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Question of the day

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014

* AP

All four Republican candidates for Illinois governor said fixing the state’s economic woes would be among their top priorities if they win — an issue they’ll be trying to distinguish themselves on in a state that’s home to one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates and a multibillion-dollar backlog of overdue bills.

In response to a campaign questionnaire from The Associated Press, the four contenders — state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford and Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner — cited the need to cut spending, lower taxes, get people back to work by creating a more business-friendly climate — and “all of the above.” While offering only a few specifics, the four will no doubt be pressed on the issue in a series of upcoming debates leading up to the March 18 primary.

“Jobs. Jobs. And Jobs,” wrote Rutherford, of Chenoa, a former vice president for ServiceMaster Co., in response to an AP question asking for each candidate’s top three priorities if elected. “Illinois government finances are dire and our state is universally considered unfriendly to business. Building an environment that job creators are seeking and putting people back to work will help solve a lot of Illinois’ financial and social ailments.”

* I usually don’t ask our questions this early in the day, but I want y’all to put some thought into this one. I think we ought to send the gubernatorial candidates our own questionnaire. But I don’t think we ought to ask generic questions like the one above.

What I’m looking for here are questions that aren’t often asked, but that will likely be answered, so “gotcha” questions are out of the equation. Don’t bother.

* Here’s one I came up with to get the ball rolling…

What approximate percentage of blame do you believe that longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan deserves for this state’s current fiscal and economic conditions?

That could be fun.

A few more possibles…

Do you support any additional restrictions above and beyond the current Illinois concealed carry law, and/or do you favor rolling back any of the current state restrictions? Please list your proposals.

Now that gay marriage is the law of the land, do you support any further legislation to clarify, restrict or expand the new law, or do you favor total repeal? Please list your proposals, if any.

Would you favor any further pension reforms for the state, above and beyond those which have already been signed into law? Please list your proposals.

* The Question: Your questions for the gubernatorial candidates? And remember, no “gotcha” stuff and no snark. Take it seriously, please. Thanks.

…Adding… I know I asked you to take this seriously, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun with your questions. Most answers so far have been super-serious. You can feel free try to lighten it up a little and add some snap without snark. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:07 am:

    What changes, if any, would you support as Governor regarding the ability of public employees to engage in collective bargaining with their employer?

  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:08 am:

    Illinois is a state or Regions; Chicago/Cook, Collar Counties, Central, Western, Metro East, Southern… Urban, Suburban, Rural.

    Explain how your Administration would understand and meet the needs of such a diverse state and serve all Illinois

  3. - Downstate GOP voter - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:09 am:

    If state spending is to be cut which programs would you cut (which budget line items) and by how much (by what dollar value)?

  4. - Tommydanger - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:11 am:

    By what dollar amount or percentage of the state’s budget would you reduce state spending and what specific programs or services would be cut or eliminated to reach that figure?

    Do you favor making the state’s temporary income tax permanent and if not, what specific programs or services would you cut or eliminate to replace that amount of revenue?

  5. - Illini Fan - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:11 am:

    Who will you appoint to important cabinet level positions such as IDOT, DCEO, ILDOA, etc. and what will your management style be in letting them run their agencies?

  6. - Tommydanger - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:12 am:

    Downstate GOP voter: small g, great minds think alike!

  7. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:16 am:

    Three questions:
    1).If lowering taxes is a priority, what tax rates do you consider fair for individuals and corporations?
    2). How do you justify lowering taxes when Illinois is in desperate need of paying off its old bills and unfunded pension debt?
    3). If taxes are lowered, there would have to be budget cuts that correspond to the loss of revenue. What cuts would you propose AND WHY?

  8. - The Elderly Man You Used to Love - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:18 am:

    Would you cut funding for Amtrak?

  9. - Aaron Burr - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:18 am:

    Medical cannabis is being tested in Illinois with a four year pilot program. What is your stance towards this program, and what do you think is the future of cannabis, as a product, in this state?

  10. - South of Sherman - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:21 am:

    The Illinois Constitution says: “The State has the primary responsibility for financing the system of public education.”

    What does this sentence mean to you? What action would you take to fulfill this constitutional mandate?

