Sparks Fly During 58th District State Rep. Debate

Democratic candidate Scott Drury and Republican candidate Mark Shaw traded charges of dishonest campaigning and offensive attacks during a Patch-sponsored debate on Sunday.

The candidates for 58th District State Representative exchanged verbal barbs with one another about their campaigns, positions and integrity during a debate Sunday in Lake Forest.

Republican candidate Mark Shaw frequently said that Democratic candidate Scott Drury "has been bought and paid for by Mike Madigan," the Illinois House Speaker.

"He's received tens of thousands of dollars to be elected by Mr. Madigan," Shaw, a criminal defense attorney, said in a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters, Patch and the Union League Club of Chicago.

Drury, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, responded by saying that Shaw  "wants to deceive all of you with lies."

"Mr. Shaw's campaign funded by 35 percent Republican party," Drury said, "The biggest contributor to my campaign is me."

Though the candidates agreed on the problems facing Illinois -- namely the need to reform the state's pension system and grow back its revenue -- they continuously attacked each other's proposed solutions.

"I have yet to hear what Mr. Drury's plan is," Shaw said about his opponent's plan to balance the state's budget.

Drury told the crowd he was the sole candidate with a plan, one that would did not rely on drastic cuts to state programs and initiatives.

"Illinois needs to get its pensions in order because that is sucking up our budget," Drury said. "It doesn't mean just pulling the plug on everything today."

When the candidates were asked if they would support shifting the state's pension liabilities to munical school districts, both said no. That didn't stop Shaw from coming after Drury on the topic.

"Shifting of pension liabilities to local school districts is just a trick that sponsor Mike Madigan supports," Shaw said.

Drury, however, explained that he did not think the state should pursue this course.

"I don't believe personal property taxes should be shifted away from the municipalities," Drury said. "Illinois has to get its fiscal house in order before it uses tricks to make it appear the budget has been balanced."

One issue where the candidates outright disagreed was school vouchers. Drury said he was "absolutely against them," while Shaw came out in support of them.

But at the end of the hourlong debate, one point remained shared between the two. The state's economy is in dire need of improvement.

"This election... is about the sorry fiscal state of Illinois," Shaw said.

State senate candidates also debate

Fewer sparks flew between the 29th District State Senate candidates, who also participated in the same portion of Sunday's debate.

Republican candidate Arie Friedman got some laughs when he told the audience how surprised he was to find out just how messy state politics could be.

"I've been pretty shocked at what's going on during my time of running for office," the physician and former Naval aviator said. "Everything you've ever heard about Illinois politics is completely true."

Democratic candidate Julie Morrison, who is the West Deerfield Township Supervisor, agreed with Friedman and the House Represenative candidates that pension reform needed to happen to get Illinois back on track.

"The longer we delay pension reform, the more likely we are for another downgrade and our debt will continue," Morrison said.

When all four candidates were asked about consolidating some of the state's many governing bodies, Morrison suggested combining the Department of Treasury with the Comptroller's office to save $13 million in administrative costs per year.

"The easiest way to get out of the hole is to quit digging it," she said.

Friedman, on the other hand, suggested that consolidation decisions be made at the local level specifically.

"Local governments in Illinois are essentially anonymous and invisible," Friedman said. "I don't believe these decisions should be made from the top down."

