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U.S. House, Dist. 10: Robert Dold


Political affiliation: Republican

City: Kenilworth

Marital status: Married

Occupation/Firm name: Rose Pest Solutions, President

Campaign HQ address: 511 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka, IL 60093

Campaign website: doldforcongress.com

What is your campaign budget- No response

What are your top priorities for the nation-

The top concern in our nation is the struggling economy. Faced with the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the biggest concern of voters and a critical responsibility of our elected officials is to improve the economy, pull us out of recession and lower unemployment.

Therefore, my top priority as a Congressman would be to advance policies that support small business and encourage hiring to create private sector jobs for American workers. There are 29 million small businesses in this country, and we must create an environment that encourages them to grow and hire. As a small business owner myself, I believe I have the experience and knowledge of small business to do this.

Another top priority and a concern for all Americans is the out-of-control spending in Washington . The Federal government has buried current and future generations of Americans in more than $13 trillion in debt, without any end in sight. In two years the total national debt is forecasted to exceed the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States, which currently stands at $14.2 trillion annually. It is irresponsible to burden our children with this level of debt. Congress currently borrows $0.40 for every dollar it spends, the equivalent of a family of four earning $75,000 but spending $125,000 every year.

We must cut spending to put our government back on firm financial ground. We should bring spending back down to near 20% of GDP, which is the historical average, instead of letting spending rise to nearly 25% as currently proposed. To do this we must first actually have a budget. Congress didn't even prepare a budget this year despite being in the midst of a global recession and domestic economic crisis. As a small business owner I find this entirely irresponsible.

We must also extend the tax cuts passed earlier in this decade to allow American families and businesses to keep more of their own money so families can save and invest and businesses can grow and hire.

National security must always be a priority of the Congress. In addition to our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the great threat to the United States and our allies around the world lies in a nuclear Iran. The United States must take strong and immediate actions to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

What are your top priorities for your congressional district-

My top priority for the District is to get people back to work. We must promote policies like expanding free trade that can have direct impacts on 10th District manufacturing companies to create jobs here. We must provide small businesses with easier access to credit, for example allowing credit unions to loan a larger percentage of their assets.

Another priority is to ensure a quality educational system for our students. I believe the best way to improve our education is to give power back in the hands of families and local schools. I also believe we should provide our teachers with better technology in the classroom. We must challenge principals to find new ways to expand opportunities for students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). We need to empower local educators and administrators to encourage more and stronger STEM programs that are designed and implemented in conjunction with local industry experts, museums, universities, research centers and other STEM-capable community partners.

Another priority must to protect the environment and in particular Lake Michigan, the 5th largest body of fresh water in the world.

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 current recession is being caused by a very complex confluence of factors. Since the early 1990's, Americans have become increasingly dependent on debt to finance our consumption. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, individuals have increased debt from approximately 80% of disposable income in the early 1990's to a peak of about 130% in 2007/2008. Over this period, low interest rates, complex securitization of loans, and lax lending standards helped to fuel the rapid growth in consumer debt. Access to cheap and readily available credit led to a wave of buyers bidding up home prices to unprecedented levels. This appreciation was unsustainable, and the bursting of the housing bubble set in motion a series of events that led the U.S. economy into a severe recession beginning in December 2007.

We need to put in place policies to help individuals reduce debt and increase savings. We need to help families by letting them keep more of the money they earn. We can do this through an extension of the existing tax policies, avoiding the added burden of increased taxes on individuals during this time of economic hardship. I fully recognize that the federal government has gone on a spending binge over the last two decades. We will face difficult choices in addressing this critical issue as well. I firmly believe that our economy will return to growth, if we make the right policy decisions in Congress.

To offset reduced consumer spending, and to sustain growth in our economy, we need to promote policies which support the growth in business investment and exports. This is why I will push for the approval of the Korean, Panama and Columbian free trade agreements to expand manufacturing jobs in the 10th District and our nation. It is estimated that for every 1% growth in exports, 250,000 new American jobs are created. In Congress, I will promote policies that create American jobs.

