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House of Representatives District 42, 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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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin
Birthdate: 1/1/1976
Occupation: District Director, US House of Representatives
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Beth

Education:

I am a graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, with a BA degree in Public Administration and Political Science.

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

CHARITABLE
Former Treasurer of the Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise
Former Treasurer of the Naperville Sunrise Foundation
Former Board Member of the United Way of DuPage and West Cook
Member, Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Naperville

PROFESSIONAL
Chairman, College of DuPage Board of Trustees
West Suburban Regional Chair, Illinois Community College Trustee Association
Member, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
Member, Association of Community College Trustees
Former Member of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce
Former Member of the Lisle Area Chamber of Commerce
Former Member of the Woodridge Area Chamber of Commerce

POLITICAL
Former Deputy Executive Director of the Illinois Republican Party
Former Executive Director of the DuPage County Republican Party
Former Chairman of the Federation of Illinois Young Republicans
Former Chairman of the Illinois College Republican Federation

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

Current Chairman of the College of DuPage Board of Trustees (elected April of 2007); Currently employed by the US House of Representatives as District Director for Congressman Joe Walsh (IL-8); was employed by the Village of Carol Stream and the State of Illinois as a student employee for one summer each during high school/college.

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

No contracts, only positions listed above.

Hage
Birthdate: 5/16/1972
Occupation: Attorney/Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
Marital status: Married 15 years
Spouse: Elizabeth

Education:

High School Diploma - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Juris Doctor - IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

DuPage County Bar Association
Chicago Lawyers' Chapter of the Federalist Society
National Eagle Scout Association
National Rifle Association
Republican National Lawyers' Association
DuPage County Young Republicans
Federation of Illinois Young Republicans
Young Republican National Federation
Chi Epsilon - Civil Engineering honor fraternity
Alpha Delta Phi - Legal fraternity
Theta Chi - College fraternity

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

Assistant State's Attorney - DuPage County State's Attorney's Office
Legal Counsel - Illinois Senate Republican Caucus
Paid Intern - Lee County Public Defender's Office
Paid Intern - Illinois Department of Transportation
Manager - University of Illinois College of Engineering Workstation Labs

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

Wife - University of Illinois College of Engineering Workstation Labs (retired)
Brother Dave - Illinois State Trooper
Sister Sara - urban planner, Villages of Woodridge and Willowbrook (retired)
Father Charles - Geologist, Illinois Department of Transportation (retired)
Mother Julie - Geologist, United States Geological Survey (retired)
Mother Julie - school teacher, Lee County Public Schools (retired)

Ives
Birthdate: 10/4/1964
Occupation: Senior Tax Advisor/ H& R Block and Bookkeeper/ Smith & Weik, LLC
Marital status: married
Spouse: Paul

Education:

Bachelor of Science in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Dean's List

Graduate-level accounting, tax and finance courses from Northern Illinois University

Extensive business and individual tax classes from H&R Block for last eight years

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

West Point Society of Chicago

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

Wheaton City Council - elected April 2011, currently serving
Milton Township Republican Committeewoman - elected 2004, currently serving

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

none

Pollastrini
Birthdate: 6/28/1967
Occupation: Attorney/Government & Public Relations Manager - Northwestern College
Marital status: Single
Spouse:

Education:

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Loyola University of Chicago (1989)

Returned to school 12 years later (part-time) while working full time:
Juris Doctor, DePaul University College of Law (2005)

I received my Law License in May 2006

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

DuPage County Bar Association

DuPage Justinian Society of Lawyers

National, Illinois & DuPage Republican Party

Illinois Lincoln Excellence in Public Service Series - 5 Years as State Board Member, 5 Years as Treasurer, Fellow in 1995

Wayne Township Republican Organization - 1st Vice Chairman (former Chairman - 2 terms; former Vice Chairman - 2 terms; former Secretary - 1 term)

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

Elected, DuPage County Regional Board of School Trustees, 1995-Present (current Vice Chairman of Board)

Elected, Carol Stream Library Board, 1995=2002

Employee, Illinois Senate, 1991=1996

Employee, DuPage County State's Attorney's Office, 1996-2005

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

Employee, Illinois Senate, 1991=1996 (Laura Pollastrini)

