Integrity for Illinois
My name is Mike Leheney. I was born and raised in Bourbonnais, IL to working-class parents who taught me the value of a strong work ethic. They taught me having integrity means doing the right thing, even when it’s hard and nobody is watching. I attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the College of Business. I have spent the 19 years since honing my business sense and financial acumen in roles within various industries around our state. I have been lucky enough to spend the last 12 of those years married to my wife and raising our three children.
Like you, I have found myself growing increasingly concerned about the direction our state is headed and worry about the future we are handing our children and future generations. Our elected representatives have failed us time and again. They have handed us massive debt, unbalanced budgets, never-ending tax increases, and an economic environment that our neighbors and our employers are fleeing from. They make empty promises to buy themselves votes and power…and the cost is our future.
We still have time to make the change we need, but that time is fleeting. We can’t keep repeating the cycle of bad decisions that got us here. It is time for something different. While the two old parties point fingers trying to pull people left or right, I want to move us all forward. I want to create an Illinois that allows people to pull themselves up, rather than pushing them down.
Where I Stand
As an outsider to the political machine in Springfield, I would be uniquely positioned in the office of Treasurer to make progress where others have not. The first step is creating true transparency in the financials. Politicians in recent history have been touting transparency so much that it is rapidly becoming cliché. That iss because when you are a part of the two-party system, you have virtually no incentive to create true transparency. From an independent perspective, I can offer raw, unbiased analysis so the people of Illinois can get an honest look at what is happening with their tax dollars. In my first year as Treasurer, I will overhaul the reporting system to provide easily digestible views into the finances of Illinois, replacing the maze of confusion currently offered via state reporting mechanisms. By adding this reporting, it will leave bad policy with nowhere to hide.
Once this is done, it will allow me to accomplish my second goal: crafting relationships with the Illinois legislature to help them create financially responsible policy. Legislation is always a compromise between people. The problem with today’s legislation is that neither side represents financial responsibility. Any legislation that passes with “bi-partisan support” only does so because it has been so loaded with waste for special interests any good which may have originally been intended is lost in the mix. I have spent my career working with business partners to enact responsible spending policies to drive business goals. I am confident I can produce the same results in Springfield.
Why I Care
I am a child of Illinois. I was born and raised here. I have lived in downtown Chicago and its northern suburbs. I grew up in Bourbonnais and make my home there today. I have family and friends from the northern-most to the southern-most tips of this state. It is a family of teachers, farmers, healthcare workers, architects, bankers, manufacturers, retirees, and stay-at-home moms and dads. I have a lot invested in this state’s future. We all do.
When it comes down to it, the main responsibility of the Treasurer is to prudently manage the funds of the citizens of Illinois. Let’s send a finance professional with a proven track record to do just that. Help me take politics out of the office of Treasurer.
With your support, we can transform the office of the Treasurer into one of objective financial oversight, as it always should have been.