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Congress, District 14

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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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    Anderson
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    Hultgren
Dennis Anderson
Political party: Democrat
Birthdate: 11/22/1950
Occupation: Retired
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Susan Glad-Anderson

Education:

Bachelor's Degree (with Distinction), University of Wisconsin, Madison

Majors: Economics, Political Science

Graduate Studies:

University of Wisconsin, Madison; Public Administration (no degree)

Loyola University Chicago; Theology (no degree)

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

International Breast Cancer Research Foundation (Board of Directors)
Literacy Volunteers of Lake County (Board of Directors and volunteer tutor)
Rotary International - Gurnee

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

Appointment:
Member, City of Madison Ethics Board, Mayoral appointment (1989 -19960)

Government Employment:
State of Wisconsin, Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations (1978)
State of Wisconsin, Department of Health and Social Services (1978 -1992)

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

1- Self - Employed at the Wisconsin Division of Health and held a number of positions with University Cancer Centers who were both subsidized by State and Federal dollars as well as performed research using federal dollars.

2- Spouse - spent 40 years working in private research where federal dollars were frequently used to test products such as foods and drugs for safety and efficacy.

3 - Father - a career soldier who served in the military during WWII and the Korean Conflict and continued his service in the Wisconsin National Guard until retiring as a full Colonel. He is recognized as a Wisconsin.....

Randy Hultgren
Political party: Republican
Birthdate: 3/1/1966
Occupation: U.S. Congressman, IL-14
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Christy

Education:

B.A., Bethel College in Minnesota
J.D., Chicago Kent College of Law

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

Alumni Board, Wheaton Academy
Member, Wheaton Bible Church
Koinonia House National Ministries
My number one time commitment in addition to serving as a Member of Congress, is serving as an active husband and father to my wife and four children, ages 8-18.

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

Precinct Committeeman, Milton Township
Board of Directors, DuPage County Homeownership Center
DuPage County Board
Illinois House
Illinois Senate

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

None.

Campaign information
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Anderson

Campaign headquarters: 181 N. Virgina St., Suite C, Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Website: dennisforcongress.com
Campaign manager: Dean Argiris
Campaign budget: $75,000
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
Self - $57, 101
Dean Argiris - $2, 500
Donald Metivier - $2,000
C. Powell Trotti - $1,500
Debra Trotti - $1,500

Hultgren

Campaign headquarters: P.O. Box 717 St. Charles IL
Website: www.hultgrenforcongress.com
Campaign manager: Joe Calomino
Campaign budget: It's impossible to predict exactly what a campaign will spend, but I encourage people to review the Federal Election Commission database detailing all of our expenditures.
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
All of my contributors are listed publicly in the FEC database.

What are your top three priorities for the nation?
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Anderson

Job creation through support for small business development and expansion, including mechanisms contained within in the President's Jobs Bill.

Improved elementary and secondary education through establishment of meaningful standards, increased funding, and support for teachers. Increased access to financial support for post-secondary education, including Pell grants.

Increased access to health care for all Americans.

Preservation of the social safety net, including protection of Social Security, Medicare and other such programs that serve the most vulnerable

Hultgren

1) Grow the economy and create jobs
2) Balance the federal budget
3) Affordability of basic costs- especially healthcare. My goal for the 14th district is that everyone have a great job which provides great insurance, but we also must take other steps to make healthcare more affordable.

What are your specific priorities for your congressional district?
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Anderson

Those priorities mentioned above apply equally to the 14th District. I will also work to attract new green industry to the district, bringing with it new high-wage jobs. There are many needed infrastructure repair/replacement projects that must be completed, and which will provide needed jobs for many workers in a wide variety of sectors.

The District's farming community needs support in such areas of concern as interpretation and application of regulations governing farming industry.

Transportion issues, including road, rail, inland water transportation, are an increasing problem in the District.

Hultgren

The 14th Congressional district is a microcosm of the US economy as a whole, with broad employment in the manufacturing sector, the service industry, tourism, finance, agriculture, aerospace, medicine, legal and scientific fields. My top priority is getting natural job growth going again in every one of these fields so people who are struggling now to live a full and rich life can once again feel empowered by the growing economy.

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

I would not sign the Norquist pledge. If honored, such a pledge could hamper the nation's ability to cope with unforeseen challenges. If not honored, such a pledge is pointless. It is a potentially dangerous commitment to make.

Hultgren

The Norquist pledge actually reads as follows: "oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."

However, two years ago, and even before that- long before I entered Congress- I pledged in this and other papers not to raise taxes. That is a promise I have always made to the people who elect me. Government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Raising taxes will force us to kick the can down the road on addressing our spending challenges at the federal level. We've seen this exact scenario play out in Illinois far too many times: raising taxes again and again has not yet fixed Illinois' problems, its only allowed politicians time to obfuscate and defer fixing those problems. The best way to raise government revenue is to grow the economy; that produces natural and sustainable revenue growth.

Which sitting Supreme Court justice do you admire most and why? Which current justice do you think has been the greatest disappointment and why?
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Anderson

I admire Stephan Breyer because


I am disappointed by Justice Scalia's very strict interpretation of the constitution.

