Tag Archives: Bill Foster

Trio seek seat to represent 14th Congressional District

Democrat incumbent Bill Foster seeks his second term representing the 14th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, while Republican challenger Randy Hultgren and Green Party candidate Dan Kairis seek to replace him in Washington.

Bill Foster
Democrat, Incumbent
Age: 55
Family: Married; two children
Hometown: Batavia
Education, employment, and political background: Currently serves as U.S. Representative for the 14th District. Spent more than 20 years as scientist at Fermilab; started manufacturing business. Graduated University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1975, earned graduate degree from Harvard University in 1983
Community involvement:
Member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); elected fellow of the American Physical Society. Served on the board of the Batavia Foundation for Education Excellence, an organization dedicated to enhancing the public schools in Batavia; was a youth soccer coach in the Tri-Cities for several years.

Bill Foster said he is seeking a second term because he has shown the type of independent voice needed in Washington. He cited a National Journal article ranking him as the second-most centrist member of Congress, and said endorsements from growth suck as the Illinois Farm Bureau and VFW-PaC demonstrate his centrist approach to policy positions.

“I value facts over ideology or partisan politics, which is why I voted against the flawed cap and trade bill and why I voted against my own party’s budget every time because it failed to include a long-term plan to reduce the deficit and pay down the debt,” Foster said.

Foster said the nation’s priority should be creating jobs and improving the economy.

“Putting America back to work requires leaders with independent solutions, not more career politicians who only repeat partisan talking points,” Foster said. “As a small businessman and scientist, I know what it takes to create jobs, and I am committed to helping our economy fully recover.”

His background as a small businessman has helped him understand what is needed to help the economy recover, he said.

“I know that small businesses are the engine that drives economic recovery,” Foster said. “This is why I have supported tax breaks for small businesses and tax credits for local entrepreneurs who are creating new jobs, while voting to crack down on tax loopholes for corporations shipping American jobs overseas.”

To help manufacturing jobs remain in the United States, Foster said he supports making the research and development tax credit permanent, and linking it to a commitment to manufacture in the U.S.

Foster supported several tax breaks and tax credits for small businesses, and specified ones targeted at creating new jobs. He explained that due to these types of pro-business policies he has supported, after-tax business profits are larger than pre-crisis levels.

“Businesses are using these record profits first to de-leverage from the unhealthy debt levels of the last decade, then to invest in new equipment to raise productivity, and will then finally begin hiring—a healthy, inevitable, but painfully slow process,” he said.

From a long-term perspective, Foster said the nation needs to focus on its debt by reducing unnecessary and wasteful spending. In 2009, Foster against $3.7 billion in specific wasteful government spending and earmarks, and co-sponsored a bill that would cut the pay of legislators by 5 percent. He also voted to cap all non-essential spending.

“We simply cannot continue to saddle our children and grandchildren with tens of thousands of debt to pay for services being provided to the present generation. My record proves my commitment to bringing fiscal responsibility back to Washington,” Foster said. “Unfortunately, it took us years to get into this mess and getting out of it will also take time, but we need to let the American citizens know that we have a path to return us to economic prosperity.”

Randy Hultgren
Republican, Challenger
Age: 44
Family: Married, four children
Hometown: Winfield
Education, employment, and political background: Graduate, Bethel University, 1988; JD, Chicago-Kent College of Law, 1993; Financial Certificates: Series 7, 6, 63; is an investment adviser; served in the Illinois State Senate from 2007 to present; served in the Illinois State House of Representatives from 1999-2007; served on the DuPage County Board from 1994-1998
Community involvement: Has served on the Board of Directors for the DuPage Homeownership Center; Metropolitan Family Services Board; Koinonia Ministry Board; Serenity House Board; President of the Wheaton Academy Alumni Board

Randy Hultgren said he is seeking the office because he wants to bring “commonsense policies to Washington.”

He said he would focus on helping people get back to work, cutting government spending by restoring fiscal sanity, and passing a new healthcare reform that will control the cost of care.

If the federal government follows the policies he supports, Hultgren said the nation would experience a reversal of its current direction.

“It is no secret that the only segment of growth in our economy is government,” Hultgren said. “And still the economy doesn’t improve; one in 10 is unemployed; and we are on the verge of an enormous tax increase impacting all Americans on Jan. 1. Our nation is going in the wrong direction, and I will fight to stop this dangerous slide.”

Hultgren said that the nation’s recovery will be based on more than a single bill or policy proposal.

