In 2008, U.S. Rep. Phil Hare, a Rock Island Democrat, had no Republican opposition as he sailed to victory. In 2010, however, Hare faces two opponents: Green Party candidate Roger Davis of Quincy and a surprisingly strong Republican candidate, Bobby Schilling of Colona, a political newcomer.
Other circumstances have changed. After the Democratic-dominated federal government advanced a big-spending, liberal agenda, some people reacted with concern – even in the 17th Congressional District, which was gerrymandered in 2001 as a Democratic stronghold.
Hare made news recently when he announced that a VA clinic would open next year in the Sauk Valley. Many people agree that a federally funded clinic for area military veterans is a good thing.
However, Hare exhibits a tin ear about constituent concerns regarding the House’s spendthrift ways – the $787 billion stimulus bill, health care law, cap-and-trade bill, and the seemingly unrestrained use of earmarks to pay for lawmakers’ pet pork projects.
If one condones the policies advanced by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, then vote for Hare.
But if one finds such policies reckless, as we do, please vote for Schilling.
Schilling brings a fresh approach to politics honed by his experience as a factory worker, union member, insurance salesman, restaurant owner and father of 10 children.
As well as opposing the Pelosi-Hare agenda, Schilling has pledged, if elected, not to become a typical inside-the-beltway congressman.
Schilling said he would not accept pay raises, the 5-year congressional pension, or the congressional health care option. Schilling pledged to serve no more than 8 years. He promised to never vote in support of any bill that he hasn’t read. He also said his office’s service to constituents would be “second to none.”
The U.S. House is in disarray, as is the U.S. economy. Joblessness hovers near 10 percent. House members adjourned Sept. 30 without passing any portions of the federal budget or extending the Bush tax cuts. That means more uncertainty for business owners and the unemployed, who continue to wait for the private sector to ramp up hiring.
A change for the better clearly is needed. Schilling represents that change. He is endorsed.