Candidate Full Name: Dan McConchie
Office: Senate District 26
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.
My name is Dan McConchie. I live in Hawthorn Woods, married with two teenage daughters, and am Vice President for Americans United for Life. I am a veteran having served for nine years in the infantry and military police with the Army National Guard.
I am a life-long conservative and have worked on conservative state-level public policy issues for 20 years. In my work, I've dealt with some of the most contentious issues being debated in our country today and have been able to pull together the grassroots and reform-minded legislators to secure conservative policy victories in states as conservative as Oklahoma and as liberal as New York. In short, I've been able to help bring about policy victories in a myriad of different political environments. Illinois is tough, but it's not impossible to get good things done for our state. My experience in the game of power politics is exactly why so many other reform-minded conservative state legislators support my candidacy.
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 believe voters are the ultimate term limit, but for that to work, we need a fair map and equitable campaign finance rules, neither of which currently exist in Illinois. What I have observed happen in other states with term limits is that political power has shifted from elected legislators subject to the voters to unelected staff and lobbyists. I would vote for term limits if they were a part of larger reform package, but we know from other states that they do not solve a state's problems by themselves. I favor term limits for legislative leaders.
3. What solution would you propose to get a budget passed in the State of Illinois?
The blame lies primarily in the hands of House Speaker Mike Madigan who simply wants to raise taxes and refuses to negotiate on the structural reforms necessary to make Illinois competitive. Whenever I speak to voters, I ask how many have considered moving out of state. More than half of the hands always goes up. When I ask why, there's always the same answer: uncertainty about the state's future. That uncertainty is causing more than 100,000 more people to move out of Illinois than move into it every year.
We need pension reform. Currently, one-quarter of every dollar the state takes in goes to fund pensions, yet our unfunded liability continues to grow. We need procurement reform with increased competition and increased transparency in all state purchasing. We need worker compensation reform and tort reform. Without these changes, Illinois remains an unattractive place for businesses to locate and to grow which means fewer jobs and opportunities.
Our fiscal issues are moral issues. It is wrong for us to further increase our debts and obligations and pass those onto the next generation. We have a responsibility to address our problems now before it is too late.
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?
I do support electing school board members. I believe that government works best and is most accountable when it is subject to the voters they serve through the ballot box.
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?
My campaign will refrain running from any misleading ads.