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Dillard flip-flops on video poker, and other campaign news

Friday, Jul 31, 2009

* GOP gubernatorial candidate Sen. Kirk Dillard voted to tax and legalize video poker machines to pay for part of the capital bill in May. Now that he’s running for governor, he’s changed his mind

Dillard said he was torn in his vote, but ultimately said he wanted to keep his word to labor unions and business groups to support a major public works package.

“I had a gun to my head,” he said during an interview with the Daily Herald editorial board Thursday.

Dillard said that if he is elected governor, he would reconsider the legalization of video gambling machines even though he voted for it in the state Senate. He did speak out against video gambling expansion as he voted for it.

So, he was against it, but he voted for it because of a “gun” to his head, and if elected governor he would “reconsider” the whole thing.

And how would Dillard replace that poker money? Magic ponies!

Dillard said he would prefer to see the state use revenue from the sales tax on gasoline to cover the needed cash. Yet, he admits that would blow a $400 million hole in a state budget already billions of dollars in the red.

To cover that, Dillard said he would “grow the economy,” hoping for new tax dollars from more jobs and sales.

* CNN covers the Mark Kirk Twitter probe by the Department of Defense without a single hat tip here, but does have this…

While the source did not think the congressman revealing his location was a huge deal (in this particular case), the official was less sure of the other questions the incident raised [about campaigning at the Pentagon].

The source told CNN, “Given who the individual is and how people can perceive things, it is interesting. We are aware of it and we are looking into it.”

* Not a great lede for Mark Kirk and probably not true, either…

North suburban Congressman, and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk, says it’s time he sees the rest of the state.

Kirk says he’ll begin a statewide tour Saturday.


* Cullerton to back Giannoulias today…

State Senate President John Cullerton will endorse State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias for U.S. Senate today.

Cullerton becomes the highest-profile elected official to endorse Giannoulias so far, though Giannoulias has a long-running friendship with President Obama.

You can read the endorsement press release by clicking here.

* Zorn goes after DuPage County State’s Attorney Joe Birkett over the Brian Dugan saga…

Ever since 1985 [when Dugan tried to confess to the Nicarico kidnap/murder], under a succession of elected state’s attorneys, DuPage has been trying various legal strategies first to discredit Dugan, then to prevent him from telling his full story in open court.

The reason? They botched the initial case. They used shabby, dubious evidence to convict two innocent men and pack them off to Death Row.

Then, when Dugan came forward with his powerfully corroborative admission, they refused to set things right and instead embarked on an infamous effort to defend their mistakes.

Now, we see vestiges of this effort in the attempt to place strict limits on what the sentencing jury will hear. Birkett accused Greenberg on Thursday of wanting to “put the State of Illinois on trial” by placing Dugan’s story into the broad context of prosecutorial and investigative missteps, “that have nothing to do with this defendant’s character or record or actions in the murder of Jeanine Nicarico.”

* Related…

* Greg Blankenship: How Kirk introduces himself to downstate voters is key to his campaign

* Quinn: Death penalty freeze should stay

* Schillerstrom blasts Springfield for state’s lowered credit rating

* New Trier school board president eyes 10th District race

* Former Dist. 155 board member wants to be in Congress

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Deep South - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 9:22 am:

    Dillards thinks it’s time to see the rest of the state? Man, he does have a long row to hoe! Oy….

  2. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 9:28 am:

    –To cover that, Dillard said he would “grow the economy,” hoping for new tax dollars from more jobs and sales.–

    You can’t issue bonds with magic ponies.

    I don’t know if the bond Preliminary Official Statements have been drawn up, or whether the state’s GO is going to be secondary coverage on the bonds.

    But it’s not cool to be already talking about taking away a revenue source dedicated for bonds before they’re issued. If he stays in the race and sticks with that position, that information might have to be disclosed in Official Statement at the time of pricing.

  3. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 9:31 am:

    DS, that’s Mark Kirk, not Kirk Dillard.

  4. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 9:39 am:

    The Blankenship piece is a must read for all CircularFiringSquad fans. Commando Kirk cannot even count on his secret spy creds as a winner with the wingnuts in the tinfoil helmets.

    The funniest line is how the writer atempts to label TugBoatAndy McKenna as a “credible” Senate candidate LOOOOOOOLLLLL.
    If this were the oppo Burris should circulate petitions

  5. - shore - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 9:41 am:

    It’s not an impossible thing for Kirk to win downstate. As we talked about on TA’s blog this morning if you look at some of the senate key players on health care reform, the maine republicans, baucus from montana, reid from nevada, conrad from one of the dakotas, they come from states that vote opposite their party for POTUS. It’s not impossible for Kirk to pull off.

    As a diehard republican I will be doing whatever I can to avoid seeing folks like schillerstrom and dillard become our nominee for gov. I am disgusted by our party’s performance in springfield.

  6. - David Ormsby - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 9:42 am:

    –To cover that, Dillard said he would “grow the economy,” hoping for new tax dollars from more jobs and sales.–

    Hope is not a plan.

  7. - Deep South - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 10:09 am:

    Right, sorry, Rich. Having trouble keeping up upstate politicians straight.

  8. - Highland, IL - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 10:19 am:

    Recieved my first robo call of the 2010 campaign season. John Shimkus introducing Mark Kirk. I hate robo calls so this is alrady a minus for each of them in my book. Now that I think about it I recieve robo calls from Shimkus more than anyone. I can’t remember the last time he was actually here except to raise money.

