So far, Frank McClatchey is the only Democratic candidate for Congress in the 14th District, where Rep. Joe Walsh and incumbent Rep. Randy Hultgren are expected to contend for the Republican nomination. McClatchey, 55, spent 12 years as a McHenry alderman. He was also small business coordinator for Sen. Roland Burris, and consumer advocate for Attorney General Neil Hartigan.
Q: It sounds as though you’d rather run against Joe Walsh than Randy Hultgren.
A: I'll run against both of them. Yes, I am more familiar with Walsh, and yes, I do want to run against him. He's been out doing his town hall meetings in the 14th, so I expect him to run. He's a Tea Partier, just like Hultgren. Walsh is my congressman. He likes to say 'no.' He likes to go there and make a lot of noise, and he doesn't get anything done. That's what I want to do when I go to Washington, is get things done and listen to people and work together. He doesn't get that. He doesn't know what the meaning of 'representative' is. He was elected by half the votes, but he doesn't represent the other half. He only represents the Tea Party.
Q: What was your reaction to the president's jobs speech?
A: Let's get 'er done. He laid out a good plan, and that's what we have to do. We have to forget politics and start addressing these issues and get 'em done. Hopefully, when I'm elected and I take office in 2013, this will not be that big of a problem.
Q: What job-creating legislation would you like to see?
A: I would like to see better tax credits to businesses that hire the unemployed, maybe even something like the government would pay half the salary for a year if they're unemployed.
Q: What did you think of Walsh's refusal to attend the speech last night?
A: He didn't do his job. What if the head of your company said, 'Hey, we're having a major meeting, I need to speak to all employees,' and you said, 'I'm not going'? I think it's a slap in the face to the residents of the district.
Q: As you campaign, what are you hearing people in your district say they want Washington to do to create jobs?
A: I think they just want the fighting to stop in Washington, and the bickering and the little gotchas, and I'm not passing this because I don't want you elected. A lot of the stuff Joe Walsh is doing. If that continues, you're not going to get anything done.
Q: What do you think of the fact that both Walsh and Hultgren voted against the debt ceiling bill?
A: I would have voted to raise it. Every president as far as I can remember pushed that and they raised it. Reagan did it 12 times. It's something that's part of our government. I know there's people who don't want to raise taxes and put a balanced budget amendment in place, but you're talking about cutting out Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, a lot of those programs are gone if you're going to do that. As far as a balanced budget amendment, I know Walsh is pushing that. We have that in Illinois, and where has that got us?
Q: Do you agree with Sen. John Kerry that Standard & Poor's downgrade of our credit was caused by the Tea Party's intransigence?
A: It definitely had an effect. The bickering at Washington, they look at all that stuff when they grade you. I've got a background in consumer advocacy. My staff is going to be top-notch. If you've got a problem, call my office. We'll get it done. There's nothing like a business getting called by a congressman, saying, 'Hey, straighten this out, or we're going to the Attorney General's office.' I want to be one of the best offices in the country as far as helping the citizens out.
Q: The Republicans are saying that the new congressional map is unfair, and disenfranchises voters, and creates too much confusion. What do you think of the map?
A: First of all, them saying that is just sour grapes. They would have done the same damn thing if they'd had the power. It just happens that the Democrats were in charge and we got to draw our map.
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