  11. - East Central Illinois - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:23 am:

    General State Aid that is sent to school districts throughout Illinois has been prorated between 85% to 89% for the past few years. Will you keep this practice in place? At what percentage will you prorate or will you fully fund the general state aid amounts to the school districts?

  12. - Where is Joe Kotlarz? - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    Will you support legislation to go back to electing trustees for the University if Illinois, rather than appointment by Governor?

  13. - LGHB - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:27 am:

    All of you agree that Illinois is overtaxed. Would any of you support easing Illinois’ tax burden by supporting the elimination of a mutitide of taxing districts including but not limited to township governments?

  14. - Downstate GOP voter - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:28 am:

    Starting in 2011 the state individual income tax rate was temporarily increased to 5%. The temporary increase is set to decrease in 2015 and then decrease again in 2025. Would you extend the temporary tax increase? Would you leave the current law unchanged and allow the scheduled decreases to take effect? Would you terminate the temporary tax increase immediately and revert to the previous tax rate?

  15. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:29 am:

    Do you favor an Alternative Minimum Tax for Illinois-based large multi-national corporations that now pay little or no state corporate income tax?

    Do you have favor continued state tax breaks for large profitable corporations? If so, what it the public benefit of those tax breaks?

  16. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    Would you cut spending in any areas that would result in a loss of federal matching funds? If yes, which programs?

  17. - Downstate GOP voter - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:35 am:

    Do you think that cannabis users should be allowed to carry concealed guns?

  18. - Toure's Latte - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:35 am:

    Will you introduce legislation to make the University of Illinois Trustee an elected position?

  19. - Toure's Latte - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    Sorry, beat me to it Joe.

  20. - Smoggie - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    Do you believe that our laws regulating marijuana are an effective deterrent to drug use and/or other crime?

    Would you advocate any changes to those laws to either increase or decrease penalties for the distribution or consumption of marijuana and if so, what changes would you advocate?

  21. - Montrose - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    The recently released budget projects for the state show, after factoring in both the savings from the recently passed pension reforms and the loss of revenue from the expiration of the temporary income tax increase, the state’s budget deficit will be over $4 billion and the backlog of unpaid bills will be over $16 billion. What are your specific plans, including dollar figures and timeline, for both balancing the budget and reducing and ultimately eliminating the backlog of unpaid bills?

  22. - Smoggie - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    Do you believe that prison overcrowding is a problem for Illinois?

    If so, are there any changes to our criminal laws that you would advocate in order to help such a problem, if it in fact exists?

  23. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    Which parts of the state’s FY14 capital budget do you support, and which, had you been governor, would you have opposed?

  24. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    A lot of people believe pension reform as defined in PA 98-0599 will eventually be found unconstitutional. What is your fall-back plan for saving / funding the State pension systems?

    Will you support increased revenue specifically earmarked for paying off the State’s pension funding backlog?

    If so, how would you raise the revenue: increase the current income tax rate, expand the income tax to include pensions, expand the sales tax to cover services, impose a tax on financial transactions, some other approach, or some combination of the above?

  25. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    Since consumers are the true job creators, how will “pro-business” policies like tax cuts and spending cuts restore prosperity to the middle class and bring meaningful economic growth to Illinois?

  26. - MyTwoCents - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    What roles or responsibilities will your lieutenant governor have in your administration?

    Do you support combining the comptroller and treasurer offices and/or eliminating the lieutenant governor? Do you have any other plans for consolidating or eliminating state agencies or offices?

  27. - Downstate GOP voter - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:42 am:

    Should the state allow EDGE tax credits to a corporation if the EDGE tax credit given equals or exceeds the net taxes of the corporation (results in corporation paying zero or negative taxes)?

  28. - Smoggie - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    This may seem like a “gotcha question”, but that’s not my intent. We’ve heard some demands that the next Gov. move into the mansion. How about phrasing a question on that topic like this:

    “Do you believe that the Governor of Illinois should live in a large mansion, complete with staff, all at taxpayers’ expense?”

  29. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    In addition to the State level pension problems, Chicago has a huge pension problem with both public schools and law enforcement. Should the State be involved in helping to save the Chicago pension funds or should that be left to Chicago to solve on their own?

