For more than 20 years, he’s been a member of Physicians for a National Health Program, an organization that supports single-payer national health insurance.
Gill emphasized during his primary campaign that he won’t take campaign money from corporate political action committees or Wall Street lobbyists. But what about labor unions?
Gill said he views labor PACs in a different light.
“I don’t think corporations are there to make people’s lives better,” he said. “The multinational corporations that take jobs out of this country, their primary goal is not to make the lives of middle class and all Americans more comfortable.”
But don’t they make products people like?
“Their dominance of politics and government has resulted in the gains in productivity in this country, but the vast majority in gains go to a very tiny sliver of our society,” Gill said.
Labor unions can be called interest groups, he said, “but I think their primary interest is in promoting the well-being of the vast majority of Americans.”
Gill said he does not think being for gay marriage today is too progressive, because attitudes on the issue have changed rapidly.
“Support for it is growing exponentially, and I think these politicians who refuse to get on board are really falling behind the curve,” Gill said. “It’s part of our national character to be interested in fairness and justice, and I think it’s not going to be too much longer … before we’re looking back at the question of consenting adults getting married who (are) of the same gender … the same way we look today at the laws in Virginia in 1967 that a black adult and a white adult couldn’t get married. I think we’ll be saying, ‘What was that all about?’ So … I’m forward thinking, but … politically, I don’t think it causes harm. And again, I think people appreciate my integrity.”
It was in 1967 that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Virginia law banning interracial marriage.
Johnson has a long political career as a Republican, but he isn’t always mainstream in his views. His strong advocacy of his friend RON PAUL for president, for example, doesn’t put him in the middle of the GOP road. And even Johnson said, on election night, that Gill is “a committed person of great principles who gives voters a choice.”
“Nobody’s going to agree with any other person on every single issue of the day,” Gill said, adding that even if people don’t agree with him on some things, “I think just the fact that I’m out there giving them a straight answer is appreciated.”
It promises to be an interesting campaign.
U.S. Rep. STEVE ISRAEL, D-N.Y., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, had a conference call with Illinois reporters Wednesday to announce five U.S. House races in Illinois that the DCCC is emphasizing through what it calls the “red-to-blue” program. That name indicates a shift from the GOP to Democrats, though also included is the new 12th Congressional District, where the seat is open because of the coming retirement of Democratic Rep. JERRY COSTELLO of Belleville. The new 13th wasn’t included, though Israel said that’s because the name of the Democratic nominee against Johnson wasn’t yet certain. But he also said he wasn’t ruling out a party push for Gill.
“Oh no, not at all,” Israel said. “I just haven’t made that assessment yet.”
He said he expects Democrats to win at least two of three races under the new map: Democrat TAMMY DUCKWORTH of Hoffman Estates vs. GOP Rep. JOE WALSH of McHenry in the 8th; Democrat BRAD SCHNEIDER of Deerfield vs. GOP Rep. ROBERT DOLD of Kenilworth in the 10th; and CHERI BUSTOS of East Moline vs. GOP Rep. BOBBY SCHILLING of Colona in the 17th. Bustos is a daughter of GENE and ANN CALLAHAN of Springfield.
Also “in play,” Israel said, are races featuring former Democratic U.S. Rep. BILL FOSTER of Naperville vs. GOP Rep. JUDY BIGGERT of Hinsdale in the 11th; and Democrat BRAD HARRIMAN of O’Fallon vs. Republican JASON PLUMMER of Fairview Heights in the 12th. Plummer was the 2010 GOP candidate for lieutenant governor.
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