Below you will see the questions legislative candidates were asked to answer by the Chicago Tribune. Saturday, the Sun-Times’ questionnaire will be posted.
This was due September 15th and the Tribune is already running some articles based on its questionnaire.
Just like for the primary election, the Tribune cautions,
Please make this your own work. The newspaper will not endorse you if we find that you have drawn your responses from a master “answer” sheet provided to you by someone else.Still, you can have some fun trying to figure out how you would answer this year’s Tribune questionnaire.
When I was filling them out, it usually took me a day to do so. I knew I wasn’t going to get the Tribune’s endorsement, but it was an enjoyable intellectual challenge.
Besides the usual biographical information, the Tribune asks 10 questions:
1. Two years ago, the state’s Educational Funding Advisory Board determined that the foundation level for an adequate public education should be $6,405 per pupil. The state currently provides $5,334. How should the state close the gap? Is more money the most effective way to improve student performance? What specific measures would you support to provide more money for schools? What education reforms should Illinois adopt? Please comment specifically on the elimination of tenure, on performance pay for teachers, on reducing class sizes and charter school expansion.I never saw a PETA question on a Tribune questionnaire before.
2. The General Assembly last year made changes in the state pension system to reduce its long-term obligations, but also deferred $2.3 billion in payments to the system. The five state pension plans face a combined unfounded liability of $38 billion. That figure will grow substantially in the coming years. What changes in contributions and benefits need to be made to the state’s pension system? Would you support a shift to a defined-contribution system?
3. How can Illinois address its longstanding culture of corruption? Does the state need new rules governing how candidates raise and spend money on campaigns? Does the state need new rules governing how elected officials conduct themselves in office?
4. Do you support the elimination of “member initiatives,” the funding of local projects at the request of legislators?
5. Should the Illinois Toll Highway Authority be sold or leased? If so, how should the proceeds be spent?
6. Should Illinois sell or lease the Lottery to raise revenue?
7. Please discuss the scope of legal gambling in the state. Should the state allow a casino in Chicago? Should it permit new forms of gambling? Should it award casino licenses based on competitive bids?
8. Should Illinois provide government funding for embryonic stem cell research? If so, under what guidelines?
9. Please tell us your top three priorities for the state.
10. Should foes gras be banned statewide?
Come on, give at least one of these questions some thought and tell us what your answer would be. (Do them all, if you wish, but please answer one question in each comment.)
Just in case you are interested in ancient history, here’s how I answered the Tribune questionnaire when I ran for governor as a Libertarian in 2002. (You can find all of my 2002 newspaper questionnaire answers by clicking on my name on the upper right of this page and then clicking on the link to the Library of Congress archive of my Libertarian gubernatorial campaign’s web page.)
Saturday read the questions of the Sun-Times at McHenry County Blog. And, if you are into history, you can find out how I becamse a latch key legislator when someone voted my switch for the 1978 40% pay legislative raise Saturday and Sunday.