Tag Archives: Randy Hultgren

Hultgren supports legislation to protect community banks

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) this week voted to support two bills, which will relieve community banks from excessive regulations and protect their ability to lend to Illinois homeowners. H.R. 4042, the Community Bank Mortgage Service Asset Capital Requirements Study Act of 2014, and H.R. 5148, the Access to Affordable Mortgages Act of 2014, both passed the House Financial Services Committee (FSC), of which Rep. Hultgren is a member.

“Without healthy community banks, many responsible Americans—including my constituents in the 14th District of Illinois—could not own a home,” Rep. Hultgren said. “These banks lend based upon their customer relationships, which means they can often serve the borrowers that the larger banks may turn down. These bills provide some relief for community banks that are struggling under the weight of often unnecessary regulations.”

H.R. 4042 requires federal oversight agencies to study capital requirements for mortgage servicing assets at certain banks, including all small- and mid-sized banks, and delays the application of certain capital requirements for six months after completing the study. Easing regulations on community banks can free up their ability to lend to customers, such as small businesses and farmers.

H.R. 5148 exempts certain high-risk mortgages valued $250,000 or below from federal appraisal requirements. This eases compliance burdens on lenders and increases credit access for lower- and middle-income borrowers.

Rep. Hultgren previously signed a letter urging the Federal Reserve to appoint a community banker to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, ensuring their interests are represented.

Rep. Hultgren also cosponsored a number of bills that have offered regulatory relief to community banks, including:

• Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act (H.R. 2673), which amends the Truth in Lending Act to define as a “qualified mortgage” a residential mortgage loan made by a creditor so long as the loan appears on the balance sheet of such creditor. This bill passed the FSC on May 22, 2014, by a vote of 36-23.

• Mortgage Choice Act of 2013 (H.R. 3211), which modifies the definition of “points and fees” for the purposes of determining defining a qualified mortgage. H.R. 3211 passed the House on June 9, 2014 by a voice vote.

• Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act of 2014 (H.R. 4521), which exempts community banks and credit unions with assets below $10 billion from escrow requirements for loans held in portfolio, and amends the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act to increase the “small servicer” exception threshold to 20,000 annual loans (up from 5,000). H.R. 4521 passed the FSC by a vote of 43-16.

Hultgren announces Congressional Art Competition

GENEVA—U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) has announced the start of the 2014 Congressional Art Competition for high school students from the 14th District of Illinois. The winner’s artwork will hang in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., for an entire year.

“The 14th District is filled with talented young artists,” Hultgren said. “Every year, I am impressed by each entry and enjoy highlighting the work of our district’s artistic high school students to visiting constituents touring the Capitol.”

The Congressional Art Competition was created in 1982, and hundreds of thousands of high school students participated. One winner is chosen from each district, and the winner’s artwork is then sent to Washington, D.C., for display in the U.S. Capitol. However, submitted artwork will be hung at Water Street Studios for a reception announcing the winners, so make certain that your artwork is “ready to hang.” If selected, winners will be required to frame their piece for display in the Capitol Building. Each winner will also receive a roundtrip ticket to Washington, D.C., compliments of Southwest Airlines.

Last year, Avie Churchwell of Geneva was chosen as the winner from IL-14. Her winning piece, “Tea Party for One,” is currently one of those featured on the Congressional Art Competition website.

Entries for the competition are now being accepted and must be submitted to Rep. Hultgren’s district office by Friday, April 4. The entry only needs to be framed if it selected as the winner to be hung in the U.S. Capitol. The district office is located at 1797 W. State St., Suite A, in Geneva.

For any additional questions or to obtain a copy of the guidelines and student information/release forms when they become available, visit the official Congressional Art Competition Website or contact Ruth Richardson in Rep. Hultgren’s office at (630) 232-7104.

Hultgren accepting intern applications for spring 2014

GENEVA—U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) recently announced that he is now accepting applications for spring 2014 semester internships in both his Washington, D.C. and Geneva offices. The position is unpaid and will run approximately from January to May. Academic credit may be available, and schedules can be flexible for those with classes or other obligations. Applicants from the 14th Congressional District are preferred.

“I have spent the last few months gaining valuable Capitol Hill experience while learning vital administrative skills,” said Alex, a current intern. “From learning office procedures and constituent services, to giving tours, to writing constituent response letters and answering their concerns promptly, I’ve honed my understanding of what it takes to run a congressional office effectively while gaining valuable insight into policy and the political process.”

Applicants should be college students or recent graduates, and will assist staff with constituent relations, policy and outreach efforts. Many duties will be administrative in nature, but interns may also be asked to staff Congressman Hultgren at meetings in the district or assist legislative staff in Washington.

