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posted: 7/12/2011 3:00 AM

Hultgren's party line support bad for 14th

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Rep. Randy Hultgren has gone too far in his support of the Republican leadership's agenda. He is now a champion in an effort to role back protection of America's water supplies.

He has co-sponsored bill HR2018, the so-called Dirty Water Bill, which would allow states to compete against each other in the pursuit of jobs by lowering water standards to the base desires of mining and heavy industry.

Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972 to create a level playing field because some states were doing a better job creating and enforcing clean water standards than others. States that strive for cleaner water should not be put at an economic disadvantage to states that allow industries to pollute.

The backward thinking of HR2018 would allow states to interpret clean water standards on an individual basis, rather than according to uniform rules for the nation. States have enough economic tools, such as tax breaks, to compete with each other without turning our water into another playing piece in the game of economic one-upmanship.

By co-sponsoring this bill, Randy Hultgren shockingly illustrates that he is not the independent voice that House District 14 deserves. According to, Hultgren and the Majority Leader Eric Cantor voted together on 41 out of 43 votes. That's 95 percent agreement between Hultgren and the party leadership.

District 14 includes a variety of communities with a breadth of views, and we need a representative who can think independently, standing up for our principles, not voting in lock step with the majority, no matter which party is in power.

I can imagine the discussion held by the bill's supporters: "We need a suburban representative from a Democratic-leaning state to make it appear that this bill has broad support. Hey, let's get Randy, he supports anything."

Eric Jones


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