U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, and Democrat Cheri Bustos, of East Moline, are engaged in a last dash for votes, campaigning up and down the sprawling 17th Congressional District.
On Wednesday, Rep. Schilling launched a 14-stop "Bobs for Jobs" tour that will include stops in Aledo, Sterling, Geneseo and Kewanee.
Ms. Bustos has launched a "Right Priorities" tour that will take her to Peoria and Galesburg on Thursday and she plans to rack 1,000 miles campaigning across the 14 counties in the district between now and Tuesday's election.
The campaigns also released their final TV commercials this week.
In his closing appeal to voters, Rep. Schilling sticks with the message that he's a bipartisan leader in Congress.
He also warns against the approaching fiscal cliff in January, which he said could lead to tax increases unless Congress agrees not to let tax cuts instituted by President George W. Bush to expire.
Ms. Bustos supports allowing tax rates to go up for those earning more than $1 million annually but Rep. Schilling wants the tax cuts left in place for all income brackets.
"If we allow the tax hikes to go into effect in January, it's going to cost, in Illinois alone, around 32,000 jobs," Rep. Schilling says in the ad. "It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican, this is about fixing things so that people can get to work."
In her final commercial, Ms. Bustos sticks with the issues she's focused on in her campaign.
"Congressman Schilling supports tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas, I oppose them," she says in her ad. "He'd end Medicare's guaranteed benefit, I'll protect it."
Rep. Schilling is opposed to the Bring Jobs Home Act, which Ms. Bustos supports. The proposed bill would end a tax deduction companies can use when they move overseas.On Medicare, Ms. Bustos opposes Republican plans to reform the program by paying seniors a fixed subsidy to buy private insurance.
The 17th District race is one of the most expensive in the nation. By Wednesday, independent expenditures in the district had topped $9 million, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Ms. Bustos has raised $1.9 million in the election cycle to date and Rep. Schilling has raised $2.2 million.
17th Congressional District Cash:
Candidates' fundraising to date: $4.1 million — U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona: $2.2 million — Cheri Bustos (Democrat): $1.9 million
Campaign expenditures to date: $12.3 million — Rep. Schilling: $1.9 million — Ms. Bustos: $1.4 million — Expenditures by others: $9 million
Today is Thursday, Dec. 12, the 346th day of 2013. There are 19 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Two boys who haul coal from Coal Valley to Davenport were arrested yesterday for running their teams through the city street at a furious rate. 1888 -- 125 years ago: E.H. Barker dislocated his left wrist and suffered a compound fracture of the right wrist when he fell from the roof of his icehouse. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Lou Harris was elected county superintendent of schools to fill the unexpired term of the late S.J. Ferguson. 1938 -- 75 years ago: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that a state must give equality in educational privileges to white and Negro law students. 1963 -- 50 years ago: About 300 employees of the Augustana Book Concern, staff members of the Board of Publication of the Lutheran Church in America, as well as friends of the community and out-of-town guests honored Dr. Birger Swenson at the annual Christmas dinner of the Augustana Book Concern last night in Westerlin Hall on the Augustana College campus. 1988 -- 25 years ago: The Christmas shopping season began early this year and continues to bring out shoppers in record numbers, according to Quad-Cities retailers interviewed today.