Four candidates in three parties vie for Congress seat
A pair of Republicans, Randall M. â€œRandyâ€ Hultgren of Winfield, and Ethan A. Hastert of Elburn, run in the only opposed primary in the race. Additionally, incumbent Democrat Bill Foster of Batavia is running unopposed, as is Green Party challenger Daniel J. Kairis of South Elgin.
Randall M. â€˜Randyâ€™ Hultgren
Randy M. â€œRandyâ€ Hultgren said he decided to run for Congress because of his growing disillusionment with the direction of the federal government.
â€œI’m running for Congress because I’m tired of the out-of-control spending, irresponsive government and unrepresentative leadership that defines Washington,â€ Hultgren said. â€œI’m unwilling to hand a future to my children defined by the corrupt politics of horse-trading and earmarks that has tainted both political parties.â€
Hultgren is not a stranger to politics, having served in the Illinois State Senate since 2007 and the Illinois State House from 1999 to 2007. Prior to that, he served on the DuPage County Board and the Forest Preserve Commission from 1994 to 1998.
With a J.D. degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1993, he worked as a vice president for Performance Trust. He has also served as a Republican Precinct Committeeman for 20 years, and served as chairman of the Milton Township Republicans. In addition, he served as president of the Wheaton Academy Alumni Association, as well as on the boards of Metropolitan Family Services and Family Shelter Services.
This combination of political, business and community-service experience is why Hultgren feels he is the right choice on election day.
â€œI’m the only candidate in this race that has the community service, legislative victories, business experience, time spent living in the community and conservative endorsements and record to back up my claims,â€ Hultgren said. â€œI’ve accomplished major legislative victories in Springfield despite being in the minority, and I’ve earned awards and high ratings from organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business, NRA, and Illinois Crime Commission.â€
He said his top priority is to bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington. With the national debt exceeding $12 trillion, more than $200 billion was spent in the past year just to service the debt.
â€œThat’s money that could have been used to buy body armor for our soldiers, educate our children, research new sources of energy, or even better, never have been taxed from people to begin with,â€ Hultgren said.
He said that the interest on that debt will only get worse if nothing is done now, explaining that by 2019, the nation will spend more than $700 billion per year just on interest on our national debt.
â€œUnless we responsibly work to solve this problem, we’ll find ourselves relying on crushingly high inflation to eliminate the debt,â€ he said. â€œAnd whether it was Germany in the 1930s or Argentina in the late 1990s, no country ever survives in its current form under the strain of that kind of inflation.â€
Hultgren said the government needs to approach the fiscal situation in the opposite manner than it is today, focusing on economic growth and not on taxation as a means to raise revenue.
â€œI support an extension of the tax cuts set to expire next year, particularly those expiring provisions that will hurt investment in new or growing businesses,â€ he said. â€œIf these tax cuts expire, then income taxes, capital gains taxes and dividend taxes will all increase â€¦ which will discourage work, saving and investment; exactly the opposite of what we need in a recession.â€
He said that there are things the government can do to help jump start the economy. He supports implementing business tax credits to create jobs, spur innovation, encourage investment in severely troubled areas, and to incentivize domestic production and foreign taxation.
â€œThis will encourage job creation at home and increase sales of American goods abroad,â€ he said of the domestic production/foreign taxation incentives. He also supports an expansion of the child tax credit and reduction in rates for married couples as a means to ease the tax burden on families.
Combining that plan for economic growth with significant cuts in spending will help the nation return to a balanced budget, he said. He would also push for a presidential line item veto, to create another tool to limit or cut spending.
â€œI want across-the-board zero-based budgeting, with the requirement for the next 10 years that each federal department and sub-agency cut spending by 0.1 percent to 5 percent, depending on the agency and its mission,â€ he said.
Ethan A. Hastert
Ethan A. Hastert said his decision to run for Congress was based on his belief that Washingtonâ€™s recent spending is threatening the viability of the nationâ€™s future.
â€œGenerations of Americans have received the most blessed inheritance in history: a self-governing and prosperous nation, endowed with abundant natural resources,â€ he said. â€œBut reckless spending in Washington threatens this legacy, undermining our ability to leave our children and grandchildren anything but a mountain of debt.â€
After receiving a law degree from the Northwestern University School of Law, Hastert served in the White House as Special Assistant in the Office of the Vice President of the United States. He currently practices law in Chicago.
Since 2005, Hastert has served on the Board of Directors for the Luxembourg American Cultural Society, and since 2008, on its Executive Committee. He also serves as Counselor for Consular Affairs for the Consulate General of Luxembourg at Chicago.
