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Raja Krishnamoorthi is a democratic candidate running for the 8th district of Illinois in the 2012 congressional race. He formerly ran for Illinois Comptroller in 2010 but lost the nomination by roughly one percentage of the vote. On February 27, 2012, I was able to attend a town hall meeting at Schaumburg Central Library in Schaumburg, IL to ask Raja how he would represent the atheist voters of the 8th district.
From Raja’s biography:
Raja currently serves as President of Sivananthan Laboratories, a Bolingbrook-based business dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of cutting-edge products and technologies in national security and renewable energy. The company specializes in night vision military technology, solar cells, biosensors to detect weapons of mass destruction, and radiation detectors.
Before joining his current company, Raja served as Deputy Treasurer for Illinois where he helped revamp the state’s unclaimed property system by increasing the amount of returned property while cutting the program’s costs. He also helped to run the technology venture capital fund, which has helped create hundreds of good-paying jobs in Illinois.
In 2006, Raja was appointed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to serve as Special Assistant Attorney General to help start her Public Integrity Unit. Before that, he served as a member of the Illinois Housing Development Authority where he was Chairman of the Audit Committee.
After Raja responded to how he would represent atheist voters, I asked him a follow up that included what his reaction and thoughts were concerning the accidental Quran burnings in Afghanistan, the resultant apologies, and the continued violence in Afghanistan. I also asked about reconciling the fiscal decisions of Illinois concerning recently continued tax exemptions to Sears and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s latest budget which includes cuts to the already overburdened prison system and mental health facilities.
Unfortunately, a lively audience resulted in Raja not giving a full response to the Afghanistan question. There is a very thorough response from one of the audience members that can be seen in the video. Raja and his campaign staff have been contacted and offered the opportunity to articulate what he was unable to that night.
Two other questions also featured in the video below which were asked by others include the question of legalization of marijuana and the importation of prescription drugs currently restricted by Medicare Part D.
I also asked Raja Krishnamoorthi about his value of investing further in research and development as well as infrastructure which is supported by the NAP charter. I asked him what types of investments he would support nationally and what he would seek to allocate for in the 8th district. Unfortunately, this was not captured on film, but Raja demonstrated a thorough command of the needs of the 8th district and the many projects on hold, including western access to O’ Hare Airport, extending 53 North, and suburban transit that routes through the suburbs.
Special thanks to Sean Moran for his camera work.
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National Atheist Party