Kinzinger Caught Distorting Manzullo's Record

From the Campaign to re-elect Rep. Don Manzullo (R., 16th District)…

Columnist calls on Kinzinger to “renounce his campaign of distortion”

[ROCKFORD] – The award-winning political editor of the Rockford Register Star has called on Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) to “renounce his campaign of distortion” against Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL).

In a Sunday column entitled “Kinzinger should use truth to win GOP nod,” Senior Editor Chuck Sweeny slams Kinzinger for taking Sweeny’s words “wildly out of context” to distort Manzullo’s voting record.

“Kinzinger took six of my words and gave them a totally new meaning. I’m not a happy camper,” Sweeny wrote in his Sunday column. “Kinzinger must have listened to advice that said to defeat Don Manzullo, he had to twist Manzullo’s record so completely that Republican primary voters would run away from him in a panic.”

Sweeny’s column (click here to read the full column) surrounds a fundraising letter Kinzinger sent earlier this month to residents in the southern part of the new 16th Congressional District. In the letter, Kinzinger wrote, “A Rockford Register Star columnist recently said Congressman Manzullo’s voting record bears resemblance to ‘that of Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank.’ ” What Sweeny actually wrote in his Jan. 22 column was, “Kinzinger is characterizing Manzullo’s record as something resembling that of Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank.”

Sweeny also wrote of a “newspaper-type mailer Kinzinger’s campaign sent to my house” that charges Manzullo “joined liberal Democrats in (a) movement to impeach President Bush.” Sweeny had written a column in 2008 that explained Manzullo’s vote on the bill was to send it to committee where it would die. “If it did not go to committee, it would stay on the floor and then (the House) would have started impeaching the President,” Manzullo said in the 2008 column.

Sweeny said Manzullo’s constituents know he’s a conservative and Kinzinger’s attempt to portray Manzullo as a “big spending Washington insider” is inaccurate.

“In the remaining weeks of this campaign, Kinzinger should renounce his campaign of distortion,” Sweeny added. “Kinzinger needs to tell voters why they should vote for him, not conjure up a funhouse mirror version of Manzullo’s record.”

Kinzinger doesn’t want to talk about real records because Republican voters won’t like what they hear. Last year, Kinzinger voted 79 more times to spend $209 billion more than Manzullo. In addition, Kinzinger voted against the only budget alternative that would have balanced the budget and started paying down the debt within 10 years. Manzullo supported the bill. National conservative organizations show a wide disparity between Manzullo and Kinzinger in conservative vote ratings (Heritage Action rates Manzullo 84 percent and Kinzinger 63 percent, Americans for Prosperity rates Manzullo an A+ and Kinzinger a B) and Manzullo is racking up numerous national and statewide conservative endorsements, including:

  • Illinois Tea Party
  • RedState Editor and CNN political commentator Erick Erickson
  • The Madison Project
  • Family-PAC federal
  • Eagle Forum of Illinois
  • Illinois Federation for Right to Life PAC
  • Illinois Citizens for Life federal PAC
  • Illinois Conservatives (4,000 conservatives across Illinois under 35 years old)

Conservative groups are lining up behind Manzullo because they know he is the only candidate in the race who is serious about cutting wasteful Washington spending, balancing the budget, and paying down the national debt.

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