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,

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 Thursday, Oct. 2, the 275th day of 2014. There are 90 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The ladies have adopted the fashion of wearing representations of insects in the flowers on their bonnets. Some look very natural.
1889 -- 125 years ago: T.F. Cary, former Rock Island alderman, has accepted a position as salesman for a Chicago wallpaper house and plans to move to that city.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Work on the new telephone building on 18th Street between 6th and 7th avenues is progressing rapidly.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's new theater at 3rd Avenue and 19th Street will have a name significant of its location. The "Rocket" is scheduled to open Thanksgiving Day.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Two of Rock Island's newest water towers were vandalized last night, including the one at 38th Street and 31st Avenue, where police took five Moline boys into custody about 9 p.m..
1989 -- 25 years ago: Some of us who live in the Quad-Cities take the Mississippi River for granted, or at least we used to. But the river is not taken for granted by our visitors. And most Quad-Citians are realizing the importance of the river to this area as increased emphasis is placed on tourism.

(More History)