29th Senate candidates differ on guns
BY IRV LEAVITT email@example.com October 19, 2012 7:30PM
Lives: Highland Park
Married to Michelle Rosenthal, former teacher
Family: Father of Abigael, 22, Avra, 9; Miriam, 8; Lev, 6; Ravid, 4
Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of Chicago, 1987; Medical degree, 1998, University of Illinois
Web site: www.friedmanforsenate.com/
Updated: November 21, 2012 6:04AM
The candidates running for the 29th District state senate seat have one big thing in common: as of a few years ago, they were both Republicans.
No more for four-term West Deerfield Township Supervisor Julie Morrison. She switched parties about five years ago, and was rewarded in 2009 by being denied an unopposed run for the first time.
She says the GOP got too far right for her.
“My values really reflect the 29th District,” she said. “Choice, gun control, valuing the education system, why people move to the north suburbs.
“I’m definitely against concealed carry.”
She accused opponent Arie Friedman Oct. 11 of flip-flopping from being a pro-National Rifle Association candidate when he ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2010, to claiming no affiliation with the gun group now. Friday, Friedman said he wasn’t an NRA member, and disavowed a quote in an old NRA blog about membership in the group.
He said the only way he might have been a member was if he had signed a free card offer in the mail — but he doesn’t remember doing that.
Friedman, however, does back a concealed-carry law here, he said, as long as it goes along with restrictions like background checks.
His NRA rating has dropped from A to C, “I strongly expect, because of my extremely vocal complaint about the law they got passed in Florida about physicians not talking to patients about gun safety.”
He said he’d never let a law like that stop him: he’s a pediatrician, now doctoring part-time to allow for politics. He was a Navy helicopter pilot for seven years before going to medical school.
He’s pro-choice, too. He differs with Morrison on the state income tax hike, by degree. She wants to let it expire in 2015, to not “pull the rug out from under” key programs and bond ratings. Friedman would like to vote it out his first week in office.
He touts his experience as a small business operator and physician as providing insight for the General Assembly.
He’s a fan of Florida’s Medicaid semi-privatization program, now a pilot program in five counties that the state hopes will start saving significant money if it’s expanded.
Right now, that program is locked in a battle with the feds over taking in more poor people under Obamacare.
Morrison said she has seen balanced budgets every year in her township: “You can do it if you tighten your belt and sit up straight.”
She manages one-and-a-half employees in West Deerfield.
That means she contracts many of the services out, such as road repair, and handles the “calls about potholes, dead trees, storm water issues” on her own phone.
Both want to reform pensions, but neither back a bill to ask school districts to start paying a bit back — at least not now.