Bob Galhotra: Candidate Profile
39th District Senate (Democrat)
Back to 39th District Senate
Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Family: Divorced; Father of two children, Grace and Evan ages 20 and 15, respectively.
Education: A.G. Bell School- Diploma (1979)
Lane Tech H. S. -Diploma (1983)
IIT- BA English with Honors (1987)
IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law - JD (1990)
Civic involvement: Sayre Park Baseball - Team Manager
Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago - Lawyers in the Classroom project.
Northwest Side Community Coalition - member
Elected offices held: I have been elected to several terms as President of the largest local union of attorneys in the State of Illinois, AFSCME Local 3315. I am no longer a member of the union as I became a member of management early last year.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Why are you running for this office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is that?
I believe that a pension is a promise backed by the Illinois Constitution and am very disappointed that my opponent has voted for a bill that has been signed into law by the Governor.
What differentiates you most from your opponents in the race?
I am running a grass roots campaign and am not beholden to party leaders who quite frankly, have made the Democratic Party in Illinois the laughing stock of the nation.
Would you vote to make Illinois' temporary income tax hike permanent before it expires in January 2015? If not, how will you replace the billions of dollars the tax hike brought in, or what cuts would you make?
No because the path to allowing the tax hike expiring is passing a Constitutional Amendment that allows a graduated income tax.
Please outline your views on public pensions in Illinois.
You can change the pension prospectively, by changing the multiplier or the amount participants pay toward their pension, but you cannot change the benefit level or the age at which people should be able to pension out. We already have Tier 2 which went into effect on 1/1/2011 and that was Constitutional. The 'reform' package voted on on the last day for people to file for the primary and signed by Quinn was an illusory way of 'solving' the pension crisis but unfortunately, when the courts are done with the legislation, we will be in even worse shape than when the Governor signed SB 1 into law.
What changes would you make to the state's new concealed carry law, if any? Would you change the number of exempted places where people cannot carry? In what way? Would you change the training requirements? In what way? Do you support restricting assault weapons? High-capacity magazines?
None at this time. We should see how the new legislation works and change what is needed as issues come up.
Which of the following do you support: New casinos, slot machines at horse racing tracks, gambling on the Internet? Would you approve legislation that includes all of the above in order to compromise and get the parts that you want?
I support all except internet gambling and would not compromise on that.
On what issues would you would break with your party, or have you broken with your party, and why?
Gun control. Because for years are good intentioned gun laws in Illinois have made criminals out of people who just wanted a little bit of protection in a sometimes rough and violent environment. And as we have seen the laws have had little effect on the incidence of gun crimes in places like Chicago.
What is your position on limiting how much money party leaders can give candidates during a general election?
There should be limits because this is the provision that basically gutted and made useless the so called campaign finance reform that Quinn bragged about after signing it into law in December of 2009. Now, Mike Madigan basically has a stranglehold on all members of the General Assembly.
If elected, do you plan to vote for the current leader of your caucus? Why or why not?
I think Senate President Cullerton is an honorable man, but am disappointed he motivated other Senators to vote for a bill that even he did not believe was Constitutional (SB1).
What is your view of the tax breaks granted to companies like Motorola Mobility, Navistar and Sears, and should state tax breaks be given to companies moving from one Illinois municipality to another?
Illinois needs to have a consistent tax policy that doesn't capitulate to child like behavior of companies, like the ones you mention, that demand preferential treatment in exchange for staying in one place as opposed to another.
Do you favor changing how Illinois sets new legislative district maps every 10 years? If so how?
Yes, there should be an independent (non-partisan) commission that draws legislative maps.
Finally, is there anything we haven't asked about that you feel we should know?
I have been fighting for justice 23 years in the trial courts of Cook County and now it's my turn to fight for the people of the 39th District.