Reason #7 to Vote Out Hare

On October 19, 2010, in 20 Reasons To Vote Against Hare, by edwardpan

Reason #7: Phil Hare helped
corrupt lobbyists secure millions of
dollars in earmarks.

The Bobby Schilling for Congress campaign unveiled the seventh reason in their “20 Reasons to Vote Out Phil Hare” series. The series focuses on Phil Hare’s record and explains why he does not deserve re-election. The campaign will release one reason per day up until the election.

Reason #7 to Vote Phil Hare Out of Office: Phil Hare helped corrupt lobbyists secure millions of dollars in earmarks.

According to Politico on 9/24:

“Former lobbyist Paul Magliochetti pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to illegally funneling more than $386,000 in corporate campaign contributions to lawmakers over a nearly six year period, a stunning fall from grace for one of Washington’s top influence peddlers.

“Magliochetti, a one-time high flying lobbyist and founder of the now-defunct PMA Group, could face as much as 15 years in prison and up to $1.7 million in fines after copping to three federal charges, although Magliochetti’s lawyers and Justice Department prosecutors will urge a sentence of between five and six-and-a-half years in federal prison.”

Phil Hare was very involved with Paul Magliochetti and the PMA Group. According to Congressional Quarterly, Hare helped secure $6.8 million in earmarks for Magliochetti’s clients. Hare also accepted a $1,500 donation from the PMA Group.

Communications director Bobby Frederick called Phil Hare’s involvement with Paul Magliochetti and the PMA Group “disturbing.”

“The public has a right to know the level of involvement between Phil Hare and convicted felon Paul Magliochetti,” Frederick said. “Democrats promised the ‘most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history,’ yet Phil Hare took money from a disgraced lobbying firm whose founder is headed to jail. We urge Congressman Hare to donate the tainted $1,500 contribution to a charity in the 17th District. This is the same old pay-to-play politics and Washington excess that fails to serve people in Illinois.”

This is not the first time Phil Hare has received tainted contributions. He previously accepted donations from embattled Congressman Charlie Rangel. Rangel was charged with 13 counts of various ethics violations this summer. Hare later donated the contributions to charity after a request from the Schilling campaign.

Click here to see Reason #6 to Vote Hare Out.

Click here to see Reason #5 to Vote Hare Out.

Click here to see Reason #4 to Vote Hare Out.

Click here to see Reason #3 to Vote Hare Out.

Click here to see Reason #2 to Vote Hare Out.

Click here to see Reason #1 to Vote Hare Out.

Bobby’s Op-Ed on Earmarks

On October 17, 2010, in General, by edwardpan

Check out Bobby’s op-ed on earmarks in the Quad Cities Online, or read it below.

This week our campaign released a television ad titled “Hare Was Here.” It is a 30-second clip showing the economic devastation our area has faced since Phil Hare came to office. Since Hare first tasted power in Washington, he has added $5 trillion to our national debt and doubled unemployment. Illinois ranks a miserable 48th out of 50 in job creation, and Hare continues to peddle the lie that our economy is on the right track as long as we continue spending more of your hard-earned money.

Congress’ out-of-control spending is the problem, not the solution. We need earmark reform that improves transparency, roots out corruption and eliminates wasteful spending. My opponent never met an earmark he didn’t like.

Lawmakers have gone to federal prison for abusing the earmark process and it is about time we cleaned up Washington. It was reported that a disgraced Washington earmark lobbyist for the PMA Group named Paul Magliocchetti, who gave hundreds of dollars in campaign contributions to Hare, pled guilty in federal court last month. Magliocchetti could face up to 15 years for funneling $386,000 in corporate campaign contributions to lawmakers over the last six years. What’s worse is that Hare secured $6.8 million worth of earmarks for Magliocchetti’s clients when people here in Illinois were losing jobs.

The U.S. economy lost 95,000 jobs last month, Illinois’ unemployment is at 10.1 percent, and our national debt is growing beyond $13.6 trillion. Hare was too busy trying to secure earmarks and working to save his job to pass a budget or even fight to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the middle class. Hare lost the will to govern a long time ago, but he hasn’t lost his appetite for out-of-control spending.

When I challenged Hare on his comment that “we’ve got job growth, we’re headed in the right direction” to the Quincy Herald-Whig, Hare responded by bragging about bringing home new projects.

It doesn’t matter that the process is corrupt and broken and that we owe nearly $900 billion to the Chinese. By Hare’s logic we would be continuing down the right path if unemployment and our national debt doubled again so long as Hare is able to double spending on earmarks and keep his own job. Sending American jobs and debt to China is the wrong answer.

There is a reason Hare said this summer that he wants to debunk the myth that this country is in debt – it’s because he is addicted to spending.

