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Federal Congress

Rodney Davis

Rodney Davis

Republican (incumbent)

Rodney Davis is the current Congressman from the 13th district, and has held the position since 2013. Davis served on the staff of Congressman John Shimkus prior to his own election. In 2013, Davis drafted the “Hire More Heroes Act” to incentivize businesses to hire veterans, which was signed into law in 2015.

Responses to important issues

Do you support tax cuts and other reforms in the 2017 Tax Reform Act? 

Should DACA recipients be given a path to citizenship?

How should the US respond to climate change?

Was the FCC right to remove the Net Neutrality regulations?

Should marijuana be recognized as having legitimate medical uses or be deemed safe for recreational use?  

Awaiting responses from candidate…




Besty Londrigan

Betsy Dirksen Londrigan

Democrat

Betsy Dirksen Londrigan is a Springfield native who attended Springfield High. She co-founded Women Rising to help get more progressive women elected. Londrigan has also worked for Senator Dick Durbin.

Responses to important issues

Do you support tax cuts and other reforms in the 2017 Tax Reform Act? 

The 2017 Tax Reform Act is a giveaway to the richest Americans and corporations, and doubles down on on “trickle-down” economics that have never worked for the middle-class- no, I don’t support this bill.

Should DACA recipients be given a path to citizenship?

Yes. I believe being a nation of immigrants is why this beautiful mosaic of a country stands as a beacon of light to people around the world. I want DACA recipients, including Dreamers protected by granting permanent residency and a path to citizenship through higher education, military service or employment.

How should the US respond to climate change?

The U.S. should continue to provide leadership on the response to climate change. Modernizing our infrastructure is an important step because aging bridges, levees, waterways, electrical grids become much bigger liabilities with the stresses of climate change and increasingly endanger our population. Investment in public transportation systems has the dual effect of reducing the numbers of cars on our already strained roads and bridges and providing a more affordable method of transport.

Was the FCC right to remove the Net Neutrality regulations?

No. Empowering a few corporate communication giants creates the opposite of our expectation of communicating openly and freely on the internet. Just like I don’t want my phone company telling me who I can and can’t talk to over my phone, I don’t want corporations telling me which content I can or can’t access on the internet.

Should marijuana be recognized as having legitimate medical uses or be deemed safe for recreational use?  

Yes, it should be recognized as having legitimate medical use and I’d like to have it deemed safe for recreational use with the addition of standardized labeling for safe consumption.




Erik Jones

Erik Jones

Democrat

Erik Jones was an Illinois Assistant Attorney General. He has worked as an Investigative Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight. Jones’ legal work has focused on consumer protection.

Responses to important issues

Do you support tax cuts and other reforms in the 2017 Tax Reform Act? 

Should DACA recipients be given a path to citizenship?

How should the US respond to climate change?

Was the FCC right to remove the Net Neutrality regulations?

Should marijuana be recognized as having legitimate medical uses or be deemed safe for recreational use?  

Awaiting responses from candidate…




David Gill

David Gill

Democrat

David Gill is a doctor certified in both family practice and emergency medicine. He earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana. Dr. Gill is a longtime member of the Physicians for a National Health Program.

Responses to important issues

Do you support tax cuts and other reforms in the 2017 Tax Reform Act? 

Dr. Gill does NOT support the Tax Reform Act recently passed by Congress. He feels that we are long overdue to have the millionaires and the billionaires pay their fair share of taxes; this bill moves us in precisely the wrong direction. It sets up a scheme by which those who make less than $93,000/year will have their taxes increased within the next few years, it irresponsibly adds $1,500,000,000,000 to our federal deficit, and it allows for politicians like Rodney Davis to take aim at social programs designed to serve as a safety net for the most vulnerable among us.

Should DACA recipients be given a path to citizenship?

Of course DACA recipients should have a pathway to citizenship; the fact that this has not been done yet speaks volumes about the incredible heartlessness of politicians like Rodney Davis.

How should the US respond to climate change?

Climate change poses the greatest threat to the well-being of future generations. The science is clear. It is time to act! Americans need leaders who will stand up to the fossil fuel industry and embrace green energy. The technology that harnesses our renewable resources is becoming more efficient and effective. Renewable resources, such as sunlight and wind, are environmentally sustainable, and they are emerging as cheaper options than nonrenewable fossil fuels. Dr. Gill believes that all public policy questions should follow the Iroquois tribe “Seventh Generation Principle”: the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future.

