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Legislative Intern Takes Aim at Koch Brothers

Dold responds to question about Citizens United case.

When a member of 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 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——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

“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.”

Ellen Beth Gill June 20, 2011 at 09:30 PM
Koch's fund Americans For Prosperity, the Orwellianly named group that sponsored the event. Hence, the reference was appropriate.
BGDANCEMOM June 21, 2011 at 12:58 AM
We are very close friends with Matt & his family. I can tell you for a fact, that Matt is an extremely bright (if not gifted academically) 14 yr old who has a passion for politics. Instead of mocking him, we would all do well to support him. I say, Go Matt! You have met a future leader of this country!
Concerned Patriot June 21, 2011 at 07:45 AM
How pathetic and desperate is Dold that he send his attack puppies out to slam a high school kid who's trying to learn about civics and government. Like it or not conservatives we have this thing called the BILL OF RIGHTS in these here United States! I find it incredibly hard to believe that Dold has no clue who the Koch brothers are since this is at least his SECOND TOWN HALL sponsored by their right-wing front group. AND Dold paid the Koch brothers back big-time for their $5000 "donation" (wink wink) by voting to keep the tax-funded subsidies going straight from our middle class pockets and into Big Oil's high-profit cash cow. Apparently as long as the wealth redistribution is going from the have-nots to the have-mores Dold and the GOP are a-ok with it!
Matt Rice July 16, 2011 at 03:03 PM
The kid is smart.
Amy Paddock July 16, 2011 at 03:59 PM
Smart Kid indeedy. Love it.

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