Employee, DuPage County State's Attorney's Office, 1996-2005 (Laura Pollastrini)

Campaign information
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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin

Campaign headquarters: PO Box 25, Naperville, IL 60566
Website: www.CarlinforStateRep.com
Campaign manager:
Campaign budget: My campaign budget is roughly $50,000 which will pay for mail, flyers and campaign yard signs.
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
At the time of completing this questionnaire:

$1,000 - Ron Gidwitz, Former Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education
$1,000 - Kory Atkinson, Roselle Village Trustee
$1,000 - James "Pate" Philip Campaign Committee

I also received a campaign loan from my college roommate who stood up in my wedding and smaller contributions from people throughout the 42nd District and DuPage County.

One candidate in this race has accepted more than $10,000 from individuals associated with a questionable political action committee called Illinois Liberty PAC - Dan Proft. News reports have detailed Proft's hundreds of thousands of dollars of no bid contracts from the town of Cicero. I encourage voters to look very closely at who is funding each candidate in this race by reviewing campaign disclosure documents available on the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

Hage

Campaign headquarters: P.O. Box 587, Wheaton, IL 60187
Website: www.votehage.com
Campaign manager: John Hoffman
Campaign budget: $100,000
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
Charles Hage - 18000
John Wright - 5000
Kendra Wright - 5000
Kathryn Harry - 5000
Gary Dahl - 2000

Ives

Campaign headquarters: 903 S. Hale St., Wheaton, IL 60189
Website: ives42.com
Campaign manager: Jeanne Ives
Campaign budget:
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
My campaign finance information is available at the State Board of Elections under the committee name "Friends of Jeanne Ives."

Pollastrini

Campaign headquarters: 821 Minnesota Circle - Carol Stream IL 60188
Website: laurapollastrini.com, (under construction)
Campaign manager:
Campaign budget: $40,000 -$50,000
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
Pro-Pak Industries, West Chicago - $3,000
Access Medical Supply, Inc., Schaumburg - $1,000
Albert & Christine Pollastrini, Huntley - $1,000
Robert Larsen, Wheaton - $1,000
John & Beth Hamparian, Streamwood - $500

What are your top priorities for your district?
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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin

TAXES - I will vote to repeal the recent income tax increase and fight property tax increases already being discussed in Springfield. I'm pleased to be endorsed by the political action arm of Taxpayers United of America, the largest taxpayer protection organization in Illinois with over 30,000 members and supporters.

JOBS - It is estimated that 20% of the residents in the 42nd District are either unemployed or significantly underemployed. As the unpaid Chairman of the College of DuPage Board of Trustees, I am the only candidate with a five year record of supporting workforce development and jobs initiatives. I will support similar efforts in Springfield to help get people back to work. Additionally, I will work to improve the tax and regulatory climate of Illinois which is strangling small businesses that employ 50% of all workers.

ETHICAL LEADERSHIP - Residents of the 42nd District deserve an ethical State Representative who will not become part of the problem in Springfield. I will turn down legislative pension benefits and sponsor legislation to make legislators ineligible for pensions. I will vote to eliminate the legislative scholarship program which has been used to reward campaign donors and family members of politicians and is now the subject of FBI investigations. I will also sponsor legislation to impose a waiting period on government officials preventing them from leaving office to immediately become Illinois lobbyists.

Hage

Jobs, business development, public safety, and taxes

Ives

1. Provide ethical leadership in all decision-making.

2. Repeal January 2011 tax increase on businesses and individuals.

3. Pension reform that recognizes the reality of our unfunded portion, its burden on our small businesses and individual taxpayers, and works to mitigate that future obligation in a fair manner to both taxpayers and state retirees.

4. Reduce state spending by auditing all programs and focusing on core services.

Pollastrini

Providing them with a full-time legislator, a state official they can contact daily with issues, concerns, problems, etc. Too many of our legislators work for the taxpayers part-time, and when they're not in Springfield, they're running their law practices. I intend to work full-time for the residents of the 42nd District, giving them my full and undivided attention.