  9. - Out There - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 10:20 am:

    * New Trier school board president eyes 10th District race *

    So far, this 10th seat is racking up quite a list of potentials…anyone have that list handy?

  10. - 312 - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 10:47 am:

    Shall I start a pool to bet on which downstate reporter asks Kirk about ‘Lincoln County’?

  11. - Speaking at Will - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 10:53 am:

    Sen Dillard seems to be getting less impressive all the time. Honestly, the GOP should just save thier money and not even run for Gov. this time around.

    This list of Candidates has about the same chance of success as an Amish electrician.

  12. - Downstate GOP Faithless - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 10:57 am:

    for future posts, maybe we should refer to Mark Kirk and Kirk Dillard by intials or some clever name, so as to avoid confusion :)

  13. - Ramsin - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 10:59 am:

    Isn’t comparing the withholding of campaign contributions by unions and contractors to having a “gun to your head” worse than just saying you made a mistake in your vote? Who wants to elect someone who thinks pressure from interest groups is the most threatening situation you can be in?

  14. - shore - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 11:01 am:

    Mark Kirk’s navy name is rooster. You can call Dillard flipper for his endorsement of obama.

    Being President of New Trier School district is the worlds easiest job. The school is funded like harvard, gushing with money it doesn’t know how to spend and probably has the highest percentage of parents with ivy league degrees of any public school system not in a town with a major university. No matter who runs the board, the parents are going to be intense as hell kids kick ass and end up in top schools and the revenue will never go down. Not a hard job. The guy also has the resume for a state rep.

  15. - Obamarama - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 11:01 am:

    Zorn’s piece on Birkett was absolutely priceless. After reading the Herald praise Brickhead Joe unconditionally for years it was nice to see someone in the media take a meaningful and fact-based shot at him.

  16. - Inish - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 11:23 am:
    This is the Chicago Public radio listing of who is running for what- looks pretty complete

  17. - Truthful James - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 11:29 am:

    Eric Zorn rarely agrees with me on anything, but on this we are in lockstep.

    The master manipulator in this case is not Brian Dugan it is Joseph Birkett, He manipulated the feelings of the Nicarico family, focusing them on Rolando Cruz, and thus away from the his office.

  18. - Out There - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 11:35 am:

    Hey Thanks Inish!

  19. - just sayin - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 12:19 pm:

    It’s somewhat refreshing to see a politician admitting a mistake as Kirk Dillard is doing.

    Dillard may be the best of an otherwise unimpressive lot in the GOP field for governor. Granted, it’s a very low bar.

    The interesting thing, as we see on this blog, is the understandable confusion that’s going on between Mark Kirk and Kirk Dillard, because of the name similarity.

    Given the disgust the GOP base has with Mark Kirk, this name confusion could be Dillard’s biggest hurdle, even more so than the Obama ad he did.

    Unsolicited advice to Dillard - whatever you do don’t put your first name on your signs or lit. “Kirk” is poison.

    How’s your middle name? A nickname perhaps?

    “Adolph” would be better in a GOP primary at this point.

  20. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 12:44 pm:

    just sayin’-

    Invoking Godwin’s law on the 19th post is not considered good form here at Cap Fax…you should at least wait til #100 ;-)

    anyhoo- In an election where a GOP candidate might have a better than usual chance just by being “none of the above”, the frontrunners seem to be Dillard and Proft. Quinn might have a better than even chance of retaining the post, due to a variety of factors (the competition that did emerge as well as the competition that didn’t materialize). Who would-a thunk this landscape 2 years ago?

  21. - just sayin - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 12:52 pm:

    Six Degrees, I had to Google “Godwin’s Law.”’s_law

    LOL! Well played.

  22. - PFK - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:15 pm:

    Wow, in one statement Dillard said “I’m really not cut out to be Governor — or even State Senator!”

    Sure makes an entertaining candidate, though.

  23. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:21 pm:

    Dillard was close to a good response but bothced it.

    Why not a simple, the economy is crashing, a capital plan will help IL infrastructure, create new jobs and jump start th economy. We have limited sources for revenue streams to support capital projects which are key to our recovery, so I selected the lessor of two evils and sproved legalizing video gambling. When we are out of the fiscla crisis I hope to be able to revisist this reveneu source and see if it can be replaced with something else.

    A version of the above also works for folks supporting a temp tax increase. I am not sure why politcians are so afraid to say this was not the idea I wanted, but it was the best solution available based on curent circumstances. You dont have to love an idea to support it as neccessary.

  24. - TheTruthWillSetUFree - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:10 pm:

    In regards to the Dillard story …”Dillard said that if he is elected governor, he would reconsider the legalization of video gambling machines”. Followed by …”Dillard said he would ‘grow the economy,’ hoping for new tax dollars from more jobs and sales.”

    Given the range of estimated timelines for implementation for video gaming, this would mean that a new Governor could take office shortly after hundereds of Illinois businesses invested over $700 Million in video gaming equipment in IL. I am sure that bankrupting those companies and possibly their local bankers would have a positive effect on the state’s economy.

  25. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 4:34 pm:

    hmm I botched spelling botched…. and on that note its time for the weekend (I miss friday beer blogging)

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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