Jackson Says Halvorson Not Qualified to be IDOT Secretary

Chicago, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. issued a blistering press release regarding news that former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson is under consideration to be the next Transportation Secretary for the state of Illinois. The two have had a combative relationship for years, much of their differences focusing on the proposed third airport in Peotone.

Halvorson lost her congressional re-election bid to Republican Adam Kinzinger in the November election.

The complete release follows:

Congressman Jesse L. Jackson Jr. today said Debbie Halvorson is not qualified to be Illinois Transportation Secretary and that any consideration of her for the post would be an "outrageous slap in the face" to voters who supported Gov. Pat Quinn.

"Debbie Halvorson is no transportation expert and she is not qualified to be Secretary of Transportation. Worse, she would set back progress for a proposed third Chicago airport for as long as she served in that office," Jackson said after reading reports that Halvorson, a former one-term congresswoman who lost last fall, is now seeking an appointment as IDOT secretary.

"The single largest jobs program introduced by Gov. Quinn would die," Jackson said.  "She lost in her district.  Gov. Quinn lost in her district. She knows nothing about airport development. And in fact she has been working against the third airport in her own district for years."

"Any consideration of her for that post would be an outrageous slap in the face to voters in the south suburbs who overwhelmingly supported Gov. Quinn for re-election because of his promise to build a third airport," said Jackson, who’s led efforts to build the new airport through an innovative public-private partnership using private — not public — funding.

"The Abraham Lincoln National Airport Commission would likely stop cooperating with the state on this project if Halvorson were named to the post," Jackson said.  

"Moreover, this airport — which is necessary to add aviation capacity to our state and to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the region — would be stalled for as long as she presided over IDOT.  Her appointment would be a disaster for Gov. Quinn, for the airport and for the people in the south suburbs who supported Gov. Quinn."

Jackson added that Halvorson would doom other regional projects, including the proposed Metra Southeast Service, CTA Red Line extension and the Metra extension to the airport,

"She has no record of success for promoting any transportation project in her district or in the State of Illinois," Jackson concluded.