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: Barrington Hills
Office sought: 52nd District Representative
Family: Married to Margaret with two daughters, Melissa (19) and Katie (17).
Occupation: Investment Specialist
Education: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Duke Fuqua School of Business Bachelor of Arts Degree, Economics Major, Duke University
Civic involvement: I have been a Palatine Township Trustee. My wife Margaret is on the Leadership Advisory Board of WINGS (Women in Need of Growing Stronger), which is an organization committed to helping women and their children who are victims of domestic violence. She is also on the board of the Barrington Junior Women?s Club.
Elected offices held: Palatine Township Trustee
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
My primary focus is to repeal the tax increases that were enacted last year. The tax increases are killing jobs by hurting small businesses.
Key Issue 2
I support the bipartisan property tax relief bill (HR 3793) that would prohibit property tax levy increases when property values decline.
Key Issue 3
State spending must be cut and the public pension system must be reformed. The state has approximately $9 billion of unpaid bills and an $83 billion unfunded pension liability.
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 pension funding gap is the result of legislators and politicians over promising and over committing to special interests. When they initially could not meet the obligations to the funding of the pension system they borrowed more money and put off the day of reckoning. These irresponsible acts have consequences and all parties will have to participate in order to get our fiscal house in order. Below is a brief overview of steps needed in this state for pension reform: (1) Eliminate pensions for state legislators; and (2) For existing employees, reduce pension cost-of-living adjustments. Also, as Option 1, protect the existing defined benefit pension benefits earned to date and going forward convert employees into 401(k) plans similar to those offered in the private sector. Going forward, some employees should also have the option of joining the Social Security system and receiving a smaller 401(k) matching payment from the State than offered under Option 1. In order to address the unfunded retiree health care obligations, future benefits need to be reduced. Specifically, the eligibility age for retiree health care benefits should be increased. The state's pension debt should not be shifted to suburban school districts. Property taxes are already too high. The State Legislature created the problems and needs to address it by adopting a comprehensive pension reform proposal. I don?t think that the issue can wait until a lame-duck session. The rating agencies are closely monitoring the situation and could downgrade the state?s bond ratings again. The issue needs to be addressed immediately. Legislators should have a common interest in addressing the pension problem and work together to resolve this issue. Rhode Island is a great example of a state that got its act together and addressed the 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?
An oversized budget and an underfunded pension system are the key culprits in the state?s fiscal crisis. Below are my ideas to reduce the budget and reform the pension system in this state: (1)An immediate 10% cut in administrative expenses of each state department and agency (2) Adoption of a zero-based budget system; (3) A Blue Ribbon Commission should be appointed to recommend structural changes in the budget and spending cuts; (4) An immediate 25% cut in the legislature?s operational budget and a 10% cut in legislative salaries; (5) Eliminate pensions for state legislators. (This is a part-time job with full-time benefits funded by taxpayers. The State Legislature needs to lead by example); (6) Eliminate government paid mailings by legislators; and (7) Move additional Medicaid patients into managed care programs. I oppose a large-scale expansion of gambling. However, I do favor allowing slots at racetracks.
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 the 2011 tax increases should be repealed and pension reform should be enacted. Lower taxes and greater stability in the state pension system would create incentives for companies to remain in Illinois and create jobs. Burdensome regulations should be eliminated so that businesses can focus on creating new jobs. A cost-benefit analysis should be required for every new regulation. Small businesses don?t have a lot of high paid lobbyists in Springfield, but they?re creating approximately 80% of the jobs in this state. I generally don?t favor special tax breaks for big companies. Motorola Mobility is a perfect example of a situation that quickly went wrong. The government shouldn?t pick winners and losers. Instead, personal and corporate taxes should be cut across-the board, regulations should be reduced and state spending should be controlled.
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 support placing limits on spending by party leadership. Illinois campaign finance rules should not be written to strengthen and protect party caucus leadership in the House and Senate. I favor the current contribution limits and strengthening disclosure requirements to report donations online within 24 hours. I?ll support the Republican Leader Tom Cross.
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 that marriage should be limited to between a man and a woman. I?m pro-life, but favor exceptions to save the life of the mother and in cases of reported rape and incest. I support a concealed carry law for Illinois. I support reinstatement of the death penalty.