Nine days from now, voters in the second congressional district of Illinois will vote in a special election to fill the seat emptied by Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned and pled guilty to charges of corruption.
The Democratic candidate running for the seat is the Cook County Chief Administrative Officer, Robin Kelly. Kelly is campaigning on a narrow range of issues: The economy, gun control, transportation, and abortion.
Kelly hasn’t issued statements explaining her positions on other issues. There’s nothing from Robin Kelly about health care issues in general, nothing about foreign policy, nothing on civil liberties.
The Robin Kelly for Congress campaign has also been conspicuously silent on a group of issues that are particularly important to me: Those issues related to the environmental integrity of Planet Earth.
We’ve recently completed the hottest year ever on record in the United States, with a highly unusual number of powerful weather-related disasters. Yet, Robin Kelly has nothing to say on the matter. The Kelly for Congress campaign doesn’t even mention the word “environment” once on its campaign web site.
Given the number of Democratic politicians in Congress who take money from oil and gas companies, and who sit on their hands as the climate crisis increases in power, it is not at all reasonable to assume that a Representative Kelly would vote the right way on environmental issues. Her disregard for environmental concerns on the campaign trail suggests that at best, she would have little to contribute on environmental issues. At worst, Robin Kelly may turn out to be another Democratic politician who is willing to support the fossil fuel industry’s polluting “All Of The Above” policy of continuing the drilling for and burning of methane and crude oil.
Robin Kelly has just a little over a week to contradict the perception of her indifference to ecological issues. Will she bother?