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 Sunday, March 9, the 68th day of 2014. There are 297 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Much damage is being done to sidewalks, shade trees, fences and gardens by hogs that are running at large about town. 1889 -- 125 years ago: H.C. Cleveland was elected air knight captain of Rock Island Division Uniform Rank Knights of Pythias. 1914 -- 100 years ago: B.W. Wilson, authority on birds and their habits, spoke at the weekly luncheon at the Rock Island Club. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The famous Dionne quintuplets have been invited to visit King George and Queen Elizabeth in Toronto on May 22, but Papa Dionne thinks their majesties should include the Callander nursery in their tour. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Ever been smothered by funny stuff? Well more than 2,600 people were last night when two boys named Tom and Dick Smothers took a "rocky, twisting road to folk music" in Davenport Masonic Temple. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Moline residents soon may be asked to recycle part of their garbage and might even get paid for it.