Helene Miller Walsh: Candidate profile
Name: Helene Miller Walsh
Facebook: Friends 4 Helene Miller Walsh
Office sought: IL State Representative D-51
Family: Husband -- Former U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh,
2 Children (ages 29 and 27)
3 Step-children (ages 31, 27, 24)
Occupation: COO Leenie Productions, LLC
Education: B.A. Occidental College 1981
Civic involvement: Project H.O.O.D. Board Member; Haym Salomon Center Board Member; Turning Point USA Advisory Board Member; The Heartland Institute Member; The Latin School of Chicago Annual Fundraising Co-Chair; Northwestern Prentice Women's Hospital/Friends of Prentice Board Member
Elected offices held: current IL State Representative D-51
Questions & Answers
Would you vote to approve a graduated income tax? If so, what qualifiers would you impose and where would you set the brackets? What would the top tax rate be?
How big a problem is the level of property taxation in Illinois? If you view it as a problem, what should be done about it?
Taxes in Illinois is the #1 problem along with our unfunded pension liabilities. We have the 2nd highest taxes in the country after New Jersey. There are too many units of local government (IL has 7,000 and next is Texas with 5,000 and then MO with 3,500). Our school districts eat up 2/3 of our total property tax bill and we spend 2x more than the national average on administrative costs and benefits. We have 850 school districts yet the national average is 650 school districts per state. Florida has only 50 school districts. We are spending too much money and taxing our people too much for the services they are receiving. Less than half of the new property taxes enacted in 2011 have gone to services. Most of the new property taxes go to funding our pensions.
We need local government consolidation along with pension reform. Our pensions at the state and local level are the greatest in the country. We have $250Billion in unfunded liabilities at the state level, $350M is teacher pension liabilities. We have $6Billion in unpaid bills. That is OUTRAGEOUS.
The effect of this massive spending along with our unfunded pension liabilities have caused our taxes to skyrocket with no end in sight. As a result we now have the "producers and makers" with their businesses and jobs and tax paying workers leaving the state at an unprecedented rate.
Would like to say we are headed for a disaster but I am afraid we are already there. More and more people are aware and have moved or are making plans to move out of Illinois. We are losing our most precious resource, human capital and we already owe more than we can pay.
What is your evaluation of Gov. Rauner's job performance? Please specify what you view as its highs and lows.
Governor Bruce Rauner has done the best job possible to fight against the financial mess he inherited from the Madigan-Democrat machine. Gov. Rauner has tried to bring fiscal sanity to Illinois but has been thwarted at nearly every turn by an incalcitrant Michael Madigan. I do believe Rauner's vote for SB31 to make IL a sanctuary state, along with SB40 funding of abortions, were missteps that increase government spending, but until we reform our pension liabilities and reduce the number of local and state governing bodies our state will not achieve the fiscal stability so many of us yearn for. The high points over the past four years have been Gov. Rauner's win at the Supreme Court with the Janus case and his ability to help make more people aware of just how much control Michael Madigan has had over the financial destruction of this state.
What is your evaluation of Speaker Michael Madigan's job performance? If you voted for him for speaker in the last legislative session, please explain your vote.
Michael Madigan has run this great state into the ground. He has been in the IL legislature since 1971 and ruled as Speaker since 1983 for all but two years. He is the longest-serving leader of any state or federal legislative body in the history of the United States. In 1998 he became the Chairman of the IL Democrat Party as well, thereby maintaining complete control of the IL Democrat Party and ultimately the state of Illinois. It is time for Michael Madigan to step aside and let others restore this state to it's rightful place in our nation.
Should there be term limits for legislative leaders? If so, what would you do to make that happen? What other systemic changes should be made to strengthen the voice of individual legislators, limit the control of legislative leaders, encourage bipartisanship?
There should be term limits for IL state legislative leaders. I would write or support efforts to implement term limits on state legislators. I would suggest that all state legislators serve no more than three terms. We live in a representative democracy. Our constitution was designed for people to take time away from their businesses or farms, go and serve then come home and let someone else represent their community. These positions were not designed to be held and ruled like fiefdoms nor kingdoms.
The only way to strengthen the voice of individual legislators is for us to enact full and immediate transparency of political contributions.
Bipartisanship will only happen when we elect people who will not make a career out of serving, there is no personal financial gain to be had and they understand that this state has crashed financially.
How concerned should we be about Illinois' population loss? What needs to be done to reverse the trend?
We should be VERY concerned about Illinois' population loss! Human capital is our most precious commodity. It is at the heart of our economic and social engine. Without the makers and producers here in Illinois we will be devastated. Unfortunately we are on that path right now.
WE must: lower taxes, enact pension reform, provide financial transparency, consolidate governing bodies and consolidate school districts. Until we do all these things we will continue to see Illinois spiral out of control to a place where we will have no other choice than to declare bankruptcy and blow the whole system up.
Please provide one example that demonstrates your independence from your party.
Interesting question because our Republican Party has functioned one way and the platform was written another. So I am not sure what you mean by "party"? I vehemently disagreed with Gov. Rauner's vote to make IL a sanctuary state. I believe if you are here illegally you are breaking a law and should not be funded by the good citizens of Illinois who are paying their hard earned money into the tax base to then pay for these law breakers. I also do not agree with Governor Rauner and his support for HB40. I do not believe the government should be funding abortions.
What other issues are important to you as a candidate for this office?
I believe the need for economic development in our inner cities throughout the state is imperative to the future of IL. Until we provide economic incentives to private companies to go into our inner cities and employ the most financially devastated populations then we will not see any sort of turnaround in IL. I also believe we need to stop using the government to parent peoples' children.
In addition, here a few questions meant to provide more personal insight into you as a person:
What's the hardest decision you ever had to make?
The decision was whether or not I should divorce
Who is your hero?
It had been Golda Meier then it was Margaret Thatcher and now it is Ambassador Nikki Haley.
Each amendment in the Bill of Rights is important, but which one of those 10 is most precious to you?
The 2nd Amendment. It secures all my other rights/all the other amendments.
What lesson of youth has been most important to you as an adult?
Everyone makes mistakes but if you have good intentions and are willing to work hard you can accomplish much, if not all, you set out to accomplish Also….family is incredibly important and NEVER forget from whence you came.
Think back to a time you failed at something. What did you learn from it?
Never give up. Luck helps. For every reaction there is a reaction.