Governor hopeful visits NIU

By Tyler Vincent

Former NIU associate dean of arts and sciences and current candidate for Illinois Governor Michael J. Bakalis will visit the NIU campus and the DeKalb area on his campaign trail today.

Bakalis, who declared his candidacy for the Demorcratic Party nomination in March, among other things will address an American Government 101 class at 2 p.m., and attend a meeting of the DeKalb Central Democratic Meeting at 7 p.m. at the American National Bank, 1985 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore.

“I run to change the nature of what politics has become in our nation and in our state politics of timidness, doubletalk, cronyism and legalized bribery through the money-power of lobbyists and special interests,” Bakalis said in his speech announcing his candidacy.

“Today we are in danger of losing our democracy. Average citizens have no voice. Cynicism and disrespect of politics and politicians is the attitude of the majority of our citizens. As our democracy erodes, plutocracy takes hold. Plutocracy is defined as government by the wealthy. I stand here today to declare my commitment to be the sworn enemy of plutocracy.”

In addition to his tenure at NIU, Bakalis has served as Illinois State Comptroller, worked under then-President Jimmy Carter as Deputy Undersecretary of Education and was selected

as the Illinois Administrator of the Year in 1991.

He has named education as the central issue of his campaign.

“Illinois citizens deserve a quality public educational system from preschool to graduate school, and I will present ideas and policies to truly make that quality a reality,” he said in his

announcement speech. “While many have claimed the title, my professional record shows that I will be a real education governor.”

Other issues include wages in the workplace, civic renewal and reform and efficiency in government.

“I want an honest, clean government for a change and a commitment from everyone that each of us, in some small way, can make a positive difference,” Bakalis said in campaign literature. “I want every citizen to be able to say with pride, ‘I am from Illinois.'”