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Schedule:
10.31.2012 =: US Senate Overview
11.01.2012 1: US House Overview 1 (Northeast, New England, Midwest)
11.01.2012 2: US House Overview 2 (West, Southwest, Texas, South, Florida)
11.02.2012 1: IN-Sen (Donnelly v. Mourdock)
11.02.2012 2: WI-01 (Zerban v. Ryan)
11.02.2012 3: WI-Sen (Baldwin v. Thompson)

11.03.2012 1: MO-Gov (Nixon v. Spence), MO-Lt. Gov, Mo-SoS, MO-AG, MO-Treasurer
11.03.2012 2: MO-Sen (McCaskill v. Akin)
11.04.2012 1: IL-10 (Schneider v. Dold)
11.04.2012 2: IL-08 (Duckworth v. Walsh)
11.04.2012 3: IL-11 (Foster v. Biggert)
11.05.2012 1: IL-17 (Bustos v. Schilling)
11.05.2012 2: IL-13 (Gill v. Davis v. Hartman)
11.05.2012 3: IL-12 (My home district, Enyart v. Plummer)
11.06.2012 1 : POTUS/VPOTUS (Obama/Biden v. Romney/Ryan v. Stein/Honkala v. Johnson v. Gray), GOTV/Election Day diary

1 = Morning
2 = Afternoon/Early Evening
3 = Evening/Overnight

My 2nd-last diary series on the 2012 election previews. And this edition is about my home Congressional district, the 12th District, which is home to the retiring ConservaDem Congressman Jerry Costello (D). The contestants to replace Costello are registered nurse Paula Bradshaw (G), 2010 Lt. Gov. candidate with whacko Bill Brady Jason "Spoiled Rich Fatcat Who Refuses To Release His Tax Returns, aka Romney of Southwest Illinois" Plummer (R), and former Illinois National Guard leader and Major General Bill Enyart (D), who replaced primary winner Brad Harriman after he dropped out.

The Issues:

Bill Enyart:
Abortion:
There is no known position on this issue for Enyart, but we hope that he's an improvement on this issue over anti-choicer Costello.

PPACA:

MASCOUTAH (AP) — The Democratic candidate for a southern Illinois congressional seat says he'd vote against repealing President Barack Obama's health care law.

Bill Enyart's comments Monday in the health-care debate came four days after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law's mandate that individuals buy health insurance or face a penalty.

Enyart told reporters the bill isn't perfect. But he says he supports such provisions as allowing anyone up to age 26 to remain on their parents' insurance and ending the lifetime cap on health insurance policies.

Guns:
Enyart is a pro-Second Amendment Democrat.
Medicare/Social Security:
Enyart opposes plans to privatize Medicare and Social Security, and he supports the health care reform law known as the Affordable Care Act.
Marriage Equality/LGBTQ Rights:
supported President Barack Obama’s repeal of the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for gays in the military. But he was reluctant to discuss either abortion or gay marriage. Enyart calls the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, “Another one of those social issues that divides up the country.”
Enyart does support the repeal of DADT, unlike his predecessor Costello. We'll find out more on what he stands for on this issue if he wins. He is opposed to same-sex marriage, much like his predecessor.

Economy:

I know how important manufacturing jobs are because I’ve had one.  As a younger man I worked on the assembly line at the same Caterpillar plant where my father worked.  That plant gave my dad a good paying job and helped him take care of his family.  Unfair trade deals and bad tax policy have driven these jobs away.

In the last decade we’ve lost more than 176,000 manufacturing jobs here in Illinois.  While things have recently started to improve a bit we are nowhere near where we used to be.[1]  While some of this has been because of international competition it’s also happened because we’ve not had the right policy approach.

