Peter Kopsaftis: 2022 candidate for 8th Congressional District
Office sought: U.S. House, 8th District
City: South Barrington
Occupation: Business owner
Previous offices held: Barrington Township Republican Committeeman
What needs to be done to get Congress to work constructively, whether that be senators and representatives of both parties working with each other or Congress itself working with the president?
There is a great divide in our country that will be very difficult to mend. Part of the problem is the extreme legislation that is being pushed by Democrats in Congress. The spending bills that are being pushed out of the House of Representatives are so extreme that they are not getting any Republican Senators support and no votes from the two Democrat Senators.
Additionally, the President's handling of the border has created a minor rebellion from border state Democrats who are feeling a lot of pressure in this election year. I am optimistic that this election cycle voters will have their say on many of these issues and that will cause representatives and senators in Washington, D.C. to find solutions that they can agree upon.
What is your position on changing voter access?
Voters have unprecedented access to the polls. We now have mail in ballots, early voting, drop boxes and polling places.
Do you recognize that the election of Joe Biden as president in 2020 was legitimate and fair? If not, why?
The Congress certified the election and Joe Biden was sworn in. We need to move on, but we also need to keep in mind that there is a large percentage of the population, even amongst Democrats, who think our electoral system is flawed.
What, if anything, should Congress do to prevent another violent attack such as the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol?
The first thing we need to do as a nation is to restore confidence in our elections. Congress is not in a position to do this and it needs to be done in the states and by local election authorities. Information plays a critical role in our democracy and a large part of our population does not have confidence in the media and social media platforms to be either fair or accurate.
What do you consider America's role in world affairs? In particular, what should our role be regarding current points of tension involving Russia/Ukraine, the future of Taiwan or other threats of Chinese expansionism and the Middle East?
The United States plays a critical and essential role in the world as the only superpower capable of standing up to these two superpowers. Unfortunately, we have been sending the wrong signals about our commitments. The fall of Afghanistan is such a tragic example of this. The Chinese are now looking at Taiwan through that lens and they have been emboldened about their long-standing claim that Taiwan is a part of the China and not recognized as a sovereign nation.
The Ukrainian army should have been receiving arms from the United States in quantities commensurate to the threat. The current administration was once again ill prepared for the Russians and now they need to be ready for the Chinese by beefing up our naval forces. Our allies need to know that we will stand by them.
Do you acknowledge humans' role in causing climate change? What steps should government be taking to address the issue?
There is no question that climate change is affected by human existence. The problem is that the science around the level of impact is not settled and it is being used to promote policies that we are being told will help solve climate change. A radical interpretation of climate change is driving the Green Policy initiatives in Washington, D.C. and proposed legislation and administrative decisions reflect that.
Please define your position on health care reform, especially as it relates to the Affordable Care Act.
The Affordable Care Act is a mixed bag. While it has increased access to health care it has not had discernible impact on the cost of health care. Much of the increased access was achieved through the expansion of Medicaid and through subsidies. When the marketplace is removed from the equation costs tend to rise. We also need to keep in mind that the Federal Government is paying out roughly $120 Billion in subsidies every year which gets tacked on to the debt that the government is placing on the backs of future generations.
What immigration policies do you support? Where, if at all, do you see room for compromise to produce an effective policy on immigration? Does the government have any responsibility toward Dreamers who were brought to the United States illegally as children and are now adults? How will these policies affect your district?
My family came to the United States as lawful immigrants. We were grateful to be in a country where rule of law was in existence and individual rights were respected. Most immigrants who have come to this country did so legitimately out of respect for the generations of immigrants who came before them. How can immigrants have respect for this country and our laws if the first contact you have in this country is crossing border illegally. We need to have a system set up that includes a strong border enforcement and a swift process for deporting illegal immigrants who do not have a legitimate case for refugee status.
Immigration is an important issue to me and to many of the people I talk to in the 8th Congressional District. There are many people who are waiting to attain citizenship to this country and what kind of message are we sending when we release illegal immigrants all over the country knowing full well that they won't show up for their court date for the illegal crossing.