“I think the single most important thing we can do to spur economic recovery is change the fundamental philosophy in Congress from one that penalizes job creators and believes the government knows best, to one that empowers free-enterprise to innovate and employ,” he said.

Hultgren pointed out that the federal budget is nearly a quarter of the entire federal economy, saying that the government does not have a revenue problem, it has an expenditure one.

“Addressing the wasteful and inappropriate spending—not raising taxes in a recession—needs to be our priority,” he said.

He supports lowing payroll taxes or forgiving payroll taxes on new employees, passing long-term extensions of the Research and Development tax credit, exemptions for the Alternative Minimum Tax and repeal of the death tax, and the extension of higher expensing limits for capital expenditures and outlays.

“As a long-term solution, I strongly support comprehensive tax reform that universally lowers rates, has simpler rules, and produces faster filing,” he said. “Title 26 of the US Code and federal tax regulations in 26 C.F.R. amount to thousands upon thousands of tax regulations that are producing a very real drag on our economic productivity and competitiveness. Families, individuals, and businesses shouldn’t have to spend 10s or 100s of hours complying with an overly complicated tax code.”

Part of his plan for ensuring long-term and sustainable economic growth is to deal with the federal debt. Calling it an “unsustainable burden on future generations,” he said he would have opposed recent measures such as the financial reform bill passed this summer.

“I would have strenuously opposed the financial reform bill because it institutionalizes bailouts and does nothing to address the problem posed by government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae, which were the root cause of the financial crisis,” he said. “Taxes should be lowered; high taxes are hindering investment and hurting our international competitiveness.”

Don Kairis
Green Party, Challenger
Age: 60
Family: Married, two children
Hometown: South Elgin
Education, employment, and political background: Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Illinois University in 1972; semi-retired/substitute teacher; member of United We Stand America Bylaws Committee; Treasurer of Independents Party of Illinois
Community involvement: U-46 Strategic Planning Committee; South Elgin Intergovernmental Affairs Committee Chair: first/second-grade basketball coach in South Elgin; Vice President Citizens Against the Balefill; “Odyssey of the Mind” Judge; MS Walk; Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run Volunteer; “Little Angels Run”; South Elgin “Bikes and Badges Run for Special Olympics; Motorcycle Charity Ride for the Ecker Center; AOPA Pilot Mentor Program; Vagabond Flying Association Membership Chair

Dan Kairis said that a vote for him and fellow Green Party candidates would send a message to politicians from both parties that the public deserves better. He said that special interests and campaign finances have led to many of the problems the nation is currently facing.

“The phrases ‘best government money can buy’ and ‘pay for play politics’ continues to be perpetuated by the entrenched political parties and the special interests that fund their campaigns,” Kairis said. “I am the only established candidate who is taking no special interest campaign contributions. Thus I can represent the citizens without the undue influence of the special interests.”

To help bolster the national economy, Kairis pointed to his 2020 Green Energy Plan, which he said would create millions of jobs. In addition, he said millions of American jobs are lost due to trade imbalances with other nations, specifically China.

“We need to end the unfair trade practices that allow other countries to dump their government subsidized products at the expense of our workers. We need to stop our dependency on foreign oil. We need to stop the subsidization of multi-national corporations. All of these policies have cost millions of American jobs,” Kairis said.

Kairis pointed to an updated study by G. William Domhoff that said in 2007, the top 20 wealthiest Americans owned nearly 85 percent of the nation’s wealth. In addition, he cited a report by the New York Times’ David Cay Johnston that said the income of the top 400 richest Americans tripled during the Clinton administration and doubled again during the Bush administration.

“Their undue influence with the two major parties have caused the ‘trickle down’ economic theory to (become) a ‘torrent to the top,’ with the richest benefitting from the taxes the rest of us pay,” Kairis said. “It is time for them to pay their fair share and end the offshore accounts and loopholes.”

Kairis said that an additional, significant economic problem is the size of our federal debt. Calling it a “tremendous problem for our children,” Kairis said that reducing our dependence on foreign oil and focusing on our trade deficit with China would begin to address the problem.

“Keeping that wealth here would provide to essential steps to reducing the debt,” he said. “Providing those jobs would provide extra taxes and would reduce the cost of government services for the unemployed.”

Those two areas of focus would also have a foreign relations benefit as well, he said.

“We need to end our dependence on foreign oil. Our economy can be held hostage at any time by a country that disagrees with any of our policies,” Kairis said. “The 2020 Green Energy Plan I have been helping to develop would be a practical step in addressing many of our economic and environmental problems.”

