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*** UPDATED x2 *** “Strike Three” on Brady’s budget plans, and the major media’s theft

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

* It’s been reported that Sen. Bill Brady lobbied the House Republicans hard against borrowing to make the state’s scheduled pension payments. Brady has called the governor’s pension borrowing idea “kicking the can down the road,” and “digging the hole deeper” for the state. And we’ve already pointed out that Sen. Brady actually has proposed borrowing to eventually balance the budget, despite his statements to the contrary.

But back in February, Brady outlined - you guessed it - a pension borrowing plan to Crain’s

[Brady would] fill much of the existing $80-billion hole in the state’s pension plans by borrowing. The borrowing would be repaid by allotting much of the natural growth in state revenues to pension debt service, he says.

Yesterday, Gov. Pat Quinn’s campaign issued this statement about Brady’s denial that he’d ever supported a ten percent across the board budget cut when he clearly had…

“It’s important for voters to ask: Is this someone who doesn’t comprehend his own budget proposal? Or is it that Sen. Brady simply cannot recall his numerous statements about the budget over the past five months?”

Brady’s lack of comprehension appears to apply to almost all of his major budget plans: Borrowing, pension borrowing and across the board cuts. Sheesh.

* Speaking of yesterday’s kerfuffle, my intern Dan Weber broke the story yesterday that Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady was contradicting himself on his previous support for a ten percent across the board state budget cut. Brady claimed during a media availability last week that he never supported an across the board cut and Dan pounced while other reporters let it go. He pressed Brady to admit that he had, in fact, supported an across the board budget cut. Brady challenged Dan to “find it on tape” and Dan did. He also found other quotes of Brady in news articles claiming that the GOP candidate did, indeed, support an across the board cut.

Well, Carol Marin led off her segment last night with Dan’s story, which she unfortunately attributed to me

At least she got the news source right. The AP then picked it up without any attribution at all…

Bill Brady is taking issue with a politician’s comments on how to solve the state’s budget crisis. Problem is, that politician is himself.

Brady, the Republican candidate for Illinois governor, bristled last week when a reporter asked about his proposal for a 10 percent, across-the-board cut in state spending.

“I’ve never said ‘across the board.’ I’ve never said ‘across the board.’ You find it on tape,” the Bloomington state senator said.

In fact, Brady has called for “across the board” cuts on multiple occasions.

The AP is the media giant most upset with little ol’ bloggers rewriting their stories without attribution, yet here they do exactly the same thing as those hated Huffington Post aggregators, but don’t even provide a link. That’s outright theft in my book.

The Tribune also picked up Dan’s story and attributed it to Chicago Tonight, not Dan

Republican governor candidate Bill Brady sought today to tamp down a flap over his plans for the state’s deficit-plagued budget after previously calling for 10 percent across-the-board cuts, then denying it.

“It’s how the question is framed. And I will admit it’s a matter of semantics,” Brady, a veteran state senator from Bloomington, said during an interview on WTTW-Ch. 11’s “Chicago Tonight.” “But what I simply say is that I have to reduce spending by 10 percent. No area of state government shall be (protected) from reduced spending. Pretty much it is every area.”

And the Sun-Times, which is usually good about crediting (mainly because they get to plug me as a Sun-Times columnist), said it all came from the governor’s campaign

Quinn’s campaign wasted little time Monday digging up news clippings and a Jan. 13, 2010 video posted on Youtube.com in which Brady did just that.

Actually, the video they used in their online story was the same one Weber used, and it wasn’t from the governor’s campaign, it was posted months ago by Jeff Berkowitz’s guy.

The big boys really need to grow up and stop pretending that alternative media doesn’t exist and, therefore, is not deserving of any credit. I’ve dealt with this for 20 years, and now Dan is getting a little taste of it. I don’t think he’s enjoying it. Enough, already.

*** UPDATE *** Nice catch by Progress Illinois from Brady’s appearance on Chicago Tonight yesterday

BRADY: I call for elimination of the State Board of Education: $80 million a year spent. … Now, I’d create a downsized department, so that we provide the necessary –

MARIN: So it wouldn’t be a total $80 million.

