Back to the future in the IL 10th CD: Can Schneider win by labeling Dold a Tea Party loyalist?

Jeff Berkowitz: You and Dan Seals… agree that the 700 billion dollar financial sector bailout was a good idea and that both of you would have supported it…right?

Robert Dold: That is true ... I would have absolutely voted for it but I don’t agree with how it is being handled now in terms of a slush fund…    [Watch Dold here from 13:05 to 15:25 (by moving the cursor to 13:05)].

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33 years of Republican Rule in IL 10th CD

The Republicans have held the 10th Congressional seat (Chicago’s affluent North Shore and surrounding areas north and west of there) for the last thirty-three years.  Cong. John Porter picked up the seat in 1979 after then 10th CD Democratic Congressman (and subsequent DC Court of Appeals Chief Judge and Clinton White House Counsel) Ab Mikva was appointed to the federal appellate bench by President Carter.

The Porter-Kirk-Dold tradition in 10th CD

Porter created an open seat in 1999 when he decided to take up the practice of law in Washington, DC.  Now Senator Mark Steven Kirk kept the seat in Republican hands with a two point, 5500 vote margin of victory, over then eight-year State Rep. (and now Tenth Dems founder and leader) Lauren Beth Gash. When Kirk ran (successfully) for the U. S. Senate seat in 2010, Republican Robert Dold beat back stiff competition from three time Democratic loser Dan Seals to keep the seat in the Republican column.

Social Moderates/Fiscal Conservatives; Republicans coopting Democratic constituencies

Porter, Kirk and Dold have all been social moderates and fiscal conservatives, following and running on the slogan of “independence, integrity and experience.”  Those themes have worked well in the 10th, CD, which then Cong. Mark Kirk often noted housed the best educated zip code in the country [60091, Wilmette].

Cong. Mark Kirk (R-Ft. Highland Park) weathered the Democratic Tsunamis of 2006 and 2008 because, even more then Porter, he had made traditional Democratic constituencies his: Pro Choice on abortion, Pro gun control, Pro-environment, Pro gay rights and Pro-Israel. Indeed, Kirk in the last election or two, added pro public school teacher to his list of “Democratic tendencies.” Dold is following in Kirk’s shoes-- Note in addition to targeting the same traditional Democratic constituencies as Kirk, Dold is touting the endorsement of the National Education Association and the Illinois Education Association, AKA teacher unions.

Redistricting in 10th CD

Although East Wilmette, Kenilworth and Winnetka and some of the other heavily 10th CD Republican areas, e.g., Wheeling township, were redistricted by the Dems in 2011 into surrounding congressional districts, the same historical Porter-Kirk-Dold poaching of Democrats and Independents could allow Congressman Dold, once again, to keep the 10th CD in Republican hands.  Conservative and even some moderate Republicans may think Kirk and Dold have gone too far in their moves to the Left, but they generally tolerate it and don’t stay home, come general election day.

Dold- A tea party Loyalist?

Now, along comes 10th CD Democratic nominee Brad Schneider and he tries to paint Dold as a “Tea Party loyalist.” Although Dold generally votes for less spending and less taxes and as do all congresspeople, he votes a very high percentage of the time with his Party,  Dold clearly  is a moderate through and through. See, below, including Dold’s discussion in 2010 of his support of the financial sector bailout (not a favorite position of the Tea Party) and his thoughtful, moderate comments on Afghanistan and avoiding a tax on big banks-- which Dold views as translating into a tax on Main Street America. For an argument  that Schneider is lying in his ads that label Dold as a "Tea Party Loyalist,", please go here   

Dold may have had to take some more conservative votes than he would have liked for his Party, but calling Dold a “Tea Party Loyalist,” is a stretch that will only serve to cause independents and some Democrats in the 10th CD to question Schneider’s credibility and whether he fits the 10th CD focus on honesty and smarts.  If I were Schneider and I wanted to win, I’d find another issue  and  consider withdrawing this ad —really quickly.

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Jeff Berkowitz: …You supported 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan, would you have supported more…because the generals-- General McChrystal wanted 40,000 more troops

Robert Dold: …I would have supported going to 40,000.  I also agree with Dan Seals that I think the government over there is corrupt but I certainly would have given the additional troops needed—I think that is what General McChrystal asked for and if we are going to provide the necessary backup and support for the men and women in harm’s way right now we have to give them what the General on the ground is asking for in order to do the job that we have asked them to do.

Jeff Berkowitz: Well, can the United States accomplish its objectives in Afghanistan if the government there is corrupt?

Robert Dold: Well, I think we have to start marching down that path--as opposed to leaving it wholeheartedly. I think we have to have benchmarks for success as opposed to timelines for withdrawal.   I think that is important but I think we need to be working with that government to try to make sure that we are making strides toward our objectives.

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“Public Affairs with Jeff Berkowitz,” featuring Robert Dold, the 2010 Republican nominee for the 10th CD congressional seat, recorded on February 7, 2010 [Watch Dold here, from 11:35 to 12:35 into the show]

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Jeff Berkowitz: You and Dan Seals… agree that the 700 billion dollar financial sector bailout was a good idea and that both of you would have supported it…right?

Robert Dold: That is true and there is a little bit of a nuance there and I think there is no question that when we are talking about any sort of a bailout that we need to have a threshold that is extraordinarily high. I think that is critical because what you are doing is you are encouraging excess risk taking and that is not what we want. But, I would have supported it because we were on the brink of financial Armageddon and I think that was largely shored up by about March. I would have absolutely voted for it but I don’t agree with how it is being handled now in terms of a slush fund…

Jeff Berkowitz: What kind of a slush fund?

Robert Dold: Meaning that [the Feds]  have these funds that have been paid back [by the banks] and they are going to look to use them in any way they see fit…

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Robert Dold: …I think [the bailout] has reached its objective and the remainder should be paid back to lower the debt.

Jeff Berkowitz: But now, the President says he wants a tax on banks… across the board…is it a ploy or is it justified to put a tax on banks?

Robert Dold: I think it is a bad policy to put the tax on banks because what is going to end up happening is that you are going to tax the big banks which are then going to pass that along and down to the community banks which are then going to pass that along to the mortgage holders and the small businesses which are looking to try to get a loan. This is not going to be a tax on big banks.  This is going to be a tax on Main Street America that is looking to pay a mortgage or get a loan.  

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“Public Affairs with Jeff Berkowitz,” featuring Robert Dold, the 2010 Republican nominee for the 10th CD congressional seat, recorded on February 7, 2010 [Watch Dold here from 13:05 to 15:25].  

 

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