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Second Congressional District, Republican Primary

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The questions

All candidates were invited to respond to questionnaires, although not all chose to participate. Click on a candidate's name to see the unedited response to each question.

Biographical information & experience
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor
Birthdate: 4/29/1948
Occupation: Newspaper publisher
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Marva

Education:

Attended Kankakee Community College
Received 27 years of training in child welfare and investigation procedures at the Illinois Department of Child and Family Serices
Training sponsored and conducted by various colleges and universities, Illinois State, Governor's State, Northwestern University and others.

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

Kankakee County Black Republican Organization
Kankakee County Republican Central Committee
Pembroke and Hopkins Park Business Association
Association of African American Journalist
Kankakee NAACP

Have you held elective or appointive political office or been employed by any branch of government?

Pembroke School Board District 259
Employed by the Illinois Department of Perwsonnel
Employed by the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services as a Child Welfare Worker and Lead Investigator for Child Abuse and Neglect for Kankakee County

Please list jobs or contracts you, members of your immediate family or business partners have had with government.

Job coach with the Illinois Department of Human Services

Woodworth
Birthdate: 7/10/1971
Occupation: Professor/Olivet Nazarene University
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Hilary

Education:

Bachelor of Science degree in Geology/Environmental Science
Master of Arts degree in Philosophy of History
Juris Doctor in general Law

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

Have you held elective or appointive political office or been employed by any branch of government?

Please list jobs or contracts you, members of your immediate family or business partners have had with government.

Campaign information
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

Campaign headquarters: 36 Dixie Highway, Momence, Illinois
Website: under construction
Campaign manager: Mike Taylor
Campaign budget: My estimated campaign budget is $5,000
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
Ozinga Construction - $1,000
Kankakee County Black Republican Organization - $500.00
Dr. Baily Mason - $200.00
James Cox - $100.00
Victor Lewis - $500.00

Woodworth

Campaign headquarters: 630 Robert Drive, Bourbonnais
Website: www.WoodworthForCongress.com
Campaign manager: Matthew Van Dyke
Campaign budget:
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
As of the date of answering this questionnaire, I have not yet accepted campaign funds

What are your top priorities for the nation?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

The top priority is to create the environment through increased educational opportunities and infrastructure development to attract jobs and cutting the taxes on business to promote increased investment in the creation of business which will increase the number of available jobs.
Cut unfair trade laws that permit other nations to take advantage, through low wages over American firms.
As a newspaper publisher since July 2, 1972 I have had the opportunity to observe first hand the negative impact of government on small business owners. It is important that government regulations and taxes be reduced so that small business owners can expand their businesses and hire more workers.

Woodworth

America needs to get working again. We've transplanted our industries to other nations and become dependent on China for much of our manufacturing. We need to bring those jobs back to America.
We also need to get America back on track, representing and working for the people that make up our country, eliminate special interests that detract our legislators from their constituency.
We need a fair tax code that requires a fair and reasonable share be paid, while encouraging job and economic growth.
And America needs to get out of debt through a balanced budget and deficit reduction.

What are your top priorities for your congressional district?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

The top priority of the 2nd District is the creation of an environment that promotes job creation. To attract businesses through improved infrastructure development and to take full advantage of the available national airports, shipping facilities, and highway networks as well as a well qualified work force.

Woodworth

District 2 needs career-level employment. What we don't need is an influx of minimum-wage jobs. This district is serviced by the Metra Electric line, Amtrak, Canadian National railway, shipping canals, three major highways, and some of the hardest working people in Chicagoland. It's a prime location for major industries and companies to place significant job opportunities, and should be utilized.

The nation's economy has yet to recover. What are the causes of the weak economy, and what should be done to speed its recovery?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

I believe the slow recovery of the economy has much to do with the high taxes on businesses which causes business owners to seek to expand. I believe lowering the federal tax will help generate investment in business. Right now it is less costly for many firms to relocate out of the country. I also believe government should get out of the business of bailing out troubled industries like the auto industry and let the market forces prevail. I also believe the "Death Tax" is responsible for the lack of investment by many wealth business owners and it is an incentive for those firms to move to other nations.

Woodworth

There is no easy fix to the economy--we live in a complex economic society. Our current economic situation has America in a slow downward spiral. Corporations seeking to cut costs send manufacturing overseas and eliminates domestic jobs. Instead, we should be encouraging investment into American manufacturing, which brings the money back to the American consumer.

Should revenue increases, in the form of new taxes, higher taxes or more broadly imposed taxes, be part of the solution to crafting a more balanced federal budget and reducing the national debt?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

More taxes will only serve to harm the economy. Higher taxes is one of the primary reasons we as a nation are experiencing the present decline. I favor a flat tax. I don't believe that a special tax rate for the very wealthy is American. Instead, I believe the tax rate should be at the same rate for all Americans.

