Name: Blaine Wilhour
Office seeking: State Representative, 107th District
City of residence: Beecher City
Campaign website: wilhour4il.com
Why are you running and why should you be nominated? I’m running because our conservative fiscal and social values are being ignored in Springfield. I will work aggressively for reforms that will help create jobs, lower our tax burden, term limit the career politicians, and protect our values. The best way to do that is to send courageous leaders to Springfield who have actually created jobs in our area. As a small businessman, a farmer and a veteran, I have the experience and courage to lead on these issues. We have a lot of tough problems and legislators must lead by example, and that is why I won’t take a pension if elected. My goal is to restore hope, give voice to the hardworking men and women who have been ignored, and promote a brighter future in Illinois for our children. I’ve spent my life serving our community as a small business owner and farmer, serving our country in the military, and now I want to go to Springfield to serve you.
What is the most important issue facing the state? How would you approach it? Outmigration due to high taxes and lack of opportunity. We have to get the economy going. We have to rein in and cap government spending, balance the budget, push reforms that make Illinois an easier state to conduct and attract businesses, and stop people and jobs from leaving the state.
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? Yes, we should roll back the 32 percent income tax hike. This tax increase was pushed through by Mike Madigan and Chicago Democrats and it’s hurting Illinois families that were already paying some of the highest taxes in the nation before it passed. Instead of higher taxes, we should focus on reforms that will lead to economic growth. If we cut spending and bring employers and jobs back to Illinois our budget would be in a much better place.
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 a spending cap that would tie the growth of government to the growth of the economy. We can no longer spend more than we can afford. Politicians can’t be trusted to rein in spending so we have to force them to. Once spending is capped we can have an honest conversation about priorities. I would like to see us prioritize education, care for the elderly, disabled, & veterans, transportation and infrastructure. If you look at our current budget, 30 percent goes to Medicaid and 25 percent goes to pensions. These costs are clearly unsustainable and are crowding our core services. Reforms to those two programs are simply a must. I will work hard to identify and eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in all programs. We should also looks at smart consolidations of government. We have over 7,000 units of local government. That number has to be brought down more in line with other states of our size.
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 don’t support more regulations on campaign finance. I think everyone should have the freedom and opportunity to support candidates of their choice.