Name: Garrett Peck
Position sought: State Senate, District 49
Campaign contact information (for publication) Please include any or all of the following: website, email address, phone number, Facebook page, Twitter account, mailing address, etc.: www.Peck4Senate.com; email@example.com; 815-298-1230; 14912 Eastern Ave., Unit 110, Plainfield, 60544
Age and Birthdate: 33, Oct. 9, 1978
Family Include as much info as you like (names, ages, number of children, etc.): My wife’s name is Carrie Peck.
Education Include degree(s) and school(s): Associate's degree, William Rainey Harper College; bachelor's degree, Western Illinois University
Occupation: Self-employed, founder of Magiktech Technology Solutions Inc.
Political Party: Republican
Official name of your campaign committee (if you have one): Citizens to Elect Garrett Peck
Previous Elected or Appointed Offices: Plainfield Village Board, 2009-present; Plainfield Planning Commission, 2008-09; Plainfield Zoning Board, 2008-09
Is there any additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position?
I am have been dedicated to public service and involved in several community groups, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will/Grundy County, Knights of Columbus, Plainfield Kiwanis and Plainfield Village Preservation Association. I am a member of St. Mary Immaculate Parish. I served in the U.S. Air Force.
I am also an unapologetic conservative who is not afraid to call out members of my own political party for unethical activities or to question the status quo.
What would your priorities be if elected to this office?
1) Economic recovery/job creation
2) Unfunded pensions
3) Campaign finance reform geared toward ending pay-to-play Chicago politics in Illinois
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
My entire political career I have challenged the status quo. I have worked for reform candidates, including former U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald and Tea Party candidate Cedra Crenshaw. I support term limits and requested that my village board place the issue on the election ballot, which they rejected. I am publically opting out of the legislative scholarship program. When elected, I will not enroll in the retirement program. This is the type of bold leadership for which Illinois citizens are yearning.
What should first be done by the state to keep businesses that have strongly voiced the possibility of leaving, such as CME and Sears?
Repeal the corporate and personal tax increases passed in 2011 immediately! Pass tort reform, such as primary causation, which will lower our worker’s compensation rates and make them more competitive with surrounding states.
What can be done to help College Illinois?
Compel colleges that receive large state grants, such as Joliet Junior College, to conduct data-driven research before they spend millions of dollars on expanding programs such as culinary arts. If the data shows that graduates from these programs lean obtain employment in Illinois vs. relocating to other states, then it can be a win/win.
What should the government do to create more jobs?
Repeal the corporate and personal tax increases passed in 2011 immediately! Pass tort reform such as primary causation, which will lower our worker’s compensation rates and make them more competitive with surrounding states.
What are your philosophies on social issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion, and what should government’s role in those issues?
I believe we should examine the equal and opposite reaction to every piece of legislation. Before the civil union law passed, same-sex couples were entitled to the majority of the privileges as they are under civil union via domestic partnership and power of attorney. When legislators redefine the law of marriage, they also affect employers' overhead expenses of employees' benefits, as well as agencies that perform adoptions such as Catholic Charities. I believe in freedom of religion as long as people are not harmed in the process and it’s up to God to sort individuals out. I would vote to repeal the civil union law if given the opportunity.
Unless Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will continue to be legal in Illinois. As your next state senator I will work tirelessly to:
1) Empower adoption agencies
2) Vote against using taxpayer dollars to promote abortion
3) Vote to compel abortion clinics to offer an ultrasound to potential patients
4) Vote to compel abortion clinics to operate under the same standard as other medical clinics
Do you support a gaming bill that would increase the number of casinos or other gambling venues in Illinois? Should a casino be built in Chicago?
I am against having gambling in every bar in Illinois as partially prescribed by the recently adopted Illinois capital bill. I have already proposed the village of Plainfield opt out of this proposal. Gambling typically moves money around and in few cases attracts new tax revenue.
What do you suggest for property tax relief?
First and foremost, I will strongly oppose the Senate Democrats' idea to fund the teacher’s pension via our local property tax levy. It was under their Democrat leadership that this fund has been pillaged and borrowed against until there was little left. If one were to behave this way in the private sector, they would face criminal charges! If successful, this would increase our local property taxes 10 percent to 16 percent.
Should the state consider consolidating school districts? What would be the best way to accomplish this in your legislative district?
Should the state legalize marijuana?
Are there ways to reform the legislative scholarship program, or would you support calls to eliminate the program?
The Chicago Tribune has written many articles on abuses of the legislative scholarship program. Too often, the tuition waivers are given to the politically connected and donors. For example, the new 49th is comprised of part of outgoing Sen. AJ Wilhelmi’s 42nd District. He was appointed to replace Larry Walsh. After the appointment, Larry Walsh’s nephew received a scholarship from Wilhelmi. Wilhelmi also doled out scholarships to the children of other elected officials. Having access to this authority puts lawmakers in an uncomfortable position with supporters, advisors, and donors. It also places the cost burden on the universities themselves, indirectly making tuition higher for paying students. The program needs to be eliminated. I will not participate in the program.
Who are your political heroes and why?
Ronald Reagan, as he was unapologetic about his successful conservative policies.
Have you ever been convicted of a felony, sued successfully or had a restraining order placed against you? If so, please explain.