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U.S. House, Dist. 10: Dan Seals


Political affiliation: Democrat

City: Wilmette

Marital status: Married

Occupation/Firm name: Business Consultant and Lecturer

Campaign HQ address: Dan Seals for Congress 405 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield IL 60015

Campaign website: www.dansealsforcongress.com

What is your campaign budget- I raised $3.4 million in my 2008 race for Congress. We are on track to surpass this goal in 2010.

What are your top priorities for the nation-

Creating jobs must be our priority in the short term. In the long term we have to reposition our nation to compete in the long run while paying down our national debt. The size of the national debt, over $13 trillion, means that every woman, man, and child in America is personally responsible for over $43,000 of debt. This trend simply cannot continue.

The first step is setting our economy on the road to recovery. A growing economy produces more jobs and more tax revenue, which will allow us to pay down the debt more aggressively. We were able to reduce the national debt in the 1990's thanks in large part to strong economic growth and a healthy jobs market.

Second, we need to create a plan for reducing the debt. That begins with reining in spending and continues by adhering to basic principles of fiscal responsibility. I strongly support pay-as-you-go, or "Pay-Go," budgeting.

Third, we can build a world class work force by building a world class educational system. Our nation was number one in the world in terms of our graduation rates. Now we are 15th. At the same time the cost of tuition has gone up five times faster than median incomes. We've got to get this turned around.

Fourth, we need to encourage more innovation in order to build and maintain the industries that will employ our workforce. We can accomplish this by supporting research and development, encouraging private sector investment, and making sure that innovators can benefit from their work.

What are your top priorities for your congressional district-

My top priority for my district is creating well-paying, permanent jobs for local families. Unemployment in the 10th district has increased significantly. The key to getting that turned around is supporting small business. Small business has created 65 percent of the new jobs in the last 15 years. But too many of them are having a hard time getting financing these days; making it difficult to stay in business, much less hire new people. Community banks tell me the problem is that they don't even have enough money to meet their own capital requirements so they can't make any loans. I support lending money to the community banks so that they can in turn lend to small businesses. I think this is one of the best things we can do to support job growth in the district.

The recession continues. What are its causes and how do we end it- Do you favor more federal "stimulus" spending to create more jobs-

The recession was caused by a near perfect storm of economic trends that include the bursting of the real estate bubble, hubris on Wall Street, and ineffective government regulation. Some of these issues have been addressed but a lot of work still remains. Our challenge in considering additional stimulus is balancing it against our massive national debt. Consequently, we should make sure any additional efforts produce the most jobs for the money. We must also ensure that we do not raise taxes while our economy is in such a fragile state.

A great example of a jobs-producing initiative is the small business bill I mentioned previously in the survey. It not only puts resources into a part of the economy that produces the most jobs, but it does so in a way that does not increase the national debt. I also support tax credits for capital investment, cutting the capital gains tax for those who invest in small businesses, and quadrupling the tax deduction for small business start-up expenditures.

Is global warming real- Is it man-made- What, if anything, should be done about it- And do you favor a national cap-and-trade program to put a price on carbon emissions-

Global warming is real and the human contribution to it is significant and scientifically undeniable.

The solution to global warming is multi-faceted, but the single most important step we can take is to end our dependence on fossil fuels. We need an Apollo-style 21st century energy program, one that establishes America as the global leader in ending global warming while placing us at the forefront of the growing green energy economy. Such a program will help end our dependence on foreign oil, improve our economy, increase our national security, and create thousands of new, green, well-paying American jobs. By investing in a long-term commitment to green energy, we can halt global warming and set the stage for U.S companies to compete and win in the $6 trillion global energy market. We must also focus more on conservation, which is both environmentally and economically wise.

I support climate change legislation because it is vital to ending our dependence on oil. An effective federal bill should do at least two things. First it should provide additional support for developing clean and green technologies. Second, it should make sure that polluters are responsible for their pollution. It's not just a matter of accountability. It is also a way for consumers and investors alike to make better choices about energy--and a vital part of developing a foundation for alternative sources of energy. Conversely, if we don't take action, we will continue to see energy costs skyrocket with no alternative in sight.

