Dold Answers Critics, Supporters at Town Hall
A conservative group organizes the meeting and progressives fill the room to protest.
A standing room only crowd of more than 100 people from all political persuasions peppered Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) with questions about job creation, the Bush era tax cuts and the Koch brothers—David and Charles—at a Town Hall meeting Saturday in Vernon Hills.
The event was sponsored and heavily promoted by Americans for Prosperity (AFP), an organization founded by David Koch, according to the group's website. AFP is a grass roots organization devoted to lower taxes and less government involvement in America’s affairs, spokesperson Collin Corbett said.
“I got robo calls and emails,” said Steve Adler of Highland Park about the five communications he received from political groups regarding the meeting. “I need to be here and hear what [Dold] has to say.”
Sheryl Hogan of Arlington Heights held a large sign opposing the Koch brothers’ philosophy. Marliss Levin of Highland Park asked Dold about his relationship with them.
“I don’t know them myself,” Dold said of the Koch brothers. “They donated $5,000 to my campaign.” According to reports filed by Dold with the Federal Election Commission, that is the extent of their financial involvement.
No donation was made to Dold by Americans for Prosperity which gave to 65 of Congress’s 87 Republican freshmen, according to the group’s website.
Jeff Rice of Buffalo Grove wanted to know what Dold was doing to spur job creation. “Why have you passed 11 bills about women’s health care and not one jobs bill?” Rice asked. Rice repeated the question three times as Dold explained his philosophy of job creation.
When asked by Patch, Rice said he was referring to a New Deal style job creation effort. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) told a gathering of the New Trier Township Democratic Organization June 12 she favored that approach.
“I’m not in favor of the government funding this,” Dold told Patch after the meeting. “I would like to see work done on the infrastructure like the Highway 53 extension,” he added, explaining he would prefer to see the private sector handle such projects.
Dold was asked on several occasions about an extension of the tax cuts passed in 2001 during the administration of former President George W. Bush. Judy Kempa of Glenview asked the question a second time with the last query of the day.
“I’m not in favor of raising taxes in this economy,” Dold said. “I want to see how things are then,” he explained to Patch after the meeting when asked what action he might take before those cuts expire at the end of 2012.
Stay tuned to Patch Monday for more detailed coverage.