Darlene Senger: Candidate Profile
11th District U.S. Representative (Republican)
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.
Age: Candidate did not respond.
Family: Eric Michelle
Occupation: State Representative, District 41
Education: Purdue University, Finance DePaul University, MBA
Civic involvement: Former President of Naperville Area Homeowners Association Board Member of DuPage Children's Museum Naperville Rotary Club Member
Elected offices held: Naperville City Councilwomen Illinois State Representative, District 41 (Current)
Many Americans see gridlock as the greatest problem facing Washington today, and public opinions are at historic lows regarding the job their Senators and congressmen are doing. Specifically, what will you do to make Congress more productive and effective?
Both sides have good ideas and bad ideas. Congress needs to look passed the partisanship and support good ideas, regardless of what party they came from. In Springfield I have worked across the aisle on many important issues to make sure that things got done, I will do the same in Washington.
What immigration policies do you support? Where, if at all, do you see room for compromise to produce an effective policy on immigration? How will these policies have an impact in your district?
The current immigration system is quite simply embarrassing. The country has no protection against people coming in illegally and greatly limits the ability of people trying to come to the country legally. The first step in immigration reform should be to secure the borders and at the same time overhaul the visa system so that people from all walks of life can come to this great country fairly and legally, including many skilled workers. After those two steps are in place there needs to be a serious debate about what a path to citizenship entails for people who are currently in the country illegally.
How do you assess the state of the federal budget? Do you see a need for changes in how revenue is produced or in spending priorities? What specific changes do you consider necessary regarding federal tax policy and practice?
The federal budget is a disaster and we need to have a serious discussion as a country on what the government has to continue to fund and if the current funding level is necessary. I would look at re-prioritizing spending so that each and every tax dollar is spent wisely. It is irresponsible to raise taxes while taxpayer's money is being wasted on failing or bloated government programs.
How would you work to produce a stable, affordable, effective federal health care policy? What shortcomings do you see in the Affordable Care Act, and how do you propose addressing them? If you favor scrapping the Act altogether, what do you propose as an alternative?
The ACA is a government at its worst; bloated, costly, and forcing a consumer to buy a product they don't necessarily want from a supplier that doesn't necessarily want to sell it. I support the coverage of preexisting conditions but the rest of the law has little desirable effects. Truly reforming healthcare in this country cannot be achieved by costly mandates, you have to look to the free market for solutions that include allowing coverage to be purchased across state lines and the removal of plan coverage mandates. This would open up the market and create competition in healthcare that would work to drive costs down.
What can be done at the federal level to aid Illinois' economy and your district in particular?
Since the primary I have meet with numerous business owners, managers, and employees throughout the 11th District to hear from them what problems they face on a daily basis. Many business owners were frustrated with tax policy from the federal government all the way down to the local level, as well as regulations placed on them by government. Government needs to get out of the way and let business owners create jobs.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
I really enjoy working on public policy. Nearly 20 years ago I started getting involved with my local school district and have been hooked on working for solutions to public policy problems ever since.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
There are many rising entrepreneurs today who are creating new and better ways of doing things. I find their innovative spirit inspiring.
What's the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
My parents taught me that in America anything is possible to those who work hard.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
While it is easy to have regrets in life, the journey I have taken has made me the person and mother I am today.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
I always enjoyed finance and math classes. The training they provided has proved invaluable in policy making.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
I tell my children to always believe in your abilities and never back down from a challenge.