The 17th Congressional District race between U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling
(R-Colona) and Democratic nominee Cheri Bustos of East Moline is a
nationally-watched battle. This is not only because the race is close,
but also due to a bevy of high-profile local issues.
With polls showing the American people want the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest Americans to expire, progressives around the country are bemoaning President Obama's "compromise" with congressional Republicans to extend the breaks for the rich for two years. Illinois Democrats have joined the chorus of disappointed liberals.
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), who is becoming a leading progressive voice on budget issues, cautioned on MSNBC that "I think there is still some negotiating to be done and still get it done by the end of this lame-duck session." Watch the interview here:
U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (IL-7) said he would vote no on the plan as is because he doesn't "think it does enough for the poor" or "the middle class." And U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL-4), who is currently fighting to get the DREAM Act passed, spoke to WLS' Don Wade and Roma about the tax plan this morning: "I think if you really begin to look at it, you've got to ask yourself, 'Why is it that early on in this process, we are saying to the country and the legislative body, that we're going to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax write-offs to 2 percent of our wage earners -- and just so we're clear, 80 percent of whom make over $1 million -- while we have two wars going on?'" Listen to his comments here.
The president's plan garnered slightly more support from Democratic leaders downstate. A spokesperson for recently defeated U.S. Rep. Phil Hare (IL-17) said the importance of extending unemployment insurance for 13 months means he will have to give the deal "serious consideration." And some progressive writers and economists have said that while the deal is imperfect, it "is not the end of the world either." Still, if he expects the current plan to pass, Obama is going to have to quickly shift from luring Republican support to simply keeping his party by his side.
Bobby Schilling, the Republican candidate for Illinois' 17th Congressional District recently got some advice about what he should pursue in Washington should he defeat the district's incumbent Democrat, Congressman Phil Hare, this November. The idea? A caller to a radio program says Schilling should work to shut down "any progressive agency" created by the federal government, going back to Teddy Roosevelt's presidential administration. Schilling chuckles at the suggestion and then says, "OK, I love you guys, man," to the caller. The Hare campaign posted the clip. Listen:
Presuambly the caller's definition of progressive agencies includes the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Education, both of which are often targets of the insurgent Republican right. How about the Social Security Administation and the Department of Health and Human Services, which administers Medicare? Of course, it was Teddy Roosevelt who pushed through the nation's first food-safety law, providing for federal inspections of meat. Perhaps Schilling's take whether these agencies should stay or go will get flushed out at the next 17th District congressional debate. It's scheduled to air October 27 at 6:30 p.m. on WQPT, a PBS affiliate for the Quad Cities. Which begs a question: would Schilling push to eliminate federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting?
In the highly-contested race for the 17th Congressional District seat, incumbent U.S. Rep. Phil Hare is getting support from the labor community via a new ad released by SEIU, whose Illinois State Council sponsors this site. The spot blasts GOP candidate Bobby Schilling for his support of free trade deals, including the U.S.- South Korea Free Trade Agreement, which Hare says will send jobs overseas. Watch it:
When U.S. Rep. Phil Hare stopped by our offices
during the August recess, he said his re-election battle with Republican
challenger Bobby Schilling is one of the most bruising campaigns he
has ever experienced. Earlier this year, for example, several national
blogs hammered him about his views on the Democratic health care bill
after taking out of context
a statement he made about its constitutionality. Now, conservative
media outlets are pushing a deceptively edited video of Hare claiming
he "doesn't believe the national debt is real."
The clip comes
from a July 27 press conference, in which the congressman said it's a
"myth that this country is in debt, and you just can't [deficit]
spend." A video posted to Youtube in September and linked to by several
blogs, however, cuts out that second clause entirely. Media Matters makes the catch.
is tight in this race. FiveThirtyEight's regression gives Hare a 57
percent chance of retaining the seat. His campaign got a boost
yesterday when he received the endorsement of the Veterans of Foreign
Wars Political Action Committee. It's especially significant because
Schilling supporters have previously attacked Hare as a "draft dodger." (He actually spent six years in the Army reserves.)
Congressman Phil Hare, of the 17th District, recently introduced a bill that would create a new grant program within the Department of Labor. His office says the program will provide resources and assistance to workers centers, legal aid clinics, and other community-based organizations working to stop wage theft, a pervasive issue that hurts employees across the country. In her 2008 book about the topic, Kim Bobo,
executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice in Chicago, found that some 2 million workers are paid less than the minimum
wage, 3 million are wrongly classified as independent contractors
instead of employees, and millions more are illegally denied overtime
Hare has followed this issue closely; he co-sponsored legislation in July 2009 meant to provide additional enforcement power for investigators during wage theft inquiries. The issue has gained traction over the last two years in other venues as well. Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis launched a campaign last year to inform workers who've been bilked of their pay about the resources offered by the federal agency. At the state level, Gov. Quinn signed a bill in July that imposes penalities on employers who shortchange or fail to pay their employees.
U.S. Rep. Phil Hare, locked in a tight re-election campaign, is
calling on 17th Congressional District GOP challenger Bobby Schilling to return a $5,800
donation he recieved from Cintas, the country's largest laundry
company. Hare had previously called for an investigation into the
company's workplace practices following the death of Tulsa-based worker
Eleazar Torres-Gomez, who was killed after falling into an industrial
dryer. The company eventually reached a settlement
with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for $3
million to resolve six federal occupational safety violations.