I am not a politician, but rather a small business owner and a father who is concerned about the future of the country for my children. As an employer of nearly 100 families, I care deeply about each one of them. They are my extended family. I am very concerned that all levels of government are making it harder and harder for me to open our business every day and keep these families together. Small businesses like ours need regulatory certainty and we need the burden of heavy taxation lifted so that businesses can grow and hire more workers. Until these actions are taken by our governments the economy simply cannot improve.

I do not favor more federal stimulus spending. According to www.recovery.gov, $169 million of stimulus money has been spent in the 10th District to create 160 jobs. This is a blatant waste that shows government doesn't know how to create jobs. The Stimulus bill passed by Congress was highly partisan, a loose collection of pet projects, and not intelligently designed to ensure investment in long-term jobs. I want to bring common-sense small business experience to Washington. We need to focus on creating private-sector jobs, balancing our budget, cutting spending, and working on a bipartisan basis to deliver to our children and grandchildren a better country than we inherited.

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-

There is no doubt that the Earth is in a warming trend, as nearly everybody who has weighed in on this debate has stipulated. However, as the question correctly implies, the core of the debate lies in the degree to which human behavior is either causing or contributing to this change in climate. Does that mean that we should do nothing- I don't believe so.

For the health and quality of life of our families and future generations we need to demand that advancements in ensuring a clean environment continue. We are stewards of our environment, and as a member of Congress I will be a staunch advocate for our environment, including the health of Lake Michigan--our District's greatest natural resource. As an Eagle Scout and Troop Leader for many years, I have great appreciation for the sanctity of the environment and the need to ensure its protection. I am in favor of initiatives that would increase environmental quality for all Americans. I am not in favor of mandating an emissions cap and trade plan as I believe that it would cost Illinois and our nation jobs. Additionally, I believe it would be an inequitable program that would adversely impact those who live in cold-weather states, such as Illinois. A cap and trade system would place an enormous tax on businesses, which would increase electricity prices dramatically and cost jobs at a time when we can least afford it.

We can do better by coming together on a bipartisan basis and working to make our environment cleaner. Some emissions reducing initiatives that I support include higher fuel efficient vehicles, the expansion of zero-emission nuclear power generation, the sequestration of harmful greenhouse gases emitted from stationary emissions sources by the use of algae and other methods, the expansion of the use of natural gas, the adoption of smart grid technologies to make our grid more efficient, and many others. We should also be encouraging companies to reduce their carbon footprint in ways that are sensible for their business.

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

We missed a golden opportunity with the recent health care reform. I believe the legislation is the wrong prescription for our health care system and, worse, the American people. I am deeply concerned that the new health care legislation will hurt American seniors. It cut $560 billion in Medicare benefits and transferred that money to pay for new federal healthcare bureaucracies. According to Medicare's Chief Actuary, more than seven million Americans will lose their current Medicare Advantage plans, and other provisions will result in less generous benefit packages. The legislation was much too expensive and will steadily increase taxes on the middle class, while adding to an already unsustainable Federal debt.

Many common-sense solutions offered by Republicans were discarded by Democrats in their haste to pass some sort of legislation and claim success. I strongly believe we need to implement tort reform. An incredible amount of waste occurs because of a mentality that is caused by unchecked lawsuits. The cost of ￯﾿ᄑdefensive' medicine--tests, procedures, referrals, hospitalizations, or prescriptions ordered by physicians fearful of lawsuits--is huge and widespread, according to a recent study by the Massachusetts Medical Society. This must be changed to protect the solvency of our healthcare system.

I also believe we need to offer choice across state lines. In nearly every other sector of the economy, consumers are free to choose across state lines and companies are free to market across state lines. This change would expand the choices available to consumers and increase the competition for each insurer, thereby driving down prices and improving service.

We must also require greater transparency of pricing and outcomes data. Today it is nearly impossible to compare price and outcomes, and effectiveness. The current system does not encourage providers to report data with any kind of consistency and as such, price and outcomes comparisons are complicated and almost certainly "apples-to-oranges."

As a Congressman I would push for changes to the current law to ensure access to care, while not forgetting the importance of controlling costs for individuals and companies and ensuring quality care for every American.

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-

I support the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and President Obama's decision to send more troops. I am encouraged that the Commander of U.S. and NATO troops, General Petraeus, recently has indicated that the momentum of the Taliban in several regions of the country has been reversed, and I would defer to his leadership on the appropriate military strategy on the ground.

