Jeff Muehlfelder, Illinois House 19th District Republican nominee profile
His top priorities include business and economic development and opposition to the graduated income tax proposal.
Running for: IL State Representative - 19th District
Political party affiliation: Republican
Political/civic background: Member of Northwest Side GOP Club - first time political candidate
Occupation: Chicago Police Detective
Education: Bachelors Degree in Finance from the University of Illinois (2000)
Campaign website: NWSGOP.com
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board sent nominees for the Illinois House of Representatives a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing the state of Illinois and their districts. Jeff Muehlfelder submitted the following responses:
The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered the finances of Illinois. The state is staring at a $6.2 billion budget shortfall in this fiscal year. What should be done? Please be specific.
First of all, let’s not pretend that the state’s finances would be fine if not for COVID-19. It would be dishonest to blame years of financial mismanagement on a pandemic that’s only been affecting revenues for 4 months. The only way to permanently solve the budget shortfall is to reduce discretionary spending of taxpayers’ money wherever possible while enacting policies that grow the tax base instead of driving it out of the state.
What grade — “A” to “F” — would you give Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic? Please explain. What, if anything, should he have done differently?
F - His overbearing unconstitutional emergency orders have not made Illinoisans any safer. They have ruined more financial lives than the pandemic alone would have while at the same time violating the constitutional rights of individuals. His top medical official Dr. Ngozi Ezike has explained that anyone who has tested positive for COVID at the time of death or who is suspected to be positive for COVID at the time of death is counted in the official COVID death statistics, regardless of whether or not COVID was the actual cause of death. If a non-symptomatic carrier of COVID dies in a car accident, they are counted as a COVID death. The COVID death statistics are intentionally artificially inflated in this manner to scare citizens into giving up their freedoms and to agreeing to expand voting by mail in a state already notorious for voter fraud - while the disease itself has proven to be less deadly than the flu for those who are young and healthy . When first amendment protected activities such as worshiping in church are classified “non-essential” and shut down while liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries are classified as “essential” and allowed to remain open, when law abiding citizens are unconstitutionally required to wear masks to transact businesses and criminals are released from prison because masks won’t protect them, when law abiding citizens are not allowed to walk a lakefront but violent rioters are encouraged to “protest” in downtown streets a short distance away, when mom and pop businesses are closed down while large corporate chains are allowed to remain open - it is not that difficult to see that despicable leftist politics are driving the decision making and science has nothing to do with it.
In the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, legislatures in some states have taken up the issue of police reform. Should Illinois do the same? If so, what would that look like?
We should always want to build a better mousetrap for the sake of having a better mousetrap, not because a biased media with a despicable agenda promotes an absurdly false narrative that the current mousetrap is inherently “racist”.
Should the Legislature pass a law requiring all law enforcement officers to wear body cameras? Why or why not?
I believe it is in the best interest of law enforcement agencies across the state to require their patrol officers to wear body cameras. I also believe that each individual department and municipality should be given the autonomy to make those decisions according to best practices and consequently be liable to local voters for not choosing wisely.
Federal prosecutors have revealed a comprehensive scheme of bribery, ghost jobs and favoritism in subcontracting by ComEd to influence the actions of House Speaker Michael Madigan. Who’s to blame? What ethics reforms should follow? Should Madigan resign?
I believe the bigger the government, the more the chance for corruption. The number one way to reduce this type of corruption is to reduce the role of government in choosing winners and losers with tax-payer money. The second way to reduce corruption is to prosecute those who are involved. When prosecutors fail their constituents it is the role of a responsible and free media to make those constituents aware so that they may be held accountable at the ballot box.
Please tell us about your civic work in the last two years, whether it’s legislation you have sponsored or work you have done in other ways to improve your community.
I am a board member at the largest local youth baseball organization in the state working to bring the sport of baseball and all of the game’s life lessons and benefits of a healthy active lifestyle to children in the area.
Please list three concerns that are specific to your district, such as a project that should be undertaken or a state policy related to an important local issue that should be revised.
One of the immediate concerns in my district is the amount of local storefronts that remain vacant. I will fight to enact legislation that brings businesses and economic vitality back to our area instead of driving it out of business or to other states.
What are your other top legislative priorities?
To oppose the unfair graduated income tax proposal which would accelerate the financial death spiral the state is already in instead of saving it. I would work to streamline and reduce the individual tax burden on residents and businesses of this state which leads the nation currently in outmigration of people and jobs.
