Democrat Anderson bashes GOP during forum

Updated 6/4/2014 10:46 AM
  • Democrat Dennis Anderson, left, opposes Republican Randy Hultgren in the 14th Congressional District race

    Democrat Dennis Anderson, left, opposes Republican Randy Hultgren in the 14th Congressional District race

Democrat Dennis Anderson will likely need to draw support from across the political spectrum to have a shot at winning Illinois' heavily Republican 14th Congressional District.

But Anderson, a Gurnee resident, found himself brandishing a full range of left-leaning credentials Tuesday night as he spoke to a mostly Democratic audience in St. Charles.

Anderson spent much of the evening agreeing with audience questions laced with vitriol for conservatives. A recurring theme was a sentiment that Republicans frequently engage in misleading the public with half-truths.

Anderson agreed Republicans frequently mislead the public about the number of people on welfare and manufacture support for policies that suppress voter turnout by insinuating voter fraud is rampant.

"There is no voter ID fraud in this country," Anderson said. "It's substantially small. Every meaningful study of this issue indicates there's no voter fraud."

Anderson also courted support from organized labor by calling himself an "old school Democrat on labor."

"I'm pro-union," Anderson said. "We must do what we can to ensure the right to organize is protected.

"Every now and then somebody says that 'those union people have got those outrageous benefits. I don't have them. Why should they?' That's the wrong question. They should be saying why don't I have (those benefits)."

Anderson said Republicans like to tell people they are the party that creates jobs, but that isn't true.

"Anybody in this room, anybody out there in the voting public can go look at those bills on (House Majority Leader) Eric Cantor's website," Anderson said.

"Those are not jobs bills. They are bills to weaken the EPA, weaken the Securities and Exchange Commission. The one thing that are not are jobs bills."

Anderson said he is not a practicing Catholic, but his Catholic upbringing did instill a belief that decisions should be made in ways that do not adversely impact those who are already suffering.

But he said Republicans tend to do the opposite.

"If you took all the options to reduce the debt and the deficit in this country, and put them all on the table and brought them down to just two: ask a little more from those who have so much, or take from those who have little or nothing.

"These people on the other side of the aisle will choose the latter option every time. And that's wrong."

Anderson also once again put out a challenge to incumbent Republican Randy Hultgren of Winfield to debate him on any or all of those statements. Hultgren and Anderson only had one full debate in their 2012 race.

"I'm ready, willing and able," Anderson said. "The ball is in his court. But he's indicated that he's pretty busy doing constituent work."

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