Applicants should email a resume, cover letter and writing sample to email.randy@mail.house.gov and specify whether they seek a position for the Geneva or Washington, D.C. office.

Hultgren accepting intern applications for spring 2014

GENEVA—U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) recently announced that he is now accepting applications for spring 2014 semester internships in both his Washington, D.C. and Geneva offices. The position is unpaid and will run approximately from January to May. Academic credit may be available, and schedules can be flexible for those with classes or other obligations. Applicants from the 14th Congressional District are preferred.

“I have spent the last few months gaining valuable Capitol Hill experience while learning vital administrative skills,” said Alex, a current intern. “From learning office procedures and constituent services, to giving tours, to writing constituent response letters and answering their concerns promptly, I’ve honed my understanding of what it takes to run a congressional office effectively while gaining valuable insight into policy and the political process.”

Applicants should be college students or recent graduates, and will assist staff with constituent relations, policy and outreach efforts. Many duties will be administrative in nature, but interns may also be asked to staff Congressman Hultgren at meetings in the district or assist legislative staff in Washington.

Applicants should email a resume, cover letter and writing sample to email.randy@mail.house.gov and specify whether they seek a position for the Geneva or Washington, D.C. office.

Prairie Parkway funding pulled

Money diverted to widen Route 47
by Susan O’Neill
ILLINOIS—Citizens Against the Sprawlway members recently gathered at their 11th annual picnic and rally, this time to celebrate the demise of the Prairie Parkway.

For the past 10 years, the group opposing the proposed Prairie Parkway has held the event on the last Sunday in August at Big Rock resident Marvel Davis’ farm. This year, after 11 years of waging their fight against the proposed highway, the grassroots organization said they were finally able to declare victory.

The Federal Highway Administration on Aug. 22 rescinded its 2008 decision to approve and fund the Prairie Parkway, a proposed 37-mile expressway that was to connect Interstate 80 with Interstate 88. Funding earmarked for the highway has been diverted to pay for widening and other improvements to Illinois Route 47, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) spokesperson Josh Kauffman said.

According to IDOT District III engineer Dave Brobiak, the stretch of Route 47 beginning .6 miles north of I-80 in Morris and ending at Cross Street in Sugar Grove is in some stage of construction or study to widen and improve it.

“It’s a win-win situation,” said Jan Strasma, Chairman of Citizens Against the Sprawlway. Strasma and his group, in conjunction with a number of other organizations, had continued to voice their opposition to the highway. They told IDOT that, rather than build a new road, the money should instead be spent on improving the current roads, especially Route 47. Then-U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert in 2001 had reintroduced the idea of the north-south highway between I-80 and I-88. He said that the highway would relieve congestion on local and state roads, as well as absorb the additional future traffic he said was inevitable due to an anticipated increase in growth in western Kane County, as well as Kendall and Grundy counties.

But Strasma and other opponents said that the outer belt expressway would act as a stimulant for rapid growth, eating up acres of precious farmland in the process.

IDOT in 2002 moved forward with plans for the highway, and identified a corridor through which it could be built. IDOT marked the deeds of landowners along the corridor, which meant that if owners wished to make an improvement to their property, they had to notify the state first. The state would then have the option to purchase the property.

Opposition to the parkway became more widespread as farmers and other landowners realized the impact the road would have on their property. Davis, whose farm helped people visualize what would be lost in building the highway, said her property would be divided in two by the proposed road.

Big Rock and Kaneville residents voted overwhelmingly against the parkway in non-binding referendums.

Not everyone was opposed to the highway, however. Village officials interested in growth, such as Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels, said they saw the highway as a stimulus for commercial and other development in their towns and beyond. Michels did not see the choice as either the parkway or the improvements to local roads. Sugar Grove officials supported both the highway and the widening of Route 47.

Meanwhile, Hastert hastened progress on the Parkway when he obtained a $207 million earmark for the highway in the federal government’s 2005 transportation bill.

The Federal Highway Administration issued its record of decision approving the Prairie Parkway project and the final environmental impact statement in 2008, making the project eligible for federal funding. Hastert resigned from Congress later that year.

Citizens Against the Sprawlway, in conjunction with Friends of the Fox River, filed a lawsuit in 2009 against the FHWA, stating that IDOT had preselected the route prior to conducting the environmental study of its impacts. Attorneys from the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC), a Chicago public interest group, represented the group.

With the flagging economy and a slowdown of development, as well as the state of Illinois’ financial woes, funding for the highway stalled. Beginning in 2010, IDOT cut the Prairie Parkway from its six-year Highway Improvement Program and continued to omit it from subsequent annual updates.

