Questions and Answers with IL State Representative Candidate Darren Bailey - 109th District
1. What are your goals if elected?
I think we have to make Illinois a more attractive place for businesses to locate. Our state continues to lose population and in fact we have lead the country in out migration for the last four years.
We must lower taxes. Illinois has the second highest property taxes in the nation and is inching closer and closer to becoming the state with the highest property taxes in the country. If we want to stop the out migration, we simply must lower taxes.
We must also address the pension crisis that is bankrupting our state. Lawmakers have time to debate gun control bills and state funding for abortions but somehow there simply is not enough time to deal with the pension crisis. We have to make the pension crisis a priority.
Another goal would be to educate my colleagues about the industries affecting our area. I want to bring lawmakers from the Chicago area to this district to show them in person what agriculture and the oil and gas industry means to this region. Bad policies coming out of Springfield have taken a toll on these industries which is why I think it is important to show lawmakers from other districts our way of life so that they can better understand how the policies coming out of Springfield have a direct impact on our region.
2. What is your biggest opposition to your opponent?
My opponent voted to raise taxes. I have made a commitment not to raise taxes. The Republican Party Platform states, “We understand taxing businesses translates into fewer jobs, less investment and higher consumer prices. Therefore, we oppose increases in taxes, fees and mandates at all levels.”
On average, taxpaying families in Flora will have to find $440 extra to fund government largess thanks to the David Reis/Mike Madigan tax increase; in Fairfield, the average is $493, in Lawrenceville it is $521, in Newton $545, and in Olney it is $477.
Raising taxes is not the solution Illinois needs. We need to grow our economy by implementing business friendly policies to attract more jobs and opportunities. Raising taxes is only serving to hurt our economy and make it more difficult for Illinois to compete.
By joining with Democrats to raise our taxes, my opponent let us all down. I will uphold our Party’s platform. I will stand up for the values we all share. I will not let Springfield change me or my values.
3. What do you see as the biggest issue facing our state, and how do you intend to address it?
Jobs, jobs and more jobs.
There is not one financial problem in Springfield that can’t be solved by creating more jobs in Illinois. We know what must be done. We need lawsuit reforms, lower workers’ compensation costs and we need to reduce business regulations. These reforms all require state action. Unfortunately, the Democrats in power in Springfield will not let any of these reforms happen.
So, we must look to ourselves for solutions. As State Representative, I will work locally with our area communities and help the CEO programs thrive at our local schools. Those young entrepreneurs are the future of our communities.
Next, I would host small business forums and bring people from outside the area to talk about ways we can help small businesses.
Running a business is tough enough. We need to come together as a community to support these individuals and the risks they are taking and help them make good decisions as they grow their businesses.
The folks who run Glamour Farms are a great example of what can be done here locally. They have created a successful fashion business and they sell all over the country and even all over the world. They have created a tremendous business right here in our District. Local entrepreneurs can learn from Glamour Farms and other successful business owners in our area.
4. With mental illness prevalence on the rise and numerous recent youth suicides in Illinois, do you have any plans to address the shortage of effective support services in our state? How will you address this if elected?
I don’t know that we need to create new programs or create new line items in the budget. What we can do is provide better training to teachers, school counselors, and law enforcement officers to make sure those individuals who have the most access to young people are well trained in how to spot the warning signs of mental illness. My focus would be on better utilizing the resources we already have.
5. What inspired or motivated you to run for this position?
The decision to run for office was not an easy one to make. I have many things going on in my life. I have four children and seven wonderful grandchildren not to mention my farming business. There were many reasons not to run, but I kept coming back to the tremendous needs of our state and my strong desire to do something about it.
So, I took the plunge to run for office. What has amazed me about this campaign is the tremendous support I am getting across the district. People who do not even know me are reaching out and helping my campaign which means so much to me.
I don’t pretend to have all of the answers, but my pledge to the voters in the 109th District is never to lose touch with the values defining our way of life. I have been a farmer my whole life. My motto is faith, family, farm. These are the words that define me and my character. I have done many business deals with a simple hand shake because my word is my bond.
6. What are words of wisdom you can share with the youth who look up to leaders like yourself? How do you walk this talk in your own life?
Do unto others as you would do unto yourself. The Golden Rule is how I try to live my life every single day. The world would be a much better place if everyone of us woke up each day with the idea of people the needs of others ahead of our own needs.
7. What does accountability mean to you?
We are all accountable for our actions and the words we speak. In the context of elections and politics, elected officials are accountable for the actions they take.
Accountability to me is what this race is all about. A big part of my campaign is holding David Reis accountable for raising our taxes. If I am elected state Representative, I know that I will be held accountable for my actions and my pledge to voters in the 109th District is never to lose sight of the values and priorities of the people of this district.
8. What does integrity mean to you?
Bailey Family Farm is a business built on a commitment to integrity and treating people with respect. It is how I have run my business and it is how I will serve in the Legislature. I view elected offices as a service. This is why I will donate at least $20,000 of my legislative salary to local charitable efforts. It is not about having a title. Integrity to me is about doing what is right and not forgetting where I come from.