U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam Ripped Democrat Jill Morgenthaler's Connections to the Go

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Byline: Joseph Ryan Politics and Projects Editor jryan@dailyherald.com

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam ripped Democrat Jill Morgenthalers connections to the governor at a debate Saturday while she painted the Republican as anti-health care and an abortion extremist.

"(Roskam) has really only put his own personal agenda first" in Washington, Morgenthaler said at the brief faceoff in Mount Prospect.

Roskam, the GOP incumbent, is against legalized abortion even in the cases of rape and incest. Roskam shot back that Morgenthalers attacks were "negative style, Blagojevich-type" campaigning, referring to Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Morgenthaler, a retired U.S. Army colonel, served as the governors homeland security chief until last year.

"I think the folks in the 6th District are frankly weary of that," Roskam said in reference to Morgenthalers Blagojevich work.

Roskam also brought up a letter Morgenthaler penned as homeland security director endorsing a plan for a company to lease a military facility in western Illinois to train security guards for work in Iraq.

The company, Companion Security, had ties to convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko. Morgenthaler says she didnt know that at the time.

The Des Plaines Democrat said after the debate that she thought the company was only run by retired police officers. She said she did minor research on the company before writing the letter at the urging of Blagojevichs staff, and didnt see a Rezko connection.

Rezko was convicted this spring in federal court for using his connections with Blagojevich to orchestrate a multimillion kickback scheme that bilked companies seeking to invest state funds and build suburban hospitals.

Linking Morgenthaler to Blagojevich has been a running campaign theme for Roskam, who defeated another Iraq war veteran, Tammy Duckworth, in 2006.

Morgenthaler also blasted Roskam Saturday for voting against measures that would have increased childrens health care funding. …