MOLINE -- Evoking a previous Republican "contract," Congressional candidate Bobby Schilling Wednesday signed a new "Contract with the 17th District."|
"I'm not doing this because I want to make a career out of it. I'm doing this because I love my country," the GOP challenger to U.S. Rep. Phil Hare (D-Rock Island) told supporters and campaign workers at Rock Island County Republican headquarters.
The owner of Saint Giuseppe's Pizza in Moline called for a return to citizen legislators serving a limited time in Washington. He also decried "wasteful"federal spending and reflected small business concerns about intrusive government.
Similar to the 1994 GOP's "Contract With America," Mr. Schilling pledged, if elected, he will:
-- Limit himself to eight years in the House of Representatives
-- Reject the Congressional pension
-- Refuse any pay increase, and return any raise to a charity in the district
-- Reject health-care benefits from the government, and keep his family's private insurance
-- Not vote in favor of any bill he has not read
-- Provide constituent services that are second to no other Congressional office.
Mr. Schilling said Lane Evans, Rep. Hare's predecessor, "had by far, the best constituent service in the 17th District.
"When I'm elected, it's coming back," he said during his conclusion of a six-day, 34-city "Bob's for Jobs Tour" across the district, during which he met with 40 employers to discuss the hardships and challenges they face.
"The majority were small businesses and the message is very clear:The government needs to get out of our way," Mr. Schilling said. He told of a business owner delaying a planned million-dollar expansion over worries about health care and cap-and-trade laws being considered by Congress.
Cap-and-trade — which seeks to limit greenhouse gas emissions by putting a price on permits for those emissions — would "be a job crusher," Mr. Schilling said. "It's going to force American companies to transfer over to China," which wouldn't have such regulation and taxation, he said.
Mr. Schilling said he opposes federal bailouts and the $787 billion stimulus package he claimed mainly helped big corporations. He said he wants "proven job creation measures," such as tax deductions for businesses to help spur job creation.
"Business owner after business owner said, 'They're not listening to us,'" Mr. Schilling said. "What we want is representation from our Congressmen and women."
Congress does not represent ordinary people by giving itself raises, he added. "We've got plant closings, people struggling," Mr. Schilling said. "People are tightening their belts; so should we."
The average unemployment rate in the 21-county district is 10.2 percent. It's 10.9 percent in Rock Island County and 11.4 percent in Whiteside County, he noted.
Mr. Schilling also challenged Rep. Hare to not accept campaign contributions from outside the district. "If 80 to 85 percent of your money comes from outside the district, who do you represent? Who can you represent?" he asked. And he renewed his opposition to selling a state prison in Thomson to the federal government to hold terrorism detainees.
"I'm against bringing terrorists to U.S. soil," he said. "If you bring terrorists here, eventually we'll have to build another prison, to relieve overcrowding, which will add more debt to Illinois.
"I do believe in opening it,"Mr. Schilling said. "The state should open it up, to use it for its original intent — to take care of the overflow, instead of bringing terrorists in."
A Rock Island native who has served as a local union steward and has 13 years of union experience, Mr. Schilling is the only Republican candidate seeking to oppose Rep. Hare in November.
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