Why Representative Roskam Should Debate Me

I'm Leslie Coolidge, candidate for Congress. Last week, I invited my opponent, Congessman Peter Roskam, to debate me about our contrasting ideas, so that voters can make an informed choice.

Last week, I , Congressman Peter Roskam, to meet me for a series of town hall-style debates in the eleven weeks we have left until the election.  I am very much looking forward to an exchange of views in front of the voters for one simple reason: Mr. Roskam and I disagree on how to solve most of the problems that face our country.  For that reason, I believe that voters deserve to hear from both of us so that their choice for Representative is clear.

That is not to say that we don’t agree on some things.  We both agree that the economy needs to be strengthened so that businesses can create more jobs.  Congressman Roskam has voted for bills that he says would do this by eliminating regulations and retaining tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.  He has also twice voted for the Paul Ryan budget that would cut the taxes of the wealthiest people even further and turn Medicare into a voucher program. 

On the other hand, I believe that continued weakness in the economy is the result of too little demand for the products of our businesses.  If more people had good jobs, more people would be able to afford to buy the things they both want and need.  They’d be able to buy a new car, which would strengthen the auto industry, or purchase a new home, which would help put the housing market back on its feet.  For that reason, I believe we must focus on economic growth through initiatives like investing in our infrastructure – repairing crumbling roads, bridges and schools – in order to put more people back to work and get more money circulating in the economy.

Unless Mr. Roskam and I debate, though, this and other differences in our outlooks may not become clear.  Our paid advertising, frankly, will tell you one point of view, either his or mine.   The voters deserve to know how we would each propose to:

  • Preserve Medicare (or turn it into a voucher program)
  • Protect our environment (or reduce environmental regulations)
  • Reform our tax code (make it fairer? or more beneficial for the richest Americans?) and
  • Determine the priorities for our nation.


I am a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) so I am trained to delve into the numbers to understand the facts and develop solutions.  I hope that Congressman Roskam accepts my invitation to debate so that we can discuss the problems facing our nation and what Congress should be doing to solve them. 

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McCloud September 15, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Leslie, I am not here to condemn anybody, my purpose is to express what I know and learned from my many years listening to politicians. They like to pontificate using straw man rhetoric, and most of their tools include an either or approach. George W Bush and his "compassionate conservatism" did include large government spending, now being dwarfed by Obama policies. Bush's spending contradicted what conservatives believe. I think the Tea Party began when our national debt accelerated, partucularly when Obama was elected. Obama's addition to our national debt has serious implications towards any future of our country. I think interest rates are being kept at a low rate not by markets, but collaboration. If banks were to start lending, interest rates would begin their natural course, and our 16 trillion in national debt would implode our value in the US dollar.
John Iwaszkiewicz September 15, 2012 at 04:40 AM
@bob b Madigan, a democrat, has run this state for 30 years, controlling votes and legislation with an iron hand. The governership only has limited power, similar to the preseidents office. Real power has always been in the legislative, not the executive branch of the statehouse. That isnt a partisan political point of view, it is the political reality of Illinois. While I agree that party affiliations should have nothing to do with the solution, the democrats (i.e. Madigan's party) must bear the brunt of the blame for the problem.
Bob B September 15, 2012 at 12:51 PM
I agree with you there John. Unfortunately, the people in Madigan's district continue to vote him into office. I can only assume he is doing something for those folks because he sure isn't helping the rest of us.
Mike Worrell September 15, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Mike Worrell September 15, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Nearly everyone believes in taking care of the poor. The question is, is the best way to do that to send your dollars to the federal government so that they can stuff half of it in their own pockets before sending a small fraction back to the states? The government can provide a basic safety net that ensures that people do not have to die in the elements or starve to death, but they can't provide love, community and friendship. There is more to helping people than sending them checks, especially when you start to get the idea that poor people are being given $300 a week to stay put and stay quiet. If I had a relative I actually cared about who needed help, the LAST thing I would do is just perpetuate their problem by subsidizing it. So, opposition to federalizing every issue and entrusting every possible dollar to a profligate federal government does not equal an unwillingness to help people.


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