Teen Intern Takes Aim at Koch Brothers
Dold responds to question about Citizens United case.
When a member of Rep. Robert Dold’s (R-Kenilworth) staff asked for “two more questions” toward the end of an Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Town Hall Saturday in Vernon Hills, AFP organizer Collin Corbett got a surprise when a "little kid” took the floor.
The “little kid” was Matt Rice, a 14-year-old Buffalo Grove resident and Stevenson High School freshman. He is spending the summer as an intern for state Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills). Rice took dead aim at a U.S. Supreme Court decision that has helped enable AFP founders David and Charles Koch to make larger donations than were previously possible.
“As both of us know and a lot of us who are here know in 2010 the Supreme Court sided with the corporations in the Citizens United Case,” Rice said. “Do you think it’s fair to level the playing field toward the corporations or to level the playing field for the people of the 10th District?”
Dold did not directly take a position on the Citizens United case nor did he say he would try to write new legislation to eliminate its provisions.
“If you want to change that it’s going to be up to us to change that in a way that works,” Dold said, referring to the need of any new campaign finance law to meet constitutional requirements. “The Supreme Court said this is a First Amendment right.”
Dold told Rice a level playing field is important. The congressman then explained he would like to meet all constituents in person but recognized it was not possible.
“We’d love to be able to get out there and shake every single hand the way we’re doing now. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case,” Dold said. “We try to raise as much money as we can so we can send out mail get out on television, which is extraordinarily expensive.”
Sente was pleased Rice asked the question. She also acknowledged facing questions before a bipartisan crowd is a challenge. She has been mentioned as a possible candidate to run against Dold.
“I’m going to listen to what people have to say and see what develops,” Sente said. Three Democratic candidates—Brad Schneider, Ilya Sheyman and Robert McKenzie—have already filed papers to seek their party’s nomination to oppose Dold.
One person at the event was very specific when it came to Dold’s status in the next election. “You now live outside of the 10th district. Are you planning on moving inside the 10th District?” Dold was asked. The attendee was referring to the fact Dold’s Kenilworth home lies outside the new legislative boundaries drawn by the Illinois General Assembly.
“It’s important to note I represent the 10th District and will until January of 2013. Right now I’m focusing in on [the citizens’] issues and concerns,” Dold said. “I will run for Congress. If the map holds I will run in the 10th District and we’ll move up there as well.”
One person asked Dold why he voted in favor of the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). The questioner claimed the plan would end Medicare. Dold said the Ryan budget was a step toward saving Medicare.
“Do we save Medicare or do we let it go bankrupt?” Dold asked the crowd. “[The Ryan budget] is a blue print. What we know won’t work is the plan we’re on right now. I’m ready and willing to sit down with anyone who has a plan to do so.”