Quick Hit Aricka Flowers Wednesday September 19th, 2012, 5:24pm

Schilling Walks Out, Can't Take The Heat Of The Sensata Debate At Recent Town Hall Meeting (VIDEO)

It appears that U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-Colona) is taking his cues from Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney when it comes to the public outcry surrounding Sensata Technologies' plan to close down the plant and ship 170 jobs to China — just ignore it.

At a town hall meeting yesterday, Schilling couldn't take the heat when Sensata workers showed up to discuss the issue, so he ran out of the kitchen — or in this case the meeting.   

When Tom Gaulrapp, one of the workers set to lose his job after working at the Bain Capital-owned company for 33 years, asked Schilling if he would support a bill that would offer companies tax incentives for bringing overseas jobs back to the U.S. and also close loopholes that allow corporations to ship American jobs overseas, like the Bring American Jobs Home Act, Schilling refused to answer and walked out of the meeting. But his campaign manager Terry Schilling essentially answered the question for the congressman by saying, "He said no. He does not support the bill."

Take a look at the chaotic scene from the town hall meeting in Freeport, IL, where the Sensata plant is located:

Schilling's Democratic opponent in the 17th district congressional race, Cheri Bustos, supports the bill, according to her campaign, and finds the congressman's behavior and response, or lack thereof, to his constituents' cries for an answer to be "a stunning display of disrespect."

“It is absolutely inexcusable for Congressman Schilling to walk out on Freeport workers when he supports the failed policies that are costing them their jobs,” said Bustos' campaign manager Allison Jaslow. “Congressman Schilling has spent more than any other member of Congress on taxpayer-funded mailings to help him keep his job, but when he has to face simple questions about his record of giving tax breaks to companies that outsource jobs, Congressman Schilling walks out.”

Bustos' campaign points out that while Schilling refuses to respond to or help his constituents who are set to lose their jobs, he is more than willing to spend taxpayer money to ensure that he keeps his job. Schilling was recently ranked as the top congressional spender, using $446,000 in taxpayer money to send out more than 1.1 million flyers to residents in the 17th district over the last two years.

“Congressman Schilling has the wrong priorities - he has no problem spending our money in an effort to keep his job while at the same time voting to send good-paying Illinois jobs overseas,” Jaslow said.

To find out more about the fight to save the Freeport Sensata jobs or to sign their petition, click here. As we previously reported, the workers have set up camp outside the plant and are still living there in hopes of getting Romney's help or attention, which they have been trying to do for months, and to illustrate what they say is the Republican candidate's vision for the country.

UPDATE 1 (9/20/12 10:15 a.m.): Here is a longer version of the interaction between Schilling and the Sensata worker looking to get the congressman to answer whether or not he would support legislation that would bring U.S. jobs back to the states and discourage offshoring. This video is courtesy of the Schilling4Congress Youtube channel:

The first video in this story is provided by Bainport.com, as seen in the link provided.


Why can't he answer a simple question?

Politico and Progress Illinois need to retract their story, Shilling didn't leave until he was being shouted at AFTER having given his answer.

Play the full tape, and retract the misleading headline.

Notice even in this version he takes the time to speak with a couple as he's leaving at the end of the meeting. How's that "Walking Out" on his constituents?


I'd be interested in seeing the unedited version of this exchange. It's clear that Congressman Schilling DID answer the question in the portion that was removed from this video. In fact, his answer was apparently so thorough that he was criticized for giving an "essay answer". It's also clear that the Congressman offered to meet with the group questioning him to discuss this issue, and they rejected that offer.

So, basically you have an unruly group of agitators who are unwilling to discuss an issue and continue to demand an answer after one has already been given. I commend his campaign manager for doing his job and getting him out of there instead of letting him play that game. Maybe if Phil Hare's people had done their jobs, he wouldn't have had the opportunity to blurt out that he doesn't worry about The Constitution and that its the "same difference" when it comes to The Constitution and The Declaration of Independence.

Out of curiosity, who's the democratic candidate again? Is it Cheri Bustos, or Allison Jaslow? I can't seem to find any recent story where Bustos actually has anything to say instead of her campaign manager. If Bustos can't speak for herself, how is she ever going to get her magical manufacturing triangle to work?

For the record, plans that further complicate our U.S. Code through a series of penalties and incentives are a bad idea and will simply create more loopholes. The key to bringing investment back to our shores is a simplifying of our tax code that positively affects the bottom lines of job creators when they invest in job creation here at home. The concept is simple, straightforward, and explained in the only real plan to stimulate our economy and create jobs in this congressional race: Mine.

