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Tommy Hanson, 5th Congressional District Republican nominee profile

His top priorities include state and local corruption, removal of pension systems at local levels and school vouchers.

Tommy Hanson, 5th Congressional District Republican nominee, 2020 election candidate questionnaire
Tommy Hanson, 5th Congressional District Republican nominee.
Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Candidate profile

Tommy Hanson

Running for: 5TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Political party affiliation: Republican

Political/civic background: PREVIOUS CANDIDATE FOR 5TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Occupation: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

Education: BA DENISON UNIVERSITY


The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board sent nominees for the U.S. House of Representatives a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing their districts, the state of Illinois and the country. Tommy Hanson submitted the following responses:

Are you satisfied with the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic? Why or why not? What grade would you give President Donald Trump for his handling of the pandemic, and why?

I am not. They have been overly restrictive but without concrete results. The only people who should be quarantined are those who are sick, test positive, or who feel that they are at high risk. The rest of the world should be open and able to move about freely and operate their businesses.

What should the federal government do to stimulate economic recovery from the pandemic shutdowns?

They have done enough. They never should have shut businesses. This was an ineffective approach. The only thing they can do is not to make that mistake again.

In the wake of the death of George Floyd, President Trump signed an executive order on police reform. It calls for the creation of a database to track police officers with multiple instances of misconduct, federal grants to encourage police departments to meet higher certification standards on use of force, and the greater involvement of social workers and mental health professionals when the police respond to calls dealing with homelessness, mental illness and addiction. The order also calls for police departments to ban the use of chokeholds except when an officer feels his or her life is endangered. Will this be enough to address concerns about police brutality? If not, what other steps should be taken?

Prior to the Chicago riots I felt differently, but seeing the violence and destruction, is it any surprise that police react the way they do? I think until behavior is changed on the part of the citizen, we can’t expect a different reaction from police. Let’s look at the facts. George Floyd had a rap sheet, he was on narcotics and had a high level of alcohol in his system. He was involved in a crime and was resisting arrest. What would have saved him was to not be floating counterfiet money, to not resist arrest, and not be using illegal substances. At some point George Floyd needed to take personal responsibility for his actions. It is a two fold approach. We can’t blame one side or the other.

Also in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the House passed the Justice in Policing Act, which would ban police departments from using chokeholds, develop a national standard for use of force, limit the transfer of military weapons to police departments, define lynching as a federal hate crime, establish a national police misconduct registry, and limit qualified immunity, which protects officers from lawsuits over alleged misconduct. Do you support this legislation? Why or why not? What other steps, if any, would you like to see the federal government take on police reform?

I am not sure if I support it or not. I don’t think it is a ‘one size fits all’ fix. Not every market demographic has the same level of crime.

What’s your view on President Trump’s decision to commute the sentence of Roger Stone?

I have no opinion either way. I would really need much more information to form an opinion.

Tommy Hanson submitted the following responses before the March primary:

Please tell us about your civic work in the last two years, whether it’s legislation you have sponsored or other paid or volunteer work to improve your community.

VOLUNTEERING WITH 4H TO ASSIST NON-PROFIT FUND RAISING

What are your views on the decision by the U.S. House to impeach President Donald Trump? Has the impeachment process been fair or not? How so? If, in your view, the president should not have been impeached, would you have supported censure? Please explain.

THIS HAS UNDERMINED THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. WHAT THEY SET OUT TO DO HAS BACKFIRED ON THEM. THERE IS SO MUCH DIVISIVENESS WITHIN THEIR OWN PARTY THEY CAN’T EVEN MAKE A COHESIVE DECISION. IMPEACHING SOMEONE BECAUSE YOU AREN’T GETTING YOUR WAY IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

How would you reduce the federal budget deficit, which now stands at about $1 trillion for 2020? What changes, if any, to the U.S. tax code do you support and why?

STOP ASSISTING OTHER COUNTRIES WITH AID AND FOCUS ON AMERICA

What changes would you like to see made to our nation’s healthcare system? Would you shore up the Affordable Care Act or work to repeal it in full? What’s your view on Medicare for All? And what should be done, if anything, to bring down the cost of prescription drugs?

OPEN MARKET PLACE ACROSS STATE LINES IS THE SOLUTION TO MORE AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE. THE REMOVAL OF ALL THE HOOPS THAT MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS HAVE TO JUMP THROUGH WOULD ELIMINATE A GREAT DEAL OF ADMINISTRATIVE WASTE. IF INSURANCE COMPANIES QUIT COVERING THE COSTS OF EXCESSIVE PRESCRIPTION PRICES, I BELIEVE WE WOULD AMAZINGLY SEE PRICES STABILIZE.

The Trump administration is awaiting a ruling from the Supreme Court as to whether it can end the DACA program — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — which shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Do you support or oppose DACA and why? Should a path to citizenship be created for the so-called DREAMers? Please explain.

