Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2010, 12:00 am
17th Congressional District Race: Week 62 -- Schilling
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By Bobby Schilling
Week 6: A number of important projects in any community require federal dollars to happen. Mississippi River crossings, passenger-rail service and investment in the Rock Island Arsenal come quickly to mind. What projects would you work to bring to the Quad-Cities? Are there ones you believe shouldn't be financed? Please explain.
Bobby Schilling, 2010 Republican candidate for 17th District U.S. Congressional seat.
This week our campaign released a television ad titled "Hare Was Here." It is a 30-second clip showing the economic devastation our area has faced since Phil Hare came to office. Since Hare first tasted power in Washington, he has added $5 trillion to our national debt and doubled unemployment. Illinois ranks a miserable 48th out of 50 in job creation, and Hare continues to peddle the lie that our economy is on the right track as long as we continue spending more of your hard-earned money.
Congress' out-of-control spending is the problem, not the solution. We need earmark reform that improves transparency, roots out corruption and eliminates wasteful spending. My opponent never met an earmark he didn't like.
Lawmakers have gone to federal prison for abusing the earmark process and it is about time we cleaned up Washington. It was reported that a disgraced Washington earmark lobbyist for the PMA Group named Paul Magliocchetti, who gave hundreds of dollars in campaign contributions to Hare, pled guilty in federal court last month. Magliocchetti could face up to 15 years for funneling $386,000 in corporate campaign contributions to lawmakers the last six years. What's worse is that Hare secured $6.8 million worth of earmarks for Magliocchetti's clients when people here in Illinois were losing jobs.
The U.S. economy lost 95,000 jobs last month, Illinois' unemployment is at 10.1 percent, and our national debt is growing beyond $13.6 trillion. Hare was too busy trying to secure earmarks and working to save his job to pass a budget or even fight to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the middle class. Hare lost the will to govern a long time ago, but he hasn't lost his appetite for out-of-control spending.
When I challenged Hare on his comment that "we've got job growth, we're headed in the right direction" to the Quincy Herald-Whig, Hare responded by bragging about bringing home new projects.
It doesn't matter that the process is corrupt and broken and that we owe nearly $900 billion to the Chinese. By Hare's logic we would be continuing down the right path if unemployment and our national debt doubled again so long as Hare is able to double spending on earmarks and keep his own job. Sending American jobs and debt to China is the wrong answer.
There is a reason Hare said this summer that he wants to debunk the myth that this country is in debt -- it's because he is addicted to spending.
There is a reason Hare refuses to sign a pledge not to raise your taxes -- it's because he is reliant on raising taxes on middle class families to feed his insatiable spending appetite.
There is a reason Hare received some of the lowest scores in Congress from groups like Citizens Against Government Waste, the Club for Growth, the National Taxpayers Union and Americans for Tax Reform.
Hare proudly says, "if it's pork, give me a fork!" That's not responsible government. It's the mentality of a career politician who has been corrupted by Washington and has become detached from ordinary Americans. We need to address our economic crisis with lower taxes, less spending, limited government, and more transparency.
That is why I oppose the "move-margins-at-midnight-mentality" in Washington, where there's a mad dash to write each congressman's pet project into a big appropriations bill. Earmark reform that forces lawmakers to be more transparent is critical to weeding out corruption and waste. Programs should only pass if they have merit and can stand on their own. If an earmark is a good project, it will pass. If it's for swamp mice in California, it won't.
Hare wants to return to Washington with a fork to get more pork. I'll go to Washington with a shovel to start digging families out of debt and focus on jobs and growing this economy. I will always fight for Illinois, the taxpayer and our local communities, but I will also advocate for new reforms to the spending process in Washington so that it works for ordinary people again.
I am running for Congress for Illinois families who don't have a lobbyist in the Capitol or a loophole in the law. Lets get back to work and take our country back.
Bobby Schilling of Colona is the GOP candidate for Congress in the 17th Congressional District.