Bustos' opponent suggests Dems focus more on perception of party than on their constituents
Bill Fawell, who ran against Cheri Bustos in the 2018 Congressional campaign, said her office has been out of touch with constituent issues and too focused on the ideals of the party.
“A lot of it is Democrats have isolated themselves so much with identity politics and they use that to avoid real issues,” Fawell said. “Now they are reaping the whirlwind.”
Fawell said he was not aware of the particulars that led last week to the departure of a half-dozen senior staff members from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Bustos was named the committee's chairman earlier this year.
He surmised that there could have been pressure to meet quotas.
“I heard [the staff members] had resigned in protest," Fawell said. "She was here in the district and had to rush back to Washington.”
Fawell said that Democrats’ concern with racial and gender platforms takes up too much valuable time that they could be using to focus on the economy or other voter concerns in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District.
“[The departure of senior staff] was probably a reflection of putting quotas on staffing and you end up trying to craft your staff around quotas.”
In the big scheme of things, he said, the controversy could suggest that U.S. Rep. Bustos (D-Moline), who is now serving her fourth term in Congress, is too far removed from the goals of her office.
“It shows she has allegiance to the party instead of to the people.”
Fawell ran against Bustos in the November 2018 election, garnering about 35 percent of the vote to Bustos’ 64 percent. A real estate developer from Galena, he campaigned in part on term limits and on curtailing the power of federal agencies and lobbyists.