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Sean Casten, left, and Jeanne Ives, right, are candidates for the 6th Congressional District race in the 2020 November general election.

With mud being slung on both sides by the candidates and their supporters, the race for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District seat is one of the messier battles in the suburbs.

Ads from incumbent Democrat Sean Casten of Downers Grove and Republican challenger Jeanne Ives of Wheaton have targeted each other, and some Ives campaign signs have been defaced with vulgarities.

Fortunately, you’ll have the opportunity to see Casten and Ives address the issues that have divided them at several virtual debates and forums between now and the Nov. 3 election.

First up is a forum to be held Monday by a coalition of area League of Women Voters groups. It’s scheduled for 7 PM and also will feature Libertarian candidate Bill Redpath of West Dundee.

Registration is limited. To learn more or to register, visit lwvnaperville.org/?event=us-6th-district-congressional-candidate-forum.

Read more here.

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When we present arguments against a graduated income tax — a referendum will be at the top of the November ballot for voters to decide — we hope to convince those of you on the fence. Regular readers of the Tribune editorial page already are familiar with our fiscal policy recommendations and frustration with politicians who have failed for decades to straighten out this state’s spiraling financial mess.

In our view, switching from a constitutionally protected flat tax to a graduated income tax would allow Illinois politicians to tinker with rates — to extract more money from hardworking taxpayers — without forcing them, the politicians, to do the hard work of streamlining government, cutting spending and eliminating the structural deficit that has made this state a deadbeat for more than a decade. It is beyond irresponsible that the state can’t pay for services for its most vulnerable, can’t pay its bills on time and has a credit rating near junk status.

Other states with graduated income tax rates that are running smoothly are running smoothly because they are well-run states — not because of the “magic” of a graduated tax structure.

That’s our take. But to readers undecided, and even for those of you who plan to vote in favor of the graduated tax amendment, give us a shot at trying to change your minds. Unlocking the Illinois Constitution’s flat rate is the wrong path toward a healthy Illinois, which is the outcome we all, regardless of party or politics, want to see. We all strive for the revival of the great state of Illinois. But this is not the way to do it.

Illinois elected officials need to be responsible stewards of the people’s money: Pay the state’s bills on time. Respect taxpayers by spending frugally. Reduce the size and scope of government by focusing on essential services. Offer voters a chance to vote on term limits, redistricting reform and a pension amendment.

Read the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board’s opinions here.

Related:Editorial: Closing arguments, Part One: Why voters should reject Pritzker Tax

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Martin McLaughlin, left, and Marci Suelzer

The voters in the 52nd Illinois House District have been spoiled by the representation of David McSweeney.

To all those who say individual state representatives are powerless in a General Assembly controlled by legislative leaders, we say look at the performance of the Barrington Hills Republican.

For eight years, McSweeney has served with unmatched energy and tireless efforts at building relationships on both sides of the aisle. and by keenly picking his spots, he’s been uniquely successful at getting things done.

McSweeney will be a tough act to follow, but the voters have two good options to do so — Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin and Democrat Marci Suelzer of Island Lake, who brings a well-rounded background in legal affairs and mental health.

We recommend McLaughlin, the Republican.

Read the full Daily Herald Editorial Board endorsement here.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other Democratic politicians want voters to profoundly amend the Illinois Constitution. Call their proposal the “Pritzker Tax,” placed on the ballot thanks to exclusively Democratic votes in the General Assembly.

For the first time since Connecticut in 1996, if approved, an American state would switch from a flat income tax to a graduated tax. That is, if you earn five times what your neighbor earns, you must pay five times as much to the state. In 2018, Colorado voters rejected an amendment to convert from flat to graduated. North Carolina and Kentucky have gone the opposite direction, to flat taxes.

The switch hasn’t gone well for Connecticut, where progressively higher income and property taxes have driven residents to other states. The change would be similarly bad for Illinois, which already has lost population for six straight years. As young people abandon this state or don’t return here to start their families and careers, the Illinois Exodus intensifies. Every time a taxpayer departs for Florida, Tennessee or Texas, the tax burden on those of us who remain grows heavier.

So each of us should think skeptically, not reflexively by political tribe, about what the Pritzker Tax would do to Illinois. Five reasons, among others we’ll discuss in future installments, why you should vote it down:

  • The pols haven’t earned trust
  • ‘Save Illinois — and get a tax cut too!’
  • ‘Double pinkie swear, this time is different!’
  • What the Dems don’t admit
  • ‘Let the people vote’

Read the full Chicago Tribune Editorial Board’s opinions here.

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One of the most widespread challenges facing modern elections is false information. In Illinois, officials say misinformation and disinformation schemes are getting more aggressive.

“As we get closer to Election Day, I think we’re going to have more and more misinformation schemes,” said Marisel Hernandez, chairwoman of the Chicago Board of Elections. “But we’re determined to be ahead of the curve and be out there letting voters know what is correct and what isn’t.”

