Property Rights Is Always the Correct Answer
The 2022 midterm election will see voters pass the baton to candidates who will serve during a highly charged political environment as the 2024 general election approaches. Most candidates talk mostly about themselves, with an almost comical disregard for the subject matter they should be focused on to secure votes – the voters and our needs and expectations of them to represent us and not their own interests. With the Midterm General Election 2022 Questionnaire found below, we continue our longstanding practice of contacting political office candidates with what we hope are relevant and meaningful questions.
Read the invitation to the Illinois Quad Cities' candidates here, and the Iowa Quad Cities's Candiates we selected here.
See the sample ballots for Rock Island County here, and for Scott County Iowa, here.
From the 50-plus candidates in 25 races we chose on the ballots for Rock Island and Scott counties, we received responses from 16 candidates: eight from Democrats, six from Republicans, and two from Libertarian candidates. To foster participation, we allowed candidates to answer only the questions they wished. What they did not answer speaks as loudly as what they did answer. We greatly appreciate those who did participate. Note that political party affiliations are missing, hopefully enabling readers to judge the candidate on the character of their content and not the color of their party.
We would have to print even fewer pages if more candidates understood that the oath of office they take is not about how well their résumés make them suitable to manage a staff and statutory tasks, but understood that protecting our property rights is always the correct answer to every political question. Special thanks to Ed and Monica Newmann for their cherished collaboration on another wonderful cover illustration.
Attention Everyone: Constitutional Amendments on Illinois and Iowa Ballots!
Significant efforts preceded these rare moments when the electorate is requested to approve or deny an amendment to the state constitutions. If you only show up to vote for or against these proposed changes, then you've done an important civic duty.
Iowa's Proposed Amendment: Summary: Provides that the right of the people of Iowa to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes the right to keep and bear arms as a fundamental right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny. Full text: Article I of the Constitution of the State of Iowa is amended by adding the following new section: Right to keep and bear arms. Sec. 1A. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes this right to be a fundamental individual right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny. YES or NO.
llinois' Proposed Amendment: PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE 1970 ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION EXPLANATION OF AMENDMENT The proposed amendment would add a new section to the Bill of Rights Article of the Illinois Constitution that would guarantee workers the fundamental right to organize and to bargain collectively and to negotiate wages, hours, and working conditions, and to promote their economic welfare and safety at work. The new amendment would also prohibit from being passed any new law that interferes with, negates, or diminishes the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively over ther (sic) wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment and workplace safety. At the general election to be held on November 8, 2022, you will be called upon to decide whether the proposed amendment should become part of the Illinois Constitution. For the proposed addition of Section 25 to Article I of the Illinois Constitution. YES or NO.
Iowa Quad Cities' Races Queried
Secretary of State
Auditor of State
Treasurer of State
State Rep District 81 (Davenport)
State Rep District 93 (Bettendorf to LeClaire)
State Rep District 94 (Davenport to Bettendorf)
State Rep District 97 (Davenport)
State Senate District 35 (LeClaire to Dewitt)
State Senate District 47 (Bettendorf)
Scott County Attorney
Scott County Auditor
Scott County Board of Supervisors
Scott County Recorder
Scott County Treasurer
Illinois Quad Cities' Races Queried
Secretary of State
Representative in Congress 17th District
State Senator 36th District
State Representative 72nd District
Rock Island County Sheriff
Rock Island County Treasurer
Rock Island County Clerk
1. Emergency Declarations & COVID19 Lessons Learned
QUESTION 1.1: Do you agree that the state governor has the authority to implement policies that ignore or violate individual protected rights enumerated in the US and state constitutions when he or she declares a statewide emergency? If yes, please cite the specific published law or statutes where such an authority to ignore or violate rights is provided.
Illinois Candidate Responses
Tom Martens for 72nd District State Rep: I do not think any Governor should be able to use executive orders or mandates to tell it’s citizens or businesses what they can or can’t do.
Patrick Moody for Rock Island County Sheriff: I will be Constitutional Sheriff! With that said, our Governor most definitely abused his authority during the COVID pandemic. Unfortunately, our Attorney General failed to act as well, which allowed our Governor to rule without input from our General Assembly. Sadly enough, the entire state suffered at the hands of this style of dictatorship therefore it should be clear to everybody how important it is for everybody to vote to prevent such behavior in the future.
Daniel K. Robin for Illinois Attorney General: I do not have anywhere near the resources to properly answer your question. I am a great believer in both enumerated and unenumerated rights. But the purpose of government is to protect and prevent injuries from my and your exercise of those rights. But I believe in the presumption of liberty. That means that the government must bear the burden of proof that it has both the constitutional and statutory authority to interfere with anyone’s rights
Iowa Candidate Responses
Kerri Tompkins for Scott County Auditor: This question is not applicable to the Auditor role as the Auditor does not vote, nor create law.
Caleb Copley for Scott County Attorney: No.
Joesph C. Miller for Scott County Supervisor: No, a state governor doesn’t have the authority that ignores or violates the rights of a citizen, but it’s important for each citizen to remember that freedom subsumes responsibility.
Luana Stoltenberg for 81st District State Rep: No, I do not agree that the governor has the authority to implement policies that ignore or violate individual protected rights in the U.S. and State constitutions. In the Proclamation of Disaster Emergency for the Governor there is language for evacuation of population to preserve life. There is also language to limit government in an emergency, as well as financial assistance and funding from the federal government to state government to help with a disaster. There is no language in the proclamation to violate or ignore the people's constitutional rights.
Rick Stewart for Governor: I do not believe there is any such law or statute, therefore I do not believe the Governor has the authority to implement such policies. I may be wrong – show me the law or statute and I'm willing to change my mind.
During the COVID-19 pandemic the public health response included lockdowns, school closings, forced masking, forced vaccinations, and selective closing of “non-essential” gathering places, businesses and places of worship. Some jurisdictions implemented vaccination passports. Many officials claimed to be merely following "the science" or CDC guidelines.
QUESTION 1.2: Looking back, what lessons did you learn during the pandemic that will inform how you would conduct the office and serve your constituents should another pandemic be declared in the future?
Illinois Candidate Responses
Tom Martens for 72nd District State Rep: The Governor should be able to use the emergency 30 law on the books now but after that, anything effecting the citizens of Illinois should be voted on the the State House and Senate with a super-majority of both houses and both parties.
Gregg Johnson for 72nd District State Rep: The biggest lesson we need to take from the pandemic is to trust – and adapt to – the evolving science. Early in the process, before we knew much about COVID-19 or how it spread, we took necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. We now understand which precautions are helpful and necessary and which are overly cumbersome or ineffective. Some clung to outdated science for too long which slowed our recovery – at the same time, some were slow to take reasonable precautions. We should pay particular attention to the point at which schools and/or businesses be closed – that should only occur when absolutely necessary and for no longer than absolutely necessary.
