Bean, Greenberg Give Views on Energy, Economy Views: Both Candidates Stress Importance of Alternative Energy Sources

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Byline: Matt Arado

Energy and the economy emerged as key issues Saturday when the two candidates in the 8th Congressional District race squared off Saturday in Schaumburg.

Answering questions submitted by the audience, U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean, a Barrington Democrat, and her Republican opponent, Steve Greenberg of Long Grove, discussed Social Security, the recent federal bailout plan and the need for different sources of energy. No direct questions were asked about the war on terror.

The discussion, held at Friendship Village and sponsored by the League of Women Voters, was pointed but polite.

In her opening remarks, Bean said she was proud of her record on matters of national importance, like the bailout plan, and local interest, like her opposition to the takeover of the EJ&E railroad. She said shed continue to be a voice for suburban taxpayers if given a third term in the U.S. House.

Greenberg, a business owner seeking elected office for the first time, said both parties in Washington have "forgotten who the customer is," and he pledged to hold every department in the federal government accountable for how they spend tax dollars.

On the issue of Social Security, Bean said she opposed privatizing the program. Letting even a few Americans "opt out" and invest elsewhere would add to the $2 trillion shortfall the program already faces, she said. Bean also asked what would happen to those people in the event of another economic crisis.

"The government would have to step in and help for them to get their checks," she said. "Instead of Social Security, youd have Social Insecurity."

Greenberg disagreed. …