See www.EricReyes.us/job-growth.html

I can in no way feel sorry for any of them that voted this congressman into office. They became complacent with him and their party and now they're feeling it up close and personal. This congressman and others in his party have shown disdain for their constituents. You could have slapped them in the face with this mans TRUE colors and agenda during his campaign and they couldn't have cared LESS! He's their congressman, year after year after year, the REPUBLICAN base has made it CLEAR.... Party over People and they're comfortable with that, until reality hits them and their JOBS become no more. They've told you and the WORLD, Their main Objective since President Obama's administration was to see to it, it is a ONE TERM administration. Oh, woe is me that our congressman walks out on a meeting regarding keeping their jobs intact. Just like Romney did, this man left with a smirk on his face, because in his mind he knows, what they've all been preaching lately.... Blame it on OBAMA! As Fred Sanford use to say, "YOU BIG DUMMIES!" LOL

Looks like my suspicions were confirmed. In the full unedited video it is clear that not only were the agitators crashing a meeting they weren't a part of, but also, Congressman Schilling did NOT walk out of the meeting, NOR did he refuse to answer questions.

Why don't the major parties want to win fair and square? Don't they have any faith in the quality of their ideas???

Here's a link to the full unedited video: http://youtu.be/5HzFwT_57Pw

The people who came in were a little confrontational, but it is easy to get that way when you have lost a job and there are little prospects for another! Shilling supports policies that do not create jobs in America, that is a typical GOP stance. They ship jobs overseas, or they may even own some of the factories and be reaping profits themselves off an enslaved workforce, say in China for instance. I was upset when this area was so hopeless that it went to a Republican after so many decades of Democratic voting. It is difficult to recover when entire factories are lost, the backbone of the Quad Cities, and I really hope that Quad Citians will not do it again.

I agree with Angeline and evenbetta, it's just plain dumb to vote Republican. They do not care about working people. At All.

@ EricReyes - I viewed the video, and while I agree that the Congressman replied to the question, he didn't answer it, like a typical politician he danced around it. I do have a problem with the editing of the video by BOTH parties involved here, show the video of the whole meeting! The Congressman did NOT walk out of the meeting, but he had his - umm, handlers throw his constituents out. I find it hypocritical for the Representative to talk about "free" trade when it comes to manufacturing jobs, but if he tried shutting down the massive subsidies the farmers get he'd be voted out of office in a heartbeat. Shame on Progress Illinois for editing this video and misrepresenting the events at this meeting - we don't need sensationalism or selective editing in order to win, we need to see and hear the unvarnished truth.

I agree with what you say except for one thing. I think Rep. Schilling had already answered the question before the meeting even started and here he was attempting to explain, as opposed to avoid answering. It was very clear that the Sensata worker was referring to the specific bill, and everyone involved knew that Rep. Schilling had voted against it.

One day, if I'm questioned on a vote, I will be happy to explain my vote... Once. I don't see why I should tolerate people disrupting a meeting on a completely different topic to simply ask me a question they already know the answer to. That's why Terry Schilling responded the way he did. Something to the effect of "No. He doesn't support the bill. You KNOW he doesn't."

It was a political ploy designed for sensationalism.

It reminds me of back in 03-04 I worked for then Senator Obama on his U.S. Senate campaign. His opponent and his opponent's supporters frequently tried the same tactic. They would pose a "hypothetical" question about if there was a bill that would do all these things nobody would want to disagree with, would he support that bill. Obama had voted against the bill and thoroughly explained his reasoning (his reason was, everything the bill did was already written into law and a duplicative bill such as that was unconstitutional). Yet, Obama's most extremist and uneducated opponents still to this day can be heard making the claim that Obama voted against a bill that would've prevented baby's born alive during abortion procedures from being allowed to die. It's an effective tactic, but its disengenuous and its part of what's wrong with politics and politicians in BOTH parties.

That's why it's time to elect an Independent to Congress.

Write In Reyes!

The Congressmen was asked a simple yes or no question the kind that republicans ask all the time in fact they criticize nuanced answers when he couldn't double talk the audience and was asked to respond yes or no he ran like a coward nobody removed any answer they just didn't want to hear anything but yes or no and refused to let him dance around the question

"Would you support a bill that you already voted against and have already said why you voted against it?"

They didn't want an answer, because they already had it. They wanted an argument and a spectacle.

Am I the only one who noticed that the Congressman wanted to stay and continue to engage the disrupters, but his staff wisely prevented him from doing so?

You can ask any one of those rabble rousers if they know what Congressman Schilling's stance is on the bill they were asking him about and they'll all tell you that they know he doesn't support it and they knew he didn't support it before they crashed the meeting.

It's not like I agree with The Congressman on policy. Afterall, I wouldn't be running against him if I did. I just can't stand dishonesty in politics. What's MOST disturbing is that the millionaire democratic candidate KNOWS this was an edited video, she KNOWS the group knew Rep. Schilling's position ahead of time, yet she still condemned his actions (that he didn't actually do) in an effort to score cheap political points. The democratic and republican parties care about two things. Gathering power for their party and keeping it. The voters don't matter to them.


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