Full Name: Win Stoller
What office are you seeking? State Senate, 37th District
What offices, if any, have you previously held? I was elected to the State Senate, 37th District, in 2020, and am currently serving in my first term.
City: Germantown Hills, IL
Occupation: Business Owner
Education: B.S. in Accounting from University of Illinois (1993) MBA from University of Illinois (1995)
Campaign Website: winstoller.com
What are the top issues facing your district and what would you like to do to address those issues?
While issues such as crime, Illinois’ extreme position on abortion, the Health Care Right of Conscience reversal, ballot integrity, education, Second Amendment rights and other issues are very important to people in the district I represent in the State Senate, the overwhelming top issue is chronic government overspending and the high taxes needed to pay for it.
As a State Senator I drew upon the financial skills I learned while earning my accounting and MBA degrees from the University of Illinois, my service as a CPA for Price Waterhouse, and my over 20 years in small businesses operations as CEO of Widmer Interiors with 40 employees, to find a way to substantially cut federal taxes for 400,000 small employers.
I found a way to sponsor legislation to redefine the Illinois tax code to allow small businesses that are partnerships and S corporations to once again be able to deduct the full amount of their state and local taxes on their federal tax returns. This puts small business on par with large corporations.
Never before has a state legislator been able to cut federal taxes. It also does so with no cost to the state of Illinois. This has been welcome relief for small employers who have suffered from Covid shutdowns, inflation, supply chain disruptions and labor shortages.
It was fulfilling to pass four bills in my first five months in office, but especially so for this large tax cut for 400,000 struggling small businesses. It is now law and small businesses have been able to achieve this cut to their federal taxes as they filed their tax returns for last year. It’s not an abstract promise— it’s real success on behalf of small employers.
I was told that never before has a freshman Senator been able to sponsor and pass such consequential legislation in their first term.
My financial skills and business management have also allowed me to question and shine a light on hefty new proposals time and again for new spending by my Democrat colleagues.
The biggest impediment to economic opportunity to succeed in our state is that our state has one of the very highest tax burdens in the country. The only way to lower this is to stop chronic overspending. That is why I have been outspoken in the Senate against bloated budgets and nonstop massive initiatives for new spending that we cannot afford.
I was also gratified to be selected as one of two Republican Senators to be part of ongoing negotiations to pay back Illinois’ temporary loan shoring up the Unemployment Compensation fund.
I’ve been in the media alerting Illinoisans that the federal government gave Illinois a one-time only windfall of $8 billion in Covid relief funds. While 32 states used this to shore up their unemployment funds which went into debt from the Covid shutdowns, Illinois used almost three quarters of that federal windfall for new—unsustainable non-covid related spending instead of fixing the crisis facing our unemployment fund. Later this year, if the state doesn’t come up with the $2 billion shortfall it will result in cuts to unemployment benefits for people who lost their jobs, and it will result in one of the largest tax hikes on employers in the history of our state.
Usually senior legislators are chosen for these types of negotiations. Again, I am greatly fulfilled to have been able to hit the ground running as a State Senator with results for the people I serve. We need more people with financial and small business management skills in the General Assembly who also share tried and true conservative values and are committed to restraining spending so we can lower Illinois’ oppressive tax burden that has chased so many Illinoisans and employers out of our state.
If COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths rise again, what mitigations, if any, should the state pursue?
First, the emergency phase of COVID is over. It is beyond time for the Governor to relinquish his emergency powers.
Second, we learned several things from the first major pandemic in a little over a hundred years.
Lockdowns don’t work. Even leaders who were very in favor of lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 have said so, such as French President Macron and ex-Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo.
The lockdowns were outrageously unfair and while cloaked in “science,” they actually defied science. It was all in favor of giant international conglomerates at the expense of small businesses and especially their employees. Restaurant and hotel employees along with many hourly wage earners paid among the stiffest costs.
You can’t tell me it is safe to buy arts and crafts materials from Walmart but not from Hobby Lobby, Jeffrey Alans, Michael’s or a small arts and crafts store, despite far more possibility for social distancing in less trafficked stores.
It was deemed safe to sell paint from Home Depot, Lowes, and Menards which each had thousands of customers per day, but not a Sherwin Williams store with far less traffic and far more able to be continually sanitized.
