Republican candidate for Illinois House (42nd district)
Responses to our questions
Why do you think it has been so difficult for Springfield to get a balanced budget passed and signed?
Power struggle. Previous Governor Quinn and current Senate President Cullerton fought with Mike Madigan over the budget, and now Gov Rauner is forced to do the same. There is not enough revenue, even after a Democrat majority 32% permanent income tax increase, to balance the current expenses that the State endures. For the state to meet its current expenditures, many programs would need to be drastically reduced financially. Key program cuts will hurt different politicians. Nobody wants to lose financial benefits in their own backyard even if its for the betterment of the State.
Do you believe the state budget can be balanced going forward without new sources of revenue?
Yes!. We need to rank order all expenditures. We need to evaluate and account for all past expenditures. Once we have that data, we can make sure all the funds are dispersed in a fair and systematic process. Why is it when the state funds a program one year, that no one reviews the success or failure of that program? All continuation funding should be examined every year! The $5 Billion increase from the 32% tax increase last year should easily cover the future budgets without any additional revenues.
What new sources, if any, would you support? Please be specific.
Until Structural reforms are made in Illinois, any potential new revenues should not be considered. We need to live within our means just the same as every Family in Illinois does daily.
Do you support a constitutional amendment favoring a graduated income tax? Please explain.
We just absorbed a massive 32% income tax increase. Illinois is still falling million of dollars deeper in the hole every week. A graduated income tax without definitions of what the new graduated tax brackets are would be wrong. I am against new taxes and believe we must pass a budget staying within our means.
Please list five areas where you would cut spending.
1.Medicaid. We need to get these costs under control. Efforts need to be concentrated in enacting a managed care system. Medicaid is now over 1/3 of the State's General funds budget. 2. Reduce redundancy organization and commissions. 3.Merge the offices of the Comptroller and Treasurer. This was a key item during the last state wide election and still has not been enacted. WHY NOT? 4. Illinois State Thompson Building, Sell it and have offices only in Springfield. 5.Remove Retirements from Elected State Officials. No Citizen Legislature should be in office long enough to receive retirement! Anyone who has stayed long enough as an Elected Illinois State Official to receive a pension should be FIRED as the state is in terrible shape.
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?
The State has over $120 BILLION unfunded pension liability! Ignoring it won't make it go away.While the employees have done nothing wrong in receiving those benefits, previous politicians have made promises the state can not sustain. I do believe a 401(k) style plan and giving existing workers the option to have their own self manage accounts is a big first step. We need to look at a Constitutional Amendment allowing a reform of pension benefits going forward that does not diminish benefits already earned.
Should all new state workers be moved into defined contribution plans?
Yes, I strongly support this. I do believe a 401(k) style plan with a state employer match is the best option for new state workers.
What should the governor do to control pension costs during union contract talks? What would you do?
Enact a wage freeze until .an agreement is accomplished. The State is behind $8.7 billion in bills and the taxpayers can not afford to go further in debt. We need pension and health care reforms!
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?
Loss in confidence of State Government. Rising taxes, loss of businesses, loss of jobs, loss of revenue to pay pensions are all reason for the citizens to be disgruntled with the elected officials. We need to restore the faith in Illinois and get Illinois working again.
What should Illinois do — via tax policy, spending or other policy means — to keep residents from leaving?
I would suggest a four year "Property Tax Freeze". Having the highest property taxes in the nation is not the notoriety I want for Illinois. The State is taxing families out of their homes and it must stop.
What should Illinois do to promote job creation?
Create pro-growth and pro-jobs bills that will help job creations in Illinois. We need to target manufactures to move to Illinois and help them with tax credits that will create jobs and help our economic development.
Did you support the education funding reform bill that the governor signed in 2017?
I considered this a bailout for the Chicago School system and did not benefit School Districts in my district. Many schools in the district are owed millions of dollars from over the past five years that has yet to be paid. Programs and staff are being cut. Our kids deserve better.
What, if anything, should the legislature do to help Chicago Public Schools?
The legislature should always consider children's education one of our top priorities.But, CPS should not be getting more state funds than the rest of the children in other communities.
Do you support opportunity scholarships included in the funding reform bill? Or will you try, if elected, to eliminate that program?
I do not support this program. The State is not able to afford the million dollar tax breaks from this program.
Should Illinois do more to regulate campaign fundraising? If so, what?
Yes! As I am running my campaign, I am not being helped by any PAC. One of my opponents is getting all their mailings and television ads paid for by a PAC that is worth up-to $200,000. The election is no longer about the best candidate, but who can be the most popular by multi-media sources. I feel campaign funding should be limited by race to specified limits. For State Representative races a suggested limit would be $50,000. For State Senate races $100,000. We need a level playing field.
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 running my campaign and am working a grass roots effort to gain support across the 42nd district. I have received the support of the DuPage County Republican Chairmen and the nine Republican Township Chairmen. I seek and receive their advice daily.
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 support a ten year term limit on all legislative offices. I will commit to sponsoring and lobbying for this constitutional change. No one in Illinois should be a lifetime politician. A Citizen Legislature is needed of citizens who are there to Improve the State, not their own bank accounts. If I cannot get it done in my short tenure there (a maximum of 10 years), then someone else can try with new leadership and ideas to get it done.
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?
As for redistricting - give it to an outside agency that mathematically draws compact rectangles based upon population count, not by the way people voted. Why should we be making ridiculous splatter-grams to elect our representatives? I will commit to sponsoring and lobbying for this constitutional change.
Tell us a little about your family.
I have been married to my wife Judith, an educator, for 36 years. Together we have three adult children who all are USAF Veterans too!
Tell us something about you that might surprise us.
Was on the cover of Life magazine. Was on the Air Force Presidential Honor Guard when the US Hostages were release from IRAN. White House Ceremony and I was honored to be the USAF Flag bearer.