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 Wednesday, Dec. 11, the 345th day of 2013. There are 20 days left in the year. 1863 — 150 years ago: The message of Abraham Lincoln, read in congress yesterday, is published in full in our paper today, with a new proclamation relating the terms upon which states can return to the union. 1888 — 125 years ago: An appropriation has been made by congress for the improvement of the upper Mississippi River with $200,000 set aside for the portion of the river between Keokuk and the mouth of the Illinois River. 1913 — 100 years ago: Work of remodeling First Swedish Lutheran Church at 4th Avenue and 14th Street was nearly completed. 1938 — 75 years ago: An unexplained outbreak of tularemia (rabbit fever) in the state has Illinois public health officials puzzled. Ten persons have died, and 243 are officially reported ill with the infection. 1963 — 50 years ago: A dramatic, multi-million dollar riverfront improvement project for the downtown area of Rock Island was unveiled at a meeting of 200 civic leaders at noon today. 1988 — 25 years ago: For several supporters of the Dispatch Goodfellow/Argus Santa program their donation is a year long project. Emma Pugh and Anne Persinger spent a good part of their spare time this year knitting forty pairs of mittens and slippers.