Fair and equitable state funding of schools, regardless of location. DuPage County residents pay a lot in taxes, and the percentage of that money returning to our schools does not compare with the percentages being returned in other counties. I believe that needs to be addressed.

Creating a solid and open relationship between state and local government, including municipalities, park districts, libraries, fire protection, etc. within the 42nd District No unfunded mandates, open communication to ensure that what the General Assembly enacts doesn't adversely affect the operations of local government, and a working relationship whereby the needs of the local government are addressed in the General Assembly.

What is your top priority for the state?
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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin

STOP THE SPENDING - Illinois has a spending problem as evidenced by the state's billions of dollars of unpaid bills, projected $10 to $12 billion dollar budget deficit and $83 to $85 billion dollars of unfunded pension liabilities.

The General Assembly must immediately work to cut spending and eliminate inefficiencies and waste within government. Toward that end, I will sponsor legislation to combine the State Treasurer and Comptroller's offices, eliminate the office of Lt. Governor, eliminate many of the state Boards and Commissions that pay $80,000+ per year for one or two days of work per month, eliminate pensions for legislators and end the abused legislative scholarship program. I will also support significant pension reforms, workman's compensation reforms, and tort reforms.

Hage

Jobs and the economy

Ives

Expand economic opportunity in every way possible. This goal requires the state to reform pensions, reduce spending, and provide a fair tax system for all businesses.

Pollastrini

Having illinois live within its means! We must stop spending more than we're taking in! And we must stop borrowing to pay our debts and long-term commitments. That is a TOP priority!

Creating a more business-friendly environment so as to ensure long-term growth here in Illinois, thereby leading to the creation of JOBS, something very much in need here. Unstable business environments yield no growth at best, and diminishment of businesses at worst. Stablizing our business environment by 1)eliminating the corporate tax increase passed in January 2011; 2)addressing the numerous problems with the workman's comp laws; 3)treating all businesses fairly - not providing special perks to businesses that threaten to leave Illinois and doing nothing for the rest of the businesses. That'll make a good start!

We must address the extremely unfunded Pension System TODAY and stop kicking the issue down the street to deal with another day.

For incumbents, please list your accomplishments. For challengers, what unique strengths would you bring to the job of state lawmaker?
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    ALL
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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin

As mentioned, I have a five-year record of public service as an unpaid member of the College of DuPage Board of Trustees. In my time on the Board I've advocated and voted for fiscally conservative management practices which have eliminated waste and inefficiencies within college operations, increased COD's rainy day fund to 61% of its operating budget and preserved the college's AAA bond rating. Additionally, I've had the opportunity to oversee hundreds of millions of dollars of voter approved capital improvements on campus.

For the last year I've been employed by the US House of Representatives as District Director for Congressman Joe Walsh. I've had the privilege of assisting Congressman Walsh and his constituents who have lost loved ones serving overseas; small businesses trying to keep their doors open; residents losing their homes to foreclosure; and those having problems with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration and other government agencies.

My professional experiences, involvement in my community, and what I've learned as a father of three and six year old daughters combined will make me an effective State Representative. I won't forget where I come from and who I represent.

Hage

I am not a career politician and I work for a woman-owned small business. I am an Eagle Scout and I have an extensive background in math and science. I was once a public servant, being a former prosecutor and former Legal Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. I am therefore comfortable with figures, understand the perils of small enterprises in Illinois, and yet have a solid background in the legislative process. I have had great mentors in my youth, in college, and in my legal career. I am a new father who wants his young child to grow up with the same wonderful opportunities I had in this great state. I would combine this concern and my sense of public service with my depth of knowledge of how Springfield works and doesn't work so as to benefit my constituents and help get Illinois back on the right track.

Ives

1. Leadership: As a city council member, I have asked to tough questions to protect the taxpayers and have lead the fight to decrease taxes, reduce spending, and make decisions more transparent.

2. Knowledge: I understand how state regulation impacts municipalities' ability to manage their budgets. I have the tax and business background to know how public policy impacts our state economy.

3. Ethical: I live by the honor code I learned at West Point, "a cadet will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate those that do." My husband and I are raising our five children in this state and care about their and other children's futures. We are invested in this system.

