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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
City: Lake Barrington
Office sought: 26th District Senate
Family: You have all of this already
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Key Issue 1
The only way Illinois is going to get back on track is to reduce unemployment by creating an environment where job creators thrive.
Governor Quinn and the Democrats passed the largest tax increase in Illinois history and promised that would solve our budget problems.
What was the result?
We are still running a deficit and the largest employers are threatening to leave the state.
The Springfield Leadership solution?
Cut special deals for the largest companies.
But what about all the small employers'
80 percent of new jobs are created by small businesses.
Small businesses are closing up shop and moving to Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Missouri.
No headlines, no big campaign contributions and no special deals.
They are quietly leaving the state along with the thousands of entrepreneurs who decide that Illinois is not a good place to start a business and choose to start a company in a more business friendly environment.
I could write about book about this one specific issue, the major obstacles and how to solve the problem and build a pro-business environment.
Please call any time to discuss.
Key Issue 2
Illinois' corruption may be a common ?go to? punch line on late-night TV but it is a serious problem and is destroying our state.
Not only does it cost us billions in wasted dollars but job creators tell me that it adds uncertainty to the business climate.
People are not going to risk their life savings to start a business and hire employees if they are unable to make reasonable assumptions about the future.
Established businesses are not going to risk moving their companies to Illinois knowing the high 'corruption tax' they will end up paying.
Every month there seems to be a new fee increase, tax increase or toll increase to pay for the incompetent and corrupt activities of our political leaders.
I have been very vocal in my opposition to the corruption in Springfield and will continue in that role.
Key Issue 3
In order to balance our budget and restore fiscal health, we must reform pensions.
We can not continue to 'kick the can down the road'.
Our pension liability is currently in excess of 85 Billion dollars.
It is so bad we can not even afford to make the interest payments on our overdue pension payments.
Until we address and start to solve this major problem, nothing else will matter.
Every other financial decision is minor compared to our pension problem.
We must evaluate every bill and determine if it will 'increase' or 'decrease' our current pension debt.
We must immediately make 'common sense' pension reforms.
We should eliminate all 'double dipping'.
People in this state should not be allowed to receive multiple pensions.
Pick one pension and stick with it.
We should eliminate cost of living adjustments (COLA's) for retirees.
COLA's are annual raises taxpayers pay to retirees from the time they retire to the time they die.
No other industry pays such generous raises to former employees after they retire and have left the company.
We also must cap pension payments.
Salary amounts over 150k should not be pensionable.
These three changes alone will put us on the path to fiscal sanity.
I have many more suggestions and solutions regarding how we can reform pensions.
What can you do specifically to help the economy in your district? What is your view of the tax breaks granted to companies like Motorola Mobility, Navistar and Sears' For incumbents, how did you vote on the Sears plan in this fall's veto session?
I voted against the Sears deal because the state should not pick winners and losers. We should not give special tax deals to the select few who can afford expensive lobbyists and who donate thousands of dollars to legislators to get a special deal.
Small businesses provide 80% of the jobs in this state but do not get any special deals and will end up paying the tax tab for the big boys. The best thing to do to help the economy in my district is to REPEAL the 67% tax increase and help EVERY company in Illinois.
We must work to reduce the job strangling taxation, regulation and litigation that are driving companies out of my district and our state.
What is good for the State of Illinois is also good for my district.
Do you favor limiting how much money party leaders can give candidates during a general election? If elected, do you plan to vote for the current leader of your caucus' Why or why not?
I opposed the campaign finance reform bill that went into effect in 2011 because it consolidated even more power in the hands of the leaders of each party.
It only increased the power of the most controlling political figure in Illinois history -- Speaker Mike Madigan.
It limited how much money an individual candidate can receive but did not limit the amount the party leaders can receive.
I and every other State Senator should represent his or her district.
By consolidating the money (and hence the power to back candidates) in the hands of leadership, the power of the voters to select their representative is diminished.
A new 'reform? to limit money flowing from leadership to an individual candidate will move the power to elect into the hands of special interest groups since they will have funds available in greater quantities than individual voters.
If we look at the history of efforts to control campaign money, it generally favors incumbents since they are the ones crafting any limitations.
That is true of the recently implemented 'reforms' and would most likely be true of any additional 'reforms'.
I favor total transparency wherein donations must be reported in real time (possible with internet) so that if someone receives excessive amounts from a group or individual the voters could be informed immediately.
How, specifically, would you cut the budget? What does Illinois need to do to fix its status as a "deadbeat state?" How have you or will you vote on future gambling bills' What is your view of slots at racetracks' Casino expansion?
We must pay our bills on time, reform pensions, freeze all new government programs, and cut wasteful spending.
The private sector has become more efficient through the use of technology and enlightened management.
It is possible to deliver services more efficiently in government as well if the political will exists.
Illinois IT databases and infrastructure are extremely antiquated.
We could save billions of dollars annually just by moving to an 'off the shelf' Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system for operations and procurement.
Currently every department within our government operates their IT environments independently which is extremely inefficient and expensive.
I support zero based budgeting which simply says the budget starts at zero and every expenditure must be justified.
Currently, our system is structured to begin with last year's expenditures and adds to it.
This encourages departments to spend unused funds before the year ends so they won't 'lose' it next year.
We should have incentives in place to reward efficiency like the private sector.
We should also use private contractors to provide services wherever possible. I do not support the expansion of gambling in Illinois.
Gambling is an unreliable and unstable revenue source.
I don't have a problem with slots at the racetrack since I do not consider that an 'expansion of gambling'.
To me that is just like adding another slide at the playground.
The racetrack is already there and is already a destination for gambling.
Adding another feature (slots) at that location is not an expansion in my opinion.
What do you specifically support to deal with the state's pension gap? Would you vote for House Republican Leader Tom Cross's three-tier pension plan? Why or why not?
Please see above "campaign issue number 3."
Yes, I support the Cross pension plan and will strongly consider any other pension reform ideas that address the number one problem in this state - pensions.
We MUST get moving and solve this problem.
Until we reform pensions, nothing else we do will matter.
The pension liability is the 800 pound gorilla on the bus and we must develop a comprehensive plan to solve the problem immediately.
The Cross plan starts us moving in the right direction.
Keep in mind legislator's pensions should also be included in this bill.
Cross needs to move his bill to the floor for a vote and force legislators to take a public position on actual pension reforms.
Should gay marriage be legalized? Should Illinois define life as beginning at conception as others have? How would you vote on a concealed carry firearm plan? Should the death penalty be reinstated?
A civil union's bill has already passed which makes the union a legal partnership.
Marriage is a religious sacrament.
The state of Illinois should certainly not be in the position of dictating or changing religious doctrine within churches and other religious orders throughout the state.
Illinois, year after year, ignores the constitution and does not balance our budget.
I do not believe we are in the position or place to decide the age old, scientific question of defining when ?life begins'.
We are not scientists, we are legislators.
I completely support the second amendment and concealed carry.
We have spent over 100 Million dollars -- of taxpayer money -- defending and prosecuting death row cases.
Twenty people have been released from death row.
Illinois has spent millions of dollars for decades trying to correct the death penalty's flawed process.
The death penalty in Illinois should not be reinstated.