Was the FCC right to remove the Net Neutrality regulations?

No, the FCC was wrong to remove the Net Neutrality regulations; Dr. Gill has long argued in favor of Net Neutrality. It is no surprise that such a fundamental democratic principle has been shoved aside by politicians who are bought and sold by corporate interests.

Should marijuana be recognized as having legitimate medical uses or be deemed safe for recreational use?  

The war on drugs has failed to decrease drug use and has cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Current policy also disproportionately impacts communities of color. It is finally time to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana. Legalization of marijuana has proven to successfully stimulate the economy in Colorado. This policy will generate billions of dollars in tax revenue and reduce the huge financial burden posed by incarcerating non-violent offenders. As an emergency medicine physician, Dr. Gill rarely sees adverse events related to marijuana; in contrast, trauma caused by legal alcohol always keeps his Emergency Room busy.




Jon Ebel

Jon Ebel

Democrat

Jon Ebel currently teaches in the Religion Department at the University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana. Ebel also served in the Navy for eleven years, and was mobilized during the Iraq War. He did his graduate work at the University of Chicago.

Responses to important issues

Do you support tax cuts and other reforms in the 2017 Tax Reform Act? 

When asked that question in writing, my response was that I would tear it up and light it on fire. That’s pretty much how I feel about it. But, stepping back a little bit, I did appreciate the impulse to simplify the tax code. That seems to me to be a reasonable thing. I don’t think we’re wrong to want to reduce the tax burden on corporations and on small business owners. But that bill (tax bill) was really based on a couple of lies. The first one is that corporations were paying a 33% tax rate – that’s just not true. That’s what’s advertised, but for individuals the effective rate is actually much lower. In the case of AT&T it’s somewhere between 8% and 12%. To pass a bill motivated by a tax rate that isn’t the actual tax rate seems to me to be deeply problematic. In a more general sense, the way the tax bill redistributes wealth up the ladder is, to me, exactly backwards… We should be looking out for those who are making less, who are disadvantaged, not putting more into the hands of those who really, really don’t need it. So what I’d do to fix it is say that since the corporate tax rate is now 21%, let’s have corporations actually pay that rate. Let’s close all the loopholes and American corporations and businesses will pay a 21% tax rate. The bill, as horrible as it is, is now law. I’m not going to be a part of another embarrassing repeal and replace chorus like we saw Republicans engage in for the better part of a decade. I think we should work within the framework of that new law to make it better.

Should DACA recipients be given a path to citizenship?

The Dreamers should be permitted to stay in the country with a clearly elucidated path to citizenship.  Undocumented individuals who have been in the country for years, paying taxes and otherwise contributing to our society, should be provided with a clearly elucidated path to citizenship.  Undocumented individuals who commit felonies should be eligible for deportation.  There should be a system of temporary employment visas, analogous to the present system of student visas which works well, both for the visiting students and for our colleges and universities.  The borders should be made secure, but not with a physical wall, which is third-century technology that will not be effective in the 21st century.  Much more effective will be electronic surveillance such as drones, and leading-edge communication systems to coordinate the work of patrol agents along the border.

Our immigration policies should be unbiased with respect to ethnicity, religion, race, or national origin.

How should the US respond to climate change?

I’ve signed onto the Off-Fossil Fuels Pledge, which is a pledge to move us all the way off of fossil fuels by 2035. That is important because it is our addiction to fossil fuel that is, in large part, driving climate change. We have to find a way to end that addiction. The tools are there – we have solar and we have wind. The infrastructure is not yet there. I see federal government investment in those technologies and the research that leads to better technology as a crucial part of that. I would love to see a bill that moved federal funding to that infrastructure. I would also like to see more incentives in our upcoming Farm Bill for our agricultural communities to experiment with cover crops and with less disruptive ways of fertilizing. The research needs to be done and the infrastructure needs to be there to optimize and implement that research.

Was the FCC right to remove the Net Neutrality regulations?

