Congressman Manzullo, Denying Your Record Doesn't Make it Disappear from the Voter's Minds

From the campaign to re-elect Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R, Illinois 16th District)…

WATSEKA, IL – In the first public debate of the Republican Primary for the 16th Congressional District, Congressman Don Manzullo launched another series of misleading statements that enable him to hide from decades of earmarks and federal spending – issues that were asked in tonight’s debate.

Today, an independent poll showed Congressman Adam Kinzinger ahead of Don Manzullo by 13 percent. As Congressman Kinzinger’s support and grassroots operation continues to grow, Don Manzullo released a negative ad distorting Congressman Kinzinger’s records in hopes that voters will forget Manzullo’s decades of reckless spending.

It’s imperative that as this campaign continues, facts drive the debate, rather than distortion. Below are the myths of Manzullo’s claims tonight and facts behind the Kinzinger campaign’s statements:

PELOSI’S PROJECT

MYTH: Adam Kinzinger voted for Nancy Pelosi’s $15 million earmark.

FACT: Don Manzullo voted to create and fund this project nine times totaling $186 million dollars, including in 2011 the same year he is criticizing Adam Kinzinger.

This is a prime example of Don Manzullo trying to change his record now that he is facing a primary challenge. Don Manzullo is talking about funding to the Presidio Trust – an effort to turn a former military base into a national park.

Don Manzullo is criticizing Adam Kinzinger for a project that Don Manzullo voted to create in 1996 and voted to fund nine different times for a total cost of $186 million dollars, including $15 billion of funding in 2011.*

* Source: Roll No. 507,10/3/00; Roll No. 393, 10/17/01; Roll No. 32, 2/13/03; Roll No. 595, 10/30/03; Roll No. 542, 11/20/04; Roll No. 450, 7/28/05; Roll No. 486, 9/26/06; Roll No. 1186, 12/19/07; Roll No. 268, 4/14/11.

EARMARKS

MYTH: Don Manzullo banned earmarks before the Freshman Class was elected.

FACT: The Freshman Class banned earmarks in November 2010.

The House did not ban earmarks in January 2010. In fact, Congressman Manzullo championed nearly $8 million dollars in earmark spending in Fiscal Year 2010; so clearly, a ban on earmarks was not implemented (Source: Rockford Register Star – Oct. 2010 and Legistorm).

Following the election of 87 new Republican House freshmen, House Republicans were successful in completely banning earmarks in November 2010 (Source: Reuters).

MYTH: Don Manzullo rarely earmarked compared to other IL Republicans.

FACT: Don Manzullo was, at times, one of the highest earmarkers among Illinois Republicans.

Congressman Manzullo was one of the largest earmarkers among his Illinois Republican colleagues in Fiscal Year 2008 and has more than $80 million earmarks just from FY2008 FY2010 (Source: Legistorm).

Some House Republicans were calling for a total earmark ban in January 2010, however Congressman Manzullo preferred doing business as usual and had nearly $8 million in earmarks for FY 2010 (Source: Rockford Register Star – Oct. 2010 and Legistorm).

After nearly 20 years of requesting earmarks and doing business as usual in Washington, why did Congressman Manzullo suddenly flip-flop on his position on earmarking? When Adam Kinzinger and his freshman class led, Don Manzullo clearly followed…when forced.

FEDERAL SPENDING

MYTH: Since 2007, Don Manzullo has taken 700 votes to cut $2.3 trillion in spending.

FACT: Don Manzullo’s number starts in 2007 when Pelosi was Speaker of the House and when Republicans voted mostly against Pelosi’s budgets. From 2001 – 2007, when the GOP controlled Congress, Don Manzullo voted to increase spending by 60% in just 46 votes – a record Don Manzullo fails to ever mention.

Don Manzullo voted for an increase in discretionary spending from $649 billion to $1,042 trillion – an increase of 60.49%.

Source: FY07: Roll No. 72, 305. FY06: Roll No. 238, 287, 211, 335, 180, 199, 321, 303, 226, 628, 358; FY05: Roll No. 452, 284, 275, 417; FY04: 676, 335, 395, 310, 389, 345, 325; FY03: 270, 277, 32; FY02: Roll No. 221, 248, 458, 206, 266, 185, 381, 298, 344, 194, 274, 297; FY01: Roll No. 536, 385, 241, 400, 291, 184, 210.

MYTH: Don Manzullo voted 79 more times in 2011 to cut $209 billion more than Adam Kinzinger.

FACT: Don Manzullo is highlighting “show” votes to say spending was cut but in reality, ZERO of these cuts actually passed.

Don Manzullo is highlighting amendment votes to H.R. 1 – a bill that already saw large spending reductions compared to past Congresses. These amendment votes did not go through the committee hearing process and ultimately, were just “show” votes to superficially say members voted to cut spending but in reality, ZERO of those cuts actually passed to become law.

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