Republicans are people too!
Before working at the White House as the Director of Special Projects, before running Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign headquarters, I worked at the Democratic National Committee as its Deputy Political Director. I focused on voter registration (over 200,000 people registered on my watch), auditing our spending while cutting waste, and running fair elections. We also won…a lot.
Yes, I am a Democrat, but I am an American first. Just because someone is a Republican does not make them my enemy – and just because someone is a Democrat does not make them a friend to my fiscally watchful and socially progressive values.
Did you know that the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee are just 4 blocks apart from one another in Washington, DC? They share the same Metro subway stop. Staff eat at the same restaurants, become friends, and, hard as it may be to imagine, marry one another.
Now let me tell you about the Republicans I’ve worked with during the Clinton and Obama years….There is far more that unites us than what divides us. Let’s focus on the 95% of things we can agree on, and build on that…
- Former Republican Congressman Joseph Cao of Louisiana. Do you like the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)? Next time you are in New Orleans, stop by former Congressman Joseph Cao’s office and thank him. He was the only Republican to vote for the draft version of this law in the House of Representatives, allowing it to advance. He was also one of only two Republicans to vote in favor of the DISCLOSE Act which limits corporate spending on political campaigns and countered the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision in Citizens United. Lastly, he was one of the few Republican members to vote to repeal the United States military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on openly gay service members.
- Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel of Ohio. I first met Josh a few years ago in Washington, DC at a DATA Coalition meeting when we discussed transparency in state spending. Before he became the Ohio Treasurer, he served our country in the Marine Corps and then became a Republican State Representative in a largely Democratic district. Like our own State Senator Daniel Biss, he “walked” his district and knocked on over 15,000 doors. Josh has offered to help the State of Illinois become the second state in the country to adopt the tenets of the DATA Act signed into law by President Obama. Josh implemented this in Ohio, and has saved Ohio taxpayers millions of dollars while reducing fraud, corruption, and waste. The money saved has been invested in education and healthcare. Rather progressive, I think…
- Former Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger – yes, the Terminator himself. He is one of the most passionate and visible opponents of “gerrymandering” – the unfair political process that places politicians above citizens. Gerrymandering is one of the most destructive schemes to infect our democracy, and in this instance, Schwarzenegger speaks truth to power – regardless of whether it places a “D” or an “R” after the name.
Hire me, I’ll continue to work with like-minded people – regardless of political affiliation, to get Illinois moving forward.