Daily Illini endorses primary candidates

Governor of Illinois

Governor Quinn

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Gov. Quinn has fought hard to rectify the mess Illinois was in when he entered office. It’s easy to point out facets of our current crisis as evidence that Quinn has been slacking on the job, but the reality is that there are no quick fixes.

Quinn has had a hard time getting legislation passed through an uncooperative Legislature. Without elections looming, however, we hope legislators will be quicker to take action and sort out our fiscal fiasco.

He has also been more of presence on campus than his predecessor. He has shown support for higher education by working to secure funding for MAP grants and pushing for the University to receive money to restore Lincoln Hall.

While we recognize that he mishandled early prisoner releases and wish he had kept his stance toward Board of Trustee reform, the error in both of those choices saved money, which makes us a little more willing to forgive. Given the chance to continue, we believe Quinn will work hard to keep sorting things out for a better, more ethical Illinois.

Kirk Dillard

Kirk Dillard, a current state senator, has been criticized by some in his own party as an “Obama Republican” because of his support during the presidential campaign. We find his willingness to cooperate across bipartisan lines more than just refreshing, but necessary for mobilizing the state government to decisive action.

As University students, we also appreciate the plans Dillard has to make higher education more affordable. His plans for a “research and development” tax credit and an Illinois Innovates program are concrete examples of change we will expect if he is elected.

His commitment to ethics reform and limiting gubernatorial fundraising while in office are a breath of fresh air. The values of transparency and openness are clear in a state that has had enough corruption breeding in dark places, and Dillard, as the chief sponsor of sweeping ethics reforms in the state, has already begun lighting the way.

U.S. Senate

Alexi Giannoulias

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When considering the Democrats competing for the position on the ballot, we look to one candidate above the rest. In the troubled economy, we see Alexi Giannoulias as a worthy leader equipped with business smarts from his family’s endeavors and previous experience in the Treasurer’s Office to lead Americans.

And what’s more, we believe him in his commitment to open and honest government.

He is the only candidate who actually presented a plan to combat the suffering economy and lack of jobs. The most pro-jobs of all the candidates, even former opponent Jacob Meister said, “he will move a pro-jobs, pro-education, pro-equality, pro-small business and pro-innovation agenda forward.” Giannoulias gave viable solutions with a “plan (that) puts Illinoisans first by getting them back to work and cracking down on the failed policies that got us into this mess and left Illinois residents struggling.”

Giannoulias is also the first U.S. Senate candidate from Illinois to refuse money from federal lobbyists and corporate PACs.After a summer of clout, the state and University need to end the pay-to-play system and Giannoulias is the one to do just that.

The Democrats will face a difficult race in November, as Republicans try to ride Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts, and we truly believe Giannoulias has the strongest chance to defeat those hopes.

Mark Kirk

We believe that Champaign native Mark Kirk has the strength of character and stance on issues that will provide Washington with a good representation of Illinois.

In looking at his record with the 10th Congressional District from the last decade, we know that he is attentive to the needs of Illinois residents.

Through many social and economic causes, we have seen him achieve his goals and believe he can embrace the bipartisan effort Obama has for the Senate.

As senator, Kirk will make job creation and economic growth the highest priority. We know that he will oppose federal tax increases and crippling regulations on small business owners.

We admire his consideration to reduce the national debt and balance the budget without losing the big picture.

He said that he “will continue to back leading innovators and job creators like FutureGen, Argonne and Fermilab,” three important initiatives to the University and the community.

We also see him as a strong candidate for international affairs, after serving 20 years as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer.

Of all the candidates, it’s Kirk we know from the Chicago suburbs and as a downstate native, and he is the one we want representing the Republican party on the ballot.