Protesters want Bustos to live up to $34K commitment

Originally Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2014, 11:12 pm
Last Updated: Aug. 28, 2014, 11:15 pm
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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com

ROCK ISLAND — Republicans protested outside Rep. Cheri Bustos' Rock Island office on Thursday demanding that she donate 10 percent of her pay to charity to live up to a commitment she made to cut her salary.

In a 2012 interview with the Chicago Tribune Rep. Bustos, D-East Moline, said she would voluntarily take a 10 percent pay cut in her $174,000 salary as a congresswoman if she was elected.

She did not return 10 percent of her pay and her campaign manager Jeremy Jansen said she "misspoke" when she answered "yes" to the Tribune editors" question about her salary.

Republican Bobby Schilling's campaign publicized an audio recording of the interview and challenged Rep. Bustos to donate $34,800 to a veterans charity, an amount that equals 10 percent of her salary over the two years of her first term.

On Thursday, 10 Republicans protested outside Rep. Bustos' Rock Island office holding placards that read "pay up Cheri" and "keep your promise Cheri." Ron Camper of Port Byron was among the protesters.

"I'm here because I'm a veteran and Cheri Bustos is lying to the people of the 17th Congressional District about her pledge to give back 10 percent of her pay," he said.

The Bustos campaign did not answer questions asking if she would respond to Mr. Schilling's request that she give 10 percent of her pay to charity.

Mr. Jansen, Rep. Bustos' campaign manager, responded to the questions by releasing an emailed statement about Mr. Schilling.

The statement criticized Mr. Schilling's record on protecting U.S. jobs from outsourcing and his employment at CMB Regional Centers since leaving Congress.

At CMB, Mr. Schilling works on finding investments for wealthy foreigners looking to get U.S. visas through the federal EB-5 Program.

"When it comes to salaries and challenges, Bobby Schilling has a lot to answer for," Mr. Jansen said.

Mr. Schilling's spokesman Jon Schweppe said Rep. Bustos was "trying to find something to talk about apart from giving the $34,800 back."

Mr. Schilling, of Colona, lost his seat in Congress to Rep. Bustos in 2012 in one of the nation's most expensive congressional races.


Local events heading

  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.

(More History)