Republican candidate for Illinois Senate (57th district)
Responses to our questions
Why do you think it has been so difficult for Springfield to get a balanced budget passed and signed?
Because the budget is outrageous and that is caused by the politicians that have taxed and spent. We will never get the budget down until some power is taken away from the politicians and we the people guide them correctly.
Do you believe the state budget can be balanced going forward without new sources of revenue?
No. Not only no, but hell no. If I elected I will never vote for a tax increase. I will present legislation for part time positions to take a 50% cut in pay, no benefits and no pensions. The golden benefits for politicians have caused us these monetary problems.
What new sources, if any, would you support? Please be specific.
Tax incentives to bring new business into the state, which would create jobs to benefit everyone.
Do you support a constitutional amendment favoring a graduated income tax? Please explain.
I can not answer that until I get elected. I talk not with the leadership of the state Senate, but the people. If sent to Springfield by the good people I will cast a vote for what the people think, not what I think. I will not represent the party interest like the current elected politicians.
Please list five areas where you would cut spending.
Again, I have not studied the budget at this point. I don't feel as if I could give the people an intelligent answer. But before I would tell someone the 5 areas where I would cut the budget, I would speak to my bosses. The voters of the 57th district of the great state of Illinois.
Since the Illinois Supreme Court's 2015 decision tossing bipartisan pension reform, what can and should the legislature do to control pension costs, if anything?
First and foremost I think I can say this. I would cut every pension by 25% and cut every political position by 50%. I would bring in half pay for state senate and legislation for no benefits or pensions as these are part time positions and most elected have other income. I would again ask the people of my district as what those people want is the answer I would live by.
Should all new state workers be moved into defined contribution plans?
Yes, a decent salary is one thing, but excess pension is another. There is always someone willing to work for a fair and honest pension plan.
What should the governor do to control pension costs during union contract talks? What would you do?
Again to give you an honest answer I would have to study the situation and converse with the governor. A smart person never goes to war without a plan. If there is no plan, there is no victory.
Illinois lost more residents than any other state in 2016 and the trend appears to be holding for 2017. What is the No. 1 reason, in your opinion, for the exodus?
The lack of leadership in both parties and the failure of both parties to put the people first instead of their political survival.
What should Illinois do — via tax policy, spending or other policy means — to keep residents from leaving?
As stated before, get tax incentives to business that will bring jobs which will bring people in. People in Illinois have been taxed so long, it may be hard to bring people back to this state.
What should Illinois do to promote job creation?
Become business friendly, by giving reasonable tax breaks to companies who will come to the state and create jobs.
Did you support the education funding reform bill that the governor signed in 2017?
I would have to say yes, I believe without reading its entirety, but the bottom line always is it's not what I support, it's what my bosses, the people of the 57th district support. I represent all of them if they voted for me or not.
What, if anything, should the legislature do to help Chicago Public Schools?
Again, my belief, which will not impact my vote on the Senate floor, I will vote for my people. Having said that its a shame the way the Chicago school system is run. I think it is due to the corruption of Madigan and his political thugs. They do not serve the people in both houses, they are destroying the people in both houses.
Do you support opportunity scholarships included in the funding reform bill? Or will you try, if elected, to eliminate that program?
Again, I am not actively aware on all the criteria of that bill. If elecyed I will give it my utmost attention, but as I have said, I will not make a vote until I poll the people of the 57th district. I want everyone to remember I will represent everyone in the district and I will not represent either party any day in office. Party politics put us here and public servants will have to get us out.
Should Illinois do more to regulate campaign fundraising? If so, what?
In this country people should be able to spend what they want to support their candidate, as long as it is done in a legal and fair fashion.
What help, if any, are you receiving from your party and its leaders, including staff help, advice, legal assistance, money and resources? Be specific.
I am receiving no help. I will never ask for help. I will run my own campaign and spend my own money. I do this as I stand by what I said before. I will represent the people. By taking money you become obligated to a political party. The only people I will answer to are the people of the 57th district.
If you are an incumbent, give an example of a time you worked across the aisle on an important issue.
If you are an incumbent, give at least one example of a time you did not vote with your party on a significant issue.
Do you support term limits? If so, will you commit to sponsoring legislation and/or lobbying your colleagues on behalf of a constitutional change?
I personally only support term limits because after a politician does so many favors, it's hard to defeat them no matter how poor their record is. It becomes and election of influence and favors. But, I may support anything. Supporting and voting is a different matter. If I am sent to Springfield, I will vote according to the wishes of the people of the district, no matter if I support their decision or not.
Do you support changes to the redistricting process? If so, will you commit to sponsoring legislation and/or lobbying your colleagues on behalf of a constitutional change?
Yes, I personally support it, but again, I will have to poll the people to see what they want. I personally believe in fair redistricting. But, whatever party is in power they redistrict for their benefit, not the people.
Tell us a little about your family.
I am the only surviving person in my family. I can tell you that my family came up poor, came up proud, came up decent, and loved this great country of ours. They were all patriotic and proud Americans.
Tell us something about you that might surprise us.
As crazy a I may act and sound my goal in life at this point is to make a difference not a friend. At times to make a difference people aren't happy. Because to make a difference, you have to make a change and people don't like change.
Candidates for Illinois Senate (57th district)
- Tanya Hildenbrand (No survey)
- Bob Romanik