The professional relationship between Lou Lang and Rabbi Yehiel “Mark” Kalish could be one of the bizarre in Illinois’s political story. Powerhouse legislative, Lang, dropped in favor of Kalish who was his own handpicked successor for the position of 16th District Illinois state representative. But after just six months, Lang is doing all he can do defeat Kalish.
Lang’s replacement challenger to Kalish’s position is Denyse Wang Stoneback as they will go against each other in next year’s Democratic primary. The situation is so awkward and obvious that Stoneback commented on it. He said, “It is an unusual situation.” There has been continuous criticism downed upon Kalish but he has opted for public silence.
He said that he didn’t want to make it a “Jew vs. Jew” verbal war of “he said-he said” with the 16th District Democratic committeeman Lang. Kalish is the only rabbi to be serving in the country’s legislative bodies. He has remained quiet on various issues but the most prominent was why he had declined to vote ‘yes’ for the Reproductive Health Act.
Reproductive Health Act was Illinois response to the anti-abortion bills. Kalish’s predecessor Lang was pro-life and he wanted his successor to follow his thinking and vote ‘yes’ on the act. This issue had been underlaid by other ‘controversial’ issues. The most prominent issue had to be Lang and Kalish past relationships.
This feud between Lang and Kalish had gotten little-to-no media coverage as it had taken place in a less ‘lucrative’ district. If they had belonged to news making parts of Chicago, we would have never heard the last of it.