President of Bradley University, of course. I’m officially throwing my support behind LaHood’s efforts to get the job.
I understand if Mr. LaHood gets the job, he will resign Congress and a special election would be held to replace him. That sounds like a win-win for everybody.
I’m generally a Republican, but I’ve been disappointed in LaHood for a few reasons. One is his defense of congressional earmarks — a practice I think is corrupt and wastes our tax money. If a project is worthy of federal funding, it should be able to withstand scrutiny as a separate bill or part of a related bill subject to debate. It shouldn’t have to be tacked on secretly. Earmarks grease the wheels for pork-barrel spending.
Another reason I’ve been disappointed is because he’s thwarted efforts to improve transportation in Peoria. He shot down funding for a Chicago-Peoria highway, and he recently spoke disparagingly about plans to try to lure Amtrak back to Peoria. And, of course, he’s been a proponent of mothballing the Kellar Branch rail line and turning it into a hiking/biking trail, even though we need that rail infrastructure to keep businesses in Pioneer Park and lure new businesses to Growth Cell Two.
And then there were his comments during the Mark-Foley/congressional-page scandal. You may remember his solution to the problem was to get rid of the pages. I suppose if there were no pages, there would be no one for Foley to harass, but isn’t that essentially blaming the victims? He also supported Dennis Hastert, then Speaker of the House, who should have taken action against Foley sooner.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
Besides, it appears LaHood is more interested in local politics than national affairs, so having him get a local job seems only fitting. He can still lead efforts to oust Election Commissioners, join forces with the Recreational Trail Advocates on the Kellar Branch issue, and try unsuccessfully to broker compromises between the city and the school board. But he would be out of Congress, and that would give Peoria the opportunity to have a representative with better judgment.