Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA)
Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack serves as Chairman of the influential U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade and is widely recognized as a national leader on privacy issues and a global champion of Internet freedom.
Now in her eighth term, Congresswoman Mack was first elected in 1998 to serve California’s 45th District in a special election held to fill the seat left vacant by her late husband, the Honorable Sonny Bono, who died in a tragic skiing accident.
Since then, Bono Mack has established herself as a respected and closely-watched leader on a wide range of critically important issues, but she’s focused her chairmanship on technology, job creation and consumer protection.
A staunch fiscal conservative, Bono Mack also has been an outspoken proponent of dramatically reducing our nation’s staggering $16 trillion debt by cutting excessive and wasteful government spending, and by removing unnecessary, unfair and burdensome regulations that are choking off economic growth in America.
Bono Mack’s selection as Subcommittee Chairman for the 112th Congress was historic, making her the first Republican woman in American history to hold a gavel on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the oldest standing committees in the U.S. House of Representatives, dating back to 1795.
Since becoming Chairman in 2011, Bono Mack has spearheaded passage of legislation in the House which is credited with creating and saving thousands of U.S jobs; extending critically important safeguards for millions of Americans, helping to protect them from online fraud; and keeping the Internet free from government interference, benefitting billions of people worldwide.
As the daughter of a World War II veteran, Bono Mack has been deeply involved throughout her career on issues important to American veterans and active members of the U.S. military. Most notably, she played a key role in the creation of much-needed VA clinics in Blythe and Palm Desert.
A 1984 graduate of the University of Southern California, Bono Mack wed entertainer Sonny Bono, and managed and owned a popular restaurant in Palm Springs, where she developed a deep appreciation of the significant contributions made by small businesses, but also learned first-hand about their unique challenges. Together, the Bonos had two children, Chesare Elan and Chianna Maria. Today, Bono Mack is married to Congressman Connie Mack, who recently won the GOP nomination for Senate in Florida. In addition to her own two children, she also has three stepchildren, Addison and Connie Mack, and Chaz Bono. Her first grandchild, Sonny, was born earlier this year on the same day as his famous namesake.
Bono Mack is the daughter of the late Clay Whitaker – a physician and World War II veteran who served with a decorated B-17 bomber group over Europe – and the late Karen Whitaker, a chemist. She was raised in South Pasadena, California. As a youth, Bono Mack pursued her first love, gymnastics. With her family’s support, she became an accomplished gymnast, and her dedication to physical fitness continues to this day.
Congressman Bobby Schilling (R-IL)
Congressman Bobby Schilling is a husband, father, and small business owner born and raised in Rock Island, Illinois. A lifelong Illinois resident, he and his wife Christie recently celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary. They are parents to 10 children and grandparents to two granddaughters. Bobby and his family own and operate Saint Giuseppe’s Heavenly Pizzeria in Moline. His experience as a small business owner shapes his current understanding of government and its purpose. Prior to opening the pizzeria, Bobby worked as a machine operator and was a member of the United Paper Workers Union, Local 191. He later worked for a number of years in the financial services industry. With his business, Bobby has experienced first-hand how inefficient and ineffective government can be. He knows that when we villainize business owners and entrepreneurs, we hamper their ability to create jobs and grow our economy. He decided to get involved and try to make a difference. Bobby was elected to serve as the Representative for the 17th Congressional District of Illinois on November 2, 2010. He serves the interests of his district on the House Armed Services Committee, the Agriculture Committee, and the Committee on Small Business. The 17th Congressional District of Illinois encompasses 23 counties and stretches from the Quad Cities down along the Mississippi River all the way to Grafton. Heading south along the Mississippi, the district includes Dallas City, Quincy, and Hamburg, before bearing east through Carlinville, Springfield, and Decatur. The 17th District also includes towns such as Galesburg, Macomb, and Canton.
The district features the Rock Island Arsenal, the largest employer in the Quad Cities with approximately 8,600 workers. Further, its business supports more than 14,000 additional jobs in the surrounding area. The Rock Island Arsenal houses approximately 50 Department of Defense organizations, including the Joint Manufacturing Technology Center, and its dynamic workforce is unlike any other throughout the country. The 17th District is also home to the world headquarters of large manufacturing employer John Deere, and according to the 2007 United States Department of Agriculture Ag Census is home to 15,364 farm operators and 10,528 farms, covering 3.8 million acres. The district ranks 37th out of 435 in the value of agriculture products sold, 14th in grain and oilseed production, and 20th in the number of hogs and pigs.