Randazzo goes after McAuliffe in 20th District
by JASON PORTERFIELD
Republican incumbent Michael McAuliffe is facing a challenge from Democrat Bruce Randazzo in his re-election bid in the 20th Illinois House District.
Randazzo, age 55, said that he decided to run for office because the district “needs fresh blood” and a new perspective. “There are a lot of issues that he’s not taking care of for the people in this district,” Randazzo said. “He’s not here addressing things that matter to people. They feel he’s not doing enough for them.”
Randazzo said that instead of helping to direct money to businesses in the area, McAuliffe has focused on projects that are important to only a handful of residents, such as establishing a dog-friendly area in Norwood Park.
Randazzo said that if he is elected he will make care elderly care a priority and that he would work to make sure that senior living facilities are kept up to code and follow regulations. He also said that he would push for laws protecting children with special needs in schools.
Randazzo works for the Chicago Department of Water Management, and he has worked for the Department of Streets and Sanitation. He served on the local school council at Northtown Academy for 4 years, and in 2011 he ran for the 36th Ward aldermanic seat, where he finished last in a field of six candidates. In that race he ran on a platform of reducing waste and corruption in city departments.
Randazzo said that he has been a whistle-blower while working for the city and that in 2002 he took the city to court because equipment operators who were removing snow were working for more than 12 hours at a stretch in violation of city policy.
“I’ve never been afraid to speak up if I see something wrong,” Randazzo said. “I’ve been a fighter for a long time. It doesn’t matter if it’s a city problem or a state problem. If people had a problem or saw something wrong, I would hope that they would feel they could come to me.”
McAuliffe, age 48, was elected to the seat in 1997 to fill the vacancy created by the death of his father, state Representative Roger McAuliffe. He chairs the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. McAuliffe was unopposed when he ran for re-election in 2010.
McAuliffe said that if he is re-elected he intends to work to repeal the law that raised the individual state income tax from 3 percent to 5 percent in 2011.
“We need to work on cutting costs at the state level and move away from passing it down to our residents,” McAuliffe said. “Pension reform is out there, but what form it will take is hard to say.
“We need to do something with our pension system. Whatever comes up in January on pensions will probably get a long, hard look.”
McAuliffe said that he would work to help small businesses and said that the state’s tax rates hurt businesses. “It is incumbent on us to help small businesses,” he said. “With the economic climate out there, we have businesses that can’t make a profit.”
McAuliffe also said that he wants to use his chairmanship of the Veterans Affairs Committee to help returning veterans make the transition to civilian life. “Legislation and programs for veterans is always a priority,” he said. “We’re going to be having a lot more veterans returning home. I’d like to listen to what they have to say and find out what we can do for them.”
McAuliffe said that he has been trying to meet people in the new areas of his district. When the General Assembly approved new district boundaries in 2011, McAuliffe picked up areas in Schiller Park, Rosemont, Niles and Des Plaines.