultra in the 53rd Senate District Republican race.

"Jason Barickman worked for me, and I know he's a person who can help change state government in Springfield." said Edgar. "We need new leadership to move Illinois forward. Jason Barickman will provide effective, fiscally conservative leadership at a time when we need it the most."

Barickman, 36, a state representative who now lives in Champaign, welcomed Edgar's backing.

"I'm honored to have Governor Edgar's support," he said. "Governor Edgar successfully led state government through difficult times. I want to apply the principles I learned from him to demonstrate similar leadership in the Senate."

Barickman and Cultra, a member of the Legislature since 2003, are running in the new 53rd Senate District that includes portions of Ford, Iroquois, Livingston, McLean, Vermilion and Woodford counties.

Edgar also has endorsed state Rep. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, in his 51st Senate District race against Ellsworth Republican Tom Pliura.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on March 06, 2012 at 2:03 pm

If he "learned" from Jim Edgar, that is enough for me.  Building leases, contract scandal, and putting pension payments on the back burner does not make "leadership".  Ex-Governor Edgar may have been the best of the last five Illinois governors; but that is not saying much when one governor is still in office, two are in prison, and one scammed the state with Bill Cellini.  All of the previous four governors knew Bill.  Poor Bill goes to prison; but he kept his mouth shut.  He should write a book while he is away.   If he named names, it would be a best seller.   

bluegrass wrote on March 07, 2012 at 10:03 am

Sid, I enjoy your comments, but please check out the attached report, and specifically look at page 7.  There is a graph that shows specifically, by year, the level of funding for the pensions systems back to 1983.  I take issue with your claim that Edgar put "pension payments on the back burner," when in fact, the exact opposite is the truth.

As I've written before, and will write again, the governor does not make payments to the pension systems.   The general assembly is assigned this task.  In 1995 and 1996, the only 2 of the last 38 or so that Madigan did not control the purse strings, republicans had a majority in the house and Jim Edgar was governor.  They made a plan to fully fund the pension systems over a period of time, pushed it through the legislature, and as you can see in the graph that plan was instituted in 1997.  As a result of this legislation enacted under Jim Edgar, that plan got the pension system funded up to almost 75% and each year it was trending up.  Then Madigan regained control, the George Ryan union payoffs began, followed up by the darkest years in Illinois government history, the Blago Era.

If you want to blame other governors and other legislators for underfunding the pension system, go right ahead.  But it is simply inaccurate to put the blame on Edgar.

http://civicfed.org/sites/default/files/civicfed_279.pdf

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 07, 2012 at 3:03 pm

bluegrass;  While I agree with you some of the time, this is not one of those times.  I noticed your source, the Civic Federation.  Not an un-biased group.  I was a state employee during Jim Edgar's time as governor.  Your view of him, and mine differ.  There was only one governor that I worked for that I fully respected.  He was Richard Olgivey, Republican.  There was no patronage at the front line level under his administration.  He lost re-election because he saw the need to raise taxes.  The worst governors during my time were Thompson, Ryan, and Blago.  I could add Kerner, and Walker as second worst.  Jim Edgar was not the worst; but his administration was not clean either.  No honest man can be a politician in Illinois.  They might come in honest; but they cannot stay honest.  That applies to both parties.

bluegrass wrote on March 08, 2012 at 9:03 am

First, my post purposely did not reference any of the alleged Edgar improprieties.  I'm only taking issue with your misconception that Edgar added to the state pension problem.  He actually helped to fix it, and whether your opinion of The Civic Federation or Jim Edgar really doesn't matter.  The facts are the facts.

Second, when you say "No honest man can be a politician in Illinois," you are absolutely incorrect about that.  There are many that I know and trust who are honest, good people, at the local level and state level.  Some may be turned to the dark side in either party, but it doesn't apply to all politicians.