However, I am concerned about the legitimacy of President Hamid Karzai as a political figure among the people, as well as a partner in the coalition effort. In my judgment, the confluence of President Karzai's contested re-election, his threats to join the Taliban, and now his personal intervention and release of one of his aides who is part of a corruption investigation, create sufficient cause for concern that President Karzai may be unable to provide the long-term stability needed for the U.S. and NATO forces to succeed in Afghanistan. I am also concerned by violence in the south and east that has intimidated candidates and voters from participation in elections. Nearly one in seven polling centers will not open on Election Day next month, and more than 10 percent of Afghan registered voters will not be able to participate due to security concerns. We must create a more secure environment to allow this country to gain its footing.

In addition, I did not agree with President Obama's placement of a timeline to withdraw forces from Afghanistan and replace current U.S. and NATO forces with Afghan soldiers. For an enemy that is patient and deliberate, setting a deadline for withdrawal only creates an environment of uncertainty between our forces and the Afghan people, it hurts moral among our troops by demonstrating a lack of commitment to the effort, and, most of all, it is unrealistic. This week (8/23/10) the American commander in charge of recruiting and training Afghan security forces indicted that his team would have to recruit 141,000 new Afghan soldiers and police officers in the coming 15 months to meet the President's deadline. Instead of setting timelines for withdrawal, I believe the President should set benchmarks for success.

Our strategy should be to stabilize the government and police and military forces in Afghanistan so they can take control of the country. We must end the terrorist training camps and cut off their funding.

We must also be given a full accounting by the Afghan government of the U.S. aid money we are providing for reconstruction, and pressure the government to take responsibility for creating a civil society and functioning democracy.

As a member of Congress, my responsibility would be to ensure that the men and women on the ground have the resources that they need to succeed. Success will be defined as a security and political environment that is self-sustaining, and a country that does not revert in our absence into a training ground for terrorists who are capable of perpetrating gross atrocities around the world. Success will be when the women and children of Afghanistan can live freely, become educated, and not face the atrocities of the Taliban.

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

The gains that have been achieved in Iraq since the darkest days of the war have been remarkable and a tribute to those who have made tremendous sacrifices to achieve them. As with Afghanistan, I do not agree with a timeline for withdrawal but believe we should set benchmarks for success. It is my view that matters of national security and military strategy should not be politicized, as we must work together to do what is in the best interest of our national security and of our men and women on the ground.

I am pleased that many of our troops have begun to return. The more stable the new Iraqi government becomes, and the more sure footed the Iraqi military and police forces are, the smaller the role the United States will have to play. The overall strategy should be to build on the gains that have been made, and to ensure a democracy grows and thrives in Iraq. I was encouraged to learn this week that Syrian and Iraqi leaders have taken the significant step of opening talks to break the deadlock over forming a new government in Baghdad. My hope is that these discussions will continue.

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

The United States must take strong and immediate actions to stop Iran from continuing to develop nuclear weapons. These are critical times, with the news that Iran is loading fuel into the Busherhr nuclear facility, is planning to build a new facility and with President Ahmadinejad's inflammatory announcement about a new long-range bomber aircraft.

I supported the expansive sanctions package against Iran's nuclear weapons program passed earlier this summer by the Congress, which strengthens the United States' ability to deter covered companies from conducting business with Iran's energy sector, through a variety of sanctions and banking restrictions. I encourage President Obama to fully enforce these sanctions.

I support the United States in using all diplomatic, political and economic measurers available to remove the threat posed by Iran.

It is a strategic imperative and moral necessity for the United States to preserve its close relationship with the State of Israel. I traveled to Israel for a week-long visit in May of this year because I wanted to see, first-hand, the critical security challenges that Israel and America currently face together in the Middle East. In these critical times, when many in the international community routinely single out Israel for condemnation and attempt to delegitimize her very existence and humanitarian values, we must stand firmly with our ally, Israel. We must keep primarily focused on working with our Israeli partners to halt Iran's drive toward a nuclear weapon, and to advance the peace process in a way that ensures Israel's long-term security. As Congressman, I will back the democratically elected government of Israel as it works to keep its citizens secure.

