March 18, 2010

In consideration of my candidacy as Lieutenant Governor

Ladies and gentlemen of the Democratic Party, I stand here to plead my case for your consideration of my candidacy as Lieutenant Governor. If you choose me as Governor Quinn’s running mate, my primary purpose will be to wait for something bad to happen to the Governor. I do not want that, nor does anyone here. I speak today as both a potential Governor and the current Governor’s potential Lieutenant.

My name is John Edgar Mihelic. M-I-H-E-L-I-C. It’s a funny name, but those are easily learned in this state. Nobody knows me, or my name. My father is not the chair of this party, head of the county board, or a powerful Alderman. My father is an Emergency Room Doctor. He stands on his feet for long hours. His work is saving lives. He doesn’t always succeed, but his stoic reserve in the face of his own failures is something I respect and emulate.

I stand here today because like my father I have a calling to service. Many have felt this before and answered it in many ways. I have answered this calling by teaching; now I am volunteering my service to the state. I would not be here if I didn’t think my involvement could not alter for the better the conditions of the state and the people in it. I believe in Illinois.

The people deserve better than the status quo perpetuating itself so grandly in Springfield. Hard choices have to be made in the realms of revenue creation and spending. I largely support my potential running mate’s program, but we have to be open to all voices. Most importantly, we have to be open and honest about our priorities. The monies generated through taxation and borrowing might fall short of all the promises we have made. What we cannot allow is for money to disappear at every level of bureaucracy. Every dollar lost represents a dollar not spent on important infrastructure and dollars needed to invest education are lost. We should not lower the bar to meet diluted expectations, we need to raise expectations from everyone. Finally, we need to keep our commitments to public workers. For too long we have borrowed against their futures and now many want to point fingers at those who have dedicated a career to the betterment of the state.

I do not have the answers to all these complex questions. What I have is the mind, the determination, and the vision that working together we can move from this atmosphere of fear and uncertainty and mutual suspicion to a shared prosperity. Too many before me have allowed petty ambitions for material gains to cloud the reputation of the state’s government. I allow that I am ambitious. My ambition is the greater glory of the state – beginning now. I may succeed greatly or fail spectacularly. Either way I will wake up tomorrow knowing how to move forward better by the lessons I learn today.

Thank you for your kind consideration