Elleson, Schakowsky offer sharply different economic policies

  • Republican John Elleson, left, is challenging Democratic incumbent Jan Schakowsky for the 9th Congressional District seat.

    Republican John Elleson, left, is challenging Democratic incumbent Jan Schakowsky for the 9th Congressional District seat.

Posted11/2/2018 5:35 AM

Democratic U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Republican challenger John Elleson are offering different economic policy visions as they head toward next week's election.

Schakowsky and Elleson are seeking the 9th Congressional District seat, which represents all or parts of Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights and Des Plaines, as well as portions of Chicago and the North Shore.


Elleson, an Arlington Heights pastor, is a first-time candidate for elected office. He's attempting to prevent Schakowsky, an Evanston resident, from winning her 11th 2-year term in Congress.

They addressed several issues in a Daily Herald Editorial Board joint interview and in candidate questionnaires. What direction the country's economic policy should take was one of them.

Elleson said common-sense regulations for businesses and the creation of an environment where manufacturers want to operate in the United States are needed to encourage economic growth.

"I'm for good, high-paying jobs with benefits for those who want to work for the American dream," Elleson said. "Let's leave the next generation a country economically strong and not a yesterday America."

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Schakowsky is a leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and differs with Elleson on economic policy. She said the leadership post allows her to play an active role in drafting the caucus' annual budget proposal.

"In it, we propose a bold, progressive vision for the United States, where the wealthiest corporations and individuals are asked to pay for their fair share, so we can raise enough revenue to make necessary investments in health care, infrastructure and education," Schakowsky said.

Elleson and Schakowsky disagreed on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Schakowsky said she worked against the measure and contends it's doing little to raise wages, create new jobs or improve the lives of working families.

"I use a simple test to decide whether I can support legislation: Will this proposal reduce income inequality or exacerbate it? The tax plan passed by Republicans in December fails this test spectacularly," she said.


Elleson said he backed the tax cuts because U.S. companies should be competitive with those in other countries and on a level playing field.

"I believe in the America First agenda the (Trump) administration is pursuing," he said.

As for money, Schakowsky's campaign fund has been much more robust than Elleson's.

Schakowsky's contributions total nearly $1.5 million for the current election cycle and she had $478,096 in available cash as of a mid-October campaign financial disclosure filing deadline, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Elleson provided $45,682 of the $47,507 he's received so far, his most recent FEC filing shows. Elleson, who defeated three candidates in the GOP primary to reach Tuesday's general election against Schakowsky, had $7,705 in available cash at the close of the mid-October reporting period.

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