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Rick Laib, 11th Congressional District Republican nominee profile

“We can reform the police, just as we can reform any professional discipline, simply by defending religious freedom,” he says. 

Rick Laib, 11th Congressional District Republican primary election candidate, 2020
Rick Laib, 11th Congressional District Republican primary candidate.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Candidate profile

Rick Laib

Running for: 11th Congressional District

Political party affiliation: Republican

Political background: Republican candidate for the 86th State Representative seat (2018)

Occupation: Sergeant, Will County Sheriff’s Office

Education: ThM: Trinity International University, MA: Biola University, BA: University of St. Francis

Campaign website: ricklaib2020.com

Facebooke: Rick Laib for 11


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. Rick Laib 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?

In an unprecedented national pandemic I’m very proud of how the President has handled COVID-19. He took immediate action working with private industry to produce the equipment needed to provide immediate care, has signed two stimulus bills aimed at recovery, sought to eliminate programs in the stimulus bills that were not focused on recovery and thereby protected American workers from extra spending, advanced hydroxychloroquine which has shown promising health recovery for those with the coronavirus, minimized federal involvement allowing the individual states to re-open as they saw fit, advocated for churches and schools who wished to open, and even communicated intentions to somehow, and in some way, hold China responsible for what has happened. A+

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

Lower taxes, reduce regulations, and seek ways in which they could incentivize businesses.

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?

The initiatives called for in the President’s executive order will help advance the professionalism of law enforcement. They will provide for transparency, help establish professional standards, and provide needed resources to police officers.

Additionally, I would like to see the government advocate for religious freedom. Virtue and morality can be taught far easier when we are free to teach where virtue and morality are objectively anchored. Even allowing instruction of the Ten Commandments in public classrooms would go a long way in terms of reforming the police by way of training future police candidates.

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 do support legislation that will provide for transparency, help establish professional standards, and provide needed resources to police officers.

Again, we can reform the police, just as we can reform any professional discipline, simply by defending religious freedom.

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

In light of juror misconduct and poor treatment of Roger Stone at his trial, the decision to commute Stone, rather than pardon him, seems justified.

Rick Laib submitted the following responses before the March primary.

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

I have over 20 years volunteering with the Joliet Central Archives Committee. I also helped launch Mosaic Community Church in Joliet and have served in various lay-leadership roles since the founding of our church (2010).

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.

The President of the United States, this or any other President, is well within his or her right to ask a government to look into allegations of corruption. Further, the President has to have the freedom to talk and negotiate with foreign leaders. We’ve not seen or been shown that President Trump acted unconstitutionally or unlawfully. The entirety of this impeachment process fits into the agenda of House Democrats trying to remove the President.

I would not support censure.

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?

We must continue to entertain budget changes that reduce spending, reduce the size and scope of the federal government, and employ sound fiscal principles. Largely, we should turn our focus to reducing or eliminating programs that are underperforming, shift responsibilities that could better be handled by the individual States to the States, and look to see what services the federal government is currently providing that could be provided by private market.

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?

The government should get out of the health care business. Attractive health care programs have been developed, and can continue to be developed and fostered, solely between employers and employees. The government need not involve itself in order for the public to have better and more attractive health care options.

Congress could work to provide more price transparency with respect to prescription drugs. Additionally, Congress could work to remove restrictions that are placed on companies that produce generic versions of prescription drugs, increasing market competition.

The Trump administration is awaiting a ruling from the Supreme Court as to whether it can end the DACA program 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?

Putting aside the fact that DACA was created and instituted unconstitutionally, I am in favor of any program that will help anyone wanting to immigrate to the U.S., who wants to become an American and will embrace American patriotism.

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

We must end abortion and protect human life. We must bring government spending under control. We must protect religious liberty.

What is the biggest difference between you and your opponent?

The incumbent, Congressman Bill Foster, has not made recognizing the sanctity of human life a priority.

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

Stop our attack on the 2nd Amendment. Allow those who wish to carry firearms to do so. Encourage concealed carry. Encourage firearm training, education, and skill development. Work to expose the illogical and unsafe thinking behind gun-free zones. Promote personal accountability.

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

There is an absence of consensus among industry experts as to the threat of climate change. There are, however, a number of ways that private industry has developed different technologies that can help care for the planet. What is incumbent on the federal government, then, is to reduce taxes so that private industry will be free to continue to develop helpful practices.

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

We cannot expand on benefits. We must restrict, or at least, maintain benefits, but not expand. Social Security was designed to be an anti-poverty assistance for individuals later in life; we must return to those economical roots.

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

I would not use the word “crisis.” Individuals taking on student loans when they had no clear idea or plan on how to repay them, would not and does not constitute a crisis. However, Congress can help immediately by their getting out of the college loan business and shifting future loans to private lenders.

What should our nation’s relationship be with Russia?

We must keep them at a distance. Russia justifies its political power by force; Russia is not a fit international partner for the United States.

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

I am against the use of tariffs.

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

We do not have a “responsibility” to promote democracy, but we are well suited for it. What Congress should do is keep its focus on restraining evil and providing for true freedom for America. Ultimately we will become natural ambassadors of promoting good democracy.

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

Our solely moving away from nuclear weapons will not serve as a deterrent. Congress should focus on supporting the President and act, where they can, on building a strong missile defense that can protect against nuclear attack as well as demonstrate the capability to retaliate, should we need to, with modernized nuclear weapons.

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

None.

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.

Ronald Regan. I’ve always enjoyed his communication and diplomacy style.

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

Seinfeld.