Time for Illinois to move forward, says GOP House District 118 candidate
Jason Kasiar of Eldorado, Republican candidate for District 118 of the Illinois House of Representatives, is sick and tired of party politics.
“I believe both sides are to blame for this lack of a budget," Kasiar said during a recent appearance on news radio WJPF. "All it is doing is killing southern Illinois. It’s killing things all over the state, but we’re hard hit down here."
Gov. Bruce Rauner’s stopgap budget may be a small step in the right direction, Kasiar said, but it’s still not a balanced budget or a solution to the state’s long-term problems, many of which he thinks have been created by career-Chicago politicians like Speaker Mike Madigan and those who support and vote to keep him in power.
“It's time to put an end to the party politics and finger pointing. It's time to get something done and pass a balanced budget,” Kasiar said earlier this month.
Kasiar, an Illinois pharmacist and businessman who owns and operates Beck’s Drugs, said he thinks the state’s myriad problems could be solved by term limits. And he’s willing to limit his own term if he has to, he said, and has no plans to take a legislative pension either.
“Instead of worrying about people being elected and staying in their power positions and being career politicians, let’s make some decisions – hard or not hard – that represent our district and allows us to move forward. To me it’s extremely simple: you’re there to do a job; do it,” Kasiar said on-air.
Nevertheless, what he said he sees when he looks toward Springfield is failed leadership and broken promises.
“They’ll be happy to take your money whenever you want to support them, but when it really comes down to it they’re in it for them,"Kasiar said. "They’re not in it for the people of southern Illinois.”
For instance, the district has been hammered by coal industry cuts, which has cost southern Illinois some 900 jobs since Jan. 1.
“I talked to a guy who owns a pizza place here in Eldorado and his business, since the coal mines have started closing, is down almost 50 percent," Kasiar said. "I’ve noticed it in my own business as well. It’s just a terrible domino effect for this entire area."
He added that he’s extremely frustrated and mad about reactions from state politicians, who he said should have acted before the cuts materialized.
“Instead of being proactive a year, two, five years ago, we just sat in Springfield and enjoyed the good ole boys club and really didn’t do a whole lot for the counties we represent,” he said.
At the same time, Kasiar said voters in southern Illinois should be aware that his opponent, Democrat incumbent Brandon Phelps, was a 2008 delegate for President Obama.
“This is the man that has had a war on coal and given out millions — probably billions of dollars by now — for clean energy,” he said.
The bottom line, Kasiar said, is that folks cannot continue business as usual in southern Illinois.
“If we bankrupt the state, then we’re all going to pay," he said. "They can’t continue to tax us to death in order to make up for their failed leadership and their mismanagement of money and party politics. I’m sick and tired of seeing it,”
In addition to running the family business, Kasiar is also an active community member. He is the Eldorado School Board president, a member of the Ferrell Hospital planned development board, former president of the board of directors of the Brudge Medical Clinic, a lifelong member and elder of First Christian Church in Eldorado, an avid sportsman, and a lifelong member of both the NRA and National Association of Gun Rights.