Sunday, August 31, 2008

16th Race Heats Up: Abboud Takes on Manzullo for Debate Statements

Labor Day is the traditional beginning of political campaigns and Robert Abboud, the Democratic Party candidate for 16th congressional district United States Representative Don Manzullo's is taking the opportunity to blast his GOP opponent for things he said in a Thursday Rockford television debate.

Here it is:

Abboud: Let Me Educate You Mr. Manzullo

Abboud Demands Manzullo Answer for his Own Record on Trade, Off-Shoring Jobs, Tax Breaks for Companies Operating Overseas

ROCKFORD – Bob Abboud, Democratic challenger in Illinois 16th Congressional district, called on his Republican opponent to own up to his clear record of supporting the off-shoring of American jobs, favored nation trading status with China and tax breaks for companies who move their operations overseas, after being accused of misrepresenting facts and needing ‘to be educated’ on facts related to Rep. Manzullo’s record on these critical issues.

During the live debate on WIFR-23 in Rockford, Manzullo repeatedly told Abboud he ‘needed to be educated’ on the incumbent’s record. Abboud wasted no time in calling into question Manzullo’s own grasp of the facts.

Either my opponent has been in office so long he can’t remember, or he is afraid to own up to the damaging policies he has supported,” Abboud said. “I have the facts, and apparently I must educate Mr. Manzullo. Since he took office in 1992 he has had a clear record of supporting unfair trade with China and corporations who avoid taxation and ship jobs overseas.”

Manzullo, despite claiming the title of ‘Mr. Manufacturing’, has voted repeatedly for tax breaks and trade policies that favor overseas companies and the off shoring of American jobs. Over the past 16 years Don Manzullo has been one of the chief architects of policies that have resulted in the 11 percent unemployment rate in Rockford, the decline in family household incomes and the loss of thousands of jobs in the 16th District. During his term Manzullo voted for the following:

  • The Singapore Trade Agreement which directly led to the loss of 100 Rockford jobs at Hamilton Sundstrand

  • Voted 7 times for most favored nation trading status and improved trading status for China

  • Voted against restricting nuclear sales to China

  • Voted to support international loans for China

  • Voted for foreign companies to receive Homeland Security contracts

  • Voted against preventing American companies from laying off more U.S. workers than foreign workers

  • Voted to give overseas companies federal contracts

  • Voted for $12.8 billion in corporate tax breaks, allowing multinational companies with extensive offshore operations to fully use foreign tax credits to offset their tax liability.

For 16 years Mr. Manzullo has depended upon people looking the other way and his extraordinary talent for duplicity” said Michael Carroll, Communications Director for the Abboud campaign. “He says he wants to support manufacturing and he will give you a long list of tiny accomplishments that he believes proves his support of working families. But the second we turn our backs, Mr. Manzullo is voting to ship our jobs overseas and giving companies that do it a tax break. Enough is enough – the families struggling to make ends meet in our community deserve better, they deserve the truth.”

With documented unemployment in the Rockford drifting further and further into double digits, Abboud says the 16th District communities can no longer afford to suffer Don Manzullo’s broken promises and failed leadership.

Our community needs a Congressman who understands how critical manufacturing is, a congressman who has run a business and created jobs,” Abboud said. “My opponent has never run a business and it’s clear he doesn’t understand how important manufacturing is to this district. If we want new jobs then we can’t suffer any more of Don Manzullo’s empty rhetoric and do nothing policies.”

To read Abboud’s economic platform and plan to bring jobs back to the 16th District, visit

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On top you see the three candidates for the 16th congressional seat. From left to right are Green Party candidate Scott Summers, Democratic Party candidate Robert Abboud and Republican Party incumbent and candidate for re-election Don Manzullo. I do not know the names of the WIRF-23 folks asking the questions.

Posted first at McHenry County Blog, which has a story about Congressman Don Manzullo's talk to NFIB members and Democrats celebrating in a non-union Holiday Inn they boycotted for their Jefferson Day Dinner.


James Jack,  9:02 PM  

I am a Republican but Abboud is right on this issue.

A_Summers_Supporter 12:42 PM  

Scott Summers is the only good progressive candidate in this strange 16th Congressional match up.

Abboud is positions himself as Republican Light, with nuclear frosting.

nicodemus 2:20 PM  

I watched this debate, not really knowing a lot about Mr. Abboud. After watching this debate, I felt more committed and motivated to stick with Don Manzullo. Why? I think Abboud came across as brash and rude- he kept interrupting. And in several parts he was demagoging with statements that were just plain wrong. Don earns his pension and pays for his health coverage like anyone else. Are members of congress supposed to forfeit their pension and not have any retirement someday just because they are members of congress? Are they supposed to not have health coverage just because some Americans do not? Not all members of congress are wealthy like Mr. Abboud of Barrington.

This race is not really on the radar yet. Even if Abboud does spend his own money on the race, I don't think he will be a contender. If you look on Abboud's website, his own father did not want him to run. Why is that significant? 1. When you run for office, it sends the right message if your own family is on board and supportive 2. How old is Abboud? Does he still have to go around pleasing his daddy?

In the debate, Don looked the most natural and he is honest and he came across like a gentleman, especially as Abboud kept cutting him off and yapping at him.

And what was the deal with Scott Summers who kept standing up and didn't sit like the other two? Did he have hemroids or something?

Scott Summers,  7:15 PM  

All three of us were standing throughout. What you saw was merely a height differential: I happen to be six-feet-four. Scott Summers

Scott Summers,  7:29 PM  

For my perspective on the candidate forum, please see my blog, My campaign website is Thanks. Scott Summers, Illinois Green Party candidate for U.S. Congress, 16th District

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