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Dold Discards Norquist Pledge in Debate With Schneider

Candidates for 10th District Congressional seat pledge bipartisanship and trade criticism.

Pledges of bipartisanship came from both Democratic challenger Brad Schneider of Deerfield and Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) during a debate Sunday in Lake Forest as Dold threw away a pledge made to Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform to never raise taxes. 

Both Dold and Schneider talked about the economy, government spending, balancing budgets, the Middle East, women’s health and other issues in front of more than 600 people in a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters, Patch and the Union League Club of Chicago.

When asked if they would support deficit reduction solutions which would both increase revenue and reduce spending, Dold and Schneider said they would.  For Dold this was a departure from a pledge he signed for Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform before being elected to Congress two years ago.

All but four Republican members of the House of Representatives have signed the pledge. The issue came up when the candidates were asked if they would support the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan calling for new revenue and reduced spending. "I would say yes," Dold said.

Dold then touted his support of the Cooper-LaTourette financial plan as an alternative to the House Republican Budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), his party’s vice presidential candidate. He was one of eight co-sponsors—four Democrats and four Republicans.

“,” Dold said. “All options have to be on the table.”

After the debate, Patch asked Dold if his support for the Cooper-LaTourette budget meant he had voted for more government revenue in contradiction of the Norquist pledge. “I did say that,” he said.

Schneider stressed his commitment to working across the aisle as well and criticized Dold for his support of the Ryan plan.

 “I’ll do it in a way we will be able to get more than 38 votes,” Schneider said of his intentions to work with Republicans. “The day after (Cooper La Tourette was defeated) he (Dold) voted for the Ryan budget that will replace Medicare with a voucher system.”

Dold has said the Ryan plan he supports makes no changes for people over 55 and still gives people the opportunity to keep traditional Medicare.

Dold did tell the gathering he does not believe any tax increases are a good idea with the economy still in a fragile state while Schneider wants people earning in excess of $250,000 per year to pay the tax rate in effect before the Bush era cuts were passed in 2011.

“We need comprehensive tax reform,” Schneider said. “We should bring back the tax rates (for those earning over $250,000 per year) we had in 1999, the last time we had a balanced budget when spending as a percent of GDP (gross domestic product) and revenue met at 19 percent.”

Dan Jenks October 19, 2012 at 10:09 PM
It’s a rainy day, I’m paying bills and listening to the Lake Forest Debate b/t Dold and Schneider on Youtube. On perhaps the most important issue of our time – budget deficit and national debt – Schneider says that he wouldn’t have supported Cooper-La Tourette. [MEMO TO PATCH and Steve Sadin – you omitted this very important fact from your article – why?] In addition, in response to the question, would you support Simpson-Bowles? Dold said “yes.” Schneider says we will have to come together – to find bi-partisan revenue increases, spending decreases – but he isn’t prepared to commit to Simpson-Bowles, Rivlin-Domenci or any other plan. He indicates that “Congress will have to come up with a bi-partisan plan that everyone can understand the choices we made are the right choices for the future of this country” and “we can explain it in a way that will get more than 38 votes”. [MEMO To PATCH and Steve Sadin, you also omitted Mr. Schneider’s position on Simpson-Bowles as well – again, why?]
Dan Jenks October 19, 2012 at 10:14 PM
When Schneider says, “Congress needs to come up with a bi-partisan plan,” isn’t that Simpson-Bowles? Is there going to be a better bi-partisan agreement out there? Why can’t Schneider commit? Four possible reasons – none of them flattering to Mr. Schneider. First, perhaps Schneider is naïve about how Washington works. Second, perhaps Schneider hasn’t spent the time reading these proposals (should be job #1 for a congressional candidate). Third, perhaps Schneider is worried about alienating part of the Democratic base that is opposed to Simpson-Bowles. Fourth, perhaps Schneider just isn’t that committed to deficit reduction and solving our national debt problem. In any event, Mr. Schneider’s statement gives me much less confidence in his ability or willingness to find a solution to these issues. Will Mr. Schneider support a deficit reduction plan only if Nancy Pelosi or Jan Schakowsky does?
Bringin' Down Briarwood October 20, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Almost all reasonable reasons, Jenks. Not enough for me to switch my vote, but worth considering. If I can go off-topic for a second, as we've seen, the whole "strictly-partisan" thing rubs me the wrong way, and that includes the Dems and an example such as Schneider's potential. When does it end? Let's say Romney wins. I have no doubt the Dems will pull the same obstructionist garbage that the GOP did for the last four years, and all of it is disgusting. Anybody have any idea when it will end? The only solution I see is if a VERY strong independent wins the presidency. And all of us know the chances of that happening anytime soon.
Dan Jenks October 20, 2012 at 02:24 AM
BDB, you make an excellent point - I don't know when it ends. It makes me wonder about the whole notion of self-governance in the 21st century America. It also makes me consider that perhaps we would do better with a parliamentary system - the winner makes the rules for next 4 years - no obstructionism, complete accountability for the party in power. Under a parlimentary system with first past the post voting, you would either vote Democrat or Republican. I know that works against voting for the individual (like Dold) - but it might be an improvement.
Bringin' Down Briarwood October 20, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Changing the whole thing to a parliamentary system? Wow! Interesting idea, but I don't have any faith in the intellect of the electorate (or the politicians themselves) to consider such an outside-the-box idea. Can you imagine how established politicians and PACs would line up against such a thing? In the end, all of this is on us - the electorate. We say we don't like the way anything is run, but we don;t do anything about it. We do the same things over and over. We hold NO ONE accountable, we don't have the smarts to organize around any new ideas and we don't drill down far enough to watch where these problems really begin - money and parties.

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