UPDATE x2 9/17/10 9:00 a.m.: Why is Ellen of the Tenth, our old blogging arch-nemesis calling out Congresswoman Melissa Bean of the 8th Congressional District for her support of extending the Bush tax cuts to everyone, but has nothing to say about Dan Seals' support for the same thing? Ellen and her sidekick Carl Nyberg have been steadfast in their support for Seals over Dold in IL-10, but perhaps they just overlooked this minor issue.
Original post and updates below:
The Chicago Tribune takes an in-depth look at the two candidates vying to replace outgoing Congressman Mark Kirk in Illinois' 10th Congressional District, with some interesting results.
Most tellingly, Democratic candidate Dan Seals seems to be retreating from a number of positions on the issues that he held in the two prior elections cycles, 2006 and 2008, in which he faced moderate Republican Mark Kirk (and lost twice, we always like to point out).
First, the Tribune reports that Seals now is against increasing the amount of income that is subject to social security taxes, which is a change from his previous positions, says the Trib. Interestingly, his position now mirrors that of his Republican opponent, Bob Dold. What's the reason behind Seals' conversion? The Tribune doesn't explain.
Next, we learn from the Tribune piece that Dan Seals is now in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts to all Americans, regardless of how "wealthy" they are, a big change from his view in prior campaigns. That's right, Seals now favors the position held by his opponent, Bob Dold, and most Republicans, even though President Obama has been adamant about not extending those cuts for those individuals making more than $200,000 a year.
We were skeptical about Seals truly going on the record and taking this position, and I'm happy to see that he now supports letting those villainous ultra-rich folks keep more of their money (that's 'snark' for those of you who seem to have trouble recognizing it from time to time) and reversing course on President Obama's ultimate goal of radical wealth redistribution. (OMG, Bush did something Seals now supports? I can hear the screams from Ellen of the Tenth clear across Lake County!)
If you will recall, we recently suggested that the good people of Highland Park and similar affluent communities would look askance at any attempt by the likes of Dan Seals to raise their taxes; who knows, maybe someone sent Seals a Team America link. ;-)
Wow, what a difference a little time makes. I wonder how many more of Seals' campaign planks that he relied upon for years are going to change as he seeks to more closely mimic the positions of his opponent? Could it be that Seals is nervous about the national trend showing that Americans are fed up with Obama's policies (including his resistance to extending all of the Bush tax cuts) and are ready to jettison the Democrats this fall? It would fit nicely with what we seem to be seeing locally, where even Congresswoman Melissa Bean has gotten the tax cut memo (she now supports extending the tax cuts across the board), and the Springfield Democrats are running away even from each other in near panic.
While we can't help but smile at Dan Seals' sudden conversion to the GOP-way of thinking, I suspect that some of our more liberal friends will be gnashing their teeth a bit at this 'betrayal.' Seals still offers up plenty of liberal red meat on social issues, but we'll have to see what some of our die-hard leftist commentors think about Seals' sudden tack to the right on fiscal policy. Have at it, everyone.
UPDATED: It didn't take the Dold campaign long to dig up some Seals quotes from his past campaigns to show just how far Seals has swung on these issues:
Dan Seals Is Changing in Each Run for Congress
Dold Campaign: Seals Will Say Anything to Get Elected
Winnetka, IL – Today, Tenth District Congressional candidate Robert Dold questioned his opponent Dan Seals’s real position on issues after his most recent flip on extending tax cuts for all Americans and raising the cap on Social Security taxes.
“In his three runs for Congress, Dan Seals has morphed into the candidate he thinks voters would like him to be in his perennial attempt to create one job – one for himself,” said Dold for Congress spokesperson Kelly Klopp. “He has run in the past as a tax and spend liberal and now we are to believe that, despite being in lockstep with the leadership in Congress, that he is a champion of small businesses and lower taxes?”
In yesterday’s endorsement session at the Chicago Tribune, Seals said he favors extending the tax cuts for one year, despite positions to the contrary in his two previous campaigns:
• A Seals for Congress press release (12/09): “Seals has continuously opposed the Bush tax cuts. He believes they are unfair and should be corrected.”
• A Chicago Tribune article (10/08): “Seals said he would restore the old rates" on top earners.
• A Daily Herald article (2006 campaign) “[Seals’s] other top goals are reducing the federal deficit, in part, by rolling back tax cuts.”
In yesterday’s Tribune session Seals also said he opposed raising the cap on taxes for Social Security, in direct contrast to his answer to the Tribune questionnaire in the 2010 primary when he said, “I would like to raise the cap on taxes for Social Security.”
“Robert Dold opposes tax increases on Americans and businesses and believes that the better way forward to is to grow our economy and increase private-sector jobs,” said Klopp. “The 10th District voters are right to question how Dan Seals would vote if elected since he can’t keep his story straight during his three campaigns for the seat.”