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.
Office sought: 25th District Senate
Family: Married, Wife- Julie five teenage children
Occupation: Small Business Owner ( Lube Pros Oil Change)
Education: Yorkville High School 1980 Waubonsee Community College 1995 Associate of Science Degree Northern Illinois University 1997 Bachelor of Science Degree The John Marshall Law School 2001 Juris Doctor
Civic involvement: Township Officials of Illinois Kane County Bar Association American Legion Navy League Big Brothers-Big Sisters Kane County Public Aid Committee
Elected offices held: Blackberry Township Supervisor, 2009-present J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker, 2001-2007 District Director of Constituent Services (14th Congressional District Office)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: NO
Key Issue 1
We need to create a better business environment for the state of Illinois. We need to make Illinois a destination and not a departure state.
Between 1995 and 2009 it is projected that Illinois has lost more than 800,000 residents. When people leave, they take their income and their talent with them.
We have become a net departure state. We need to turn Illinois into a destination again.
This is a relatively simple problem to fix.
We need only look to our neighbors to gather ideas about how to start turning our state around.
We can start by adopting real workers compensation reform and get rid of junk lawsuits. We needs jobs with paychecks not Lawsuits with settlements.
Key Issue 2
Our taxes are too high for working families, our revenues too low to pay our bills, our borrowing rate is truly unsustainable and our regulation and red tape is choking out creativity and competition in the Land of Lincoln.
This makes my top priorities simple, spend less, tax less and see more growth.
I support the immediate repeal of the income tax hike.
One thing I think Governor Quinn has been correct on is that any tax hike in this economy would be devastating to working families.
It's too bad he was concerned with Washington and not Springfield when he said this.
The state's 2% tax increase has done literally nothing to improve Illinois' economic outlook and serves only to take one full pay check from the citizens of Illinois.
This was a bad deal when it was voted on by a lame duck legislature and it is an equally bad deal now.
This is just one more of example of politicians asking their constituents to pay for Springfield's lack of fiscal discipline.
Key Issue 3
I support SB 512 wholeheartedly.
The watchword of our pensions should be sustainability and SB 512 goes a long way to guaranteeing Illinois a sustainable future.
With regard to the shortfalls I believe that government spending is a reflection of priorities.
We clearly do not view our pension system as a priority and this is the root cause of how our pension mess began.
We can never again tolerate the skipping of payments or the promise of future benefits with no way to pay for them. This attitude is not only vital to our state's fiscal health it is a reflection of our government's word to its constituents.
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 think the biggest challenge our state's economy faces is the lack of certainty in almost all things except high taxes.
Our tax and deficit structure has placed us at a severe disadvantage to our neighbors. We are losing jobs, talent and opportunities to states that have their act together and can allow businesses to turn a profit in an age when that is getting harder and harder to do.
We need to implement a tax plan that allows us to pay our bills while not treating families and businesses as an ATM.
I propose an immediate return to our former tax rate, a zero-based budget system, and requiring the state to project its budget five years into the future.
That said I do not favor government picking winners and losers.
We need to lower taxes on families' small businesses and large corporations not just those who threaten state government. We saw Sears close hundreds of store shortly after they were bribed to stay in our state.
That is not good business sense.
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 do favor contribution caps on leadership.
No legislator can make the tough calls they are elected to make if their legislative ?bosses' can make their re-election more difficult than it already is.
This is a fundamental problem with the way our state works and the lack of independence we see in the legislature.
A Senator should only be beholden to his constituents only this builds a dependency of legislators on their leaders and in many cases places the voice of the leadership above the interests of the people.
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?
The path to solvency for Illinois is three fold.
1) Freeze spending to pre blago levels there were so many inefficient and worthless programs that were introduced to by Rod to buy votes in Chicago that we could not afford.
2) Implementing the above mentioned budget and tax reforms to require departments to justify their work and demand results there are too many programs that do little or nothing to help should be cut.
3) We must fix our entitlement programs and pay our backlog of bills to bolster our bond rating and drive down our borrowing cost.
I think this third point can be achieved by the implementation of SB-512 and requiring that no new programs or payments are issued until outstanding debts are paid.
With regards to gambling expansion I support reasonable regulated gambling.
However, it must be understood that increased gambling will not close our budget deficit. We have seen revenues at the Aurora and Elgin casinos decrease since the opening of Des Planes.
There is only so much money that can be spent on card games and slots and more casinos will not increase that number.
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?
I do support the three tiered pension plan for new hires.
Illinois retirement system must be geared toward sustainability.
We cannot trust the legislature to keep its hands off the retirement savings of hardworking Illinoisans in favor of social programs that are good for some but bad for most.
This is a sad fact but there are too many people counting on the politics of this issue for their retirement.
I think this is a fair and safe plan for new hires that begins to solve our problems.
This has to be coupled with reforms of the current pension system to curb abuses like pension spiking, double dipping and requiring state funds to pay for union work.
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?
Marriage should be between a man and a woman.
I support defining life as beginning at conception.
As a former permit holder in the state of Washington while serving in the United States Coast Guard, I fully support a concealed carry law. I support the reinstatement of the death penalty with the in-statement of Special Reviews Boards to make sure that those sentenced to death are 100 % guilty.