Metro-East News

Duckworth meets laid-off steelworkers in Granite City

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth visits metro-east

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth visited the metro-east Wednesday as she seeks the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.
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U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth visited the metro-east Wednesday as she seeks the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.

Fifty-year-old Cathy Marsh of Granite City told U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth Wednesday about her son, who just finished college.

Marsh, who was laid off from Granite City Works as part of the steel plant’s idling, said she has debt from supporting her son.

“Now I don’t have a job,” Marsh said. “I’m still trying to help him get started ... He’s going to have to deliver pizzas, he’s going to support me. We’re at a scary part in our life.”

Marsh said her son doesn’t want to work at Granite City Works.

“He’s seen what I have had to go through,” Marsh added.

Marsh’s concerns were among those brought up during a Duckworth campaign stop on Wednesday.

Duckworth, D-Hoffman Estates, met with laid-off steelworkers on Wednesday in Granite City, as part of a campaign visit to the metro east.

She also had a meet-and-greet with Democrats in Belleville, and visited a steamfitters union office in Caseyville, where she opened a campaign office.

During her discussion with steelworkers who had been laid off from Granite City Works, Duckworth said she opposed the Trans Pacific Partnership.

“I will fight every single day against the (steel) dumping htat’s happening, the currency manipulation,” Duckworth said. “It’s one of the main reason I did not support the TPP.”

Duckworth is running for the Democratic nomination against State Sen. Napoleon Harris, of Harvey, and former Chicago League CEO Andrea Zopp.

The winner of the Democratic nomination would then face either incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Highland Park, or James Marter, a Republican from Oswego. They are squaring off in the Republican primary.

Duckworth, who spoke critically of Kirk during her visit to the metro-east as if it were already the general election campaign, said she is choosing to focus on the senator, and how he has not represented interests of steelworkers.

“All the times he’s been wrong on foreign policy, all the times he’s been wrong on domestic issues like allowing kids to refinance their student loan debt,” Duckworth said. “But I take nothing for granted. We take it seriously, and we’re traveling the entire state.”

Her meet-and-greet in Belleville included St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, St. Clair County Clerk Thomas Holbrook, Circuit Clerk Kahalah Clay, St. Clair County Chief Judge John Baricevic and St. Clair County Sheriff Richard Watson.

The presidential race

Duckworth said she is supporting Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, but she does like that U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is in the race.

“I think Bernie has made the race exciting, and interesting and put Hillary on her toes,” Duckworth said. “If you look at the debate on the Democratic side, versus the content of the debate on the Republican side, having Bernie in the race has been good. ... We’ve have showed we’re truly talking about every day, hardworking Americans.”

Filling the Supreme Court vacancy

“I think there should be a hearing regardless, because that’s what the constitution says. I think it should be someone with a brilliant legal mind,” Duckworth said. “Someone whose body of work, especially previous rulings shows that they are fair and compassionate.”

“I reject this idea you got to put in a conservative or a liberal or you have to play that game to see who can get through, because the constitution is very clear,” Duckworth added. “The president nominates and the senate holds the hearings so we can see. That way the public could call their senator and say, you should vote for this person, or you shouldn’t vote for that person.”

She even suggested a person with a disability could be named, when asked if another woman or minority should be appointed.

“I just think the court needs to look more like America, and it doesn’t right now,” Duckworth said.

Locating the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Duckworth told Democratic party members she believed the NGA should be located next to Scott Air Force Base.

“It just makes sense,” Duckworth said. “If you even just look at the security aspect and the offset that you need in terms of how much space for site security, you’ve got 1,000 acres. It’s the right place for it.”

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