Wednesday, October 27, 2010

State Senate



 

Jim Donoval

Age: 51

Occupation: Attorney and CPA, former assistant director of finance for Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Government experience: Former chief legal counsel, Illinois Liquor Control Commission; working with the Illinois Legislature and administration. Represented cities and other local governments as large as 60,000. Elected as a community college trustee in a district of 125,000.

Education: B.S. in finance and management, De Paul University, Chicago. J.D., De Paul College of Law, Chicago. Passed CPA exam in 1988.

Political affiliation: Republican

Why are you are running?

Over the last decade, no Republican has represented Blaine County in the Legislature, even though the majority of the district is conservative to moderate. With a Legislature and administration that is overwhelmingly Republican, we need a Republican who will work with the state government rather than opposing it.

How would you describe the position you are running for?

As one of 35 state Senators, the position represents the region in voting on the Idaho budget and other laws affecting the entire state, and in seeking to bring state services to the region. The state senator should also be a coordinator in resolving issues that affect the entire region.

What sets you apart from your opponents?

The same people have represented the region for over a decade. Simply saying, "That's the way we have always done it" is no longer acceptable. My experiences in law, finance, state and local government, education, health care and charities provide me with a new perspective in moving the region forward.

The Legislature may need to find $400 million in the budget next year. What are you prepared to cut?

Benjamin Franklin said, "Necessity is the mother of invention." We need to prioritize what is really necessary as opposed to what is wanted, as businesses have done. Even in education, which is 65 percent of the budget, we can find ways to be more cost efficient, without touching teachers' salaries.

How will you guarantee you are representing all of the diverse interests of District 25, not just those of the Wood River Valley?

Most voters of the district are conservative to moderate. They expect government to operate efficiently without seeking additional funds and to reflect the moderate and family values of the region. A senator should ensure that government operates within its means and limits government interference in business, farming and ranching operations.

What can the state do to stimulate business and employment in District 25, apart from focusing on educating the workforce?

All governments, including local governments, need to promote an environment that welcomes businesses, not one that makes it more difficult to operate or start new businesses, and avoid business-restrictive mandates. In addition, the state should be assisting businesses with obtaining startup capital and lines of credit for operations.

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Randy Patterson

Age: 52

Occupation: Business owner.

Government experience: Eight years on the Carey City Council, current mayor of Carey.

Education: Attended College of Southern Idaho.

Political affiliation: Constitution Party

Why are you are running?

I want to protect our liberties for our children and grandchildren. I want to help Idaho return to a vibrant and strong economy. I am willing to make tough choices to make that happen.

How would you describe the position you are running for?

An Idaho senator represents the district at the state level to guide policies and spending for the state of Idaho. Also, a senator teaches people what makes their state government tick. Our liberty depends on our understanding our government.

What sets you apart from your opponents?

Experience. I have been successful in creating jobs as a business owner. I have held local government office for nine years. I have had to create and hold to a budget. Diplomacy. I treat everyone with respect whether I agree with their view or not.

The Legislature may need to find $400 million in the budget next year. What are you prepared to cut?

Entitlements. Idaho in 2009 spent $100 million more on entitlements than the federal government did in Idaho.

How will you guarantee you are representing all of the diverse interests of District 25, not just those of the Wood River Valley?

I have friends or family in every town in the district. I understand issues facing farmers, ranchers, builders, developers, business owners and the hard-working people here. I have been in their shoes.

What can the state do to stimulate business and employment in District 25, apart from focusing on educating the workforce?

The state of Idaho currently ranks No. 39 on the business tax index. That is unacceptable. Businesses are passing us over for greener pastures. The best thing we can do is to get Idaho into the top 10. We get Idaho business friendly and they will relocate here.

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Michelle Stennett

Age: 50

Occupation: Self-employed.

Government experience: Served as senator for District 25 for 2010 legislative session.

Education: B.A., international relations; B.A. Latin languages; minor in business.

Political affiliation: Democrat

Why are you are running?

I have a deep gratitude and commitment to the people of this district, who have been incredibly supportive to me for many years. I would like the opportunity to give back and I would continue to strive for a more balanced, accessible government.

How would you describe the position you are running for?

As a citizen legislator who represents four counties, the senator is in Boise the first quarter of the year working on budgets and policy during the legislative session. Developing expertise in committees and meeting with the communities of the district throughout the year are important roles for an effective senator.

What sets you apart from your opponents?

I have lived and worked in this district for 25 years, from small businesses to nonprofits, to raising crops and cattle and in tourism. I have experience and working relationships in the Senate and with the local officials in all the communities.

The Legislature may need to find $400 million in the budget next year. What are you prepared to cut?

Let's look at how we can increase revenue instead. We can look at sales tax deductions and outdated tax exemptions, capture monies from the insurance premium tax, and be more aggressive in collecting unpaid taxes. Schools can use the state's buying power to save money and consolidate services.

How will you guarantee you are representing all of the diverse interests of District 25, not just those of the Wood River Valley?

Open and transparent government, accessible to everyone, is a major element of my campaign. We (the three district legislators) conduct town meetings before and after the session, send newsletters and have forums regularly throughout the district so our constituents can participate. We are the only legislative district that does this.

What can the state do to stimulate business and employment in District 25, apart from focusing on educating the workforce?

We can direct state resources to assist economic development committees, lower Idaho's corporate tax, provide market information to small businesses, offer a tax credit for companies that provide venture capital to small businesses and expedite the permitting process from government for renewable energy projects.




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