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News

Fermilab scientist Bill Foster running for Hastert's seat

Entrepreneur and Fermilab scientist Bill Foster of Geneva announced his candidacy Wednesday for Illinois' 14th Congressional District. He will be running for the Democratic nomination against Geneva attorney Jotham Stein, state Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia of Aurora and John Laesch of Newark. Drawing on his experience as a scientist and as a co-owner of a theater-lighting company, Electronic Theatre Controls Inc., Foster said he looks to bring a combined sense of business and science to decisions made on the Congress floor about issues including the federal government's use of contractors and renewable-energy solutions. &#8220One of President Bush's big efforts was to privatize federal functions by farming out projects to contractors, with huge amounts of taxpayers' money going towards these private groups,” Foster said. &#8220The average salaries for the CEOs of defense contractors have tripled since 2001. We're much less efficient by going with these big groups.” Foster pointed out the need for congressmen to have both business savvy and knowledge of science when working on energy policies, especially as potential sources of renewable fuel come to the government's attention. He said too often politicians are either only focused on business or only science-minded. &#8220Congress has to call the shots on the energy policy whether they like it or not,” Foster said. &#8220Congress will need the business acumen to invest in energy possibilities (before they are available), but also an awareness of the science behind it. The level of debate is not always what it should be.” Foster worked for more than 20 years at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia. He is in favor of ending the Iraq war, saying on his Web site, www.Foster08.com, that it will &#8220go down as one of the greatest foreign policy blunders in history.” He supports instituting a &#8220partition and exit” solution to get troops out of the country. The strategy involves maintaining a no-fly zone such as what was used to protect Kurdish areas in Iraq from Saddam Hussein's attacks in the decade between the two Persian Gulf wars. U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Plano, who currently represents the state's 14th District, has not yet announced whether he will run for re-election. Benji Feldheim can be reached at bfeldheim@daily-chronicle.com.

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