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updated: 9/21/2012 4:34 PM

Brad Schneider: Candidate Profile

10th District U.S. Representative (Democrat)

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  • Brad Schneider, running for 10th District U.S. Representative

    Brad Schneider, running for 10th District U.S. 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: Northbrook


Office sought: 10th District U.S. Representative

Age: 51

Family: Wife: Julie; Sons: Adam, Daniel

Occupation: Management Consultant

Education: Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, Northwestern University, 1983 MBA, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, 1988

Civic involvement: PANIM: Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values; The Community Foundation for Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago; Business and Professional People for the Public Interest; Jewish United Fund; American Jewish Comittee American Israel Public Affairs Committee AYSO and DYBA soccer and baseball coach

Elected offices held: None

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Jobs and the economy. There are so many issues facing us ahead, but unless we can turn this economy around and foster growth in the private sector, we won?t be able to achieve any of our other goals. Growth has been stagnant for too long now, and Congress has either failed to act or acted badly in the face of mounting economic challenges. Rather than working together to find common ground, Congress has moved further to the ideological right, pulled by radical members of the Tea Party who are bent on defeating the President and obstructing progress at any cost.

Key Issue 2

Partisanship. Too many members of Congress are locked into extreme ideologies, and too many others are under the influence of the radical Tea Party. Two years ago we were promised jobs and a return to fiscal discipline, but all we?ve gotten are old debates on Planned Parenthood and the first credit downgrade in our history. What we need to do is come together to find common-sense solutions to our problems, and get Congress working for working families again.

Key Issue 3

Rebuilding the middle class. The promise of America is that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead. But today that promise is at risk. We?re not investing enough in education and innovation, and we continue to give tax breaks to those who need it the least, at the expense of the middle class. Like middle-class families throughout America, our families here in Illinois are struggling. Fewer and fewer Americans are identifying as middle class. We?re losing that American promise. As a member of Congress, I will be a strong voice for rebuilding our middle class and will promote common-sense policies that create jobs, improve educational opportunities, and increase access to health care.

Questions & Answers

Should tax breaks be extended? Why or why not? If so, for whom? What should Congress do to improve unemployment? Why do you support or oppose President Obama's jobs plan? What cuts or revenue increases do you support for deficit reduction?

I have continuously said that, at the very minimum, the Bush tax cuts for income under $250,000 should be extended. I support returning rates for the top earners to their 90s levels, where we last had balanced budgets and a surplus. As far as combating unemployment goes, growth in the private sector is the best way to solve these stubborn unemployment numbers; and private sector growth, like it has been for the last twenty years, will be driven by small-business expansion. If we can offer targeted tax incentives to small business that are hiring more workers, paying higher wages, and growing, then we can get our economy moving steadily in the right direction. I know that the private sector, not the government, creates jobs, but I also know that the government can play a substantive role in clearing the path and fostering a favorable environment so that small businesses have the confidence to start and succeed. A big part of instilling confidence is balancing our budgets and paying down our national debt, which will, no matter what Congressional Republicans insist, require compromise involving spending cuts and increased revenue. Rather than cutting from those who can least afford it, like my opponent has advocated, I support rolling back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and closing loopholes for oil corporations and companies that ship jobs overseas.

What would you do to help ease partisan gridlock? Are you willing to compromise on sticking points including spending cuts and taxes to produce results? How can Congress move from being a "crisis-driven" institution?

Washington is broken primarily because compromise has been abandoned. We?ve seen Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Dold, sign a pledge to Grover Norquist to never raise taxes, even in the case of closing loopholes for corporate polluters or sprawling companies that pay no taxes and ship jobs overseas. We?ve also seen that Republicans? only stated goal is to embarrass or defeat the President, and they?ve wasted $50 million in taxpayer money symbolically repealing the Affordable Care Act. This outrageous and blatant refusal to work together is exactly the reason why people are so fed up with Congress. I will work with members of both parties ? anyone who has a good idea ? to get things down and rebuild our middle class. Working families are struggling, and too many in Washington are more concerned with scoring cheap political points or upsetting special interests than making a real difference. Compromise will involve concessions from both sides, but I will fight to make sure that we bear the burden of fiscal reform equally and responsibly.

Do you agree with the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the health care law and why? Do you support or oppose repeal of the law? Which parts would you change and why? If you are elected, how, specifically, will you work to achieve those changes?

I believe that the Court?s decision affirmed that all Americans should and will have access to quality and affordable care. Through all the partisan bickering over the law, what is lost is that the Affordable Care Act will ensure the solvency of Medicare by cutting down on fraud, waste, and abuse rather than benefits; it will ensure that denial of coverage based on preexisting conditions is a thing of the past; and it will allow kids to stay on their parents? plans until they?re 26. These are monumental strides in the advancement of healthcare coverage, and I am proud of the progress they make. To those who are calling for its repeal, I say that the ACA must be allowed to take effect, at which point we can look at what?s working and build on it, and look at what?s not and improve those aspects. The House?s 33 symbolic votes to repeal, defund, or dismantle the ACA, wasting $50 million in taxpayer money on this fool?s errand, are a symbol of Congressional dysfunction. There will be many parts of the law worth keeping and building on, and I?m sure that there will be some that need to be improved to ensure that there are not adverse effects on small businesses, but we first must allow the ACA to take full effect.

How do you believe marriage should be defined legally? Should the law that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman be overturned or upheld? Why?

I firmly believe that two people, no matter sexual orientation, should be allowed to make a public, loving, lifelong commitment to each other, and it should be called ?marriage? ? plain and simple. In congress, I will work to overturn the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, and end the two-tiered system that it creates. A majority of Americans believe in marriage equality, and yet a vocal minority still stands in the way of the steady march of progress. I am honored to have the support of the Human Rights Campaign in this election, and I look forward to working with them to ensure full equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. I truly believe that equality means equality for all.

The Latino population in the suburbs is growing. What is the biggest challenge created by that growth? Do you support or oppose President Obama's directive to stop deportation of undocumented immigrants who are in college or the military and why?

Rather than address these problems, Congress has played politics and kicked the can down the road. We need to secure our border in a way that promotes legal immigration, and we must begin enacting sensible policies regarding the millions of immigrants already in this country. I applaud the President for taking steps to prevent children from being punished for the failures of politicians. The DREAM Act is another essential part of comprehensive immigration solutions. Each year, approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school. With the DREAM Act, we can start to provide legitimate pathways to citizenship through either college or military service for the many immigrants who were brought here as small children.