Randy Ramey: Candidate profile
City: Carol Stream
Office sought: State Representative, 45th District
Occupation: Midwest Director For Tips, A National Buying Cooperative
Education: BS in Restaurant Management, University Of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Civic involvement: Wayne Township Republican Committeeman: 1992-PresenChairman; 2004, 2010, 2012 Vice-Chairman: 2000, 2002; Du Page County Republican Chairman: 2011-2012; Master Mason: 4Th Degree, 2008-Present; Wayne Township Food Pantry Volunteer; Baps Volunteer; Bartlett Veterans Memorial Foundation Board Member
Elected offices held: Wayne Township Supervisor: 2017-Present; State Representative, 55Th District: 2005-2013; Wayne Township Trustee: 1998-2005
Incumbent? If yes, when were first elected: No
Questions and Answers
1. What is your position on placing a 'Fair Maps' amendment on the November ballot? If the amendment makes the ballot after the primary, will you support it? Why or why not?
I support the Fair Map Amendment, I have passed petitions for it and I will support it on the ballot. It is time to take politics and gerrymandering out of the process. Far too long the party in power has manipulated the process to keep control. It is time the people had the opportunity to change this practice.
2. What are the most important components that should be included in legislative ethics reform? What will you do to help them come to pass?
Recommendations I would include would be strengthening the powers of the Legislative Inspector General and making it a non-partisan position, more financial detail in the annual lawmakers' disclosure statements, fair maps, term limits for legislative leaders, rule changes to rein in power of legislative leadership and to stop the revolving door from legislator to lobbyist. These ideas are not new but never get to have a vote. I would introduce these pieces of legislation and work to have them debated and passed.
3. What should the state do to address the still-growing problems with its key pension programs?
To truly fix the problem, we must pursue a constitutional amendment that allows for changes in future benefit growth, while protecting what has been earned to date. This is the only approach that balances the interests of both retirees and taxpayers. The legislature should stop passing pension enhancements.
4. Describe at least two circumstances in which you have shown or would show a willingness and capacity to act independently of the direction or demands of party leadership. Do you support term limits for majority and minority leaders in both chambers?
I have on many occasions bucked the will of leadership and moved in my own direction. My decisions are based on my beliefs and the will of my voters. I will continue to make those decisions regardless of requests by various leaders.
I support term limits for leadership. Speaker Madigan has been in charge for 36 years. Prolonged incumbencies have resulted in a punishing tax burden, unsustainable pension debt and a credit rating ranked worst in the nation. Let's bring accountability by enacting reasonable limits on these leadership roles.
5. What should lawmakers be doing to stem out-migration from Illinois?
Tax increases have been the biggest driver of out-migration in Illinois. We need to pursue real reforms that will put the state on firm fiscal footing. Pension reform and spending caps can create more stability for families and business. Property tax reform is a necessity. Many people are driven out of their homes because of the burden of high property taxes. The State needs to take responsibility of its constitutional mandates, educational funding being on the forefront.
6. Do you believe climate change is caused by human activity? What steps should government be taking to address the issue?
Climate change happens all the time and every activity on Earth contributes to this. We should continue to be watchful of our natural resources and make sure we work with business to set best practices.
7. The graduated income tax is designed with the intent to reduce taxes for 97 percent of Illinoisans. Do you believe that will happen? Why or why not? What assurances can you offer voters?
The so-called Fair Tax is a scam. The rate stated for lowering is but .2% on the current rate. There are not enough rich people to cover the under-funded pensions, the budget deficits and backlog of unpaid bills. By opening up the Constitution the party in power will be able to change the tax brackets and raise taxes at will. I have and will continue to fight against this and other tax increases. I have a record in the legislature of voting no on tax increases when they were presented.