Jonathan Edelman, Candidate for 15th District State Representative

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Candidate Full Name: Jonathan Edelman

Office: State Representative for the 15th District

Party: Republican

Email Address:

Campaign Name: Voters for Jonathan Edelman

Campaign Office Mailing Address: 2 North LaSalle Street FL13 Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: (872) 239-8683 (VOTE)

Survey Questions (Character limit of 2,000 per response)

1. Please tell us about yourself, your background and why you believe you are qualified to hold this office.

I'm an attorney, husband, father and homeowner living in Chicago's Edgebrook neighborhood. I'm passionate about solving Illinois' budgetary problems and imposing fiscal discipline on our budget process to stem the tide of out-migration from the state and to grow our economic base.

2. Governor Bruce Rauner and other politicians are pushing for term limits for Illinois legislators. Do you favor term limits? Why or why not? If yes, what type of term limits do you favor?

I do not favor term limits for elected officials because I believe that voters in a democracy should have the opportunity to vote for any constitutionally qualified candidate. However, I do support term limits for chamber leaders such as House Speaker and Senate President. I will not accept more than two terms (four years) as State Representative.

3. What solution would you propose to get a budget passed in the State of Illinois?

First we must remove Rep. Madigan as House Speaker. Democrats realize how badly they have mismanaged our state, and they are suffering under Speaker Madigan's despotic reign. This is why I believe that Democrats will be open to making a Grand Bargain with Republicans, whereby we jointly elect a new speaker who will be committed to allow an up-or-down vote on every bill.

But any budget MUST impose financial integrity upon our state. Toward that end I will:

a. Sponsor legislation to require an honest balanced budget.

b. Sponsor legislation to demand zero-based budgeting for every aspect of government expenditures, which means that every program must be justified every year, rather than just submit a request for automatic increase over the last year's budget.

c. Sponsor legislation for one unified flat tax rate for both business and individuals, with a high exemption for low earners that will be phased out for high earners.

d. Refusal to vote for any bill that adds even one penny to our state's deficit or to its overall debt.

e. Sponsor legislation to end pensions for all politicians. Our so-called leaders should be the first in line to accept the harsh budgetary medicine to get us out of the mess they have caused.

f. End pensions for new employees who, along with existing vested pension participants, should be offered the chance to invest and manage their own 401(k)-style retirement plans.

g. Turn funding responsibility for teacher pension over to the districts that employ(ed) them.

4. Chicago is the only city in Illinois with an appointed school board. Other large American cities, including San Francisco, elect their school board members. Would you favor changing Illinois law to provide Chicago with an elected school board? Why or why not?

True school reform really can't happen until we change our antiquated funding system to allow students in rich and poor areas alike the same funding, while expressly imposing some measure of local funding for teacher salaries to increase fiscal accountability. Assuming that change, the Chicago Public Schools should be to split into several smaller districts that can be more responsive to local needs. The resulting districts should offer quality neighborhood schools of roughly comparable high quality, but no charter schools, and the new districts should directly elect their boards.

5. Voters say they are turned off by the negative and misleading TV ads that dominate the air waves. However, campaign and election experts say candidates rely on them because "they work." Will you and your campaign agree to refrain from running negative ads from now until the election?

Yes. I am sufficiently confident in the strength and power of my ideas to promise to refrain from negative campaigning.

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