Pollastrini

I bring 15 years of government experience - knowing how it works from the inside - coupled with 6 years in the private sector.

I bring a total of 24 years as a local government board member, accountable to the taxpayer and responding to the ups and downs of volatile economies.

I bring with me the understanding of the trials and tribulations of operating a family business, and how the actions of government affect the decisions made in those family businesses.

I bring an expertise as an attorney specializing in local government law. I advised mayors, village trustees, park district commissioners, library board members, fire protection district trustees, township supervisors, and township highway commissioners on the operations of their government, responding to legal questions, drafting ordinances, responding to litigation, and addressing any and all concerns regarding their authority and responsibility.

And I bring with me conservative values and a respect for the taxpayer and their hard-earned money. Money is better left in the pocket of a taxpayer to spend in the economy then to be given to Illinois government where there has been a history of waste and abuse. I understand that completely!

The state public employee pension system is severely underfunded and paying down the debt threatens to crowd out spending on core state services. Do you support reducing pension benefits not yet earned through a bill like SB512, which offers state workers three options for earning future pension benefits. Should police officers and firefighters be included in a reduced pension system?
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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin

Elected officials in Springfield, both Republican and Democrat, have failed the people of Illinois by not properly funding Illinois’ five pension funds. I will support legislation like SB512 which begins to address the state’s $83 to $85 billion dollars of unfunded pension liabilities.

The state should honor commitments made to current police officers and firefighters but I would be open to supporting legislation which gives future first responders the option of opting out of the pension system entirely for a defined contribution alternative.

Hage

This is the greatest problem our state faces. We have accrued $86 billion in underfunded pension liabilities. The Illinois Policy Institute estimates that for higher education we spend 80% of state dollars on retirement costs. The status quo is no longer an option.

SB512 purportedly protects all benefits that have been earned by retirees and current employees, gives current employees 3 choices in retirement plans going forward, and would curtail options available to new employees. However it has not gained the support of state employee representatives and would almost certainly be challenged in the courts as it is currently written. That roadblock to reform must be taken seriously as the Illinois Constitution forbids the diminishment of retirement benefits already awarded. I would reserve my ultimate judgment of a reform package until I see the actual language and gain a real sense of its viability.

The first mission of government is protection of the public and the special working conditions of our professional police and firefighters include the constant threat of serious physical harm and the inability to safely perform their duties later in life. Officerworkers do not have those concerns and as a former partner of law enforcement I will oppose any reforms that threaten harm to police and firefighters.

Ives

I support SB512. The reality is that unless you include all state employees, you can not correct the unfunded liability in a fair or timely manner. We need bold leadership to correct the abuses of the past and to ensure a retirement plan is available in the future, whatever form that may take.

Pollastrini

I believe that first and foremost we need to make sure that whatever is done to address the pension system funding problem passes constitutional muster. Those who have earned a pension are entitled. However, we are reaching a point where the state - based on the fault of government leaders - will not have the money to pay those pensions. SB512 offers current employees a choice. If they CHOOSE to switch to a different sort of pension system, they would have the right and ability to do so under SB512. However, we can't mandate such a switch, and regardless, if not enough employees make that switch, it may not do any good.

Going forward, the abuses of the pension system need to be halted. Multiple pensions, padding of salaries, working ONE DAY and being eligible for a $100,000+ pension is wrong. The persons getting hurt are the state employees who've worked 30 years and are going to get a $20,000 a year pension, and the teachers/policemen/firemen who didn't pay into social security and are relying 100% on those pensions. One elected official in my district is now making nearly $300,000 a year with his new full time position in addition to his prior elected official pension that he can currently collect. The public isn't stupid, and that abuse was raised at countless doors as I walked throughout the district. It's because of abuses like that that our English teachers with 35 years of service are questioning whether they'll be able to collect their modest pensions in their retirement.

We must pay down our debt to our pension system, however these abuses must be rooted out. We have a retired village comptroller from Cook County collecting $400,000 a year. Really??! We need to hone in on those abuses and free up funds to pay down that pension debt, and ensure future retirees that the money they paid in for decades will be there for them to collect.