Why is it okay for corporations to avoid U.S. taxes?  If a regular person tried it they would go to jail, but if an executive does it they are rewarded with a bonus.
Immigration
Any kind of reform must start with tougher border security. A weak link in the border puts our entire nation at risk. I believe we have to end the underground economy that permeates throughout our country. We must have an earned path to citizenship, which includes paying a penalty, paying back taxes, and going to the back of the line."
Jason Plummer
Abortion:
I am pro-life.  I believe we should work to protect the most vulnerable in our society.
PPACA:
America needs healthcare reform – it does not need ObamaCare.  ObamaCare puts 1/6 of the national economy under the control of the federal government and un-elected bureaucrats now make decisions that individuals, families, and doctors should be making.
Guns:
I am a long-term member of the National Rifle Association, Illinois State Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, and the Edwardsville Gun Club.  Our right to bear arms is a constitutionally guaranteed right and one that must be vigorously defended.  There will be no stronger supporter in Congress when it comes to gun owners' rights.  I will fight to protect citizens from government overreach and I will work to expand right-to-carry laws.
Medicare/Social Security:
Anyone over the age of 55 should continue to receive what they were promised in regard to Medicare and Medicaid. However, without actuarial changes to the system, it will be insolvent and run out of money for my generation and all future generations. I do not support the Independent Payment Advisory Board and the unelected bureaucrats that would have the authority to make healthcare decisions that would affect millions of Americans. Additionally, the IPAB could cut the benefits that our seniors depend on.
Like with Medicare, I would not change the Social Security benefits for anyone over the age 55. However, without actuarial changes to Social Security, the system will be insolvent and run out of money for my generation and the generations to come. A serious conversation is needed in Congress about the long-term viability of the Social Security program.
Marriage Equality/LGBTQ Rights:
I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman.  I believe that our courts should not dictate public policy or pervert laws and legislation.  I believe we need leaders of strong moral fiber to keep America the greatest nation on earth.  
Economy:
The lack of leadership in Washington and Springfield has crippled the ability of small businesses to grow and create jobs.  We need elected officials who understand how the economy works and how public policy impacts businesses and workers.  We must create an environment where job creators are willing to take risks, businesses want to expand, and hardworking people can find quality jobs.
Due to the heavy burden of over-regulation and high taxes and fees, we have destroyed some of the largest industries and economic cornerstones of the 12th Congressional District.
Immigration:
"Our first priority is stopping illegal immigration by securing our borders. For any immigration system to work, we must know who is crossing our borders and how long they are staying in our country. America has always been a beacon to immigrants, and that should continue through legal channels."
Paula Bradshaw
Abortion:
I oppose government intervention in the very private, health-care decisions involved in pregnancy. But reproductive choice means more than just the right to choose abortion before viability. The goal should be for every child born to be a wanted, cared-for child. A national health care system could not only provide quality care for all, it would make birth control, abortion and voluntary sterilization free and easily available. l support for birth control and for new parents will do more to reduce the frequency of abortion than any legislative restrictions.
PPACA:
I support a single-payer system like the one existing in Canada. The Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act (HR 676) would establish a single authority responsible for paying for health care for all Americans. I don’t want to “save” the current inadequate system of Medicare. I want to improve it and expand it to cover everyone.
Guns:
I agree with the Supreme Court that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms. The question is where to draw the line. Self-defense does not require a weapon like the AR-15 that James Holmes used to massacre people in Colorado. Thus, I would support a carefully worded assault weapons ban.
Medicare/Social Security:
There is a problem with soaring health-care costs in this country but Medicare is not part of the problem; it is part of the solution. The real issue is one of political will, not lack of financial resources. Do we want a working health care system that can provide quality care for all? I do, and I believe most voters do. Then we have to pay for it. The real issues are what kind of system and how do we pay for it.

I support a single-payer system like the one existing in Canada. The Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act (HR 676) would establish a single authority responsible for paying for health care for all Americans. I don’t want to “save” the current inadequate system of Medicare. I want to improve it and expand it to cover everyone.

