PEORIA — When voters go to the polls Tuesday, Grayson "Kash" Jackson is betting the "extreme unpopularity" of the major-party candidates for governor will benefit him.
The Libertarian candidate for the post expects "many people are just going to initiate a protest vote," which could help bolster his totals.
That matters to the degree that he receives 5 percent of the total vote or higher. If so, Libertarians will become an "established" party under Illinois law, lowering the threshold number of signatures required to get onto the ballot in the next four years, making it easier for candidates to compete for legislative seats and in the next round of statewide balloting.
He discussed that likelihood — which has happened twice in the past four decades, most recently in 2006 for the Green Party — during a campaign visit to Peoria last week.
Among the matters on his campaign agenda are a reform of the state's property tax system. He'd seek approval for a 1 percent cap on property taxes — in essence guaranteeing that a homeowner's total property tax bill for all local governments combined could not exceed 1 percent of a home's value.
Doing that would not only "bring back some sort of stability to the housing market," it would also guarantee that nobody would ever "get taxed out of that home."
It would also encourage not only the slimming down of local government budgets, but the consolidation of some governments, Jackson says.
He believes many local teachers' union members will willingly accept consolidation packages that don't automatically move them onto a pay scale for the higher-paying district, if matters were negotiated openly and fairly.
And he favors similar encouragement to consolidate other government entities, albeit without specific mandate from Springfield.
Jackson also points to his court experiences — including a well-publicized squabble with a suburban family court judge over his own child support payments this year — when he calls for reforming child custody, child support and alimony rules.
"Our children are being used as a form of monetary gain," he says. "They're a pivot point for attorneys to work around."
He'd prefer a system in a 50-50 split in custody time for kids was the norm and judges had to justify any deviation. Jackson also says child support payments don't adequately account for a non-custodial parent's ordinary living expenses, and that alimony should end "after about two years."
Jackson does acknowledge, though, that his totals could be hurt by another Illinois law. Because he legally changed his name in 2017, his name will appear on ballots next to smaller text giving his previous name — Benjamin Adam Winderweedle — which Jackson says could turn some voters off.
Chris Kaergard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisKaergard