Red State's Erick Erickson lays out the case for Don Manzullo over Adam Kinzinger. I have to agree. As Erickson outlines and as I specifically remember from early in 2011, Kinzinger blew his chances to cut spending, mostly because he wasn't informed on what was to be cut. As a crutch, Kinzinger has taken his cues from John Boehner and House Leadership throughout his 1st term. A young man who ran as a Tea Party guy and rode the Tea Party wave, became an establishment Republican overnight, and is now endorsed by House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, over the more time-tested Conservative, Don Manzullo.
In early 2011, after Kinzinger voted down further spending cuts, I posted my displeasure of this on his Facebook page. He replied in a message to me with this defense:
"Here's your opportunity to ask me anything about those cuts. Let me say I voted on 150 amendments in two days, which means sometimes I have no idea the impact of what Im voting on when we are discussing cuts...(I.e. an amendment might read "take $100 million from the Natural resources subsection of forestry account").
If I dont know the impact, I dont vote for it. That's what I call being a conservative legislator. If you disagree or have something specifically that you would have done differently, please share."
I admit, in my surprise at being confronted by Kinzinger, I quickly replied, "That seems to be a good explanation. I agree that it is better to vote NO when you don't know the impact. I'm sure as you gain more experience as a member of Congress, you will learn more of what you need to know. Thank you for your time."
But on second thought, what I would have done differently is consulted the conservatives in the House and studied up on the impact of these cuts. That's what he is sent to Congress to do. These cuts that Kinzinger was so fearful of, were proposed by fellow Republicans. If there was anything that if cut, would have been a disaster, I'm sure the House Leadership that Kinzinger consults so often would have let him know, and the Democrats would have thrown fits. The thing is, Kinzinger didn't simply abstain from voting on the spending cuts he knew nothing about, he voted No.
Kinzinger's current seat was re-districted, and rather than stay and fight against Jesse Jackson, Jr., for the new District 2 seat, Kinzinger put himself first and stepped into the District that Dan Manzullo has served for almost 20 years. Personally, Kinzinger's residence is still listed in Manteno, Illinois, which is fully in the new District 2. But, since Kinzinger's campaign headquarters is in the new District 16, he is technically allowed to represent a District he doesn't have residence in.