Candidate Full Name:
Mark A. Fredrickson
5th Congressional District
Campaign Office Mailing Address:
Candidate did not provide
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Committee to Elect Fredrickson to Congress-Fifth District Illinois
Please tell us about yourself, your background and why you believe you are qualified to hold this office.
I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, majoring in Radio Television broadcasting. I continue to attend DeVry University-Keller Graduate School of Management in Chicago, concentrating in Financial Management. My career includes working for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, WITY-AM Radio, WDAN-FM radio & serving as a news "stringer" for WICD-TV & WCIA-TV in Champaign-Urbana, IL.
In 1994, I joined others in forming the Northwest Area Citizens Organization (www.nwaco.org). NWACO's charter devotes our effort to "open & honest government."
Please tell us your general views about the role of government and some of the most important things you would like to accomplish in office?
Hailing from Jefferson Park, I agree with the late President Thomas Jefferson that the best government is a small government which performs those services not well-handled by the private sector. Government should prime private investment & economic growth then back off as the private sector responds to the opportunity. Taxation & public spending should be constrained because the public sector competes with the private sector in the use of limited resources.
The current economic crisis is squeezing the middle class. What should Congress do about it? What specifically would you do if elected to Congress?
I agree with the recent New York Times Sunday Magazine article which questions lagging government investment in private research & development. The most effective way to propel the middle class to economic prosperity is for parents to applaud their children for improving skill sets, not just earning nominal degrees. Just listen to Congressmen & women demonstrate lack of understanding of basic economic theory. Tell us why you support what you do, then explain why one approach may be Keynesian & another more free market.
What are some of the main things you would do to help create jobs in Illinois?
A) Increase research & development funding for Illinois' leading universities & colleges & invite the private sector to match these investments. It's the same dynamic my father benefitted from when I pair the Veteran's Administration Hospitals in Chicago with my former client's Loyola University Medical Center, Northwestern University Medical Center & the University of Illinois Medical Center. Though the auto industry is in dire straits today, a century ago, dozens of automotive companies experimented with a variety of propulsion technologies & drive-train assemblies before industry consolidation reduced their numbers to the Big Three.
B) My work with Illinois utilities introduced me to the need to provide public incentives for technology leaders such as IBM to improve the power distribution grid in much the same way that telecommunications companies expanded the fiber optic footprint in the 1990's. Energy conservation will help us to plan more prudent use of existing generating plants.
C) Don't forget requisite investment in the nation's freight railroads & Interstate highways. I would press for additional funding for CREATE which will help to remove bottlenecks in freight railroad logistics in the Chicago area-the hub of the nation's freight railroad network. Rail-grade separation projects will help greatly to eliminate the current Canadian National Railway suburban community controversy.
What do you think can be done to bring short-term stability to gas and energy prices? Also, what do you think is the best strategy - to both affordably and responsibly - provide for the nation's future energy needs?
A) Our European immigrant neighbors who live in the Fifth Congressional District know the answer to that question. Provide incentives for motorists to walk & utilize mass transit. Deescalate public subsidies for cheap motor vehicle passenger transportation. Motor fuel prices, including taxes, should be stabilized so that Fifth District families may plan on their transportation costs & purchase improved fuel efficiency automobiles & trucks.
Is there anything that can be done to make health care more accessible and affordable in Illinois? If so, what would you do?
A) Public concern over the price & accessibility of health care is based largely on an antiquated system in which government & insurance companies compensate medical care providers based on the number of doctor's visits & procedures, not on the desired outcome. My recent major law firm employer earned discounts from their health care insurance provider by getting employees involved in healthy living programs. As a healthy lifestyle committee member, I learned that much of health care's cost could be reduced by changing the incentives to one's which create a cost-containment partnership between the employee, their family members & the single payer.
Please state your general views about the war in Iraq.
A) Though it's now fashionable to oppose the 2003 "coalition of the willing" military incursion, I submit that the major emphasis going forward should be to negotiate a broad diplomatic agreement which invites all countries, ethnic & religious leaders in the region to participate in a broad-based solution to avoid future military incursions. Because many of the warning parties benefit financially from this crisis, we need to help those who have been enriched by militarism to find alternative peaceful enterprise. For example, you can't tell the Taliban to eradicate opium production unless you can suggest a profitable substitute crop. If you are giving $500 to every man, woman & child who live in country allied with the United States, you have to create an alternative means towards the end of ensuring the national sovereignty.
B) My emphasis, of recent, has been to oppose expansion of Iranian covert military operations. I oppose surgical air strikes against Iranian nuclear development by the United States or its proxy because Russian contractors allowed Iranians to conceal nuclear production in deep bunkers which defy military targeting.
C) The United States may find it difficult to withdraw from Iraq without first stabilizing the Iraqi government. I foresee continued United States Naval presence in the Persian Gulf to protect Straits of Hormuz crude oil shipments. The United States Air Force will likely continue patrolling Iraq from basis in Turkey & Southern Asian republics.
What are your thoughts on how to deal with illegal immigration? Also, what do you think should be done about illegal immigrants who are already here in the U.S.?
A) The best way to "deal with" undocumented residents is to remove the financial incentive to cross the US-Mexican border. The United States should continue working with its neighbor to promote free markets & to eliminate government ownership & private sector business monopolies & oligarchies.
B) My experience as a electronic security system consultant concludes that the US-Mexican border fence serves but one purpose--to discourage casual entry. Build a 50 foot wall & watch the invention of the 51-foot ladder will scale the fence.
C) The current economic downturn in the construction industry appears to have discouraged illegal immigration.
D) We should create a "guest worker" program, provide a reasonable period of amnesty for those now living in the United States & then resolve to enforce our immigration laws.
What ideas do you have for improving our education system and for making our colleges and universities more affordable?
A) President Barack Obama, Jesse Jackson & every classroom knows the answer to this question: wasting money on educational spending is no substitute for providing encouragement to families to stay together & build a prosperous future. If you ask an immigrant what should be emphasized, one survey found that the answer is that the family should take greater precedence. That book written by two University of Chicago economists--Freakonomics--found a strong correlation between those children who perform well in the classroom & parents who set a good example. It's not what you do, but who you are that appears to make a difference. Government spending won't fix that. Cut taxes then parents may work less & spend more quality time with their children.
What are your highest priorities for protecting the environment in Illinois?
A) My predecessor got one thing right, protect the Great Lakes-- protect 20% of the World's known supply of fresh water.
B) San Francisco's Presidio University sets the pace for introducing a new Green curriculum in to their MBA program. We need to identify corporate externalities & find a way to put these environmental pollution costs back on the corporate balance sheet. Many of my Green Party members could become more effective by simply understanding why business people do what they do & then persuade business adopt more sustainable practices.
C) Improve land use planning to provide for remediation of so-called environmental brownfields such as that near Chicago's Southeast side Lake Calumet region. Provide financial incentives for young families to move back into foreclosed & abandoned homes in the inner-city. Adopt a squatter rights program similar to that once the British custom--aspiring homeowners were given an opportunity to own their own homes in exchange for accomplishing home improvements.
No endorsements provided by candidate.