If you don't support a bill like SB512, how would you deal with the state's unfunded pension liability?
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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin

See above.

Hage

I would be open to ANY serious reform of our pension systems to guarantee that older workers who cannot switch careers are protected while curtailing the massive costs that many years of generous contracts and excessive spending have created.

Ives

Did not respond

Pollastrini

Did not respond

Do you want the 2 percent point income tax increase to expire in 2014, as planned, or would you like to see the tax increase extended beyond 2014?
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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin

I would have voted against the income tax increase and pledge to vote against any legislation that extends the tax beyond 2014.

Hage

I am in favor of repealing the 2011 tax increase.

Ives

We should repeal the tax increase immediately. The Illinois Policy Institute estimates that over 100,000 jobs have left the state since the tax increase passed. The IPI also reports that we lost one taxpayer every 10 minutes in the last 15 years and they took with them an estimated $26 million dollars in income. The trend continues and in 2011, Illinois tied with New Jersey for people leaving for other states. The January 2011 tax increase ignited the movement of businesses out of the state, the request for special tax considerations by large corporations, and the loss of confidence in both individuals and businesses in the Illinois economy. We need to make this a place where people want to stay and are open to taking risks in new businesses.

Pollastrini

I want the 2 percent point income tax increase to expire in 2014. I think it was abysmal how this tax was implemented - 2am when the residents of Illinois were sleeping, and voted on by a lame-duck General Assembly. Not surprisingly (for Illinois), a number of those lame duck legislators received appointments to boards or jobs within government immediately following their votes in support of this tax increase. Just one more example of the feeding of a culture of corruption within Illinois government.

Do you support any changes to the corporate income tax rate? Do you support any other changes to the state's business tax structure?
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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin

I will vote to reduce taxes on businesses and individuals.

Hage

Corporate taxes must be lowered across the board. I was appalled that certain businesses were able to threaten the state into giving them special concessions to the detriment of the rest of our business community. This kind of behavior must stop.

Ives

We now have one of the highest corporate income taxes in the United States. Yet, according to a Crain's January 4, 2012 article an estimated two-thirds of Illinois companies pay no income tax. These two facts illustrate we have a significant problem with our corporate tax structure. As with most taxes, user taxes are the most effective, but when revenues are needed for general government needs then taxes imposed should be flat and low, applying to all entities. We need one set of standards that applies to all businesses. The Sears/CME deal gave relief to the connected and none to the over one million small businesses that employ five or less employees.

Pollastrini

First, I believe we need to retract the corporate tax increase from January 2011. The business community was already operating at that time on a "what's going to happen" nationally basis, with all the federal regulations and mandates being meted at them. Unemployment Insurance obligations, the volatility of health insurance costs in light of the national health care legislation, lop-sided workman's compensation laws, all happening to businesses within one of the most litigious states in the nation. Then without warning, at 2am a lame duck General Assembly socked them with yet another tax increase. It's no wonder businesses are leaving. If we let businesses keep more of their profits, they can further invest and grow their companies, which will result in job creation, something sorely lacking in Illinois.

While walking door-to-door during my campaign, I came across numerous business owners. Too many of them confided in me their desires to leave Illinois. Their most frequent question...so what's Illinois going to throw at me next?! That has to change.

What should the state government do to create a more favorable business climate and to promote job growth?
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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin

The General Assembly can begin to make Illinois more business friendly by passing tort reforms, workman’s compensation reforms, education reforms and pension reforms. Additionally, companies will not grow and create jobs in Illinois if the state continues to overtax and over regulate them.

Hage

It is a basic tenet of economics that "capital is a coward." The unpredictability of Illinois Government, the threat of lawsuits and regulation, and the constant fear of corrupt politicians gaming the system must end if we are to encourage capital expenditures by private enterprise.
Consider that our industrial leaders like Caterpillar, John Deere, Navistar, and Boeing are expanding in other states.
We must reduce taxes, provide civil justice reform, provide greater transparency to government, and bring an end to one-party political control if we want to attract new businesses and encourage existing ones to expand. And this will help small businesses that cannot afford lobbyists and public relations firms as well. Less honerous and predictable government will allow us to compete once again with the best in the land as well as our neighboring states.