BRADY: No, but let’s say half — $40 million.

“Half” is not “eliminate.”

*** UPDATE 2 *** Zorn posts the entire transcript of the Chicago Tonight interview and notes how Brady twice tried to excuse his denials over ever saying he was for an across the board budget cut. Zorn’s conclusion…

Either Brady doesn’t know what “semantics” means or he’s a liar

Ouch.

* Related…

* Edgar isn’t sold on Quinn, Brady plans: Speaking of the Democratic and Republican candidates for the office he once held, former Gov. Jim Edgar said “both are right and both are wrong.” … “We are going to have to raise taxes,” Edgar said Monday night in a question-and-answer session at the McLean County Museum of History. “We have to do the cuts first and then increase taxes.” Edgar said the cuts will need to be “brutal.” “Everyone in this room is going to be mad if they are done right. It’s going to have to affect everyone.”

* Lawmakers’ furloughs not as costly

* Illinois can’t afford holiday on sales taxes

* Where there’s smoke, there’s ire

* Our View: Stop delaying and start leading in Springfield

* Lawmakers shirk their duty on budget

* Our Opinion: Lawmakers hit new low in irresponsibility

* Legislature shows it lacks leadership

* IL lawmakers continue to debate budget

- Posted by Rich Miller        


82 Comments
  1. - Anon - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 9:34 am:

    Great work, Dan Weber. In a world of lazy reporters who dont think and ask questions, you are showing what reporting is supposed to be all about. Keep digging and seeking answers, and you will be a leader in this pathetic and lazy field.


  2. - Greg B. - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 9:35 am:

    Like success, a good story has many fathers.


  3. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 9:39 am:

    Yeah, Greg, and like birth certificates, the father’s name(s) ought to be mentioned.


  4. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 9:40 am:

    Lawmakers’ furloughs not as costly–

    Rich, we wonder why the state is in financial ruin and why people Hate our elected official! This is why many of the Union members will refuse to do furlough days.


  5. - Justice - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 9:40 am:

    Nice job Rich and Dan. Too bad the established (sorta, but clinging on)news media fears to admit they missed this newsworthy story.

    Brady is starting to gain his confidence and is presenting himself much better. He just needs to keep an eye on his feet and keep them away from his mouth.

    As to Edgar and Thompson….I give neither any credence as it is their apparent goal is to sabotage Brady. They couldn’t do the job of getting Edgar re-elected so I do not heed their advice or even want it. MSI keeps coming to mind when Edgar starts talking. I simply do not trust his integrity.


  6. - Angry Chicagoan - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 9:40 am:

    Republican nihilism. Just when, in desperation, I’m toying with the idea of at least considering Republicans for general assembly races, they go and do this. Not. Fit. To. Govern.

    A dishonorable mention to the 11 Democrats who joined Brady and the Republicans and enabled this disaster.

    Between Brady, the assembly Republicans, and the Democrat rebels, I’ll never forget you as we pay off the billions this act of nihilism will cost the taxpayers of this state over the next generation. Given a choice between several hundred million in interest, and more than $30 billion in shortfalls, you’ve chosen to put the taxpayers on the hook for the $30 billion.

    As I say, Not. Fit. To. Govern.

    You’ve got a couple of weeks here. Are you going to come back and redeem yourselves before the deadline?


  7. - Bill - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 9:45 am:

    Nice work, Dan. Not only did you scoop the Majors you gave reporters who actually get paid a lesson in how they should be doing their jobs. Too many of them just read CapFax and phone it in on the way to the next party.


  8. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 9:52 am:

    - Brady is starting to gain his confidence and is presenting himself much better. -

    I agree, he’s moving on from making faux pas regarding heartstrings issues like gassing puppies to faux pas regarding governance issues like how budgets work. If he keeps working at it and building his confidence I have no doubt he will destroy his credibility with lots of time to spare.

    Also, great job Dan. I’m constantly impressed by this current batch of interns, keep it up.


  9. - cassandra - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 9:52 am:

    Quinn wants the taxes before the cuts–the trust me approach. He also wants to protect union employees, Blagojevich appointees, his own political appointees, contractor pals of Democratic politicians, and the usual Illinois political knaves and fools from any cuts at all. He wants to give these groups more taxpayer moolah.

