Brendan Kelly Resorts to Madigan, Pelosi Playbook

After claiming he wants to change the tone in politics, Brendan Kelly has just taken the 12th District race into the gutter with a new attack ad right out of the playbook of Mike Madigan and Nancy Pelosi. In the 30-second television spot, Kelly lies about Bost’s record on health care in an effort to distract from the thousands of dollars he’s taken from allies fighting for socialized medicine.

So, let’s correct the record:

Claim: Mike Bost “voted to charge older Americans a massive age tax…”
Reality: Obamacare created an arbitrary “age-rating” regulation that increased premiums for patients of all ages. Mike Bost supported reforms that reflected realistic costs in coverage to help lower premiums and improve access for patients purchasing health care in the individual market. These reforms would encourage more young enrollees to purchase coverage and improve the market for everyone.

Claim: voted to “cut protections for people with pre-existing conditions…”
Reality: During last year’s debate on repealing Obamacare, Mike Bost made clear that those with pre-existing conditions should continue to receive coverage. Bost voted for an amendment which ensured that patients could not be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

Claim: voted to “raise costs in Southern Illinois… ”
Reality: Nancy Pelosi and Washington Democrats promised that Obamacare would lower premiums and increase health care access. Instead, Obamacare resulted in many counties in Illinois’ 12th Congressional District having only one option for insurance, and that plan’s premiums skyrocketed by 70 percent in a single year.


Bost Campaign Releases First TV Ad of Cycle

MURPHYSBORO, IL – Bost For Congress today released its first television advertisement of the 2018 election cycle. “Southern Illinois” will air district-wide on broadcast and cable television.

He’s been called tenacious…a fighter…Southern Illinois’ principled and compassionate leader.

That’s Mike Bost.

He’s taken on foreign governments to combat unfair trade practices that destroy American jobs.

Stood up to the entrenched bureaucracy and worked to clean up the VA so veterans get the care they deserve.

Led the charge for the bipartisan solution to make our schools safer for students.
Mike Bost. 

A proven leader we can trust.


Illinois Farm Bureau Endorses Bost For Re-Election

MURPHYSBORO, IL – The Illinois Farm Bureau today announced its endorsement of U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12) for re-election. Illinois Farm Bureau ACTIVATOR Trustees representing each county Farm Bureau recently voted unanimously to endorse Rep. Bost in the November 6 general election.

“As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I’m proud to have Illinois Farm Bureau’s endorsement,” said Bost. “Farming and agriculture are vitally important to both the culture and economy of Southern Illinois. Whether it’s fighting to give new and beginning farmers better access to credit or working to expand rural broadband to underserved areas like ours, Southern Illinois producers and their families know they have a fighter on their side.”

“We are completely behind Mike’s bid for re-election because he continues to be a strong supporter of Illinois agriculture,” said ACTIVATOR Trustee Committee chairman Ken Taake of Pulaski County. “His perfect voting record with Illinois Farm Bureau policy is just one example of how he has proven he represents agriculture’s interests and those of his district, in Washington, D.C.”

“Congressman Bost understands why tax reform is important for the economy and our bottom line. He has also been a supporter of opening and expanding new export markets for our products, which is critical. Finally, he made sure harmful crop insurance amendments were defeated and has supported the Farm Bill,” Taake said. “I’m proud to call Mike a ‘Friend of Agriculture.’”


Brendan Kelly : “new leadership,” unless the check clears

Hypocrite Brendan Kelly is at it again. He’s raising money with–you guessed it– Washington Democrats. Today he’s in St. Louis raising campaign cash with Nancy Pelosi’s top lieutenant, Steny Hoyer.

Brendan Kelly has said over and over that we need “new leadership in both parties.” Yet he seems pretty interested in cozying up to the old guard:

Non-Supporter of Pelosi Benefits From Her Fundraising (Real Clear Politics 4/25/18)

Pelosi in Chicago to Raise Funds for Democrat Contenders (Illinois Review 6/1/18)

National Democratic leader visits ESL to stump for Kelly (The St. Louis American 4/24/18)

This is just another example of Brendan Kelly doublespeak. He’s telling Southern Illinoisans what he thinks they want to hear, but his actions speak louder than words.


From the ST. Louis Post-Dispatch: Re-elect Illinois Rep. Mike Bost to U.S. House District 12

Our Southern Illinois readers have legitimate concerns about jobs, flood control and the future of the coal industry. No candidate has all the answers, but freshman U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, offers the best mix of experience and practicality to protect his 12th District constituents’ best interests.

Bost, 55, says he is willing to work with congressional Democrats to find answers to some of the district’s most pressing problems. His main opponent, Democrat Charles “C.J.” Baricevic, 31, of Belleville, is a smart and energetic attorney who has never held elective office. He could benefit from more experience before seeking a spot on the national stage.

Bost represents the moderate side of the Republican Party. He criticizes more conservative party members who have paralyzed government at times — such as those in the House Freedom Caucus — saying they “would rather say no and not govern.” A former firefighter and Marine, he was a state representative for 10 years before going to Congress.

