Congressional candidate unveils plan to restore faith in political system
The Democratic Party’s candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives 12th Congressional District seat made a campaign stop in Union County Friday afternoon, Aug. 31.
Brendan Kelly of Swansea paid a visit to the Dixie Bar-B-Q in Jonesboro. He was accompanied by judicial candidate and Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds.
The candidate’s stop in Union County came with only 67 days until the November general election.
During a noon-hour visit, Kelly took an opportunity to introduce himself to the many people who were at the popular Jonesboro restaurant.
Kelly also talked about his recently released campaign plan: “Restore Faith in Southern Illinois.”
In the plan, the candidate shares that he’s done a lot of traveling in the 12th Congressional District, which spans an area from Cairo to Alton.
He’s held numerous town hall meetings, including one earlier in the summer in Jonesboro.
“What I hear is heartbreaking. It’s not just the real issues that folks in Southern Illinois face every day – there is a sense of quiet desperation, a sense that no matter what anyone says, no matter what anyone does, nothing will ever change. Folks are losing faith,” he stated.
“To restore faith in our democracy, we must rescue it from those who allow the consolidation of political and economic power in the hands of fewer and fewer people. We have to choose leaders we can trust, leaders we know are working for the people – not special interests.
“We must restore faith in the essential American ideal: the power of the vote.”
His “Restore Faith” plan offers 12 key points, including:
Getting money out of politics, stopping gerrymandering, term limits, pension reform for Congress, stopping the abuse of taxpayer-funded mail, holding town halls, a “no budget, no pay” proposal, expanding public corruption enforcement at all levels of government, cutting useless layers of government, posting his daily calendar, automatic voter registration at the age of 18 and ending the “Congress to Lobbyist Pipeline.”
In the plan, Kelly declared that “there is too much money in our politics.” He said he won’t take money from big banks “and I will never accept money from the Big Pharma companies whose opioids are killing our people.”
The candidate said he will support legislation which would stop people, corporations and political action committees (PACs) “from hiding the identities of their donors.”
He stated the practice of gerrymandering needs to be stopped and non-partisan ways to draw fair legislative maps “based on fair math” need to be found.
“We need to put a limit on the amount of time that legislators are allowed to stay in office, instead of letting them hang around different seats of power for 20 years or more,” the plan states.
Kelly said he has been holding town hall meetings for a year. “Town halls are a critical way to answer to the people of Southern Illinois,” he stated.