It’s wrong. I think it’s illegal. 22 attorney generals in the U.S. filed suit against the FCC and I think it was a horrible decision, but one that’s entirely predictable. You have an administration in the White House that is nothing but in the pocket of industry, doing nothing but trying to enrich those who are in big telecomm or big pharma or the fossil fuel industry. Everyone saw that coming. In the meantime we have to live with the consequences. But, if the federal government is going to be investing in broadband extension into rural communities, which it absolutely needs to do, then the necessary precursor to that should be that it be absolutely net neutral. The internet is now the connective tissue of our society, it’s the connective tissue of our economy and can’t be playing privilege with that connective tissue.

Should marijuana be recognized as having legitimate medical uses or be deemed safe for recreational use?  

Marijuana has legitimate medical uses, including pain management, and anxiety reduction. It has also shown promise as a treatment for autism. It is far safer and less addictive than opioids and should, where appropriate, be made available immediately as a replacement for that deadly class of drugs. I don’t know that I would label marijuana or any intoxicant as “safe,” but it certainly makes sense to decriminalize it. To keep marijuana illicit is to continue a set of policies that places undue strain on our police, affects minority populations disproportionately, and foregoes a source of tax revenue that could be used in myriad beneficial ways.




Angel Sides

Angel Sides

Democrat

Angel Sides is a Democratic activist who has supported Bernie Sanders. She was arrested during Democracy Springs. Sides has also produced commentaries on global warming.

Responses to important issues

Do you support tax cuts and other reforms in the 2017 Tax Reform Act? 

The new tax plan has a provision in it that opens up drilling in the Arctic. Millionaires and billionaires are subject to a 15-20 percent tax rate instead of a top marginal income tax rate of 35%. The unfair tax policy of capital income allows some millionaires and billionaires to pay a lower tax rate than many middle class households. The multinational corporation Apple paid 1% in capital income taxes by stashing their profits in Ireland. The new Republican Tax Plan should end the tax loopholes and the plan should not have a permanent status for the corporate elite. The Tax Policy Institute has stated by 2027, 83% of the tax benefits in the new tax plan would benefit the 1%. The tax benefits for the 1% are permanent, whereas, the small tax breaks for the middle class are temporary. Equalizing the tax treatment of ordinary income and capital income would substantially improve the economy and wealth inequality. The U.S. would then be able to afford things like guaranteed health care, converting to alternative energy, and improving our infrastructure.

Should DACA recipients be given a path to citizenship?

I would support legislation to make DACA recipients legal citizens. DACA recipients do not receive federal aid or even qualify for a student loan. I believe we should treat others like we would want to be treated. Very few American citizens want to be ripped away from their family, friends and everything they know.  DACA recipients are being used as a bargaining chip with disregard for turning their lives upside down and making them live in fear. There is a report that since Americans are having smaller families there will not be enough caregivers for the baby boomers when they retire. Our country needs immigrants. Since there are more Hispanic people leaving the country than there are migrating into the country, we should abide by the laws in place until we have a shorter pathway to citizenship for all immigrants. I think the immigration issue needs to be addressed with empathy and on a case by case basis, taking into account criminal records, but first and foremost keeping families together, as well as, the long term wishes of the immigrants involved.

I am appalled at the for profit detention centers that are located in remote areas of the U.S. and few people know about them. They are a humanitarian crisis. Children are in these detention centers. There have been reports of abuse. The families there have been underfed, women have been raped, some men have been beaten and children have been separated from their mothers. If the detainees complain, they are thrown into solitary confinement. Corporations like Geo Group collect our tax dollars, year after year, to maintain these detention centers, but to save money, do not provide adequate health care for the detainees; not even the children. It has got to stop!

How should the US respond to climate change?

I am an environmental activist because it affects all life: plants, animals, and humans now and in the future. Global warming is the biggest threat to mankind according to the Pentagon but what Americans want first and foremost are jobs. Our government should, kill two birds with one stone, stop subsidizing the oil and coal industry, and move full throttle to a federal environmental jobs program. If every road, sidewalk, and parking lot were solar it would provide any given city with three times the city’s electric needs. At some point, houses and buildings could be converted to electric heat and gas companies would be obsolete. Taxes used to repair and repave roads could be used to supplement replacing the roads with solar roads. The new ones are computers and under them are corridors for electrical lines and to channel rain water to replace lead contaminated water lines. Solar roads have the ability to melt snow which can save taxes to build more solar roads. They detect trees and large animals on the highway which can also save lives. We can also address climate change by planting more trees.