On free trade, Bost told us the Trans-Pacific Partnership has split constituents in his district, with farmers supporting it and steel industry workers and bankers opposed. Bost sides with the latter group.
We have areas of disagreement with Bost, such as his opposition to environmental regulations that would reduce use of Illinois’ high-sulfur coal and emphasis on coal as the nation’s main energy source.

His positions are understandable, given the importance of coal industry jobs to his district. But those jobs are disappearing, and workers need federal help with training programs and educational opportunities to make the transition.

Bost put up the best fight anyone could expect to bring the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new western headquarters to his district. Though we’re glad he lost that battle to north St. Louis, we had to admire his spirit.

Also running is Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw, 63, of Carbondale.

You can read more here:

From the Southern Illinoisan: Bost bests Baricevic, Bradshaw

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost has learned a lot in his first term as the 12th District Congressman.

It’s clear from talking to Bost just how much he has learned: From the adjustment to serving counties outside of his Murphysboro home base, like Madison, Monroe and St. Clair, where the majority of the district’s population lives, to balancing committee work with researching issues outside his area of expertise, to learning acronyms for government programs, to finding ways to get federal dollars to pay for repairs to the Len Small Levee after it was damaged during the recent New Year’s flood.

C.J. Baricevic is young and bombastic, brimming with energy and passion. He loves to talk about his experience working as a lawyer in the Metro East specializing in labor law. He boasts that, if elected, he would be one of the only members of Congress with student loan debt, having finished law school at SIU in 2011. He would also be the youngest member of Congress.

We find Baricevic charming. We believe young people have a place in government, especially representing a district that needs desperately to keep the best and brightest students and workers as it bleeds young, talented people thanks to the Rural Brain Drain and Illinois’ state-level budget problems. We appreciate Baricevic’s enthusiasm and passion. We think he has some good ideas, if he lacks specifics. He understands the broad issues in the district, like the need for investment of federal money in infrastructure improvements and the support of coal as well as renewable resources.

But this is not his time. His youth and inexperience show. At the public debate, we cringed when — as the first to speak — Baricevic fiddled with the microphone and said “Hello? Can you hear me?” in the moment it took for his microphone level to come up. The microphone stand wobbled perilously as he messed with it, until he realized his mic was fine and launched into his opening statement. Things like this make him look unpolished next to the experienced Bost, who served in the Illinois House for 20 years before winning the U.S. 12th District seat.

Baricevic will only get better with practice. We want to see him in public service. He is not ready for this seat — yet.

Paula Bradshaw, the perennial Green Party challenger in the 12th District — this is her third time seeking the seat — is a scrappy fighter who challenges both of her opponents to get money out of politics, spend less on the military, invest in renewable energy and public transportation, and advocate for equitable distribution of wealth.

The idealistic Green New Deal includes some ideas we believe in. We would be glad to see people in congress lobbying for different ideas and changing up the Washington demographic. Bradshaw admitted she could not get the Green New Deal passed on her own as one potential representative from the 12th District of Illinois. But her solution is that everyone around the country should elect Green Party representatives — which is unlikely to happen — and elect Jill Stein as president — which is also unlikely. We would like to see more third party representatives in Congress, but they must understand the challenges they will have to overcome when they get there.

Bost sits on three committees: Agriculture, Veterans Affairs and Transportation and Infrastructure. His wealth of knowledge on the most dry, but most essential, issues is what impressed us the most.

Bost is proud of his ability to compromise with Congressmen and Congresswomen across the aisle, and he speaks of the importance of listening to his constituents and understanding what is happening in the district. We were impressed by his spirit of compromise — mostly. He explained that, while he does compromise on many issues, even sometimes angering his supporters who would rather he hold his ground, he said, “there are certain things I don’t compromise on. My religious beliefs. I’m pro-life. I’m not going to make an excuse for it. I am what I am.”

While we respect Rep. Bost’s religion, we hope that in his next term he will respect all the religious beliefs of his constituents, including those that are different from his own, and vote according to an adherence to the Constitution, rather than his own beliefs, which a portion of his constituents do not share.

Overall, the Mike Bost coming back to ask for our vote after one term in Congress is a confident, calm, collected representative, who understands the nuance in negotiation. That’s why we think he deserves another term.

Read more here:

From the Belleville News-Democrat: U.S. Rep. Mike Bost is best for 12th Congressional District

When considering what Washington can do to us or for us, the slew of national issues and debates fades. What really seems to be important is what happens close to home: All politics is local.

To narrow the focus further, our relationship with the federal government comes down to jobs and federal decisions that impact the economy of southwestern Illinois. Scott Air Force Base. Steel. Coal. Agriculture. Transportation.

So in the 12th Congressional District, who best serves those needs? It is our opinion that U.S. Rep. Mike Bost has, and will.

Bost is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, so he understands the military. He was a union Murphysboro firefighter, so he understands labor issues and public service. He is a pilot and worked as a truck driver and truck manager, so he understands business and transportation. He spent 20 years in the Illinois House, famously ranting against a sham pension reform bill that he tossed into the air. Call that passion.

He is in his first term, but landed committee assignments on agriculture, veterans’ affairs and small business. He has been visible and active during his first 20 months in office.