    Brady wants the cuts before the taxes, which he says won’t be necessary if cuts are sufficient.
    However, he can’t explain those cuts clearly so we can’t remotely tell if it’s plausible.

    Looks to me like a Hobson’s choice this fall, with the choice being incompetence.


  10. - Niles Township - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 9:53 am:

    Good work Dan. The “establishment” should be embarassed at leaving the correct credit out, and for not even figuring out the original story.

    Quinn out to be thankful every day that Brady is the nominee. If Dillard were the nominee Quinn would be toast. Even as bad a non-campaign as Quinn has been running, Brady is doing everything he can to hand the election to Quinn. Brady is jus tnot ready for prime time. Maybe he should have run for another constituional office before Guv.


  11. - dupage dan - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 9:58 am:

    I believe that the cuts should come before the taxes but Brady will have more problems if he can’t remember what he says from one week to another. PQ will hammer that stuff home as the summer/campaign heats up.

    Kudos to Dan Weber and CapitolFaxBlog for the scoop!


  12. - Brennan - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:03 am:

    Rich: If you place the byline at the top and the bottom of the page the dead tree media might notice it. I think they just play dumb. Not many average people know about The Capitol Fax Blog, but an outlet that breaks stories is an outlet that should be attributed for breaking those stories.

    The good news is this is a big story that will get tons of play.


  13. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:03 am:

    - However, he can’t explain those cuts clearly so we can’t remotely tell if it’s plausible. -

    Wrong, he can’t explain how that would work because its not possible. Just another example of how Brady doesn’t know what he’s doing. I don’t feel that Pat Quinn is incompetent, but if this campaign is going to become a race to be least incompetent, I think Brady is well on his way to proving himself the loser.


  14. - Brennan - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:06 am:

    =PQ will hammer that stuff home as the summer/campaign heats up.=

    I’m optimistic that the same shadow that follows Quinn and Brady will find a new job so voters don’t have to listen to two candidates that cannot remember what they said yesterday.


  15. - Pat Robertson - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:11 am:

    ==Lawmakers’ furloughs not as costly–

    Rich, we wonder why the state is in financial ruin and why people Hate our elected official! This is why many of the Union members will refuse to do furlough days. ==

    The article mentions that the bill would compute the salary decrease for furlough days using a 365-work-day year, rather than the actual work days used for merit comp employees. It doesn’t mention that the bill also provides that the legislators get to count their full salary, unreduced by the furlough days, in computing their retirement. While the legislators get this freebie, they went home without passing HB 4644, which would graciously allow merit comp to purchase the retirement pay they would otherwise lose as a result of furlough days. Just another example of how they nickel-and-dime people. So why is the Governor is “alarmed” that merit comp employees are unionizing?


  16. - Fed up - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:15 am:

    No matter who proposes it borrowing more money is a bad idea. Brady needs to do better Quinn needs to go back to being a political gadfly on a soapbox that everyone ignores.


  17. - Bill - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:15 am:

    I think that Brady really doesn’t remember, hence the contradictory remarks. Quinn, on the other hand, does remember but doesn’t care when he flip flops.
    So which is better? which is worse? Is Cohen on the ballot yet?


  18. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:16 am:

    Capt. Fax
    Wow all that who did what when and who was first made my head thump.

    We think it is safe to say most real “scoops” occur here. Big guys serve up a little slop from time to time and pretend it is news.

    So let’s add this up….
    1. I can’t see CaribouBarbie, opps I can.
    2. Sell pension bonds. Save my campaign, don’t sell bond.
    3. Cut the budget 10% — across the Board. Opps not quite across the the board — save that $1 million we send IMA.
    Another reminder NoTaxBill needs to get to the FL condo ASAP. (But first the liplock with CaribouBarbie)


  19. - Brennan - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:17 am:

    When asked about how Brady would work with Madigan and Cullerton he chose to go to school vouchers instead of quoting Madigan on his opposition to raising taxes at this time.


