Candidate Full Name: Donald E. Peloquin
Office: Congressional Representative Illinois 1st District
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site: www.peloquinforcongress.com
Campaign Name: Peloquin for Congress
Campaign Office Mailing Address: PO Box 444 60406
Phone: (630) 460-6076
Survey Questions (Character limit of 2,000 per response)
1. Do you support abolishing earmarks? If not, why?
I do support the idea of eliminating earmarks. Bills often become too cluttered and enormous to fully understand. It is then difficult to project the actual effects such bills have on our country. The notion that a bill has to be passed before one anticipates what the bill will do, seems to be a backward approach to lawmaking. There may be some situations where the earmark process has been necessary for funding mechanisms directly pertaining to the purpose of a bill, but in most cases earmarking should be eliminated. If a bill deals with a complex issue it should be broken down into logical components. When we vote on a bill let it be on the merits as it pertains to a relatively singular issue, not an enormous clouding of issues that does not allow members to understand what they are voting on.
2. Does the country need immigration reform? If so, what are your plans?
I believe the country does need immigration reform. I think a two-phased approach would be appropriate. Primarily, there needs to be a tightening of our borders. Some of the same routes that are used for illegal immigration are also used in drug trafficking. Then we should develop a program for immigrants who have been in the U.S. for a substantial time, 8-10 years or more, to become citizens. I do not think deportation is a practical option given the resources and funding that would be needed just to analyze the idea let alone to carry it out. I think the recent idea that young people would voluntarily enter a program for citizenship that would identify ineligible family members is flawed. Engaging the sense of family in the immigrant community seems to be a better approach than any divisive action. I believe the sense of family that is so strong in the immigrant community is an attribute that can be an enormous asset in our country.
3. Can the budget deficit be controlled only by spending cuts or does the federal government need to raise more revenue? If you favor more revenue, should there be a general tax hike?
I believe that Congress needs to eliminate overspending. Revenue increases should be a last resort only after significant spending cuts in wasteful programs have been made. I believe that through becoming more efficient and broadening the tax base we can control the deficit without a general tax hike. I do support the simplification of the tax code and would like to see a complete overhaul. A more simplified approach to taxes where everyone pays their fair share should be the focal point of a new tax code. I would support eliminating most tax deductions while reducing the overall tax rate, which would still result in an overall increase in revenue.
4. Do you favor President Obama's planned 2014 military withdrawal from Afghanistan? Why or why not?
I support the withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan. Our mission there was to hold accountable the members of Al-Qaeda and diminish the use of fear as a global weapon. Although Al-Qaeda is significantly diminished the battlefield is still constantly evolving. We must continue to utilize our resources in the intelligence community and the success of our nation's Special Forces to prevent the rise of new or the return of old terror organizations. We proceeded improperly without a clear purpose or an adequate exit strategy. To exit without regard for the political situation we leave behind could be a more grievous error. A key lesson that our time in the Middle East has taught us is that democracy does not spread, it is born. We must strive to foster democracy in its infancy while astutely dispensing our precious resources. I support the withdrawal based on recognition of the situation not campaign deadlines.
5. Do you believe there is global warming? If so, is any of it man made and can we do anything about it?
I do believe there is global climate change. Is the cause of such change due to an increased carbon footprint or the cyclical shifts that may have affected our planet for eons? There does not seem to be a clear consensus even in the scientific community. I do think that our oceans may be the more immediate issue that we will have to deal with. We must strive to achieve a balance between protecting the environment and competing with other global powers whom do not always follow our example or abide by our parameters.
6. How will you balance your personal views and beliefs with those of your constituents and the need to compromise for legislation to pass?
I believe that the key to reconciling varying views is listening. I believe that I am a good listener. A local perspective to listening in congress is a prospect I think most voters in the new 1st Congressional district are demanding. I believe in almost every situation where you have two opposing opinions on an issue, you can listen to both stances and find some key components that are common to both. Once these essential components are identified we can build on the commonality and achieve compromise. It all starts with listening. The same applies to a vast and diverse constituency. You may not always agree with some constituents and you may end up with a decision that is not liked by all, but you always have to listen first.