In addition, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning did not give the Parkway a high funding priority in its “Go to 2040” land use and transportation plan for the seven-county area.

This paved the way for the FHWA’s action to rescind its record of decision for the highway. Staff attorney Andrew Armstrong said that, when the state rescinded its record of decision, his organization filed to dismiss the lawsuit.

According to the Citizens Against the Sprawlway website, about $70 million in federal and state funds has been spent so far on the Prairie Parkway on studies of the need for the highway, environment and engineering, including $21.5 million for the acquisition of about 300 acres of land along the corridor. No actual construction has taken place.

Although the federal action effectively cancels plans for the Prairie Parkway, Kaneville Planning Commission Chair and IDOT Prairie Parkway Citizens Advisory Committee member Joe White emphasized that it doesn’t really change anything unless the state decides to lift the marks off of people’s deeds.

IDOT continues to protect the 400-foot-wide corridor between the two interstates. The corridor protection, filed in 2007, restricts affected property owners from making improvements to their property without state review and approval.
White said he doesn’t believe it was public opinion that put the brakes on the parkway. He believes that if IDOT had an open checkbook, the parkway would still be on the table.

Elburn Village President Dave Anderson would agree with that. He said that with the center line already designated, he believes that plans for the highway will resume if funding comes back. He supports the highway and said it is important in alleviating traffic on Route 47 and diverting north-bound truck traffic. He thinks it should be built, not just from I-80 to I-88, but all the way to I-90.

In the meantime, he said he supports keeping the funding local, and that Route 47 can use the improvements. He said he also supports a full interchange at Route 47 and I-88, something that Sugar Grove officials have been pushing for some time.

Michels said that he has already been in touch with Rep. Randy Hultgren to ensure that the funding stays local and remains focused on Route 47.

“We need to move fast and we need to be vocal,” Michels said. “I’m afraid things could be re-allocated.”

Hultgren announces Congressional Art Competition

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14) announced the start of the 2012 Congressional Art Competition for the 14th District, where the winner’s artwork will hang in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. for an entire year.

“The Congressional Art Competition provides me the opportunity to showcase the talent of high school student constituents and acknowledge this region’s gifted young artists,” Hultgren said. “I look forward receiving entries from students throughout the 14th Congressional District.”

The Congressional Art Competition was created in 1982, and hundreds of thousands of high school students have been able to participate at the local level over the years. Each congressional district has one winner whose artwork will go to Washington D.C., and each winner will also receive a roundtrip ticket to Washington D.C., compliments of Southwest Airlines.

Entries for the competition are now being accepted and must be submitted to Rep. Hultgren’s district office in Dixon or Geneva by Monday, April 2. The entry only needs to be framed if it is selected as the winner to be hung in the U.S. Capitol.

For any additional questions or to obtain a copy of the guidelines and student information/release forms, visit www.house.gov/content/educate/art_competition/ or contact Ruth Richardson at (630) 232-7104.

Kane County takes on lead poisoning with $1 million grant

GENEVA—Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay and U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren announced last week that Kane County has been awarded a $1.04 million grant to address lead-based paint hazards in area homes and to develop a county-wide Healthy Homes Program.

The county is one of only 39 jurisdictions nationwide to receive the federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Local matching funds for the program, totaling $260,000, will be provided by Kane County and the cities of Aurora and Elgin.

Illinois leads the nation in the number of lead poisoned children. Next to Cook County, Kane County has the highest rate of childhood lead poisoning in the state.

Kane County’s program will provide targeted lead poisoning prevention education for parents, landlords and homeowners, and lead training for local contractors looking for work.

Kane County was selected by HUD, in part, because of its successful track-record under the Illinois Department of Public Health’s “Get the Lead Out” Program, which ran from January 2007 to September 2010. Because of this experience, the county expects the program to be up and running quickly, providing training to local contractors, education to area residents, and rehab work aimed at improving the lives and health of Kane County children.

Guest Editorial: Fermilab: A tradition of scientific excellence benefitting the nation

by U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-14)
In March of this year, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, located in my home district, announced the possible discovery of a new type of boson particle. The evidence from the Tevatron, if confirmed, could hint of a new physics. It is yet another chapter in Fermilab’s proud legacy of exploration at the most fundamental level of energy and matter.

This commitment to excellence and scientific understanding is not only something we’re proud of in Illinois’ 14th District, it’s something we must be proud of as a nation. High energy physics goes beyond parochial interests and local politics; these endeavors are inextricably linked to both our national success, and fundamentally, our national character.

