Tuesday, October 7, 2014


As reported by THE CAPITAL FAX (which covers Illinois politics) the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a new "anti-Schilling" ad which plays on the same anti-employee/pro-export jobs theme as earlier ads. (The VIDEO of Schilling turning his back on the man asking the question about whether or not he supports legislation to discourage the export of jobs is a gift that keeps on giving as they say.)



The Schilling media people made a rookie mistake in their "Shame" ad (well, several mistakes, beginning with lying which was most likely not a mistake at all but the whole point). Seems as though there is a sticky little issue of federal campaign rules that say the candidate's photo must be included in the ad along with the "I approved this message" line. They didn't. The rub is that once you break a rule like that your campaign is no longer eligible for reduced advertising rates which makes your media buys more expensive. Compounding the problem is the disparity in fund raising - Bustos enters the home stretch with far more money in the bank than Schilling and has outraised him consistently throughout the campaign.

The Schilling people have taken that ad off the air already - most likely, in IMHO, because it was judged to be SHAMEFULLY MISSLEADING by FactCheck.org.

Friday, September 19, 2014


FactCheck.org found a recent Bobby Schilling ad "shamefully misleading". The ad features a series of veterans claiming that Congresswoman Cheri Bustos voted to "cut their benefits". The vote they refer to was the bipartisan budget deal worked out between Rep Paul Ryan (R) and Sen Patty Murray (D). The deal avoided any cuts to Social Security and Medicare and restored some of the sequester cuts to the military. The original bill did reduce some future cost of living pension increases for a small percentage (less than 4%) of military retirees.

The two other salient points here are that;

  1. The changes to future pensions never happened - they were restored in a separate bill that Cheri Bustos voted for
  2. The original proposal, to reduce future cost of living adjustments, was a Republican idea

I find this attack particularly disgraceful on Schilling's part because when he was in congress, he always voted for Paul Ryan budgets, including ones that tried to turn Medicare into a voucher program.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Bobby Schilling Living "Pay Check to Pay Check" - on a Six Figure Salary

I never thought I would feel sorry for poor Bobby Schilling, but now I learn he is living "pay check to pay check". There is only one problem, he makes over $100,000/year and has over $900,000 in assets.

How out of touch can one person be? From the Capital Fax story:
He works for CMB Regional Centers of Rock Island. The company pools money from foreign investors who want permanent residency and investment opportunities in the United States. It utilizes the federal EB-5 visa program, which extends visas to foreign investors willing to put at least $500,000 into projects that create or preserve at least 10 jobs in the U.S.

His actual quote from the interview is:
“These increases, these are on our working poor, our middle class, hardworking taxpayers here across the United States of America. And now these folks are going to have to decide am I going to pay this premium or am I going to go buy some milk and groceries for the house. It’s really getting tough for everyone. Everyone that I talk to, I don’t hear them saying ‘hey, I’m doing great’. And the folks that are living paycheck-to-paycheck, which is most Americans, including myself, is that, you know, this is not something that you want to be putting out when you’ve got a kid that wants to play sports or you want to take a trip for vacation. Instead, you’ve got to funnel your money over to Obamacare, which is something you might never have to use.”

I guess he is saying that people want to prioritize sports and vacations ahead of health insurance. He seems to forget that many of the lower income people he is talking about are getting insurance either at a deeply reduced cost through a subsidy, or are getting it for free through Medicaid.

His interview is below. The "pay check to pay check" remark is at about the six minute mark.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Senate Republicans Block Bill to Strip Tax Incentives to Move Jobs Overseas

As odd as it might sound, companies get tax breaks to move jobs from the US to other countries. And today (July 30, 2014) Senate Republicans BLOCKED A BILL (by filibustering it) that would have removed those incentives. This reminded me of a stunt Bobby Schilling pulled the last election cycle when he fled a town hall Q&A when asked if he would support a similar measure. This is one of those gutless maneuvers you have to see to believe. He could have said that he doesn't support that particular bill for whatever reason and gone on to make his case - but he didn't. He turned and ran from his own constituents.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Halbig Decision - be Careful What You Wish For

Just an observation for my Republican friends, be careful what you wish for.

By now everyone has heard about the Halbig decision by the DC Circuit (or three judges from the DC Circuit)that could cripple the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)IF it is appealed to the Supreme Court AND they agree. (It will most likely be appealed to the entire DC Circuit Court first in which case it will most likely be reversed. This is not to say that it won't eventually make it to the Supreme Court because I believe that it will.)

The ruling in Halbig would deny the government from subsidizing insurance for anyone who bought coverage on the federal exchange (Healthcare.gov). This would create a domino effect that could kill the ACA. While Republicans have been hoping and praying for this, they might want to reconsider.

A recent study by the New England Journal of Medicine found that ~10.3 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage through the ACA. A year from now, (when the SCOTUS might be making its ruling) that number might be closer to 15 million and the uninsured rate could be closer to 10%.

If Halbig stands, many of those people will lose their subsidy and won't be able to keep their insurance. Why anyone would think these 10,300,000 people are going to be happy about this is beyond me. At that point, Republicans would be expected to present their alternative and that alternative doesn't exist. In short, they would be calling their own bluff.

Our friend Bobby Schilling has always been 100% behind repealing Obamacare with an alternative to be named later. The problem is (and anyone who knows the history of the ACA knows this) that Obamacare IS the Republican alternative. The original was floated by the American Enterprise Institute as an alternative to "Hillary Care". Think about it - Obamacare relies on private insurance companies and a competitive marketplace.

While Republicans won't have an alternative to the ACA, Democrats will - it's called the Public Option. Think "Medicare for all" or even a system like Canada's. In other words, Republicans (like our friend Bobby) might find themselves wishing for the good old days of Obamacare.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

77% of This Group are Happy With Their Obamacare Insurance - REPUBLICANS

So can we stop all of this repeal nonsense already Bobby?

Probably not. A new survey by Commonwealth Fund found that satisfaction with Obamacare health coverage is high across the boards - even among Republicans. Satisfaction is also high for people whose policies were cancelled because they didn't conform to the new (higher) standards. Who would have thought that people wanted health insurance? Not Bobby as the cornerstone of his campaign is repeal. In fact, that's the only idea he seems to have. How to help the uninsured? Repeal Obamacare. Grow the economy? Repeal Obamacare. Middle class jobs? Repeal Obamacare.

You can find more on this story in the New York Times

At some point the Republican strategist who coined the term "Obamacare" is kicking themselves - if they aren't already - because we suddenly have a successful government program that is doing what it is supposed to be doing and has Obama's name on it. A generation from now people will be referring to their health insurance as "Obamacare".

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Thompson Prison On Track

Good news for west-central Illinois - the transfer of the Thompson Prison to the US Bureau of Prisons is on track. Hats off to Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) for her continued hard work on this issue.

The Thompson Prison was built over a decade ago at a total cost of around $170 million and has only been partially used due to Illinois' well known budget problems. In 2012 the Bureau of Prisons moved to buy the facility for $165 million (they estimated that it would cost over $400 million to build a similar facility today).

Why this matters: This matters because the 1,100 jobs at the Thompson Prison are vital to this depressed area of Illinois. It has been estimated that when operating, the prison will pump over $100 million into the local economy including salaries and will generate over $60 million in secondary economic activity. An economic engine like the Thompson Prison would create jobs for grocery store clerks, convenience store employees, lumbers, electricians, heating and air conditioning people, teachers for the children of the guards, and on and on.