Dennis Anderson: Candidate Profile

14th District U.S. Representative (Democrat)

Updated 2/23/2012 1:27 PM
  • Dennis Anderson, running for 14th District U.S. Representative

    Dennis Anderson, running for 14th 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: Gurnee

Website: www.dennisanderson

Office sought: 14th District U.S. Representative

Age: 61

Family: Married

Occupation: Retired

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Political Science, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1977 Graduate School in Public Administration, University of Wisconsin - Madison, no degree Graduate School in Theology, Loyola University Chicago, no degree

Civic involvement: Board of Directors, Int'l Breast Cancer Research Foundation, 2007-Present Board of Directors, Literacy Volunteers of Lake Co, 2011-Present Board of Directors, Southern WI Food Bank, 1995-1996 Board of Directors, Dane Co Humane Society, 1988-1995 Member, City of Madison Ethics Board, 1989-1996 Adult Education Tutor, Literacy Volunteers of Lake Co, 2010-Present Gurnee Rotary, 2011-Present Misc. volunteer activities

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

Some 15% of the total U.S. population and 22% of American children now live in poverty, 50 million Americans live in households that are food insecure, and 50 million Americans still lack health insurance.

Now is not the time to reduce funding for food stamps, the school lunch program, the WIC program or community health centers; to reduce the term of unemployment benefits; or to eliminate the EITC, all of which have been proposed.

We cannot save the nation by cutting services to the most vulnerable Americans in these difficult times.

Key Issue 2

Inseparable from the issues described above is that of jobs.

Small businesses need easier access to capital, international trade agreements and must include human rights and living wage protections for workers in nations with whom we do business.

Efforts to erode collective bargaining rights at home must cease, the elimination of wage inequality based on gender is long overdue, and the outsourcing of jobs must stop.

America's infrastructure is crumbling, with roads, bridges, public water systems and schools all in urgent need of repair and updating.

There is work that needs to be done, and there are workers who need jobs.

Those who claim concern about burdening our children with debt would do well to read the American Society of Civil Engineers' infrastructure report, where they would find that the estimated cost of the backlog of needed work is mounting rapidly, rising by $500 billion between 2004 and 2009 alone.

Key Issue 3

Quality public education is vital to the Nation's future.

If we do not ensure that all young people have meaningful access to modern, well-equipped and well-staffed schools, the U.S. will be left behind in an increasingly competitive world.

We need to ensure that all of America's young people have access to quality schools, quality teachers, and to college.

Questions & Answers

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?

The current Congress has been repeatedly deadlocked by members who are, by all appearances, absolutely unwilling to work across the aisle or to compromise even as the problems facing the American people have mounted.

Honest disagreement and debate is essential to the success of democratic government.

I frequently find that through such exchanges I learn things that I did not previously know and my perspective may change as a result.

However, when honest exchange between our elected representatives is supplanted by rigid ideology, by inflammatory rhetoric and a dedication to winning without regard to the public's interests, then those elected officials are failing us and crisis is inevitable.

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?

The Bush-era tax cuts should be extended, except for those benefiting the top income earners.

The middle and working classes have been hit by decades of stagnant earnings; have been disproportionately harmed by the recession, job losses and the collapse of the housing market, and need some relief.

Note that the Wall Street Journal recently reported that over 60% of those earning over $1 million per year felt that their taxes ought to be raised.

The unemployment picture could be greatly improved by Congress' passage of the President's Jobs Bill, which I support.

As mentioned previously, I should think that undertaking these infrastructure repair and upgrade projects would appeal greatly to those who are concerned about burdening future generations with debt.

Someone is going to have to pay for the projects, now or later.

We continue to have overseas military bases that are a legacy of the World War II and the cold war, and that ought to be closed.

The issue of Medicare drug purchases I've addressed elsewhere.

The oil industry is heavily subsidized, even as it earns massive profits.

There is no doubt that there are many reductions that can be made, but we must be cautious that we do not make worse the circumstances of the most vulnerable among us.

What steps should the country now be taking in the war on terrorism? What policy should the U.S. have toward Iran and North Korea? What is your view of terrorism policies that pit public safety against civil liberty?

Defense against terrorism requires careful and legal intelligence gathering on and monitoring of known and suspected terrorist groups in cooperation with the intelligence services of those nations who share our respect for the rule of law and human rights.

We must be prepared for focused action to prevent or disrupt identified threats.

As in medicine, prevention is the best and generally least costly cure, and we must understand the causes of terrorism and work with the international community to identify means of eliminating those causes.

The best approach to containing and reducing the potential threats posed by North Korea and Iran is to partner with other members of the international community in the effort.

Non-military means are the preferable route.

Benjamin Franklin said 'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.'

It is our liberties that make us unique among nations, and to sacrifice those liberties is to abandon that which makes us great.

How should Medicare and Medicaid be changed overall to fix fund gaps' How should Medicare be changed for those currently enrolled? How should it change for the Baby Boomer generation?

We can save money - substantial money, no doubt - by tinkering with Medicare and Medicaid.

According to a 2009 study reported by Bloomberg, the median drug rebate received by the Medicaid program, which has the power to negotiate drug prices with providers, was three times the size of that received by the Medicare program, which is not permitted to negotiate.

Permitting the Medicare program to use its buying power to negotiate those prices would certainly ease the funding problem.

These questions touch on an issue that is far larger than Medicare or Medicaid.

No one would deny that U.S. medicine is highly developed and technologically advanced -- if I were to require a sophisticated surgical procedure, I would have it done here at home. However, the U.S. health care system is massively inefficient, rooted as it is in fee-for-service and a for-profit insurance industry.

In July 2010, the New England Journal of Medicine (N Engl J Med 2010; 362:98-99), reported that in a 2006 comparison with other nations "the United States was number 1 in terms of health care spending per capita but ranked 39th for infant mortality, 43rd for adult female mortality, 42nd for adult male mortality, and 36th for life expectancy."

The real savings lie in restructuring the health care system.

Those who are worried that their health care decisions might be made by bureaucrats fail to recognize that bureaucrats are already making those decisions, albeit bureaucrats employed by for-profit insurance companies.

What is your position on concealed carry gun laws' How do you believe marriage should be defined legally? What is your position on abortion? What, if any, abortion exceptions do you support? Should abortion clinics receive government funding?

I am opposed to concealed carry.

Marriage is a civil union between two people, the requirements for which are set by the individual states.

That said, it seems to me that the equal protection language of the 14th Amendment would preclude restrictions on marriage that are not related to such legitimate state interests as, for example, protection of minors.

The right of a woman to an abortion was decided by the Supreme Court in 1973.

Given that abortion is legal -- see preceding response -- I am not certain what is meant by the question on "abortion exceptions."

If an 'abortion clinic' is one that conducts abortion procedures and provides no other services at all, then federal law already prohibits federal funds going to such a facility.

If other services are provided, then calling such a facility an 'abortion clinic' would be a misnomer, and there would certainly be no abortion-related basis on which to deny federal funds for those otherwise eligible services.