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State House, District 52

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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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    McSweeney
David McSweeney
Political party: Republican
Birthdate: 10/1/1965
Occupation: Investment Specialist
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Margaret

Education:

I completed an accelerated BA/MBA program, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Duke University in 1987. I continued my education and earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Duke Fuqua School of Business in 1988.

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

My wife Margaret is on the Leadership Advisory Board of WINGS (Women in Need of Growing Stronger), which is an organization committed to helping women and their children who are victims of domestic violence. She is also on the board of the Barrington Junior Women's Club.

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

Village of Inverness Plan Commission, Palatine Township Collector, and Palatine Township Trustee

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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    McSweeney
McSweeney

Campaign headquarters: 27 East Main Street, Cary, IL 60013
Website: http://www.davidmcsweeney.com
Campaign manager: Jim Thacker
Campaign budget: $500,000+
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
My quarterly report and A-1s are on the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

For incumbents: In either the fall veto session or in January, will you support a bill like SB1673? That bill cuts pension costs for four of five state pension systems by making state workers and retirees choose between keeping state-subsidized health insurance or an automatic 3 percent annual pension hike during retirement. Do you support the element of the bill that shifts employer pension costs from the state to local school districts?
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    McSweeney
McSweeney

Did not respond

If you don't support a bill like SB1673, what is your plan for rescuing the state's pension systems?
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    McSweeney
McSweeney

Did not respond

For challengers or candidates for an open seat: If there is no action on pension reform in the fall veto session or in early January, would you support a bill like SB1673 in the next legislative session? That bill cuts pension costs for four of five state pension systems by making state workers and retirees choose between keeping state-subsidized health insurance or an automatic 3 percent annual pension hike during retirement. Do you support the element of the bill that shifts employer pension costs from the state to local school districts?
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    McSweeney
McSweeney

No. The state's pension obligations should not be shifted to suburban school districts. Property taxes are already too high. The State Legislature created the problems and needs to address it by adopting a comprehensive pension reform proposal.

If you don't support a bill like SB1673, what is your plan for rescuing the state's pension systems?
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    McSweeney
McSweeney

The pension funding gap is the result of legislators and politicians over promising and over committing to special interests. When they initially could not meet the obligations to the funding of the pension system they borrowed more money and put off the day of reckoning. These irresponsible acts have consequences and all parties will have to participate in order to get our fiscal house in order. Below is a brief overview of steps needed in this state for pension reform: (1) Eliminate pensions for state legislators; and (2) For existing employees, reduce pension cost-of-living adjustments. Also, as Option 1, protect the existing defined benefit pension benefits earned to date and going forward convert employees into 401(k) plans similar to those offered in the private sector. Going forward, some employees should also have the option of joining the Social Security system and receiving a smaller 401(k) matching payment from the State than offered under Option 1. In order to address the unfunded retiree health care obligations, future benefits need to be reduced. The eligibility age for retiree health care benefits should be increased.

For all candidates: Do you support the Medicaid reform package passed last spring, including $1.6 billion in cuts and rate reductions and an increase in the cigarette tax? What else, if anything, needs to done to ensure the health of the state's Medicaid system?
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    McSweeney
McSweeney

I oppose the tax increases included in the Medicaid bill. I believe that most of the spending reductions were justified. However, we have to do more to eliminate waste and fraud in the system. It has been estimated that approximately 10.5% of Medicaid expenditures are spent improperly, including for ineligible recipients. I also favor requiring that additional Medicaid recipients are moved to HMO programs.

Do you support letting the 2 percent point income tax increase expire in 2014 as planned, or would you like to see the tax increase extended beyond 2014?        
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    McSweeney
McSweeney

I support immediate repeal of the state income tax increase.

Do you support any changes to the corporate income tax rate? Do you support any other changes to the state's business tax structure? What should the state government do to create a more favorable business climate and to promote job growth?
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    McSweeney
McSweeney

I was strongly opposed to the tax increases and I would support their repeal. The tax increases have hurt small businesses and driven companies out of Illinois. The result has been a growing negative bottom line for the state and uncertainty over the state's long term fiscal and economic picture. We need to focus on cutting spending. I would also support cutting the corporate tax rate for companies that actually create jobs in Illinois. Additionally, I support the formation of a commission of business and government leaders to develop recommendations on how to make the Illinois corporate income tax code fairer and more competitive.
To create a more favorable business climate and promote job growth the Illinois should:
• Immediately repeal the job killing tax increases passed by the Legislature last year;
• Reduce taxes for companies that create jobs in Illinois, including small businesses; and
• Review all state mandated regulations and fees on businesses to ascertain the impact they have on job creation and the overall business climate. A simple cost/benefit analysis is a solid private sector best practice and there is no reason the same analysis should not be applied to government. The Legislature should have to approve any new regulations that are projected to impose costs greater than $10 million per year.

Do you support the gambling package Gov. Quinn vetoed at the end of August? If not, how could it be improved?
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    McSweeney
McSweeney

No, I oppose a large-scale expansion of gambling in Illinois. However, I do favor allowing slots at racetracks.

Over the last few years, the state Legislature has begun to bring spending in line with revenues by cutting spending in education, health care, social services and other areas. Has the state Legislature done enough to reduce spending and run government more efficiently? What more could be done? Are there any areas where you would like to see greater state investment?
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    McSweeney
McSweeney

The Illinois General Assembly has failed to meaningfully reduce spending. An oversized budget and an underfunded pension system are the key culprits in the state's fiscal crisis. Below are my ideas to reduce the budget and reform the pension system in this state: (1) An immediate 10% cut in administrative expenses of each state department and agency (2) Adoption of a zero-based budget system; (3) A Blue Ribbon Commission should be appointed to recommend structural changes in the budget and spending cuts; (4) An immediate 25% cut in the legislature's operational budget and a 10% cut in legislative salaries; (5) Eliminate pensions for state legislators. (This is a part-time job with full-time benefits funded by taxpayers. The State Legislature needs to lead by example); (6) Eliminate government paid mailings by legislators; and (7) Move additional Medicaid patients into managed care programs.

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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    McSweeney
McSweeney

I support instant disclosure of all campaign contributions. I also support closing the party leader loophole.

Would you back a constitutional amendment to shift from a flat income tax to a progressive income tax system?         
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    McSweeney
McSweeney

No.

Do you have a plan to reform Illinois' school finance system so that it no longer produces inequities in school funding across the state?        
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    McSweeney
McSweeney

I support the 65% solution that would require that 65 cent of every education dollar be spent in the classroom. In Illinois, only about 60 cents of each dollar is spent in the classroom. We need to cut the educational bureaucracy and focus on educating our students. I oppose raising taxes.

What is your view on gay marriage?     
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    McSweeney
McSweeney

I believe that marriage should be limited to that between a man and a woman.

The candidates
Dee Beaubien

Dee Beaubien

David McSweeney

David McSweeney

 

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The district
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