Kinzler: Roskam doesn't vote like a conservative Republican
Glen Ellyn Park District Commissioner Gordon "Jay" Kinzler says his desire to become a member of Congress was fueled by incumbent U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam's voting record.
"He doesn't vote like a conservative Republican," said Kinzler, who is challenging Roskam in the March 15 GOP primary.
During a recent interview with the Daily Herald editorial board, Kinzler accused Roskam, a Wheaton Republican, of failing to push for issues important to voters in the 6th Congressional District he has represented since 2007.
"He's voting lately for things like increasing the debt ceiling, budgets that fund Planned Parenthood, budgets that don't vet refugees coming in, budgets that don't do enough (of a) job to protect the border," said Kinzler, a 57-year-old physician and surgeon.
"This district is a conservative die-hard district," Kinzler said. "So they should have a conservative representative. These votes are not conservative."
However, Roskam says the 6th District -- which stretches from Naperville to Tower Lakes and includes parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties -- is filled with people who "articulate a conservative political philosophy and get things done at the same time."
"I've tried to follow that," said the 54-year-old Roskam, adding it was the same approach used by his predecessor, the late Rep. Henry Hyde.
Kinzler, for example, criticized Roskam's support of the recently approved $1.1 trillion government spending bill, which includes funding for Planned Parenthood.
"It didn't do anything to increase vetting or stem the tide of refugees coming into the country," Kinzler said. "And it didn't do anything to help stop some of the other executive orders that have been just going through without Congressional approval."
But Roskam says the legislation has "a number of conservative wins," including preservation of pro-life provisions. One of those provisions is the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or if the mother's life is endangered.
Roskam said the legislation also lifted the oil export ban, restored funding that previously was cut from the military budgets and will help pay for more border agents.
"So there's a number of conservative things that we've been able to do and accomplish that I think reflects kind of the heart and the soul of the conservative movement -- that is get things done," Roskam said.
Whoever wins the GOP primary will face the Democratic nominee for the 6th Congressional District seat in the November general election. The Democrats competing in their primary are Amanda Howland of Lake Zurich and Robert Marshall of Burr Ridge.
If he's elected to Congress, Kinzler said his top priority would be to preserve the safety of our country. He said the nation needs to strengthen the military.
"Our military right now has very low morale because I think there's a lack of leadership," said Kinzler, who serves in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Kinzler said the GOP members of Congress shouldn't be waiting for their party to gain control of the White House to try to reverse policies they oppose.
"On issues like Obamacare, security of the nation, immigration reform, I would not be bipartisan," he said. "I would be conservative and would do what I think is best for the country."
Meanwhile, Roskam says Congress needs to tackle entitlement reform and "stop kicking the can down the road for the next generation to fix."
He also said he wants to see the U.S. economy grow at a faster rate. "We should be growing at about 4 percent right now, and we're not," he said. "We're struggling between 1 and 2 (percent)."
One way to improve the situation for families and businesses is to reform the tax code.
"This thing is not working," Roskam said. "It hasn't been reformed since 1986. Think about how much the nature of the global economy has changed, the Internet economy ... and our tax code is a complete throwback."
However, he said Democrats and Republicans must work together to bring about change. "You cannot jam, for example, tax reform on a partisan basis," Roskam said.