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: Arlington Heights
Office sought: 27th Distrct Senate
Family: Married to Katie, a District 214 physics teacher. We have two daughters.
Occupation: I am a Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Financial Consultant. I have owned my own business, Page Financial Advisors, since 1998.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Finance from Northern Illinois University, 1990
Civic involvement: I have volunteer coached my daughters' soccer teams for 16 seasons.
Elected offices held: I was elected to the Arlington Heights District 25 School Board in 2005, and I have served as Board President since 2009.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
My top priority is getting the state back on the right fiscal track. As a small-business owner and financial advisor, I understand zero-based budgeting. With a massive backlog of billions of dollars in unpaid bills and a deficit that is the worst of the 50 states, we cannot afford to wait any longer. Addressing the pension crisis, eliminating waste and redundancy in government, and cutting the salaries of those on appointed boards and commissions are some ways in which I would work to restore Illinois? fiscal health.
Key Issue 2
Education. As a father of two daughters and school board president, I have seen the negative effects of both the repeated cuts of state funding to school districts and the state?s inability to pay its bills on time. If elected, I would work to stabilize state funding for education to ensure that our children graduate prepared to succeed in the 21st century economy. Even with the state facing its current budget disaster, there is no sense in shortchanging the future by slashing education. The Senate Republican budget proposal would cut millions of dollars from education at all levels and would eliminate future opportunities for hundreds of thousands of young people.
Key Issue 3
After countless ethics scandals in the headlines, and two past Governors behind bars, the people of Illinois are rightfully fed up and deserve better. I will fight for ethics reform and increased transparency at all levels of government.
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?
The current pension crisis has two main causes: underfunding of the employer contributions by the state; and expanded benefits awarded without a long-term look at whether the state could afford to pay for them. I believe that the state made a promise to its current and retired employees, and under the Constitution it cannot unilaterally eliminate benefits that have already been earned. A solution must be reached by involving all stakeholders, and each party will have to make sacrifices. I do not support the idea of shifting the pension costs onto the local school districts; that is just taking a problem from the state level and saying it has been solved by pushing it off onto the local schools and taxpayers. I will only support solutions that are comprehensive, sustainable, and created through fair negotiation. Politics as usual, from both parties, helped create this mess over many years. We need to focus on the fiscal issues rather than the partisan politics in order to get the state?s finances back on track. I will work across the aisle to help solve this problem.
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?
As a financial advisor of over 22 years, I will use my experience to propose effective fiscal budget solutions. There are currently no members of the senate with a background in finance. If I don?t manage my client?s investments properly, I lose my job. Yet the legislators who have spent us into this mess for decades have mismanaged your money and won reelection anyway. The problems behind the budget stem from years of politicians acting like politicians and kicking the can down the road to win another term, instead of handling taxpayer money responsibly. I don?t believe in increasing taxes or extending the temporary income tax increase. The state should be able to balance its budget without placing further significant burdens on taxpayers. We need to seek out waste and eliminate redundancy in government. The state should look to grow the revenue side of the equation by encouraging job growth and small businesses, which are the lifeblood of the economy. To fix its ?deadbeat? status, the state needs to finally start paying its bills on time and start using the basic principles of sound budgeting. The state needs a 5-year plan and projection for the budget, like many businesses use, prepared by a qualified source. All major budget decisions should be considered in light of their short- and long-term impact on the 5-year projections. I do not have a problem with gambling, in of itself, but the state should not rely heavily on gaming as a revenue source.
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?
I believe that targeted tax incentives for job creation can be useful, but it is vitally important to have accountability and transparency in how these tax relief packages are awarded and also to ensure that companies are creating permanent jobs, here in Illinois. I have no issue helping major employers expand through tax breaks, but opportunities for small businesses are even more important. Illinois must invest in infrastructure to make our communities more attractive to businesses, and invest in education ? for our children and for workers adapting to a changing economy. Improving access to healthcare allows a more productive workforce and a better quality of life in our communities. These investments will pay off, creating a solid foundation for future economic success.
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.
Unfortunately, the Citizens United decision allows corporations and big money to play an outsized role in elections. I would support limiting the influence of money in elections and for campaign contribution limits, if presented with a Constitutionally-sound plan. I am not an incumbent and haven?t had to make a decision on party leadership. I plan on evaluating the options and making an informed decision when I would be elected to the Senate.
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?
Civil unions represent a strong first step towards ending discrimination and I support the right of all Illinoisans to marry. I do not believe the state should interfere with women?s reproductive rights, therefore I do not believe the state should define life as beginning at conception. Illinois is the only state that does not have a concealed carry plan. I would consider a plan that has a series of safeguards required, including criminal background checks, mental health checks, and a requirement of completing a firearm safety training course. I oppose the reintroduction of the death penalty in Illinois.