Hastert said he will combine his experience in working in the White House with a common-sense approach to restore fiscal conservatism in Washington.
â€œI will do more than merely say â€˜noâ€™ to the Democrats borrow-tax-and-spend agenda,â€ Hastert said. â€œI will also provide reform-minded and results-oriented leadership to get America back to work.â€
Part of his plan to get America back to work is to advocate for a balanced budget amendment that would produce smaller government, less spending and lower taxes by requiring Congress to pay for each and every spending program.
â€œThis requirement will prevent Congress from waiving its own â€˜pay-as-you-goâ€™ rules in order to borrow and spend, without accounting for the ballooning deficit,â€ Hastert said.
He said he would push for a line item veto and earmark reform to increase government transparency. He advocates incremental and common-sense health care reforms to hold the line on health care costs, which will lessen the financial burden on working families and make it easier for businesses to begin hiring again, he said.
He opposes what he calls the Federal Reserveâ€™s inflationary monetary policies, which threaten our prosperity and the value of the dollar. He said he would sponsor a comprehensive national energy policy.
â€œThat will create private sector jobs and enhance our national security,â€ Hastert said.
He said he would also take a hard look at the current financial regulatory system, and would push for reforms that would allow businesses to succeed or fail based on the decisions they make.
â€œThe Democrats policy of â€˜too big to failâ€™ and â€˜too regulated to succeedâ€™ simply does not work,â€ Hastert said.
Hastert said that his economic positions make up a philosophy that says government should remain small and allow the private sector to grow the economy, rather than tax it.
â€œThe primary focus of the government should be on restoring economic growth to get America back to work,â€ he said. â€œThe Democrats’ big-government approach is all wrong: we cannot borrow, tax and spend our way to prosperity. After $1.5 trillion in bailouts, so-called stimulus and the â€˜cash for clunkersâ€™ program, even President Obama acknowledged that â€˜true economic recovery is only going to come from the private sector,â€™â€ Hastert said.
He said that the district needs to be represented by someone with common-sense conservative values.
â€œAs a solid conservative who is pro-life, pro-family, and pro-Second Amendment rights, I will stand up for our core values,â€ Hastert said. â€œAs an economic conservative who is alarmed by the mountain of debt the Democrats are racking up, I will combine my experience in the White House with my Midwestern values to serve as a check-and-balance on Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats.â€
Bill Fosterâ€™s campaign stated that as he is unopposed in this primary election, he is focused on his officials duties and not on the primary campaign.
Daniel J. Kairis
Green Party candidate Daniel J. Kairis said that he is running because of a lack of trust in either major political party.
â€œThe corporations have bought and sold the other two major parties,â€ Kairis said. â€œThe special interest groups have taken control of nearly all levels of governmentâ€”especially the federal level. More voters declare themselves independent than either Republican or Democrat. I want to give them an alternative choice to that of the â€˜lesser of two evils.â€™â€
Kairis has been involved in a number of independent and third-party activities over the years. He volunteered for the Ross Perot campaign, served on the Bylaws Committee for United We Stand America, was an alternate delegate to the Reform Party in 1994, served as State Chair for the Reform Party of Illinois in 1999, and was Treasurer of the United Independents Party of Illinois in 1995.
In addition to his political activities, Kairis has also been active in the community. He is the Vice President of the group Citizens Against the Balefill, Membership Chair of the Vagabond Flying Association, past president of the Fox Valley Computer Society. He served on the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee for the village of South Elgin, the Board of Directors for the Video Dealers’ Association-Illinois Chapter. He also was a grade school basketball coach for the South Elgin Recreation organization, and volunteered in the Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run and the Pottawatomie Park MS Walk.
He said his community service orientation extends into his political activities, and is why he wants to represent the residents of the 14th Congressional District without any outside influence.
â€œI am the only candidate who has pledged not to take any special interest money,â€ Kairis said. â€œThis will allow me the ability to represent the citizens and not be indebted to the special interests.â€
Kairis said the nation should stop importing foreign oil as a first step in turning around its economic struggles.
â€œ$220 billion are drained from our economy every year by importing the oil,â€ he said.
He said the nation can bring jobs back to our country by focusing on environmentally friendly ways of producing energy. He proposes using natural gas as an interim source of energy until the nation can build electric cars and the infrastructure to provide interchangeable batteries for extended range of the cars.
â€œWe can start building wind farms to provide the electricity to recharge the batteries at substations,â€ he said. â€œWe have built an entire infrastructure for gasoline-powered automobiles. We can do the same for the next generation of convenient electric vehicles.â€