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Republican candidates take on the budget

Friday, Oct 30, 2009

* This looks like an interesting idea

One of the handful of Republicans running for Illinois governor says he doesn’t want to shame Illinois into paying some of its three-billion dollars in unpaid bills.

But Bill Brady says if that’s what it takes, then so be it.

Brady has introduced a piece of legislation that would force the Governor and Comptroller to list all of Illinois’ unpaid bills on line, so vendors and tax payers know who’s waiting to be paid.

Brady says the list would insure against clout and mismanagement.

More

Brady said Thursday that the governor and comptroller now have too much control over the order in which bills are paid. He argues that opens the door to favoritism.

Those seem to be good points. But here’s the catch

the state would be required to pay the bills in the order they’re received.

As Greg notes, this idea would “limit the ability of the state to prioritize.” He’s right.

* Another Republican gubernatorial candidate has some ideas

Schillerstrom’s law would require spending, budget and tax legislation to be posted online a full three days in advance of a vote in the General Assembly, thus allowing for public and media scrutiny.

Schillerstrom’s platform also calls [for] zero-based budgeting, in which state agencies “must account for every single dollar”; a cap on spending using a formula based on population growth and inflation; and independent budget certification, separate from the comptroller’s office, in which the governor would return any budget he or she determines is not balanced back to the General Assembly.

In my opinion, spending caps tied to inflation are not a good idea because too many things like health insurance rise far above the CPI. It’s basically just death by slow strangulation. But that idea for independent budget certification is worth a look.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that while these may be good ideas, they don’t solve the problem.

* Republican gubernatorial candidate Andy McKenna sent out a press release this morning which once again compares Pat Quinn’s budget-making to Rod Blagojevich’s…

In light of Pat Quinn’s latest assault on future generations by seeking to borrow another $1 billion, family businessman and gubernatorial candidate Andy McKenna today stood by his comments that when it comes to taxes and spending, Pat Quinn is just like Rod Blagojevich “with a little less hair.”

“Pat Quinn’s quest to borrow another billion dollars to feed his hungry appetite for more government spending only confirms he’s just like Rod Blagojevich,” said McKenna.

I asked for clarification on this slam because the latest Quinn borrowing idea is short-term. It has to be repaid by the end of the fiscal year, so it’s not really an “assault on future generations.”

“The point of the release is to highlight the fact that his answer for everything is borrowing and spending and taxes,” explained a McKenna spokesman. “It’s more borrowing to feed that spending habit… Whether it’s short term, it still keeps all these programs alive down the road.” He also claimed that the more borrowing the state does, the more expensive borrowing becomes because of our lowered credit rating.

* Sen. Kirk Dillard also piled on…

Republican candidate for Illinois governor Kirk Dillard today tried to console Illinois residents who may be frightened by Democratic control in Springfield. “Don’t be fooled by the masquerade party in the governor’s office or the Legislature,” said Dillard on the eve of Halloween.

“We have a guy dressed up as Governor who can’t decide which the way the wind blows on any given day,” said Dillard. “He and another goblin running for governor are ready to rip out the wallets of taxpayers and take more of their money. If I’m scared of what they’ll do next, you can imagine the average voter,” Dillard continued.

Dillard noted the steady exodus of jobs from Illinois during the past eight years. “It’s no wonder companies are leaving the state. They’re frightened by the poor business climate, fearful of higher taxes and scared off by the lack of innovative thinking,” Dillard said. “They’re also afraid of the ethical cesspool in Springfield and what monster might crawl out next.”

Noting the Democratic Party’s inclination to give out “treats” in the form of new programs and higher spending, Dillard said he would take out his budget chainsaw if elected governor and make sure the state lives within its means. “We don’t need any more tricks in Springfield,” Dillard said.

Dillard and his wife Stephanie will be trick-or-treating with their two daughters this weekend.

That was the emptiest press release I’ve seen in a very long time.

* Dan Proft has posted a video of GOP gubernatorial rival Sen. Bill Brady in which Brady claims that last year’s state budget deficit was just $2.5 billion.