  20. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:19 am:

    So, Brady supports 10% across the board, you hammer him. He backs off of it, you hammer him? Did I get that right?

    And Small Town Liberal, a 10% across the board cut is POSSIBLE, it’s just a question of how much collateral damage it causes. Cuts are possible, you simply believe its the rest of the hard-working tax payers that need to make cuts to their budget to fund a state government that has consistently spent more than it had and that’s before calculating in the corruption.

    We’ll call it the “spend all you want, we’ll tax more” approach to budgeting.


  21. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:23 am:

    ===He backs off of it, you hammer him?===

    Brady didn’t “back off” the cut, he denied he ever proposed it and claimed reporters just made it up. Huge difference.


  22. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:24 am:

    if you scoop the Trib or AP, they’ll go out their way not to credit you.

    Excellent job, Dan — and a great lesson to the big boys to do their jobs and not phone it in.

    Brady’s position was so weird because he had made the across-the-board statement so many times. I recall Edgar admonishing it as naive.

    Maybe Sarah can give him some tips on writing the answers on your hand when the have their meeting of the minds in Rosemont.


  23. - Bill - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:26 am:

    John,
    Yes. Maybe a 10% cut across the board cut is possible. Where are you going to get the rest of the 5-7 Billion you need to “balance” the budget? Borrowing? Violate your precious constitution?
    How will you deal with the rioting in the streets without money to pay for the state police? What will you do when cities and counties and school districts go broke? Raise property and local sales taxes?


  24. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:27 am:

    - And Small Town Liberal, a 10% across the board cut is POSSIBLE -

    Surprise surprise, John, you didn’t get what I was talking about. Of course 10% across the board cuts are possible. Simple minded, but possible. Balancing the budget with cuts alone isn’t possible. Do we want to have that debate yet again? Also, I’m not a state employee, and I don’t rely on any social services. So don’t accuse me of wanting these cuts made to budgets other than mine, because I don’t have a dog in that fight.


  25. - BloomingtonDem - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:29 am:

    Keep up the good work Capitol Fax. Year after year, this site produces the best reporting on what’s going on in Illinois politics.


  26. - The Doc - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:30 am:

    ==a 10% across the board cut is POSSIBLE, it’s just a question of how much collateral damage it causes==

    That’s a interesting position, John. It would be helpful if you defined “collateral damage”. Leaving aside the fact that a 10% across the board cut is wholly insufficient to address the deficit, it’s simply a laughable talking point unless (or until) it is supported by actual data.

    Brady’s getting hammered because neither position he embraced makes sense.


  27. - JonShibleyFan - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:32 am:

    Good job, Dan. Hope the well-deserved kudos you’re getting here are some small measure of consolation.

    Now, if only Pat Quinn had some sort of apparatus to exploit this…some non-official organization that elected officials use during election years, with a leader or “manager” and perhaps a spokesperson. [sigh]


  28. - Bill - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:33 am:

    Quinn’s position doesn’t make sense either. His 1% increase in the income tax wouldn’t even cover the required pension payment let alone any unpaid vendors.


  29. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:34 am:

    I never said 10% was sufficient either… I’m of the position, at this point, that the deficit wasn’t created in a year, it doesn’t need to be fixed in one year either.

    I’d be happy if we could at least pass a deficit neutral budget, versus the one that puts the defict somewhere at $18-20 BIL next year.


  30. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:35 am:

    Great job Dan!
    You hire the best Rich!

    I don’t believe this is going to matter much because voters have to chose between a guy who doesn’t know what he is doing with a guy who doesn’t know what he is doing.

    If voters hoped that Brady had a plan, then they were mistaken. However, I sense that voters don’t care if Brady doesn’t have a clue, because they’d rather have a new clueless governor with a hope he can do the job, than a current clueless governor who they have given up on.

    Brady is going to be attacked by a media that is discredited by a sizable number of voters in a midterm where that sizable number make up a proportionally large group of voters.

    If Brady continues as he has been, he will win in November. He hasn’t been great, but good enough to stay in front of the polling. My gut is still saying that voters are going to go with the new guy. We’re not seeing a race between Brady and a genius during good economic times, but Brady and Quinn while times suck. So the edge is still with Brady. Remarkably.


