Democrats' Attacks Subside at Forum
At fourth debate in five days, Sheyman’s attacks on Schneider ebb as Tree takes jab at Sheyman.
With four debates in the last five days, the quartet of Democrats seeking their party’s nomination in the March 20 primary to oppose 10th District Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) in the Nov. 6 general election became more restrained toward each other Sunday.
Deerfield management consultant Brad Schneider became increasingly aggressive Wednesday at Stevenson High School and then Saturday at the Deerfield Hyatt responding to attacks by Waukegan community organizer Ilya Sheyman for Schneider’s campaign donations to Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Highland Park) since 2002.
By Sunday, the subject was not raised at a League of Women Voters forum before more than 250 people at the Highland Park Country Club, but Long Grove business owner John Tree, the last contender to make a closing statement, finished with a jab at Sheyman.
“This is not (Rep.) Jan Schakowsky’s (D-Evanston) district,” Tree said in reference to Sheyman’s continued classification of himself as a Progressive and supporter of the 9th District representative’s policies.
Sheyman Claims He Best Fits Tree’s Standard
Sheyman told Patch after the forum Sunday he was the best qualified candidate by Tree’s standard of being ready to go to Washington and get things done for the citizens of the district.
“I’ve organized for change,” Sheyman said. “I’ve brought people together to find common ground. I am the most qualified and ready to go to Congress.”
On Wednesday, Sheyman questioned Schneider’s loyalty to the Democratic Party because of donations made to Kirk. On Saturday, in front of more than 400 people, he did it again at a debate sponsored by the 10th Congressional District Democrats.
“You say you are a progressive,” Sheyman said to Schneider. “In 2006 and 2008 when I was working to get Dan Seals elected you were donating to Mark Kirk.”
Of the $32,030 Schneider gave to federal candidates over the years, $3,300 went to Kirk, according to the filings with the Federal Election Commission. Most of the rest went to people like Schakowsky, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Springfield) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
“Ninety percent of my donations went to Democrats and 100 percent of my donations went to support the U.S.-Israel relationship,” Schneider said. “In 2004 I worked to get (former Rep.) Melissa Bean (D-Barrington) elected and in 2006 I helped elect a Democrat (to the House).”
Schneider Touts Work for Bean, Hill
Schneider was referring to his efforts six years ago on behalf of former Rep. Barron Hill (D-IN), a Congressman Schneider had supported since 2000. “That helped take back the House,” he said. In 2004, Bean ousted 30-year veteran Rep. Phil Crane (R-Wauconda).
With the first question Sunday asking the candidates to explain why they were best suited to carry the Democratic banner against Dold, the fourth contender, Mundelein attorney Vivek Bavda, claimed he had the best resume.
“My background,” he said. “I have the most diverse experience. I have been a federal regulator working at the Federal Reserve Bank. I taught in Compton, CA. I fought to prevent a ban on stem cell research in Missouri.”
Sheyman touted his consistent record on progressive values. “Our campaign has the best ability to win this race because we convey a clear contrast to Dold," he said. “I have clear, consistent progressive values.”
Tree Touts Military Career
A 20-year military career and time in the business world are the reasons Tree believes he is best suited to win the general election. “"I've seen the economy from every angle,” he said. “We need to win by appealing to our Democrat base and by appealing to the middle. I can do that."
Schneider also claimed he can not only win over the independent voters of the district, but he trumps Dold on the Congressman’s own strengths.
“Dold claims he has a business background but mine goes deeper. I’ve had 30 years as an employee and a boss,” Schneider said. He explained the newly drawn boundaries are 34 percent Democrat, 26 percent Republican and 40 percent independent. “I can appeal to the independent minded.”
On a very local subject effecting Highland Park, Glenview and North Chicago, all four candidates want impact aid paid by the government to school districts educating military children to cover the complete cost of that learning. It currently does not.