Durbin has new plan for Thomson prison sale

Originally Posted Online: Aug. 10, 2012, 6:45 pm
Last Updated: Aug. 10, 2012, 10:51 pm
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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., has found a possible route around recalcitrant U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., to complete the sale of Thomson Correctional Center, but he won't say what it is.

Rep. Wolf has used his position as chairman of a House subcommittee to block a proposal to "reprogram" $165 million in federal funds to allow the feds to buy the prison from Illinois.

"Sen. Durbin believes there is a way (around Rep. Wolf) and he's working with the (Obama) administration," Christina Mulka, Sen. Durbin's spokeswoman, said on Friday. She would not provide details on the new tactic, but she said Sen. Durbin still was hoping to complete the sale before the end of the year.

Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, also is pushing hard for the deal which, if completed, would create jobs in the 17th District and could boost his election campaign again East Moline Democrat Cheri Bustos. Ms. Bustos is close to Sen. Durbin; he has been keeping her informed on the proposed Thomson deal, she said recently.

Young Gun Neil

Republican state representative candidate Neil Anderson has qualified for the GOP "Young Guns" program and will receive $100,000 in campaign funds from party leaders.

Mr. Anderson, who is running against state Rep. Pat Verschoore, D-Milan, in District 72, met a $50,000 fundraising goal to earn the money.

Rep. Verschoore had more than $298,000 in cash at the end of the last quarter compared to Mr. Anderson's $48,600. Contributions received after June 30 helped push Mr. Anderson's fundraising over $50,000.

The Moline firefighter said the money will help make his campaign more competitive. "The sad part of campaigning is it takes money to win," he added.

Super Bowl champ

Four-time Superbowl winner Rocky Bleier will attend an Aug. 25 fundraiser for state senate candidate Bill Albracht.

The fundraiser will be at the home of David and Paula Roberts in East Moline. Pulled pork, wine, beer, and assorted soft drinks will be served; individual sponsorships are available for $75 or $125 for a couple.

Platinum sponsors who pay $1,500 will be invited to a private reception Aug. 24 with Mr. Bleier and will receive autographed copies of his books Fighting Back and In the President's Secret Service.

Mr. Bleier is a Vietnam veteran who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. A donation from the fundraiser will be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, according to the Albracht campaign. For details contact the Albracht for Senate Campaign Office at (309) 736-1333.

On the waterfront

Republican state's attorney candidate Jim Wozniak is hosting a "meet and greet" Aug. 27 at the Port Byron restaurant It's On the River, 201 N. Main St.

Rep. Schilling and state Rep. Rich Morthland, R-Cordova, also will attend the event, which starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person or $30 per couple. Sponsorships also are available.

For more information, contact Mr. Wozniak's campaign manager, Paul Kleinhans-Schulz, at (319) 596-8021 or pkleinhans-schulz10@augustana.edu.

Schilling's handicap

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., was the special guest at a fundraiser for Rep. Schilling at TPC Deere Run in Silvis on Tuesday. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres were served, and gold sponsorships were available for $2,500.

The fundraiser was hosted by the Quad City Automobile Retailers. Rep. Kelly is the owner of Mike Kelly Chevrolet in Butler, Pa.

On Friday, Rep. Schilling enjoyed another fundraiser, this time with GOP House Speaker John Boehner as the special guest. Attendees enjoyed golf with the speaker and Rep. Schilling at Forest Hills Country Club in Rockford.

A small group of protesters from Freeport used the occasion to highlight the plan to outsource 170 jobs at the Sensata Technolgies plant in Freeport to China, according to a spokesman for the Schilling campaign. Sensata is majority-owned by Bain Capital, the private-equity firm founded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

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