League of Women Voters of Elmhurst
Voters Guide for the General Primary Election: March 20, 2018

Dem Candidate for 47th District State House — Anne Sommerkamp

Opening Statement

I’m Anne Sommerkamp. I’m running for Illinois General Assembly Representative from the 47th district.

People like Rauner and Trump are destroying the values people like you and I are trying to teach our children. Think about the things parents have to explain to their children almost daily about this President’s potty mouth. Governor Rauner lies to his own party to the extent that no self respecting Republican would even put their name on the same ballot with him in our race for the 47th district.

It is for the sake of my values and our children’s future I had to stand up, put my name on the ballot, and shout from the rooftops - I will not accept a Governor who is a liar and I will not accept a president who is a racist. It is NOT OK to treat any human being with anything other than dignity and respect.

Treating others well at all times, in all circumstances, burns through the illusion of darkness rather quickly. A racist can not mask revulsion for too long.

Treating others well is about the light and clarity needed to see healthcare is a basic human right.

Treating others well is not only about today! We are responsible for our children’s future. Mother Earth is strong, but every force we have must be coalesced into a sustainable art for our planet’s vitality.

The purity and fire you seek from your elected Representative is coming on like a THUNDERBOLT when you elect me. It is time to move forward with new bailliance, creativity and illumination.

1. Where do you stand on the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment?

The ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment folds perfectly into my belief that ALL people should be treated with dignity and respect. With all my heart I know “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.” Those 24 words, are words we have been working for since they were first introduced in 1923. Those words and the ideas covered therein are not covered by the 14th amendment as Justice Scalia said before his passing. I am thankful that Justice Ginsburg made that clear.

SJRCA4 is a joint resolution before the Illinois legislature as we speak. Illinois will become the 37th State to pass the ERA! A similar resolution is before the state legislature in Virginia. I hope the constitutional amendment I’ve been waiting for since I was 18 years old will finally become the law of the land. The ERA is the only Constitutional Amendment that ever had a time limit put on its passage.

A few reasons the ERA needs to pass, working Caucasian and Asian women are still paid about 80 cents on the dollar, African American women are paid 63 cents on the dollar, and Latina women earn 56 cents on the dollar, according to a Pew Research study from 2016. Without the ERA women paid higher health insurance premiums, and women have a harder time qualifying for mortgages than men.

The reason the ERA didn’t pass between 1972 and 1982 lies squarely on the shoulders of Phyllis Schlafly and her super conservative group the Eagle Forum. Schlafly used Republican “scare tactics” to frighten people. She said “dependent wives” wouldn’t be covered under Social Security, separate bathrooms would be taken away, and women would be drafted.

I remember how the defeat of the ERA was such a blow to the Women’s Movement and the potential to make social change in the ’80’s, the resulting Feminist dissatisfaction with the Republican Party gave Democrats new power. That combined with minority support put Bill Clinton in office for 8 years.

2. Do you believe that only the federal government can legislate on matters of immigration or do the states have the right when the federal government fails to act? Please explain your position.

Even though there are uniform federal immigration laws, and the Supreme Court has declared for more than a century the federal government has the power to make those laws, state and local governments throughout the country continue to shape the experience of immigrants within their jurisdictions. Notwithstanding the letter of the law, federal immigration law must be interpreted and enforced differently at the state and local level.

For example, DACA, children brought to the USA as kids by their parents are technically undocumented, but this is the only country they have ever known most of the 800,000 people involved do not even speak the native language, it would be cruel to deport them.

Sanctuary cities, townships, and States are another immigration issue I believe needs to be left to Individual states. Illinois is a sanctuary state Trump tried to with hold Federal dollars from areas that protect undocumented immigrants but the measure was struck down in court. “The Constitution vests the spending powers in Congress, not the President, so the Executive Order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds. Further, the Tenth Amendment requires that conditions on federal funds be unambiguous and timely made; that they bear some relation to the funds at issue; and that they not be unduly coercive,” wrote District Judge William H. Orrick in San Francisco. “Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the President disapproves.”

There is under reporting of crime committed against members of the undocumented community. To report a crime the victim has to undergo the process of attaining a U visa which doesn’t seen at all easy. After getting this U visa it seems law enforcement does not always treat these victims well to say the least.