Patrick Moody for Rock Island County Sheriff: I did not support many of the mandates that came from the pandemic, especially forced vaccinations. The risk factor from the strains did not justify such vaccine mandates and it was government overreach on a massive scale.
Darren Hart for Rock Island County Sheriff: Having worked at the Sheriff’s Office throughout the pandemic, I saw first-hand the resiliency of our staff at all levels. Medical protocols put in place were fundamentally important. They provided the foundation to help protect and keep our staff safe so critically important public safety operations could continue both internal and external to the agency. Building strong, cohesive relationships with our Federal and State agencies was also instrumental in providing necessary PPE supplies to our citizens, hospitals, both public and private institutions, schools, etc., just to name a few. These are some valuable lessons I learned that I would take with me if elected to the Office of Sheriff for Rock Island County.
Daniel K. Robin for Illinois Attorney General: People are smart. Everyone has the incentive to care for themselves and their families. But there is more. We also very naturally care about our friends and neighbors. Just give us the facts as best you can, we will figure out the rest. Mandates insult our intelligence
Iowa Candidate Responses
Kerri Tompkins for Scott County Auditor: I was not in office during the pandemic. However, absentee ballots increased and curb-side voting became available, which is still an option today. Overall, there are numerous voting opportunities for the public so they can choose the best option for them. I would utilize a variety of communication tools to get these options out for voters so they can be well informed.
Caleb Copley for Scott County Attorney: That necessity can lead to innovation. The pandemic brought about a lot of changes in how we think about work and public safety. Some of those changes have actually made our legal system more efficient and even accessible for both participants and members of the public such as switching some of our hearings to Zoom. If we were to experience another pandemic similar to COVID-19, it would mean experiencing something we as a society are not prepared for. My number one priority as the leader of an office is the safety of my colleagues and their families. I am very data driven in how I respond to situations so I would always balance the needs of keeping our justice system moving while ensuring a safe work environment. The pandemic certainly taught us that you have to be flexible as we learned more about COVID-19 and how to deal with it.
Joesph C. Miller for Scott County Supervisor: Two things: 1. We cannot continue to set policy based upon what we wished were true. 2. Viruses, it turns out, really doesn’t give a rip about anyone’s personal freedom.
Luana Stoltenberg for 81st District State Rep: We all learned many lessons as we maneuvered through COVID. We lost our freedoms, liberties and lives because of wrong information, fear, greed, and responding before we had the facts. We still are not being told the facts. We must allow people the freedom to decide for themselves what is best for their own health and well-being.Tested drugs that have been FDA approved for years were taken off the market, and pharmacist were told they could not prescribe them. People were forced to get a vaccination that was not FDA approved, or tested and researched properly, or they would lose their job. Elderly people died of isolation, and many sick died alone because loved ones were not allowed into visit. Drug and alcohol abuse increased, as well as depression and suicide rates. We cannot close our churches, schools, stores, and communities again.
Michael L. Fitzgerald for Treasurer of State: My mission as State Treasurer is to Keep the Money Safe. Faced with the pandemic, our team worked to ensure that we met that mission every day. I’m proud of that. Through the pandemic, we were able to leverage technology to ensure continuity of services. I have always focused on providing the best services possible and through the pandemic we learned new ways to provide those services.
Rick Stewart for Governor: I learned politicians should never try to 'lead' in a pandemic situation, as they are the least reliable leaders, being primarily interested in getting reelected and significantly less interested in serving the public interest. I would let public health officials make recommendations, then I would let all citizens decide for themselves whether or not they wished to follow those recommendations, based on their own knowledge, research, beliefs, personal situations, etc.
2. Oaths of Office & Protecting Rights
Should you prevail in the pending November 8 general election, you will be required to take an oath of office in order to occupy the office you ran for and serve the people within your office's jurisdiction, accordingly. Despite all the campaign promises and rhetoric generated prior to the election results, each oath of office taken is the closest thing to a contract with the people you will be representing, or your constituents, that we the people have.
Said Illinois oath reads: "I do solemnly swear for or affirm, as the case may be,: that I will support the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the state of Illinois, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of ___________ according to the best of my ability."
Said Iowa oath reads: "I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the state of Iowa, and that I will faithfully and impartially, to the best of my ability, discharge the duties of the office in ___________, as now or hereafter required by law."
QUESTION 2.1: Of all the rights enumerated and identified as protected and inherent rights in the U.S. and Iowa or Illinois state constitutions if elected you will be supporting, which of your constituents' rights are most readily protected by the office you are running for, its department and staff?
Illinois Candidate Responses
Tom Martens for 72nd District State Rep: I will protect the Right to free speech, the right to bear arms, freedom of religion and have fair elections.
Gregg Johnson for 72nd District State Rep: I’d like to answer 2.1 and 2.2 together. After Roe v Wade was overturned, Illinois’s status as a pro-choice state hinges on the state legislature and state supreme court. In states across America, we see state legislatures seeking to criminalize abortion and even contraception. This issue is personal to me – when I was eight years old, my mother passed away due to complications with a pregnancy that her doctors told her she could not survive. Safe, legal abortion in Illinois – even to save her life – simply wasn’t available to her. She could not make her own medical decision – that decision was made for her by legislators in Springfield. Because of that my family lost our mother. I refuse to let other families go through what mine did due to lack of access to basic reproductive care.
Daniel K. Robin for Illinois Attorney General:The right to earn an honest living. Five years ago the prior Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department to protect the people’s right to be free from the unconstitutional violation of their fourth amendment privacy rights. Kudos to the Attorney General. We should all be free from unlawful search and seizure. But what I like more is the right of every individual to earn an honest living. Municipalities and counties across the country violate your rights to start an honest business. The Institute for Justice for IJ: studied 20 cities and found that none made it simple, clear and easy to get a business started. IJ made suggestions to improve the fundamental right to the pursuit of happiness. My book, “The Libertarian War on Poverty,” points out that the number one aspiration of poor people is to start their own business. As your Attorney General, I will motivate cities and counties to end poverty by streamlining their procedures and fostering a business friendly environment. Every city and town should be a refuge of liberty.
Iowa Candidate Responses
Kerri Tompkins for Scott County Auditor: The right to vote. The Auditor’s Office provides elections for the people. It is our job to implement laws while providing the service. However, the legislators vote and create law.