Woodworth

The answer is not higher or lower taxes, but instead lies within crafting a smarter and updated tax code. The last major overhaul of the tax code was over 25 years ago, before the internet existed for popular use, and drawn to address a Reagan economy.
A new tax code that takes globalization into account and makes more sense for individuals. The code needs to encourage new business development within the States, and get our people back to earning a living and achieving the American dream.

Many Republican members of Congress have signed the Grover Norquist pledge not to support a tax increase of any kind at any time. Have you, or would you, sign this pledge? Why or why not?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

I would sign the Grover Norquist pledge not to support a tax increase of any kind except in the case of declared war.

Woodworth

The "Grover Norquist" pledge is applicable when adjusting the current tax code, but becomes less relevant when undertaking the kind of complete and comprehensive tax reform that our economy needs. On the other hand, the Americans for Tax Reform have many solid ideas, as in creating greater transparency in regulation, reduction in spending, and research into alternative energy.

What is the role of compromise in ending the political deadlock on fundamental goals such as entitlement reform and deficit reduction? When and how would you compromise?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

I believe the role of compromise in ending political deadlock is possible when both sides, Republicans and Democrats, put aside some of their posturing for the media and devote attention to working towards the public good. My experience as a businessman has taught me the value of working for win, win situations when this can be done without violating core values.

Woodworth

The operation of government, or any business, requires a compromise between demands. My time as a lawyer has taught me that rarely one party will ever get everything they ask for. History has instead demonstrated that when two entities come to the negotiation table and refuse to budge, it has catastrophic consequences. Imagine a union strike in which neither the union nor management is willing to compromise--the business would fail and everyone would be out of a job.

Does the Social Security program need reform? What exactly should be done?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

The social security program should be reformed, but instead of cutting benefits, I believe benefits should be increased so that seniors can have a livable income.
I believe that by raising the benefits that those who pay into the system will do so with less objection because they will know that the system will be better for them.
There should be no borrowing from the Social Security system for other purposes.

Woodworth

Yes, according to the Government Accountability Office, Social Security is secure until 2041, but the SS Trust Fund will decline rapidly after that. Few of the current proposals are acceptable--immediately decreasing benefits shifts the burden onto our seniors, while the feasibility of private investment needs more research. Any solution to the problem will require a multifaceted approach; there is no single "fix" to the problem.

How would you reform Medicare? Be as specific as possible.
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

There is more fraud in the Medicare program than any other federal program. I would reform the program and support programs that will help focus on more competition in medical fields and limit the costs of medical care for seniors.
Although the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which Congressed passed in 2012 helps improve the finances of the program, the retirement of Baby Boomers will place a more serious burden on the program. A change in the eligibility would do some good in reducing the costs of Medicare and shift the responsibility on to individuals and other health care providers. I believe false claims and kickbacks and other frauds need to be prosecuted and laws should expand to include more fines and prison times for Medicare fraud.

Woodworth

Support the Ryan-Wyden bipartisan proposal, which opens up insurance competition for seniors coverage while imposing cost limitations, and providing greater coverage for our seniors.

Is there a problem of a growing income and wealth gap in the United States? Is there a problem of unequal opportunity? What, if anything, should government do about this?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

Yes there is a growing income and wealth gap but I don't believe it is the result of unequal opportunity. The only involvement that the government has been involved with that has resulted in unequal opportunity is when the government chose the winners and loosers in the auto industry. And when the President decided to give low interest loans to firms that are connected to his campaign doners.

Woodworth

In a depressed economy and high unemployment, the disparity of income becomes more pronounced. Government needs to encourage reinvestment into the American workforce, manufacturing, and small business to get Americans working again.

Who is to blame for the home mortgages collapse?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

The bankers who loaned funds to people who could not afford the homes and the buyers who took advantage of the Community Investment Act to get loans they would not be able to repay.

Woodworth

There are too many factors involved to allow for blame to be assigned. Some blame the banks for giving credit to undeserving individuals while others blame individuals for signing subprime adjustable rate mortgages.

What, if anything, should be done to assist Americans whose homes are financially "under water" and face foreclosure?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

Those who can afford to pay a lower payment should be given that opportunity and those who can not should have to have the homes forclosed upon. The market should decide.

Woodworth

A foreclosure is a lose-lose situation for both the bank and the owner. In circumstances where the owners have a stable income but cannot afford the increased mortgage payment, banks should be encouraged to renegotiate a temporary reduction in the interest rate until the house becomes financially viable.

Is global warming real? Is it man-made? What, if anything, should be done about it?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

I don't believe that global warming exists but I do believe we should invest in alternative energy sources.

Woodworth

The question is largely irrelevant--regardless if warming is a result of a natural cycle or man-made increased CO2 production, it's necessary to recognize that American industry, commerce, and the economy require oil to operate.
A proper solution should include both development of alternative energy technology while recognizing the necessity for oil production. Oil is not a renewable resource, and planning for the future requires that we invest into alternative energy sources.
As oil dependency is gradually replaced with alternative "green" technology, the inevitable consequence will also address global warming concerns.

