On May 23rd, 2018 Kash and Comptroller candidate Claire Ball appeared on WXAN in Murphysboro with host Will Stephens as a part of their media blitz through the southern vestiges of the state during the petition drive of the campaign trail. After enjoying some local barbeque, Claire and Kash sat down and talked about their reasons for running for their offices, their backgrounds, ballot access, the Illinois pension crisis, and other fellow candidates on the Libertarian slate in November.
WXAN FM was kind enough to share their appearances via their SoundCloud site. Listen to their full interview here: https://soundcloud.com/radio-will/kash-jackson-and-claire-ball-5-23-18
Kash started the interview talking about his extensive background with the U.S. Navy, his previous education, and his work as a public servant in and around Great Lakes, Illinois. Claire followed up talking about how Illinois, in its 200 year history has never had a comptroller that has had a background as either an account or in finance. She explained that she originally never thought about getting into politics as a young CPA but after working on previous Libertarian Comptroller candidate Julie Fox's campaign and running as a Libertarian in the special election of 2016 after the death of Judy Baar-Topinka that she can do things in the comptroller office that needs to be done in the interest of the people of Illinois: There are so many mysteries in the Comptroller's office that someone with a financial background could bring out. I certainly want to be an asset to the people of Illinois. And, I think that finances should come first in the [Comptroller's] job."
Kash followed up that he had been asked about seeking a lower office because of his lack of a background in politics. "Due to my military experience and my focus on mission, I believe I have the skill set necessary to be governor of this state," Jackson replied. He continued on by saying that Libertarians have the decision making independence to get things done in office: "As libertarians, I'm indifferent to what your political background is. I don't care if you're a Republican, or a Democrat, or anything in between. What I care about is what are the issues facing our state, how to do we work together to accomplish the mission. The mission is getting us back on track fiscally; the mission is holding government accountable; the mission is developing transparency on all levels of government; and turning this state back into the condition in which the people deserve and expect." He continued by explaining how many ideological similarities that voters have with Libertarian principles and that the heart of the country's history is rooted in personal freedom and liberty. He also explained that he, like most all people in the country, is will to compromise to get meaningful legislation passed regardless of party affiliation so that things can be done better for everyone's behalf.
Kash's belief in people was reflected in his confidence in the current signature drive for petitioning for ballot access. He explained to listeners the difficult time independent and third party candidates face gaining ballot access in the State of Illinois. Kash explained how he felt it was a violation of U.S. Constitutional protections guaranteed for representation in government. He expressed how he felt that this violation was being perpetrated by the two major parties due to the amount of money in politics and political campaigns. He explained why he refused to run as a Republican, despite his mostly conservative background: It is unprincipled for me to run as something I don't believe in. I wouldn't do it [running as a Republican]." Jackson explained that due to his lack of money and refusal to purchase offices he wouldn't have a shot at a major-party candidacy anyway. He cited the example of the 2018 Republican gubernatorial primary as an example: "Jeanie Ives, who I felt was the best nominee for the party, spent about $12 per vote in that election. Bruce Rauner spent $250 per vote." In the end, Jackson said he doesn't feel either party best represents his principles or the principles that he sees reflected in the people he's talked to on the campaign trail throughout the state.
Claire reiterated similar sentiments for her own candidacy as Comptroller: "I will not run as a Republican or a Democrat because it eliminates a level of independence that the Libertarian Party brings to the table. I don't care what letter follows your name. If you are playing funny with our money, I'm going to call you out on it." This led to host Will Stephens asking about Illinois' pension liability problem and how she would propose to fix it. She talked about moving to Canada's model of public retirement system that came about in the 1990s, which moved the investment management portion out of the hands of the politically connected, appointed board that currently oversees Illinois' state pension program and putting it in the hands of a publicly-worked, independent board whose sole purpose would be to maximize the rate of return in the plan's investment. She cited how Canada's original, unsustainable plan went from being under-funded to having around a 200% surplus in its current state. "When you've got connected individuals making connected decisions, you're going to see people getting money based on who they know instead of based on what they're providing to the state," Claire explained. She feels that it would maximize the current amount of money held in pensions and lessen the burden of unfunded liabilities the state already has wrapped up in pensions. Kash followed up: "We have a current Constitutional obligation to current and past state employees. We have an obligation to fund their pensions." Kash believes in a systematic transition into a new way of funding pensions so that current and past state employees get the money they put into their retirement. "Claire said it best. We have to get the money out of government officials' hands and putting it in the hands of people who have the background to properly invest."
Claire & Kash talked about the other candidates on the Libertarian slate. As a highlight, Kash talked about bringing Lieutenant Governor candidate, and only the second Hindu-American to ever to seek state public office in Illinois, Sanj Mohip to the southern part of the state to go bow fishing. "Sanj is really big into bow hunting. We want to come down here and do our part in helping out with the invasive species problem with the Asian Carp. It's something that he will be addressing in the lieutenant governor's office. I think we will have a great time. He's a good friend of mine and we're really looking forward to doing it," Jackson explained.
"The people have to realize that not only do they have the power to change campaign finance reform to set precedence across the country. Electing somebody like myself would send a ripple effect across the country for campaign finance reform. If you can elect somebody on principle and not political connections, not based upon how deep their pockets are, your message will resonate through the entire nation that the American people, Illinois citizens are fed up with money. We don't want your money to purchase an office. We want you to be principled; we want you to represent the people and not your special interest groups or your political party. And we have the ability to do that right now," said Jackson speaking on his chances and viability as a candidate in November.
Kash talked about bringing Lieutenant Governor candidate, and only the second Hindu-American to ever to seek state public office in Illinois, Sanj Mohip to the southern part of the state to go bow fishing. "Sanj is really big into bow hunting. We want to come down here and do our part in helping out with the invasive species problem with the Asian Carp. It's something that he will be addressing in the lieutenant governor's office. I think we will have a great time. He's a good friend of mine and we're really looking forward to doing it," Jackson explained.
"The people of Illinois are looking for independence in their candidates. They are looking for principled individuals who are not going to toe the party line and are going to make the choices that are in the best interests of Illinois instead of their party. They've got that in the Libertarian ticket," said Claire, wrapping up the last part of the interview.
View photos here on Claire Ball's campaign Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaireBallForComptroller/posts/1810493482322290