People Before Politics.


My stances on the issues that face the 16th Illinois congressional district are simple.  They are deeply rooted in my philosophy that what makes America one of the greatest countries on the planet is American pride, American innovation, and American work ethic.

As your congressional representative, I promise to fight for the families, workers, and citizens of the 16th district by following these points.  I will further elaborate on each point in the articles linked from here.

Legislative Independence

  • I believe a legislator should regularly communicate in person with his or her constituents.  A legislator should be approachable, respectful, and receptive.
  • I oppose ideological or party-line affiliation clouding the judgment of representatives who are elected by and paid by their constituents.  As your legislator the opinions of my constituents will have a superior position in the decision making of the legislator.
  • I support campaign finance reform.  There is no place for even the appearance of impropriety between corporate campaign donors and the legislator.

Civil Liberties

  • I support all civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights for all Americans and all other people regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or religious belief.
  • I unequivocally support a woman’s right to choose as guaranteed by the constitutional right to privacy.
  • I support freedom of the press and freedom of speech and will work to establish safeguards against any federal regulation amounting to prior restraint.
  • I support the right to bear arms and will oppose any blanket prohibition on the private ownership of firearms, while encouraging national legislation for specific common sense regulations to keep dangerous criminals and other dangerous persons from ownership.

Industry, Manufacturing, and Commerce

  • I believe America succeeds because of the traditional free market and free and open borders.  I fully support NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) as it brings significant business opportunities to Illinois farmers and manufacturers.
  • However, I also believe that the government has an obligation to assist businesses and workers to maintain relevance and competitiveness through educational opportunities for the trades and modern computer-assisted manufacturing jobs.
  • I believe that American workers are some of the most motivated and productive on the planet because of our work ethic and trade / professional pride.  Therefore, America ought to promote transition of our skilled workforce to twenty-first century manufacturing applications.

Healthcare

  • I support the Affordable Care Act (known as “ObamaCare”) unless a bipartisan consensus can be established to fix aspects of the system and how to replace it.
  • I strongly support federal legislation to force medical service providers to be absolutely transparent on their pricing in order for consumers to know how much services will cost before being obligated to pay for them.
  • I am not opposed in theory to single-payer healthcare reform, but I do believe the national debate on reform is too focused on making healthcare affordable through single-payer instead of questioning whether single-payer would reduce the quality and efficacy of healthcare provision.

Labor and Employment

  • I do not support “right to work” laws because they are an infringement of the freedom to contract between worker and employer.  I believe workers have a fundamental right to organize into labor unions and labor associations freely as they so choose.
  • I believe that every person regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, and national origin should earn equal pay for equal work.
  • I am open to bipartisan discussion of raising the minimum wage via federal incentives to states to choose to raise the minimum wages themselves, based on local policy and economic analysis.
  • I support social security and do not believe privatizing the system to be in the best interests of America.

The Economy, Economic Policy, and Taxation

  • I absolutely support free and open borders for trade and commerce because of the efficiency such policy brings to businesses and their employees.
  • I support significant federal funding of hard sciences and applied sciences.
  • I support federally-funded infrastructure maintenance programs and I support providing certain federal tax incentives to private government contractors hired to work on infrastructure redevelopment who hire veterans.
  • I support all current federal rules that require public projects using federal funds to “buy American” for materials and services.
  • I believe that small businesses are the cornerstone of America’s economic strength and all federal policies pertaining to the economy, taxation, commerce, and money should support small and medium-sized businesses.
  • I support simplification of the Internal Revenue Code for taxpayers that make less than $100,000 per year and do not have any passive, non-earned income.  I believe that compliance costs for small businesses can be reduced significantly by amending certain elements of the Internal Revenue Code, which in turn would make small businesses more profitable.

International Relations

  • I fully support America’s international obligations to NATO and its current “most favored nation” trading partners.
  • I believe that the current administration’s policies are detrimental to America’s international reputation and standing.  I believe that America needs to again become a world leader in promoting basic human rights and as a role model for democracy.

Agriculture

  • I believe that the Agricultural Act of 2014 (also known as the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill) needs to be amended in order to protect rural, agrarian areas of the country like the 16th Illinois congressional district.
  • I support expanding crop insurance in future amendments of the Act and expanding the current dairy price support program into other areas of agriculture.  Further, I would bring back limited farming subsidies in the form of deductions for farms growing certain crops.
  • I support increasing federal funding for food banks and using agriculture funding to support job training and placement services for Americans accepting SNAP and WIC benefits.
  • I support and would propose legislation to assist CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs in our congressional district and elsewhere to make low-cost, nutritious farm-to-table food available.

Education

  • I support strong, well-funded public schools and believe that all children in America, regardless of geographic location or financial standing, should get the best education possible for grades K through 12 including robust vocational and trade education starting in grade 9 for those students who seek it.
  • I believe that standardized testing is detrimental to teachers’ and administrators’ ability to properly teach students.  I believe that within our nation’s continued dialog on education, curriculum, and educational finance we regularly and without justification minimize teachers’ union voices and educational professional associations even though their professional opinion should have considerable weight in the discussion.
  • I do not support a blanket federally-funded college tuition program; however, I do not believe the federal government or private lenders should profit on student loan interest and fees when such loans are exempt from bankruptcy.  I support placing a cap of 0.25% interest on all federally-insured student loans and 0.5% interest on all private loans.
  • I support providing significant federal assistance to on-the-job training programs for the trades and assistance to community colleges to develop programs aimed at training or re-training workers in twenty-first century computer-aided manufacturing occupations.

The Military and Veterans Affairs

  • I support repealing recent budget cuts to military dependents’ benefits for active duty service members.  I support increasing the programs and funding available to both service members and their dependents (for active duty, national guard, and reservists) for healthcare, mental health services, educational and trade training programs, and for state- and local-level job placement programs for veterans regardless of time since discharge.
  • I believe the current Department of Veterans Affairs is failing our military veterans.   We must analyze and correct veteran benefits pertaining to healthcare and mental health services.