WCC hopes to establish a Fab Lab

MIT developed the computer-controlled machining shop
by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Mobile Fabrication Laboratory—Fab Lab—exhibit at Waubonsee Community College gave attendees a glimpse of the computer-controlled machining shop’s ability to design and build just about anything the mind can imagine.

“The Fab Lab turns concepts into reality and promotes science, engineering and math,” said Jeff Noblitt, Waubonsee’s marketing and communication director. “It benefits entrepreneurs and can help both the local and global economy.”

Massachussets Institute of Technology PhD students accompanied the Fab Lab mobile to Waubonsee’s debut at the Aurora campus on Sept. 3. Able to take ideas and create prototypes, the laboratory has such vast capabilities that Waubonsee is considering opening a permanent Fab Lab in its new downtown Aurora campus sometime in 2011.

“There’s currently no funding for the project, and the proposal is still outstanding, so the cost of the project is still undetermined,” Noblitt said. “Waubonsee is pursuing funding, though.”

The recent Fab Lab exhibit came at no cost, as MIT financed the entire demonstration, Noblitt said.

Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) helped Waubonsee arrange the Fab Lab visit.

“We were excited to work with the city of Aurora and Bill Foster (to bring the Fab Lab to Waubonsee),” Noblitt said.

Foster was on hand at Waubonsee to introduce the Fab Lab the day before the exhibit at Galena and Stolp avenues.

The congressman lauded the mobile lab’s potential and capabilities.

“The rapid manufacturing capability of MIT Fab Labs helps students complete the link between designing parts on a computer and holding finished parts in their hands,” Foster said. “They can then incorporate those parts into their inventions, their works of art or new products.”

Foster added that Fab Labs spread the means to innovate and produce real-world useful products like no other concept since the Industrial Revolution.

Rep. Foster votes to block automatic pay increases

Foster donates pay raise to Northern Illinois Food Bank
Washington—Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) recently voted for H.R. 5146, bipartisan legislation that would stop automatic pay increases for members of Congress in FY 2011. Last year, Foster voted for H.R. 156, which ultimately blocked the FY 2010 Congressional pay raise.

“At a time when Congress must restore fiscal discipline to address the deficit, automatic pay raises for Members of Congress are not the answer,” said Foster. “This pay increase is unnecessary and inappropriate.”

Foster was a cosponsor of both pieces of legislation that blocked the pay increase in FY 2010 and FY 2011. He is also a cosponsor of legislation, H.R. 4720, that would reduce the rate of basic pay for members of Congress by 5 percent.

“Though I am proud to have worked with a bipartisan group over the past two years to successfully block the automatic pay raises for members of Congress, the 2009 pay raise is still in effect,” said Foster. “I believe, as I did last year, that this money could be put to better use as our economy recovers, which is why I am happy to donate this money to charity.”

The FY 2009 pay raise was voted on before Foster was elected to office. Like last year, Foster again donated the FY09 pay raise this year, which amounts to $4,700, to the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

“Congressman Foster has been a strong advocate and personal supporter of Northern Illinois Food Bank for quite some time,” said Dennis Smith, President and CEO of NIFB. “Funds will be used to help build a new food distribution and community nutrition center. Congressman Foster understands the critical nature of building a food security net that will support those in need for many years to come.”

Rep. Foster announces health insurance reform provisions that will immediately go into effect

Foster attends signing ceremony to see legislation become law
Washington, DC—Congressman Bill Foster (IL-14) announced provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care act that went into effect Tuesday after attending the White House Signing Ceremony to witness President Barack Obama sign the legislation into law.

“Today, now that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is law, key provisions of this health insurance reform will go into effect, and families and small businesses in the 14th District will begin to benefit,” Foster said. “For example, seniors will start to see the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ close, small businesses can receive tax credits to make employee coverage more affordable, and young adults will be able to stay on their family insurance plans until the age of 26.”

The Senate was scheduled to begin consideration of the legislation containing the improvements to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Tuesday. This legislation passed the House on Sunday evening.

“I was proud to support a package of changes in the House that would improve the Senate health-insurance reform bill, and I urge the Senate to quickly pass these improvements,” said Foster.

