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 Friday, March 7, the 66th day of 2014. There are 299 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat came up to her dock yesterday and was punching away at the ice, which is crowded up against the Iowa shore. 1889 -- 125 years ago: J.C. Bromley, of Rock Island, has received a patent on a steam activated valve. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Major. C.W. Hawes, head clerk of the Modern Woodmen of America, was honored by department chiefs on his 73rd birthday 1939 -- 75 years ago: Mayor Robert Galbraith declared that 75 percent of the people here have talked to "favor construction of Rock Island's new city hall in Spencer Square." 1964 -- 50 years ago: C.H. Langman & Sons, Rock Island, has been awarded the general contract for partial rehabilitation and modernization of the main building at the East Moline State Hospital. The Langman firm bid $424,839. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The cost of living in the Quad-Cities is 6.8 percent less than the average of 260 metropolitan areas.