Hultgren

All of the justices have devoted themselves to public service, and to upholding the Constitution rather than changing it. I respect the authority and decisions of each.

I especially admire the justices for being able to disagree with one another without being disagreeable. Congress would do well to similarly respect those with competing viewpoints.

Is there a problem of a growing income and wealth gap in the United States? If so, what's to be done about it?
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Anderson

There is no question that there is growing income and wealth inequality in the nation. Numerous studies have documented both this trend and a growing difficulty in moving up the economic ladder. There is a closely related and continuing problem of unequal opportunity. A study released by the Pew Research Center in July 2011 reported that the median wealth of white households in the U.S was 20 times greater than the median wealth of African American households, and 18 times greater than that of Hispanic households.

The government's role in addressing these problems is in ensuring that young people have equal access to education and job training.

Hultgren

I am troubled by the absence of income growth for the American middle class. However, the economy is not a zero sum game and people do not get poorer because of success at the top. The two largest factors hurting the wealth of the middle class have been the loss of home values and the exponential increase in health care costs. The housing market will stabilize as the economy recovers, so our main challenge is to stop the rapid growth in health care costs from continuing to consume an ever growing portion of the disposable incomes for the American people.

Is global warming real? What, if anything, should be done about it?
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Anderson

Virtually every reputable climate scientist and scientific organization agrees that global warming is real, and that human activity is a contributor to that warming. While disagreement and argument are necessary elements of scientific progress, given the broad and deep consensus in the scientific community on this issue, prudence dictates that that we heed the warnings and act to reduce greenhouse emissions, and that we do so in cooperation with the world community. Americans are an ingenious people. We can lead in the development of alternative energy, or we can dawdle and fret for the present and then buy the new clean and efficient technologies from China and others in a few years.

Hultgren

The climate trend over the last several hundred years has been an increase in average global temperature, which is not a fact anybody disputes. In fact, I believe all Americans want a cleaner environment for our children and grandchildren. The question, then, is how do we get to a cleaner economy? I absolutely disagree with the common proposals put forward, which will only serve to raise electricity costs on families and businesses, raise transportation costs across the economy, and substantially slow down the rate of economic growth.

Instead, I believe the fastest way to a clean economy is robust economic growth, faster technological advancement, and empowered consumers.

President Obama, working with other nations, has pushed economic sanctions to compel Iran to cease work on a nuclear bomb. Critics say the sanctions are working too slowly and a military strike by the U.S or Israel is necessary. What should be done?
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Anderson

The United States should be actively engaged in efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons anywhere in the world. We should encourage and participate in internationally agreed-upon sanctions to discourage further development, as well in efforts to control existing stockpiles of fissionable materials, wherever they are to be found. Military action in the middle east must be considered only as a very last resort, not least because of the already volatile nature of the region and the probability of escalation and protracted conflict which would likely follow such action.

Hultgren

I believe we need to draw a red line that the Iranians know must not be crossed in terms of nuclear weapons development. The situation between Iran and Israel is fundamentally different than previous nuclear entanglements. The Iranian government has continued to express a deep, philosophical hatred of Israel's existence. Furthermore, unlike in past conflicts, Israel does not possess a guaranteed second strike capability. So the Iranians know that Israel can't retaliate if it's struck with a nuclear bomb. We absolutely must not let our democratic ally in the middle east, Israel, be threatened any further.

Much of this situation could have been avoided, if the Obama administration had offered more leadership and support to the Democratic uprising in Iran following the sham elections and ensuing protests against the ruling regime in 2009.

Republicans have criticized the Obama administration for cutting military spending. Democrats have defended spending cuts as necessary to balancing the federal budget, while insisting they are committed to a strong military. What's your view?
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Anderson

The Republicans supported the sequestration bill that lead to large cuts in military spending and I believe there are opportunities to reduce spending in a manner that will not jeopardize the security of our nation.

Hultgren

It's important to note that if the U.S. were to eliminate all discretionary spending -- all defense spending, all highway repair money, all federal courts and government operations, even the money spent taking care of our returning veterans- the budget would almost be balanced for a single year.

What this tells me is that we can take nothing- not even defense or entitlements- off the table when it comes to cuts. It took years to reach this point, and it will take years to balance our budget again, but I believe it can be done. Like the Pentagon's $436 hammer, the Navy's $640 toilet seat, and the $7,000 coffee brewer purchased by the Air Force with taxpayer dollars, there is almost always a way to cut back.

*One thing that would go a long way to identify waste is to finally start using zero-based budgeting. Hard as it is to believe, existing government programs perpetuate from one year to the next simply because they were there the year before, with their need and effectiveness seldom analyzed and underlying assumptions rarely questioned. Under zero-based budgeting, every program and expenditure is reviewed at the beginning of each budget cycle and must be justified in order to receive funding. No spending is taken for granted. Even if implemented on a staggered basis, with only one or two agency undergoing a thorough examination during every budget cycle, but within a few years we could analyze the entire federal budget this way.

