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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.
Office sought: 62nd District Representative
Family: Married to Stephen Cole (28 years), Three Children - Emily (son-in-law Steve), Kevin & Kelsey. One granddaughter, Annabel.
Occupation: Full-Time State Representative; Illinois General Assembly - District 62
Education: Education: Rockford College, Rockford IL - Bachelor of Science 1976 Wheeling High School, Wheeling IL ? Illinois State Scholar
Civic involvement: Civic Activities: ? Volunteer Youth Leader for 4-H 1987-1997 ? University Of Ill. Extension ? Master Gardener 1994-1997 ? Grayslake Greenery Garden Club 1997 ? 2005 ? Voter Registrar 1996 ? Present ? Republican Precinct Committeeman 1998 ? Present ? Alumni Assoc. ?Director, Rockford College 1998 ? 2007 ? Exchange Clubs of Grayslake/Round Lake 2001 ? Present ? Avon Township Youth Advisory Board 2006 ? 2010 ? Round Lake Area Chamber of Commerce 2008 - Present
Elected offices held: FULL-TIME Illinois State Representative, District 62 2007 - Present Past Political Experience: ? Director: Lake County Soil & Water Conservation District (elected) 1994-1996 ? Lake County Board Commissioner: December 1996-2006 ? Lake County Forest Preserve Commissioner: December 1996-2006 ? SWALCO (Solid Waste Agency Lake County) Executive Board Member 1998 ? 2006 ? Past-Member: National Assoc. of Counties (NACO) Public Lands Committee and Finance & Intergovernmental Steering Committee ? Past-Member: Upper Des Plaines River Ecosystem Partnership Council ? Past-Member: Ryerson Woods Facility Planning Advisory Committee ? Chairman: County Board Finance & Administrative Committee 1998 ? 2002 ? Past-Member of Lake County Board Committees: Public Works & Transportation, Law & Judicial, Taxation/Elections & Records, Intergovernmental Affairs, Minority Affairs Task Force ? Vice-Chairman: Lake County Board 2002-2004 ? Chairman: Public Building Commission 2002-2005 ? Treasurer: Lake County Forest Preserve 1998 ? 2004
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: no
Key Issue 1
Jobs & Small Family-owned Business Retention & Creation
Key Issue 2
Property Tax Relief & Reform
Key Issue 3
Reduce Government spending-spree & Consolidate taxing districts
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 cost-shift to all schools except the Chicago school district is unfair & will lead to massive property tax increases to fund the local school districts? share ? referendum fever as was seen in the 1990?s in the Central Lake County area. Pension reform legislation must include a guarantee the state will fund their pension obligation payment and automatic/compounding Cost of Living Increases (COLA) must be reformed. Contributions desperately need to have some increase & the formula reformed to address drastic fluctuations in the investment markets and downturns in the economy. Actuarial studies need to be done on a five year basis and a 8.5% rate of return is unrealistic ? and will lead to tragic underfunding. If we are to have an Illinois Social Security plan (teachers do not receive federal social security benefits per state law) that is sustainable ? then adjustments and contributions need to be analyzed regularly ? not just when we are in a recession. The term ?partisan gridlock? serves the political strategies of Speaker Mike Madigan quite well. None of the important issues should be voted on in ?Lame-Duck? session. Lame duck legislators cast their votes in exchange for future political appointments instead of representing their constituents.
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?
The state leaders (yes, the democrat leaders) have a spending crisis. It is irresponsible to spend taxpayer dollars on new programs while not paying current bills and current reimbursements. The leadership strategy is to spend into a crisis and then demand a tax increase to pay for it. The governor continues to spend, pay with debt, spend more...then beg for a tax increase or fee increase to pay for the mismanagement of the taxpayers? dollars. In late 2007, the state Auditor General issued a report indicating that Illinois ?does not have a comprehensive, consistent inventory of programs? it funds on a daily basis. This report reveals that the state government is so disorganized and inefficient that a roster of state programs does not exist. Without a doubt, we should take advantage of the struggling economy as an opportunity to review every program ? initiate zero-based budgeting. End programs that don?t work. Eliminate duplicate services and offices (i.e. Comptroller). Not a single tax-increase proposal should be debated or considered until this is done. ?Pay-to-play? and the corruption culture of Illinois leadership adds a huge price to the average taxpayer's services. Government should be leaner...leaving the spending to the taxpayers for their struggling family budgets! I do not support the currently proposed ?massive expansion of? gambling bill. I support slots at existing racetracks and the tourist attraction of a Chicago casino.
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 did not support the Sears, CME deal. The over $325 million deal was loaded with perks aimed at pleasing a select group of legislators for votes. In retrospect ? a good position to have taken; Sears has had worker layoffs and store closures, Motorola has sold out to Google, has had worker layoffs & moves to Chicago for another ?tax deal?. What will Navistar do? Small family-owned business is the life-blood of Illinois business. It is the life-blood of the national economy. I have proposed HB5239; which creates the Illinois Economic Development Corporation. The bill sets out the board of directors of the Corporation and sets forth the membership of the board. The board shall develop and implement economic programs to provide business support and expertise and financial assistance to companies that are investing and creating jobs in Illinois and to support new business start-ups and business expansion and growth in Illinois.
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.
YES, campaign contribution limits should be imposed on funds controlled by political leaders of the House & Senate as well as political parties. When legislators are more independent from their political bosses, they better serve their REAL bosses --- the constituents in their respective districts. I support campaign contribution limits and have supported, minority leader Representative Tom Cross for leader of my caucus.
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 do not support the same-sex marriage bill. Illinois has far, far more important issues to solve like higher-than-national-average unemployment, business flight from Illinois, service cuts to those in need, medically under-served downstate communities, cuts to education funding because of the state?s financial crisis, downgrading of Illinois? credit rating, a $95 Billion dollar unfunded pension liability, 18-month backlog of unpaid bills, etc. None of the important issues should be voted on in ?Lame-Duck? session. Lame duck legislators cast their votes in exchange for future political appointments instead of representing their constituents. I will vote for a conceal/carry plan if it includes training and certification (as proposed). The death penalty should be reinstated as punishment for heinous murder against children.