Ives

The business climate in Illinois will change when new ethical leadership is put in place. Most people and businesses only want a level playing field that allows them to compete fairly. We already have diverse businesses in energy, farming, financial, transportation, some manufacturing and higher education that should attract other supporting businesses and individuals. As we learned after the January 2011 tax increase, though, these entities leave or do not expand when they are misled by government, treated unfairly, and see entrenched elected officials unwilling to make the tough choices necessary to expand economic opportunity. Above all else, uncertainty will drive business away.

Pollastrini

First and foremost, open a dialogue between the state and the major business groups - chambers of commerces, manufacturing and industrial associations, small business associations, etc. Rather than dictating what THE STATE feels businesses need, we should ask the BUSINESSES what they would need in order to create a more favorable business climate -- what they would want so as to induce them to create Jobs.

I have previously stated addressing issues such as the newly raised corporate tax (Jan 2011); unemployment insurance; workman's comp; healthcare costs; and the litigious IL environment. Maybe facilitating small business loans, incentives for hiring and retaining new hires, or repealing onerous state regulations are additional issues to address. From my discussions with business owners as I walk within the 42nd District, I can say that businesses feel threatened, over-regulated, and overtaxed. Not once have I heard "I love Illinois and want to grow my business here." That needs to change, but in order for it to be MEANINGFUL change, there must be open and frank dialogue between the business community and the State.

Lay out your plan for paying the billions the state owes schools, universities, human service providers and others. Would you support borrowing to pay down those bills?
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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin

The General Assembly can’t keep kicking the can down the road. I will support borrowing to pay down the bills only if the borrowing is tied to significant spending reforms.

Hage

We must halt any new spending first and foremost. It was appalling to watch the General Assembly make new expenditures to gain support for the CME/Sears tax relief.
We must learn to live within our means. The spending policies I observed while working for the Illinois Senate have apparently continued unabated. Budgeting was done in secret by Democratic House and Senate leaders and then passed into law with little or no scrutiny.
If we gain control of spending priorities, we can begin to pay the bills that have come due.
Local governmental units have been forced to do that and I will insist the State of Illinois do the same.

Ives

I do not support borrowing to pay down state bills. The state already has one of the worst credit ratings among states and this causes all levels of government in Illinois to have increased borrowing costs. We must pay down the state's bills by reducing spending and allocating revenue in our budget to pay our current bills in the year incurred rather than pushing these liabilities into future years.

Pollastrini

Right now, I believe the Comptroller is doing the best job with the monies she has available to pay out. But that isn't good enough. Not to the schools, universities, human service providers and others who are owed MILLIONS.

With respect to paying its debts:

First -- BALANCE THE BUDGE and STOP SPENDING MORE THAN YOU TAKE IN.

Second - Pay everyone SOMETHING. Pick a percentage, but give everyone SOMETHING. There are vendors who have gone 6-9 months without seeing a dime, while others with political connections (as has been reported in our local newspapers) that have been fully paid, with some bills being just 1-2 weeks old. There must be a fairness with the system. If vendors have faith and believe they're being treated fairly, it makes the pill easier to swallow - that it might take awhile to be fully paid.

IL lame duck legislators passed a 67% tax increase on the residents of this state, allegedly so that the State could pay its vendors. That didn't happen, and we're even further in debt then we were before. Consequently, borrowing AGAIN to pay down those bills is not an option. Our bond rating is already one of the lowest in the nation, and we're eyed nationally as the state that's going to declare bankruptcy. No, borrowing is NOT an option.

State legislative leaders are trying to give the General Assembly a role in negotiating contracts with state labor unions. What is your opinion of that?
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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin

I will support measures that make negotiations more transparent and provide safeguards that benefit the people of Illinois.

Hage

Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton have effective control over the General Assembly through committee assignments, rules of the chamber, and even the distribution of caucus-raised campaign funds. Based on their secretive budgeting practices I witnessed firsthand, I do not trust them to have any additional powers in negotiating contracts for state government.