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-

The federal government must lead on immigration. First, we must control our borders so we know who is coming into our country and to stem the flow of illegal immigration into our country. We must also create a more efficient process for dealing with our legal immigration process.

I believe that the Arizona bill was a result of inaction at the Federal level. I believe this is a federal issue and we cannot have a patchwork of state laws on an issue as critical to national security as immigration.

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 have made improving education a top-priority of my campaign and have formed an education advisory board comprised of teachers, school principals, support staff, parents and school board members. Time and time again, I hear that the unintended consequences of well-intentioned federal education programs tend to reduce classroom innovation and lower the quality of education for many students.

I support President Obama's goal of improving education and accountability for our schools and students. However, I am wary of federal education programs that seek to impose one-size-fits-all solutions on local schools. For example, inadequate testing models in No Child Left Behind must be improved. The re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act should include growth model testing and greater flexibility at the local level.

I believe that parents, school districts and teachers must be the integral part of developing a locally tailored evaluation system that works best for their own community. Teachers are not afraid of accountability and we should demand it of them. I support rewarding teachers and principals because these are the hard-working individuals on the front lines in developing the future generation. We should give our teachers and principals every opportunity to succeed, and should empower local school districts to tailor programs to achieve objectives. Their jobs are too important to accept anything less than excellence.

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

I support the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and woman. I believe same-sex partners should have the ability to enter into contractual agreements.

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

I do not support the national legalization of marijuana.

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-

In the wake of the attacks of September 11 the United States was presented with very difficult decisions as to how to balance the principles and essence of who we are as a people while ensuring that our national security was not comprised again.

My position on Guantanamo Bay and the treatment of unlawful enemy combatants stems foremost from my belief that we should not be imprisoning lawful or unlawful enemy combatants for an indefinite period of time. I favor a process that adjudicates the cases against these combatants in a timely manner. As for the venue within which these cases are considered, I support trials in civilian courts given the track record to date of prosecutions since 9/11--civilian courts have convicted over 400 terrorists. Military Commissions have convicted 4 terrorists to date. However, in the event that experts in the intelligence community determine that the civilian court process exposes U.S. intelligence information to terrorists, I would support whatever venue, be it civilian courts or military commissions, that ensures that U.S. national security is protected.

List your educational background

New Trier High School

Denison University, Political Science, BA

Indiana University, JD

Northwestern Kellogg School of Management, MBA

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

Boy Scouts of America, Scout Master

Illinois Pest Control Association

National Pest Management Association

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

I worked in George H.W. Bush White House and on Capitol Hill as Investigative Counsel for the Government Reform and Oversight Committee.

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

My company Rose Pest Solutions has a contract with the VA Hospital. My wife Danielle works for the Treasury Department.

Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed

I have numerous donors who have contributed the maximum contribution of $2,400 per person for this campaign cycle.

Please paste a brief biography here

Robert Dold (41) was born and raised in Winnetka in the 10th Congressional District. He is an owner and President of Rose Pest Solutions, a local small business headquartered in Northfield. Robert graduated from New Trier High School, earned a B.A. at Denison, a law degree from Indiana University and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.

Bob has garnered diverse experience in government, law and business. Some highlights include working in the White House and on Capitol Hill as an Investigative Counsel for the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, where he worked on campaign finance reform.

As a small business owner and operator Bob knows the strains that have been placed on the backs of businesses around our country by the ever-growing demands of Washington. It is this concern for the future direction of our country, our economy and its effect on American workers and families that has driven him to seek to represent the 10th Congressional District.

Bob and his wife of ten years, Danielle, are the proud parents of three children, Harper (8), Bobby (6), and Honor (2). Bob is an active member of his local community. As a lifelong Boy Scout and Eagle Scout, he serves as Scoutmaster for the Troop 13 Senior Scouts, a post he has held for the last ten years. Bob has been active in local politics and serves as a Republican Precinct Captain. He served on the Holy Angels Young Friends Board in Chicago and currently serves on the Alison Tobey Smart Board, and is a member of the Santa for the Very Poor organization. #Comments_Container, #Comments_Container1,#commentsonly,.StoryInteract{display:none;}

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