Ruocco criticizes Democratic opponent for encouraging tax increases
Businesswoman, lawyer and mother of four Katherine Ruocco, the Republican candidate for the House seat in District 113, recently took a stance against election opponent state Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville), critiquing his apparent enthusiasm for massive tax hikes as Illinois’ budget solution.
Ruocco brings a strong background in multiple sectors of commerce, advocacy and law. She has expressed disbelief at promotional pieces recently circulated by the Hoffman that claim “he helped create jobs (and) strengthen manufacturing.”
“Really?” Ruocco said. “Either he is hallucinating or he is lying to the people of his district with these statements. Either way, he does not deserve another term — 25 years is enough.”
Ruocco's perspective is based on the fact that Illinois has suffered the worst year for job losses in the manufacturing sector since the Great Recession. In 2016 alone, 8,000 positions were eliminated. Ruocco sees Hoffman’s proposed tax hike, which she estimates would be 47 percent to cover the state’s current deficits, as incentive to force businesses and families out of Illinois.
“This mass exodus will leave the rest of us with an even bigger unimaginable tax burden, with limited job opportunity,” Ruocco said. “Playing games with those suffering is shameful.”
The candidate openly faults the incumbent lawmaker for his proposed measure, which she says would double unemployment among steel workers after layoffs, as an adjunct to his re-election efforts.
The Belleville News-Democrat has reported that surrounding states in the Midwest are not experiencing the economic downturn that Illinois is.
“Neighboring Midwestern states are not seeing the same loss of manufacturing jobs,” the publication stated in a story dated Sept. 19. “The Illinois losses also mean skilled workers are not going to sit here and await better days. They move to states with healthier economies that are often just across the state line.”
Sean McCarthy, acting director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, corroborated the statistics, saying that the state’s economy is driving residents out because of steady job loss and “anemic growth.”
“If our state enacted the structural reforms necessary to get Illinois growing at the national rate, we could create 200 new jobs every day and put Illinois back to work,” he said. “Instead, the state lost 8,200 jobs, and nearly 20,000 people gave up looking for work.”
Additionally, Ruocco warned constituents to take Hoffman’s campaign material with an extra large grain of salt, urging caution. The latter's campaign tactics mirror those of other Democratic candidates who have taken to excessive paper promotion by repeatedly posting advertisements through the U.S. mail during the election year.
“From his 25 years in office, state Rep. Hoffman has deep pockets along with his campaign war chest, built by his cronies and special interest groups,” Ruocco said. “Your mailbox will be hit with numerous mailers touting Hoffman’s ‘fighting for the middle class.’ Please don’t fall for this trickery. Let Springfield know that we’re smarter than this and we are no longer going to fall in line for the status quo. We deserve better. Vote 'no' to state Rep. Hoffman and his historic loss of Illinois manufacturing jobs and historic tax hikes.”
The Republican candidate concluded her statement with a reminder that she left the corporate world long ago to fight for the needy — elderly, disabled, veterans and others — and now she “is ready to fight for you, and work hard to get Illinois back on track.”
“We desperately need to vote 'no' to the status quo and bring our state back to solvency, so that we can live the lifestyle and values that are important to the citizens of southern Illinois,” Ruocco said.
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