Fermilab has a proud heritage including studies of quark scattering using hadron, muon, and neutrino beams, precise studies of matter-antimatter asymmetry, precision tests of the Standard Model, and of course the discovery of the bottom and top quarks. Together, with the rest of the national laboratories at Cornell, Jefferson Lab, Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and others, these institutions promote cross-disciplinary interactions between various academic fields, as well as between scientists and engineers, and they serve as an irreplaceable channel for the broader goal of developing our base of an advanced STEM workforce.

Data from just the Collider Detector experiment at Fermilab produces two dozen Ph.D. theses per year and a scientific paper every six days; the DZero (study of subatomic particles, including the Higgs Boson) experiment goes even further with three dozen Ph.D. theses from new data and 50 scientific papers per year. In total, Fermilab can produce more than 100 PhDs in a single year based solely on lab data.

Not only are these researchers directly beneficial to society through their own work, they’re also an invaluable component of improving general literacy in science and technology nationwide. Many Fermilab researchers teach at universities—I know several who teach at Northern Illinois University in my district, as well as the University of Chicago and other world-class institutions—and these universities in turn teach the rest of our nation’s teachers. If we hope to reverse the long decline in the quality of K-12 education in math and science that was the subject of the famous “Gathering Storm” report from the National Academies in 2007, this sort of faculty interaction is the seed-corn of scientific literacy.

These are results we ought to be proud of as a nation. The U.S. research system is unique. We’ve found an incredibly powerful combination, wedding education and research by incorporating universities, user facilities and Department of Energy resources. But this system is only as stable our commitment to it, which is why sustained and predictable research funding is crucial. The 2007 reorganization under America competes was a good first step, but Congress must redouble its efforts to provide a clear, predictable, long-term path mapping out the seriousness of our investment.

I’ve spoken frequently on the need to provide business owners and entrepreneurs relief from uncertainty caused by poor government planning; they can handle risk, but they cannot handle uncertainty. It’s no different for the physicists, students and engineers investing themselves in our scientific endeavor. They can handle the challenges of science and engineering, which is why we must not fail in providing them the long-term certainty they need to focus on those challenges.

The ups and downs of funding levels and program authorizations are a clear failure on the part of policymakers to provide this crucial programmatic and funding certainty. When this happens, scientists, students, industries and academic organizations are slowed and distracted. The interruption of investment in these crucial areas is disruptive and demoralizing for the community. It hits junior scientists who may lack the requisite experience to get funding in a hypercompetitive environment, and it hurts experienced scientists who may have to search for funding by shuffling between different universities.

With a pedigree spanning over half a century, it is self-evident that basic research drives our understanding of the universe; from that understanding the utility payoffs are incalculably high. These are new ideas and new innovations that spawn new products, services, companies, industries and affect human capabilities further down the line. Our fundamental understanding of electromagnetism has led directly to our ability to manipulate electrons in both the power grid and in microprocessors, in lasers and in diodes. Elementary particles and their interactions have given us electromagnetic power generation, circuit boards, microprocessors and everything in-between. Research and development in accelerator technology has produced a direct impact as that technology has been refined and distributed. Today, there are more than 17,000 particle accelerators in operation around the world; not just at research institutions, but also in private industry in hospitals and other locations.

Beyond the broader scale and scope of our fundamental discoveries, there’s no shortage of dividends on our investment: PET scans, superconducting wire, cancer treatments, grid computing, the Internet and industrial material treatments are a tiny fraction of the payoffs we’ve seen.

Advances in medical technology and health care treatments; broader economy-wide competitiveness and efficiency gains; and generations enriched with intellectual capital are examples of other benefits. Just within materials science, whether it’s treating plastics and turning them into films, implanting ions into silicon chips, or developing the components of artificial heart valves, we would not have this core understanding without investments made generations ago in accelerator technology and research physics.

As Americans, we strive not only for economic growth, prosperity and job creation, but also for exploration of the frontiers of both knowledge and geography, pushing ourselves against the boundaries of both our capabilities and understanding.

With growing competition from overseas and economic uncertainty here at home, it is more important than ever that we reinforce our national commitment to basic research. Our long-term success in both economic innovation, problem solving and inspiring future generations of Americans depends on it.

The utility offered to our country and to the world by expanding new physics beyond the standard model may be difficult to discern today, but the work being done by physicists and engineers at Fermilab and other centers around the country will undoubtedly produce those benefits. We may not know precisely what impact muon cooling, or high-field magnetic design, or high-intensity beams from proton accelerators may produce in the future, but I have no doubt that these projects at the forefront of the Intensity Frontier will enrich our lives for generations to come.

