The debate over the debate between U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, and Democrat Cheri Bustos on Thursday night started as soon as the studio lights were turned off.
"Democratic congressional candidate Cheri Bustos won the first debate with Congressman Bobby Schilling tonight, showing a clear choice on key issues such as Medicare and creating jobs," a statement from the Bustos camp said.
"It's easy to identify problems, and Cheri Bustos is very good at that. But it takes a strong leader like Bobby Schilling to find solutions and get things done," said Schilling spokesman Jon Schweppe in his post-debate statement.
WQAD took an unscientific vote on its website to determine the winner. By Friday, Rep. Schilling had taken 85 percent of around 1,900 votes. Ms. Bustos had 14 percent and less than 1 percent were unsure.
Boehner stumps for Bobby
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, of Aurora, will stump for Rep. Schilling next week. The two Republicans will have lunch at noon Thursday at Tennant Truck Lines, Colona. Gold sponsors who donate $2,500 will enjoy a private session with the two Republicans before the $100 lunch.
Speaker Boehner and Rep. Schilling have not always seen eye to eye, especially when it comes to Thomson Correctional Center. Rep. Schilling pushed hard for the federal government to buy the prison from the state. But he didn't get any help from Speaker Boehner, who remained opposed to the deal and refused to accept legal assurances the site would not be used to house Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Teachers back Morthland
The Illinois Federation of Teachers, which usually supports Democrats, has endorsed state Rep. Rich Morthland, R-Cordova, in his District 71 campaign against Democrat Mike Smiddy.
According to the National Institute for Money in State Politics, teachers unions -- including the IFT -- have given $1.3 million to Illinois Republicans in the 2012 election cycle, or 7.1 percent of the $18.2 million they've put into Illinois state elections. In the 2010 election, only 3.7 percent of their donations went to Republicans.
The Rock Island County NAACP will host a nonpartisan candidates' forum at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Martin Luther King Center, 630 9th St., Rock Island.
Candidates for Rock Island County State's Attorney John McGehee, a Democrat, and Jim Wozniak, a Republican, will attend. State Rep. Pat Verschoore, D-Milan, and his District 72 Republican opponent Neil Anderson also will participate.
Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet. 1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.