Vote 2010: From Pizza Parlor to Power Player


Schilling and his opponent Hare coincidentally share some biographical connections. Both are from Rock Island, Illinois, both attended the same Catholic high school, and both attended Black Hawk College near the Quad Cities. But Schilling says the similarities end there.

"We have a lot of career politicians. Like the guy that's going to be unelected on November 2. You know, this is all [Hare] knows. He's never run a business, doesn't know when to stop spending money, he's never had to balance a budget or meet a payroll. And that's something that I bring to table that's much needed in the country today," Schilling said.

If elected, Schilling promises to abide by an informal contract he's made with the 17th district of Illinois, including a self-imposed eight-year term limit in the House, rejecting the congressional pension plan and donating any congressional pay raises to charities in his home district.

Schilling Touts Small Business Credentials

"We're going to give a lot better service than what's going on right now. I'm going in to serve. I'm not going in to make a career and that's the big difference between the two of us," Schilling said.

While President Obama's successful presidential campaign may have motivated Schilling to seek public office, he's not exactly a fan of No. 44.

"I think [President Obama's] done actually not very well at all," Schilling said. "He's an excellent campaigner, but you know, it's time to stop the vacations, stop the golfing and it's time to get to work and run this country."

"We've got the jobs numbers out again. We're still at 9.6 percent [unemployment]. We spent a trillion dollars of money promising us that unemployment wasn't going over eight percent. I believe the stimulus failed, and I think that until [President Obama] decides to help create an environment that's going to be favorable towards small business, I think that it's just going to continue to go down the wrong path," Schilling said.

Schilling says that during the financial crisis, business at the pizzeria has dropped about 20 percent. If the Bush-era tax cuts expire at the end of the year, he predicts he would have to lay off at least one of his eight employees ? most likely one of his own children.

"As a small business owner, I understand that if they give me another tax ? and this is why this is so important we don't get any tax increases ? is there's only so much you can charge for your product, and then people have to stop buying because we're in a downturn economy."

When asked what he thinks about the GOP's proposed legislative agenda "A Pledge to America," Schilling says it's "a good start" but that "it needs to go a little more in depth."

Schilling vs. Hare in Illinois

"One of the things I did like is that they talked about any bill that comes to the floor before they vote on it, they check to make sure it's a constitutional bill," Schilling said.

Schilling said he's opposed to the health care reform bill signed into law by President Obama earlier this year, and calls it "a tax bill" wrapped with "a few pieces of Health Care reform."

2010 Election Maps: Follow the Senate, House and Governors' Races

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