What is the role of the federal government in promoting "green" alternatives to fossil fuels? What are those alternatives?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

To promote and invest in alternative energy sources like solar and wind energy.

Woodworth

The federal government should promote development of alternative energy--currently the two most viable are wind and solar energy. America can not allow itself to be discouraged because of the Solyndra failure. Failure gives us the experience to find a solution to a problem we didn't know existed before we tried.
Alternative energy will not totally replace fossil fuels in the near future, but it will reduce our dependence.

Is waterboarding a form of torture? On what basis do you make this assertion? Should the United States engage in waterboarding under any circumstances?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

Yes, waterboarding is a form of torture, but if it is deemed needed and necessary to save the lives of Americans than I support it!

Woodworth

It is unconscionable to think that America would ever use this method to extract confessions from American citizens accused of a crime. Additionally, America would be outraged to learn that citizens abroad had been subjected to this treatment when accused of a crime in another nation. Therefore waterboarding should not be permitted.

Do you support the legalization or de-criminalization of marijuana, either on a state or national level? Have you ever personally smoked marijuana?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

No I don't support the legalization of any drugss and I believe that all elected officials, including the Chief Executive should be required to take random drug tests.

Woodworth

I do not support legalization of marijuana, however, the current penalty structures for punishment seem too harsh and have a deep negative impact on the offender. I agree with Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey that we need to "be smart on crime," but that the consequences of decriminalization needs to be weighed out more.
I have never smoked marijuana nor been exposed to it.

Iran, according to a new United Nations report, is covertly at work building a nuclear bomb. Should Iran be stopped, and how? Please explain the merits of international sanctions versus military action.
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

I believe Iran should be halted before it is able to build a nuclear bomb. The leaders there have already said they want to destroy Isreal, in a sense they have said that when they can, they will use the bomb.
Example: If your neighbor, living on the other side of a fence, called out to you and said, when I assemble my shotgun and get my bullets, I am going to kill you and all those on your side of the fence, (whould you wait until he gets his shotgun assembled, get his bullets ready and maybe practice his aim or would you, if you believed his threats, and had a shotgun, shot him?)

Woodworth

The United Nations report is largely based on circumstantial evidence, but nothing conclusive--evidenced by conflicting remarks by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. International sanctions by both Middle East and Western nations pushing for Iran to open up inspections is an appropriate response. Iran is positioning itself as a Mid-East power, and if it actually demonstrates aggressive belligerence or evidence of nuclear production necessary for weaponization, a military response may be appropriate to protect American interests. Until then, the Western response should continue through diplomatic sanctions.

How would you define "success" for the United States in the war in Afghanistan? Do you support the President's plan and timetable for withdrawing American troops?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

I think it is impossible to find success in Afghanistan and that the President should rely on the military leaders to decide when to leave.

Woodworth

Afghanistan needs a government capable of regulating itself, but one that is formed out of and operated by its own people. But outside governments can not impose a form of government not supported by the people it means to govern. If Afghanistan has been stabilized, America needs to withdraw its troops, allow the Afghans to take control of their own borders, and provide diplomatic assistance to allow the nation to develop its own style.

The No Child Left Behind Act is overdue for reauthorization. Do you support the Administration's blueprint for reauthorization, the bill that recently passed the Senate Education Committee, or some other alternative?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

No I don't support the reauthorization plan. I believe educators and business leaders should examine the plan and develop a more reasonable plan that addresses the problems that are reflected in low test scores of students and the high failure rates in our public schools. I think the voucher system will do much to correct most problems in our schools.

Woodworth

The No Child Left Behind Act is overdue for reform to address the reality of education. The Adequate Yearly Progress measurement may judge school performance, but largely provides no remedy for improvement. Instead of outright reauthorization, the government would benefit from re-evaluating the Act, taking into consultation both scholars in education and actual schoolteachers, and forming policy that meets national expectations while providing local support to the educator in the classroom.

Do you support a third airport in the region? If so, how would you make it happen?
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    ALL
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    Taylor
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    Woodworth
Taylor

No, I do not support a third airport in Peotone as I don't believe it is needed. There maybe a need for a third airport somewhere else in the region and for that I would be open to consider but I don't believe it is fair to invade Peotone and disrupt the lives of the people making them sell their homes for fractions of their real value and destroy over 150 years of farming tradition in that community. We have O'Hare, the Gary and Chicago international airport and Midway and they offer expansion opportunities.

Woodworth

There are a number of questions that need to be answered first. Will there be carriers willing to use the airport with the probable expansion at O'Hare International airport? Is there adequate access and will people be willing to fly into an airport that is still an hour away from Chicago? Is the current operations of Gary/Chicago International Airport an indicator of success at the Peotone location?
There needs to be discussions that bring all stakeholders to the table to establish its viability.

The race
The candidates
James H. Taylor Sr.
Brian Woodworth
The district
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