Ives

Did not respond

Pollastrini

I support the inclusion of the General Assembly in negotiating contracts with state labor unions. It is the General Assembly that pays for those union contracts (the power of the purse), thus I believe they should have a seat at the table. In addition, to put that much power into the hands of one official - the Governor - breeds further corruption in this state. In this last election, we watched Governor Quinn negotiate contracts and then hours later, receive the endorsement of the very unions he just negotiated with. At least by including additional parties into the mix, we dilute the power and put the taxpayer in a better financial position with respect to these union contracts.

The legislature has tried repeatedly to expand gambling in Illinois. Do you support expanded gambling in Illinois? In what form? Do you support a Chicago casino?
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    ALL
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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin

The State of Illinois's financial problems will not be solved by more slot machines or rolling dice. I believe Illinois has enough gambling.

Hage

I am not in favor of expanded gambling in Illinois.

Ives

I do not support gambling expansion at this time. A Chicago casino may make sense from a tourism stand point, but it should be swapped out with a gaming house already operating. The only reason the legislature discusses gaming expansion is to derive more revenue. This state has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Per capita spending increased over 18% from 2000 to 2009.

Pollastrini

No expansion of gambling. We have ten licenses already for casinoes, horseracing, the Lottery, and countless revenue-generating "gambling" measures in our VFW's and fraternal lodges. Then there's the option of slot machines in every municipality in the State of Illinois in establishments that serve liquor. Finally, there's Bingo, raffles, etc. Illinois is NOT lacking for gambling. The point has been reached where there's TOO MUCH. Adding another casino will not ADD revenue, it'll just spread it around, taking proceeds that would've gone to Elgin and moving them to DesPlaines or Joliet.

To add a casino in Chicago would be more of a tourist trap then anything else. A destination point. But as much as I love Chicago, it's a hub of corruption, and I wouldn't trust anyone there to operate it. Mob influences, corrupt politicians, politically connected businessmen...the list goes on.

Until Illinois adequately cleans up its act ETHICALLY and removes the rampant corruption that has put our state on the map nationally, then I wouldn't dare vote to give Chicago a casino.

Would you seek any changes to the state ethics and campaign finance laws? Would you support capping what state party leaders can donate during a general election?
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    ALL
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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin

I will support measures that provide more transparency but level the playing field for the average person to seek elective office. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, I will sponsor legislation to impose a waiting period on government officials preventing them from leaving office to immediately become Illinois lobbyists.

Hage

I support full and comprehensive disclosure of campaign fundraising and the vigorous enforcement of existing laws.
Well-meant campaign reforms have sometimes inadvertently given more power to party leaders and incumbents.
Therefore, I would carefully review any proposed reforms for unintended consequences.

Ives

It is too bad we have to legislate ethics but we do. Unfortunately, major ethics reform did not stop the two governors from landing in jail. We need to elect more ethical people.

Pollastrini

I believe recent changes to ethics and campaign finance laws have made a significant change in the way government operates and campaigns are run here in Illinois. However, these laws must be enforced before we start tweeking them again. Illinois has maintained a "culture of corruption" for so many years that not all of the changes made via law have been embraced and incorporated within all Illinois governmental offices.

Additionally, I believe the non-capping of donations by party leaders remains a major loophole in the new laws and should be revisited. So long as rank and file candidates are beholden to party leaders for funding, the culture of corruption in Illinois will continue, for candidates must heed the will of those leaders who have the financial power to make or break their future candidacies. Candidates and elected officials remain beholden to party leaders for the very funds that put them into office in the first place. Thus, they are not voting 100% in the interests of their districts, but instead, in the interest of the leader who provided them with the funds to win their races, or who will provide them with the funds to maintain their offices.

Would you back a constitutional amendment to shift from a flat income tax to a progressive income tax system?
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    ALL
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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin

I will only support such a measure if it reduces the tax rates of every taxpayer.

Hage

No, I will focus on reducing taxes for everyone.

