CHICAGO
10/27/2011 03:07 pm ET | Updated Dec 27, 2011

Rep. Jan Schakowsky Pens Critical Open Letter To Mitt Romney Before Candidate's Chicago Fundraiser

In what Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet calls "a tactic designed to turn off GOP primary voters," Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) sent a letter to presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who will be fundraising in Chicago Thursday.

Schakowsky probably won't be attending the fundraiser, hosted by Susan Crown and William Kunkler, judging by the stern criticisms she wrote to Romney. Tickets for the event at The Ivy Room at Tree Studios range from $100 all the way up to $25,000.

"Your ground breaking work on health reform in Massachusetts, including the notion of individual responsibility, was a model for the nation and for the Affordable Care Act which President Obama signed in to law. Why then do you keep distancing yourself from the very reforms that you said were a 'model for the nation?'" Schakowsky writes in the letter, printed in full below.

The letter references arguments that aren't new in the Democrats' arsenal against the GOP frontrunner, comparing his criticisms of Obama's middle-class tax breaks, which he calls "little Band-Aids," to tax breaks Romney has supported that would benefit the wealthiest Americans and corporations. Schakowsky also asks him to explain what a flat tax would mean for middle class families in Illinois.

Six Nevada state Senators also sent an open letter to Romney Wednesday, demanding he apologize for a comment he made to the Las Vegas Review-Journal saying that the foreclosure problem in that state needed to "run its course and hit the bottom," The Hill reports. Schakowsky references this remark as well, asking Romney if he thinks his approach is fair.

Romney will likely remain a target for Illinois Democrats, as he leads the other Republican presidential contenders in the state, according to the Sun-Times. He had raised $673,175 in Illinois as of Sept. 30, putting him ahead of his GOP rivals, while still trailing the $2,655,677 raised for Obama, whose national re-election headquarters will be based in Chicago.

See the full text of Schakowsky's letter to Romney below:

Schakowsky Letter to Romney