On Jan. 5, Maxwell Rice appeared before the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board. We asked him why he’s running for the GOP seat in the 9th Congressional district of Illinois in the March 2018 primary:
I’m Max Rice. I’m running for United States Congress in Illinois District 9 against the not so great Jan Schakowsky. Top priority for sure is corruption, I think it affects every facet of our daily life. But beyond that I want to talk about the issues that we don’t talk about. Like heart health, cancer, child abuse, heroin, suicide. So the stuff that you know, we really don’t talk about in national media. The plan for corruption, I want to form a congressional committee on Illinois government corruption. If we can do so on steroids and bicycling and steroids and baseball I think we can do so on Illinois corruption and I think just identifying the problem is the first, and then dedicating our resources and time, would be the first great step cause we haven’t done that. We need the Hughes Act but for Illinois and not as corrupt.
Corruption. Without question. Mike Madigan, Ed Burke, Joe Berrios, everyone. From the Water of Reclamation District to the Speaker of the House, to Bruce Rauner. Why not? I don’t think it’s right that he made seventy million dollars last year. I mean, that’s right, that’s great, we should look into if there are any, if he made money off of his office.
The Chicago Sun-Times sent the candidates seeking nominations for Congress a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing the state of Illinois. Maxwell Rice submitted the following answers to our questionnaire:
QUESTION: As a member of the House from Illinois, please explain what your specific cause or causes will be. Please avoid a generic topic or issue in your answer.
ANSWER: The following is a cause I fear The Sun Times may avoid because you were recently purchased by a former Chicago* alderman and a Chicago* special interest group (George Eisendrath and the Chicago Federation of Labor).
My specific cause is to pass a resolution that mandates a house subcommittee on Illinois state and local corruption. The focus of the subcommittee would be Speaker Madigan, but the subcommittee should have a multi million dollar budget and the broad authority to investigate all past and present Illinois government corruption.
*Chicago is in italics because Chicago is crooked
District running for: 9th Congressional district (Illinois)
Political/civic background: Exposed Fox News for deception and Founder of www.Fax2dc.com.
Occupation: Energy Pricing Manager
Education: New Trier, UT-Austin, Columbia Film.
Campaign website: voterice.com
QUESTION: Please list three district-specific needs that will be your priorities. This could be a project that is needed in your district, or a rule that needs to be changed, or some federal matter that has been ignored.
ANSWER: The district needs congress to be a resource – not a ponzi scheme. My cause for running may be corruption, but my priority will be to fix the office itself.
Eliminate the role of “deputy chief of staff.” I would spend the $82,000 a year instead on an effort where retired teachers work part-time with constituents to craft their own legislation. We would will make our offices available to every local (or state) debate program and create a new local debate league.
Instead of operation with up to five offices (like the incumbent did), I will consolidate to two affordable office spaces. The savings will be spent to increase hours and operations. I also will not rent the spaces from a landlord that was convicted of running a sex ring (like the incumbent did).
Lower the salaries of myself and cap all staff salary at $51,939 dollars (the average american salary). These hundreds of thousands in yearly savings would be used to by pay interns (unlike the democrat incumbent), pay all office employees at least $15 an hour (unlike the democrat incumbent), and to modernize the district’s congressional digital presence to maximize citizen use of powers granted by congress.
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QUESTION: If you are running as a Democrat, what is your best idea for getting any initiative you may propose advanced if the House continues to be controlled by the GOP after the 2018 elections?
ANSWER: I would work better with an honest democrat than a dishonest Republican.
TOPIC: President Donald Trump
QUESTION: What do you make of President Trump?
ANSWER: There is a theory that OJ Simpson murdered Nicole AND the LAPD planted evidence. That, in their desperation to prove OJ was guilty, the LAPD planted a glove (which didn’t fit) and the jury consequently sided with OJ.
Similarly, in your desperation to prove that Trump was inadequate/evil/criminal, you planted “bloody gloves” (which often didn’t fit) and, consequently, enough people sided with Trump.
One fact that I have yet to hear reported about the President: Donald Trump is the first President in my lifetime (26 years) to never be addicted to cocaine.
QUESTION: Which three actions by the Trump administration do you support the most? Which three do you oppose the most?
ANSWER: Support: 82 FR 10691, The federal crackdown on Human sex trafficking. The monthly arrests for sex trafficking have multiplied under President Trump. Not only does Sun Times under-report this non-partisan issue, but it is now a week into January and the Sun Times has failed to report that January is Human Sex Trafficking Awareness mont).
About half of President Trump’s appointments. Mattis, Haley, Gorsuch, and the many who wish to eliminate or reduce the size of the agencies they were appointed to lead (Example: Betsy Devos and the Department of Education).
Negotiating with strength and frugality with foreign countries. An Iranian immigrant and constituent demanded I read and re-read the Iran Deal. After taking his advice, I now think President Trump has a tame description of the one-sided, front loaded, loophole and kickback-ridden Iran deal.
