Biggert, Foster square off in 11th Dist. debate

October 13, 2012 8:52:59 PM PDT
Incumbent Republican Congresswoman Judy Biggert squared off against her 11th District challenger, Democrat Bill Foster, in a congressional debate sponsored by ABC7 and the League of Women Voters on Saturday.

The question that got the most rise out of Biggert and Foster concerned negative television ads, especially one noting that foster fired workers and shipped jobs to China without saying the actions were unrelated and happened years apart.

"When he voted for the stimulus, that included money that went to China to build wind turbines," Biggert said.

"The tag line of the advertisement: Bill Foster fired workers and sent jobs to China. Conflating those two when they happened ten years apart is ridiculous and false and frankly shameful," Foster said.

The Illinois General Assembly redrew the west suburban 11th district map two years ago. It now includes many more registered Democrats including heavily Latino neighborhoods in west suburban Aurora.

Congresswoman Biggert defended her vote in the house against the dream act to allow many undocumented immigrant children to remain in this country legally.

"I have not voted for it," said Biggert. "I feel very, very sorry for these children who came here illegally."

Foster, a former congressman who lost his seat in 2010, is counting on Latino voters' support to return to Washington:

"I voted for the Dream Act, Congresswoman Biggert voted against it," he said. "It was one of my proudest votes in congress."

"We can't have something like an amnesty program where we people just flood the borders," Biggert said.

Foster attacked Biggert's vote in the house for the so-called Ryan budget that would end most guaranteed Medicare benefits as a way to extend the healthcare program's viability.

The congresswoman also rejected the challenger's charge that she is a straight party line voter.

"I'm a moderate," Biggert said. "I'm a fiscal conservative and a social moderate and I work across the party lines."

"During the years her party was in power, congresswoman Biggert was a party line voter for every single one of the bush policies that drove us into debt and wrecked our economy," Foster said.

Due in large part to the redistricting, pre-election polls suggest the 11th District congressional race is too close to call.

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 after the debates air.

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