Kelly Cunningham-Haan for Scott County Attorney: The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution which provides protections against unreasonable search and seizures; the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution which provides that no subject shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution which for a: provides an accused with the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury, for b: affords the accused the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation being lodged against him, for c: the right of the accused to confront any witnesses to be brought against him at the time of trial, for d: the right to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor and for e: to have the assistance of counsel for his defense; the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution which provides protections against excessive bail, excessive fines and against cruel and unusual punishments; and the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which provides that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of the law, or that no person shall be denied equal protection of the laws.
Caleb Copley for Scott County Attorney: The Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures; the Fifth Amendment, which protects the right of an individual to not self-incriminate; and the Sixth Amendment, which protects and affords the right to counsel.
Joesph C. Miller for Scott County Supervisor: Home rule. At the county level there has been minimal infringement of municipality governance.
Jed O.V. Ganzer for 35th District State Senator: For nearly fifty years Roe v. Wade has been a constitutional right to abortion. The state should not intervene in a person’s right to privacy in their medical healthcare decisions, nor should they criminalize the patient or the involved doctor. If Iowa outlaws abortion, we may have an even harder time finding OB/GYN doctors to come to Iowa. Will an ectopic pregnancy be allowed for an abortion, or will we put the mother’s life at risk? Will a rape victim be allowed an abortion? With the unfortunate overturning of Roe v. Wade, these situations and more are now lingering questions for the state to determine.
Michael L. Fitzgerald for Treasurer of State: The office of the treasurer is responsible for managing public funds, pension funds and individual savings for education and disability related expenses. It is my responsibility to safeguard the funds. I understand the magnitude of the responsibility I accept under the oath and will always act as a fiduciary.
Deidre DeJear for Governor: The Iowa Constitution, in Article I Section two states that, “All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.” The Iowa people have the power to alter and reform our state whenever they deem necessary. It is very apparent that the public good requires that we alter our current government in order to once again prioritize the daily needs of Iowans.
Rick Stewart for Governor: You are asking me to answer the question, “Who is your favorite child?” and I choose to decline the request. It is the Governor's job to protect all our rights, all the time.
QUESTION 2.2: Of all the people's rights protected in the U.S. and Iowa or Illinois state constitutions, are there any of your constituents' rights which are especially currently at risk? If so, which rights and what specific actions will you take to protect that right for your constituents?
Illinois Candidate Responses
Tom Martens for 72nd District State Rep: Free speech is always under attack by online entities and large news organizations. The 2nd Amendment is constantly being challenged to enable criminals. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness should always be protected.
Iowa Candidate Responses
Kerri Tompkins for Scott County Auditor: Again, the Auditor does not have an opportunity to vote and/or create laws. The job consists of following the law set forth by the legislators.
Kelly Cunningham-Haan for Scott County Attorney: No. As a prosecutor my job is to ensure that justice is done. In said pursuit, I have an obligation to ensure that the constitutional rights of our citizens are honored and protected in the course of criminal investigations and prosecutions.
Caleb Copley for Scott County Attorney: No.
Joesph C. Miller for Scott County Supervisor: Home rule. At the state level, particularly during the pandemic, we have seen considerable infringement into municipality governance, particularly with regard to public safety. We must stay vigilant here, and if elected, I fully intend to explore avenues to protect our “local control”, a term that sadly, you no longer seem to see our Governor discussing of late.
Luana Stoltenberg for 81st District State Rep: There are several rights of constituents that are currently at risk. The right to life for the pre-born is one. Our Declaration of Independence states, “...that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The pre-born are the most defenseless and vulnerable of all the citizens of Iowa. I will support a “Life at Conception Bill” to protect all pre-born lives. Iowa constituent's 2nd Amendment rights are at risk as well. I will always defend the right to keep and bear arms. Our liberty of health and well-being is at risk also. I will support legislation for medical freedom, and no mask or vaccine mandates. I will always stand for our Constitution and Declaration of Independence, for it is always in the best interest of the people not the government.
Rick Stewart for Governor: The Iowa Constitution's Bill of Rights, Section 18 concerning eminent domain, has already been violated and is in imminent danger of being violated again by private companies who wish to use it to force Iowa landowners to lease or sell their land. This I will not allow if I am Governor, even if I have to convene the legislature directly in the path of the construction project.
I am also concerned about Section 1, which reads, “All men and women are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights--among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.”
It seems to me past actions of the legislature have fundamentally eroded all these rights and I will work hard to eliminate all the laws and statues which do so, by legislative action.
3. Serving Constituents
QUESTION 3.1: What will you do to make your elected office activities and its records even more transparent and accessible to the public?
Illinois Candidate Responses
Tom Martens for 72nd District State Rep: I will post all laws that I propose and vote on on my website. I will give reasons for or against to the best of my ability.
Gregg Johnson for 72nd District State Rep: After working in the Illinois Department of Corrections for over thirty years, I have become a stickler for following the rules – in part because every day I would go to work and see people who weren’t. My office will have an open-door policy and I’ll make all my financial and other records publicly available. I believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant and plan to run my office accordingly.
Daniel K. Robin for Illinois Attorney General: I want the answer to every freedom of information request to be: yes and to respond as quickly as possible.
Iowa Candidate Responses
Kerri Tompkins for Scott County Auditor: I would like to scan historical data to be more accessible for the public via on-line. Currently, many documents are only available in the office. Once these are scanned, customers will be able to have immediate access without leaving their home or office.
Kelly Cunningham-Haan for Scott County Attorney: Within the judicial system, the public has access to a website which allows for the viewing of filings by the county attorney's office in cases it is prosecuting. One exception would be details of criminal investigations as set forth in Minutes of Testimony. By statute this document is considered confidential and the public is not allowed access to such. However, any hearing held in court and the trial itself are open to the public. There is a limited exception to this rule within the juvenile arena. When a matter proceeds to trial, witnesses are called by the State to testify about the investigative facts which led to the charges filed against the defendant. At this point the investigative details become a matter of public record. Given how the criminal justice system is structured, it provides transparency and access to the public.
Caleb Copley for Scott County Attorney: One of my goals is to hire a crime analyst for the office who will be able to process the work that we do and create an accessible, easy to read, report of how our resources are being allocated. The hope is that this data can either be uploaded onto the County Attorney website in an interactive format or at the very release put into a report that is available for public viewing. As gatekeepers of the criminal justice system, we must do our part to ensure that it is effective and without bias.
Jazmin Newton for Scott County Supervisor: I support the continued use of video recording at all meetings. It is unfortunate that it took a worldwide pandemic to force Scott County to embrace technology that was already being used by other counties in Iowa. Nonetheless, Scott County should continue to broadcast meetings online to be accessible and accountable to the people of Scott County. I further support the current meeting times to be changed to times that are more conducive for residents to attend. This not only enhances transparency, but also accessibility and community engagement. The Board of Supervisors should be visiting the rural parts of the county to conduct meetings. Lastly, the board should be regularly engaging with the city councils of municipalities contained within Scott County.
