Mark Batinick the clear choice to replace Tom Cross

By CHUCK KERN • November 11, 2013


When State Representative Tom Cross decided to run for State Treasurer, I immediately thought of Mark Batinick for Cross’ seat representing the 97th Illinois House District. Mark has worked hard to promote honest, transparent, and efficient government. Mark has also worked tirelessly in the trenches to help elect quality officials, and he has a long list of conservative-minded ideas and accomplishments.  


I first met Mark Batinick at the Wheatland Township Republican Party’s Christmas gathering in 2008. He was only interested in one thing that night – finding people interested in reforming the State of Illinois.


When faced with the choice of siding with the influential status-quo then in charge over Wheatland Township, versus our small group of conservative reformers, Mark chose the latter, believing we better represented conservative voters’ interests.


We are lucky to have the support of folks like Mark Batinick in Wheatland Township, and are grateful that even The Wall Street Journal has taken notice of our reform efforts. With the support of Mark and a lot of other good people, in 2011 we were able to stop an unnecessary township building from being built. The people of Wheatland Township rewarded our efforts with their support in the April 2013 consolidated election. Our slate of reform candidates swept all of the public offices in Wheatland Township. 


Immediately after taking office, we passed a resolution refusing pensions for all township officials. We are also well on our way to consolidating all township offices into a single building as another way to save taxpayers money. Wheatland Township has owned or used five properties. We are in the process of reducing to one.


This winter we will also lower the Wheatland Township property tax levy, and then abate property taxes to zero for the town fund. We are doing all this without affecting services. Isn’t this exactly what Republicans are supposed to stand for?


However, Mark Batinick’s conservative credentials apparently don’t matter to the House Republican Organization (HRO), now captained by the new House Minority Leader Jim Durkin who recently took over that internal leadership post after Tom Cross announced his statewide run.


Amanda Mancke has reportedly been recruited by Durkin’s team to run as a Republican for the 97th District seat. A review of her record reveals that Mancke supported a property tax increase in a past race for Trustee of Oswego. And according to the GOP Data Center, Mancke voted Republican for the first time in the 2012 Primary.


But perhaps of most concern, Ms. Mancke, a teacher, sits on the legislative committee of the Illinois Education Association (IEA). In fact Mancke helped craft the IEA’s 2012-2013 Platform which supports progressive taxation and a financial transaction tax; while opposing school choice (including home schooling) and the ballot initiative process.   


Really? Is this how Jim Durkin plans to rebuild the Republican Party in Illinois? If Durkin and his HRO are successful in helping Amanda Mancke win the nomination, we won’t have to worry about losing the General Election to a Democrat. We will have already lost to one in the Primary.


As a recently elected Supervisor who is trying his best in Wheatland Township, I know that we need more allies in Springfield who will take their responsibilities to the taxpayers seriously. Mark Batinick will never get the endorsement of the IEA. But I know he will be a State Representative who will work hard to receive the ringing endorsement of the hardworking taxpayers of Illinois.


Chuck Kern is the Supervisor of Wheatland Township in Will County, Illinois. Kern is also a Republican Precinct Committeeman.


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