February 24, 2024
Election


Election

Gary Grasso, Congress 6th District 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire

Congress 6th District candidate Gary Grasso

Full Name: Gary Grasso

What office are you seeking? Congress Illinois 6th District

What offices, if any, have you previously held? Gary has a long history of public service from his two tenures in Burr Ridge as Mayor (2005-12; 2019-present) and two terms on the DuPage County Board (2012-18). While on the DuPage County Board, he also served as Chairman of DuPage’s 911- Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB) and led the effort to build two state-of-the-art call centers saving the County $9 million annually and repurposing a vacant building that was rented for an additional $500,000 of revenue to the County annually. These two call centers cover all of DuPage, the largest 911 center in Illinois, and give first responders the best chance to have good outcomes when residents are in need and at risk.

Gary previously served 12 years on the DuPage County Board of Health which gave him invaluable experience to deal with the many health and pandemic issues that continually seem to face us today.

City: Burr Ridge, Illinois

Occupation: Gary has been an attorney and litigator representing clients in cases related to real estate and commercial transactions, employment, trusts and estates, and business reorganizations. His litigation practice focuses on attorney malpractice issues. Three different times, Gary has been selected as one of Illinois’ leading lawyers, an achievement only five percent of Illinois attorneys achieve.

Education: Gary’s education includes a law degree from Fordham Law School and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. He was also selected as a Georgetown senior to attend the prestigious Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy.

Campaign Website: https://garygrasso.com

What is your position re-establishing the Child Tax Credit at $3,500 per child as set in the American Rescue Plan?

The $3,500 per child tax credit pertains to children under age 6. This tax credit will help low income families provide a better life for their children.

Do you believe that corporations pay enough in taxes?

The government should restructure the tax code to eliminate special-interest loopholes and deductions so that everyone pays their fair share.

Would you support increases or decreases in the amount of taxes corporations pay? Why?

I do not see the need to increase the amount of taxes corporations pay if the government would restructure the tax code to eliminate special-interest loopholes and deductions so that everyone pays their fair share.

Do the rich, defined as the wealthiest 1%, pay enough in taxes?

There should be a robust conversation about the potential to obtain additional taxes from the wealthiest 1%.

Would support changes in the tax code that would increase or decrease their tax burden? Why?

See my prior response.

Do you support raising taxes on capital gains and dividends? Why?

No, because additional taxes on capital gains and dividends could adversely affect investment and expansion of business and result in loss of jobs.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a breakdown in this country’s supply chain. What would you propose to fix it?

Anticipate that there will be future pandemics and prepare an effective supply chain grid that is built upon American production and supplies and less reliant on foreign suppliers, especially from countries that are not our allies.

How would you bring back manufacturing jobs?

By supporting the manufacturing industry and providing economic incentives for new manufacturing start-ups with the goal of decreasing American dependence on global economies.

What plans do you have to help the lower and middle class?

There are several ways to help the lower and middle class. Let me give you two examples.

We need equal access to education to address inequities across the country. The American Dream is rooted there and with equal opportunities, we have a greater chance for success. It is especially true if we consider property taxes as the sole/primary funding source for schools. We must move away from this formula because it creates a divide between the rich and the poor. There is no better way to achieve economic freedom than through education. Because homes are people’s nest eggs and their biggest investments in their communities, we cannot impose onerous taxes on the former to fund schools since one negates the other.

Second, despite the need for criminal justice reform, I oppose defunding the police. The police must have standards, and those who violate the standards must be held accountable. Law enforcement must be protected in doing their job in accordance with proper standards. I am opposed to no-bail rules.

Do you support the idea that government can require immunizations against COVID-19 or other communicable diseases?

No, and only when there is a reasonable certainty that immunization will avoid serious, permanent health compromise or death to significant segment of the population.

Government has the responsibility of providing the best information available on the efficacy of immunizations against serious communicable diseases that allow our citizens to make their own decisions for themselves and their families.

How do you feel about mask mandates?

Government has the responsibility of providing the best information available on the efficacy of masking against serious communicable diseases that allow our citizens to make their own decisions for themselves and their families.

Is America prepared for either another round of the current pandemic, or the next one?

We are prepared for this pandemic but we must presume there will be future pandemics. In such a case, we should prepare an effective supply chain grid that is built upon American production and supplies and less reliant on foreign suppliers, especially from countries that are not our allies.

Do you support new laws or regulations to safeguard people in the event of another pandemic?

See prior responses

Should Medicare be expanded to include dental coverage for older Americans?

The goal is admirable but I would need to know the fiscal impact on Medicare costs.

