1) What is the No. 1 issue in your district and how would you address it?
The issue about which I hear most frequently is jobs. See following response.
2) How would you promote job growth in your district?
The Administration’s Jobs Bill contains a number of good ideas for job creation. Infrastructure repair and upgrade would create jobs in the District, and the injection of those dollars into the District would in turn flow into small businesses as customers returned to them. Making it easier for small business to obtain financing would allow for expansion of those businesses, resulting in still greater employment and economic activity. The Chicago metro area has tremendous economic and intellectual resources, and I would work with the business and labor communities and with local units of government to promote the development of new high-tech and green industries in the District.
3) Should the federal government cut spending and where?
I think that virtually everyone agrees that the federal government should reduce spending. The list of places where spending could be cut is lengthy, and there are undoubtedly areas in most Departments where some level of saving could be realized without substantial effect on program operations. Substantial savings would come through the closure of legacy overseas military bases. The cost of the Medicare program could be significantly reduced by eliminating the prohibition on the program’s negotiation of prescription drug prices and allowing it to use its immense purchasing power to gain more favorable pricing, as is done in the Medicaid program.
What we should not be doing, given the state of the economy, is cutting funding for programs that serve those most in need of support as a result of the lingering recession. Examples of such programs include the WIC program, community health centers, school lunches and food stamps, all of which have been targeted for cuts by some in Congress.
4) If Republican, which GOP presidential candidate do you support?
5) Give an example of something you’ve done that is bipartisanship in nature.
Never having held elective office, providing a meaningful example of personal bipartisanship would be difficult. However, as a veteran of several Boards of Directors, and as one whose career was spent in the often highly political environments of state government and academia, I can say that I have I can say that I am always ready to listen and learn, and love to engage in substantive discussion of the issues. I have always been more focused on best results than on besting the opposition.
6) Name one good policy idea that comes from the opposing party.
In the absence of more comprehensive health insurance reform, the individual mandate represents a good, originally Republican idea.
7) How do you define family values?
Love, commitment, trust, honesty, generosity and compassion.
8) What are your thoughts on the healthcare law?
In the absence of more substantive reform, I am in support of the Affordable Care Act. That some 50 million Americans remain without health insurance coverage, and 75 million more delay care because of the cost, is appalling. If there were a private sector solution to the health care issue, this nation’s innovative, entrepreneurial market would certainly have found it over the course of the many decades that have passed since the seriousness of the problem was first recognized and the public discussion began. I am supportive of a public solution to the problem, more particularly a national single-payer plan. Those who express concern that bureaucrats would be making decisions about their health care under a public system fail to recognize that it is bureaucrats who are making those decisions now, and that these current bureaucrats work for the immensely profitable private insurance industry.
9) Who is your political role model?
10) What’s on your iPod?
The Rolling Stones, Yo-Yo Ma, Ella Fitzgerald, Hayes Carll, Madeleine Peyroux, Eric Clapton, Eva Cassidy, Alison Krause, Robert Earl Keen, Bruce Springsteen, Etta James, George Gershwin, Richie Havens, The Beatles, Lyle Lovett, Nina Simone, Pink Martini, The Pretenders, Santana, Van Morrison and a number of NPR podcasts, along with much else.