“Pat Quinn, the Democrats and some others want to inflate it so you’re scared to death and believe the only answer is tax increases,” Brady says. Watch it


I asked Brady about this yesterday and he said there’s a difference between the “deficit” and the “debt” that the state is carrying over from year to year. I didn’t quite get his gist and asked for more info, but haven’t received it yet. I’ll pass it along when I get it.

* Organizers say two thousand people will show up for this event

The Homer-Lockport Tea Party group will host its third event — a forum featuring five Republican candidates for Illinois governor — Wednesday, Nov. 4, in Homer Glen.

The forum, planned to begin at 7 p.m. at DiNolfo’s Banquet Hall, will include a question and answer session with the Republican candidates running for the gubernatorial primary on Feb. 2, 2010. According to Steve Balich, an organizer of the event, Republican candidates Adam Andrzejewski, Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard, Dan Proft and Bob Shillerstrom have confirmed their attendance to the event. Balich added that the Democratic candidates, notably Dan Hynes and current Gov. Pat Quinn, have declined to attend. Those not with the two main parties were not invited, he said.

“This event will be about the issues we are facing in the state of Illinois and will give people a chance to hear what these candidates have to offer,” said Balich, also the Homer Township clerk. “This isn’t going to be a formal event — it’s going to be tea party-style… People will be bringing signs in protest and will be able to ask candidates questions on the spot.”

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


22 Comments
  1. - Louis Howe - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 11:16 am:

    Establishing an independent balanced budget certification is an excellent idea. Many years ago former State Senator Howe Carroll would rise on the senate floor and declare that the state’s budget was balanced. I think he derived that authority from his own ego, but something needs to be done. It’s long past time to “Stop Cook’n the Books.”


  2. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 11:18 am:

    Whoever wrote the Dillard release started their Halloween partying early. Are businesses really scared off the “the lack of innovative thinking” in state government?

    Wasn’t there an announcement in the SJR the other day about a Springfield business shutting down and moving to Mexico? I doubt if that had to do with innovative thinking.


  3. - J - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 11:31 am:

    I’ve noticed Andy McKenna has really been absent from these forums/debates. Any ideas why?


  4. - Anon - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 11:31 am:

    Appears Proft has finally figured out Brady is the frontrunner. Wondered how long it would take.


  5. - Anon - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 11:34 am:

    McKenna has ZERO organization. He’s fired the only field staff he had, and will get little help from GOP county chairmen across the state. Ironically, just like Blago, he’s planning to campaign by press release and tv ad. We’ve seen governing like this before, too. We all saw how that worked out.


  6. - Will County Woman - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 11:36 am:

    I agree that Bill Brady is looking/sounding interesting. I have taken notice of the fact that he has a business background and political experience, which are ideal qualities in governors. it seems that the more successful governors tend to have business and political backgrounds.


  7. - A Naughty Moose - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 11:48 am:

    Let’s see here.

    Jim Edgar says blind opposition to a tax increase is “foolish or irresponsible” because “You can find waste and cut it all out, and you won’t make a dent in this budget deficit.”

    Kirk Dillard, or his PR hack who should be fired, says “Goblins are ready to rip out the wallets of taxpayers and take more of their money.”

    I guess Edgar endorsed an irresponsible fool?


  8. - shore - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 11:55 am:

    The other day kirk, mark version released ads he’s doing on the radio apparently trying to guard his right flank even though as team america notes, his conservative opposition has just about evaporated. Considering how expensive the general will be it was an interesting move and suggests to me he is still worried about a tea party/conservative insurgency along the lines of what’s gone on in upstate new york.

    I am sort of curious to see if that sort of uprising will come against Dillard.


  9. - Scooby - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 12:02 pm:

    What’s going to happen if any of these idiots actually win?


  10. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 12:03 pm:

    Scooby, tone it down, please.


  11. - northsider - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 12:06 pm:

    Brady has zero money and he has the leaders of conservative groups against his campaign. You can’t lie to people and expect them to just forget! If he has no money and the grassroots are against him how does he win?


