Bitter battle for 6th Congressional District

October 17, 2008 4:38:43 PM PDT
Democrat Jill Morgenthaler is running against incumbent Republican Peter Roskam. You may feel a bit of deja vu if you live in Chicago's western suburbs where a bitter battle for a congressional seat is underway.

Once again the sixth congressional district race features a veteran of the Iraq war. But this time it is Republican Peter Roskam who is the incumbent.

The district extends from Des Plaines to Wheaton.

To hear the candidate's tell it, this is a race between George Bush and Rod Blagojevich. But beyond the old "guilty by association" strategy, there are real differences on the issues.

Trains. Taxes. The tanking economy. And the terrible toll of the war in Iraq.

All are sparring points between Republican incumbent Peter Roskam and his Democratic challenger Jill Morgenthaler.

"I've been to the army war college in 2000. I knew saddam hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction nor the means to deliver them," said Morgenthaler.

Jill Morgenthaler is a retired army colonel who served as a military spokesperson promoting America's success in Iraq.

Now she says it's time to get our troops out.

"As spokesperson it was my job to promote the accomplishments in iraq even if personally i didn't think we should be there," said Morgenthaler.

Morgenthaler supports a 16-month withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. She's pro-choice, would end the Bush tax cuts and supports the recent government bail-out of the financial services industry.

Morgenthaler faults the incumbent Peter Roskam for not doing enough to help the economy regain its footing.

"Here he was on the financial services committee, he should have been creating the rescue plan but he voted against it," said Morgenthaler.

"When it all came down to it i just wasn't convinced every other solution had been exhausted," said Roskam.

In addition to being against the bail-out, Roskam is anti-abortion except when the life of a mother is threatened. He would make the Bush tax cuts permanent and cut the capital gains tax to spur the economy. Roskam does not support a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq.

Roskam's TV ads claim Morgenthaler is a crony of Governor Rod Blagojevich when the reality she served as his homeland security director. She says she only met the embattled governor four or five times.

Perhaps of more interest to west suburban voters, Morgenthaler lives in a corner of Des Plaines that's just outside of the district she's running to represent -- and she won't commit to moving.

"I'm committed to looking for a place to live in the district," Morgenthaler said.

"My opponent admitted to a newspaper that she was recruited by Washington Democracts to come and make this race. I think we can do better," said Roskam.

On one of the biggest issues facing the 6th district the candidates agree.

Both say Canadian National Railroad is not offering enough money for safety improvements at rail crossings for them to support shifting freight traffic from the congested city to the suburbs.


Load Comments