As a representative, would you favor changes in the health care reforms pushed through Congress by President Obama- What exactly would you change-

The recent health care bill is the first step in achieving comprehensive health care reform. While the bill is not perfect, I am pleased to see that it makes many changes that middle class Americans so desperately need, including ending discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, reducing costs for small businesses by providing immediate tax credits for employee health care, limiting out-of-pocket costs for Illinois families, and improving coverage for 466,000 residents of Illinois' 10th Congressional District.

That said, there are some things that we need to improve. These include 1) lowering taxes for small business hiring contractors; 2) creating effective oversight to ensure that the bill reduces the debt; 3) helping both doctors and patients understand the cost of different tests or procedures before selecting them; and 4) making sure doctors are fully reimbursed for their care of Medicare patients. I will continue the fight in Congress to ensure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable, portable health care while containing costs.

What should the American military and political strategy be in Afghanistan- How would you define "success" for the United States in the war, and at what point could we withdraw our troops-

Most troubling to me about our mission in Afghanistan is the lack of a clear exit strategy. I support the tenets of the Powell doctrine in the use of American military power: a defined mission, use of overwhelming force, and an exit strategy. We are entirely lacking that vital last component.

Furthermore, I am not confident that the Afghan government is capable or committed to maintaining the successes that our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are risking their lives every day to achieve. A stable and effective government that has the support of the people is the key to victory in Afghanistan. Such a government does not exist today. Indeed, the Brookings Institution says that Afghanistan ranks with Somalia as having one of the weakest governments in the world.

We need to strengthen our intelligence networks and activity and build up our Special Forces capabilities so that we have a greater ability to prevent attacks and eliminate the terrorists. But in the long run, we have to do more than just eliminate the terrorists--we also have to combat the conditions that create them: poverty, ignorance, and repression. This means encouraging economic growth, promoting widespread public education, maintaining a solid commitment to justice, and fostering responsive governments in the areas vulnerable to radicalization. This is no easy challenge, and one that can't be met overnight.

What should be the American military and political strategy in Iraq-

Our goals in Iraq have changed significantly over the years--and our strategy has changed along with them. However, my views on our involvement in Iraq have not changed: it was a mistake to invade Iraq. At this point, we are very close to successfully withdrawing from Iraq, leaving what may become a self-sufficient and stable, if troubled, democracy in place. Our full-scale combat mission in Iraq is on track to end by August 31, 2010. After that date, our goal in Iraq should be to foster the success of its democracy, so that it might one day provide a contrast to the undemocratic regimes that dominate the area. I will hold the President accountable to his commitment to withdraw all U.S. troops in 2011.

What should be done to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons-

Iran poses a fundamental threat to peace and security not only in the Middle East, but worldwide. The country also represents an existential threat to Israel, America's strongest ally in the region. The range of Iran's missile arsenal means that an Iran emboldened by nuclear weapons poses a tremendous threat to key allies and the United States. Therefore, we must stand ready to use all options available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

As a member of Congress, I will work tirelessly to ensure that we are taking every possible measure to prevent Iran from pursuing its agenda of destruction. I am a strong supporter of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 which was signed into law on July 1st. Targets of the act range from business entities involved in refined petroleum sales to Iran or support for Iran's domestic refining efforts to international banking institutions involved with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Supporting our ally Israel and defending world peace from Iran's hostile agenda must continue to be a top national security priority.

Will the United States ever have a comprehensive policy on immigration- What should it be- And what is your view of Arizona Senate Bill 1070 and the recent federal appellate court ruling striking down its key provisions-

Our immigration system is fundamentally broken. First and foremost, we need to secure our borders. Beyond that first step, I support comprehensive immigration reform to address our growing immigration crisis. We must fully enforce the laws on the books, hold accountable employers that break the law, and create an earned, fair path to legal status.

The Arizona Senate bill is the wrong way to handle our immigration crisis. Immigration must be solved at the federal level, not state-by-state in a piecemeal fashion. The bill is an unfortunate consequence of the failure to solve our immigration crisis on the national level and is another example of why we need comprehensive immigration reform.