Oppose: Inaction on debt. If we do not pay off debt while interest rates are historically low, there will be an unfair burden to the taxpayers. If interest rates rise to 2%, we will have to allocate a trillion dollars a year just pay off the interest on the $20 trillion debt we all owe. Trump may be handling the debt better than Bush and Obama, but that is a low bar.
Inaction on draining the swamp. I disapprove of many of the nominees, including Jared Kushner and Jeff Sessions (should have been Trey Gowdy). Also, Trump has not helped us fight Illinois government corruption yet. This could be because Alderman Ed Burke was employed by Trump to fight for millions in Chicago Property tax breaks.
Allowing the tax bill to be longer than the US Constitution (7,500 words). Same goes for both the Republican and Democrat health care bills (ACA is 11,588,500 words).
QUESTION: What is your view of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian tampering in the 2016 election, including possible collusion by the Trump campaign. Does Mueller have your support?
ANSWER: Wish to shine a light on your hypocrisy, share a brief bit of history, and then I will will answer the question.
“Native advertising is defined as a type of advertising that matches the environment in which it is placed. This means that within the context of news, your ad feels like an article … Following the story, your brand message will be prominent, positioning you as the expert in the space.”
The above is a quote from The Sun Times’ website and is the description of a service you offer for money (you call it “Native Advertising.” I call it “propaganda”).
I genuinely want to know what would happen if the Russian Government called 312-321-2345 and offered your experts $100,000 to run a native ad campaign. What would happen if a tamer foreign government, like Estonia, calls 312-321-2345 to inquire about a $200,000 propaganda campaign? And, on the domestic front, what would happen if Blue Cross and Blue Shield called 312-321-2345 and offered $1 million for a native ad campaign supporting the individual mandate? Saying yes would be legal (not ethical) in all three cases.
Samuel Dickstein helped establish and served on the original congressional committee on Russian Tampering (The House Un-American Activities Committee). The HUAC would go on to prosecute hundreds of alleged Russian spies, many proven guilty in the Venona papers. However, history would later reveal that the biggest Russian spy to escape the HUAC was Samuel Dickstein himself.
My view is that many constituents have told me they want the special council, The Deputy Attorney General authorized the special council, and he chose Robert Mueller lead it. Robert Mueller should have hired a less costly team of lawyers, but I will never obstruct or be surprised by the results of any investigation into Government corruption.
QUESTION: What should Congress do to reduce the threat of terrorism at home, either from ISIS or from others?
ANSWER: To reduce the threat of terror in Glencoe, a caring father and mother offered to fund a full time Security officer for the front entrance of Glencoe’s junior high school (Central School). Despite absolutely no cost to the taxpayer, the outgoing superintendent rejected the idea. The great family then sacrificed more energy and raised more funds to get the measure on the local ballot. They succeeded in getting a measure on the ballot, but residents of Glencoe rejected the bill.
Inspired by the Berlin family’s humility and goodwill, I think we should create a law that demands every public school employ an armed security officer. It would prevent terrorism in the most vulnerable places and would create a jobs program perfectly suited for veterans.
I understand it does not sound conservative to suggest more mandatory spending. However, without security officers in schools there is a major financial liability with legal precedent if we do not protect our schools from terror.
Furthermore, I support tax breaks to any public space or place of worship that employs security guards.
TOPIC: Guns and violence
QUESTION: What is the single most important action Congress can take to curb gun violence in the United States?
ANSWER: There was a young couple walking on Howard street one day. I asked them, if I won congress, what is the single most important action I could do? The girl, with tears in her eyes, said she wanted more police officers in Evanston. Congress should stop giving billions to Ivy League schools and instead fund more police academies. Lack of police and lack of jobs are prime causes of gun violence. Creating more careers in law enforcement helps the problem from both angles.
QUESTION: Do you favor a law banning the sale and use of “bump stocks” that increase the firing speed of semi-automatic weapons? Why? Do you favor any further legal limits on guns of any kind? Or, conversely, what gun restrictions should be done away with?
ANSWER: Three Illinois men walked into a bar. The first man, Robert Creamer, a democrat lobbyist from Evanston, stole more than $1 million. The second man, Dennis Hastert, A Republican Congressman from Yorkville, raped kids and paid them off. The third man, Demarcus Curtis, a father from West Evanston, shot a gun at a gun range and harmed no one.
Because our justice system favors thieves and pedophiles over gun owners, the third man, my friend Demarcus Curtis, did not walk into that bar. He is still behind bars away from his family until May 2018 or May 2020.
Demarcus’s sentence could end being eight times longer than the thief and more than four times longer than the pedophile.
The Sun Times does not forget about those jailed for gun ownership – you mock and ridicule them. In your article on Demarcus Curtis, you refer to him by name twice but as a felon six times (including in the headline).
This will not be helpful in his job search when released from prison. I favor restrictions on theft and murder, but seldom do I support criminalizing gun ownership.
