Thursday, February 04, 2010

Proft Urges Supporters to Focus on Shared Beliefs

I am not too much for posting up missives from political campaigns, but this gracious letter from Dan Proft--who never stopped speaking the truth in his recent campaign for governor--is well worth reading.

“What I aspired to be, and was not, comforts me.” - Robert Browning, Rabbi Ben Ezra

I take solace in Robert Browning’s words because ours was a campaign rooted in aspirations. We aspired to return the Illinois Republican Party to its rightful heritage as a party of important policy ideas that speak to the economic anxieties of Illinois families.

We advanced ideas like school choice that neither party has been willing to embrace. We fought for a constituency that neither party has sought to serve in a very long time.

We pulled back the curtain to explain how we are scammed by a state government we pay for.

We asked the right question when it came to the extent of policy revolution required, “Are You Ready to Turn Springfield Upside Down?”

We reminded our party that winning elections is a means to policy ends and that we must be ever-mindful of the question, “What do we win when we win?”

We did all that we could with the resources at our disposal. No tears. No regrets. I know this arena very well and knew what I was getting into when I undertook this campaign. I knew the risks.

No campaign stretched dollars better than ours. We were vastly outspent by every single one of our opponents, in some cases by a 10:1 ratio. And, at the end of the day, we simply did not have the necessary resources to crystallize the choice in the minds of enough GOP primary voters to get home.

Regardless, our effort was certainly validated by the support we received from tea party activists to pro-life leaders to suburban GOP organizations to deep thinkers like Steve Rauschenberger, Gary MacDougal, and Richard Baehr to media outlets from the blogosphere to the Belleville News-Democrat.

One of the cool features of politics and running for office is that you get to meet a lot of people from all different walks of life. It is intellectually stimulating. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to meet so many people from throughout Illinois to hear their stories and their ideas and to share mine.

And now is the time we must bring our people together with supporters from the other campaigns to support our nominee for Governor, whether it is Bill Brady or Kirk Dillard, and Republicans up and down the ticket.

Whatever our differences, they pale in comparison to our shared beliefs.

And remember who the enemy is. It is the party that supports job-killing tax hikes; a malaise-making federal takeover of health care, and that thinks bringing terrorists to western Illinois is smart economic development policy.

We must focus with laser-like precision on the Chicago Democrats who have been in charge of this state and whose terrible public policy choices have destroyed Illinois’ economy. I personally will do whatever I can to aid the effort of our nominees from Governor on down and I would encourage you to do the same.

Finally, I appreciate the encouraging words I have received from so many to stay in the arena. I have spent the last 15 years of my life battling to advance the conservative reform flag and I will continue to do so in one capacity or another. Like so many of our supporters, I put in the fight—always. I never give up—ever.

But, remember, it is the ideas that matter, not me. The ideas transcend any individual candidate and any single election.

I close the book on our campaign with more from Browning, “Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?”

Policy Revolution exceeded our grasp this time but we must continue to strive for the policies we would like to see in furtherance of the principles we hold dear.

Thank you,
Dan Proft


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