Former opponent of Cloonen dubs her campaign ads 'completely false'
Democratic State Rep. Katherine Cloonen’s campaign recently ran an ad alleging that her Republican opponent, Lindsay Parkhurst, is seeking to reduce or cut Social Security and Medicare benefits for senior citizens.
Glenn Nixon, a former police officer with the Bourbonnais Police Department who ran against Cloonen in 2012 and 2014, asserted that those types of ads are flat-out lies. He said he should know because Cloonen ran the same type of attack ads against him.
“Here is the reality of those attack ads: they’re completely false,” Nixon recently told the Kankakee Times. “If you look back, (Cloonen) ran a series of extremely similar attack ads on me. My parents paid into Social Security and Medicare. They both utilize Social Security and Medicare. There is not one chance in the world I would have ever advocated for cutting or reducing Social Security or Medicare benefits.”
Nixon insisted that he proposed to do the opposite of what Cloonen alleged.
“As a matter of fact, I have said several times that if I was running for federal office, I would try to expand increases for our seniors who have earned the Social Security benefits,” he said.
Cloonen’s 30-second ad begins with a senior citizen discussing his dependency on Medicare and Social Security. Interspersed through his monologue is a statistic stating that over 148,000 senior citizens live in poverty, as well as a statement accusing Parkhurst of seeking to cut the federal benefits.
The flaw in Cloonen’s ad against Parkhurst and Nixon is that neither candidate can affect federal benefits, according to Nixon.
“I (was) not running for -- and neither is Lindsay running for -- federal office, so it is insane, absolutely insane, for Cloonen to (insinuate) that her opponents (affect) federal benefits,” he said. “That further demonstrates a lack of knowledge. If Cloonen signed off on these ads, it further demonstrates her lack of knowledge on the job at hand for state representative.”
When asked why Cloonen would run a deceitful ad, Nixon asserted that it’s an effort by Cloonen’s party to be beholden to House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and maintain her position of power.
“This is what happens when you pledge your allegiance to Mike Madigan,” Nixon said. “He determines your campaigns and your campaign ads. You kiss the ring of Mike Madigan for the benefit of personal gain by being a state representative -- you’re willing to lie to your constituents. I wouldn’t want a state representative that blatantly lies to the people that elected her.”
Nixon is hopeful that Parkhurst can expose Cloonen’s alleged lies.
“I certainly hope so,” he said. “I’ve tried twice to be honest in every one of my advertisements. I’ve tried to state the facts. I’ve tried to (expose) Cloonen’s self-serving motives behind being our state rep. Her ambition is to hold on to that seat at all cost because it generates so much personal wealth for her.”
He went on to say that Cloonen will do whatever it takes to maintain her position -- going so far as to use fear as a means of garnering support -- as she has done with the ads against Parkhurst and him.
“She’ll prey on the fears of the elderly, she’ll prey on the fears of the young, and she’ll prey on the fears of parents who want a good education for their children,” Nixon said. “Instead of telling the truth, they’ll just make up lies.”
He emphasized that Cloonen’s actions and the actions of Madigan, whom he called the most corrupt politician in the nation, are unacceptable.
“You can’t play games with people who are your constituency,” Nixon said. “You can’t play mind games with people who are vulnerable. That is not right. It’s unethical. And it is certainly not deserving of public office -- an office that should be trusted. And it’s not: she has made it a mess.”
Nixon concluded by stating that ads like Cloonen's are not rare. Rather, they can be found in every district, especially those of particular importance.
“The same attack ads are repeated time and time again in different races,” he said. “You’ll see it in every district. Every district that is important to Madigan, you’ll see the same ads. The deception and lies have got to end.”
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