It was deemed safe for Walmart and Target to sell clothes but not small clothes shops. Did the virus know it was not supposed to spread in Walmart or Target?
One independent bike repair store was allowed to continue to sell and repair bicycles but police came in put yellow tape all around their other outdoor equipment and clothing, not allowing people to buy those items. Did they put yellow police tape around all “non-essential” items at Walmart and Target?
Walmart was allowed to sell “non-essential” electronics, gardening items, home furnishings, toys, clothes, arts and crafts, video games, and a host of other things that small stores were not able to be open to sell.
What these unfair shutdowns did was train customers to find everything they needed online from Amazon or from a few big box stores at the expense of independent retailers. That forced change in behavior by consumers will carry on for years to come.
A giant lesson is that Governors and big city mayors should never again be allowed to rule by decree for months on end. Emergency orders should be for 30 days only. We have three co-equal branches of government and all have shown they can operate remotely by Zoom or other online service. Cutting the Legislative Branch out of governing is a direct assault on democracy. We should never again accept imperial-type power grabs by Governors acting by decree.
In light of Michael Madigan’s indictment, what steps should the legislature take to address corruption and ethics concerns in the state?
What aided ex-Speaker Madigan to get away with what he did for 36 years as Speaker of the House are four things:
- 1. Democrat House members who continued to vote for him to continue as Speaker of the House long, long after his abuses of power were widely known. Voting for a corrupt leader in exchange for staying in power, election help or special favors is unconscionable.
- 2. Madigan was able to use “shell bills” to get around the constitutional legislative process to be able to plop giant new bills on legislator’s desks sometimes only minutes or hours before demanding a vote on them. It was impossible to read them, let alone analyze them, discover what all provisions they contained, or allow for constituent input after the media was able to publish what was in the legislation. This allowed for innumerable special favors to a select few.
Sadly, while Michael Madigan is no longer House Speaker, the Madigan way of doing business continues. Doing business this way leads to the top leaders of the House and Senate to be ultra- powerful, way beyond what was envisioned in our state and federal constitutions.
1. 3. There are no term limits for legislative leaders. This must change. 2. 4. Long-term one-party rule is catastrophic for the people of a state. In nearly every measure of
state government performance, Illinois ranks last or second to last. While Madigan was House Speaker, we had:
A. Republican presidents and Democrat presidents.
B. Democrat governors and Republican governors.
C. Republican and Democrat majorities in our State Senate.
D. Good national economies and bad national economies.
E. THE ONLY CONSTANT WAS MICHAEL MADIGAN AS HOUSE SPEAKER.
If there was one bill that you could get through the legislature next year, what would it be?
My legislation to put an iron clad requirement that all final text of legislation is given to Senators, Representatives and the media and put online a minimum of at least a week before a vote can be held.
My first day in office was the all-night Lame Duck session in January 2021. For an epic crime bill, Senators were given the almost 800-page bill at 3:45 AM, were required to start debating it at 4:04 AM and vote on it at 4:48 AM. This was deliberately done to short circuit democracy. Democrat leaders and left-wing legislators did not want the public or law enforcement to be able to weigh in with their Senators and Representatives. They wanted to keep everyone in the dark until an hour after they introduced it in the middle of the night.
This rush with presenting legislation just before demanding a vote was so counterproductive in May of 2021 when Democrat leaders pushed the entire state budget through at the last minute. We had to come back into session a month later because it was finally discovered they put the wrong year on the budget. That would not have happened with scrutiny for a week or two.
We voted on a giant energy bill again in the middle of the night last fall.
The budget adopted on April 9 of this year, was first made available to see by Senators after 1 AM. It was 3,467 pages long, $46.5 billion in spending which turns out to be $13.4 million per page. Yet we had to vote on it with only two hours to begin to review it.
I want to put an end to this shady way of doing business once and for all. The people and organizations have a right to know what is being proposed and weigh in with those who represent us before a vote occurs in the light of day.
If there was one recently passed law you could repeal, what would it be?
Unfortunately, there has been so many terrible bills passed recently that I can’t name only one.
The repeal of parental notification of abortion was outrageous. Teens need a parent’s permission for a vaccination or to get an aspirin, but not a major surgical procedure.
