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: 29th District Senate
Age: Candidate did not respond.
Family: Husband Joe Sons Michael and Mark Daughter Katherine
Occupation: West Deerfield Township Supervisor
Education: B.A., Knox College
Civic involvement: Deerfield Rotary Club Highland Park Hospital Community Advisory Council President, Deerfield Food Pantry Deerfield Community Emergency Fund
Elected offices held: West Deerfield Township Supervisor, (1997 - Present)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
My Top Priority is to represent the men and women of the 29th District. Too often, Springfield shuts down due to partisan gridlock. Democrats refuse to endorse great ideas because they were sponsored by Republicans, and Republicans refuse to vote for Democratic initiatives. My top priority is to go down to Springfield and support the initiatives that are best for our district regardless of who the sponsors are.
Key Issue 2
We need to get Illinois back to work by fixing the state budget. In Springfield, I will work to let the Quinn tax cuts expire as planned, streamline government and cut wasteful spending. I believe that we need to institute tax credits that reward businesses for creating jobs. Tax credits should be given to any company that moves jobs from part-time to full-time, hires veterans, or creates carbon-neutral jobs here in Illinois.
Key Issue 3
Protecting Human Services ? for years, our state has continued to dig itself out of debt by punishing those who need the most help. As state Senator, I will fight to protect our community?s most vulnerable populations.
How would you fix the state's pension gap? Should pension costs be shifted to suburban school districts? Why or why not? Should this issue be voted on in a lame-duck session? Why or why not? How can partisan gridlock be eased to solve the crisis?
Pension reform is the perfect example of how partisan gridlock can stop a good idea. For my entire career, I have reached across party lines to work with Republicans and Democrats alike to get the job done. That is exactly what the 29th District can expect if they send me to Springfield. In order to overcome partisan gridlock, we need to establish bipartisan coalitions that span across the House and the Senate and include members from all over Illinois. I support Sen. Cullerton?s proposal to give state employees that choice between a compounded COLA and access to state healthcare because it gives retirees the ability to make a decision that is best for their lifestyle. Pension reform is a crucial issue and I hope that it will be reformed as soon as possible. That is, I hope that pension reform will occur before the November elections. If it does not, the General Assembly should vote on it in the lame-duck session.
How, specifically, would you cut the budget? What does Illinois need to do to fix its status as a "deadbeat state?" How will you vote on future gambling bills? What is your view of slots at racetracks? Casino expansion?
For 15 years, I have kept a balanced budget in my township by identifying priorities, streamlining government, and eliminating duplicative services and positions. The state of Illinois needs to do the same thing. I believe that the state needs to look within government to cut a number of perks and streamline services. I want to issue a ?Desk Audit? in which an independent source would go through each agency and identify which positions can be cut or combined to reduce overhead. In addition, I want to examine our state?s large number of Boards and Commissions to combine redundant or unnecessary positions. Finally, I believe that we should look at selling off our state?s abundant number of vehicles. I support gaming expansion so long as local governments are involved in the process and are a part of the oversight of the casinos. I believe that any gaming expansion needs to be accompanied by a transparent reporting mechanism for all gaming venues and that the additional revenue should be earmarked for paying down our state?s massive backlog of bills.
What can you do specifically to help the economy in your district? How can you help create jobs in your district and statewide? What is your view of the tax breaks granted to companies like Motorola Mobility, Navistar and Sears?
Illinois needs to let the Quinn tax increases expire as planned, look internally to cut wasteful spending and legislative perks, and create tax incentives to put Illinois back to work. Our state needs a larger conversation about tax incentives for businesses. We need to level the playing field and institute tax credits that reward all businesses for creating jobs. Whether you are the corner store, or a fortune 500 company, you should receive tax credits for the jobs you create. In addition, I want to look at giving tax credits to companies who move part-time positions to full-time, hire veterans, and create carbon-neutral jobs in our state. These tax credits need to be accompanied by a transparent reporting mechanism so that any citizen can easily verify compliance. In addition, we need to ensure that all companies can readily access the necessary forms and properly complete the application process independent of legislative involvement. For the last 15 years, I have overseen the growth and expansion of West Deerfield Township. During my tenure, I have developed sound relationships with a number of businesses owners, corporations, and local chambers of commerce. Working with these individuals, companies, and groups led to our township?s Equalized Assessed Value increasing from $1.3 billion to $2.9 billion. I now want to apply those same principles and grow those relationships as state Senator. We will get Illinois and the 29th District back to work when we get Springfield taking action on the most important issues. Voters can count on me to reach across party lines and get the job done.
Do you favor limiting how much money party leaders can give candidates during an election? If elected, do you plan to vote for the current leader of your caucus? Why or why not? Do you support or oppose campaign contribution limits? Please explain.
The reforms instituted in 2010 were a great first step. There are a number of court cases pending that will continue to shape these reforms. I believe we need to let the judicial process work and examine if these reforms positively impacted recent elections as the 2012 election cycle will be the first statewide elections with the recent reforms. I believe that we need to examine how Citizens United impacted interest groups in our state. I believe that ruling is wrong and has only led to an increased hostility in our elections. The number of negative ads that are running in our state and across the country are only detrimental to government. We need legislators who are willing to work across the aisle and the Citizens United ruling is only making that more difficult.
Should gay marriage be legalized in Illinois? Should it be voted on in a lame-duck session as civil unions were? Should Illinois define life as beginning at conception? How would you vote on a concealed carry plan? Should the death penalty return?
Every citizen in our state should have equal rights and it should be voted on as soon as possible. I am proud to be the only 100% pro-choice candidate in this race. I oppose concealed carry and believe in common-sense gun control. I oppose the death penalty.