Mark Curran Jr.: Candidate profile
Office sought: U.S. Senate
Family: Married to Irene 24 years with 3 boys (Mark 22, George 20 and Peter 15).
Occupation: Attorney, consultant, and small business owner
Education: H.S. Loyola Academy; College Spring Hill (Mobile, AL); J.D. IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law; numerous law enforcement degrees including Suburban Law Enforcement Academy in Wheaton, Northwestern Staff and Command in Evanston, Senior Management Institute for Police at BU in Boston, MA and FBI in Quantico, VA.
Civic involvement: Numerous school boards, professional and charitable organizations
Elected offices held: Lake County Sheriff 2006-2018
Incumbent? If yes, when were first elected: No.
Questions and Answers
1. What have the past three years of Donald Trump's unconventional leadership taught us about politics in the United States? What is the best thing his presidency has done? What is the most significant criticism you have of it?
People love that Donald Trump has the strength to push back against cultural elitists.
Many believe the elites, or insiders, have hijacked the culture and are pushing it into decline. This segment would tell you those most responsible for the decline of the culture are Hollywood, biased media, and a public-school educational system that promotes nontraditional values, the absence of traditional classics, and little emphasis on economics.
Trump isn't afraid to talk about the failed policies of the Democrats that run almost every big city in America.
The people that support Trump love how he has seemingly delivered on every promise including picking conservative justices, getting America out of unfavorable negotiations and making America safer. Donald Trump lowered taxes and many of his policies have contributed to the record economy.
The best thing Trump has done is defend the Constitution and keep America safe. The military and law enforcement are once again supported by the Commander in Chief and they are better equipped to do their job.
I am not a fan of some of Trump's tweets and it is not my style to always be on the attack. However, I will accept his apparent shortcomings in exchange for all he has done for America.
2. What needs to be done to get Congress to work constructively, whether that be senators and representatives of both parties working with each other or Congress itself working with the president?
Congress has miserably failed to act in the best interest of America.
Dick Durbin is number two in leadership in the Senate. A person does not achieve that position without being a far left partisan. I have never aspired to be in a leadership position in either party because I always wanted to be able to think for myself.
Congress should be working to fix health care, immigration, the increasing debt as well as many other issues. I am not attempting to answer this question in a partisan manner, but we cannot ignore the reality that the Democrats are constantly trying to impeach and undermine the President which makes it difficult to put forward a bipartisan agenda.
One of the best things we can do to stop the partisan nature of politics in the U.S. House and Senate is to pass term limits. Today, Democrats are afraid of being challenged by a candidate to the left of them and Republicans by a candidate to the right of them.
This leads to hyper partisan governing as we watch career politicians like Durbin do everything possible to stay in power even though he has been in congress 38 years including 24 in the U.S. Senate.
The president has many Constitutional responsibilities. Some President's are able to work with the minority party to pass legislation, maybe not President Trump, however that is not a required duty. Congress needs to pass the bills and the President can sign or veto them.
3. What do you see as the most important issues to address regarding immigration reform? If you oppose funding for a wall, what steps do you support to try to control illegal immigration?
I was a proponent of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill of 2013. I supported the bill because it gave us the necessary border security and addressed the undocumented population. The bill passed the Senate 62-38 and died in the House. The reality of legislation is that it will never be perfect and neither side will ever get everything they want.
We are living in a divided country. Border Security is more important today than it was in 2013. We face the danger of potential terrorists coming into America as well as dangerous substance like fentanyl and heroin that have destroyed so many American lives. We must secure our borders.
According to numerous studies including a recent Pew study there is a very dangerous element within Islam that is a concern. Michael Lipka in an article for Fact Tank titled "Muslim and Islam: Key Findings in the U.S. and around the world" cites a Pew study that violence against civilians in the name of Islam according to 86 percent of American Muslims it is rarely or never justified. However, 7 percent of American Muslims reported it is sometimes justified and 1 percent said it is always justified. These numbers are much higher in other Muslim countries.
America has to vet better to protect itself from the violence of radical Islam.
I support a wall, drones, increased funding for Border Patrol as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
4. Please define your position on health care reform, especially as it relates to the Affordable Care Act.
I would study the Affordable Care Act and decide what can stay and what needs to go. I would support protecting people from a denial of coverage based upon a preexisting condition.
Also, Americans should not be forced into bankruptcy to pay for health care. The ACA has approximately 20,000 pages of regulations associated with the Act.
I am against a single payer health care system. Private industry has a far better record of running businesses than the Federal government.
I have put up proposals for health care reform on my website and social media sites. However, once again a change in legislation will likely require compromise as the prior attempt to repeal the ACA failed.
5. What is your position on federal funding for contraception, the Violence Against Women Act and reproductive rights?
I support the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). I spent almost 15 years as a county, state and federal prosecutor. I prosecuted a very large number of both domestic violence and sex crimes where the victim was a woman. I completely support this legislation.
I am fine with the federal government paying for contraception, even though it violates the tenants of the Catholic faith, however I am against federal funding for abortion.
I support the Hyde Amendment, which allows abortion in limited circumstances. Illinois already uses taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions with Medicaid at the state level.
6. What do you consider America's role in world affairs? What are we doing correctly to fill that role? What else should we be doing?
America's historical role in public affairs has to change. America cannot afford to commit substantial resources attempting to prop up Democratic forms of government all over the globe. Many of these attempts have failed miserably especially in the Middle East.
The reality is that there are many countries in which Democracy will not work.
The U.S. invasion of Iraq destabilized Iraq and in turn made Iran more dangerous because they no longer feared Iraq. This has resulted in Israel being less safe as Iran no longer worries about Iraq and instead focuses on Israel.
The Iraq War cost America approximately 2.5 trillion dollars and thousands of American deaths as well as many more Americans returning home with permanent disabilities. The U.S. cannot continue to engage in wars without a viable plan to accomplish the mission and get out.
Finally, the reasoning must be moral with American lives being the paramount consideration. The U.S. is able to keep America and the world safer by having military in countries where it makes logical sense to protect allies or monitor foes. Less than 1 percent of the federal budget goes to foreign aid and this is money well spent.
The United States cannot be a destination for refugees and impoverished people from all over the globe. Although, we should help these people to the extent the American citizens desire and America can afford.
7. Do you believe climate change is caused by human activity? What steps should government be taking to address the issue?
I know good and smart people that argue climate change is caused by human activity and others that argue it is not caused by human activity. I do not know what causes climate change, and I do not believe it has been settled. The Earth has undergone changes for as long as we know. I am not convinced that climate change is currently a threat to humankind. However, humans have suffered negative effects from prior misuse of the planet. Although, I do not believe the dire warnings that the End of the Earth is imminent we are called to be good stewards. The Environmental Protection Agency serves an important purpose. Corporate polluters should be prosecuted and sent to prison. We need to protect our water supply. We need to continue to spend money to research climate issues and protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat.