suntimes
LUMINOUS 
Weather Updates

Eighth Congressional District, Republican Primary

.

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
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh
Birthdate: 12/27/1961
Occupation:
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Helene Miller Walsh

Education:

I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Iowa and a Master of Arts in Public Policy degree from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

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

No.

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

None.

Campaign information
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

Campaign headquarters: 830 W. Route 22 #B56, Lake Zurich, IL 60047
Website: walshforcongress.com
Campaign manager:
Campaign budget: The campaign’s budget is constantly evolving. This will certainly be one of the most high-profile and expensive House races in the country.
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
While we do not release donor information, it is publicly available at www.fec.gov.

What are your top priorities for the nation?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

Cutting government spending is my top priority and should be the top priority for the nation. Additionally, the tax code needs to be reformed and simplified. The real engine of success is the private economy and government must get out of the way so that it can get to work. America would be best served by a smaller government that spends less money. Our economy needs a government that will get out of its way, stop spending the American people’s money, and truly help small businesses. As the chairman of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access, I constantly hear the reason they are unable to create jobs is because they do not know what is coming around the corner from Congress. Uncertainty is killing businesses and is one of the primary reasons for our weak economy.

What are your top priorities for your congressional district?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

In addition to the priorities outlined above, I believe that one of the most important duties of a representative is to listen to the folks back home, which is why I’ve held more Town Halls than practically any other member of Congress and I will continue to do so as long as I am in office.

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?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

I believe that the causes of our weak economy are over regulation, tax uncertainty and government debt. All of these factors have combined to create a lethal combination which is holding back this economy. As difficult and complex as these problems are, the solutions are quite simple: government must get out of the way, the exact opposite of what this president has done. What we need is to repeal burdensome and unnecessary government regulations, enact permanent tax relief, simplify the tax code and balance the federal budget.

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?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

In order to balance the budget and fund necessary government functions, we need to increase revenue. However, I disagree with the president and Democrats on how to go about doing so. I believe we increase revenue by cutting taxes rather than by increasing them. We increase revenue by growing the economy.

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?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

Yes, I signed the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” to oppose any and all tax increases. But folks who know me realize that I don't need to sign a pledge to insure that I will not raise taxes. I will never vote to raise taxes, regardless of whether or not I sign a pledge.

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?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

Eventually we have to compromise, but compromise is difficult with a president who has moved the country so far in such a destructive direction. Compromise implies willingness on the part of all those involved and the Democrats do not want to reform entitlements and they don't want to reduce the deficit – they want to push a social agenda that I believe is destructive to the prosperity of all Americans. On those issues, as with many other issues, Republicans will have to lead the discussion and provide the leadership to do what’s necessary.

Does the Social Security program need reform? What exactly should be done?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

Absolutely, the Social Security program needs reform. As it stands now entitlement programs are the largest part of the federal government’s budget and it is simply unsustainable. I support important reforms to the Social Security system and believe that all reforms need to be on the table. What we cannot do is nothing – the system is broken, the system will go broke and those who are paying in now will not get what they are paying for – and that is wrong.

How would you reform Medicare? Be as specific as possible.
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

I believe that Medicare is in dire need of significant reform. The entire model by which it offers support to Americans is seriously flawed, racked with fraud and abuse by all parties involved – it is necessary that we make structural changes. All reforms should be on the table and available for discussion, debate and negotiation so that those who actually need the safety net will be able to receive its benefit.

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?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

The American Dream is firmly rooted in the ideal of success and I do not believe in penalizing anyone for succeeding. The notion of a “wealth gap” is overblown by the media and is not the true problem. The problem is growth. What America needs is a growing economy so that everyone can do better and get richer. Class warfare has never been an American problem because every American hopes to succeed and become wealthy. We ought to focus on making the economic pie bigger, not slicing up pieces from the current pie.

Who is to blame for the home mortgages collapse?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

In a word, government. Government policy is to blame as many borrowers who gov ahead of themselves. The financial industry simply followed the example set by federal regulators and began issuing sub-prime high interest loans and then packaging them into securities to sell as a financial product. The only thing the government should do is stay out of the housing and lending business and ensure there is a vibrant private mortgage industry. The best housing policy is a job -- we need people working.

What, if anything, should be done to assist Americans whose homes are financially "under water" and face foreclosure?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

The government has tried to assist homeowners in financial difficulty, but the programs haven’t worked. The extent of government involvement should be restricted to encouraging banks to help with borrowers. The government, through Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac, already control 80% of all mortgages in the United States. The best mortgage program is a job.

Is global warming real? Is it man-made? What, if anything, should be done about it?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

The science is not clear yet. Certainly, man's potential role in global warming has not been definitively determined. The role of the government should be to continue to research the subject. I do believe that we need to protect the environment and our planet for our children and grandchildren. We need energy options and choices with a broad mix of energy sources upon which to move America toward clean energy and self-sufficiency.

What is the role of the federal government in promoting "green" alternatives to fossil fuels? What are those alternatives?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

Again, the role of government is to research and fund the science on all forms of alternative energies. However, I do not believe it’s government's role to promote or subsidize any energy source, including fossil fuels.

Is waterboarding a form of torture? On what basis do you make this assertion? Should the United States engage in waterboarding under any circumstances?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

I do not believe that waterboarding is a form of torture. Our government needs to use every tool in its arsenal to win the war on terror. Federal authorities must legally have access to all available tools when necessary. This includes enhanced interrogation techniques, like waterboarding, which have been proven successful in obtaining vital information from foreign terrorists. The raid that killed Osama bin Laden was based on intelligence obtained through these methods. It saves American lives—civilian and military.

Do you support the legalization or de-criminalization of marijuana, either on a state or national level? Have you ever personally smoked marijuana?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

I do support the de-criminalization of marijuana and believe that the war on drugs, like many government programs, needs reform and adjustment.

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.
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

Iran cannot be allowed to develop and possess a nuclear bomb. I support immediate and strong international sanctions aimed at preventing Iran from continuing to develop a nuclear weapon. They should be isolated within the international community, sanctions with real teeth should be put in place. If strong sanctions like this fail to elicit the appropriate response from Iran, then I would support covert military action against key nuclear installations in Iran.

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?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

I would bring the troops home now. I consider the “middle of the road” solution chosen by our president to be a mistake. Chief among its many flaws is the fact that it gives our enemies a timetable. We must not impose arbitrary withdrawal timetables based on the American election calendar rather than conditions on the ground. We must remain steadfast in a clear strategy to defeat the insurgency and prevent Afghanistan from becoming a home for international terrorists once again.

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?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Walsh
Walsh

I would not vote for the Act’s reauthorization. It hasn't worked and local school districts, teachers and administrators don't want it. It is not the role of the federal government to regulate or set goals for K-12 education. The solution to improving our public schools is local control and competition. I firmly believe that school choice -- vouchers, charter schools, etc -- are the best reforms. As federal involvement in education has increased over the past 30 years, our test scores, standards, and results have all decreased. Something needs to change, and it begins with returning control to local school officials, local school boards, teachers, and parents.

The race
The candidates
Joe Walsh
The district
Loading...
Loading...
Latest News Videos
© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.

Comments  Click here to view or make a comment