Jim Oberweis: Candidate Profile
25th District Senate
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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: Sugar Grove
Office sought: 25th District Senate
Family: Married, 5 children, 2 step children, 17 grandchildren
Occupation: Chairman, Oberweis Dairy President, Oberweis Foundation
Education: Marmion Military Academy University of Illinois, BS University of Chicago, MBA
Civic involvement: Aurora Evening Lions Club (no longer active) Northern Ill. Food Bank Board Moose Int'l
Elected offices held: Illinois Republican State Central Committee, 2010-present Prestbury Community Association
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Making Illinois more business friendly in order to create more jobs for Illinois residents
Key Issue 2
Bringing fiscal responsibility back to the Illinois budget, including pension reform, Medicaid reform, and workman's comp. reform.
Key Issue 3
Returning control of our state to our voters through term limits, voter IDs, and reducing gerrymandering.
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?
Ultimately, we need to move new employees to a defined contribution system,(such as a 401k plan) which will make benefits portable for employees and eliminate future unfunded pension liabilities. The more difficult question is, how do we deal with current employees and current retirees? I have some ideas, and Rep. Mike Fortner has put forth a reasonable plan. I don't think there is just one answer, but this must be dealt with ASAP because the liability is contuing to grow every day.
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?
Any cuts require very difficult choices but we must make significant cuts. We cannot continue to spend at this level any longer. I would reduce the number of state senators to 54, allocated 3 to each of our 18 Congressional District, both to save money and to reduce gerrymandering. Similarly, i would reduce the number of state representatives to 108, two to each senate district as we do now. Secondly, I would get rid of duplicate services, by, for instance, combining the Treasure's office and the Comptroller's office. Illinois must become a more business friendly state to keep companies in Illinois and encourage entrepreneurs to start new businesses in Illinois, creating more jobs and opportunities for Illinois residents. This will help to reduce unemployment costs. Clearly, we must get pension and Medicaid costs under control. I do not believe that gambling is a good long term source of funds to finance our state. However, we do already have gambling in the state and I lean toward allowing slots at racetracks since they are already gambling locations. Slots at tracks would help keep our track industry competitve with other states. I don't think government should be in the business of picking winners and losers. We should also not make large payments of taxpayer dollars to politcally connected companies to get them to stay in Illinois. We should make our state friendly to all legitimate businesses.
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?
As I stated above, we should not be providing special tax breaks and incentives to connected companies. We should create an environment friendly to all. I am not going to Springfield to get more pork for our district. I'm going to Springfield to try to improve the business climate for the entire state.
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.
i tend to lean towards allowing equal contribution limits for all, or perhaps, even no limits WITH FULL AND IMMEDIATE DISCLOSURE OF ALL CONTRIBUTIONS over a threashold of $500 or $1000. Too much power is concentrated in a few hands when only party leadership can make large contributions. There are lots of great Republican leaders in the Illinois Senate. I will wait until I know who the candidates are before deciding who I believe will be our best leader.
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?
I believe traditional marriage defines a relationship between one man and one woman. I believe life begins at conception. I support concealed carry with reasonable restrictions. The death penalty should be allowed if, and only if, it can be demonstrated that the death penalty deters serious crime.
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