The repeal of the Health Care Right of Conscience bill was another outrage. It was a long-standing law that allowed Illinoisans protection from being forced into healthcare decisions that violates their religious or moral beliefs.
The SAFE-T Act, which was a massive criminal justice overhaul that did away with cash bail, imposed draconian unfunded mandates on law enforcement including both police and sheriff’s departments, and a host of other measures that make it much harder for law enforcement to protect us.
Countless bills for massive new spending when Illinois is the state with highest debt burden and among the very highest overall tax burden.
I voted NO on all these bills.
Do you support term limits? If yes, why and what would they look like? And if no, why not?
I strongly support term limits.
Eight years for Governor and statewide leaders.
It is imperative that we limit legislative leaders to 8 or 10 years as leaders.
For House and Senate members, I would support term limits of 12 years.
Inflation across the country has greatly impacted the price of gasoline, food and other supplies. What should the legislature do to address these issues?
Inflation is a federal government issue. It is caused by federal spending (how much Congress and the President spend), and monetary policy (how much money the Federal Reserve prints and what level they set interest rates), and by international trade policies.
Inflation happens when we pump vast new sums of money into the economy to chase the same level of overall goods and services available to purchase. It’s supply and demand. If you increase demand for goods and services by pumping trillions of new spending into the economy but don’t do anything to incentivize more work, saving and investment to produce more goods and services for all those new trillions of dollars to chase, you get inflation.
President Biden and the Democrat majorities in the US House and Senate have spent at epic levels and literally dumped trillions of new spending into the economy in total ignorance of the lessons learned under President Carter when inflation rose to 14 percent and when President Reagan brought it down once and for all to 1 to 2 percent per year.
State government cannot affect inflation. We can however offer help to address the burden. In early April Democrats in the General Assembly passed legislation for one-time only tax rebate gimmicks just around the election later this year. Contrary to that approach of what I consider an effort to buy votes in November, I co-sponsored Senate Republican legislation to provide permanent tax cuts to Illinoisans.
Taxes are a top concern of Illinois voters. What do you think the underlying issues are and how would you propose addressing them?
Every single dollar spent by government is a dollar taxed.
There is no way around that. If money is borrowed to finance government spending, that spending will be paid by taxes sooner or later but with interest.
The only way to cut taxes in a state that cannot print money (like the federal government can), is to stop chronic overspending.
Let me give you examples. Democrats in Illinois government said in 2011 that if they got a “temporary” state income tax hike that our budget problems would be “fixed once and for all.” Then they shamelessly came back two years later and said they needed to make that “temporary” tax hike permanent and if we did that the budget would be fixed again “once and for all.” Then in 2017 they passed another state income tax hike saying it would fix state government finances “once and for all.” Then they pushed the Graduated Income Tax referendum in 2020 saying again they needed the money to fix state finances “once and for all.”
What gives the lie to that last promise in 2020 is that during Veto Session in November 2020 AFTER the election, Democrats in the General Assembly passed legislation with new spending for more than the estimates of how much passage of the Graduated Income Tax would have brought in.
We have also had new gambling and marijuana sales revenue. And our state benefited from a US Supreme Court opinion that required online retailers to collect sales tax on online purchases. But it’s never enough for Democrat House and Senate majorities who have an endless appetite for new spending.
This is why I routinely question new spending in the State Senate and vote against bloated budgets.
What are three things the state legislature could do to promote better fiscal responsibility within state government?
Well, there is only one thing we need to do—to live within our means like every household and every business. Stop overspending. That starts with voters ending long-time total one-party rule in Illinois by liberals who are addicted to overspending.
How would you propose addressing the problems with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services?
We need to prevent children in the system from falling through the cracks in the system and being placed with abusive guardians.
We need to better protect DCFS workers. A four-year effort by Republican House and Senate members began in 2018 when DCFS employee Pam Knight of Dixon died on February 8, 2018 from being beaten to while picking up a child. The Republican legislation was never called for hearing in the Democrat- controlled State Senate.
Only after the additional death of Deirdre Silas has Governor Pritzker belatedly joined Republicans in calling for strengthened penalties for assaulting DCFS employees.
It’s an issue of competence for the Governor and his staff. And for the General Assembly to not continually let them off the hook.
