Halvorson and Kinzinger Face-off at ISU

By Gina Ford

October 12, 2010 Updated Oct 12, 2010 at 10:30 PM CDT

Despite please for quiet during the 11th Congressional District debate at Illinois State University Tuesday night, members of the audience were quite vocal.

Of the hundreds of students, supporters and on-lookers, more than half seemed to favor Republican candidate Adam Kinzinger.

A panel of three got down to business firing questions at Democratic incumbent Debbie Halvorson and Republican congressional hopeful Adam Kinzinger.

A prominent controversial question was asked of whether or not the Bush-era tax cuts should be extended.

Kinzinger said, "I think to raise taxes in this environment and to take money out of entrepreneurs, they're small business owners- that employ probably a lot of you in the audience is the absolute wrong decision."

He said the small business owners will bear the brunt of increased taxes, not the super rich Halvorson points to, but the incumbent disagreed.

She discussed a bill she co-sponsored that allows small business owners to write off any expense under 250 thousand dollars. "We also, 50 percent of everything you spend to invest in your business, write it off on your taxes," said the incumbent. "This is not the time to give Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton tax cuts. That's what we're doing."

The question of how to alleviate the federal debt caused some partisan finger pointing among the candidates.

Kinzinger said it is out-of-control spending on part of the Obama Administration and Democrats that have lead the country to continue battling a rough economic situation.

"At a time when you were at you home tightening the belt, figuring out that you can't necessarily go out to eat anymore and you've got to make some tough choices, the federal government was just writing checks, giving them to everybody," said Kinzinger. "We've got to stop that. We have to hold bureaucratic heads accountable."

"I guess the things that bothers me most is what everyone seems to have and that's amnesia," said Halvorson. "The eight years of the Bush- Cheney administration they got us into two wars, a medicare part D program that cost almost a trillion dollars."

With the tone and temperament of the audience, it appeared unlikely any minds were changed among prospective voters in the crowd. But the debate concluded with a word of advice from panelists- do your homework on the candidates before the November elections.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.