I BELIEVE THAT A PERSON SHOULD GO THROUGH THE FULL LEGAL PROCESS TO BECOME A CITIZEN ONCE THEY ARE OLD ENOUGH TO LEGALLY DO SO. IF THEY CHOOSE NOT TO THEN I BELIEVE THAT DEPORTATION IS A SAD CONSEQUENCE OF A POOR DECISION ON THEIR PART.

What are the three most important issues in your district on which the federal government can and should act?

1) CORRUPTION WITHIN STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS THAT ARE UNDERMINING THE ABILITY FOR CHICAGOAN’S TO SURVIVE FINANCIALLY. 2) REMOVAL OF PENSION SYSTEMS WITHIN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT THAT ARE CAUSING OUR FINANCES TO RUN DRY. 3) SCHOOL VOUCHERS

What is the biggest difference between you and your opponent(s)?

HE IS ON A POWER TRIP WITH THE MACHINE. I SINCERELY CARE ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE CHICAGO I WAS BORN IN IS IN A STATE OF DECAY.

What action should Congress take, if any, to reduce gun violence?

NONE - A GUN NEVER KILLED ANYONE, ONLY THE PERSON USING IT. CHICAGO HAD THE STRICTEST GUN POLICIES IN THE NATION AND YET HAD SOME OF THE HIGHEST GUN VIOLENCE. THAT PROVES THAT GUN CONTROL DOESN’T SOLVE THE PROBLEM. TOUGHER SENTENCING DOES.

Is climate change real? Is it significantly man-made? Is it a threat to humankind? What if anything should Congress and the federal government do about it?

CLIMATE CHANGE IS ABOUT AS REAL AS THE EASTER BUNNY AND SANTA

What should Congress do to ensure the solvency of Social Security and Medicare?

RAISE THE MEDICARE/SOCIAL SECURITY DRAW AGE TO 70 AND MAKE DISABILITY DRAWS MUCH TOUGHER COMPLIANCE WISE.

What should Congress do to address the student loan crisis? Would you use the word “crisis”?

IF CONGRESS WOULD CAP LOANS, THEN STUDENTS WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO TAKE OUT EXCESSIVE DEBT TO GO TO COLLEGE. WHEN STUDENTS COULDN’T PAY OUTRAGEOUS TUITION, THEN PRICES WOULD DROP. YOU CHOKE OFF THE COLLEGES WHO ARE CHARGES INSANE AMOUNTS OF MONEY FOR AN EDUCATION THAT MOST WILL NEVER BE PAID NEARLY ENOUGH TO COVER THE TUITION DEBT FOR.

What should our nation’s relationship be with Russia?

FRIENDLY BUT NOT FRIENDS

What’s your view on the use of tariffs in international commerce? Has President Trump imposed tariffs properly and effectively? Please explain.

OUR ECONOMY IS FINALLY COMING BACK AND UNEMPLOYMENT IS AT A RECORD LOW. CLEARLY THEY ARE PAYING OFF.

Does the United States have a responsibility to promote democracy in other countries? Please explain.

THEY HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT IT, NOT PROMOTE IT UNLESS IT IS HARMING THE GENERAL GOOD OF THE POPULATION OF THAT COUNTRY. THOSE DAYS ARE LONG GONE WHEN WE TRIED TO CONVERT COUNTRIES TO DEMOCRACY.

What should Congress do to limit the proliferation of nuclear arms?

THE NUCLEAR ARMS RACE IS OVER. SADLY THERE ARE A HANDFUL OF ROGUE COUNTRIES WHO WANT TO EXPERIMENT WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS. WE HAVE SANCTIONS IN PLACE FOR THOSE COUNTRIES.

Please list all relatives on public or campaign payrolls and their jobs on those payrolls.

HOW REFRESHING, NOT A SINGLE ONE!

What historical figure from Illinois, other than Abraham Lincoln (because everybody’s big on Abe), do you most admire or draw inspiration from? Please explain.

ROD BLAGOJEVICH-HE WAS A SCAPEGOAT FOR EVERYTHING THAT EVERYONE ELSE WAS DOING AND HAS SERVED MORE THAN HIS TIME. SADLY, HE PROBABLY SAID NO TO JIM MADIGAN AND IT COST HIM EVERYTHING. I AM 100% FOR A PARDON FOR ROD. I THINK HE DID A FABULOUS JOB AS GOVERNOR

What’s your favorite TV, streaming or web-based show of all time. Why?

MAD MEN-THE NOSTALGIA OF A GREAT BY-GONE ERA WHEN THINGS GOT DONE THE RIGHT WAY. THE MAFIA WAS AT THEIR PEAK, 2 MARTINI LUNCHES WERE IN VOGUE, MEN DRESSED WELL AND RESPECT WAS PREVALENT.