Running for: Republican Nominee for Congress 9th District, Illinois
Political/civic background: Near East Center for Strategic Engagement, Troop 228 Boy Scout staff
Occupation: CEO Near East Center for Strategic Engagement
Education:DePaul University Bachelor of Arts (Political Science). Regional Studies Course, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Command General and Staff Officer Course, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Certification Anti-Terrorism Level I & II Officer and Executive Certification in Counterterrorism and Technology, ICT, Israel, Herzliya.
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 the state of Illinois, their districts and the country. Sargis Sangari submitted the following responses:
1. 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?
There is no hard science that knows exactly what is going on with COVID-19. The only thing we can do is continue to investigate and react to what is happening. Are we doing a good job? YES! we are. If anyone has any suggestions or better ideas my door is always open!
What should the federal government do to stimulate economic recovery from the pandemic shutdowns?
Let people get back to work and stimulate business that will encourage economic growth. Do whatever you can to help business.
3. 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?
It is a start from there we go on to see what works and what does not work.
4. 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?
We have to investigate all of this item by item and see what works and does not work. Again, just like all legislation passed it is a start only.
5. What’s your view on President Trump’s decision to commute the sentence of Roger Stone?
He has the constitutional right to do that.
6. 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.
I have been active with my Center for Strategic Engagement.
7. What are your views on the decision by the U.S. House to impeach President Donald Trump? Was the impeachment process fair or not? How so? If, in your view, the president should not have been impeached, would you have supported censure? Please explain.
I have followed all these investigations to their conclusions and abide by their findings.
8. 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?
At this point we have to think about getting the country on its feet and deal with the budget deficit when the dust settles down.
9. 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?
We have to look at the Affordable Care Act in detail, analyze it, keep what works and have the conviction to throw out what does not.
10. Do you support or oppose DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and why? Should a path to citizenship be created for the so-called DREAMers? Please explain.
I support DACA.
11. What are the three most important issues in your district on which the federal government can and should act?
Stimulate business, healthcare, and public safety.
12. What is the biggest difference between you and your opponent(s)?
My opponent leans more to the left, where I am more moderate.
13. What action should Congress take, if any, to reduce gun violence?
Enforce gun laws that are already on the books.
14. 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 does appear to be real. We have to investigate the science behind it and see what we can do in reaction to real science.
15. What should Congress do to ensure the solvency of Social Security and Medicare?
Reinstate the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
16. What should Congress do to address the student loan crisis? Would you use the word “crisis”?
Start education at the high school level on how to manage individual finances.
17. What should our nation’s relationship be with Russia?
We should always be on talking terms with everybody.
18. What’s your view on the use of tariffs in international commerce? Has President Trump imposed tariffs properly and effectively? Please explain.
Tariffs are necessary.
19. Does the United States have a responsibility to promote democracy in other countries? Please explain.
YES! the United States is a leader in the world.
20. What should Congress do to limit the proliferation of nuclear arms?
Nuclear treaties are already in place. If other countries do not abide by these treaties, the United States must maintain its nuclear superiority.
21. Please list all relatives on public or campaign payrolls and their jobs on those payrolls.
22. 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.
Jim Thompson, who recently passed away, was a socially moderate popular governor who made popular decisions.
23. What’s your favorite TV, streaming or web-based show of all time? Why?