Lipinski lambastes challenger

Incumbent congressman coasts in 3rd Dist.

By Laura Bollin

Voters elected U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski to a fifth term in office Tuesday, sending the incumbent congressman to an easy victory over his Republican challenger in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District.

Lipinski, of Western Springs, had received 108,020 votes (70.6 percent) to Rich Grabowski’s 44,951 (29.3 percent) with 198 of 255 precincts reporting in suburban Cook County and 149 out of 202 precincts reporting in Chicago, according to unofficial results from the Cook County clerk’s and Chicago Board of Elections websites.

The 3rd district includes all or parts of Palos Park, Palos Heights, Hickory Hills, Palos Hills and Oak Lawn.

Lipinski when reached by phone on election night thanked voters for their support throughout his campaign. Lipinski said his priorities for his next two-year term will be on job creation, including his five-point jobs plan, and working to pass a responsible deficit reduction plan.

“Next Congress, my five-point jobs plan will still be a priority, including fighting to punish China for illegal currency manipulation designed to cause the outsourcing of American jobs,” he said. “I plan on re-introducing my Buy American Improvement Act and working to ensure that ‘buy American’ laws are followed.”

Lipinski, a conservative Democrat, established the five-point jobs plan last year, and hopes it will improve people’s outlook and the economy. The five points are strengthening manufacturing, enforcing fair trade, building up infrastructure, investing in innovation, and improving education and workforce training. He hopes to increase manufacturing jobs, and has sponsored a bill called the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, which passed in the House in September but is still pending in the Senate.

The Manufacturing Competitiveness Act would implement a bipartisan board, consisting of members of the public and private sectors, that would create a list of policies intended to promote American manufacturing, Lipinski said. The first board would create policies in 2014, and a second board would do so in 2018.

Transportation is another important issue for Lipinski.

“When I am sworn in at the beginning of next year, I will be Illinois’ most senior member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee,” Lipinski said. “I’ll push Congress to pass a robust road and transit-funding bill that puts people to work and takes care of local priorities.”

Grabowski said he learned campaigns take a lot of hard work, and that he worked as hard as he could. He thinks Democrats remain in office in Illinois because of the “Democratic machine” in Chicago.

“Forty years ago, Democrats had dominance over the Chicagoland area,” Grabowski said on election night. “Republicans were run out of town and their businesses were chased on. I learned how to adapt to be an elected official, but also be yourself, and I think I did that really well this campaign. If I lose tonight, I go out tomorrow and pick up my yard signs.”

Grabowski ran for state representative in Illinois’ 36th House District in 2010, and decided to run for Congress when he learned Lipinski did not have an opponent. Like Lipinski, he ran on a platform of increasing American manufacturing jobs, and had hoped to focus on non-union jobs as well as union jobs.