In My Opinion

By Caroline Porter

Hynes is the man for U.S. Senate

Enough people have asked me whom I am supporting for the Democratic Party nomination for United States Senator -so I will tell you. My husband and I are voting for and working for the nomination of Illinois State Comptroller, Dan Hynes. There are at least seven candidates on the March 16 primary ballot. About three of the candidates are qualified to be Senator. None of them have the name recognition of Dan Hynes, who has twice been elected statewide. That is no small feat for a young man in his early 30’s.

He has visited Galesburg and Knox County many times. One of his connections to Galesburg is that his wife, the lovely Christina, whom you have seen in Hynes’political ads, attended Southern Illinois University medical school with John Watson, son of Knox County Coroner John Watson and his wife Peg. Hynes has been here to support the campaigns of Josh Watson, who ran for State Representative in 2000 and Paul Mangieri, when a candidate for State Senator in 2002.

When Dan Hynes was contemplating running for Governor in 2001, he traveled the state talking to Democratic County Chairmen and had lunch for about six county chairs, including me, in Galesburg. My advice to him was to RUN, because I thought that election was an opportunity of a lifetime. I had no doubts that he would be a good and capable governor.

Dan Hynes is a very nice guy. He’s personable, friendly and genuine. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Economics. He earned a law degree with honors from Loyola University School of Law. And as State Comptroller, he has been intelligent and an activist.

While some State Comptrollers might just pay the bills and shuffle around state funds, Hynes fought for fiscal responsibility in state government while he was like a voice in the wilderness. He led a successful fight to create a Rainy Day Fund in Illinois. He issued Illinois’ first executive order to enforce the prevailing wage law so that workers are paid a fair wage. He fought for consumers by cracking down on corrupt cemetery and funeral home operators in towns such as Edwardsville, Freeport, Paris and Peoria.

He provided training to thousands of local government officials, leading several downstate townships to rebate more than $1 million to taxpayers. He wrote laws to crack down on corrupt corporations that cook the books and raid worker’s pensions.

While Dan Hynes is originally from a political family in Chicago, he has lived in Springfield while his wife attended medical school in Carbondale and Springfield and while he serves as Comptroller. He is obviously no stranger to downstate Illinois.

Like all politicians, Hynes makes promises of what he will do when he is a United States Senator. There has never been a problem of a candidate saying what he or she would work for and support. There is a problem with promising what can be accomplished. How anyone gets anything accomplished in Congress is a mystery. But I would bet that Hynes is as capable as anyone of stating our case and influencing votes on subjects of future investments in Illinois, standing up for Illinois workers by protecting pensions and benefits earned over decades of labor union legislation and making our national policies (such as trade) work for American workers. Typical of his endorsements is that of the huge Illinois AFL-CIO.

Hynes has definite plans to create jobs and reduce the cost of healthcare, for example, and they can be read at his website:

Democrats also need think about that word that’s been bandied about so much this year – "electability." On this subject, there is no competition. Of all the candidates, he is our best to oppose any Republican candidate in the General Election in November.

Caroline Porter is a freelance writer from Galesburg who can be reached at Other columns are online at