Joesph C. Miller for Scott County Supervisor: While the records being kept by Scott County are completely accessible and fully transparent, I think that for most residents, the sensation of accessing them is like trying to sip water from a firehose. I pledge to hold regular meetings across the county to discuss meeting issues with attendees.
Jean Dixon for Scott County Supervisor: Ever since I decided to pursue a position on the Scott County Board of Supervisors, I made it a point to learn as much as possible about the office, its activities and its records. Much like school board, the activities and records of the Scott County Board of Supervisors are already quite transparent and accessible to the public. By going to ScottCountyIowa.gov/board/board-meetings, a constituent is able to not only sign up for automatic notices as to all meetings, but also has access to the entire packet which is presented to the board before a meeting. I have reviewed those packets and regularly attended the Committee of the Whole meetings. I have met each board of supervisor, regardless of party affiliation, as well as the county administrator. The director of juvenile detention has also answered questions which have arisen during the campaign. All of this has made the activities and its records accessible to me, as a member of the public. As a supervisor, I will strive to continue to be transparent and accessible by being approachable, doing my homework and answering questions as they arise, returning calls and making sure my constituents know that I am working for them.
Luana Stoltenberg for 81st District State Rep: I am and will be for transparent and accessible government. We are a government of the people, for the people, and by the people. We as government officials serve and represent the people, not the other way around, so the people have a right to know what takes place in the halls of the capital of Iowa.
Jed O.V. Ganzer for 35th District State Senator: The public should have the right to view Iowa bills before they are voted on. Currently, the legislature can introduce a bill late in the afternoon, and vote on it at 8:00 am the next morning. In contrast, the same legislature made school boards post items up for a contract at least 24 hours in advance of making the vote for that expenditure. I would vote to make our legislative bills more transparent and allow our constituents time to view and have input on all bills. I would hold monthly town hall meetings to inform the public on upcoming legislation and ask local residents about matters of importance to them.
Michael L. Fitzgerald for Treasurer of State: As the current State Treasurer of Iowa, I have ensured our office is transparent and accessible to the public. I will continue that practice.
Deidre DeJear for Governor: As governor, I will lead with an open door to public input and collaboration. I will make sure that all affected parties are brought to the table when finding solutions, and I will seek to hire and seat Iowans from all backgrounds to administrative positions, boards, and commissions. I will ensure that public hearings and press conferences are accessible to Iowans with disabilities.I am also committed to having an open relationship with the press and responding to requests from the media and constituents alike.
Rick Stewart for Governor: I intend to wear a body cam at all times other than when I am in the privacy of Terrace Hill tending to my private affairs, with no one present except my own family. All the footage of the body cam will be released for public viewing within 48 hours, unless streaming is available, in which case it will be live streamed as well as recorded.
QUESTION 3.2: What constituent problems, requests or issues do you expect during your potential term in office, and how will you address them?
Illinois Candidate Responses
Tom Martens for 72nd District State Rep: I imagine I’m going to get all kinds of questions from a wide variety of interests. I will listen to anyone and give you an honest answer. You might not like my answer, but you will get one. I don’t bs people so don’t bs me.
Gregg Johnson for 72nd District State Rep: I expect a wide variety of constituent service requests – and I welcome them. Sometimes, we can help directly with levers of government: helping to secure benefits, navigate bureaucratic red tape, and otherwise help people get what they need from government without a lot of hassle. That includes helping local nonprofits get the state funding they need to serve our community. Other times, we can help in less official ways – showing support at a picket line, speaking or writing on behalf of an issue or group, and being there to listen.
Iowa Candidate Responses
Kerri Tompkins for Scott County Auditor: I believe election integrity and security will continue to be a topic of concern. I am happy to answer questions and explain the process followed in Scott County via email, telephone and/or in person. I also encourage people to get involved as a poll worker to learn the process firsthand.
Kelly Cunningham-Haan for Scott County Attorney: I believe we are all concerned about the issue of public safety, given what we have seen happening in communities across the United States over the course of the last two to three years. I also believe we are all concerned about the attacks we have seen on law enforcement and the initiatives taken to try and defund police. I take a very strong stance on the issue of community protection and backing law enforcement. My 32 plus years experience as a prosecutor has taught me that my strong working relationship with officers and my support for the work they do on behalf of our community, coupled with my willingness to take cases to trial to ensure criminals are held accountable for the crimes they commit, results in a reduction in criminal activity. There is something to be said about the trial process and seeking truth in sentencing. I've always taken that approach and it works.
Caleb Copley for Scott County Attorney: for 1: violent crime in the community; for 2: crime prevention generally; for 3: staffing in our office; and for 4: equity in the administration of justice. Starting with the first, addressing the rise in violent crime starts with addressing gun violence. There will be zero tolerance for gun violence and the groups that perpetrate violence in Scott County. Reducing violent crime requires a proactive approach. It is not enough to react when the violence occurs but to take active steps in preventing it in the first instance. This means collaborating with our law enforcement partners, social service providers, and community leaders. I am starting that process by being a partner with Davenport’s Group Violence Intervention for GVI: strategy. Through GVI, those same groups I just discussed are actively working together now to find and meet with individuals most at risk of becoming involved in group violence. We offer support to those that want it, but hold accountable those who continue to engage in violence. Strategies like GVI tie into the second problem, which is taking more affirmative steps at crime prevention. Our office collaborated with our court staff and probationary officers to create drug and mental health courts that provide alternatives to incarceration for those battling addiction and mental health issues.
As someone currently working in the office, I can confirm that we need more attorneys and staff. While we physically do not have the office size for eight additional attorneys, we do have room for three. Just three additional attorneys would go a long way in helping with the significant caseload we have. I would also like to expand the number of investigators, victim witness coordinators, and digital evidence specialists in the office to help assist with faster and more effective case resolution. Resolving the fourth problem starts through understanding. By hiring a crime analyst who compiles the prosecutorial data of our office, it can help us identify where issues may be arising, which will help us implement strategies that go towards addressing them. However, the most important part of solving this problem is collaboration. I intend on partnering with law enforcement and our community leaders and organizations to come up with additional ideas and solutions to help increase the legitimacy of our criminal justice system.
