It wouldn’t be the first time a political candidate lied.
But Cheri Bustos, the Democrat congressional representative from East Moline, not only reneged on her pledge to take a 10% cut in her Congressional pay as a symbolic gesture of belt-tightening, she then had the gall to claim that because the pledge was made to the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board, it somehow didn’t count as a campaign pledge to her would-be constituents.
Democrat Cheri Bustos, you probably won’t be surprised, isn’t the staunchest pro-gun member of the Illinois Congressional delegation. In fact, she refused to return her Gun Owners of America candidate survey last year, sharing company with the raving anti-gunner Democrat Congressman Tami Duckworth from Schaumburg.
It seems Democrat Cheri Bustos doesn’t subscribe for former Republican Congressman JC Watts’ famous creed: “Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.”
The Tribune’s Eric Zorn slashes Bustos to ribbons about the story in the Tribune.
(Story is behind a paywall, but turn off scripting to the page and you can read the whole article.)
Democratic U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, of East Moline, has given us a political version of the old thought experiment asking, if a tree falls in a deserted forest, does it make a sound?
…Before that election she came to Chicago — more than 80 miles from the closest border of the district — at an informal joint interview with Schilling in front of the Tribune Editorial Board.
After she made her pitch for the congressional pay cut, Editorial Board member John McCormick asked for clarification: “If you’re elected, are you going to say to whoever the HR department is, ‘Keep 10 percent of my pay’?”
“I’m saying . . . ” she began.
“It’s yes or no,” McCormick interrupted. “Are you going to voluntarily give up 10 percent of your salary?”
“Yes,” Bustos said. “And I would propose that there’s a vote to cut 10 percent of the pay . . . for every member of Congress.”
…For most of the past month, Bustos has been eating those words. Schilling, running to try to win back his old seat, has been playing the streaming audio of Bustos’ pledge and demanding she cough up $34,800 — a 10th of her $174,000 congressional salary for both years she’s been in office — perhaps as a donation to a veterans group.
And Bustos has been refusing. When I asked for comment, her campaign directed me to a recent Peoria Journal Star article in which Bustos told a reporter, “When I was in Chicago, I said something that I shouldn’t have said, but I never said it on the campaign trail. I never made it as a promise to the people in the 17th Congressional District.”
We jaded citizens are accustomed by now to the “circumstances changed” excuse for breaking a vow made in political battle, as well as the “I tried, but . . .” excuse, the “my words were taken out of context” excuse and the “if I had only known before I took office” excuse.
But the “I didn’t really mean it and since I didn’t say it to voters it wasn’t a promise” excuse is a new one.