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42nd District candidates argue over ads
By Melissa Jenco | Daily Herald Staff

Linda Holmes


Terri Ann Wintermute


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Published: 10/29/2008 4:10 PM

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State Sen. Linda Holmes and Republican rival Terri Ann Wintermute are defending themselves against what they say are untrue negative campaign ads in their race for the 42nd District Senate seat.

Holmes, an Aurora Democrat, has held the seat since defeating Wintermute in 2006. Both candidates have been blitzing the airwaves and mailboxes with campaign ads.

But Holmes says recent ads claiming she spoke in support of an income tax increase are false.

The ads are referring to comments the Wintermute camp says Holmes made during an Oct. 15 candidates forum in Joliet sponsored by the Will-Grundy Counties Home Builders and Associates and the Contractors Association of Will and Grundy Counties.

Wintermute of Bolingbrook says candidates were asked if they would support raising the income tax from 3 percent to 4 percent and claims Holmes said she may consider it in the future.

Holmes denies the claim and says she voiced her opposition to an income tax increase as she always has.

"Politics is sort of a dirty business, and I understand people stretch the truth when it comes to records and taking things out of context," she said. "It's a dirty game, and I understand that. However, I'm upset because this is a blatant lie."

Wintermute stands by the ad. Her camp claims it has a audio recording of the event but wasn't able to produce it. The sponsors of the forum didn't record it.

Meanwhile, Wintermute says ads claiming that she lowered Exxon Mobil's property taxes are false.

Wintermute explained that, while she served on the Will County Board, Exxon had considered moving to Texas. But then the company negotiated a deal with the state.

As part of that deal, Exxon agreed to make $100 million in improvements to a refinery in Joliet. In return, the state agreed to give Exxon sales tax breaks on money the company spent to make the improvements.

Wintermute said the county board, in a unanimous bipartisan vote, refused to make any such deals on local property or sales taxes and only ratified the state's agreement.

"Will County got cleaner air, kept 4,000 jobs and 1,000 union members got to work on the project to implement $100 million in new construction," she said.

Meanwhile, Holmes maintains the ad is factual.

The 42nd District includes portions of Aurora, Naperville, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Joliet, Montgomery, North Aurora, Oswego, Romeoville and Shorewood.