Jazmin Newton for Scott County Supervisor: One potential issue that is being brought to the board by constituents is the implementation of a Community ID program. Johnson County has a model for this program which provides a community ID card for those who may not have a traditional state ID. Proponents of the community ID card believe it would offer residents the ability to confirm their identity. I would be open to further discussing the matter including the cost of the program, the vetting process for ID issuance and its validity with our community partners including law enforcement. Any program which can improve the lives of our community members is one I think is worth exploring.
Joesph C. Miller for Scott County Supervisor: What I anticipate, should I be elected to the board, is the friction of working with someone who has a different way of thinking, and a different life path on the board. But I have a long long history of winning people over, and I fully believe that my earnestness and good faith in working with the other board members will allow us to move the wheels forward
Jean Dixon for Scott County Supervisor: Issues will inevitably arise regarding public safety and infrastructure. Addressing those issues involves not only getting information from the county staff and resources, but also inviting input from the constituents. All decisions and priorities are made on a cost-benefit analysis. As set forth above, I will do my homework and investigation before reaching a conclusion on how a problem may or may not be resolved. Overall, my priority is to keep taxes low and maintain a high level of quality services for the county. That will be an overarching principal in the decisions that I make.
Luana Stoltenberg for 81st District State Rep: There are many concerns I am hearing from constituents as I am door knocking, but the No. 1 concern is our public schools. Parents are concerned for their children's safety as well as the curriculum being taught. Teachers are concerned for their students and their own safety. There is little to no discipline in place for behavior issues, so it allows for bad behavior to continue. Parents are concerned for their daughters being abused in bathrooms and locker rooms, as well as the sexual content in the libraries and being taught in the classrooms. We need to pass legislation that stops this indoctrination and agenda and will enforce consequences on those who don’t abide by those laws. Another concern is high property taxes. Iowa's property taxes are the 11th highest in the nation. I would support a plan to lower property taxes and to freeze retirees and senior citizens property taxes. Crime is another major concern. I would love to work with the Scott County Sheriff and our Police Chief to create legislation that could help reduce crime in our cities and state.
Michael L. Fitzgerald for Treasurer of State: A top priority I have voiced for years is addressing the retirement crisis in this state. This is not just about helping individuals. An increase in savings would grow the disposable income available to retirees, which will boost Iowa’s economy as seniors represent an increasing share of household spenders. Additionally, current government expenditures to support low-income seniors through benefit programs like Medicaid are significant. Increases in retiree incomes through savings would limit the growing demand for these programs as the population ages. It is time for Iowa to create a retirement plan for working Iowans who do not have access to an employer plan. States across the country, in a bipartisan fashion, are adopting IRA retirement savings plans that fill this gap.
Deidre DeJear for Governor: In Iowa, we have a skills gap, a worker shortage and continue to see a loss of jobs in our rural and urban communities. We must implement a true, comprehensive economic plan that will keep jobs here, attract new manufacturing and technology jobs, strengthen small businesses, welcome unions and their support of workers rights, ensure a sustainable wage for all Iowa families, and close the skills gap through training and education to Iowa’s untapped talent. We must ensure that we are putting Iowa’s tax payer dollars to good use and invest in systems which have been underfunded such as public education, healthcare, and other necessary resources. Additionally, Iowa pays lower wages than all the states that surround it. It’s time to raise our minimum wage to a sustainable wage, so that Iowans are able to take care of themselves and their families.
Rick Stewart for Governor: There will be a myriad of these. I am an admirer of former Iowa Governor Harold Hughes, who had open office hours once a week. I intend to have an open office 10 or 12 hours a day, seven days a week, as I did in my previous job as CEO of Frontier Co-op in Norway, Iowa. I anticipate the first constituent problem I will handle will come from the people who have been punished for committing victimless crimes such as possession, use or sale of recreational drugs. I plan to clear the deck of all these people by issuing them immediate pardons, assuming they were all non-violent crimes, and will ask the legislature to approve a full reimbursement of any fines they were required to pay, with interest.
QUESTION 3.3: In 250 words or less, please summarize why one should cast their vote for you.
Illinois Candidate Responses
Tom Martens for 72nd District State Rep: You should vote for me because I am not wealthy. I have a family to provide for and bills to pay. I still work a full-time job in an industrial environment and I feel the same pressure of high property taxes, gas taxes. Groceries costing 2-3 times as much or not on the shelf at all. Current legislators are purposefully avoiding fixing these problems. I won’t. I love Illinois, I love America and I love our Constitution. Another reason I am the best candidate for district 72 Representative is that I am not from the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party has adopted the Socialist platform but don’t be fooled. Socialism is Communism with lipstick on it. We have CRT in our Schools, Intersectionism and the 1619 project indoctrinating our children to hate themselves, hate each other and hate our Country. They even have pornagraphic childrens books! Let’s make Illinois great again, let’s make America great again and let’s kick Communism to the curb! If you want a legislator who will actually look out for you and your children, please vote for me in November. Thank you.
Gregg Johnson for 72nd District State Rep: When I was young, my father lost his job when the Farmall plant closed and it upended our lives in too many ways to count – that’s why I am committed to helping working- and middle-class families thrive. When I was eight years old, I lost my mother due to pregnancy complications. It was six months before the passage of Roe v Wade and she couldn’t access a safe, legal abortion in Illinois – and because she was denied that right, my sisters and I grew up without a mother. Now that the protections afforded under Roe v Wade are gone, millions of women will find themselves in the same situation that my mother did. I refuse to let anyone else go through what my family did. My daughter, Gabby, is a daily reminder of why education and public safety are so important. I want her to have every opportunity she needs to thrive and succeed. And every day when she leaves for school, my heart breaks because I’m afraid it will be the last time I see her. Our students deserve first-class schools that provide a 21st century education and keeps them safe from harm. Celia, my wife, comes from a Latino family that suffered discrimination and hardship at the hands of racism right here in Illinois. That kind of bigotry has no place in our community or anywhere in Illinois and I am committed to making Illinois a safer, more equitable place for my daughter to grow up in.
Patrick Moody for Rock Island County Sheriff: I’ve learned in the last nine months that our two-party system is indeed divided but people from both sides of the isle are in consensus when it comes to real concerns involving public safety. Unlike my opponent, I’ve responded to or investigated thousands of complaints in the last decade and know first-hand how demoralizing it was to see our profession being demonized to the point that there is little interest for those willing or wanting to serve anymore. We are truly in a crisis and much needs to be done to turn this around before we see crime rates reach levels that we haven’t seen before. I absolutely love and respect my law enforcement family and I’m very well known as a “Cops Cop”. If a call turned upside down, I was the cop you wanted there or next to your side. With that said, I’m passionate about building connections with people from all walks of life and I’m very well known for this unique ability throughout the entire Quad Cities as well. The Sheriff’s Department hasn’t had a new set of eyes in 40 years. The Sheriff has a unique role, far different than a standard law enforcement official. The Sheriff is the only head of a law enforcement agency in this nation that is accountable directly to the people of his or her jurisdiction. I wholeheartedly understand this as I have been on the front lines, with the people, throughout my entire law enforcement career. A new voice and a new direction is key to the enormous amount of success that can be achieved if new leadership is brought into the Sheriff’s Department. Vote for me and I promise to make you all proud!