  12. - Obamarama - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 12:13 pm:

    Shore, is it possible for you to post a comment without referencing Mark Kirk? He isn’t even mentioned in the thread, nor is his race, nor are his primary contenders, nor are his Democratic counterparts, nor is the 10th CD.

    Anyhow… Schillerstrom’s idea has some merit. Why not include all legislation, though? Require that the language be posted on the ILGA’s website 48 hours before final action can be taken–including amendments to shell bills. Of course there would need to be a provision for emergency legislation.


  13. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 12:20 pm:

    It would be nice if someone would show up at the tea party and ask the candidates to list the items they intend to cut to put the budget in balance without a tax increase.

    All this talk of pocket picking and irresponsibility should go both ways. None of these guys will list 11 billion, 9 billion or even 2.5 billion in cuts.


  14. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 12:29 pm:

    Captfax & Scooby:
    We love it when you lump all these “plans” together you quickly understand that even if you piled up all these candidates together ( like the Cubc College of Coaches Disaster) they could run Illinois or any other state


  15. - Greg B. - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 12:49 pm:

    I think (guessing) Brady means the deficit is the amount of money the state is short of this year to balance this year’s state budget. The debt is the accumulation of monies owed.

    And northsider, I don’t necessarily believe that a lack of support from conservative leaders is a bad thing for Brady. On the one hand “insiders” believe his voting record is two conservative to win a general. On the other, lot’s of conservative leaders don’t like him. Which is it?

    And can he exploit that split in attitudes with a Goldilocks argument?


  16. - train111 - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 12:52 pm:

    Pot

    You’re right on the money. More meally mouth nonsense out of candidates and no concrete answers from any. How about some real answers about what is going to be cut and what taxes need to be raised to get out of this mess. It took years to get us into this mess, and will probably take several to get us out.

    I’m tired of all the party talking points, and quite frankly anybody who says that their going to solve the budget crisis by simply ‘cutting out the fat’ is only blowing so much smoke up our butts.

    A challenge to all candidates–Get rid of the ‘canned’ answers. Step out and take a real stand–Leave the DC and Party talking points at home and actually give us some specifics about what you plan to cut or raise to get us out of this. Stop blaming the other side too. Both parties are equally culpable for this situation in my mind.

    train111


  17. - northsider - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 2:17 pm:

    Greg B
    How do you have any ground forces if your grassroots don’t walk for you? Who will do your mailing to these people? You can go around them but that takes money.


  18. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 2:22 pm:

    In yesterday’s answers from the candidates, only Dan Hynes was willing to take on the question, and his answer shows some of the difficulties with cutting “waste.”

    Hynes’ website includes his plans with some specifics and a lot of generalities, but it is a start.


  19. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 2:55 pm:

    State “debt” is far more than $2.5 billion.

    Brady ignores:

    - Bills from the current fiscal year that the general assembly pushed payment for to next year;

    - The debt in our pension system;

    - Borrowing for capital.


  20. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 3:32 pm:

    Brady knocked $9.5 billion off the deficit in just a couple of flippant sentences.

    I guess the recession hasn’t been as bad or the Dem leadership as irresponsible as we thought.

    Why vote GOP, if he’s right? $2.5 billion is nothing, in relative terms.

    We’re going to hear more from this Brady — and I don’t mean a postcard.


  21. - Anon - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 4:36 pm:

    Northsider - If Brady has zero money, how is he on radio right now in Springfield? I see his people at every event I go to, and it seems like he’s in the news every other day. Not bad for a campaign with supposedly no money.


  22. - northsider - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 6:09 pm:

    Anon
    You prove my point Radio in Springfield? Thats not real expensive and he is already known there.
    Do you mean in the news like the picture of him standing alone at his own press conference? Or standing in an empty office no desk or anything at his chicago presser? Just like last time a campaign with no money. The reason nobody trusts him is he said last time he would have $3 million he didn’t, or he was ahead in polling over Oberweis. etc etc etc


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