How would you reform the financial time bomb of Medicare? Should there be a defined contribution (where the government decides what it will pay) or a defined benefit (where the government guarantees a level of coverage)?
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Anderson

My hope is that the need for a separate Medicare program would disappear with the adoption of a program of universal access to health care. The primary problems lies not with Medicare per se, but with the continuing rapid growth in the cost of health care, which consistently outstrips the cost of other goods and services.

Hultgren

For Americans under 55, Medicare will have to look different. For those not on the cusp of retirement, we must find ways to sustain these programs for the future. The Ryan proposal is one blueprint I have supported. It is an idea of how to make the system sustainable. I am open to considering other proposals that accomplish this goal.

One thing I absolutely do not support giving 15 appointed, un-elected people the power to make decisions that should take place between a patient and their doctor.

On the issue of abortion, the two major political parties take very different stands. The Democratic platform supports a woman's right to seek a "safe and legal" abortion, regardless of her ability to pay. The Republican platform states that the "unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed." The Republican platform does not address whether exceptions should be made to a ban on abortions, such rape or incest. Where, if anywhere, do you part company with your party's platform on abortion?
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Anderson

I believe in a woman's right to chose an abortion even though she may not be able to afford one. She should not be denied a medical procedure that others of greater means can afford.

Hultgren

I am pro-life, and have always run on that platform. What we can address right now- and what we absolutely should address- is the issue of taxpayer dollars being used to fund abortions. When an organization which performs abortions is given hundreds of millions in your money, they should be able to account for every penny.

Both Republicans and Democrats want to see abortion become unnecessary. We may disagree on many policy regarding abortion, but I believe everyone wants to see a reduction in unwanted pregnancies.

The Democratic Party platform, for the first time, supports civil gay marriage, but adds that churches should be allowed to administer marriage as a sacrament as they see fit, "without government interference." The Republican Party platform calls for a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman." Where do you stand?
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Anderson

I agree with the view that people should have the right to marry whom they please.

Hultgren

Marriage is already defined legally in the Defense of Marriage Act. Overturning it would be a judicial action, not one performed by the legislative branch. However, I have always believed that marriage is between one man and one woman, and have run on that platform since my very first campaign.

On the issue of Social Security, the Republican Party platform proposes making no changes in the system for "any current or near-retiree" but envisions allowing younger workers to choose personal investment accounts as "supplements." The Democratic platform pledges to "find a solution" and warns of subjecting a retiree's benefits to the "whims of the stock market." What should be done?
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Anderson

The Social Security System remains solvent for decades to come, and time is sufficient to engage in serious discussion of means to address retirement security in the future.

Hultgren

As with Medicare, I will not accept any cuts to current beneficiaries or those near retirement. Our government has made a promise to assist seniors in retirement and I will not permit this promise to be broken or undermined. For those under age 55, there will likely have to be some improvements in order for the program to remain solvent.

I did support the extension of the payroll tax cut last year, because I believe this is the worst possible time to raise taxes on working families.

Do you support "right-to-work" laws, now in effect in 23 states and promoted in the Republican Party platform, that limit the extent to which labor unions can require membership and the paying of union dues as a condition of employment? Or do you agree with the Democratic Party platform that such laws are "attacks" on the right of workers to organize?
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Anderson

No

Hultgren

The most successful state economies are those that have a vibrant growth climate for both workers and job creators. When these two groups can work together to make the best product in the best work environment, this issue ceases to be a problem.

What further federal legal restrictions should be imposed on guns of any kind?
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Anderson

Get rid of "stand your ground" laws
Stricter controls over gun shows
Allow states and communities to enact gun controls that meet their community's needs
re-institute the assault weapons ban

Hultgren

As a supporter of the 2nd Amendment, I believe the federal government should defend the right to bear arms, not infringe on that right.

The Republican Party platform calls for a mandatory requirement that employers verify the legal status of their employees and rejects any amnesty for illegal immigrants. The Democratic Party platform calls for reforming the American immigration system to bring "undocumented immigrants out of the shadows" and requires them to "get right with the law, learn English, and pay taxes in order to get on a path to earn citizenship." Which approach do you favor? Most specifically, what should be done?
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Anderson

I support developing a pathway to citizenship

Hultgren

Illegal immigration is an affront to both our existing laws and institutions, as well as to the legal immigrants who made the commitment to abide by our processes and respect our rules.

Our porous border has also contributed to the high rates of violence in Mexico spilling over into the United States, the rampant growth of the drug trade and criminal enterprise, and ongoing human rights violations committed by human traffickers. Clearly, securing the border has to be our first priority.
Then, I think we have to examine our visa system. Why limit visas for people seeking to tour and study in the U.S.? Why make it so difficult for agricultural workers to enter and exit the country in order to work jobs Americans are not taking anyway?

I believe that if we encourage employers to hire legal workers and provide legal avenues for people to emigrate and bring their families to America, we will see a drop in illegal immigration. (Current wait times are 7-10 years for one immigrant and many more in order to bring a family member with them.)

The candidates
Dennis Anderson

Dennis Anderson

Randy Hultgren

Randy Hultgren

 

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The district
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