Daniel K. Robin for Illinois Attorney General: Elections are, in part, about choices. I offer a clear choice. Libertarians are the party of principle. There should, in all public policies, be a presumption that freedom and liberty work. The feeling is much like the presumption of innocence. The burden must be on the state to prove that its laws are based upon real, known facts. Executive orders must be based upon actual authority of the legislature. The purpose of government is to protect the rights of the people. It should not interfere with those rights unless such regulation is based upon imminent harm, not the imagined fears of the legislature. Criminal or civil sanctions of jail or fines should only apply to matters involving an immediate victim. A simple example might help. The legal drinking age is 21 years old. This law is a blatant failure. Ask any 19-year old adult if they have ever had an alcoholic beverage. Why bother asking a rhetorical question. Everyone knows the answer. This is a victimless crime. An 18-year old adult consuming alcohol does not violate anyone else’s rights. But in the eye of the government, they are committing a crime. My opponent was intimately involved in the design and passage of the Safe-T Act. I applaud his concern for people who are in jail only because they could not afford to post a bond. But he and the legislature got it very wrong. Many of the crimes for which there will soon be for almost: no bond, involved very real victims. I believe in judicial discretion. Crimes involving immediately known victims should be required to post a bond at the sole discretion of the judge. The Safe-T Act painted with too broad of a brush. Our laws and enforcement should be based upon the presumption of liberty.
Iowa Candidate Responses
Kerri Tompkins for Scott County Auditor: As the Scott County Auditor for over 16 months, I have successfully run two county-wide elections, as well as two smaller elections. The office has been restructured, security measures have been increased for both inside the office and election specific:, new staff hired for to replace retirees: and additional community partnerships have been established.
I bring over twenty years of management experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. In addition, I served on Davenport City Council for six years for three terms: and ended my term as Mayor ProTem. My education includes a Master of Social Work from St. Ambrose University with a concentration on administration. Through the office restructure, a management team was identified to support the office and build a team culture. Cross-training has also been implemented to ensure shared knowledge and cross departmental support. Additional voting opportunities were provided as well. Satellite sites are early, in-person voting locations throughout the community to improve accessibility to voters. It has been over ten years since Scott County had satellites for the Primary Election, but they were available this past May.
To prepare residents for the General Election, a new postcard was mailed to every household with a registered voter in September. Important dates and information was included.
These are just some examples of improvements while in office. If elected, I will continue to adjust so the community can be served to the best of our ability and not be limited with today’s means.
Kelly Cunningham-Haan for Scott County Attorney: Very simply, I have the experience it takes to lead the Scott County Attorney's Office. I've been a prosecutor for over 32 years. Throughout my career I was never afraid or reluctant to go to trial. I earned a reputation as a young prosecutor for my tenacity in trying cases and achieving successful outcomes. I still have that reputation today. I have tried hundreds of jury trials throughout the course of my career and have experienced very few losses in the courtroom. I have handled all types of cases of varying levels of complication to include homicide cases, adult and child sex abuse cases, drug distribution cases, gang related cases, crimes involving weapons, crimes of violence against individuals to include domestic abuse related cases, crimes involving the elderly and children, extremely complicated white collar crimes, thefts, burglaries, forgeries and OWIs to include vehicular homicides arising out of drinking and driving. I worked at both the Johnson County Attorney's Office and the Scott County Attorney's Office where I spent most of my career. As for my current position, I was contacted in April of 2022 by the Muscatine County Attorney and asked to return to Iowa to work for his office in the capacity of First Assistant Muscatine County Attorney. This job offer came about by virtue of my reputation for being an experienced trial attorney. Currently I handle felony prosecutions to include child and adult sex abuse cases, gang related crimes, felony crimes of violence and witness tampering offenses. I have also been recognized over the years for my work as a drug prosecutor by our local narcotics units as well as receiving an award from the Illinois M.E.G. Directors and Task Force Commanders Association for my work in narcotics and dangerous drug enforcement.
Caleb Copley for Scott County Attorney: Because I am the candidate who will be ready to lead the office from day one. I am an established prosecutor who has successfully achieved justice for hundreds of victims. I have extensive experience prosecuting major cases at the both the state and federal level. To prepare myself as the next Scott County Attorney I have worked directly with the Scott County Attorneys who have held the office for the last forty-four years, as well as the First Assistants who have held the position for the last fifteen years. Learning from them about what to expect, potential pitfalls, and ideas for change, has been vital in helping prepare me for the job. I currently serve as a Senior Assistant Scott County Attorney, which means that I am a major case prosecutor who also supervises multiple other attorneys and staff in the office. I have built strong relationships with our local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies through trainings, direct assistance with investigations, and by being a go-to resource for legal questions. Our profession has seen significant changes in the last five to ten years concerning digital evidence. I have been at the forefront of these changes in our office and am currently working on getting a digital evidence management system that will help make our office more efficient. A vote for me is a vote for safety, accountability, leadership, and transparency. I am someone who is ready to lead the next generation of the Scott County Attorney’s Office.
Jazmin Newton for Scott County Supervisor: Actions speak louder than words. I care about my community and have spent almost 10 years serving the community on numerous boards and commissions, including but not limited, to the Bi-State Regional Commission, Davenport Affirmative Action Commission, Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, Q2030, and LULAC Council #10. I also sit on multiple committees, and I am an active member of several other organizations. I am deeply involved in our community and believe that we all have a moral obligation to do our part.
My experience as an attorney, small business owner, community leader and social advocate has prepared me well to work effectively with everyone so we can bring about real change which benefits the entire community. My educational experience and training have equipped me with a valuable skill set that includes the ability to analyze complex issues and think critically in many different situations. I have a broad understanding of governmental functions and the laws that govern those operations.
My involvement with many diverse boards and commissions has provided me the opportunity to work with people on both sides of the proverbial aisle. I understand to move Scott County forward, we must work collectively towards our common goals, and I am committed to advocating for all of Scott County. I look forward to continuing serving my community and hope the voters of Scott County will allow me to serve on the Board of Supervisors.
