Lt. Governor candidate Plummer tours UI to drum up GOP support

Republican candidate for lieutenant governor Jason Plummer visited campus Wednesday for an appearance at the 2010 East Central Illinois Business Expo, presented by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce.

Plummer, a 2005 University graduate, is running on the Republican ticket alongside gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady. Formerly a member of the Illinois Student Senate during his time at the University, Plummer has worked primarily in the private sector since his graduation. He currently is vice president for corporate development of R.P. Lumber, a hardware and lumber store, and is a Naval Reserve Officer, according to his Web site.

Tim Woodard, market president of Midland States Bank, spoke to Plummer at the event.

“I think the combination of Plummer and Brady will help to promote economic development and enhance opportunities,” Woodard said.

Plummer also attended a College Republicans meeting at Noyes Laboratory on Wednesday, where he spoke with students about the 2010 elections. He then went to a Champaign County Young Republicans membership drive, where he conducted a question-and-answer session.

Plummer said he deplored the fact that the state owes the University so much money.

“We are in this position as a result of complete fiscal mismanagement,” he said. “And it’s not just the University; it’s hospitals, social service providers and public schools that are being shorted.”

Plummer cited his business experience as evidence of his ability to get the budget under control.

“Bill Brady and I are businessmen, and in the private sector you cannot promise money and not deliver,” he said. “We need people in Springfield who know what it’s like to sign the front of a check, not just endorse the back.”

Plummer also addressed concerns regarding corruption.

“Illinois voters are frustrated, angry and embarrassed, and rightfully so,” Plummer said. “We are in this position because of the arrogance of leadership that believes that some people are above the law.”

He cited the fact that his campaign lists all of its donors online as evidence of its commitment to transparency. Plummer also commented on the recent health care reform.

“If (the health care bill) had anything to do with health care it would address tort reform and market influences,” Plummer said. “Why should I be able to buy car insurance from a Gecko across the country, but I can’t buy health insurance from a provider 15 minutes away from my house in Missouri?”

Keeping jobs in-state is a focus of the Brady campaign, Plummer said.

“Jobs are fleeing the state like it’s on fire,” Plummer said. “We are in the bottom five states in keeping students who go to school here in state when they find a job, and that needs to change.”

Plummer encouraged students to participate in the November general election.

Marjorie Williams, member of the Champaign County Executive Board, said campaign volunteers spoke with nearly 100 people and recruited 50 to volunteer for the campaign.

“Students right now think about their parents and grandparents when they think of politics,” Plummer said. “But it’s you, your kids and grandkids that are going to be affected by decisions made today.”