The Tribune has fact-checked reported scams circulating in Illinois. Here are facts to know leading up to Nov. 3:

  • Voting more than once in an election is illegal
  • There is no such thing as voting online or through text
  • Nothing in the voter registration system indicates party affiliation
  • Voter information is not being sold or redistributed
  • Illinois upgraded its cyber defenses to prevent hacking and scams, and
  • Don’t interact with social media posts from untrusted sources

Read explanations of each of the points laid out above in the Chicago Tribune article here.

Editorial note: Granted, most of these facts are obvious to many of our readers. But we’re constantly amazed (and sometimes troubled) to learn what is actually news to some which is why we’re sharing this story.

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Martin McLaughlin, left, and Marci Suelzer are candidates for the 52nd state House District seat.

Six candidates vying for three Illinois House seats from the North and Northwest suburbs on Nov. 3 debated the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the state budget during a Zoom interview with members of the Daily Herald Editorial Board this week.

The interviews were with candidates running for seats in the 51st, 52nd and 54th House districts.

In the 52nd District, Democrat Marci Suelzer of Island Lake and Republican Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin are vying for the seat long held by GOP Rep. David McSweeney, who isn’t seeking reelection.

McLaughlin criticized the state for passing a 2020-21 fiscal year spending plan, including a $6 billion deficit and without addressing the economic impact of business closures due to the pandemic.

“I believe the legislature should have been involved in the decision making,” he said. “And I’d like to see that taken up in fall session because I think we’re going to miss our numbers by more than we could ever imagine. I just want the state to recognize the revenue will not be there, and to be proactive about that, whatever that takes as far as reductions in spending or cuts or an overall look.”

Read more here.

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Nearly all of Barrington Hills is in the U.S. House 6th District

Join a virtual candidate forum for Illinois 6th Congressional District from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21. It will feature incumbent Sean Casten and challengers Jeanne Ives and Bill Redpath. This Zoom forum is hosted by a coalition of 10 League of Women Voters’ chapters from the Illinois 6th District.

Register in advance at lwvnaperville.org for the Zoom event. Capacity is limited. The event will be recorded and available for later viewing.

The 6th District includes parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.

All candidate forums are run by trained, nonpartisan moderators. Equal time is given to all candidates to answer each question. The candidates will have two minutes to present an opening statement, in turn, alphabetically.

Questions will be vetted in advance by the League for appropriateness and relevance from those solicited from League members as well as community members and nonpartisan groups. The moderator will ask questions in rotation so that each candidate will have the opportunity to be the first to answer.

Candidates will have an equal and predetermined amount of time to answer each question.

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Tom Wilbeck

Some candidates for the McHenry County Board pushed for body cameras for the sheriff’s office, arguing they would help protect officers as well as residents, but others appeared hesitant because of the capital cost of such an endeavor.

This discussion was part of an endorsement interview last week facilitated by the editorial boards of the Northwest Herald and the Daily Herald. The Northwest Herald will be publishing additional stories in the days to come, laying out the background and positions of candidates across county, state and federal races.

The McHenry County Board is made up of 24 members representing six districts. Voters this fall will be tasked with picking two candidates for the district where they live. Half of the county board’s seats are open this election year.

District 1 — in the southeastern corner of McHenry County and includes all or parts of Huntley, Algonquin, Barrington Hills, Trout Valley, Fox River Grove and Cary — is represented by Tom Wilbeck, a Republican from Barrington Hills, and Yvonne Barnes, a Republican from Cary. Democrat Theresa Meshes also is running in the district.

Wilbeck told the editorial boards Thursday he believes in small government and saving taxpayers money. Barnes and Meshes did not participate in the interview.

Read more here.

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The 8th annual Hills Are Alive Fall Festival is three weeks from today

The Village mailed their Summer newsletter to residents earlier this month. Some of the topics covered included:

  • The upcoming Hills are Alive Fall Festival
  • Voting information and critical dates
  • BACOG’s annual well water testing event
  • Updates from the Police Department
  • Village roads speed limit enforcement
  • Words of prevention on theft or burglary, and
  • A pop Village knowledge quiz

If you did not receive your copy of the newsletter, you can find it here.

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With concerns rising over the U.S. Postal Service’s ability to handle a crush of mail ballots this fall, suburban counties are installing dozens of secure drop boxes across the region. This one is outside the McHenry County administration building in Woodstock. (John Starks | Staff Photographer)

With concerns about U.S. mail service and election tampering growing, Lake County officials this week said people will be able to deposit vote-by-mail ballots in more than a dozen secure boxes throughout the county ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

They aren’t alone in trying to boost confidence in the voting process.

More than 50 drop boxes for mail-in ballots will be installed throughout suburban Cook County. Sites will include the village halls in Arlington Heights, Barrington Hills, Elk Grove Village, Glenview, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Northbrook and Streamwood, as well as libraries in Des Plaines and Wheeling.

Two drop boxes will be securely installed at the DuPage County complex in Wheaton — one in the parking lot and one inside, Chief Deputy Clerk Adam Johnson said. Additionally, nearly 300 drop boxes will be placed at all early voting locations and Election Day polling places in the county, Johnson said.

Read more here.

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