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
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
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
(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
(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
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
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?
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.