  31. - Responsa - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:36 am:

    All politicians are going to have to get used to the fact that in this day of citizen journalists, bloggers, video cameras and flip phones, everything they say is out there and will be scrutinized for logic and consistency. That being said, for Illinois voters who (as described in Cassandra’s clear analysis above) conceptually tend to favor cuts before taxes, will Brady’s “semantics” kerfuffle be all that damning? In a sense, one could argue that for PQ to harp on that topic may just reinforce Brady’s campaign theme of belt tightening to those who already lean that way– and who may not trust Quinn to make cuts.


  32. - Fed up - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:37 am:

    Is their any chance the increase in cigerette tax will bring in the estimated amount of revenue. I’m not a smoker but it seems we might have gone to the well to many times on taxing smokers and the projected revenue will not be there.


  33. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:38 am:

    If cigarette taxes go much higher, I may leave my day job and start running cigarettes from Indiana.

    ;)


  34. - Returning Dog - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:41 am:

    ” a 10% across the board cut is POSSIBLE,…”

    Of course it’s POSSIBLE, the problem is that it is also STUPID. Each dollar you cut in medicaid/medicare cuts a corresponding dollar in federal revenue. You save a dollar but lose $2 worth of services. A classic lose/lose for the Illinois taxpayer.


  35. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:44 am:

    I wasn’t defending the merits, but there is also a case to cut state dollars even if they get a federal match. NCLB is a great example. In many districts, federal funds make up only a couple percent but the feds use that money and basically control the agenda. Think of how many days are wasted prepping for the test (not to mention the yearlong teaching to the test)? It makes up a loss of 1-2% easy. And for what? NCLB “accountability” not to the parents or the community, but to DC.

    Some federal grants aren’t worth it. That said, it’s a case by case basis. Every tax dollar spent should deliver at least a dollar in value back to the taxpayers. If it doesn’t, it should be cut.


  36. - George - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:47 am:

    I’m of the position, at this point, that the deficit wasn’t created in a year, it doesn’t need to be fixed in one year either.I’d be happy if we could at least pass a deficit neutral budget

    Huh?


  37. - George - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:48 am:

    John - education funds aren’t based on a “match”


  38. - dupage dan - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:50 am:

    VM is right here. The thinkers seem to gather here - I know cause I keep reading their comments. Many others haven’t found the place yet and still get their info from the dead tree media and the airstream media. Anti-incumbent fever is driving the electorate and since their choice is between 2 people who either flip flop or just flop it’ll go to the party out of power. Doesn’t matter if it’s right, it just is.


  39. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:51 am:

    I was giving an example of passing on federal dollars because the cost they incur. Yeah, better context would have helped there.

    Free money (matching or grant) isn’t always free. Sometimes it isn’t even worth it.

    George-

    A deficit-neutral budget is one that doesn’t increase next years deficit but maintains the status quo.


  40. - the Patriot - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:53 am:

    I have heard Brady Speak and he may have said accross the board, but I did not take it for each individual line item. I understood him to say that he would cut 10% from IDOT for example and let the administator decide where to get the 10%. Some programs may get cut 100%, some may get a boost. I have felt he was vulnerable on two points. One, you have to have some really good and responsibile department heads to pull that off. Not easy to find 50 or so people who can really efficiently run a state agency. 2. Ultimately HE will have to make the decision on some programs to cut out in whole because of fixed obligations.

    I think it is pretty much fair game for anyone to hammer Brady on his budget proposal except for Quinn and any democrat in the legislature. You guys have had absolute power for 8 years, violated the Constitution on multiple occassions by failing to pass a budget, and just walked out of town last Friday with your paychecks after failing to perform the most basic function of your job.

    If you couldn’t figure it out in 8 years, I don’t think you can hammer a guy who won’t have to have a plan until February, unless the democrats violate the Constitution again by not passing a budget.

    Hey, Maybe the AG will file an injunction to protect the citizens from this gross legal and ethical violation. Oh wait, “daddy told me not too.”


