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Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
Thu Nov 8, 2012

Freeport Sensata Employees Rally For Job Creation, Full Severance

Freeport workers at the Bain Capital-owned Sensata Technologies rallied today as part of a national movement calling on politicians to focus on job creation, not cuts to social services and education. The workers say the outcome of the election, which saw Democrat Cheri Bustos beat incumbent, Tea Party-backed Republican Bobby Schilling in the 17th congressional district where the Sensata factory lies, shows that voters are ready to see their elected officials work for them, not against them.

For months, the Sensata workers called on U.S. Rep. Schilling and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to address the issue of the 170 U.S. jobs being outsourced to China. But their calls fell on deaf ears, with neither Schilling nor Romney ever taking the time to meet with the workers or address the issue. 

“Politicians who turned their back on workers, like Bobby Schilling and Mitt Romney, were rejected by voters,” said Tom Gaulrapp, who has worked at the plant for 33 years. “Our elected leaders need to stand up for good jobs, not job-killing budget cuts.”

Quick Hit
by Michael Sandler
Wed Nov 7, 2012

Chicago’s Asian American Voters Feeling Alienated, Economic Pain

Fred, a native of India who immigrated to the United States to find work, came to DeWitt Clinton Elementary School in Uptown on Tuesday afternoon to let his voice be heard.

“People still have dreams. They still have hope.” Fred told Progress Illinois. “But we are facing the debt of the last ten years.”

Married with two sons and a daughter, Fred studied to be a medical technologist. But now, he’s looking for work. In this election, Fred said finances are his big concern. “When you have a family, you aren’t looking out for one stomach, you have to feed four people at the house,” he said. Fred also made it clear he doesn’t want to take care of his family by using government handouts. “I want to live off real paid checks,” he said.

Quick Hit
by Steven Ross Johnson
Tue Nov 6, 2012

Bustos Pushes For Votes On Election Day In The 17th Congressional District

In a race where local issues have taken on national significance, 17th congressional district Democratic challenger Cheri Bustos spent Election Day travelling throughout the region in a last ditch effort to encourage more voter turnout in her bid to unseat first-term, Tea Party-backed incumbent U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling.

In one of the state’s largest districts geographically, Bustos, a former journalist and alderwoman of East Moline, spent the early morning hours of the day in the city of Rockford, meeting with voters at several stops before driving across the state to the Quad Cities in order to cast her own vote.

PI Original
by Bob Skolnik
Fri Nov 2, 2012

Getting To Know Eric Reyes, 17th Congressional District Write-In Candidate

Eric Reyes, a 33 year-old attorney from Rock Island, is running as an independent write-in candidate for Congress in the northwest Illinois 17th Congressional District. Reyes, who first planned to run as a Democrat, says he is tired of partisanship. But he knows that his effort is quixotic because the 17th District race between Republican incumbent Bobby Schilling and Democratic challenger Cheri Bustos is a high-profile race with national implications. We talk to the candidiate about the overall race and his platform.

PI Original
by Aricka Flowers
Thu Nov 1, 2012

Early Voting Outlook Good For Obama, Sandy Causes Firestorm For Romney Campaign

Early voting numbers and poll results are not the only troublesome issues plaguing the Romney campaign this week. From Superstorm Sandy to endorsements to a controversial campaign ad, there are quite a few things that are dogging the Republican's campaign this week, just days before the election.

PI Original
by Matthew Blake
Wed Oct 24, 2012

Freeport Sensata Layoffs Spark National Debate On Outsourcing

Employees at the Sensata Technologies manufacturing plant in Freeport have failed to prevent the outsourcing of their jobs to China. Bu they have succeeded at helping to spark a national election season conversation about outsourcing, one that has dominated Illinois’ 17th congressional district race and emerged in the presidential campaign.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Wed Oct 17, 2012

Presidential Candidates Pressed On Richer Variety Of Issues In Second Debate

In the second presidential debate, undecided voters asked the candidates questions on a range of important issues.

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney were, for example, made to discuss outsourcing, which has been the central issue in Illinois’ 17th Congressional district race, and reproductive rights, which has emerged as a key issue in the 8th and 10th Congressional district contests.

There was also a clash on immigration policy and priorities, an issue ignored in the first debate, which mostly focused on fiscal policy.

At one point, President Barack Obama argued that, while obviously restrained by Congress and changing circumstances, a president mainly tries to do what they say they will do in their campaign.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
Wed Sep 19, 2012

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.