There is not less of a carbon footprint in Nuclear Energy when you consider storing the toxic byproduct that will be radioactive for 245 thousand years or more. Nuclear power plants leak radiation on a regular basis and they are designed to do so. Uranium has proven to be cancerous no matter how small the amount tested. We do not have to have a natural disaster to have a disaster on our hands. Nuclear power plants also get old. We have got to stop subsidizing and building new nuclear power plants.

Was the FCC right to remove the Net Neutrality regulations?

I do not support the FCC ruling. Corporations like Comcast and Verizon would be able to create internet fast lanes blocking, prioritizing and censoring online content. Removing the regulations would give these corporations the right to charge separately for Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, and other online content. The latest FCC ruling will bust small online businesses while big businesses will be bumped up to “fast lane” traffic. This ruling could be used to stifle dissent by stopping activist from communicating with each other and organizing. An activist may post information that a corporation is poisoning water, for example, but there will be no way to know if anyone will ever see that post. While I campaign, I am asking the public to call their congressmen and ask them to block the repeal of net neutrality.

Should marijuana be recognized as having legitimate medical uses or be deemed safe for recreational use?  

Marijuana should be legalized for the medicinal value it possesses. It helps with pain, glaucoma, and to help end heroin addiction. Marijuana should be legalized and researched more for benefits and negative side effects. Right now, when people buy marijuana from a dealer, it may be laced with arsenic or meth making it unsafe and addictive. Marijuana is supposed to be healthy to eat and people should be able to grow their own to know what is in it. Contrarily, however, it is listed as a schedule one drug. It is categorized more dangerous than heroin; a schedule two drug. Our military guards the Opium fields in Afghanistan; we turn a blind eye to the 400 heroin labs in Tajikistan; our DEA blocked regulators from doing their job to prevent the overprescribing of opioids; and our bank CEO’s have escaped prosecution after laundering drug money. Yet, Donald Trump has cut rehabilitation. In the U.S. there are 65,000 opioid drug overdose deaths a year. We need to prosecute the bad players in our CIA, military and pharmaceutical companies to keep the proven toxic and dangerous drugs out of our communities and legalize marijuana, considering, no person has ever overdosed on marijuana.




Darin LaHood

Darin LaHood

Republican (incumbent)

Darin LaHood is the current Congressman from the 18th district, and has held the post since 2015. He spent nine years working as a prosecutor at both the state and federal level. LaHood earned his J.D. from John Marshal Law School.

Responses to important issues

Do you support tax cuts and other reforms in the 2017 Tax Reform Act? 

Should DACA recipients be given a path to citizenship?

How should the US respond to climate change?

Was the FCC right to remove the Net Neutrality regulations?

Should marijuana be recognized as having legitimate medical uses or be deemed safe for recreational use?  

Awaiting responses from candidate…




Junius Rodriguez

Junius Rodriguez

Democrat

Junius Rodriguez has been an educator at Eureka College for more than 25 years. He has published several books on slavery in America. Rodriguez also serves on boards for local organizations that support youth and senior programs, and emergency shelter for women and their children.

Responses to important issues

Do you support tax cuts and other reforms in the 2017 Tax Reform Act? 

Should DACA recipients be given a path to citizenship?

How should the US respond to climate change?

Was the FCC right to remove the Net Neutrality regulations?

Should marijuana be recognized as having legitimate medical uses or be deemed safe for recreational use?  

Awaiting responses from candidate…




Brian Deters

Brian Deters

Democrat

Brian Deters is a sociology and history teacher in Morton. He earned his Masters of Science in Educational Administration from Illinois State University.

Responses to important issues

Do you support tax cuts and other reforms in the 2017 Tax Reform Act? 

Should DACA recipients be given a path to citizenship?

How should the US respond to climate change?

Was the FCC right to remove the Net Neutrality regulations?

Should marijuana be recognized as having legitimate medical uses or be deemed safe for recreational use?  

Awaiting responses from candidate…




Darrel Miller

Darrel Miller

Democrat

Darrel Miller is a Mennonite farmer. He has run for Congress as both a Republican and a Democrat. Miller earned his BA in natural science from Goshen College.

Responses to important issues

Do you support tax cuts and other reforms in the 2017 Tax Reform Act? 

There have been at least five efforts at full-fledged tax reform since 2010. After all this work, the 2017 Tax Reform is a very big disappointment. Revenue neutral tax reform had been the accepted principle by both parties until this legislation. After greatly cutting federal revenues in this bill, Republicans now want to greatly increase spending for defense and infrastructure. Isn’t this backwards?