  41. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:53 am:

    - If cigarette taxes go much higher, I may leave my day job and start running cigarettes from Indiana. -

    Would that keep you out of politics? Because I will call my legislators…


  42. - dupage dan - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:54 am:

    Since there is movement to “outlaw” salt we should tax it like we do for booze and cigs. A buck a pinch sounds about right. The state would be swimming in cash. Problem solved


  43. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:54 am:

    On the 10% across the board idea: I’ve heard reports that debt service will be almost 50% of next year’s GRF budget. How is Brady going to cut 10% of debt payments?

    And if debt service is going to take that kind of gigantic chunk of GRF next year, whoever wins in November has but one choice: raise taxes through the roof.

    You don’t have to like it, you simply have to accept the budget reality.


  44. - jonbtuba - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:55 am:

    I’m just waiting until next month, when Brady denies he ever denied an across-the-board cut.


  45. - ShadyBillBrady - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:55 am:

    I also posted on this issue the yesterday. As soon as I saw the video of Brady challenging “find it on tape” I went to looking. I knew I hard heard him say it before, but couldn’t remember when/where.

    Dan beat me to it and should have gotten credit for his hard work and success from the media outlets that chose to run with it (for the record, I did credit Dan and link to his post at the start of mine). And it was a friend of mine from Downstate I believe that pointed out in the comment yesterday about Bill’s statements on his hometown radio station … which Rich appropriately gave the commenter credit for.

    Thanks for doing it right Rich. And nice work Dan.

    And to today’s story … well those of us who know him see it for what it is: it’s just more of Bill being Bill.

    And Bambenek and other apologists here … start paying attention and ecnourage your candidate to do the same. He’s not been nailed for changing positions so much as he’s being nailed for denying his previous positions. People can stomach an authentic change … but people have a hard time when politicians are dishonest, duplicitous and disingenuous.


  46. - justfedup - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:56 am:

    kudos, Dan. Good work!


  47. - jonbtuba - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 10:57 am:

    Also, it’s not a question of semantics. “Across-the-board cuts” and “total cuts” don’t mean the same thing to different people.

    Major props to Rich and Dan. Great story.


  48. - Greg B. - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 11:03 am:

    Agreed, Rich.


  49. - George - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 11:07 am:

    This is what I don’t understand about Bill Brady, John, and those who say “the deficit wasn’t created in a year, so we don’t have to fix it in a year.”

    It’s a yearly deficit.

    Revenue - $27 billion per year.
    Level Budget (including pension) - $33 billion per year.

    So we are going to just keep spending $6 billion more each year than we are bringing in until we can grow our way out of it?

    We can’t print more money like the feds can. We don’t have a budget borrowing mechanism in place. So we have to do things like borrow to make our pension payments (or skip them), or just pay providers later and later.

    Before we grow our way out of it, two things will happen - we won’t be able to borrow any more, or providers will start collapsing en masse.


  50. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 11:14 am:

    JB is right in saying the first thing we need is a deficit neutral budget. You can’t start getting out until you stop getting deeper in.

    But we haven’t even stopped getting deeper, and we don’t with the proposed 2011 budget either, and here’s what has happened as we fiddled. If this Spring we did BOTH the 2 most widely talked about budget “solutions”, passed 174 and cut Brady’s 10% across the board, we would still go deeper in debt in 2011, not break even much less start to climb back out of the hole. The folly of delay.


  51. - Fan of the Game - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 11:16 am:

    I like real journalism. Good work, Dan.


  52. - PatheticpatQuinn - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 11:21 am:

    Brady is making the same mistakes as PathiticPatQuinn flip flopin like Quinns flip flops on Roland Burris or Quinns flip flop on U of I trustees. Quinns memory of Bradys proposals mpressive I remember pat standing up with Blago telling us what a great guy blago is and how blago is the best man to govern our state I wonder if pat remembers that


  53. - George - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 11:24 am:

    Trying to figure out where that $80 million figure from Brady is coming from…


  54. - Returning Dog - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 11:30 am:

    PatheticpatQuinn - I’m sorry, you’ve failed today’s Turing Test with that post. You are either a machine with unconvincing AI or a person with intelligence that mimics that of a computer.


