CHICAGO, IL — The 2020 election season is kicking off in Illinois nd there are plenty of candidates eager to serve in elected office. Eyes are primarily focused on the presidential election, but voters will also decide the outcome of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Patch asked candidates to answer questions about their campaigns and will be publishing candidate profiles as election day draws near.
Bill Redpath is running as a libertarian against democratic incumbent Sean Casten and republican candidate Jeanne Ives for the 6th Congressional District seat.
Town/City of Residence: West Dundee
Office Sought: U.S. House
Party Affiliation: Libertarian
Family: Julie Fox, fiancee. She is a former Libertarian candidate for Comptroller of Illinois.
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?: No
Education: BA, Economics & Political Science, Indiana University, 1978. MBA, The University of Chicago, 1980.
Occupation: Business Appraiser and Financial Analyst in the Media, Telecom & Satellite sectors, with 35 years experience, plus 5 years before that as an accountant.
Campaign website: www.billredpath.com
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office: I have not served in a public office before
The single most pressing issue facing our (board, district, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it: The most pressing issue in this district is the same as it is for the entire nation: out of control government spending. This was true even before COVID-19. Entitlements have to be addressed, and the sooner the better to minimize disruption for the American people. I support the Cato Institute's "6.2% Plan" to reform Social Security, allowing people under the age of 55 to opt out of the Social Security system and allow the employee portion of FICA to fund personal investment accounts in exchange for waiving future Social Security benefits. Medicaid should be changed to block grants to the states and phased out over a ten year period. People should be allowed to opt out of Medicare without losing Social Security benefits. Medicare should be changed to cash payments to recipients to make them smarter medical consumers, with higher payments to poorer and sicker patients.
Do you support Black Lives Matter and what are your thoughts on the demonstrations held since the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake?: I just googled "Black Lives Matter" and clicked on "What We Believe" as a sublink (if that is what it is called) on Google. I was sent to blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe, which read "404 Not Found. We can not (sic) find the page that you are looking for." I am not really sure for what BLM stands, other than "defunding the police," which isn't going to happen, at least not totally. I largely see platitudes from BLM, and not many helpful specifics (which is pretty much that state of US politics generally). I am not aware that BLM has called for ending the Drug War, which is the most important thing to do to accomplish the ends BLM says (or at least infers) that it wants. Peaceful demonstrations are a constitutional right, but the violent protests that have occurred since Memorial Day are reprehensible and counterproductive to BLM's cause.
What are your thoughts on the campaign to "defund" the police?: Obviously, we need police, and there has to be some funding of police. If the point of "defunding the police" is to shift police work away from consensual crimes (which shouldn't be illegal to begin with) and to focus on real crimes, then I agree.
What are your thoughts on the state and national response to the coronavirus pandemic? Do you favor such measures as limiting operation of non-essential businesses or restricting indoor/outdoor dining? And do you favor a nationwide mask mandate?: I read a blog post on cafehayek.com (a website that I highly recommend) from Don Boudreaux, Professor of Economics at George Mason University, that pretty well sums it up for me. He said that if COVID-19 were "ten times as bad as the seasonal flu, then a 10x response would be appropriate. But, instead, we got a 1,000x response." While COVID-19 is certainly a potentially serious illness for many people (almost exclusively the elderly and infirm), overall, I think government's response to it has been a ham-handed overreaction that has been more harmful than the disease itself. I am absolutely opposed to a nationwide mask mandate.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?: The two older parties, propped up by our antiquated Single Member Plurality (one candidate elected per district, candidate with the most votes wins) voting system, also know as "First Past the Post," are bereft of any new ideas or policies. I would bring a libertarian perspective to this office and the US House of Representatives, which will be sorely lacking after the retirement of Justin Amash.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency): In my opinion, Sean Casten has not shown that he is interested in limited government or reduced government spending, concepts which are as important as ever.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform: I think the federal War on Drugs should end and hand the matter over to the states to regulate as they see fit. That is what happened at the end of alcohol prohibition in 1933. The US should seriously reduce its foreign military interventionism, which is very costly and makes people in the US less safe. I call for the abolition of the US Departments of Education and Housing & Urban Development. All corporate welfare should end. All farm subsidies should end. That won't solve all our fiscal problems, but in six sentences, it's a pretty good start.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?: Given the "accomplishments" of some current and former members of Congress, just staying out of jail should be enough! After my formal education, I have worked, without interruption, in the private sector for more than 40 years. The perspective that I have gained from that is vitally needed in Congress, in my opinion.
If you win this position, what accomplishment would make your term in office as a success?: Even though I want to actually reduce government spending, it would be no small accomplishment just to reduce the growth rate of federal spending to the growth rate of the economy, as a whole. COVID-19 notwithstanding, the fiscal profligacy that commenced well before 2020 cannot continue and must, at the very least, be seriously reduced.
Why should voters trust you?: I am a Libertarian and will consistently stand for both economic freedoms and personal freedoms while in office, if I were to be elected.
What are your views on fiscal policy, government spending and the use of taxpayer dollars in the office you are seeking?: Horrible all around. This nation is sleepwalking into an inevitable debt crisis. No one knows for sure how bad it could be for the economy, but it could be much worse and last much longer than the 2008 financial crisis. And, no one knows when it might occur As the late economist Rudiger Dornbusch once wrote, "Financial crises take longer to develop than you think, but when they happen they happen faster than you would think." That was certainly true twelve years ago; the last weekend of September 2008 looked a whole lot different than the first.
Is there any reason you would not serve your full term of office, other than those of health or family?: No
The best advice ever shared with me was: Focus on things that are timeless and accomplishments that can never be taken from you.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?: I moved to Illinois in October 2019. I am a Certified Public Accountant (Virginia), a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and I hold Business Valuation designations from the American Society of Appraisers and the AICPA. I have previously been a six-time candidate for public office in Virginia, including Governor (2001), US Senate (2008) and US House, 10th District (2010 & 2014)