What is your position on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed graduated income tax? Please explain.
I am in favor of fair and equal treatment of all citizens under the law. That said, I oppose any law which treats one Illinoisan differently than another. Such a tax that treats people differently based on how hard they have worked and how successful they have been and directly punishes hard work would be not only fundamentally unfair but disastrous for Illinois as it would provide even greater incentive for high income individuals and job creating businesses (who already pay the most into our tax system) to leave the state. Anyone who has ever read the nursery school story of the Golden Goose should be intelligent enough to understand why this is a bad idea - apparently J.B. Pritzker and the democrats missed nursery school the day their teachers read that story.
Illinois continues to struggle financially, with a backlog of unpaid bills. In addition to a progressive state income tax — or in lieu of such a tax — what should the state do to pay its bills, meet its pension obligations and fund core services such as higher education?
Should Illinois consider taxing the retirement incomes of its very wealthiest residents, as most states do? And your argument is?
Again - please read the story of the Golden Goose - maybe pickup a copy of Aesop’s Fables while you are at it, there is plenty of ancient wisdom out there.
What can Illinois do to improve its elementary and high schools?
Illinois can improve the quality of education the same way that markets improve the quality and price of other products and services to the end consumer - with the concept of competition. School choice vouchers would allow parents to choose the best education options for their children, driving the subpar options to get better in order to compete for those vouchers.
Mass shootings and gun violence plague America. What can or should the Legislature do, if anything, to address this problem in Illinois?
They can allow Illinoisans their constitutional right to defend themselves through less restrictive shall-issue concealed carry laws and the elimination of ”gun-free zones” which amount to nothing more than a shooting gallery for predators. It is not a coincidence that the vast majority of all mass-shooting incidents across the world have occurred in gun-free zones where deranged mad men trying to run up the body count in a quest for notoriety know they have the least chance of encountering the armed resistance that would stop them from accomplishing that goal. Semi-automatic rifles and high capacity magazines have been around for a very long time - mass shootings have not. If you want to see when the mass shootings began to rise in frequency in this country all you have to do is look to see when “gun free zones” began to be instituted and promoted.
Do you favor or oppose term limits for any elected official in Illinois? Please explain.
I favor term limits for ALL elected offices and the elimination of the “political class”. Public servants should seek office to serve for a short period of time before returning to private life, not to enrich themselves with kickbacks of tax-payer money through decades of corrupt dealings. Those who serve in politics should bring their unique experiences of being private citizens living in the state to the office and the term “career politician” should cease to exist.
Everybody says gerrymandering is bad, but the party in power in every state — Democrats in Illinois — resisted doing anything about it. Or do we have that wrong? What should be done?
Gerrymandering is the method by which the party in power redraws the district maps to their advantage to remain in power. The district maps should be drawn according to natural boundaries and left alone after that.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago is investigating possible official corruption by state and local officials. This prompted the Legislature to pass an ethics reform measure to amend the Lobbyist Registration Act (SB 1639). It was signed into law in December. What’s your take on this and what more should be done.
I would extend to the U.S. Attorney’s office a permanent invitation to investigate official corruption in the State of IL. You cannot leave it to the wolves to guard the hen house.
When people use the internet and wireless devices, companies collect data about us. Oftentimes, the information is sold to other companies, which can use it to track our movements or invade our privacy in other ways. When companies share this data, we also face a greater risk of identity theft. What should the Legislature do, if anything?
The number of Illinois public high school graduates who enroll in out-of-state universities continues to climb. What can Illinois do to make its state universities more attractive to Illinois high school students?
What is your top legislative priority with respect to the environment?
Despite what eco-terrorists say about Republicans, nobody wants dirty air or polluted water. Excessive regulation is a favored means of radical marxist “environmentalists” to bring about their perverse vision for society (they aren’t actually interested in the environment so much as they are in putting an end to capitalism). We can protect our environment from pollution without excessive regulation by relying on our court system to punish those who harm others by polluting the environment with actual toxins (unlike carbon which is not a toxin but the basic building block of all organic life). Again, if the courts fail to do so, it is then not only the role but the responsibility of the free press to make voters aware so that they can hold elected prosecutors and judges accountable.
What’s your favorite TV, streaming or web-based show of all time. Why?
The TV show Southland. It was the most realistic depiction of a day in the life of a big city police officer on television. The dialogue was so realistic and well written that I could literally finish the lines of the actors on the show.