What are the top two threats to our national security?

The first is our vulnerability to cyberattacks on our financial institutions, natural resources and voting integrity. The second threat is our continuing attempts by China and Russia to undermine our economic superiority and interfere with our election process.

What should be done to eliminate them?

We should be prioritizing investment in cyber security and investing in American manufacturing and production, using our natural resources, and lessening our dependence upon global economies especially those that are not our allies.

What is your position on climate change and what should be done about it?

Climate change is real. The US can and should strive over time to lessen the carbon footprint, but not so suddenly as to make us energy-dependent upon others – especially those countries, like Russia, that are not our friends or allies.

What is your position on nuclear energy expansion?

We should invest in our nuclear energy expansion so long as the facilities can be safe, secure, and located as far away from population centers as feasible.

Should America invest in other forms of renewable energy? Please explain.

Yes because there are credible examples and benefits of renewable energy from solar and wind.

Should pregnant women have the right to get an abortion?

Yes, to save a mother, in cases of rape/incest. Abortion will not go away if completely outlawed thus, States may decide to allow or ban it. I do not support a federal right to an abortion.

Is the immigration system a problem in this country? If so, what is your plan to fix it?

As a believer in immigration rules, I feel they should be followed regardless of where the immigrants come from. We should also secure our borders, particularly with Mexico. Our nation should make it easier to become a legal immigrant and harder to become one who is illegal. Through DACA, we should also find a way to provide citizenship to the hundreds of thousands of children brought here illegally.

Do American cities have a crime problem?

Yes, I believe crime is a problem nationwide in cities large and small. In Cook County, the problem is a State’s Attorney who doesn’t prosecute criminals to the fullest extent of the law. That emboldens criminals and pushes crime from large urban areas into the suburbs.

If so, what is your suggestion to solve it?

We need tougher penalties for criminals and more enforcement of the laws in place. Despite the need for criminal justice reform, I oppose defunding the police. The police must have standards, and those who violate the standards must be held accountable. Law enforcement must be protected in doing their job in accordance with proper standards. I am opposed to no-bail rules.

Should police officers have qualified immunity in cases involving alleged excessive force or other misconduct?

Yes, police officers should be personally immune from prosecution for conduct consistent with departmental policy (qualified immunity) while on duty. This has always been the law and should remain so. I also support redirecting funds from police departments to mental health and community programs.

Are there any limits to the Second Amendment?

I support the second amendment and the right of individuals to defend their homes, businesses, and families.

Do you support any restrictions on gun purchases or other stricter gun control measures including citizens’ access to military style weaponry?

I do not believe young teens and those with mental illness should have access to semi-automatic weapons. We need stronger regulations at gun shows where background checks and purchases are less restrictive.

Illinois, along with many states across the country, have legalized marijuana making it legal for people to buy and use it. Marijuana, however, is still illegal at the federal level. Do you support legalizing marijuana nationally? Why or why not?

No this should be a state’s rights decision.

Did Joe Biden win the 2020 election?

In January 2021, the majority of Congress rejected election challenges of the results in Arizona and Pennsylvania and then the majority of Congress certified the election of Joe Biden.

Would you have voted to ratify his presidency?

In the absence of any compelling reason such as voter fraud.

What is your position on the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol?

I am the only candidate to state that the storming of the Capitol by force was not legitimate political discourse. It was a riot causing significant injuries and death, with deliberate destruction of sacred national ground. Therefore, we must work hard now to assure the 2024 presidential election is fair and legitimate. Do the work to assure Americans that every voter who is eligible to vote is able to vote and every vote is counted. Mail-in ballots should not be handled by third parties and our electronic in-person voting machines must be all designed to be hack-free. We have the time, let’s do the job.

Was it an insurrection?

I am the only candidate to state that the storming of the Capitol by force was not legitimate political discourse. It was a riot causing significant injuries and death, with deliberate destruction of sacred national ground.

Should people convicted of a crime related to their participation in the riot ever be pardoned?

No, unless there is significant evidence presented or discovered that they were not involved.

Should voters be required to show an ID to vote?

Yes, the American people must be confident that we have free and fair elections. Voter integrity is foremost in our democracy. Any change in voting procedures should focus on making sure that every voter who is eligible to vote should be able to vote. Every vote must be counted.

Would you, as a member of Congress, ever vote against certifying presidential electoral votes submitted by states’ official voting authorities?

If there was sufficient evidence of voter fraud, I certainly would consider voting against or not certifying such an election. Congress should not act as a rubber stamp for state officials.

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