Joesph C. Miller for Scott County Supervisor: My entire philosophical framework in running for Board of Supervisors is of a service orientation. As a tenured professor, I sought the ad-hoc position on Davenport City Council purely from a desire to serve this community. And I did. While on City Council I worked with the other members on determining the American Rescue Plan Act funding, creating a guideline to determine the validity and appropriateness of various proposed projects. Also, I worked alongside residents in my ward to discuss the latent problems in housing we have throughout the Quad Cities, particularly made more salient during the pandemic. These are difficult problems, but I pledge to not ignore them and give up because of their difficulties. As a business school professor, I have made the acquaintance of many of the business leaders, rainmakers, and influencers in our community, and if elected, I fully intend to call upon them to solve some of our more endemic problems, so that we might grow into the dynamic, vibrant county that I think we all so desire.
Jean Dixon for Scott County Supervisor: My background is diverse and will allow me to hit the ground running as a supervisor. A “transplant,” I have lived in the Quad Cities since 1993 – both Davenport and Bettendorf. I have a degree from Luther College in English, Political Science and Spanish. I also graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law. I interned for the Scott County Attorney’s office, and I clerked for the Iowa Court of Appeals. I am a partner with Betty Neuman & McMahon, where I have been since 1993. I have represented businesses ranging from over 1000 employees to a small family farm operation. I have represented schools, cities, and towns all over eastern Iowa. Importantly, I have also represented individuals on personal matters including property rights, criminal law, and constitutional law. However, most pertinent is my service in and across the community. I was elected to the Pleasant Valley Community School District Board of Directors in 2013 and served two four-year terms. I currently serve on the Bettendorf Civil Service Commission and the Scott County Examining Board. I volunteer in the jail. I served on the steering committee for CONNECT: Support for Single Moms. I am on the Camp Shalom Board of Directors, and I am parish council president at Our Lady of Lourdes. This leadership has allowed me to develop relationships not only within county government but also with citizens, businesses, and municipalities in Scott County.
Luana Stoltenberg for 81st District State Rep: I am a Christian constitutionalist that believes in freedom and liberties for ALL the people. I believe in our Declaration of Independence that says “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent from the governed.” I believe office holders must have integrity and be for the betterment of the people. I was a business owner and managed several businesses. I serve on many non-profit boards and have volunteered for our community. I care about people and have a heart to see every individual in my district flourish physically, financially, mentally and spiritually.
Jed O.V. Ganzer for 35th District State Senator: I will make a great senator because my 25 years of high school teaching will be a fresh voice for my constituents. I have listened and talked to over 4000 residents at their doors. As a lifelong resident of Clinton County, I want what is best for this area. I would listen to all, not just the few. This is evident in the fact that I would vote against Governor Reynold’s school voucher bill that would be detrimental to over 95 percent of Iowa’s public school children. My opponent, Chris Cournoyer, voted for this bill that allows the few, 2 percent, to take public funds to a private school. Public education has been the cornerstone of our democracy and the great equalizer for all students, especially those from lower income families. Even with the school voucher, low income students would not be welcome as the voucher does not cover all of their tuition. Private schools do not have to accept all students. This is not fair or right. I also have been a small business owner with my roofing company for 25 years. I understand hard work, small business concerns, and what people in this area want. They want someone to listen.
Michael L. Fitzgerald for Treasurer of State: I am proud of the work I have done as state treasurer, but I know there is more to be done. Iowans know that experience counts.
In 1998, I started College Savings Iowa and today hundreds of thousands of families have used their savings to pay over $4.5 billion in education expenses for their children and grandchildren. This year I announced the ninth price reduction in 16 years and launched an enhanced app. I plan to work to continue to grow the plan. The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt is one of my greatest accomplishments. I partnered with other states in a bipartisan effort to fight to get expired savings bonds reported to states by the federal government, so we can get it returned. Over the years, I have leveraged technology to reduce our claim processing time and increase our return rate. Since I started this program, we have returned more than $327 million.
As the custodian, a trustee and fiduciary, I have been vigil in watching over IPERS. I am responsible for coordinating Iowa bonding activity. In that capacity, I recently refinanced bonds netting over $50 million savings for the state. When it comes to managing the money, Iowans know that experience counts. Our mission statement in the Treasurer’s Office is to “Keep the Money Safe” and that is what we do. I have a passion to serve Iowans. I believe Iowans understand that experience counts. If Iowans let me, I will continue to work for them.
Deidre DeJear for Governor: Iowa has always been a place of fruitful soil and fields of opportunity. We have been a leader in this nation for progress, and I believe we can be a leading state once again. My running mate, Eric Van Lancker, has served as Clinton County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections for 12 years and is currently in his fourth term. He is a steadfast advocate for voting rights and education and a lifelong Iowan dedicated to improving our great state. Like Eric, I am deeply committed to fighting for Iowans voting rights, as well as accessible affordable physical and mental healthcare, sustainable wages, reproductive care, clean water, and fully funded public schools. From our time traveling across the state talking with voters, we know firsthand that Iowans want our state government to focus on our shared goals and challenges, not the small differences that separate us. This state has the potential to lessen the everyday burdens of Iowans by creating pathways of opportunity, not for a select few, but for all Iowans. I'm running for governor because I believe in what can be, I believe in hard work, and I believe Iowa is worth the work.
Rick Stewart for Governor: I don't need 250 words! I am a CEO. I am a consensus builder. In all that I do, at all times and with all people, I conduct my affairs, and will conduct the affairs of my office, with unwavering integrity. That means I don't make promises unless I can keep them, and I don't obfuscate in pursuit of hidden agendas. If you like frank talk, you'll like me.
4. The Illinois SAFE-T Act goes into effect in 2023.
ILLINOIS CANDIDATES ONLY QUESTION: What, if any, unintended consequences that could be harmful to your constituents could come from the provisions related to no-cash bail policies within this new law going into effect in 2023?
Tom Martens for 72nd District State Rep: The Safe T Act has to go. It is incentivizing criminals and will cause needless injuries and deaths in Illinois. It should be illegal for large companies to put money into any part of the election process. It should be illegal for out of state businesses and corporations to put money into any election processes. Privatization of any election process is unconstitutional.
Answer on ESG: ESG scoring is just another transference of wealth from successful companies in the name of climate change which is bs. We should not be doing any business with China period. ESG should go away and States and banks should not be working together against businesses and the citizens of Illinois.
Gregg Johnson for 72nd District State Rep: I believe that ending cash bail is a very positive step in the right direction. When someone who is arrested and charged with a crime for but not yet convicted of anything:, the current yardstick for which individuals stay behind bars and which individuals are released into our community amounts to how much money they have in their pocket. Drug dealers and domestic abusers with access to bail money can often be back out on the street in hours, putting our community at risk. The new system instead relies on a Judge’s determination of whether or not the individual is a danger, regardless of how much money they have in their pocket. This will make our communities safer by keeping dangerous individuals behind bars until trial instead of letting those with a few thousand dollars go free.