Jen October 16, 2012 at 12:43 PM
I attended the debate. The hack on the stage was Scott Drury, hand picked by Mike Madigan, the one man ruler of this state who has bought and paid for Drury. Drury is and will be Madigan's puppet, and his solutions to our fiscal woes are to keep spending per Madigan's directive and dump the billions of unfunded teacher pensions onto individual school districts! Our real estate taxes would more than double! Only a fool would vote to keep Mike Madigan as house leader in Springfield as our fiscal mess can be laid at his feet. A vote for Drury is a vote for Madigan and you can kiss Illinois good bye, because it will be "same old, same old" in Springfield.
recarry October 16, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Hey Walter, the only "attack dog" pieces we see are the ridiculous "assault weapons" mailers from Scott Drury. How childish. It's obvious Drury is only running to maintain the status quo downward spiral under Madigan's control. As a prosecutor, shouldn't Drury explain that crime is still a problem because felonies are plea-bargained down to lesser charges. Afraid of guns? Then lock up the criminals and leave law-abiding citizens alone.
Walter White October 16, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Well at least he didn't lauch a bile-spewing rant at Patch editor Nelson like Shaw did. I wonder if he feels Mr. Nelson's reporting was biased in this report. He'll probably get his own attack dog campaign manager to make those claims like he did when he was Turelli's CM.
Local resident October 16, 2012 at 01:41 PM
I, too, attended this debate and it is true that it got quite heated. In this session, Mr. Drury did say that he would not return the pension liabilities locally - however, this is in direct opposition to what he has publicly stated in the "write-in answers" he has provided both the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald (Sept 21). The reality is Mike Madigan has stated this WILL happen and it will be difficult for Mr. Drury to wiggle out of that commitment he is beholden to. Also, Mr. Drury continued to make this a "social issues" discussion rather than a budget issues debate. Everyone knows that, while interesting, the opinions of Mr. Drury and Mr. Shaw on social issues, are irrelevant. Neither will be voting on them.
LF Resident October 16, 2012 at 01:48 PM
The debate was nasty - Mr. Drury won the coin toss and in his opening remarks, he started the "my opponent is lying" and "my opponent is against women's rights" barbs. I agree that Mr. Shaw spent too much time "answering those comments" which left him little time to give his own plan. At the end, it boils down to the fact that if we want a change in Springfield (after 41 years) - we cannot support Mr. Drury or Ms. Morrison. And yes, all candidates acknowledged we have a major financial crisis in Illinois - but the "staunch tightening of the belt" can only occur with a new philosophy and elected officials that are not obligated to Mike Madigan. Period.
Steve S. October 16, 2012 at 01:56 PM
the claims of Drury are completely false. He is NO ONE's puppet. I have known him personally for many years. He is intelligent, caring, and bought by no one. He will be anything but the same old. I get the same mailers from Shaw, that's the game of politics, everyone does it, so don't hold it against one candidate, it's a systematic problem. What is obvious is people are uninformed and vote only on party lines as opposed to becoming educated on the candidates, and voting based on the person. Shaw was never in this race in the first place, what is his motivation? Why didn't he enter the race from the beginning? Who is funding his campaign? Drury is a solid person, and will be good for the state and our area.
Steve S. October 16, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Mr. Drury has no obligation to Mike Madigan. That is a completely false statement. He will do what the voters ask of him, he is extremely intelligent, and certainly doesn't need the headache of going into Illinois politics, he entered the race because he cares about the state and it residents, and knows that he can make a difference in the future of Illinois.
Daley Harold October 16, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Still waiting for one --- that's right one --- commenter to tell us what will different afer Madigan. Until they offer a convincing explanation, we will stick with Drury track record and the leader who impeached Blago, stopped two Thompson tax hikes and told the Tribune to take a hike when they tried for the $100 million hand out
Walter White October 16, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Bravo Daley. The GOPs only campaign strategy is to tie every Dem to Madigan. Since they have no new ideas this is all they can do. It's nice to see that people aren't buying into that tactic. Unless we press our candidates for ideas, it will be "meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
Guido McGinty October 16, 2012 at 02:50 PM
"He will do what the voters ask of him" Which voters? Are they a monolith?
Steve S. October 16, 2012 at 04:08 PM
All of them (the voters referring to all who live in his district). He will listen to both sides of every arguement and help devise good sound solutions. He is not your typical politician. If people bash him, they don't know him, educate yourself on the candidates, and make your decision.
Hmmmm6 October 16, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Went to the debate and found it informative. I went expecting Friedman to be Darth Vader, and he wasn't, and I went expecting Scott Drury to be over the top based on his mailings, and he wasn't. I concluded that HP High School must have been an amazing place 20-25 years ago to turn out the two of them on two different sides. As for the comments claiming that a women's reproductive health issues are not state issues, this is simply wrong. All sorts of impediments are thrown up by the state legislature from time to time ( I didn't like Dr. Friedman's "moderate's" battle against the clinics--I doubt he is against dermatolgical or other out patient surgical procedures.) Depending on who wins nationally, the state legislature could be the ONLY place this question will be answered. If Roe is overruled, the question will return to the states Women's reproductive health is not this bright, shiny distracting thing candidates wave. It is vital for women's financial health that they have the ability to control their destinies. Mark Shaw, I am still waiting for you to submit your questionnaire. I looked in the book for it, and you supplied only your signature page.. I am trying to make up my mind, and be fair minded on the issues important to me, and I get frustrated when people participate in the debates but don't submit the questionnaries. You said if it wasn't there, you would supply it. Would love to see it up on your web site if there was some sort of error, please.
Guido McGinty October 16, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Since large portions of these voters are opposed to other voters' solutions, it will be quite impossible to do what all of the voters ask of him. "He will listen to both sides of every arguement" There are usually at least three sides, if not more, to every argument. Binary thought processes hobble the mind.
