House candidate promises new vision, no paycheck if elected
Dan Caulkins is so hopeful for the job he wants that he says he'll do it for free.
“This is all about a personal belief I have about public service,” Caulkins told the Macon Reporter of his 2018 Republican run for state representative from the 101st District. “Some people get into this looking for a job or career. I love Illinois and just want to give back. I will not take a salary or health-care benefits, nor will I participate in their pension system.”
Caulkins, formerly a Decatur councilman, decided to again seek public office after watching helplessly as state legislators enacted a $36.1 billion spending plan he says was woefully short on reforms, yet it carries a 32 percent income hike.
Incumbent Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) was one of 15 GOP members to help override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the tax hike plan. He has since announced that he will not seek re-election.
“Just raising taxes won’t solve anything,” Caulkins said. “These are difficult times and people are leaving the state. We need people in Springfield that are willing to take a stand on the side of the people.”
A military man for more than two decades and married for more than 40 years, Caulkins knows something about discipline and dedication.
Since last being in office, he and his wife have continued to run their family business of group homes for developmentally disabled adults.
“I think there is a need for more people to get involved in government that have business backgrounds and a broad depth of knowledge,” Caulkins said. “We desperately need change. We need people with a new and different vision. [House Speaker] Mike Madigan and his Democrat allies, with help from establishment Republicans, have made a terrible mess of what should be one of the most prosperous states in the nation.”
The 101st District includes parts of Macon, Dewitt, Piatt, McLean, and Champaign County, and Caulkins lamented that taxpayers in those areas will pay as much as $48,000 more based on the tax hike.