Recently, for the 7th time in ten weeks, a Cook County Juvenile Court judge issued contempt orders against Governor Pritzker’s Director of DCFS for disobeying court orders to place children in proper care. That is outrageous.
What can be done at a state level to address crime?
We need to begin with repealing the 2021 criminal justice reform bill called the SAFE-T Act which made law abiding people more unsafe and made it much harder for law enforcement to do their jobs.
Fundamentally and systematically, we need to hold criminals accountable. It is really that simple.
There are countless numbers of people who are born into the worst poverty and yet who obey the law. There are others who have enormous talent but unfortunately use it in criminal enterprises.
The majority of people living in low income neighborhoods have been sacrificed to being forced to deal with out of control crime on a constant basis by liberals.
Efforts to provide youth recreation, better education, drug treatment programs, and facilities like the Kewanee Life Skills Re-entry Center can have positive effects, but nothing will work like penalizing crime. We need better efforts to arrest and convict those who commit crimes with tough penalties.
Crime was out of control in New York City in the late 1980′s and early 90s. Until Rudy Guiliani became mayor and instituted his “Broken Widows” policy. No crime was tolerated and all crime plummeted rapidly.
Did Joe Biden win the 2020 election?
We need state and federal efforts to ensure that everyone has the confidence to accept the outcomes of elections and that can only be done with ballot integrity measures. Some of which I have cosponsored in the State Senate.
We need to require Voter ID. It is a myth that low income people don’t have government issued ID’s. You can’t open a bank account without ID. You can’t see a doctor for the first time without ID. You can’t get Social Security checks to your bank without ID. You can’t get into the US Justice Department without government issued ID. You can’t get into the Democrat National Convention without ID. You can’t buy Sudafed without ID. Everyone should have one to vote.
Non US citizens should be outlawed to vote nationwide. New York City is now permitting it and it’s happened all over when ID is not only not required, it’s not allowed to be viewed by election judges. US citizens can’t and shouldn’t vote in elections in other countries and their citizens have no right to vote in US elections. That’s a fundamental basis of nationhood.
Election authorities have to finish their rules for elections long before the election starts and not change the rules late in the game. If the NBA or NCAA suddenly changed the rules late in the competition it would erode confidence in the outcome.
In a recent election in my district, one election authority defied specific Illinois election code by arrogantly deciding not to abide by extremely specific statutory requirements. What does that do to people’s faith in election outcomes?
The election code says all mail-in ballots received shall be placed in sealed container envelopes as received. Only opened at specified dates and times in the presence of a Democrat and Republican election judge and in the presence of any poll watchers who want to be there. This is the secure way of handling these ballots and this was not done. The election code says all mail-in ballots received on Election Day in the mail shall be counted election night. The code is so specific for ballots placed in ballot drop boxes outside the election authority that the code says all mail-in ballots placed in drop boxes SHALL be retrieved at 7 pm on Election Day and begin being counted no later than 8 pm on Election Day until all ballots are counted. But this election authority decided to keep all ballots received in the mail on Election Day, and all the ballots in the drop box on Election Day, for two more days in a less secured manner than the election code provides for before those ballots were counted. That’s not a non-specific wild allegation. It is a highly specific deliberate ignoring of the election code rules and caused people to question the close outcome. That is cancerous and should never be permitted. Most of the election authorities in my district are done by conscientious County Clerks but not all are. Every election authority in the country needs to obey the election code to the letter of the law.
What is your position on the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol?
Obviously, it was horrific.
Illinois has seen significant revenue growth from marijuana sales and enhanced gambling. Are there other industries the state should consider to grow revenue?
We need to grow our economy. That can only be done by stopping chronic overspending and then lowering taxes to increase the reward and incentives to work, save, invest, take entrepreneurial risks and strive for excellence.
Government should not be picking winners and losers.
Illinois does not have a revenue problem. We have a gigantic spending problem. I’ve witnessed epic instances of poorly thought out new spending being approved time and again in my year and a half in the State Senate.
Every attempt at socialism in human history has failed—in every culture, every time frame in history, every climate, every geographical location, with every race, every religion, every ethnicity, and every culture. Big government spending is the enemy of prosperity and economic opportunity. Every attempt at income redistribution by government has ended up in net income loss.
Free enterprise capitalism has raised more people out of poverty and produced more innovation than anything else in the history of the world.