Election 2012: David McSweeney
David McSweeney is running against Dee Beaubien in the race to become the state representative of the 52nd Illinois House District.
State representative of the 52nd Illinois House District
Campaign contact information:
Address: P.O. Box 3701, Barrington, IL 60011-3701
Age and birthdate:
46, Oct. 1, 1965
Family Include as much info as you like (names, ages, number of children, etc.):
Married to Margaret with two daughters, Melissa (19) and Katie (17).
Education include degree(s) and school(s):
- Administration Degree, Duke Fuqua School of Business
- Duke University, Bachelor's Degree, Economics Major
Official name of your campaign committee (if you have one):
David McSweeney for State Representative
Previous Elected or Appointed Offices:
Village of Inverness Plan Commission, Palatine Township Collector and Palatine Township Trustee
Is there any additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position?
My business experience and ability to work through difficult issues make me the most qualified candidate for State Representative in the 52nd District.
What would your priorities be if elected to this office?
1) My primary focus is to repeal the tax increases that were enacted last year. The tax increases are killing jobs.
2) I support the bipartisan property tax relief bill (HR 3793) that would prohibit property tax levy increases when property values decline.
3) State spending must be cut. The state will soon have approximately $8.3 billion of unpaid bills and an $83 billion unfunded pension liability.
What are the most important issues facing your district and what would you do as a legislator to fix them?
Illinois General Assembly needs to enact policies supporting jobs and fostering economic growth. I believe that the 2011 tax increases should be repealed and pension reform should be enacted. Lower taxes and greater stability in the state pension system would create incentives for companies to remain in Illinois and create jobs. Burdensome regulations should be eliminated so that businesses can focus on creating new jobs. A cost-benefit analysis should be required for every new regulation.
Illinois’ state government has a terrible reputation in terms of corruption. What would you do to change the culture of state government that has seen recent governors from both political parties convicted of felonies?
I'm running on a reform platform. Specifically, I favor eliminating legislative pensions and a 10% cut in legislative pay. I also support eliminating wasteful taxpayer-funded mailings and prohibiting the use of legislative staff for campaign work. I'm going to be an independent conservative in Springfield and, like Peter Fitzgerald, fight corruption in both parties.
Education in Illinois is funded primarily through local property taxes. What changes, if any, would make to that funding system?
I oppose Democrat Speaker Michael Madigan's proposal to shift the state's pension obligations to suburban school districts. Property taxes are already too high. The State Legislature created the problems and needs to address it by adopting a comprehensive pension reform proposal.
Illinois recently passed a significant increase in its income tax, yet the state continues to run a deficit. What specifically should be done to reduce the deficit
An oversized budget and an underfunded pension system are the key culprits in the state’s fiscal crisis. Below are my ideas to reduce spending in this state:
- An immediate 10% cut in administrative expenses of each state department and agency
- Adoption of a zero-based budget system;
- A Blue Ribbon Commission should be appointed to recommend structural changes in the budget and spending cuts;
- An immediate 25% cut in the legislature’s operational budget and a 10% cut in legislative salaries;
- Eliminate pensions for state legislators. (This is a part-time job with full-time benefits funded by taxpayers. The State Legislature needs to lead by example);
- Eliminate government paid mailings by legislators;
- Move additional Medicaid patients into managed care programs.
Illinois’ unfunded pension liability is $83 billion. The state’s inability to address the issue recently led Moody’s to downgrade Illinois’ credit rating. What should be done to address the state’s rising pension obligations?
The pension funding gap is the result of legislators and politicians over promising and over committing to special interests. When they initially could not meet the obligations to the funding of the pension system they borrowed more money and put off the day of reckoning.
These irresponsible acts have consequences and all parties will have to participate in order to get our fiscal house in order.
Below is a brief overview of steps needed in this state for pension reform:(1) Eliminate pensions for state legislators; and (2) For existing employees, reduce pension cost-of-living adjustments.
Also, as Option 1, protect the existing defined benefit pension benefits earned to date and going forward convert employees into 401(k) plans similar to those offered in the private sector.
Going forward, some employees should also have the option of joining the Social Security system and receiving a smaller 401(k) matching payment from the State than offered under Option 1.
In order to address the unfunded retiree health care obligations, future benefits need to be reduced. Specifically, the eligibility age for retiree health care benefits should be increased.
Why would you do a better job representing the district than your opponent? If you are running unopposed, please just share why you are qualified for the position?
When I walk door to door one of the main issues that people are concerned about is jobs, taxes and the financial stability of the state. As a businessman, I am uniquely qualified to address these issues.
I raised capital for businesses and understand the principles of bottom line budgeting and the needs of businesses to be successful and create jobs. The business climate in Illinois and the policies of state government have hurt businesses.
Businesses will not expand or locate here in Illinois as long as that negative environment exists.
Visit the Elections 2012: Illinois 52nd House District race page for more information.