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updated: 2/10/2012 4:03 PM

Danielle Rowe: Candidate Profile

52nd District Representative (Republican)

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  • Danielle Rowe, running for 52nd District Representative

    Danielle Rowe, running for 52nd District Representative




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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Island Lake


Office sought: 52nd District Representative

Age: 39

Family: Single, no children

Occupation: Marketing Executive, Surface Preparation Technologies in Chicago

Education: McHenry High School, 1991 Over 20 Years Business Experience

Civic involvement: Former VP of the Lake View Villa Association Board Volunteer for Operation Homefront of Illinois In 2008, served as Lead Project Coordinator for the American Legion, Post 911 Veteran's Day Assembly

Elected offices held: None

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: In 2005, I got into a heated argument with my sister and I slapped her in the face. My sister called the police. Charges were field but subsequently dropped. I regret that I slapped her. My sister, as you can see from the attached letter that she wrote, regrets the decision she made to turn what was not a police matter into a police matter. Like all families (and relations between sisters), we have had our challenges but I love my family very much and I am thankful to enjoy good relationships with my parents and my siblings and their families.

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Repealing January 11 tax increase. Since that tax increase Illinois is down more than 60k jobs according to the Illinois Policy Institute. We continue to have people fleeing this state, tied with New Jersey for most out-migration in 2011 according to United Van Lines study.

We have to make Illinois a low tax state to attract and keep families, businesses and investment here. If we don't, we will continue to decline with a high unemployment rate and diminishing economic opportunities.

Key Issue 2

Budget. Largest state deficit per capita in the country. Worst credit rating. $8.5B in unpaid bills according to the Comptroller's office. We cannot continue spending beyond our means and racking up hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities that we will pass on to our children.

Key Issue 3

Pension Reform. Our unfunded pension and health care liabilities are north of $100B. Worst in the nation. We need to keep our promises to state workers and provide for the benefits that have been earned. But we need to strike a new deal going forward for all state workers (including retirees) that is honest, that is fair to Illinois taxpayers and that we can afford.

Questions & Answers

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 appreciate the position of major employers trying to lower their cost of doing business in Illinois. I don't blame big companies with political clout from seeking tax relief. The problem, of course, is that small business owner/operators are not getting similar consideration.

We need to keep our major employers and the jobs they provide. But we also need to foster the productive risk-taking behavior of entrepreneurs'the jobs they create are just as real.

This is why I support repeal of the personal and corporate income tax increases passed last year. We need to end the favor factory that state government has become and treat everyone equally under the law.

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?

As with special tax rates for special companies, legislative and party leaders should have to abide the same laws as everyone else. The campaign finance law that took effect last year does nothing to reform state government or improve our political culture; it simply concentrates more money and power in the hands of the few, the very same few that have presided over the destruction of Illinois' economy. We need to make state government and elective office more accessible to non-millionaires and the non-politically connected. The current law does just the opposite.

Regarding my vote for a caucus leader, I will reserve my judgment until I see the candidates for leadership. I am not committed to anyone at this time.

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?

It's not simply one-time cuts, although that needs to be part of our action plan. We really need to look at where we spend the bulk of our tax dollars and rightsize those programs to our fiscal reality. I'm speaking of Medicaid, K12 education, public pension systems and transportation infrastructure. But there are places where we need to cut as well such as the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).

The best thing we can do for Illinois' long-term fiscal health is to get Illinois growing again. Illinois Policy Institute reports that Illinois has lost one taxpayer every ten minutes over the past 15 years. Nearly 900,000 people and $26B in revenue from their projected economic activity we have lost because Illinois has become an increasingly difficult place to live, work, and raise a family.

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 support SB 512 as a starting point. We need to strike a new deal on a go forward basis with all state workers and retirees. We should keep the promises that were made for benefits that have been earned but we have to restructure the pension systems for existing workers as well if we're serious about fully funding pensions and providing a fair benefit package for both state employees and IL taxpayers who finance those benefits on a go-forward basis.

We should also look at retiree health care benefits with respect to premiums and co-pays to deal with the state's unfunded health care liabilities as well.

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?

I believe marriage can only properly be defined as the union between one man and one woman. Illinois has a Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) statute on the books and I believe that should continue to be the law in Illinois.

I believe life begins at conception but given Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, I'm not clear what passing a law to classify this would accomplish. I do however think AG Lisa Madigan should allow for the enforcement of the Parental Notification Law that was passed by the lawfully elected General Assembly in 1995 and is supported by the overwhelming majority of Illinoisans, even those who identify themselves as pro-choice.

Regarding right to carry, I believe Illinois should join the other 49 states and allow law-abiding citizens the full means to provide for their self-protection.

Given the Heller and McDonald decisions and the experience of the rest of the nation, I think properly trained and licensed citizens should have the right to carry.

With the reforms to the death penalty since the moratorium, I believe we should reinstate it and give the discretion of prosecutors, judges and juries.