Dundee GOP's Prestia calls out Rep. Casten's comments on pay raises as 'out-of-touch elitism'
Linda Prestia considers 6th Congressional District Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove) to be another out-of-touch liberal Democrat elitist who cares more for his influential Washington peers than the hardworking Illinoisans who elected him.
Prestia, a committeewoman for the Dundee Township Republican Organization who lives in U.S. House Rep. Casten's 6th District, told the Kane County Reporter that Casten's comments to The Hill in support of a 2.6-percent cost-of-living raise for congressional members are wrong. Casten, who defeated incumbent Peter Roskam last November, told the Hill he defends the increase of $4,500 above the current $174,000 salary because he wants to attract the "best and brightest" to represent Illinois.
"When I ran my company, I paid a competitive wage," Casten said.
Prestia said Casten is the former owner of a failed green energy business who lobbied for tax breaks that Roskam would not grant.
"That is the real reason why Casten sought office; it was in retaliation for Rep. Roskam not giving in to his demands," Prestia said.
Casten, a member of the Climate Crisis Committee, should back legislation that demands elected officials who own green energy businesses be exempt from voting on tax breaks or policies that benefit them or family members, according to Prestia. She said along with the $174,000 annual salary, members of Congress "yield big power," especially with job perks like health insurance, recesses and pensions after only a few terms.
Prestia also pointed out that Casten sits on three Congressional House committees, all of which he gets additional taxpayer-funded compensation to serve on.
"It's rather ironic that our Illinois Congressman, who has only been there less than a year, would advocate for a pay hike for himself after we here in Illinois will be further held hostage by expansive tax burdens implemented by the same controlling Democrats who poured big money into his race to help him win," Prestia said.
However, Casten contends that Washington can be expensive.
"I didn't tell people, come here because you're so committed to our mission that you're willing to, you know, sleep on your friend's couch and work for peanuts," Casten told The Hill. "It's horrible that we force people to do that."
Casten's comments bring Prestia to one conclusion.
"I think voters who turned out to vote for Casten and his fellow Democrats were either low-information voters, or they are the same out-of-touch elitists like Casten," Prestia said. "I didn't forget during the televised debate a year ago when Casten declared the best way to grow the economy is to increase taxes."