We have to sit down and take politics out of this (Social Security). This has become a political football."
-Rep. Debbie Halvorson (Source: Kankakee Daily Journal, 2/20/10)
Diverting Attention from Support of $500B Medicare Cut
Republican candidate for Congress Adam Kinzinger released the following statement in response to a misleading television ad released Friday by incumbent Debbie Halvorson. In her second major non-taxpayer-funded communication with voters the incumbent again avoids discussing her record in public office, opting instead for an attempt at scaring senior citizens by misrepresenting her opponent Adam Kinzinger's record on Social Security.
"It seems that the truth is no object to Debbie Halvorson if it gets in the way of a good political attack," said Republican Adam Kinzinger. "I have been consistent in my views that I do not support privatization of Social Security, do not support increasing the payroll tax and do not support raising the retirement age. We must keep the promises that we have made to our seniors. These attacks are the latest attempt to scare senior citizens and shift their attention from the fact that Debbie Halvorson voted earlier this year to cut $500 billion from Medicare."
Halvorson's latest misleading attack is the type of hypocrisy that 11th District residents have come to expect from their incumbent representative. Just seven months ago, Halvorson told the Kankakee Daily Journal that "(w)e have to sit down and take politics out of this (social security). This has become a political football." (Daily Journal, 2/20/10) And now, Debbie Halvorson is trying to resurrect her failing re-election campaign by airing false claims and misleading political attacks about Adam Kinzinger's views on the very issue that she wanted to "take politics out of".
Even more duplicitous is Halvorson's attack on Kinzinger for a willingness to consider raising the retirement age for younger Americans. This is the position shared by Democrat House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, "(Hoyer) said Congress should consider "a higher retirement age,' possibly as life spans lengthen, for Social Security beneficiaries." (Wall Street Journal, "Middle-Class Tax Boost is Broached, 6/23/10) Despite the views of her Majority Leader, Debbie Halvorson was more than happy to allow Hoyer to hold a fundraiser for her in Illinois this summer.
Halvorson's previous press events misrepresenting Adam Kinzinger's views on Social Security earned her appropriately critical coverage by the Joliet City News who entitled their article, "Halvorson Falsely Attacking Kinzinger on Social Security." (Joliet City News, 9/22/10). Her latest misleading attack comes on the heels of her initial negative commercial misrepresenting Kinzinger's views that prompted the Kankakee Daily-Journal to write that the "campaign message misquotes, misleads". They further editorialized:
"If any politician wants to quote us in their campaign ads, that's fine. But, quote us. Don't rearrange the words to serve your purpose. We are very disappointed that Rep. Halvorson allowed her campaign managers to create this misleading ad. She put her own credibility on the line since, after all, we hear her say in her own voice, "I approved this message'." - Kankakee Daily-Journal Editorial, 9/18/2010
The commercial fabrications come just weeks after revelations of the Halvorson campaign working to discredit Kinzinger's military service in Chicagoland media. And the distortion coincides with new revelations about the Halvorson campaign organizing a protest in the city of Joliet that included signs of Kinzinger and other conservative leaders depicted as Adolph Hitler. In both instances, the campaign initially denied any involvement before evidence proved otherwise.
"Debbie Halvorson is not telling the truth about my views on Social Security," said Kinzinger. "She said earlier this year that this important issue should not be used as a political football- and I agree. Apparently, football season has begun for Debbie Halvorson and her previous statement doesn't apply when she is trailing late in the game. So she is attempting a "Hail Mary" pass in hopes of connecting. Fortunately, the clock is about to run out on her and her brand of cynical politics."
HALVORSON FACT CHECK:
ATTACK: Politician Adam Kinzinger
FACT: Prior to running for Congress, Adam Kinzinger served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force including five trips to Iraq and Afghanistan while Debbie Halvorson spent 12 years in the Illinois state legislature (1997-2009), eventually serving as the Majority Leader of the State Senate before joining Congress in 2009. ("Meet Debbie," http://www.debbiehalvorson.com/free_details.asp?id=1, accessed Sept, 14, 2010) & ("Senator Debbie DeFrancesco Halvorson (D)," http://www.ilga.gov/senate/Senator.asp?MemberID=1214, accessed Sept. 14, 2010)
ATTACK: Social Security benefits need to be capped.
FACT: Adam Kinzinger stated capping Social Security benefits is "a recipe for disaster".
" while tinkering with the Social Security cap max, as the Democrats have pursued, together is a recipe for disaster" (Chicago Tribune Primary Questionnaire).
ATTACK: Adam Kinzinger plans to raise the retirement age.
FACT: Adam Kinzinger has consistently stated that promises made should be promises kept and does not support raising the retirement age.
"We need to ensure that promises made are promises kept to our seniors. I do not support privatizing Social Security. I do not support increasing the payroll tax nor the retirement age. It is absolutely wrong to change the rules on seniors when many are living paycheck to paycheck." (Source: Kinzinger for Congress Website)
"We need to ensure that promises made will be promises kept to our seniors and to those nearing retirement" (Source: Chicago Tribune Primary Questionnaire).
"And I don't support raising the retirement age," Kinzinger said. (Source: Ottawa Delivered, 9/22/10).
ATTACK: You are a young guy and you got a lot to learn.
FACT: Every poll of American voter sentiment shows that voters are very displeased with the direction of the country and even more displeased with the job Congress is doing. Debbie Halvorson has presided over the largest expansion of debt in Illinois history and has done the same while in Congress. Perhaps she is the one who has a lot to learn?