10th District debate centered on party platform
October 13, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- A big part of Saturday's 10th Congressional District debate between Congressman Robert Dold and his Democratic challenger Brad Schneider centered around how closely aligned each candidate is to their party's platform.
The 10th District includes many north and northwest suburbs.
The candidates differ on whether to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
"I don't believe that raising taxes in this fragile economy right now is the appropriate response in terms of trying to make sure we're getting more people back to work and off the unemployment lines," Dold said.
"My opponent voted for a bill that would give $250,000 tax breaks for people making more than $1 million, but put more burden on middle-class families," said Schneider. "That we can't do."
The re-drawn 10th Congressional District now includes less of the North Shore and more working class neighborhoods in the north and northwest suburbs. In fact, it is called the most Democratic district in the country currently represented by a Republican.
During the debate, Dold was careful not to be too critical of Democrats stressing that he often breaks with his Republican party.
"Whether it be gun control, a woman's right to choose," said Dold. "Violence against women, the environment, transportation and infrastructure."
But Schneider noted Dold's support for the so-called Ryan Budget that would cut many programs that benefit the middle class:
"When we talk about Medicare, not once but twice Mr. Dold voted for a Ryan plan that would take the Medicare guarantee and replace it with a voucher system," Schneider said.
Television ads produced by and for Schneider have attempted to link Dold to the Republican's far right Tea Party wing.
"If you look vote after vote on the environment, on the votes against women, on the votes against middle class families, Mr. Dold, when the Tea Party has needed his vote, he has given it to them," Schneider said.
But Dold stood by his record which he says is among the most bi-partisan in congress. Then he questioned democrat Schneider's independence.
"When I asked my opponent just today, where he would break with his party, it was interesting because he couldn't come up with a single thing," Dold said.
Both Dold and Schneider claim to be moderates in the political middle. How well they convince independent voters of that, could decide what's expected to be a very close 10th District congressional race.
Debates with both the 10th and 11th District candidates will air Sunday morning beginning at 10:30 a.m. on ABC7 Chicago. Both will also be available on demand viewing at ABC7Chicago.com after the debates air.
politics, charles thomas
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