When I think of overly gerrymandered districts, a few come to mind. One is right next door, and currently is the domain of South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn. Another is nearby in the state where I spend my undergraduate years, as the 7th District of Alabama features almost a phallic protrusion ensuring that Birmingham and surrounding towns join Selma and rural areas in the western part of the state. I think of California’s 38th District, which weaves around southern California and includes East L.A., Montebello, Norwalk, Pomona, and the heavy Hispanic crowds who come with it.
Particularly goofy in its boundaries, though, is Illinois’ 17th congressional district, home to perhaps the most goofy, out-of-touch Democratic Party incumbent since, well, any of them.
In case you aren’t already acquainted, meet Phil Hare.
This is Phil, back when the debate over health care reform was at center stage and in the forefront of the political discussion daily. Yes, that’s a sitting United States Congressman declaring that “I don’t worry about that Constitution on this, to be honest” and that the Constitution–yes, the Constitution–states that “we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
And this is Phil, just a few short weeks ago, explaining that we need to “debunk the myth that this country is in debt and we just can’t spend.”
If Phil Hare does not embody everything that we need to rid Washington, D.C. of next week, I don’t know who does.
While on Capitol Hill, Hare voted against a measure that would suspend the purchase of the giant signs promoting the president’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passing up the opportunity to save approximately ten million dollars in taxpayer funds. Similarly, by being a rubber stamp in favor of President Obama’s health care reform bill, Hare passed up the opportunity to save the roughly $10 billion to be spent over the next decade on the hiring, training and maintenance of thousands of new IRS officials needed to deal with the harsh realities of ObamaCare. Furthermore, he nixed the idea of saving taxpayers nearly two billion dollars by eliminating, for one year, the pay raise for civilian federal employees and congressional officials. In other words, he has no problem spending taxpayer money. After all, to him, the mountain of debt facing the nation is merely a myth waiting to be debunked.
Send him back to Washington and he will just continue to rubber-stamp the agenda put forth by the White House and congressional leaders. He already voted for the so-called “stimulus” bill, for health care reform and for cap-and-trade, and it’s obvious that the constraints intentionally set forth in the very document he has sworn to uphold mean little to nothing to him. As the endlessly hard-working Warner Todd Huston points out at Publius Forum, Hare has been at the center of every failure of this administration.
Since Phil Hare took office in 2007, the national debt has increased by nearly $5 trillion. As of October 12, the national debt stood at $13.61 trillion. This means that every child born in America today already owes $44,000 to help pay off the debt.
According to the Joint Economic Committee, since Barack Obama was sworn-in as president, $55,687 has been added to the national debt every single second. That’s $3,341,220 every minute, $200,473,223 every hour, and $4,811,357,343 every day. Meanwhile, the 2009 Annual Median Household Income was only $49,777.
Communications Director [for the Bobby Schilling campaign] Bobby Frederick said the national debt is an issue that Congressman Hare, President Obama, and the Democrat majorities in Congress refuse to take seriously.
“In just four years, Phil Hare and the rest of the Democrat-controlled Congress have gone on a spending binge that has increased the national debt by $5 trillion,” Frederick said. “Our country is accumulating an additional $55,687 in debt every second, which is more than the annual median household income in the US. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Phil Hare believes that the national debt is a myth that needs to be debunked. What’s worse is that we owe nearly $900 billion to China, the same country that Phil Hare rewarded with US tax dollars to outsource Illinois jobs. This reckless pattern cannot continue.”
Anyone in the scatter-shot mess that is Illinois’ 17th congressional district is fortunate to have a common sense alternative in Bobby Schilling. He’s a dad. He’s a small business owner. And, according to Real Clear Politics, he has done enough to bring IL-17 into the “leans GOP” column and, at last count, is leading Phil Hare by seven points.
When Phil Hare claimed earlier this month that his Democrats “do not deserve the blame” for the floundering economy, and that the policies he espoused had nothing to do with Illinois ranking 48th out of 50 states in job creation according to the American Legislative Exchange Council, Schilling was quick to pounce on it and demand even a shred of reality from the incumbent Democrat.
When reports emerged last week that the Department of Justice was launching an investigation into the mishandling of military absentee ballots by the State of Illinois, allowing prison inmates to vote but denying servicemembers the same right, Schilling came out and strenuously denounced the “slap in the face to our brave men and women who risk their lives to fight for our freedom.”
Bobby Schilling is like one of us. Check out his Web site. Make a donation. Call his headquarters and ask for a list of phone numbers to call. District by district, we can weed out the Phil Hares and replace them with talented, principled, ordinary people — why not start in Illinois-17?