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Q&A: Goel, Kaifesh talk Obamacare, taxes in race for Congress

Published: Saturday, March 15, 2014 10:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 10:38 a.m. CDT
Larry Kaifesh (left) and Manju Goel are running for election in Tuesday's Republican primary for the 8th Congressional District. (Photos submitted)

U.S. Congress candidates Manju Goel and Larry Kaifesh discussed key issues in a questionnaire from Suburban Life, ahead of Tuesday’s Republican primary election.

Goel and Kaifesh are seeking to represent the 8th Congressional District, which serves local towns, including Addison, Bensenville, Carol Stream, Lombard and Villa Park.

The winner of Tuesday’s primary will challenge incumbent Tammy Duckworth, D-Hoffman Estates, in November.

– Suburban Life Media

Manju Goel

Age: 48

Residence: Aurora

Employment: Process improvement consultant

What experiences do you have that lend well to serving in this position if elected?

Goel: My unique background and understanding of Health Care which is the hottest topic in this election. As Speaker Newt Gingrich said “As a skilled healthcare efficiency expert, Manju will bring exactly the kind of policy know-how to Congress that made us successful in the 90s and that we need now to untangle and end Obamacare. I want to see Manju Goel in Congress.”

What are the biggest differences between you and your opponent?

Goel: My opponent has been broadcasting that he has served our country which I do admire; however, my fellow citizens deserve to know his complete past, particularly his commitment to the state of Illinois and citizens of this district. Larry has been away from Illinois for more than 10 years, pays no property taxes in the district and has just moved from Virginia. Is he just passing through Illinois on his way to Hollywood, Calif. where he has spent years?

On March 18, we will have a clear choice, a military veteran who has honorably served our country, but has no commitment to Illinois or our district, or a Six Sigma Green Belt Health Care professional and a small businesswoman, who can grow the party and defeat Tammy Duckworth and win elections.

What is the biggest challenge facing Washington D.C., and what would you do to address it?

Goel: Washington is spending American taxpayers’ money like no tomorrow. We are racking up $17 trillion in debt and counting, $150,000 per taxpayer. If we continue on this path, we will be doomed. We are discouraging rather than encouraging entrepreneurs and job creators. More than half of college graduates are under employed or unemployed, businesses big or small are not hiring and have no incentive to hire due to Obamacare. Eighty percent of new jobs are created by small businesses. ... We do not have to reinvent the wheel. Reaganomics has been tried and tested. ... Reduce marginal tax rates, government regulations, government spending and reduce the size of the government by returning power back to the people.

What other key issues do you plan to focus on if elected?

Goel: Control government’s runaway spending; lower taxes on hard-working families and smaller businesses; enact policies that encourage free enterprise, entrepreneurship, personal responsibility and rewarding hard work and success; end government-run healthcare; pass a constitutional Balance Budget Amendment that requires Congress to limit spending to never be greater than revenues.

Why should voters vote for you?

Goel: I can provide a unique perspective in solving our country’s problems by my background in healthcare and also my knowledge of the wrong government policies that can destroy this great shining city on the hill. I am a Reagan conservative and living embodiment of personal responsibility and fiscal discipline. My husband and I have raised two beautiful children who are going to college. I am an expert in the hottest topic of the next election which is Obamacare. … I will be able to defeat [incumbent] Tammy Duckworth because of my background in health care and capacity to grow the party by bringing more than 20,000 new voters in the general election.

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Larry Kaifesh

Race: U.S. House of Representatives, 8th Congressional District

Age: 46

Residence: Carpentersville

Education: Bachelor’s in psychology, Indiana University; master’s in national security and strategic studies, United States Naval War College

Current employment: Colonel, United States Marine Corps Reserve

What experiences do you have that lend well to serving in this position if elected?

Kaifesh: I have spent the majority of the last 22 years serving my country as an Infantry Officer in the United States Marine Corps. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, I have deployed five different times to Iraq and Afghanistan. Having tremendous success in Iraq and Afghanistan based not only on my ability to lead, fight, and win, but to listen and understand the complex problems presented by a multitude of tribes, political factions, and interest groups. My pragmatic approach, honest and direct communication style, and my personal ability to bring diverse groups of people together on critical issues, became instrumental to progress and installing peace in some of the most dangerous areas of Iraq and Afghanistan...

What are the biggest differences between you and your opponent? 

Kaifesh: One of the key differences is that I have never voted Democrat, as my opponent has done, as recently as 2008 and 2012. I can defeat the current incumbent [Tammy Duckworth, D-Hoffman Estates] due to my military, foreign policy, and legislative (as a military legislative fellow on Capitol Hill) experiences, something my opponent sorely lacks. I am also the only candidate in the Republican primary that lives in the 8th Congressional District. My opponent lives 17 miles outside the district and has no connection to it. In addition, my continuing desire to be a selfless servant to my constituents and country, while bringing badly needed leadership to Capitol Hill, shows a stark contrast between us.

What is the biggest challenge facing Washington D.C., and what would you do to address it?

Kaifesh: The biggest challenge is the lack of leadership and selfless service being provided by this administration and many in office today. Additional challenges come from those who are trying to fundamentally transform America. From Benghazi to the IRS, and Obamacare to the NSA, the current administration is jeopardizing of our way of life, at home and abroad. I would address these challenges by working with others in Congress to pass legislation that focuses on the need to improve our quality of life – from lowering taxes, cutting spending, protecting individual freedoms, and repealing Obamacare, and replacing it with a fairer, more efficient system than is currently in place.

What other key issues do you plan to focus on if elected?

Kaifesh: We seriously need to address our debt, strengthen social security, and reform our immigration policy.

Why should voters vote for you?

Kaifesh: Voters should join our campaign because my entire life has been based on honest leadership and selfless service to our country – what is needed most in Washington today. From being a state champion wrestler at Dundee-Crown High School to reaching the rank of colonel in the United States Marine Corps, the 8th District is a part of my fabric. We started this campaign because Americans are losing their chance at a better quality of life for themselves and future generations. I seek to go to Washington to work with others, on both sides of the aisle, to actually help lead our country, instead of allowing it to sink further into a fiscal abyss.

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