The following benefits will be available in the first year after enactment (this year) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. (Note: This list reflects what is in the Senate bill, which is now law, not the reconciliation language, which is currently pending in the Senate.)
• The Medicare Part D “donut hole” will begin to close by raising the ceiling on the initial coverage period by $500 in 2010. It will also guarantee 50 percent price discounts on brand-name drugs and biologics purchased by low and middle-income beneficiaries in the coverage gap.
• Small businesses that choose to offer coverage will be eligible for tax credits of up to 50 percent of premiums to make employee coverage more affordable.
• Young adults will be allowed to stay on family policies until age 26.
• $5 billion is provided in immediate federal support for a new program to provide affordable coverage to uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions. Coverage under this program will continue until new exchanges are operational.
• Early retirees will have immediate access to re-insurance for employer health plans providing coverage for them—this re-insurance will help protect coverage while reducing premiums for employers and retirees.
• Insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime limits on benefits, and will restrict the use of annual limits.
• Insurance companies cannot rescind insurance when claims are filed, except in cases of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of material fact.
• Group health plans are prohibited from establishing any eligibility rules for health care coverage that have the effect of discriminating in favor of higher-wage employees.
• Standards for insurance overhead will be established to ensure that premiums are spent on health benefits. It will also require public disclosure of overhead and benefit spending and require premium rebates for insurers that exceed established standards for overhead expenses.
• Assistance will be provided to states that establish offices of health insurance consumer assistance or health insurance ombudsman programs to assist individuals with the filing of complaints and appeals, enrollment in a health plan, and eventually, to assist consumers with resolving problems with tax credit eligibility.
• All health plans will implement an effective appeals process for appeals of coverage determinations and claims, and will adopt uniform descriptions of plan benefits and appeals procedures and will use uniform forms and claims processing processes to reduce costs.
• A new website will be created to provide information on and facilitate informed consumer choice of insurance options.

Feb. 2 Election Results

Below are the local unofficial results from the Feb. 2, 2010 primary election. Winners names are in bold.

District Representative 14th Congressional District

Democratic candidates
Bill Foster—25,071
Republican candidates
Randall M. “Randy” Hultgren—34,472
Ethan A. Hastert—28,575

State Senator 25th District

Democratic candidates
Leslie N. Juby—8,492
Republican candidates
P. Sean Michels—9,444
Chris Lauzen—22,110

State Representative 50th District

Democratic candidates
Linda Healy—4,435
Republican candidates
Keith R. Wheeler—7,344
Kay Hatcher—8,468
Bob McQuillan—2,462

Kane County Clerk

Democratic candidates
Ghafran Chishti—12,242
Republican candidates
John A. “Jack” Cunningham—30,139

Kane County Treasurer

Democratic candidates
None
Republican candidates
David J. Rickert—24,125
Bob Kovanic—7,347

Kane County Sheriff

Democratic candidates
Pat Perez—13,435
Republican candidates—too close to call, awaiting absentee count
L. Robert Russell—15,531
Donald E. Kramer—15,570

Kane County Board District 5

Democratic candidates
None
Republican candidates
Bill Wyatt—1,152
Melisa Taylor—1,332

Kane County Board District 25

Democratic candidates
None
Republican candidates
Bob Kudlicki—1,447
Thomas (T.R.) Smith—1,863

16th Judicial Circuit (Grometer Vacancy)

Democratic candidates
None
Republican candidates
Fred M. Morelli—17,910
Kevin T. Busch—28,050

16th Judicial Circuit (Kane County Vacancy)

Democratic candidates
John G. Dalton—7,584
Michael C. Funkey—5,407
Republican candidates
Thomas Patrick Rice—5,841
Robert L. Janes—4,115
D. J. Tegeler—3,065
Leonard J. Wojtecki—5,374
David R. Akemann—12,880

Referendum

Sugar Grove Library Proposition to increase the limiting rate
Yes—925
No—1,920

Foster announces more than $16 million for Kane transportation projects

Recovery Act to fund projects in the 14th District
STATE—Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) announced additional area transportation projects that will receive funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which Foster supported. Foster announced seven other Recovery Act funded transportation projects in May.

“The funding for transportation projects that was included in the Recovery Act will allow vital transportation projects to move forward, and will create jobs for people throughout the 14th District,” said Foster.

Karen McConnaughay, Kane County Board Chairman, said, “This funding is vital to Kane County so we can continue to create jobs and grow the economy. We are seeing the Recovery at work.”

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) determined which projects would receive Recovery funds. The table at right lists the projects and awarded amounts. Contracts have been awarded, and are now being executed. The projects should be underway shortly.

