Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Democrat Charlie Brown faces Libertarian John Schick in race for 3rd District seat in State House

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By KEVIN NEVERS

In the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 2, Democrat incumbent State Rep. Charlie Brown will defend his 3rd District seat against Libertarian John A. Schick. The Chesterton Tribune invited both to respond to candidate questionnaires.

The Tribune set word limits for each question and reserved the right to edit for length.

(1) Age, place of residence, occupation.

Brown: Gary, consultant.

Schick: 50, Chesterton, management consultant.

(2) To Brown: Describe your accomplishments in office. (75 words)

I have successfully authored legislation providing health care covered for hundreds of Hoosiers previously without insurance (HIP), provided for an ombudsman for “children in need of services,” and a myriad of health related legislation.

To Schick: Describe your qualifications for the office. (75 words)

As a management consultant, whose clients are among the 250 largest corporations in North America, I have ample experience working with large organizations to find opportunities for improvement in spending efficiency and quality of service. I have an MBA from Indiana University and have lived in Northwest Indiana my entire adult life.

(3) To Brown: Why are you seeking re-election to the office? (75 words)

Because of “unfinished business” such as statewide smoke-free legislation, funding for a teaching hospital and trauma center in Gary, and additional economic development for the district.

To Schick: Why are you seeking election to the office? (75 words)

Neither of the old political parties care to protect the freedom or liberty of its citizens as a priority over getting re-elected by backing populist regulation and spending programs. As a Libertarian, I believe that the primary role of government is to respect and protect the liberty of individual citizens and to promote tolerance of minority opinions, rather than promoting intolerance among the majority.

(4) Differentiate yourself from your opponent and indicate why you believe yourself a better candidate. (100 words)

Brown: I do not know my opponent nor his platform, therefore cannot comment on differences. I know that I am best to represent the 3rd District because of my legislative experience and unswerving drive to improve the quality of life for my constituents.

Schick: I believe that the role of government should be limited. Candidates from the old political parties accept that the role of government is unlimited, unless specifically forbidden by the Constitution. I believe that most new jobs will and should be created by small businesses in Indiana, not by the government or by helping people travel to Illinois to find jobs.

(5) What are the key issues in this race? (125)

Brown: JOBS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR THE DISTRICT.

Schick: Small businesses should have the freedom to operate their business as they see fit with little interference from the government unless fraud or force is present. Excessive taxation, restrictive business licensing, and permitting should be reduced. State, county, and city laws should pave the way for thriving private enterprise, free from corporate welfare and protectionism.

Indiana should have electoral reform with all precincts having a verifiable paper audit trail. We should not accept paperless electronic voting equipment. Gerrymandered districts and the restrictions placed on ballot access by the old parties for independents and third parties limit voter choice.

(6) What legislation would you favor to avoid further cuts in public-school funding? (75 words)

Brown: Experience dictates that the issue of public education will be a priority of the General Assembly as a whole and best left to the Ways and Means Committee.

Schick: Schools operate under a myriad of restrictions over how money can be saved and spent. Having the state back off from micromanaging school cash flow would allow local decision makers to be better prepared for the uncertainties that sometimes result in sudden cuts. Parents and the local community should be the final authority on education standards. Money should follow the students to their school of choice.

(7) Would you favor re-visiting the authorizing legislation for the Northwest Indiana Development Authority, permitting Porter County’s withdrawal from the RDA should the county lose its ongoing court case? Why or why not? (75 words)

Brown: NO! To date, Porter County has received more than its investment and should continue to be a partner in improving the infrastructure of the region.

Schick: I am dead against the RDA. It would get no support from me. I am much more interested in improving transportation for people traveling within the region than traveling out of the region. When people work in Illinois, they pay their income taxes in Illinois. People who work in Indiana could be paying for the RDA for a very long time.

(8) If taxes need to be raised, which taxes should they be? (50 words)

Brown: I'm not in favor of increasing taxes.

Schick: Property rights are at the foundation of our free society. Socializing private property through taxation under the threat of confiscation is the least favorable tax. Consumption taxes are most favorable, with income taxes falling somewhere in between.

(9) Would you support cuts in state agencies—and if so, which ones—to address Indiana’s budget shortfall? (50 words)

Brown: An audit of departments and performance is required prior to making such a decision.

Schick: As a Libertarian, I believe the role of government should be limited. Those agencies with a constitutional mandate (e.g., judicial, education) should be adequately funded. Funding for agencies without a constitutional mandate (e.g., Film Indiana) or whose primary role is to regulate an otherwise free market should be relaxed.

(10) Would you support a ban on texting while driving? Why or why not? (50 words)

Brown: Yes. Not just a ban on texting, but also cell phone use while moving, unless hands-free.

Schick: No. Personal liberty and freedom are sometimes more important than creating the appearance of health or safety. Other states that have banned texting have not reduced traffic accidents.

 

 

Posted 10/14/2010

 

 

 

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