Monday, August 16, 2010

Last week you heard from a few of my summer interns about why they chose to be part of my grassroots campaign and some of their experience. I have a few more stories to share.

Cara P.: After learning more about the economic and political state of Illinois, I became extremely disheartened. Being so young in a state facing such strife is incredibly disappointing and casts darkness over the possibility of a bright future. However, I firmly believe In Jeff’s mission to bring change to Illinois. This campaign gives me faith that I may someday be able to raise a family here. Jeff’s passion for his work and his interest in truly changing Illinois politics inspires me to start holding our state to a new standard and to expect that our government may one day return to policy over politics. Hearing from enthused and like-minded voters is encouraging and makes me excited for a future in which Jeff and others like him are elected into office.

Crystal R.: I decided be one of Jeff's interns this summer for many reasons. Not only was it a great learning experience, but I also felt like I was doing something beneficial for the state of Illinois. At my first fundraiser for Jeff, I sat down next to a woman who was unhappy with the responsiveness of her current 37th district representative. She said she had made several attempts to contact his office, but was never responded to. That same cold week in winter, Jeff knocked on her door to introduce himself. Although she normally voted Democratic she decided she definitely wanted to support Jeff and help him get elected. It reassured me that Jeff was a great candidate for the job. Since then, I have called voters and went door-to-door and received many similar responses. It is a great feeling. We have all worked hard this summer, but Jeff has definitely worked that hardest and I feel that he will continue working hard for the state of Illinois.

Jessica L.: It has been a privilege to intern for Jeff Junkas this summer. Given the critical condition our state is in, I felt it was imperative to get involved in order to make a change in Illinois. Being able to reach voters and document their opinions on a daily basis was challenging, and provided me a very humbling lesson in cold calling. Through voter outreach and my work with Junkas, I learned the importance of a two party system and believing in policy before politics. My experience campaigning with Jeff has been very rewarding; although a career in politics is not for me, I have gained an immense amount of respect and appreciation for those who dedicate their time to improve our communities.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I have been privileged to have a great group of hard working young people, deeply concerned about the future of Illinois, interning for me this summer. They all have unique stories and I thought you might enjoy hearing from them about why they chose to be part of my grassroots campaign and some of their interaction with voters so far.

Pat. G: I think Illinois government is failing the people of our state. Taxes are too high and cause jobs to leave the state that may never come back. The people in Springfield have let these fiscal problems build up for years. Jeff Junkas knows the problems that Illinois faces and he knows how to solve them. I believe Illinois needs someone in the state legislature who will not just keep increasing taxes, but that will stop wasting our money. We need people like Jeff in the legislature and that’s why I want to help him get elected. After talking to hundreds of voters like me, it is gratifying to hear so many other people that are also worried about the state’s fiscal crisis.

Evan P.: I support Jeff because the campaign we are running is truly grassroots. He was not recruited by the Republican Party and he is a first time candidate. He is truly passionate about making a change in Illinois and fixing the condition our state is in. We need to get the politicians who are taking Illinois further into debt out of office. One thing that surprised me this election is that of the voters I have contacted or met many are open to new people being elected.

Jorie K.: I’ll be entering my sophomore year of college in the fall. I’ve been working as a volunteer for Jeff since the beginning of June. As a student volunteer, I’ve talked to many voters whether it is over the phone or face-to-face, and there is a consistent theme to what they all are saying. They are sick and tired of the corrupt Illinois politicians. People are losing jobs left and right, those who are more than qualified for simple jobs are not getting hired, and our education system – something that should have the most focus – is being ignored. People across both parties are seeing that the blame falls on both sides. Our Democratic and Republican leaders have failed the people of their state. Rather than focusing on how to fix the problems, their focus falls on the sole purpose of re-election. After meeting Jeff, hearing what he stands for, and why he is running, I couldn’t resist wanting to help him attain the office of State Representative for the 37th District. If you’ve had the chance to meet and talk with Jeff you’ll understand what I mean when I say he isn’t just another politician. Rather, he is a citizen who is frustrated and sick of what’s been going in our state for countless year, all of which the citizens have to pay the consequences for. If you haven’t meet Jeff yet, you most likely will, he’s always out meeting voters to make sure his platform truly represents the good people of the 37th District of Illinois. A great leader of ours once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” Jeff is fighting that fight. And if you care enough for future of your children or grandchildren – for my future, then I ask that you consider voting for him this upcoming November.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Learn more about how Republican’s plan to re-take the state House by reading a Crain’s article excerpted below.