Local resident October 16, 2012 at 05:27 PM
I think that Dr. Friedman did a great job in the debate. He was well-spoken, articulated his solutions, and frankly, struck me as someone with a more strategic mind to solve the state's issues. I have accepted that none of the candidates align with my preferences completely. Like many people in our district, I am socially moderate and fiscally conservative. So, although undecided, I will have to match the "job" with the philosophy and that might mean that I will vote for someone more liberal at the national level (due to the social issues) and someone conservative at the state level (to hand the financial disaster here in Illinois). I don't think Roe v Wade will be overturned - and that will only happen through the Supreme Court. In general, our country doesn't want that and although it it technically possible, I just don't see it happening. So - the decision won't be a state legislature decision - so it is a much less important criteria for choosing whom to vote for.
Steve S. October 16, 2012 at 05:58 PM
"Since large portions of these voters are opposed to other voters' solutions, it will be quite impossible to do what all of the voters ask of him." Guido, common sense should show you that in every race there are voters who don't agree, that doesn't mean after the election the winner can't listen to ALL sides and put an agreement together on how to move forward, that's how negotiation and our government works, and that is why we elect officials. As far as listening to both sides, three sides, or 10 sides of an arguement, Scott Drury will listen to ALL sides.
Daniel Krudop October 16, 2012 at 06:44 PM
If the Democrats are in the majority in the Illinois House, Mike Madigan will be the Leader. Mr. Drury may not be beholden to him and might not even vote for him but Madigan will still be in control. I agree with LF Resident. Nothing Mr. Drury may or may not want to happen would be completely up to Mr. Madigan. He should have asked Karen May why she finally gave up.
RationalTht October 16, 2012 at 07:22 PM
A vote for Drury is a vote for Cullerton and continued control for the Democrats that keep digging IL into a deeper hole. Every Democratic senatorial candidate says they will be different, but Cullerton is still elected and nothing changes. The same can be said about Democratic representatives that continue to put Madigan in charge.
RationalTht October 16, 2012 at 07:23 PM
@Walter - everything IS tied to Madigan and Cullerton - no Democratic senator or representative votes against them. They are in control and IL continues to circle down the drain. It is a valid argument.
Walter White October 16, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Sorry, I don't vote for parties. I vote for people with ideas. I'm not sure yet if Drury has the right ideas but I sure as hell know that Shaw has none. Vote the best people into office and let them do their job. Voting because of party leadership is stupid.
Walter White October 16, 2012 at 11:15 PM
This is a lesser of two evils election. I may actually vote for Friedman because Morrison is just so unimpressive. I'm definitely not voting for Shaw because he's one of the worst candidates I've ever seen in local politics.
Guido McGinty October 17, 2012 at 01:14 AM
"This is a lesser of two evils election." A better description would be "evil of two lessers." How does one deal with their conscience after casting a vote for evil?
HOLLY SIGMAN October 19, 2012 at 12:07 AM
I'm voting all republican this election.Time for a change...
Frank G. Karkazis October 25, 2012 at 12:39 PM
It is time for Madigan to be deposed, end of story. Vote Mark Shaw on Nov 6 for tax reform, property tax freeze, and proper leadership.
Walter White October 25, 2012 at 02:31 PM
OK, who will be the GOP party leader and how do you know he won't be just as corrupt as Madigan? That's why you don't vote for parties you vote for people. And Shaw is one of the worst political hacks I've seen in years. Drury gets my vote.
Ginger Gosselin October 25, 2012 at 09:51 PM
I'm not sure who you are Mr. White but I'm sure you never met Mark Shaw. He is one of the most intelligent men I've met. He is passionate about politics and the people of Illinois. I'm curious as to how you came to the opinion of Mark Shaw being a political hack? Please explain to the rest of us what you see...
Walter White October 25, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Gladly. First off Shaw is a local party boss just like Ms. Gash who your GOP people have branded a partisan hack. I agree with them. That's the job of a local party boss. When journalists asked legitimate questions regarding Ms. Turelli's issues with her degree, instead of answering them, Shaw attacked the journalists. Hack. When Turelli pulled out of the race, may people called for her primary opponent to take her place, but no, he was too far to the left for local party bosses Shaw and Atsaves. Hack. If Shaw was sooo interested in helping the people of IL why didn't he run in the first place? Why didn't he and other party bosses allow Mr. Neefhof, a man who was already invested in the race, to run? Sorry, he doesn't pass the smell test. He stinks to high heaven.
Local resident October 25, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Wow! Mr. White has some serious anger management issues. I don't really take issue with his choice of candidates - but really? His type of comments are the reason why we have such few good people running for office. I know that I wouldn't want to have to deal with such haters. As for the candidates - it appears that both Mr. Shaw and Mr. Drury are upstanding citizens and have a history of helping others. This election, from my perspective, is about each candidate's philosophy and frankly, who they align themselves with. I typically vote Democratic (and may, still, at a national level) - but no matter how terrific a person Scott Drury is - I can't support the philosophy of the folks that he aligns himself with. We are broke and people are leaving this state in droves. A change is needed and Mr. Shaw is that person.
Walter White October 25, 2012 at 10:50 PM
So again, voting for the party not the person. If that's your strategy things in Springfield will not change. It will just be some other party boss in charge with no new ideas injected into the system. Good luck with that.
Walter (Tripp) Hainsfurther October 25, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Mr. Drury is a former US Attorney who worked for Patrick Fitzgerald, perhaps the most independent US Attorney ever. Scott will not be dependent to anyone except the voters in the district. He is endorsed by the Chicago Tribune, who, as we lmpw, doesn't endorse Democrats very often. They said it best: "Lion, meet den." A vote for Mark Shaw is a vote for a party hack, just not the majority party. A vote for Scott is a vote for strong, independent leadership.
Walter White October 25, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Is Tripp angry too, LR? Or maybe just well informed.


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