5th Congressional District Republican nominee: Tom Hanson
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On Sept. 20, Republican Tom Hanson appeared before the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board. Watch the video above to find out why he’s running for the Illinois’ 5th Congressional District seat in the 2018 general election.
The Chicago Sun-Times also sent the candidates seeking the 5th Congressional District seat a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing their district and the country. Tom Hanson submitted the following answers to our questionnaire:
As a member of the U.S. House, what are or would be your top cause or causes?
Hanson: Redrafting health care so that it is more approachable, affordable and understandable if someone wants to participate. Opening a Federal level investigation of improprieties within the Illinois government.
Who is Tom Hanson?
He is running for: Illinois 5th Congressional District
His political/civic background: Board of Directors for Concordia, Board of Directors for Life Directions
His occupation: Commercial Real Estate
His education: Denison University
Please list three highly specific needs of your district that you would make priorities.
Hanson: 1) Addressing the ever increasing property tax situation that is driving people from their homes
2) Retention of residents since Illinois is the number one exit state in the United States and has been for a couple of years
3) Use of recreational cannabis. While I am for certified medical use dispensed from a licensed pharmaceutical company, I am vehemently against recreational use or retail site dispensaries
Bipartisanship is virtually non-existent in the House. What would you do about that?
Hanson: Politics doesn’t solve problems. Getting to the heart of what is keeping my constituents up at night is. Education, property taxes, healthcare and personal safety surpass all political boundaries. My number one goal as a Congressman is to listen to the concerns of the voters. If Congress were reminded that there were children going hungry in their own district, they might stop for a moment and put down their political weapons.
Are you convinced that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election in support of the candidacy of Donald Trump? Please explain.
Hanson: I am not convinced of any conspiracy theory that has ever been escalated towards a US President. Every President has their own conspiracy theory issue. I think it is simply a media ploy to have something to cover that sounds dramatic.
Do you support the investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller? Please explain.
Hanson: No, because it is outside the scope of his authority. By the way, Mueller had a great defection of quality, long-term FBI agents once he was promoted to Director. It is rumored from a credible source that Mueller is actually cow towing to directives from his wife.
If President Trump were to fire Mueller, directly or indirectly, what should Congress do?
Hanson: Find a quality replacement
If Trump were to pardon his former campaign aide Paul Manafort, what should Congress do?
Hanson: Honor the wishes of the president. I don’t see that happening but that is within the scope of his authority.
Which three actions taken so far by the Trump administration do you most strongly support?
Hanson: 1) Tax reform-we have yet to see the full effects that I believe will be beneficial to all tax brackets. He is a business man with wisdom and knows that we are starting to see more pre-foreclosures at this point that we ever did during the great recession. He is trying to buffer against what is to come.
2) Renegotiations of free trade agreements. We have long seen an imbalance of trade that has virtually wiped out industrial labor. Particularly hard hit has been the midwest. This has stagnated our economy nationwide as well.
3) His addressing the Opioid Crisis within the United States
Which three actions taken by the Trump administration do you most strongly disagree with?
Hanson: 1) Relying on entrenched Republican leaders to help decide policy on hot topics such as immigration, tax reform and Obamacare
2) Military Parade
3) Hiring choices within some advisory positions
The Trump administration has taken action to roll back Obama-era policies aimed at curbing climate change and limiting environmental pollution. The administration has done so in the name of supporting business growth and making the United States more energy self-sufficient. Most notably, the administration has begun to dismantle Obama’s federal rules over American coal plants, weakened automobile fuel-economy standards and ended American participation in the Paris climate agreement. What is your take on all this?
Hanson: Sorry, I absolutely do not believe in Climate Change. Remember, this was a notion advanced by the same man who purportedly created the internet – Al Gore.
To what extent is climate change a man-made phenomenon? How serious is the threat to our children’s future? What should be done?
Hanson: Absolutely no threat, it has been fluctuating for centuries and will continue to do so. I am much more concerned with toxic waste in waterways.
What is the single most important action Congress can take to curb gun violence?
Hanson: Promote gun ownership and increase punishment of unlawful gun possession
Is the media the “enemy of the people”? Please explain.
