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56th state hopefuls trade shots over taxes, licensing
By Ashok Selvam | Daily Herald Staff

Anita Forte-Scott


Paul Froehlich


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Published: 9/26/2008 6:34 AM

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The candidates for the 56th state representative seat continued to take familiar swipes at each other at Thursday's debate in Schaumburg

Republican challenger Anita Forte-Scott once more tried to link incumbent Paul Froehlich with embattled Democrats Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Cook County Board President Todd Stroger, asking if Northwest suburban voters would be better off with a Democrat in office.

Froehlich ripped into both officials later in the debate, saying they should be recalled.

Froehlich, 57, sought to show Forte-Scott didn't know how to free up money from the state's budget to pay for programs she was promising voters, like getting money for higher education.

The Schaumburg Township District Library trustee said she opposed new taxes.

"Where's this money going to come from when you're against raising taxes?" Froehlich asked.

The two differed on policies for granting driving rights to undocumented immigrants. Forte-Scott, 39, of Schaumburg, said she was against issuing driver's licenses in all instances.

"I would not expect to come to their country and drive around without a driver's license or somehow being tested and being identified and I sure hope they would not want to do that to us," she said.

Froehlich said he would support offering a driver certificate, which is different from a license, and not for identification purposes. He said law enforcement groups also support certificates, because it involves fingerprinting and allows more drivers to get auto insurance.

"We'd know who's here, police like to know that," he said.

Forte-Scott also said government needs to ensure pensions for teachers are safe, saying that teachers are having money stolen from them when they contribute to their retirement.

When it comes to pensions, Froehlich said if the state continues to pay the pension fund on time, based on the schedule established in 1995, pensions will be safe.

Forte-Scott sees herself as a new direction for the state legislature who will support families.

"Our state is broken, and if someone doesn't get down there quick with a wrench to fix it, it's just going to become worse and worse," she said.

Froehlich said his unique experience, being the only state representative who has run in contested races as a Republican and a Democrat over the last two years shows that he's willing to cross party lines. He switched from the GOP last year.

The debate was hosted by the Schaumburg Business Association and moderated by Paul Green.