I support a revenue neutral corporate tax reform that cuts the corporate rate to 15% while ending preferential tax treatment for dividends and capital gains. This makes the very complicated “pass through” reforms unnecessary (No “simpler taxes” there!) and still permits lower individual rates.

I would pursue many reforms that Republicans gave up on: ending “carried interest; ending tax preferences for Real Estate Investment Trusts; ending tax free bonds for professional sports venues.

Should DACA recipients be given a path to citizenship?

Undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. since they were children are basically Americans without citizenship. They have almost no connection to another country. Many speak only English. Of course, they should have a path to citizenship.

How should the US respond to climate change?

The federal government should continue to support research and development of energy efficiencies. The government should continue some incentives for low carbon energies. However, I support the current phase out of production and investment tax credits for wind power. Wind power is established enough to stand on its own and several states have renewable energy mandates.

I support a revenue neutral carbon tax. That means a tax on carbon producing activities that replaces taxes we already pay (e.g. FICA). The tax would not be a net additional tax.

Was the FCC right to remove the Net Neutrality regulations?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) still has some regulatory say over internet providers. If the FTC is unable to maintain unhindered access to the internet, Americans should demand that Congress intervene to establish net neutrality. The FCC was not right in removing net neutrality regulations.

Should marijuana be recognized as having legitimate medical uses or be deemed safe for recreational use?  

I don’t believe we can get the marijuana genie back in the bottle. We have tried to prohibit marijuana use for 50 years at great cost. If we try to keep marijuana totally illegal, some lives will continue to be ruined by going to prison. If we totally legalize marijuana, other lives will be ruined by using the drug. We need to figure out how to regulate the drug like we regulate other addictive, intoxicating drugs.




Donald Rients

Donald Rients

Republican

Donald Rients is a computer analyst for an insurance company in Bloomington. He has also worked as a corrections officer. He earned Associate’s degrees in both Electronic Technology and General Education from Illinois Central College.

Responses to important issues

Do you support tax cuts and other reforms in the 2017 Tax Reform Act? 

I do support the tax cuts. I wish the individual tax cut was permanent. The upfront costs for doing this is said by some experts to be one and a half trillion dollars. Since the House version of the budget that they passed a little prior to this would increase our deficit to seven to eight trillion more dollars in nine years, it gives me some concern. For the trickledown theory to work the corporations are going to have to behave properly and hire, spend, and/or reinvest in research. If they just increase their net worth (or stock value) and executive bonuses that will put a hindrance on making this successful. Maybe some additional rules could have been made to insure that they followed through.

Should DACA recipients be given a path to citizenship?

No, I do not believe so. It is said that justice should be blind, should we reward criminal activities? I strongly feel for these people and do have a heart for them. Having anchors for others to come in under is not a good idea. Constantly awarding this illegal activity bye pardoning them (this wouldn’t be the first time that this country forgave illegal immigration) is not what we should be doing. Maybe giving them legal residence but never citizenship is one idea, but do we want to make a group of people second class citizens for life?

How should the US respond to climate change?

I believe that climate change is normal and natural. Isn’t it interesting how the term changed from “global warming” to now “climate change”? There should be some regulations to make sure our air, land, and water stays clean and healthy. Regulations that puts the United States at a disadvantage with the rest of the world, and where these regulations are being justified on questionable claims that a imminent catastrophe is coming “soon” I am not for.

Was the FCC right to remove the Net Neutrality regulations?

The internet was working fine before Barak Obama added these regulations. In general regulations do not promote creativity and growth. I believe that the removal of the Net Neutrality regulation was the right thing to do.

Should marijuana be recognized as having legitimate medical uses or be deemed safe for recreational use?  

Marijuana should be used in medicine where it provides a medical advantage for the patient.  This is controlled by professionals, i.e. medical doctors. For recreational use I am morally and personally against it. It is strange how many people want this legalized that are against the tobacco industry. There would be advantages to legalizing marijuana. Since there are currently eight states that have OK’d it for personal use this contradicts federal law, legalizing it or leaving it to each State to decide without conflict with the federal government would be a plus. Other advantages are that it could be taxed, made safer, and break the backs of organized crime that make money for its current sales.