Ives

no

Pollastrini

At this time, I would say No. Right now there are so many loopholes in our tax laws, both nationally and here in Illinois, that the burden has shifted unfairly on those who PAY to pay MORE than their fair share to make up for the loopholes that others are able to utilize. It has been said that 49% of he people pay taxes, and those 49% carry the burden for the rest of the 51% that don't pay. That's inequity. So Illinois doesn't really HAVE a flat tax anymore, but a progressive flat tax. I believe we need to start eliminating the vast number of loopholes so as to bring better equity to the system

With respect to a progressive income tax system, while it sounds great to marginally increase the percentage of tax as the amount of income increases, in essence that penalizes those who take risks and excel. First and foremost, I believe we need to get more people PAYING. While there will always be a portion of the population that we need to care for - the elderly, infirm, and those institutionalized, there are others who perpetually live off the system and pay nothing into it. Those are the persons we need to return to the tax rolls, even if the amount they are paying is far less then the average taxpayer. Everyone needs to have "skin in the game", and except for the previously mentioned exceptions, everyone needs to pay into the system. By doing so, it lessens the burden on others and creates a more equitable system.

Do you have a plan to adequately fund schools and reform the property tax system that results in inequities?
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    ALL
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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin

As a College of DuPage Trustee I am familiar with the financial challenges facing our public schools and the burden being placed on local property tax payers and students. Under the Illinois Community College Act, one third of community college funding is supposed to come from the State of Illinois. Currently, the College of DuPage receives less than 8% of its funding from the state.

If the State of Illinois got its priorities in order it would be able to more adequately fund public schools. That said, any increase in state funding should also be tied to significant education reforms.

I will support legislation which preserves local control of our schools, eliminates waste and inefficiencies within education, and gives parents more of a say in their child’s education. I am a strong supporter of home schooling, charter schools, tuition tax credits, and vouchers.

Hage

None other than my plans to put state government on a diet, reduce fraud, waste, and abuse and thereby bring our budget to a point where we can refocus on educating the workforce of the next generation.

Ives

The amount of dollars allocated to education in this state are adequate. The state, however, causes problems at the local level by not releasing the funds in a timely manner. The funding situation and educational outcomes for many students can improve by simply offering school choice especially for those in failing schools.

We need to focus on a more transparent tracking of education retiree benefits and who is paying the expense. Funding retirement from TRS makes it less obvious at the local level what the true cost is to the taxpayers from across the state. As well, the state needs to pay its share every year and not skip pension payments.

Pollastrini

Every child is entitled to an education. Someone has to pay for that education. Right now suburban and downstate citizens are picking up the slack for the city schools throughout the state. That means that money that I pay in DuPage which should go to my suburban schools is instead going to Chicago schools. The harder I work, and the more property I obtain, the more money I pay for the schooling of children that are NOT in my backyard. While of course we want ALL children to get an education, we must also ALL pay for it. I believe the dollars raised in each community for education should STAY in those communities and school districts. The onus to educate the children reverts to those living in those communities.

I also support vouchers, for I believe it invites competition, and in turn, breeds success. Again, the responsibility for where to send your child to school and how much to pay is put back on the parents to determine.

Each commuinity should fund its own schools. While you cannot correct the apathy of the parents to properly fund their local schools and educate their children, it returns the responsibility to do so back to the communities where those schools are. We've had the issue raised of making Chicago/Cook County the 51st state, severing it from Illinois. Some have preached that Chicago puts a lot of tax money into Illinois. I have to ask - WHERE? The rest of the state funds the shortfalls in Chicago's public transit, its roadbuilding, its schools, etc. So if Chicago is such a tax generator, then why doesn't it have the money to educate its own children.

I believe I've raised more questions here then I've answered, and I don't claim to have the solution. But with these suggestions placed on the table, there's reason for meaningful discussion on the topic.

What is your view on gay marriage?
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    ALL
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    Carlin
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    Hage
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    Ives
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    Pollastrini
Carlin

I believe marriage is between a man and a woman.

Hage

I believe marriage is between one man and one woman.

Ives

Illinois has a DOMA statute that properly defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. I have not heard a compelling reason to change the law.

Pollastrini

I believe marriage to include a man and a woman, but support civil unions between same-sex couples.

The candidates
Dave Carlin
Chris Hage
Jeanne Ives

Not pictured:
Laura M. Pollastrini

The district
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