David Gill, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House in the 13th Congressional District, Thursday lauded the fact that U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson of Urbana was the only House Republican to break with his party this week on a well-publicized tax vote.
“Kudos Tim Johnson,” Gill said during an appearance on the Old Capitol Plaza in Springfield.
Gill supports extending tax cuts originally granted under President George W. Bush only for people making less than $250,000 annually.
Republicans control the House, where a vote was taken Wednesday to extend all the Bush tax reductions. The cuts are set to expire Dec. 31 without a congressional extension. The vote was 256-171. Nineteen Democrats joined Republicans in voting to extend all the cuts, but Johnson was the only Republican to vote against the measure.
“He just voted his conscience on this one,” Johnson spokesman Phil Bloomer said. “He’s said before that we have to look at the revenue side as well. He’s willing to look at some kind of compromise. It’s time to move ahead and show some leadership.”
Johnson won the March Republican primary, but later dropped out of the race.
Rodney Davis of Taylorville, named to replace Johnson as the GOP candidate in the 13th, would have voted with Republicans to extend all the tax cuts, a spokesman said.
“Rodney’s position has been clear that after 41 months of national unemployment over 8 percent, it’s the wrong time to raise taxes,” said Davis spokesman Patrick Pfingsten.
Republicans, in part through a web site called DrRadical, accuse Gill of wanting to end all the Bush-era tax cuts, based on an interview he did in early July on WDWS radio in Champaign.
Gill said he was responding to a question about what wealthy people should pay in taxes. “I certainly think that we need the President George Bush tax cuts to expire,” he said in the interview.
But Gill’s campaign website says he will “hold the line on taxes for Americans earning less than $250,000,” and Gill reiterated that stand in Springfield.
Sierra Club endorsement
Gill was in Springfield to announce his endorsement by the Sierra Club.
Wes King, chair of the Sierra Club’s Sangamon Valley Group, said Gill has “the ability to stand up against the ExxonMobiles of the world and to say, ‘I support clean, green energy, and we need to end subsidies for oil companies.’”
Davis got a $5,000 donation from ExxonMobil. Gill said he wants to end subsidies to oil companies.
“If we’re going to be subsidizing energy, we ought to be subsidizing green energy,” Gill said.
Pfingsten responded that, “Rodney believes in an energy policy that uses an approach encompassing all the resources our country has to offer, like biofuels, wind, fossil fuels, coal, hydroelectric, and others. We can’t put our head in the sand and take a narrow approach.”
Also in the race in the new 13th, which includes much of Springfield, is independent John Hartman of Edwardsville