09/18/2014 01:17 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Case For and Against Sen. Dick Durbin's Reelection

With November's statewide elections quickly approaching, politically opposed friends Republican Chris Robling and Democrat Dave Lundy debated the pros and cons of reelecting Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). Is he too partisan or willing to reach across the aisle? Is he opponent looking to "restore sanity" or a "xenophobe?"

From Robling:

Recent polls indicate U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin may be facing a close race. We get one chance every six years to send him back to central Illinois. We had better take it.

No one represents liberal statism more grandiosely than our senior senator. Name a spending program, he backs it. Name a tax cut - he's agin' it. Jobs, economy and opportunity for regular folks? He thinks Obamism is doing great and all we need is more of it...

From Lundy:

So let me get this straight Chris. You don't like Dick Durbin. 653 words of "I don't like Dick Durbin." I get it. And indeed, at 653 words, that's quite a string of false and distorted accusations leveled at one of the most respected members of the US Senate. It kind of makes me want to respond like Joe Pesci's opening statement in My Cousin Vinny: "everything that guy just said is BS," but I suppose that's probably a bit dismissive...

His ability to partner with Senator Mark Kirk, despite their strong partisan differences, is a testament to this quality and they regularly hold joint meetings and events both here and in DC, to promote the best interests of Illinois.

Read the rest of Robling and Lundy's arguments for and against Durbin at Reboot Illinois.

Whether or not they believe Durbin is the best person to help lead Illinois into prosperity, most Illinoisans will agree that prosperity is what they want. A new report from the Economic Policy Institute finds that more education may be the way to increase wages in Illinois. According to the report, states with a better-educated workforce tend to have a higher-paid workforce, because those states have workforces that are more productive. Illinois' percentage of the population with at least a college degree increased approximately 17 percent and the state's cumulative growth in productivity increased by approximately 65 percent from 1970 to 2012, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Where did Illinois rank against other states?