We need to have a serious budget debate in Washington, but we must recognize that not all federal spending is created equal. In the past 50 years, federal direct payments to individuals have more than tripled as a share of GDP, while our investments in science have flat lined, if not outright decreased. In the coming years, I know Fermilab will continue to distinguish itself in its neutrino studies just as it has in the past.

Basic research and high energy physics are embedded in our national DNA. They’re part of who we are: our jobs, our economy, our community, even our identity as a nation. Now, more than ever, we need to recommit ourselves in both government and at the grassroots to make robust and lasting investment in basic research.

Hultgren accepts applications for fall interns

GENEVA—U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14) announced he is now accepting applications for fall semester internships in both his Washington, D.C. and Geneva offices. The position is unpaid and would run approximately from Aug. 15 to Dec. 15. Full-time students or applicants with Illinois ties preferred. Academic credit is available.

Interns in the Washington, D.C. office will be responsible for greeting visitors, answering phones, giving tours of the U.S. Capitol and assisting staff with policy-related projects. Interns in the Geneva office may be asked to help with administrative functions, conduct casework on behalf of constituents and assist with special projects.

Interested applicants should submit a resume, writing sample and exact dates of availability to hultgrenresumes@gmail.com. Applicants should also indicate whether they are applying to the Washington, D.C. or Geneva office. Applicants may include names and phone numbers for personal and/or professional references. Applications must be received by June 15, 2011. For more information, call (202) 225-2976.

Hultgren releases committee, subcommittee assignments

WASHINGTON D.C.—U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14) released his committee and subcommittee assignments for the 112th Congress.

“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to serve on the Committees on Agriculture; Space, Science, and Technology; and Transportation and Infrastructure,” said Hultgren, a freshman member of Congress. “All three of these committees will enable me to better serve my constituents. My committee assignments will also give me some voice in critical legislation affecting such important issues as our roads and bridges and our food supply. I look forward to fighting for the 14th Congressional District and for smaller, smarter government in all of my committees and subcommittees.”

Hultgren will serve on the following committees and subcommittees:

• House Committee on Agriculture; Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management; Subcommittee on Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture; Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy and Forestry

• House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; Subcommittee on Investigations & Oversight; Subcommittee on Research & Science Education; Subcommittee on Technology & Innovation

• House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; Subcommittee on Aviation; Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management; Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials.

Letter: Thank you, residents of the 14th Congressional District

To the voters:

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your support. Over the last 14 months, I have worked hard to spread my message of fiscal sanity, and the Nov. 2 victory was a testament to America’s desire for a return to prosperity and an enduring belief in freedom and limited government.

But I couldn’t have done it without the people of the 14th District; I am truly in awe of the incredible outpouring of support my family and I received during the campaign. This victory was my supporters’ even more than it was mine. They believed in what I stood for, and they fought hard for it. I remain amazed by the countless people who volunteered who had never been politically active before. People like these constantly reminded me how important this election was for the future of our nation.

I will never lose sight of the fact that all of you, the residents of the 14th District, are my boss, and this is your Congressional seat. I look forward to working for all of you, and I will always listen to you. Public service is a sacred trust, and I will always expect to be held accountable.

Randy Hultgren
Congressman-elect, 14th District

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.”

Village obtains receptacle for retired flags

by David Maas
SUGAR GROVE—The Village of Sugar Grove recently received a donated box designed to hold retired flags.

Village of Sugar Grove Trustee Rick Montalto and Sugar Grove resident Dave Paluch had been searching for a weatherproof, outdoor container for retired flags to place at Village Hall and were seeking donations to help pay for it.

“The idea came to me when a senior citizen approached me, and asked me what they should do with their worn out flag,” Montalto said.

“They said the village acquiring such a receptacle was important to them because it would honor the U.S. Flag, as well as the men and women who have served in the military.”

Earlier this month, Sen. Randy Hultgren contacted Montalto and Paluch and expressed his interest on joining the search for a permanent outdoor container, as well as donating a specially made, temporary indoor box. He presented the box to the village Oct. 14.

The box is made of wood, is painted red, white and blue, and is about the size of a treasure chest, Montalto said.

The temporary depository box will be located inside Villiage Hall. Residents may drop their retired flags into the box. A local Boy Scout troop volunteered to be in charge of picking up flags deposited in the box and transporting them to the Sugar Grove American Legion, where Legion members will dispose of them in the proper manner.

“I think this is a good project,” Montalto said. “It involves the village, the Scouts, the legion, and benefits the citizens at no financial cost to anyone.”