©2010 by Crain Communications Inc.

Illinois Republicans see a chance to recapture control of Springfield

Crain’s Chicago Business July 05, 2010

By Greg Hinz

For Illinois Republicans, Nov. 2, 1994, was as good as it gets. Not only did they win every election that counted, they took away Michael Madigan's speakership, making Springfield's senior Democrat the minority leader of the Illinois House.

Can they do it again?

. . . 2010 still is shaping up as the kind of year in which the GOP can actually dream. The dreams don't get any more delicious than dispatching Mr. Madigan's majority the year before legislative reapportionment.

"The political environment for us has never been better," says Kevin Artl, political director for House GOP Leader Tom Cross. "If you look at any metric compared to 1994, they're all better."

. . .

As Team Cross sees it, its chances start with picking up at least a couple of the four seats outside Chicago held by . . . Democrat incumbents who might be vulnerable — like Jay Hoffman (who was former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's floor leader) and Kevin McCarthy (whose district often votes Republican).

' The Democrats . . . have failed miserably.'

. . .

It's a little early to tell how those newcomers will perform. But the party already has made 174,000 phone calls, with field organizers on the ground since April, Mr. Artl says. In every case, the core message is the same: "Enough is enough. Every Democratic candidate we're going after voted for more government spending (and) for more borrowing."

But even the staunchest Republicans may pause in going after someone like Mr. Madigan, who, despite a ton of bad publicity of late, has run the House (and much of the rest of Illinois government) for 28 of the past 30 years, excepting only the term after the Newt Gingrich revolt of 1994.

. . .

Illinois State Chamber of Commerce President Doug Whitley says business folks "are much more sensitive to what's at stake" this time. "The Democrats who have been in charge for a decade have failed miserably. Look at the budget, the condition of the Illinois economy," he says.

Some business leaders clearly are helping, with a group including former state party Chairman Andy McKenna Jr. (whom Mr. Cross endorsed for governor), private-equity mogul Bruce Rauner and the horseracing Duchossois clan part of a small group that reportedly has promised to raise $1 million for Mr. Cross' campaign coffers.

Will it work? It won't be easy. But if the GOP really catches the wind, it could get interesting.

©2010 by Crain Communications Inc.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Issue Focus: Voter Choice & Empowerment

Do you think someone that wants to represent you should be required to meet you and other voters when they petition to get on the ballot? Ever said: ‘I vote the candidate, not party’ only to be denied the opportunity to do so because Illinois has “closed” primaries? Would you like to run for office but find the process too cumbersome and confusing? Did you know in Illinois we don’t actually register for a political party? It is only assumed based on your primary ballot selection.

As part of my government reform campaign platform, below are my “Voter Choice and Empowerment” legislative ideas to help answer some of these questions.

With voter participation at all time lows (primary election turnout is typically 20-30 percent, general election turnout hovers in the 50-55 percent range), “plant” candidates and party boss manipulation of who gets on the ballot a perennial election issue, numerous idiosyncrasies to the archaic petition rules, and the desperate need for more good citizens to participate in our electoral process, I propose Illinois:

• modernize ballot access requirements with respect to nominating petitions;
• establish “open primaries” in Illinois;
• allow citizens to declare a party affiliation.

To help build a better government and brighter future for Illinois we need to empower voters and foster greater transparency, involvement and fairness in elections.

My ideas include: (a) decrease the petition signature requirements for established party candidates by 30 percent and put independent and “third party” candidates at the same threshold (we already have enough Scott Lee Cohen's involved so let’s make the process more understandable for solid citizens and diverse opinions); and (b) would require candidates to obtain at least half the necessary signatures themselves, with the remaining signatures to be gathered half from in-district residents, half any other Illinois voting age citizen.

