WASHINGTON--Democrats are springing on GOP White House hopeful Mitt Romney as he hits Chicago on Thursday for a fund-raiser, with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) raising questions about his backing tax breaks for the wealthy and not wanting to extend President Obama's payroll tax cuts. In a tactic designed to turn off GOP primary voters, Schakowsky heaps praise on Romney for the health care plan he put in place while Massachusetts governor--used as a model by Obama.
Schakowsky's letter to Romney comes as he arrives for a fund-raiser hosted by Susan Crown (of the Crown family) and husband William Kunkler.
The event is 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Ivy Room at Tree Studios, 12 East Ohio.
Schakowsky writes, "Your ground breaking work on health reform in Massachusetts, including the notion of individual responsibility, was a model for the nation and for the Affordable Care Act which President Obama signed in to law. Why then do you keep distancing yourself from the very reforms that you said were a "model for the nation?""
The letter comes as the Democratic National Committee and the Obama 2012 re-election team are focusing more on Romney, a front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination who is trying to lock in a lead over Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Godfather Pizza mogul Herman Cain.
Nominations are won by winning delegates state by state. Romney has the strongest Illinois organization of any of the Republican 2012 contenders in terms of establishment support and campaign contributions. As of Sept. 30, Romney has raised $673,175 in Illinois--leading all his GOP rivals. But compare that to $2,655,677 raised for Obama, whose 2012 national re-election headquarters is in Chicago.
Here's the entire Schakowsky letter:
Dear Governor Romney,
I want to welcome you to the great state of Illinois. Throughout your trip to the state, I'm confident you will get to know the hardworking, entrepreneurial and resilient people that I am privileged to represent every day as a Member of Congress. I hope you take some time to talk with them about many of the challenges facing our state and our country, but also about the great faith that they have in getting our economy working again and creating jobs for middle class families.
As part of your visit, I want to pose a few questions about your plans our constituents would be interested in the answers to:
1) Why do you feel like the wealthiest Americans and corporations need more tax breaks while at the same time criticizing President Obama's plan to extend tax breaks to the middle class as "little Band-Aids" - a plan that would result in a tax cut of $1,640 for a typical Illinois family?
2) In Nevada, you said, "Don't try to stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom." Do you think it is fair to propose more tax breaks for Wall Street CEO's whose decisions led to the collapse of the housing market, while telling homeowners in Illinois and elsewhere who were scammed, cheated or saw their home's value plummet because of the risky bets of Wall Street that they have to fend for themselves?
3) In August you said "I love a flat tax." Is this still the case? And if so, what would a flat tax mean for middle class families in Illinois?
4) Your ground breaking work on health reform in Massachusetts, including the notion of individual responsibility, was a model for the nation and for the Affordable Care Act which President Obama signed in to law. Why then do you keep distancing yourself from the very reforms that you said were a "model for the nation?"
Thank you for taking some time to consider these important questions.