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: 54th District Representative
Family: Married, 3 boys, no grandchildern
Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.
Elected offices held: none
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Jobs. We need businesses to create more good paying jobs that can support a Middle Class and more jobs for kids getting out of school with debt from going to get an education. The state legislature should devote more of our tax dollars to rebuilding our roads, bridges and schools to get more money into the pockets of workers. When those workers spend that money at local businesses, those businesses will also have an incentive to add jobs.
Key Issue 2
Education. Higher Education is becoming unreachable for more and more young people and we need them to get the education in order to keep America,from falling behind the rest of the world. The Illinois legislature has continually cut funding from higher education which has resulted in higher tuition. Higher education should be a funding priority for the state. We should also be working to make our elementary and secondary education the highest quality possible.
Key Issue 3
Transportation. We should be thinking about the people of Illinois who spend far too much time in their cars commuting to work. Instead, we have legislators wasting time in the Assembly debating things like forcing unwanted ultrasounds on pregnant women when they could be working on the real problems facing Illinois.
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?
Fixing the state's pension gap is not going to happen overnight, this problem has been building for years and the state has neglected to deal with this issue. Shifting costs to the local school districts will put more pressure on property taxes which are already too high. We need to develop a long term plan that identifies a dedicated revenue stream that will address this issue. The pension gap is the most important problem facing our state at this time. Our current representative has not put forth any solution to resolve this issue.If elected I will fight against a property tax increase to solve it. Our current state representative has extreme views and will not compromise on the important issues we face. When elected I will find common ground which will protect the residents of our district.
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 cut to the bare bones budget will hurt some group I feel that the pain should be shared by all. I would support a reduction of the budget equally across the board. Illinois needs to reduce the budget and pay it's bills. I believe the expansion of gambling is necessary to address our budgetary shortfalls. Slots at racetracks and casino expansion will both increase the amount of revenue that the state has to deal with pensions and other obligations.
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?
Jobs are my number one priority. Small and medium size businesses employ local people and keep the profits local, creating a vibrant local economy. Talking to small business owners I find that they have 2 main issues - getting financing and affordable health insurance. Small business can't attract the best employees unless they can offer affordable health care and that is why I support Obama's affordable health care act as a start to helping these businesses. Small businesses create the most jobs. But starting a small business is risky and that is why it is difficult to get a loan. In the past, many small business owners used their personal house as collateral but with the collapse of the housing market, this is not feasible. The state and federal government should help small businesses get loans by guaranteeing them knowing that some will not make it. Tax breaks to large profitable companies like Sears and Motorola Mobility are ridiculous. The states should not compete against each other in giving away money. If money or tax breaks are given to a business, it needs to be tied to a specific number of NEW jobs being created and for a term of 10 years or more. In addition, these companies should be forced to pay back the taxes if they break the terms of their agreements.
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 believe in a dramatic change to the way we fund elections. If we look at the UK as an example, each candidate has the same amount to spend, the election cycle is much shorter and the politicians don?t spend 50% or more of their time and efforts fundraising and running for the next election. They actually work at legislating. The benefits are that our legislators are not tempted to vote the way their big contributors want but for the best way for the people. Party leaders should not have special advantages regarding how they can distribute campaign cash which gives them too much power. In general, I support limits on campaign contributions. We should not have the best government money can buy.
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?
Gay marriage should be legal. Should it be voted on in a lame-duck session? No, because it should be an issue that would only get the media covering that instead of what is going on now which is to get control of the budget and deal with fund the promised pensions. No I do not believe we should define life as beginning at conception because that would essentially end all ability to legally use contraception or in vitro fertilization, in addition to ending abortion, even in the case of rape and incest. Illinois is the only state without a concealed carry law for gun owners. We should continue to buck the tide because firearms in the wrong hands are extremely dangerous. Law enforcement personnel, in particular, are endangered when any citizen could possibly be carrying a gun and be prepared to use it. No, death penalty should not return. Lifetime imprisonment for the worst offenders is a greater punishment and costs less than the years-long appeal process necessitated by the death penalty.