As it stands now, Social Security can pay full benefits until 2033 – and 95 percent of the shortfall after that could be solved if we simply lifted the cap on the payroll tax.
Marriage Equality/LGBTQ Rights:
My position on the rights of LGBT persons can be summarized succinctly: I stand for equal protection under the law, equal rights in society and the workplace, and for embracing diversity. All persons, regardless of sexual orientation, must be accorded the same rights and the same opportunities to participate fully in all aspects of the life of society. This includes equal rights to employment opportunities, educational opportunities, health care and more. It includes the right to go to a senior prom with a same-sex partner. It includes the right to marry. We as a society need to recognize the truth that there is great breadth in human nature, human experience and human relations. We need to learn to cherish the freedom and richness it brings to our culture.
Economy:
We have over 15 million unemployed in the U.S. today. But to combat global climate change and create a healthy society, we need millions of workers to modernize our infrastructure, insulate buildings, build renewable energy systems and a modern high-speed rail system, plant trees and repair natural eco-systems, teach in our schools and colleges, provide social services to the disabled and disadvantaged, and provide quality health-care.

We can create a full employment economy through a massive government works program to accomplish these things. Now I’ll tell you how we pay for it. First, by simply restoring the more progressive tax system we had in the 1950s, when our economy was doing very well, we could easily raise over $100 billion in additional revenue.

Second, tax financial speculation. Working people pay sales taxes but Wall Street speculators pay nothing when they trade trillions of dollars worth of stocks, options, credit default swaps and other derivatives. A 0.5 percent tax on such trades, like Great Britain has now, could easily raise over $150 billion a year.

Third, cut the military budget by $360 billion, which would still leave us spending 2-1/2 times more than any other nation in the world.

Fourth, we need monetary reform. I would introduce the American Monetary Reform Act, which would nationalize the Federal Reserve and take the power to create money away from private banks by curtailing the fractional reserve system. Instead, money would be spent into circulation by paying workers directly to perform the projects and services we need, thereby directly attacking unemployment.

We also need to raise the minimum wage, so that the jobs we create allow workers to buy the products produced by our manufacturers and small businesses. If the minimum wage had kept pace with workers’ productivity since 1968, it would be $21.72 an hour today. This is another illustration of how much American workers have been robbed by the top 1 percent. We need to restore balance to our economy, in favor of working people.

Education:
It is unacceptable that in the wealthiest nation in the world, our schools are failing and students must incur a lifetime of debt just to obtain a college degree. We must stop disinvestment in education and instead put it at the top of our social and economic agenda. Regarding grade-school education: Federal policy should act principally to provide equal access to a quality education. It should ensure that our schools have sufficient resources to be effective, while remaining under local control. Too many of our teachers are overworked, underpaid, and starved of key materials. Regarding higher education: I will fight for free higher education in the United States, including vocational education. This is not impossible and it is smart economics. Some of the healthiest economies in the world – Germany, Denmark, Finland, and rising economies like Brazil and Argentina – provide free higher education. It helps reduce the oversupply in the labor market, creates more jobs directly, as well as in construction and college-related small businesses. The elimination of student debt would put more purchasing power in the hands of students, parents and graduates, to spend on goods and services, not enriching banks.
Immigration:
It is hypocritical for our nation to first adopt policies that drive up Mexican unemployment and then complain when the desperate victims look for work here.

I will support vigorous enforcement of our labor laws, to halt the extreme exploitation of immigrant workers and put an end to the practices that allow one group of workers to undermine another, to the detriment of all. I will not support intrusive restrictions on transportation, documentation requirements and other police state tactics, the militarization of immigration enforcement or racial profiling.

As to the DREAM Act, I don’t think that it best serves the interests of second-generation immigrants to encourage them to join the military as a major pathway toward achieving legal status. I might support an amended version of the Act.

Race Rating: Likely D

Originally posted to JGibson on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 10:51 PM PST.

Also republished by Madison County, Illinois Kossacks and Land of Lincoln Kos.

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