Moffitt supports ‘old-fashioned’ loyalty oath
State Rep. Donald Moffitt (R-Gilson) thinks the loyalty oath signed by candidates running for office is a reasonable gauge of a person’s character and is beneficial to the voting public.
“I think that the loyalty oath is a reasonable thing,” Moffitt said of the document, according to The Register-Mail.
Moffitt, who is not seeking re-election in District 74, further noted that voters are entitled to know about a candidate’s beliefs or feelings toward the loyalty oath. He stressed that this factor could prove to be important to the public as they decide on whom to vote for in the elections.
“If you refuse to sign it, the people should know your feelings,” Moffitt told The Register-Mail. “If you don’t or can’t (sign it), people should know it and they can make their decision.”
Electoral candidates in Illinois are given the option to sign a loyalty oath when they file their paperwork to run for office. Although this practice is widely regarded as unnecessary and outdated, no legislator has filed a bill to remove it from the list of documents. The loyalty oath is a leftover influence from former U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI).
The loyalty oath is an affirmation signed by the candidates which states that they take no part of any organization or group that aims the “overthrow of constitutional government by force or other means not permitted under the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of this State.” It serves as an assurance that the candidates are not members of “any communist organization or any communist front organization, or any foreign political agency.”
One of the candidates who feel that the loyalty oath is no longer necessary is Walt McAllister, who is running for mayor of Galesburg. The mayoral candidate shared his surprise when he found out that the document is still included in the paperwork of those running for office.
“I think it’s very old fashioned,” McAllister said of the loyalty oath, according to The Register-Mail. “It just reverts back to 1950s thinking. This is for mayor of Galesburg, Illinois, not for president of the United States.”
Other states have already removed the loyalty oath in the documents given to candidates running for office. However, the Illinois General Assembly has yet to implement the same changes. To date, no motion has been filed to remove the optional loyalty oath. This means that the candidates will have to deal with the document every election.
Moffitt has been part of the Illinois General Assembly since 1993. He serves as the Republican spokesman for the committees on Police and Fire as well as Counties and Townships. Aside from these, he is part of the Agriculture and Conservation Committee and the Appropriations-Public Safety Committee. The committees on Public Safety, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Museums, Arts and Cultural Enhancement also have Moffitt as a member. Rounding up the committees which he serves is the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
The candidates vying for the seat of Moffitt in District 74 are Democrat Bill Butts and Republican Daniel Swanson.