Also, instituting open primaries to allow voters to select their candidate of choice, regardless of party, and proactive registration/choice of party, or none at all, is intended to encourage more voter participation, and help political parties organize. For example, in Cook County where most judicial candidates only run on the Democratic ticket, voters could still vote for a judge and the Republican gubernatorial candidate. Or conversely, we may actually see some Republican judicial candidates.

By opening the primary process and giving voters the right to declare party, be it Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Tea, citizens will be encouraged to participate more in government and how it operates by giving them more choice. By mandating candidates actually meet voters via a required number of petitions, the days of just hiring signature firms will end and more citizen legislators will hopefully emerge. Taken together, we can begin to reform our government where it starts – at the ballot, each election. Next step is a fair map, real contribution limits and legislative leader term limits.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cost of Blago-McCarthy healthcare

The Illinois Auditor General's recent report detailing the costs and lack of controls in the massive free healthcare expansion called "All Kids" pushed by ex-Gov. Blagojevich and supported by Rep. Kevin McCarthy is another prime example of the need for new leaders and greater accountability in Springfield.

The report, summarized here: outlined some disturbing facts: more than 94,000 kids had family incomes in excess of program limits (200% of poverty) or were illegal aliens; the program collected a meager $8.9 million in premiums and cost the state $70 million in claims without any federal reimbursement; the two state agencies responsible for much of the program failed to follow state regulations in administering it.

Taxpayers across Illinois deserve better. They deserve programs that are properly administered, efficient and benefit actual citizens.

You can read the full report here:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Issue Focus: State Budget

The General Assembly failed to pass a final budget and adjourned “at the call of the chair” – meaning members will return to Springfield when the leaders call them back to vote on a final spending plan.

Lawmakers can’t seem to agree on what to do. The main debate centers around more borrowing, more taxes, and more spending (recall, the governor’s own introduced budget was billions in the red). Some have called for spending cuts, but there is no consensus on what and where. Clearly, there is waste and inefficiencies in government spending, but we have no room for either with a $13 billion dollar debt.

It is time for a line by line review of the budget, a forensic audit of state government agencies and ending the wasteful spending on non-essential programs so we can fund those that truly matter – the teacher in the classroom, the crumbling bridge repair, the community organization helping the disabled and public safety.

The simple question is: do you really expect the people that have gotten us into this financial mess will be the same ones who get us out of it? If not, then it is time to give someone new a chance to do a better job.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Junkas Fundraiser - May 26

Below is the flyer and response form for my upcoming fundraiser. Hope you can support the campaign at this or a future event. Thanks, Jeff
Jeffrey L. Junkas
Republican Candidate for State Representative, 37th District

Spring Fundraiser
featuring Dan Proft, WLS-AM commentator
and to also benefit Operation Homefront Illinois

Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 5:30 — 8:00 p.m.
VFW Post 2791, 17147 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park

Tickets: $50.00 per person*

Includes open bar (beer, wine, pop) and food

*30% of the entry fee goes towards school supplies for military families
via Operation Homefront Illinois, a nonprofit that “provides emergency and morale assistance
for our troops, the families they leave behind, and for wounded warriors when they return home.”

Sponsorships are available. Please contact the campaign for details.

Please complete the below form and either mail it or bring it to the event. Tickets will be held at the door.
Make check payable to Citizens for Jeffrey L. Junkas, P.O. Box 2385, Orland Park, IL 60462
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_____ YES, I will attend the event: # of adults______
_____ YES, I would like to sponsor the event in the amount of $_____
_____ Sorry, I cannot attend but enclosed is a contribution of $_____ to help the campaign

Name:_______________________________ Address:_______________________________
City:______________________ State:___ Zip:_________
Cell Phone:____________________
Alt. Phone (home/work)_______________________
Contributions of $500 or more: Employer_____________________ Occupation:_______________

For more information, please contact Michelle Murphy Junkas at (708) 469-9000, e-mail or visit


Paid for by Citizens for Jeffrey L. Junkas. Contributions are not tax deductible as a charitable donation.
A copy of our report filed with the Board of Elections is (or will be) available for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, IL.