Sep 24, 2016

Response to Bradley’s Sex Offender Ad

Dear Friends,

By now I am sure you are sick of having your mailboxes stuffed full and your television sets inundated with ads from my opponent claiming that somehow electing me as your next State Representative will “put kids in danger.”  As a long time school board member, former youth pastor, husband of a teacher and grandfather of two boys – I’m offended and disgusted. In his desperation, John Bradley even went so far as to have his Chicago lawyers dig into my business dealings and make personal and disparaging attacks against one of my employees – embarrassing both him, his wife and his family even after already repaying his debts to society.

Destroying people’s lives, all to score a few votes. That’s John Bradley.

The real point of this ad, of course, is to disqualify my candidacy by throwing out there one of the most dirty and disgusting smear campaigns seen in Illinois politics in a long time.  Rather than talk about the issues and policies that will bring back Southern Illinois, John wants to try to destroy my character, my business – and hurt hard-working families trying to make an honest living.  In politics, this tactic can sometimes be a winner. Most of the time, however, it reveals how little these politicians really care about the people they say they “represent.”

While I do think it’s a desperate ploy by the other side I don’t want to just leave it at that. I have let this particular attack run its course and so I think it’s time I respond. Not as a defense – but as an opportunity to share with you how I live, how I treat others, how I’d serve you as state rep, and how I put my faith and love for God into practice every day.

All my life I have reached out to the needy and less fortunate among us.  For over 20 years working at my families’ nursing home business, I cared for the needs of our elderly.  Some of them may have been your parents or grandparents.  Not only did I care for their personal needs, I also cared about their dignity.  Many senior citizens are alone and feel abandoned.  I went to work every day to help them know they are important and valued.  That is what the Bible says to do.

Along with caring for the elderly, I was the Southern Illinois Chairperson for Special Olympics.  These special needs kids are awesome.  So are the parents who love and take care of them.  These kids deserve the same opportunities that all boys and girls have.  I loved organizing the events for these children, raising money for their special needs, celebrating with the parents, and giving these precious boys and girls an opportunity to experience fun, competition and success.  The smiles on their faces and the joy in their expressions were priceless.

In my own personal life, I have made many mistakes – but I serve a God of second chances.  Maybe you or your children have made a few mistakes as well.  And like you, when someone has recognized the error of their ways, paid their debt to society, repented of their sins and set about to become a productive member of our community… I want to help in whatever way I can.  When I see people like that, and I have a chance to help them restore their lives, families and reputations, I don’t just talk about it – I do something about it.  One of the best ways to rebuild and restore men and women is to give them a job.  Over the years I have tried to help give second chances to many in Southern Illinois. One of my favorite hymns was written by a former slave trader, who God gave a second chance.  The author’s name is John Newton and the song is ‘Amazing Grace’.

So, John Bradly can continue to tear down people and destroy reputations with his vicious lies.  I will continue to work hard to give dignity to the hurting, care for the less fortunate children in our area, and find real-life ways to give second chances to the hard working people of Southern Illinois.