The Most Important Job You’ve Never Heard Of
by Susana Mendoza, candidate for Illinois Comptroller
Hi, my name is Susana Mendoza and I’m running for the most important job most people have never heard of: Illinois Comptroller. The Comptroller is responsible for controlling the State’s checkbook; in other words, your tax dollars. Tax dollars that help fund vital and critical services for the most vulnerable, like children with autism, disabled and sick senior citizens, domestic violence or homeless shelters, just to name a few. I’m running for Comptroller because the people of Illinois deserve an independent, truth-telling fiscal watchdog that will prioritize both the fiscal and moral health of this state. My opponent is the hand-picked appointee and self-proclaimed “wingman” of Governor Rauner. Under the Munger/Rauner team, the State of Illinois has for the first time in our State’s history, shamefully gone into its second consecutive year without passing a budget. Governor Rauner, championed by his Comptroller wingman, has refused to introduce or work on balancing a budget unless the legislature gives in to his extreme agenda first. We have witnessed what the devastation of the past two years has done to our social services network, schools and working families. Comptroller Munger has been key to Governor Rauner’s ability to hold the budget hostage. This must stop.
I am the daughter of Mexican immigrants who taught me about work ethic. My parents worked multiple jobs to make ends meet and sacrificed day in and day out to provide for their three children. My father was a union pipefitter and my father-in-law raised nine kids as a union electrician. I come from a hard working lower middle class that had to budget accordingly to make ends meet and my parents had many sleepless nights wondering how they could stretch their dollar in order to provide for their family. I can relate to the common man, woman, and child because they are representative of my family and my family’s challenges. Comptroller Munger and her billionaire buddies cannot possible understand the devastation they have inflicted and continue to inflict on families across this State because they’ve never lost a single wink of sleep wondering how they would pay for their kids’ colleges or worried about choosing between rent payments or food. There is a big difference between asking people to tighten their budgets and tightening to the point of strangling them to death. The Munger/Rauner team has truly lost its moral compass and has by design, created a completely avoidable crisis in order to try and force an extreme agenda that will only hurt the lower and middle class for the benefit of the over-privileged 1%. It’s absolutely shameful and we must stop them from inflicting further devastation.
I was the youngest member of the 92nd Illinois General Assembly, having been elected to the Illinois House of Representatives at the age of 28. I was elected by running AGAINST the “machine”. I voted against legislative pay raises, worked in a strong bipartisan fashion and passed balanced budgets that invested in children, education, job creation initiatives, and critical social services for vulnerable populations year after year. In 2011, I successfully ran for Chicago City Clerk, becoming the first woman in history elected to run the second largest office in the City.
When I ran for Chicago City Clerk in 2011, the Civic Federation called for merging the Clerk and Mayor’s Offices. They said the City Clerk did nothing the Mayor’s Office wasn’t already capable of doing. I argued Chicagoans could benefit from a truly independent advocate that wasn’t beholden to the Mayor, and that in the hands of the right leader, the Clerk’s Office could truly produce for the people of Chicago. Five years later they are no longer calling for the merger, and in fact asked me to speak at their Annual Luncheon in 2015. Chicagoans have seen how I modernized and successfully overhauled the Clerk’s Office to better serve them. Our 21st Century reboot of a City Sticker Program dating back to 1908, was lauded by both customers and national experts on innovation in government, and earned us the “Bright Idea Award” from Harvard University. Unlike most government offices, I’ve led the charge of doing more with less. That means, streamlining systems, cutting overtime, reducing headcount, rooting out and eliminating waste and fraud, and voluntarily coming in under budget every year. I’ve been a strong taxpayer watchdog. As such, I’ve saved Chicagoans millions of dollars, while improving customer service. My successful implementation of the Year Round Sales Program has not only dramatically improved the experience for Chicago motorists by replacing hours long lines with what are now 5-10 minute waits, but has generated nearly $50 million dollars in new, sustainable revenue for the City without asking taxpayers to pay more. We are now seen as a model in government efficiency. That is the type of leadership that I will bring to the Comptroller’s Office.
Last week, Comptroller Munger broke the caps with a $260,000 loan from her husband and days later accepted $5 MILLION contributions from TWO of the Governor’s billionaire buddies. She is receiving unlimited contributions from people like Governor Rauner. Worse yet, the Republican Party is now using her campaign account as a blatant money laundering operation to circumvent the financial limits law in other races. She has gone from being the State’s Chief Fiscal Officer to the State’s Chief Fiscal Launderer.
We’re a little over a month until Election Day and early voting is now! Our Democratic ticket rocks! You have Secretary Clinton running for President, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth running for US Senate, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. Serious girl power making history. But don’t forget about C.J. Baricevic for Congress. He’s not a woman but he’s totally awesome too! Vote Blue No Matter Who!
On November 8th, I need your vote. It’s time for an independent truth-telling fiscal watch dog to run the office of the Comptroller. That’s me, Susana Mendoza.
I humbly ask for your vote.