There is a reason Hare refuses to sign a pledge not to raise your taxes — it’s because he is reliant on raising taxes on middle class families to feed his insatiable spending appetite.

There is a reason Hare received some of the lowest scores in Congress from groups like Citizens Against Government Waste, the Club for Growth, the National Taxpayers Union and Americans for Tax Reform.

Hare proudly says, “if it’s pork, give me a fork!” That’s not responsible government. It’s the mentality of a career politician who has been corrupted by Washington and has become detached from ordinary Americans. We need to address our economic crisis with lower taxes, less spending, limited government, and more transparency.

That is why I oppose the “move-margins-at-midnight-mentality” in Washington, where there’s a mad dash to write each congressman’s pet project into a big appropriations bill. Earmark reform that forces lawmakers to be more transparent is critical to weeding out corruption and waste. Programs should only pass if they have merit and can stand on their own. If an earmark is a good project, it will pass. If it’s for swamp mice in California, it won’t.

Hare wants to return to Washington with a fork to get more pork. I’ll go to Washington with a shovel to start digging families out of debt and focus on jobs and growing this economy. I will always fight for Illinois, the taxpayer and our local communities, but I will also advocate for new reforms to the spending process in Washington so that it works for ordinary people again.

I am running for Congress for Illinois families who don’t have a lobbyist in the Capitol or a loophole in the law. Lets get back to work and take our country back.

Bobby Schilling of Colona is the GOP candidate for Congress in the 17th Congressional District.

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“Everyday that I am here is going to be spent on trying to debunk the myth that this country’s in debt and that we just can’t spend. Well you can spend.”

– Rep. Phil Hare, Congressional News Conference, July 27, 2010

Our nation’s deficit is unsustainable. The deficit in the past two years alone totals nearly $3 trillion, or over one out of every ten dollars earned in this country. We are on pace to run another trillion dollar deficit next year as well, and possibly the year after that.  The Congressional Budget office estimates that we will add over $7 trillion to our debt in the next decade, which would push the total debt to over 100% of GDP.

Reaching such a sum would be nothing short of disastrous for our economy.  One easily predictable outcome of such a situation would be that our government debt would become less desirable across the world; indeed, the bond rating agencies have already announced that should our debt exceed 95% of our GDP they would downgrade the status of our bonds.  In such an event we would have to pay significantly more to borrow money—both the government and anyone else in this country. Once that occurs the hopes of getting our house in fiscal order become smaller and smaller, and an extended period of economic stagnation would be the likely consequence.

How did we reach such a point? It’s simple: spending has gone through the roof. On average, tax revenue has been roughly 18% of GDP and spending about 19.5% over the past thirty years resulting in an average deficit of about 1.5%. In the last two years tax revenues have fallen some, as incomes fall and people lose their jobs, but spending has skyrocketed to nearly 25% of GDP.

With the massive new commitments of government spending by the President and Congress, CBO forecasts that spending will remain near 25% for the rest of the decade. While some may pretend that the health care bill will “pay for itself,” CBO projects that it will actually add over $300 billion per annum to the deficit by the end of the decade.

The apparent answer from the Democrats for bridging this gap is to increase tax rates. They’ve committed to increase the top rates on employees and small businesses while also increasing taxes on savings and investment as well as on large companies that do business abroad, such as John Deere and Caterpillar. 

I believe raising taxes at this juncture makes no sense. Economic history teaches us that the key to creating tax revenue is strong, sustained economic growth.  From 2004-2007 tax revenue increased nearly 50% without a single tax increase and a similar surge occurred in the late 1990s as well.  What was the catalyst? A strong and growing economy.  

But economic growth alone is not going to  get a balanced budget: spending must be reduced, and the place to begin is by  tackling the corrupt earmark system currently in place. Members of both parties have exploited this system, where bills never read by a single member contain hundreds of lines that direct money to the pet projects of various Congressmen or their cronies back home. We need a system of complete transparency to allow everyone to fully see what Congress is approving before they vote. A number of states have done just this, and our federal government should do the same.  

We also need to reform entitlement spending, which now comprises over half the Federal budget.  It is estimated that waste and fraud costs Medicare $70 billion a year, thanks to a laughably outdated fraud detection system. A recent proposal by Rep. Roskam to modernize it so that it functions like the Ficos system that protects our credit cards could eliminate as much as 90% of that, according to some Medicare economists. Rep. Hare voted for a half trillion dollars in Medicare cuts to occur after 2015: I would rather tackle fraud and risk angering a few Medicare vendors before voting for a massive cut in benefits.

Trillion dollar deficits cannot continue without putting our economic well-being at risk. Plugging the gap with massive tax increases is an option that cures the disease while killing the patient. It is time Congress faced up to its responsibility and took a few difficult votes to get our fiscal house in order.

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