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9th District candidates offer clear choice on issues

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The candidates for the 9th District congressional seat representing Evanston have staked out dramatically different positions on most major issues.

If the incumbent Democrat, Jan Schakowsky, supports something, you can be pretty confident her Republican challenger, Tim Wolfe, opposes it, and vice versa.

Here's a rundown of their positions on key issues as compiled by Project Vote Smart.

Schakowsky supports and Wolfe opposes:

  • Abortion: Giving women the right to choose.
  • Afghanistan: Setting a timetable for withdrawal.
  • Campaign finance: Limiting indirect contributions from corporations and unions.
  • Economic growth: Promoting it through federal spending.
  • Education: Requiring states to implement reforms to compete for federal grants.
  • Environment: Regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Guns: Restricting gun ownership.
  • Immigration: Letting illegal immigrants brought here as children pursue citizenship without returning to their country of origin.
  • Marriage: Legalizing same-sex marriage.
  • Taxes: Raising rates on top income brackets.

Wolfe supports and Schakowsky opposes:

  • Capital punishment: Imposing it for certain crimes.
  • Energy: Reducing restrictions on offshore drilling.
  • Health: Repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act
  • Social Security: Letting individuals divert funds into personal retirement accounts.

Taxes

Wolfe favors "slightly increasing" income taxes on low income families while "slightly decreasing" income taxes on all other income levels. He favors maintaining current capital gains tax rates and "greatly decreasing" corporate taxes.

Schakowsky favors "greatly increasing" income taxes on high income families, holding them steady for middle income families and "slightly decreasing" them for low income families. She would also "slightly increase" capital gains and corporate tax rates.

Spending

Regarding spending priorities, Wolfe would "greatly decrease" spending on agriculture, arts, education, the enviornment, homeland security, foreign aid and the United Nations and eliminate federal funding of aborion services. He would "slightly decrease" defense spending and maintain current funding for space exploration.

Schakowsky would "greatly decrease" defense spending. She would maintain funding levels for homeland security and the United Nations. She proposes a mix of cuts and increases for different aspects of agricultural programs and foreign aid. She would "slightly increase" spending on the arts, environment, medical and scientific research, space exploration and welfare, She would "greatly increase" spending on educaition.

Global warming

Schakowsky believes human activity contributes to climate change, while Wolfe says he doesn't think it does.

The candidates do agree that the U.S. should target suspected terrorists even outside official war zones.

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