  55. - siriusly - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 11:36 am:

    This is one example of a specific news story that was broken by Capitol Fax (Dan). However, your regular readers and subscribers know that you set the agenda for the state news outlets every day.

    Whether they attribute their stories and facts to you or not, I know that when I read it on the CFB in the morning I’m going to see it on the local news at night.

    Don’t underestimate your impact Rich and Dan. You guys do the real work for most journalists that used to be done by assignment editors and reporters.


  56. - Bill - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 11:38 am:

    lol@Turing test


  57. - ShadyBillBrady - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 11:58 am:

    I’m sure I misunderstood or it was an issue of semantics, but didn’t Bill Brady claim he would “fix the budget” in his first year during the Chicago Tonight debate/forum on January 26?
    “Real Republicans balance budgets in first years.” And, he said to do it, “it will take 10% across-the-board cuts”


  58. - just sayin' - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 12:01 pm:

    Quinn vs. Brady is truly becoming Dumb vs. Dumber.

    How are petitions coming along for that hooker abusing pawnbroker guy? I may have to give him another look. lol


  59. - Peggy SO-IL - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 12:03 pm:

    Congrats to Dan on following up. We need more assertive media. As for Brady, I don’t oppose him or think he’s a bad sort, as I’m right of center, but he flips about like a just caught fish on the dock. He needs to discipline himself and stick to his story, whatever it is, with courage and conviction.


  60. - ShadyBillBrady - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 12:09 pm:

    Regarding the update posted about Zorn’s statement. I think it would be more accurate to say “Either Brady doesn’t know what “semantics” means or he’s a liar, or both” … just sayin’


  61. - fedup dem - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 12:13 pm:

    ”A 10% across the board cut is POSSIBLE…”

    Sure it’s possible, just like it’s possible the Cubs can go on a 30-game winning streak!

    Sen. Brady is a clueless Republican who is incapable of doing anything but chanting the same false mantras most of his party has been hiding behind for a generation. As poorly as Pat Quinn has performed as Governor, it is clear that he can govern better in his sleep than Brady can awake.


  62. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 12:22 pm:

    Voters are now immune to any political spin regarding our budget. They no longer believe anyone and will simply vote out the ones in charge. After five years of paralyzed government, broken budgets and massive debts, what voters know for sure, is the fact that the guys in office are in over their heads. Consequentially, voters will be voting to put new people in charge.

    In 2006, voters kept the status quo and everything got worse. In 2010, voters will vote for anyone who is not in the status quo.


  63. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 12:25 pm:

    - In 2006, voters kept the status quo and everything got worse. In 2010, voters will vote for anyone who is not in the status quo. -

    Are you a gambling man, Vman?


  64. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 12:40 pm:

    fedup dem-

    I’ve been looking at Springfield for awhile… I’m not sure anyone is governing right now.


  65. - Carol Marin - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 12:50 pm:

    Dan Weber,
    My sincere apologies for attributing your excellent story to your boss, Rich Miller!
    Carol Marin


  66. - The Doc - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 12:58 pm:

    ==Every tax dollar spent should deliver at least a dollar in value back to the taxpayers. If it doesn’t, it should be cut.==

    Does that include government spending via the tax code (tax cuts)? If you’re serious about such a proposal, you’d advocate for closing a number of popular corporate tax loopholes which most assuredly don’t generate a 1 to 1 return.


  67. - WesternSky - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 1:00 pm:

    Did I misunderstand, or did I hear Brady on that clip not dispute Marin’s claim that he is opposed to requiring insurance companies to cover mammograms, calling them “insurance mandates”? Eh, I’m sure it’s all just a matter of semantics…

    Pay attention, Pat Quinn.


  68. - George - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 1:19 pm:

    I think the bigger problem is that Brady thinks that 10% of $30 billion is $7-8 billion.


  69. - shore - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 1:19 pm:

    on that interview and the berkowitz shows he has done he still does not understand the nature of the battle he is fighting in the suburbs of chicago. Unapologetically pro-life, the karl rove comment, he’s not in rural downstate anymore.


  70. - George - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 1:24 pm:

    Meaning… the deficit we have is in General Revenue Funds. The $50 billion figure he gives includes all funds (federal money).