Hanson: No, they are actually the author of their own demise. They believe that the public is so gullible that they can create any type of firestorm and the public will buy into it. Eventually the public finds out that it was all in the name of ‘selling news’. The public is tired of the lies and deception from all types of media. If the media would actually cover compassionate, relatable news, they would see their numbers soar. We need to hear something encouraging, positive and give us hope in common man once again.
As an editorial board, our core criticism of the tax overhaul legislation pushed through Congress last December 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 the silent hand’ of the market does not seem to be rewarding merit fairly. What’s your position on last December’s rewrite of the tax code? Would you push for further changes, or for the law’s repeal?
Hanson: Actually outside of Chicago, free market is in full swing and rewarding corporations and citizens. Take for example, Nashville, TN. They are burgeoning with new residents and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. Corporations are reaping profits and they are passing it on in the form of higher wages and employment. The issue with Chicago is they are myopic and forget that there is another world outside of their borders. That other world is flourishing and has minimal crime, low taxes and quality education for all.
Speaking of income inequality, top executives of America’s biggest companies saw their average annual pay surge to $18.9 million in 2017, even as the pay of ordinary workers has remained flat for a decade. What, if anything, should be done to address the growing gap in wealth and income?
Hanson: That isn’t true nationwide, possibly in our market it is, but elsewhere, workers are seeing significant gains. The 5th Congressional District is not experiencing that as employers are grasping at straws to just keep the boat afloat with the burden of ever increasing red tape and taxes being levied on them by state, county an local authorities. Get an education, work hard, work smart and weigh your options. Illinois may not be the place for job and income advancement in its current state.
Would it be appropriate at this time for President Trump to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit the White House? Why so, or why not?
Hanson: Absolutely — keep your friends close and your enemies closer
How would you assess and grade the Trump administration’s efforts to recalibrate our nation’s relationships with Korea, NATO and Russia?
Hanson: Korea – Everyone prior to Trump has postured and created the aura of fear and mystery. Trump has decided to get to the heart of the issue. In Korea’s instance, this is a lost young man, thrust into a dictatorial position without proper training nurturing or support from anyone. He acts out of fear and lack of competency. Trump realized the shortcoming and was willing to approach him with the assistance he needs to make more rational decisions. Nato – is a stale global alliance that has succumbed to political handouts instead of trail blazing global policy.
In late June, the Supreme Court upheld the Trump administration’s travel ban on visitors and immigrants from seven countries, five of which have Muslim majorities. What is your view on this ban?
Hanson: l absolutely agree with the travel ban. We have seen consistent global terrorism from people originating from the banned countries. They are also, amazingly, the same countries identified by the Obama administration. This not targeted at ALL Muslims, it is targeted at countries known to harbor terrorists. These targeted countries encompasses less than 5% of the global Muslim population.
What three major reforms should be made to United States immigration policy?
Hanson: ???? will be denied
2) For each illegal immigrant incarcerated, in return, one Federal prisoner that is a legal citizen will have to be released
3) A sponsorship program should be enacted where a legal United States citizen takes full financial, criminal and legal responsbility for the individual entering the United States. The legal citizen will assume medical, assure ongoing employment and be financially responsible should this immigrant get into legal trouble.
4) Mexico must also enforce their border or face further sanctions
Do you support or oppose the family-based immigration policy sometimes called “chain migration ? Please explain.
Hanson: I do not support chain migration. There is no assurance that family members will be vetted correctly.
What would you do, as a member of Congress, to improve race relations in the United States?
Hanson: Education, property taxes, personal safety and healthcare don’t have a color, a religion or a gender. Instead of pitting on side against the other based on a category, I will work to find a common ground that we all lose sleep over each night. We will come up with mutual ways to resolve issues that effect all of us regardless of the color of our skin, our religious beliefs or gender.
What is the biggest difference between you and your opponent?
Hanson: I am not a politician. I lay away at night and worry about the same things voters in the 5th district do. I am not here for a career, power, or to push a political line. I have reached my limit with corrupt politics, exorbitant, ever increasing taxes and fees, lack of personal responsibility, inability to place my child in a quality school and a question of my personal safety in my own neighborhood. That has compelled me to run for office to be the voice of those that have previously not been heard.
Ahead of the historic 2018 elections, the Sun-Times is teaming up weekly with the Better Government Association, in print and online, to fact-check the truthfulness of the candidates. You can find all of the PolitiFact Illinois stories we’ve reported together here.