TOPIC: America’s growing wealth gap
QUESTION: As an editorial board, our core criticism of the tax overhaul legislation supported by the Republican majorities in the House and Senate is that it lowers taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans at a time of historic inequalities of wealth and income in the United States. We believe in free markets, but it does not look to us like the “silent hand” of the market is functioning properly, rewarding merit fairly. We are troubled that the top 1 percent of Americans own 38.6 percent of the nation’s wealth and the bottom 90 percent own just 22.8 percent of the wealth. Tell us how we are right or wrong about this. Does the growing income and wealth gap trouble you?
ANSWER: A broken clock is right twice a day and the board is right to be troubled by a growing wealth gap.
However, my core criticism of the tax bill is that it is longer than the United States Constitution. I will read legislation longer than the constitution (like the GOP Healthcare Bill, Net Neutrality, and the Iran deal), but I can never support any measure until it is shortened under the length of the United States Constitution (7,591 words). Longer laws are ripe for loopholes and hidden kickbacks. And laws longer than the Harry Potter Series (1,084,170 words) are unduly burdensome for citizens, journalists, and members of congress. The Affordable Care Act is 11,588,500 words and none of us can be expected to read the whole bill, let alone understand it.
TOPIC: International affairs
QUESTION: Do you support the Trump administration’s decision to move the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem? How will this help or hinder efforts to secure a lasting peace between Israel and its Middle East neighbors?
ANSWER: Hamas was founded in 1988. The introduction of The Hamas Covenant (Palestine’s constitution) states “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah’s victory is realised.”
And Article Seven of the Hamas Covenant quotes scripture, stating, “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him the government that claims ownership of Jerusalem.”
To pretend the dispute over Jerusalem is political and not a religious one is disingenuous and without merit.
I support the two state solution of Israel and Jordan and think Truman should have moved the embassy to Jerusalem.
QUESTION: Is military action by the United States a plausible response to the nuclear weapons threat posed by North Korea? How might a U.S. military response play out for South Korea, Japan and China? What alternative do you support?
ANSWER: Risk should be determined by magnitude multiplied by probability. Unfortunately, the magnitude of a modern nuclear attack is near infinite. I remember an old study from Brian Toon and Alan Robock that shows even a regional nuclear war between Pakistan and India could stop global food production for a year. If that is true, then it should also be true that a North Korean regional nuclear strike could result in an American food shortage and cost millions lives around the globe.
Best case scenario is for the North Korean people to take back their country from a dictatorship. But because of the magnitude and Kim Jong Un provocations (which increase the probability), America may have no other choice but to respond militarily.
QUESTION: The Supreme Court has ruled that the third version of the Trump administration’s travel ban on eight countries with predominantly Muslim populations can go into effect while legal challenges against the ban continue. What is your position on this travel ban?
ANSWER: Congress can not come together enough to pass laws and it is a shame that recent Presidents have been forced to legislate through executive order.
QUESTION: Has the United States in the last decade been accepting too many immigrants, and does this pose a threat to the American way of life?
ANSWER: In the last decade, legal immigration has decreased while illegal immigration has increased. This is a bad practice and we should reward good behavior by accepting more legal immigrants. I will continue to treat all immigrants with compassion, but favoring illegal immigration over legal immigration is a threat to the American way of law. I support Trey Gowdy’s proposed ENFORCE The Law Act of 2014.
QUESTION: Should the “wall” between the United States and Mexico be built? What might it accomplish?
ANSWER: A wall might accomplish one less life lost to heroin. You are quick to judge the American government for wanting to build a border wall, but slow to condemn the Mexican government for allowing drug cartels to make billions exporting drugs, guns, and humans into America. Wheter be through tariff or asset seizure, The Mexican government or drug cartels should pay for the border wall.
TOPIC: Affordable Care Act
QUESTION: The tax reform plan created by Republican majorities in the House and Senate would eliminate the Obamacare “individual mandate” that most Americans must have health insurance or pay a fine. Does this threaten the viability of the Affordable Care Act? What more on this, if anything, should be done?
ANSWER: Blue Cross and Blue Shield has advertised in Chicago the Sun Times. And as the only insurance provider in the district, the individual mandate demands my constituents either PAY Blue Cross and Blue Shield thousands a year or else violate the law.
It is unconstitutional to criminalize someone’s refusal to purchase a product from a private corporation (especially a product from a monopoly). Furthermore, the individual mandate is unduly burdensome to someone who cannot afford Blue Cross and Blue Shield but also does not qualify for benefits. I do not have any stock in health insurance companies, so I fully support the repeal of the individual mandate.
Additionally, I believe the government needs to stop punishing those who become well off enough to no longer need benefits. I qualified for Obamacare benefits, but if I put in extra hours and make $10,000 more this year, the government will “reward” me by forcing me to pay them all the benefits back next year. This punishes good behavior and encourages people to work less. We shouldn’t punish those who find work while receiving welfare.
TOPIC: The opponent(s)
QUESTION: What is your biggest difference with your opponent(s)?
ANSWER: “For wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” – Romans 2:1. Thank you G-d, anyone reading this, and the Sun Times for the opportunity.