    To cut $7-$8 billion, you have to do that from only the $32 billion GRF budget.

    And if he is saying we have to make the FULL pension payment ($4 billion), that means his $7-8 billion in cuts is coming from a pool of $28 billion.

    So, he is actually talking about cuts of over 25%.

    Please - show them to us. You don’t get there when the biggest thing you can think of doing is cutting the staff at the State Board of Education in half ($13 million savings).


  71. - Brennan - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 1:24 pm:

    =I’m not sure anyone is governing right now.=

    Spend, borrow and wait is technically “governing”.


  72. - Left Leaner - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 1:35 pm:

    Does anyone even read the Majors anymore? I come to CapitolFax for the scoop on Illinois politics. Great work Rich and Dan!


  73. - PatheticpatQuinn - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 2:16 pm:

    Pat Quinn vetos bill to reform legislative scholrships because in tough economic times like these friends family and campaign contributors deserve to get a free ride to collegefrom the state reps and senators who are working so hard to balance the budget and fix the states deficit.


  74. - just sayin' - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 2:57 pm:

    Was funny last night in the Carol Marin interview how Brady had the titles of multiple books to rattle off. Karl Rove’s book was clearly his favorite.

    But when asked what kind of car he drives, he only mentioned one, a Jeep I think he said.

    No mention of his Porsche.


  75. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 3:00 pm:

    ==Karl Rove’s book was clearly his favorite.==

    At least it wasn’t “Going Rogue.” That book can wear out your box of 64 crayolas. The built-in sharpener, too.


  76. - james - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 3:02 pm:

    –You guys do the real work for most journalists that used to be done by assignment editors and reporters–

    For the record, I second this statement. You’ve taken Springfield reporting to a whole new level of detail, without obvious bias. The Sun Times used to have a Springfield reporter whom I admired–Charles….can’t remember his last name. But the Sun Times only published squibs of his work, rarely full stories with analysis and subsequent followup. I know he had more to say that was edited.


  77. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 3:04 pm:

    –The Sun Times used to have a Springfield reporter whom I admired–Charles….can’t remember his last name. But the Sun Times only published squibs of his work, rarely full stories with analysis and subsequent followup. I know he had more to say that was edited.–

    Charlie, is that you? LOL, just kidding.


  78. - downstater II - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 5:24 pm:

    Unbelievable ……….


  79. - Sueann - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 5:55 pm:

    It is being done in New Jersey…of course some of the people there have brains unlike the Illinois types that all know money grows on trees in Springfield


  80. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 6:07 pm:

    Sueann, if you want to trade New Jersey with Illinois, have at it. You can move there, too. It’s The Garden State.

    Christie is the most powerful governor in the U.S., under his Constitution.Here’s to him, rock and roll. Best of luck.

    But if you want Newark, Hoboken, Jersey City, Camden, have at it. You might want to check out the car insurance rates and environmental degradation, as well.

    I’m sick to death of the whiners running down Illinois. We have issues, but we’re big boys and girls and can take care of them, too. That’s life in the NFL.

    A state budget deficit rattles you? Montana and North Dakota will welcome you with open arms. Don’t fence me in.


  81. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 11, 10 @ 6:09 pm:

    Sueann is absolutely right, word. New Jersey is skipping its pension payment.


  82. - anno--mus - Wednesday, May 12, 10 @ 6:23 am:

    It’s like re-occurring comedy episodes from the old SNL Not Ready For Prime Time Players. They just need to go dark over there in Bradyville for a while, take a deep breath, figure out who’s in charge, figure out the politics, figure out the needed strategy, figure out the issues, try to remember who said what & when they said it before they lose any more credibility & followers. A Brady team meeting is probably looking more like the E-Trade commercial when they’re trying to figure out why they’re losing customers & ground but to no avail. Surely they can see it’s becoming a joke & going south by many accounts. There will come a point when they can’t recover for a variety of reasons. Brady will probably win narrowly in November if he changes his direction only because the state is deep in the tank & those there now at the state’s helm can’t seem to figure it out & it’s getting worse.


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