Tenth District congressional candidates Robert Dold and Dan Seals turned in occasionally feisty performances Wednesday night in Glenview when they debated their stances on Social Security, foreign policy, the economy and other issues.
The head-to-head meeting at Glenbrook South High School lasted more than an hour and was far more lively than the previous day's debate in Arlington Heights. Each candidate scored points with the audience by attacking the platforms and statements of his opponent.
Dold, a Republican from Kenilworth, criticized Seals by saying the Wilmette Democrat "is for major tax increases" and that Seals "has yet to meet a tax increase he didn't like."
Seals - who has repeatedly said he doesn't want to raise taxes during the nation's current economic crisis - responded by laughing at the remark and saying, "I don't know where he's getting that." The audience laughed along with him.
Seals took plenty of swings at Dold, too. Midway through the event, Seals cited a media report indicating Dold didn't pay payroll taxes for some campaign workers, an accusation at the heart of a new Seals TV commercial. The audience laughed and tittered.
Dold responded by explaining, as he's done before, that the workers in question were independent contractors who are responsible for paying their own taxes under federal law. He then went on the offensive by attacking Seals' status as a business consultant.
"You're an independent contractor," Dold said. "Don't you know you have to pay taxes on that?"
The applause and hoots that followed that statement and others led the moderator from the League of Women Voters to caution audience members about their behavior multiple times.
Dold hit Seals for changing his tune about whether the Bush-era tax cuts should be allowed to expire. Seals previously had said the cuts should be eliminated, but he recently reversed course and said they should continue for a year because of the nation's current economic woes.
Dold believes they should be extended long-term.
Seals swung for the fences by criticizing Dold's much-reported opinions on abortion. Dold has said he supports abortion rights but admits he opposes late-term abortions and taxpayer funding for abortion, and that he supports parental notification.
Seals touted the endorsement he's received from a leading abortion rights group and said he's the only abortion rights supporter in the race.
Dold didn't back off his position.
"I have the moderate stance on this issue," Dold said. "My opponent has the extreme one."
Debate: Dold insists he has moderate stance on abortion