Patrick Moody for Rock Island County Sheriff: The Safe T Act was a 100-percent partisan bill passed by Democratic Politicians. The entire state will suffer for especially the Chicago area: at the hands of a progressive far left agenda that creates a safety net for criminals. They exploited a crisis and made it much worse for law enforcement and we will all pay dearly for it in a few months. This is not a bill reform, it’s truly insanity. No cash bail will empower criminal behavior and crime will go up. No cash bail keeps criminals safe from accountability. Look at the headlines now and magnify this many times over if we don’t vote the right people in office. Sadly, we are getting further and further away from holding suspects accountable for their actions and this desperately needs to change if we want crime rates to decrease. I also believe No Cash Bail is going to compound poverty and cause further destabilization with certain neighborhoods that already struggle with high crime rates now. Law enforcement is left spinning their wheels and we need help. I think more people are finally listening, but we must get back to letting police do their jobs and more importantly, demanding better from the courts as well.
Darren Hart for Rock Island County Sheriff: The elimination of cash bail itself, in my opinion, is not the underlying issue with the SAFE-T Act. The narrow scope for judicial discretion under the Act essentially eliminates that each individual case be examined on its own merits, is. Law enforcement and prosecutors statewide have advocated for bail reform. They point to additional language provisions necessary in the Act to help protect our local communities, while also providing for conditions by which individuals who would otherwise qualify for pre-trail release, but are violent offenders, remain incarcerated. This in my view would be the most serious unintended consequence for communities served by the Sheriff’s Office.
Daniel K. Robin for Illinois Attorney General: Poor police morale. Answer to private funding question. Most money spent on political campaigning has little or no effect. If a private person or group wants to waste their money, I see no legal or moral reason to interfere.
Private Funding of Public Elections: For All State Auditor, Secretary of State, State Legislator, and County Auditor Candidates
The NGO Center for Technical and Civic Life for located in Chicago, Illinois: distributed hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to auditors and clerks throughout dozens of counties in the 2020 general election. CTCL's funding came from the foundation operated and funded by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.
QUESTION:Do you support such private funding of public elections? Why, or why not?
Illinois Candidate Responses
Tom Martens for 72nd District State Rep: It should be illegal for large companies to put money into any part of the election process. It should be illegal for out of state businesses and corporations to put money into any election processes. Privatization of any election process is unconstitutional.
Gregg Johnson for 72nd District State Rep: Local election authorities are often underfunded and that leads to worse outcomes for voters who have to wait in longer lines, have shorter windows in which to vote early, and fewer polling places to choose from. I would prefer that these election authorities be fully funded by taxpayer dollars, where transparency and accountability can be mandated by law. If there are any strings attached to these grants, I am deeply suspicious. Democracy is too important to rely on handouts from billionaires to function properly.
Iowa Candidate Responses
Kerri Tompkins for Scott County Auditor: No, I do not support private funding for public elections as I believe this may appear to interfere with election integrity. Elections are a public right and service, and therefore, should only be provided via public funding. I am very grateful the State of Iowa has already changed the law to no longer allow private funding in elections.
Luana Stoltenberg for 81st District State Rep: NO. I do not support such funding of public elections. This is a huge conflict of interest and opens the door for corruption and individual agendas. Meta for Facebook: is censoring people on their platform when they disagree with their narrative. This is a violation of our first amendment rights. Why would we allow that agenda into our election process?
Jed O.V. Ganzer for 35th District State Senator: I do not support private funding of public elections. I believe elections should be fair and impartial. In order to achieve that impartiality, private groups cannot be expected to fund elections and not be biased in any way. Elections should continue to be funded by local, state, and federal funding with all political parties overseeing so there is no bias or cheating.
ESG & State Pensions: For State Treasurer, State Legislator and Governor Candidates
Some state treasurers, legislators and governors are beginning to withdraw lucrative management contracts for their state pensions and financial services, from banks and financial institutions for equity funds: that engage in conflicts of interest due to Environmental Social Governance for ESG: scoring. The leading example is in West Virginia where six of the nation's largest fund managers were notified by the treasurer that their contracts were being canceled due to the pensions of West Virginian state employees being partially invested in new Chinese coal-fired power plants. Meanwhile, these same fund managers declared oil, gas and coal investments in West Virginia off-limits in order to selectively apply ESG sustainability standards to that state. In Iowa and Illinois this would be the equivalent to these large banks and equity funds no longer providing capital or lending to the private agribusiness industry, claiming modern farming runs afoul of ESG standards. And then using the public state pension funds to invest in farming in China.
QUESTION: As Governor, State Treasurer, or State Legislator, what is your position relative to the state transacting with banks and institutions for equity finds/money managers: that: a: use ESG scoring; and b: have similar conflicts in their ESG-related business investing models?
Illinois Candidate Responses
Tom Martens for 72nd District State Rep: ESG scoring is just another transference of wealth from successful companies in the name of climate change which is bs. We should not be doing any business with China period. ESG should go away and States and banks should not be working together against businesses and the citizens of Illinois.
Iowa Candidate Responses
Luana Stoltenberg for 81st District State Rep: My position on the state of Iowa transacting with banks and institutions that use ESG scoring and have similar conflicts in their ESG related business investing models, is that we should not do any business with them for any reason. I am not for ESG scoring, it is a socialist agenda promoted by globalist that should be banned in our nation.
Jed O.V. Ganzer for 35th District State Senator: ESG scoring banks and institutions are trying to be more transparent which is a positive model for states to try and use. If these banks and institutions engage in conflicts of interest for the state, then the contract should be terminated. However, if the state then engages in business with a bank that is less transparent, what guarantees does the state have of this business not having conflicts of interest.
Michael L. Fitzgerald for Treasurer of State: When investing state and pension funds, as State Treasurer I am a fiduciary. As a fiduciary, I have to put the interests of the investor above any other factors. Therefore, I do not make investment decisions based on social or political factors. The Iowa legislature occasionally will pass laws that restrict investments in certain countries, in those cases we abide by all state laws. After that, my responsibility is to ensure that short term investments are safe and long-term investments for like pensions: are sustainable.
Rick Stewart for Governor: The state should refund all excess tax money collected each year, on a per capita basis to every man, woman and child in the state. That solves most of the problem. The state should not have control over any pension funds. That solves 99% of the remaining problem. All residual state funds should be used to buy U.S. Treasury securities of an appropriate length to ensure the Iowa government can pay all of its liabilities in a timely manner.