Mark Batinick: Candidate Profile
97th District Representative (Republican)
Back to 97th District 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.
Family: Married with five children
Occupation: Commercial Real Estate Broker
Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Education, University of Illinois 1992
Civic involvement: Founder of the Will County Liberty Club
20+ years of basketball and soccer coaching
Former President of Homeowner's Association
Republican Precinct Committeeman
Elected offices held: Republican Precinct Committeeman
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Why are you running for this office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is that?
I have been self-employed my entire adult life. I am a commercial real estate broker that deals with small businesses. I have first-hand knowledge of why businesses and jobs are leaving the state. We are extremely unfriendly to our job-creators. Property taxes are sky-high. Worker's compensation rates are among the highest in the nation. I personally see silly and unnecessary regulations that are placed on businesses that don't help anyone.
Too many of the businesses I deal with want to move out of state, are planning on moving out of state, or have moved out of state. I fear that some, if not all, of my children will have to leave the state for opportunity.
It saddens me to our resource-rich state failing so miserably. We have almost every ingredient for success: waterways, roads, energy, rail, a world-class city, some of the finest agricultural soil in the world, great universities, and a strong work-force. The only ingredient missing for success in Illinois is leadership. I intend on providing that.
What differentiates you most from your opponents in the race?
I believe that I am the only candidate in the race who will dedicate the time, the energy, and the principles of 'less government is better' to the Illinois House. Many candidates espouse these virtues but I have a proven track record in fighting waste in government. I have accomplished much as a private citizen. I would like to apply these virtues to tackling the issues that we face. Illinois is consistently among the lowest rated states for doing business and for the prevalence of a vast array of government. I believe that our state government has a problem with spending and taxing and my candidacy is about reigning in government and trusting the people who inhabit this great state.
Would you vote to make Illinois' temporary income tax hike permanent before it expires in January 2015? If not, how will you replace the billions of dollars the tax hike brought in, or what cuts would you make?
I would vote to repeal the income tax immediately if I were in the legislature right now. But as a legislator in 2015 I would vote to end the tax. The tax was passed by the Democrat controlled legislature and signed into law by a Democrat Governor with the promise that it would spur economic development and thus create jobs as well as address the debt that the state has owed vendors. The opposite occurred and the debt to vendors continued to grow.
Obviously, spending needs to be cut in order to address the shortfall created by ending the tax. I believe that the end of the tax will help in generating more economic activity but the resultant increase in revenues will only partly affect the shortfall. Additional we will need to apply across the board spending cuts with a mechanism for revisiting some of these cuts and increasing cuts in spending in other areas. I am appalled at the fact that our economic environment has forced cuts in vital areas such as the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) while state salaries for some of Governor Quinn's staff have increased and while former government workers draw multiple pensions.
Please outline your views on public pensions in Illinois.
I support Pension Reform. There are three requirements for pension reform. We must keep our honest promises. We must eliminate abuses. We must create a system that is fair and sustainable. The abuses have been well documented. The politicians in Springfield should not have the ability to skip pension payments. This is partially responsible for the problem. Any pension payments should be reasonable and also required by contract. In addition, politicians should not take a pension. As stated previously, politicians are there to serve. It should not be a way of life. When elected, I will not be enrolling in the legislative pension program.
What changes would you make to the state's new concealed carry law, if any? Would you change the number of exempted places where people cannot carry? In what way? Would you change the training requirements? In what way? Do you support restricting assault weapons? High-capacity magazines?
I am thankful that Illinois has finally joined the rest of the fifty states by enacting a conceal carry law. I believe that the courts will decide whether or not the "exempted places" are a legitimate restriction on our second amendment rights and I feel that in most, if not all, exemptions are unconstitutional. I have no issue with the training requirements but I would have an issue if the fees associated with any requirements would unduly hinder the exercise of a citizens constitutional right to protect themselves.
I believe that the restrictions on so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are merely fig leafs for politicians who want to say that they did something to address the issue of crimes committed with guns. Our efforts should be on making sure that criminals and mentally ill individuals do not have access to weapons and at the same time that law-abiding citizens are able to have their constitutional rights protected and not hindered.
Which of the following do you support: New casinos, slot machines at horse racing tracks, gambling on the Internet? Would you approve legislation that includes all of the above in order to compromise and get the parts that you want?
I am opposed to the whole notion that gambling, and the resultant tax revenues generated, are some sort of panacea for our state financial woes. To me, and the many constituents are speak with, the reliance on these revenues is just another example of the desperate situation that years of unfettered state government spending has brought upon us.
On what issues would you would break with your party, or have you broken with your party, and why?
I have consistently fought for a smaller, more efficient government that focuses on eliminated waste, fraud, and abuse. I will work for a stronger job climate. These are consistent with my party's platform. If I were to break from the Republican party it would likely mean the party leaving me, not me leaving the party.
What is your position on limiting how much money party leaders can give candidates during a general election?
The recent campaign finance reform was a sham. It consolidated power among party leaders. Anything that makes Michael Madigan more powerful is not reform. Now, most legislators are likely to become puppets of leadership because they must depend on them to fund their campaigns. There should not be a different set of rules for leadership.
If elected, do you plan to vote for the current leader of your caucus? Why or why not?
Representative Durkin was recently elected and does not have a track record. He has the opportunity to earn my support if he leads the caucus in a unified effort this cycle and focuses on a common-sense conservative agenda.
What is your view of the tax breaks granted to companies like Motorola Mobility, Navistar and Sears, and should state tax breaks be given to companies moving from one Illinois municipality to another?
I don't think that government should be in the business of picking winners and losers. Instead our state government we should be focused on making the best climate possible for businesses to stay here in Illinois or locate here. In 2011 the state government, under Democrat control, raised taxes on people and corporations. They have been making special concessions to large businesses ever since while ignoring the impact that these increase have had on smaller businesses and individuals. It does not seem "fair" to me.
Do you favor changing how Illinois sets new legislative district maps every 10 years? If so how?
I favor the change in redistricting that would be to create a fair and impartial, non-political, means of drawing the map.
The best system would be one based on a population mapping formula. This would eliminate human intervention.
Finally, is there anything we haven't asked about that you feel we should know?
I support Term Limits for all state elected officials.
I will not be taking a pension when elected.
I will be donated an amount equal to 10% of my legislative salary to government watch dog organiztions.