Two candidates on March 18 will battle it out for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Illinois.
Sugar Grove native Jim Oberweis defines the position of U.S. Senator as one with equally important roles: protecting the security of our nation, and helping to create an economic environment under which entrepreneurs and business people will risk their time, energy and capital to start and grow businesses, creating jobs and opportunity for everyone.
“We must get our economy moving forward again at a more rapid pace to help boost our middle class,” he said. “I think the protection of our nation both militarily and financially is something every person understands, but when it comes to our senator looking out for Illinois residents, I believe Illinois has been shortchanged in the leadership it has sent to the Senate because our Democrat senators tend to lean more toward the goals of special interest lobbying groups instead of the needs of our workers and families in need. That will change if I am elected.”
Oberweis believes Illinois needs a senator with experience in finance and business. While he grew up in the family milk and ice cream business, he had an older brother who went into the family business, so Jim chose to seek a different path. He started out as a math and science teacher, but soon moved into the financial services business as a stockbroker. He created a financial newsletter, the Oberweis Report, to document his track record as a stock picker. Oberweis then started his own stockbrokerage firm, money management company and investment mutual fund family.
Today, Oberweis Asset Management manages over $1 billion in pension assets. His son, Jim, manages that business today.
“I believe this is the kind of background that will help Illinois and our nation develop policies, which will help create jobs,” Oberweis said.
Oberweis said that given the financial crisis the country is in, it’s time for someone with financial and business experience. When his older brother, John, had a stroke and was unable to continue running the family dairy business, Jim purchased it. At the time, Oberweis Dairy had about 50 employees with a single store and home delivery service. Today Oberweis Dairy has 44 ice cream stores that also sell its milk and dairy products, and they are prominently featured in both the traditional chain supermarkets and some of the newer organic markets, such as Whole Foods.
In addition, they’ve just started a second concept called TBJ, or That Burger Joint, and the newest stores are dual concept Oberweis Ice Cream and That Burger Joint locations.
If elected, Oberweis’ highest priority is to get a truly balanced budget for the United States government in conjunction with a long-term sustainable financial model for the government to operate under for a prolonged period of time.
“What is most disturbing to me is that most Federal public officials have a meaningful understanding of world and American history, and they are aware that many successful nations throughout history have faltered or collapsed due to an unsustainable financial system or economic model,” he said. “I believe that unless we drastically change the planning, financing and operation of the Federal government—by both the Congress and the White House—we are seriously jeopardizing the ability of our nation to continue as it has for the last 250 years. For my children and grandchildren and, as of yet, unborn great-grandchildren, I want to help reverse that trend.”
Oberweis said he believes in passing a truly balanced budget for the United States government in conjunction with a long term sustainable financial model for the government to operate under indefinitely. He also wants to help “repair the damage done by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“The ACA was so badly conceived that I do not believe it can be fixed,” he said. “The premise that government knows best about what insurance we should be allowed to buy is fatally flawed. Therefore, we have no choice but to work with reasonable Democrats to produce a workable compromise plan that makes sense for all.”
To achieve those goals, Oberweis said he would keep an open mind in the spirit of one of the country’s greatest presidents.
“The greatest Republican to go to Washington from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, looked to people with divergent viewpoints, and even his political rivals, to learn every aspect of an issue and learn why people believed in a specific goal or strategy, regardless of whether he agreed with them or not,” Oberweis said. “I believe (in) keeping an open mind about how to best reach our collective current governmental goals, and will continue to follow the Lincoln process.”
Oberweis said he would work to return Congress to a more “collegial environment,” and believes legislators should vote yes on legislation they believe is good for the country and not on legislation they believe to be bad for the country, regardless of political consequences, as Oberweis has tried to do in the Illinois Senate.
“In addition to helping grow two successful businesses which employ over 1,200 people, I never get tired of being known as the “ice cream man” by the kids I meet,” Oberweis said. “They will roll their eyes if you tell them you’re just a senator, but you should see them light up when I tell them I own 44 ice cream stores.”
Doug Truax sees the position of U.S. senator as an important representative of the people who seeks to preserve and protect freedoms and make sure that every citizen has the maximum opportunity to achieve the prosperity they desire.
As a former West Point and Army Ranger school grad and Army veteran, Truax has always believed in public service. What specifically motivated him to run for U.S. Senate was the way Democrats made Obamacare “the law of the land on a partisan procedural maneuver” on Christmas Eve, 2009.
“At that moment I decided I couldn’t stand on the sidelines any longer complaining about Washington,” Truax said. “I needed to get into the ring and fight for the America I believe in—the one that our Founding Fathers and so many others risked or gave their lives to create and preserve.”
Truax said he is running for U.S. Senate because he believes the current leadership in Washington and Illinois “has let us all down.”
And while it “purports to help the poor and the middle class,” Truax believes that the policies undertaken have done the opposite.
“We are stuck in an endless loop of ideological failure when it comes to our economy, education, our transportation system and energy,” he said. “Our unprecedented debt and record spending, combined with runaway regulation is strangling our future. Technological advancements in medicine, transportation and energy give us reason to hope for a brighter future, but we need leaders who are not stuck in a 1960s time warp and believe government is the driver for all goodness in our country.
“We need leaders who believe as the Founding Fathers did that the true greatness of America is found in its people and their resourcefulness and that government, while necessary, can be a detriment if allowed to grow too large.”
Truax said he is the best candidate in this race because the incumbent (Dick Durbin) has been in politics nearly his entire adult life and continues to rely on tired ideas and philosophies that have failed repeatedly in the public arena, yet continues to advocate those same failed policies with a curious disconnection to the results.
“He has rarely met a program, a spending plan, a tax or a regulation that he hasn’t embraced and enthusiastically supported,” Truax said. “My primary opponent (Jim Oberweis) has not been in public office as long, but not for lack of trying—he has lost five major elections in the last 11 years, and has “reinvented” himself several times along the way.
“I have little in common with either one of them. I have a military background, have never held public office and believe the ways of Washington and Springfield must change dramatically if we are to get our state and country back on track.”
Truax said he believes in results and has “little use for flowery words and good intentions that produce bad results for people.”
“We must break the cycle of sound bite politics that drive our public policy toward policies that have surface appeal but produce the opposite results,” he said. “We must break with the past, and my two opponents are less likely to see that dynamic and are more likely to favor policy prescriptions that don’t work well for Illinois families. I will be open-minded toward new thinking and new policies that break free from the old left-right paradigms.”
Should he be elected, Truax’s priorities will include reduction of the size and scope of government and reduction of the regulatory burden on all Americans; a repeal and replacement of Obamacare with market-driven health care reform that benefits all Americans; and achieving job growth by simplifying and lowering tax rates and eliminating unnecessary regulatory burdens on small business.
“The people of Illinois are tired of their leaders failing them,”Truax said. “Instead of following failed ideologies and blindly following party leaders, I pledge to always protect taxpayers, follow the Constitution, keep our nation strong and strive for results instead of hollow rhetoric. I believe my military background, my private sector experience and my passion to improve the lives of individuals and families makes me suited to be U.S. Senator. We have enough career politicians in Washington and they are making our lives worse.”