He served this area well during his first term, being a vocal advocate for Scott getting the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Even when the agency decided to keep its western headquarters in St. Louis, he aggressively pushed back and sought independent investigation of the decision. He worked the issue hard with members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation as well as with his predecessor, former U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, and local Democratic leaders.

He speaks military and intimately understands what makes this area so special and attractive as consolidation looms. As a Marine based at Twentynine Palms he saw locals who held Marines in disdain. He gets the deep respect and support of metro-east residents for the military, and knows that the military sees this area as special — from the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the airmen who retire here.

Bost early on was supporting the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement with countries bordering the Pacific Ocean. Farmers love the idea for the markets it could open. Steelworkers and manufacturers hate it for the potential for unfair trade.

Bost wants free trade but fair trade, which he no longer believes TPP achieves. After digging into the 15,000-page trade agreement, he said it does not stop currency manipulation, doesn’t do enough to protect U.S. markets and allows another country to join without congressional approval. He reads that as “China,” and that’s a deal breaker.

River transportation is key to the 12th Congressional District, which is the only one in the nation with three navigable waterways. Bost got the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to change its regulations and work to stop the Mississippi from cutting a new channel across a southern Illinois river bend that would have created a rapids and bottled up navigation. He wants a two-year budget process to better plan for transportation needs.

He is a coal miner’s grandson, but he wants clean energy when it can meet our needs. It can’t now, with coal providing 40 percent of our energy. Coal also means small town economies live or die, and it leads to lower energy bills for those on fixed incomes.

C.J. Baricevic is the Democrat challenging Bost. He’s smart, passionate and we like the fact that someone young enough to still be paying his student loan debt is so motivated to enter politics. His biggest hurdle is he is trying to take too big a leap. He needs to learn to govern at the local or state level before jumping to the federal level, where his lack of experience would likely force him to cling to his party line, as we’ve heard from him so far, rather than have the confidence to independently represent the interests of this district and change the polarization in D.C.

Bost has paid his dues and understands bi-partisanship and compromise.

“I am one of 435,” Bost said. “I do the best I can to represent the district for the future of my children and grandchildren — whether that’s addressing the economy at home or aggressors abroad.”

We’re planning to vote for Bost.


MURPYSBORO, IL – The Illinois Farm Bureau today endorses Rep. Mike Bost during an agriculture tour through Perry, Franklin, Williamson, and Jackson counties.  Bost was joined by IFB President Richard Guebert, who presented the endorsement and joined Bost and other farm bureau representatives on the tour.

“Mike Bost listens to and works hard for farmers and has done a terrific job representing the citizens of the 12th Congressional District,” said Illinois Farm Bureau president Richard Guebert.  “Farm Bureau wholeheartedly supports Congressman Bost for reelection.”

“As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I am proud to have the endorsement of the Illinois Farm Bureau,” said Bost.  “Farming and agriculture represent the backbone of Southern Illinois’ economy.  These hardworking families and businesses have faced growing regulatory pressure from Washington, and it’s important for them to know they have an advocate in their corner fighting for jobs and economic growth.  As long as I’m in Congress, our farmers will have a fighter on their side.”


ALTON, IL – The Illinois Education Association (IEA) today endorsed Rep. Mike Bost for re-election due to his strong record in support of public education in Metro East and Southern Illinois.
“Mike Bost has never hesitated to be a strong voice for our schools and students in the Metro East and Southern Illinois,” said Kathi Griffin, IEA vice president.  “He supports empowering parents and teachers at the local level and worked in a bipartisan manner to pass the Every Student Succeeds Act.  At a time when both parties seem to talk past each other instead of working together, we know we can count on Mike Bost to cut through the partisanship in Washington and put the needs of his district first. Congressman Mike Bost has been so effective as a member of Congress for our students that the IEA/NEA has given him the grade of an A.”
“I am proud to have the endorsement of the Illinois Education Association,” said Bost.  “As a father and a grandfather, there’s no better investment we can make than in the future of our young people.  But if we expect them to reach their full potential, we must first empower our teachers and education professionals, the dedicated men and women who help build a brighter future from first period to the closing bell.”
Illinois Education Association is an association of more than 130,000 members composed of Illinois elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty and staff, educational support professionals, retired educators and college students preparing to become teachers.


MURPHYSBORO, IL – Rep. Mike Bost announced today that West Frankfort mayor Tom Jordan has endorsed his re-election bid.  Jordan, a Democrat, highlighted Bost’s commitment to working across the aisle and bringing both parties together as reasons for his endorsement.

“I may be a Democrat, but I’m voting for Mike Bost for Congress,” said Jordan.  “Through a lifetime of public service Mike has never hesitated to reach across the aisle when it’s right for his district.  We need more leaders like Mike Bost to cut through the partisanship and fix the mess in Washington.  That’s why I am proud to endorse him for re-election.”

“I am happy to have the endorsement of Mayor Jordan because he understands we must work together to clean up Congress,” said Bost.  “If I am blessed to continue to serve, I will continue to put the needs of Southern Illinois ahead of the partisan political games in Washington.”

Bost traveled to West Frankfort on Tuesday, where he visited the Franklin County Senior Services facility.