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 Saturday, Sept. 20, the 263rd day of 2014. There are 102 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Recruits can get $500 by enlisting now. Lt Jobe has a recruiting office on Illinois Street. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Superintendent Schnitger formally inaugurated the Rock Island and Davenport Railway Line of the Holmes system by putting on four cars to start. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Wires of the defunct Union Electric Co. are being removed by city electricians. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The Bishop Hill softball team won the championship in WHB"S Mississippi Valley tournament at Douglas Park. 1964 -- 50 years ago: A boom in apartment construction has hit Rock Island, with approximately 300 units either in or near the construction stage or due for an early rezoning decision. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Members of the Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Commission are hoping to revive their push for a new $70 million four-lane bridge spanning the Mississippi River.