Name: Don Moore
Office seeking: State Representative, 108th District
City of residence: Troy
Campaign website: https://mooreforillinois.com/
Why are you running and why should you be nominated? I’m running to bring conservative values and principles to state government. Our families deserve to be represented by a leader who will stand up for them and not waiver when it comes to seeking a fiscally conservative approach to solving Illinois’ debt problem. As a retired U.S. Marine, I have the values of faith, family, and freedom instilled in me, and I intend to bring those values to Springfield. I also look forward to bringing my experience as a member of the Madison County Board, where I worked to advance fiscally conservative principles, lower taxes and reduce budget spending for residents of Troy and Madison County. I have the experience, knowledge and conservative mindset to make a difference. The biggest problem in Springfield is we lack leaders with the courage to do what is right. Too many politicians want to be someone, and they value their careers more than they value doing the right thing. They give in to the pressure exerted by Springfield lobbyists and powerful Chicago Democrats. I want to help our state get back on track. I'm not doing this to further my own career. I’m not concerned about a future in politics. I was recently the lone "No" vote as a member of the Madison County Board. Here's why: A written modification of a resolution was presented to board members 10 minutes prior to the start of a meeting. This issue was to revise "Personnel Policy" regarding the release (firing) of County employees and a reduction in their severance package benefits. The issue was complicated and prepared by legal counsel with an abundance of legalese. There was lengthy discussion with board members for this reason. I stated for the record that as a newly appointed member of the Personnel and Labor Relations Committee (less than one week) I was not familiar with the preparation of this document. I asked all board members for the benefit of the doubt that I had and asked them for a delay in the vote so I could research and familiarize myself with this important policy change. I was the only "No" vote because I did not have time to review this document before voting. I realized my "No" vote could be perceived as not taking advantage of saving taxpayer dollars by reducing costs for severance packages, but I will not blindly vote for any resolution, issue, or bill as a member of the Madison County Board or as your State Representative without reading and understanding the purpose of a vote I am casting.
What is the most important issue facing the state? How would you approach it? The most important issue facing the state is the mass out-migration of residents due to our extremely high tax burden and stagnant economic growth. Census data shows we lost nearly 115,000 people on net to other states last year. But we don’t have to look at the data. Just look around. Families I talk to are talking about their exit strategies, their plans to leave Illinois when their children graduate, or once they can sell their home. As I knock on doors, some people tell me their children have moved and they only get to see their grand kids twice a year because they live in Tennessee or Texas. Our population is shrinking and our taxes keep growing, and the politicians who have been there for years refuse to do anything about it. For many of my neighbors, it’s tempting to move across the river where the taxes are lower and there are better job opportunities. We need to reduce regulations and financial barriers to entry on new businesses and turn our state into a friendly environment where businesses can stay and grow. We need to reduce our taxes and put a 1% cap on property taxes so people are not continuing to be priced out of their homes.
The state's income tax was increased to 4.95 percent in 2017. Would you try to roll it back? Why or why not? And if so, how would you roll it back? Firstly, I would not have voted for the tax hike. A large part of the reason I am running is because my Republican opponent betrayed us. Instead of voting for our interests as he clearly vowed he would do, he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Mike Madigan and the Chicago Democrats and voted to punish individual households with the largest tax hike in state history. And let's not forget that with this vote he also voted "yes" to approve a significant tax increase on small business owners by increasing their taxes to 7.00 percent. I will work to repeal these income tax increases. I do not believe our families, friends, neighbors and small business owners should be forced to cut their personal budgets to make up for a lack of political fortitude. We should not have to sacrifice the quality of life for our families to make up for politicians who are unwilling to confront the necessary challenges of balancing a budget and addressing our unsustainable debt. Our state government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. We need to cut spending so we don’t have to balance the budget on the backs of taxpayers. That is what I did at Headquarters Marine Corps, it is what I am doing on the Madison County Board, and it is what I will do in Springfield.
Illinois is still running a budget deficit. How should it be balanced? If cuts should be made, what programming cuts should be considered? We need to reform our pension system and bring benefits in line with what taxpayers can afford. We can do this constitutionally by putting new workers on self-managed, 401(k)-style retirement plans. We also need to look at consolidating the many layers of government in Illinois and rolling back some of the local government mandates to bring down costs. When I managed multi-billion dollar budgets in the Marine Corps and the Department of Defense, we started from the premise of "making expenditures meet revenue." Expenditures exceeding revenue was not an option. Over the years my opponent has been in Springfield, he has been happy to spend, spend, spend without concern for the how much taxpaying families can afford. I’ll take the same approach I used in the military to Springfield and make the cuts and reforms necessary to lower income taxes and protect our families. There is an assortment of proven budget balancing techniques that can be utilized, ranging from across-the-board program reductions to line-by-line reviews. There are no easy ways, but regardless of the approach we deserve elected representatives with the political fortitude to make these difficult decisions.
Campaign funding has been an issue in the last few months. Should there be changes in the state's campaign finance rules? Why or why not? If so, what changes would you want to see? I believe everyone should be able to participate in the political process equally so there is more competition for elected office. I favor less campaign finance regulation and an even playing field, but those currently in power in Springfield don’t want the competition.