Findings in a 2014 report from the DePaul University College of Law Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic suggest the creation of statewide model of U visa certification policy and practice, and the enactment of state legislation moving toward uniform certification policy and practice.

The findings and recommendations in this report are intended to highlight disparities in how undocumented victims of crime are treated by jurisdiction. These recommendations seek to increase community trust in law enforcement and ensure Illinois U visa certification policies and practices comport with the federal statutory scheme.

3. What is your stance on a temporary property tax freeze, which the State House approved last year?

When I knock on doors and talk to voters the thing I hear most often is my property taxes are too high. The property tax freeze passed in the house last year is not much, and the money will have to come from SOMEWHERE if we want to keep quality schools.

Since Illinois seems to find ways to tax poor and middle class people disproportionally, I’d like to propose what has been called the most popular tax in history. SB1970 or “The LaSalle Street Tax”. This is a very small tax on the trading of financial assets such as stocks, bonds, currencies and derivatives (futures and options) based on these assets.

Proposals submitted to the Illinois State Legislature call a $1/contract fee on all agricultural futures and options traded on the CBOE and the MERC and a $2/contract fee on all other futures, futures options and options traded on the two exchanges with the exception of options on individual stocks. Average contract size at these exchanges is more than $225,000, so this tax amounts to less than 2/1000 of a percent of average contract value. The tax rate is very low but, because the number of trades is so large, the proposal would raise between $10 and S12 billion per year for Illinois.

Contrary to claims by lobbyists that the exchanges could easily move trading infrastructure out of Illinois, such a relocation would be enormously costly and disruptive. The CME facility in Aurora for example is the size of seven football fields, and throughout the Chicago area “high frequency traders” seeking to place their servers as close as possible to trading matching engines have “co-located” near exchange facilities. All of these trading and exchange facilities would have to be relocated together and customized high-speed straight-line transmission connections to trading in New York, Asia, and other locations around the world would have to be rebuilt. Straight-line transmission is used for nanosecond time savings that allow high frequency traders to get an information edge on other traders as described in the Michael Lewis book Flash Boys for options and stock trading in Chicago and New York. Chicago is a key time zone player in 24 hour global trading strategies between New York and Asia. Also trading “clearing house” facilities and their links to all of the financial institutions in Chicago would have to be relocated and reconnected.

The European Union, The United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Australia, France, and Singapore have such taxes. These are all large markets, the tax had been in place for years without hurting these markets, and exchanges have not moved away. It is part of doing business.

Finally, in the unlikely event that the exchanges were able to provide credible data indicating that profit reduction from trading volume losses due to the LST was large enough to justify the costs of relocating out of Illinois, the state could negotiate a lower LST that would likely still raise billions in public revenue.

With 10 billion extra dollars, Illinois could do a lot to help property owners in the state.

4. Do you support changes to the current redistricting process to create rules that make the process more transparent and accountable?

I do support the changes to the current redistricting process. More transparency and public involvement in the process can only help. My only hope is the “regular citizens” involved in redistricting are not political pawns of one party or the other and it truly is transparent. Anyone can look at Illinois maps and see how horrible some of these districts have been gerrymandered.

Closing Statement

I’m Anne Sommerkamp, I’m a democrat. I was part of the team that put CNN on the air in 1980. I worked as a journalist for 20 years in Atlanta, Washington D.C. and in Chicago at WFLD-TV. I’ve covered campaigns on the plane with Mondale and Jesse Jackson, I’ve been to Republican and Democratic Conventions, I spent the night in the White House Press room the night Reagan was shot. I’ve covered Capitol Hill, the General Assembly, and the Chicago City Council. I can spot BS from a mile away and that’s one of the reasons I want to represent you in the 47th.

I’ve RUN for office before - I ran for Downers Grove Township Clerk, I got the most votes on our slate and the highest percentage of votes. I met a lot of people during that campaign, but I’m thankful I didn’t win.

I’ve wanted to be the State Rep from this district since the first time I voted here in 1998 and saw no Democrat on the ballot. I’ve never seen a Democrat on the ballot for State Rep in my district, ever. After Trump ruined my dream and hard work for the first female President, and Roskam ruined my hard work for Amanda Howland in 2016, and the smarter better candidate Greg Hose lost his State rep race in 2016…it was GAME ON!

The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan political organization, neither supports nor opposes any candidate.

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