Please comment on the president's education agenda, specifically on the Race to the Top competition that emphasizes core national standards and tests and the use of student test data to evaluate and reward teachers

I support the goals of the Race to the Top program, including adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in higher education and in the workplace, building data systems to measure student's success and growth, recruiting and retaining talented teachers, and turning around our lowest achieving schools. These goals mirror my top priorities for public education: investing in early education, overhauling and funding No Child Left Behind, attracting and rewarding high quality teachers, closing the achievement gap, and making higher education more affordable. The program is also effective in that even the states that did not win funds for their reforms still gave serious thought to how to reform their system. That means the effect of the program went far beyond those that actually won.

What is your position on gay marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act-

I oppose both a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). All people are created equal, and I strongly oppose writing discrimination into the Constitution of the United States of America or into federal law. I support repealing DOMA as soon as possible.

What should be our nation's policy toward the manufacture, sale and use of marijuana-

The manufacture, sale, and use of marijuana are, and should remain, illegal.

The United States continues to hold "enemy combatants," uncharged, at the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Is indefinite detention without charges acceptable- If so, for how long- And are military commissions an acceptable alternative to civilian courts-

The Guantanamo Bay detention center does our national interests more harm than good, and it should be closed. Indefinite detention without charges is not only legally unacceptable, it is a fundamental violation of the principles upon which this nation was founded. It undermines the perception of the U.S. as a beacon for liberty, equality, justice, and democracy while providing only a temporary answer to a problem that has a well-established solution: our court system.

The individuals held at Guantanamo Bay are not soldiers of an enemy nation; they are criminals. Treating them as soldiers may play into their warped psychology, but it is a title they have not earned. Therefore these criminals should be tried in our civilian court system in accordance with U.S. law. Civilian courts have already successfully tried and convicted more than 400 defendants on charges stemming from terrorism. Civilian judges have the right to redact or withhold sensitive intelligence information. In fact, our military commissions copy these civilian procedures. In bringing these prisoners to justice, civilian courts are up to the task.

List your educational background

* BA, Journalism, Boston University

* MA, International Economics and Japan Studies, The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

* MBA, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Please list civic, professional, fraternal or other organizations to which you belong

I personally lead beach clean ups, forest preserve clean ups, and food drives. I also support local candidates in their races and have been working for campaign finance reform in our state.

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

*Aide to the Assistant Secretary of Commerce

*Economics Fellow in the U.S. Senate

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

I have also worked as an independent consultant to the Civic Consulting Alliance which does work for the City of Chicago.

Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed

I am honored to have the support of over 3000 individuals, who have invested in our campaign to bring independent leadership to Washington. Ours is a grassroots campaign, powered by the support of donors from all walks of life, many of whom contribute as little as $5. While it would be impossible to list all of my donors here, I strongly support open, accountable campaign finance and invite voters to view my public campaign finance filings with the Federal Election Commission at www.fec.gov. Federal campaign finance law limits maximum contributions to $2,400 per individual per election.

Please paste a brief biography here

The son of a Chicago Bear and a social worker, Dan Seals learned early in life the value of working hard to make a better life for others. The youngest of three boys, Dan was raised by his mother in Hyde Park and attended public schools.

Dan graduated from Boston University where he majored in journalism. His first job after graduating was working as a high school teacher in Japan, where he became fluent in Japanese. Dan holds a M.A. in International Economics & Japanese studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a MBA from the University of Chicago.

Dan has extensive experience in trade and economic policy. As a winner of the prestigious Presidential Management Fellowship, Dan served as an Aide to the Asst. Secretary of Commerce, tracking exports of U.S. technology to foreign markets. Dan also served as an Economics Fellow in the U.S. Senate, where he worked on tax, budget, economic development and international trade issues. He has held leadership positions at Sprint and GE Capital.

Dan currently works as an independent business consultant and has lectured at Northwestern University. Among his more notable projects, he designed green job programs for the City of Chicago in an effort to increase local economic development. In his free time, he has been fighting for campaign finance reform and assisting local candidates to ensure residents have quality representation at every level of government. He and his wife, Mia, are the proud parents of three smart young daughters, who they are raising in Wilmette. #Comments_Container, #Comments_Container1,#commentsonly,.StoryInteract{display:none;}

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