Project location and awarded amount
• Resurface US 30/IL 56/IL 47:
$768,300
• Resurface West Bound ramp
on US 30/ IL 56 to IL 47:
$137,002
• Resurface US 30/ IL 47 from
Prairie St. to Jericho Rd.:
$1,028,822
• Resurface US 30/ IL 47 from
Jericho Rd. to Kendall County
line: $240,515
• Resurface US 30 from IL 47 to
Orchard Rd.: $996,676
• Repair bridge on US 30 cross-
ing Blackberry Creek: $69,858
• Resurface IL 25 from IL 72 to
I-90: $1,782,911
• Widen, resurface and add
turning lanes to IL 38:
$1,910,450
• Resurface various locations in
Kane County: $1,595,801
14th District total: $16,844,300

Ethan Hastert makes it official: He will run for Congress in 2010

By Martha Quetsch

Ethan Hastert, 31, told the Elburn Herald Friday that he intends to run for his dad’s former congressional seat next year.

“There is hunger for change. I believe 2010 is the year to do it,” Hastert said.

Ethan Hastert, a Republican and the son of former District 14 Congressman and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, had been considering entering the race for the past few months. He said he will issue a press release Monday or Tuesday stating he intends to run.

“In talking to people in the district, I found that many of them share my disappointment in what is coming out of the Democratic Congress including an unprecedented level of spending,” Ethan Hastert said.

Hastert, of Elburn, is an attorney at Mayer Brown in Chicago. When he was in his early 20s, he was an aide to Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby.

Current District 14 Rep. Bill Foster’s current two-year term expires in 2010. Foster, a Democrat, won the seat in a special election held in early 2008 after Dennis Hastert resigned the position before end of his term.

Foster has not announced whether he will seek re-election .

“… Congressman Bill Foster is focused on working to solve the problems our families face and get our economy moving again—he is not thinking about elections right now,” Shannon O’Brien, Foster’s Communications Director said Monday.

Sen. Lauzen: ‘It was profoundly sad’

Lawmakers look forward to ‘healing process’ after Blagojevich impeachment

by Martha Quetsch
Illinois State Senator Chris Lauzen (25th District) said on Monday that the state can resume the necessary business that was held up by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s uncertain situation following his arrest and impeachment trial.

“The state has been in paralysis. Bills were not being paid. Schools, including those in the Kaneland and Aurora districts, have been expecting state funds since October,” Lauzen said. “But they have not received them, because we had a governor who was distracted.”

Lauzen is looking forward to new state leadership under Gov. Pat Quinn, who was named to the state’s highest office after the impeachment conviction of Blagojevich on Jan. 29.

Lauzen said other business the state has not been able to attend to without a functioning governor includes the state’s distribution of federal funds to nursing homes.

“Education, social services and medicine all have been hamstrung,” Lauzen said.

Lauzen wanted Blagojevich’s impeachment conviction because of the former governor’s “consistent disregard for the constitution and the oath of office,” he said.

Lauzen cited the example of when Blagojevich pressed on with the I-SaveRx program, which would have allowed pharmaceutical companies and governmental agencies to purchase prescription drugs for people at a lower cost from out of the country.

“Federal law clearly prohibited it, yet he went forward with it,” Lauzen said.

The I-SaveRx foreign prescription program, serving residents of Illinois and four other states, ceased functioning recently after its Canadian supplier withdrew from its agreement because of the lack of adequate promotion of the program by participating states.

The illegal creation of I-SaveRx was one of the impeachment charges against Blagojevich; federal law prohibits foreign drug imports, Lauzen said.

The conviction by the Senate means that in the future, Blagojevich will be disqualified from holding any public office in Illinois, which Lauzen said was absolutely neccesary, under the circumstances.

“An impeachment conviction of the supreme executive power of the state has never occurred in Illinois. It is the most serious indictment and conviction that could happen politically,” Lauzen said. “There must be a long-term consequence.”

Lauzen said the night before the impeachment vote, he and his staff made approximately 34,000 phone calls to 25th District residents, hearing their opinions in conference calls with people numbering 3,600. Of those he called, four out of five were in favor of impeaching Blagojevich.

Lauzen said the most dramatic moment of the impeachment trial was when the tapes were played.
“To hear the governor shaking down a contractor, going through managing illegal funding, the atmosphere in the Senate chamber was hush, shock; it was profoundly sad,” Lauzen said.

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (14th District) on Jan. 29 released a statement in response to the Illinois Senate’s vote to remove Blagojevich from office:

“After a dark period of time, it is a new day in Illinois. With Rod Blagojevich’s removal, the citizens of Illinois can start the healing process, and the government can return to tackling the serious problems that face our state,” Foster said.