  30. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    Jobs, especially good paying jobs, are needed in Illinois. Workman’s Compensation and Tort reform have been identified by some groups as items needing to be changed. Are you in favor or opposed to reforming worker’s comp and tort law? Assuming you are in favor of changes in those areas, will you make that a priority and push for it?

  31. - LGHB - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    Would you support eliminating the 2 year Gen Ed requirements at state universities in order to cut education spending?

  32. - DuPage - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    If the ISC throws out SB1, would you adjust the “ramp” to lower the yearly state payments to the pension funds?

  33. - Draznnl - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    What, if any, specific cuts to the budget would you propose? What, if any, taxes would you propose increasing or otherwise changing? What other specific steps would you advocate to bring the state’s budget into balance?

  34. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    Since any legislation you support has to be, essentially, vetted and supported by MJM, how do you plan on working with this most powerful political powerhouse?

  35. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    Gov. Quinn wants to close more state facilities like Jacksonville and Murray Developmental Centers, while moving more people with severe disabilities to community settings. The rates paid to community providers often limits salaries for direct service staff to about $9.50 hr with no retirement or health insurance. If minimum wage goes to $10 hr, how will the state expand the rates to cover additional salaries, the now mandated ACA, and retirement?

    The community employment rates of people with severe disabilities is very low. What will you do to encourage employers to hire more people with disabilities at $10 hr when they are not hiring people at $8.25 hr?

  36. - Downstate GOP voter - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    Gay marriage was recently approved in Illinois to allow for ‘marriage equality’. The law now defines marriage as being between two people. Would you support extending the law to allow for the inclusion of polygamy and polyandry as legal forms of marriage in Illinois?

  37. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    Historically, small businesses are the job creators, so it would make sense to help small businesses. Under the current corporate income tax system, large corporations pay little to no tax while small businesses end up paying their full tax. Would you be in favor of a revenue neutral plan that eliminates individual tax breaks for large corporations while lowering the overall tax rate on corporations? Alternatively, would you be in favor of a different revenue neutral plan that eliminated the corporate income tax while increasing the individual income tax rate to make up the difference?

  38. - veritas - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    Governor Quinn has had great difficulty getting legislation passed even with super-majorities in both chambers. As a Republican who will likely inherit Democratic majorities in both chambers, why do you think that you would be the most capable of the candidates at building bi-partisan support needed to enact legislation??

  39. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    Since revenue and tax policy will most likely be the overriding issue for the next four years, who would you appoint to head BoB?

  40. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    I did ask you to take this seriously, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun with these questions. Most are so super-serious. You can feel free try to lighten it up a little without snark. Thanks.

  41. - walker - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    How exactly will you change the budgeting process itself to ensure that spending does not continue to rise?

    What is your position on moving all employees to a 401K or similar pension plan? If so, how and when will that be achieved?

    Will you support moving some of the financial responsibility for teacher pensions to local school boards?

  42. - Downstate GOP voter - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    Do you support the expansion of casino gambling in Illinois (increase the number of casino licenses)?

  43. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    As Governor, will you drive your own car or will you use a taxpayer supplied car and driver?

  44. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    Other than the equipment needed by law enforcement, will you sell off the rest of the State’s air fleet? If not, why not?

  45. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    Who would you appoint as your Chief of Staff?

  46. - OLD BRASS - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    When SB 1 is overturned, are you one of the many candidates who, behind the scenes, are planning the implementation of taxing all pension in Illinois as a remedy?

  47. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    When was the last time you shot a gun?

  48. - South of Sherman - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    OK, seriously. Without relying on the hopelessly vague buzzwords “waste” and “fraud,” how are you going to make up for the billions of dollars in revenue that would be lost if you don’t permanently extend the income tax increase?

  49. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    One of the items that help to create jobs long term is infrastructure, such as roads and transportation. Would you push for additional federal transportation funding? Are you in favor of the State subsidies to Amtrak? Would you push for yet another highway construction bond issue and how would you pay for it?

  50. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    Another item that promotes jobs long term is improved education at all levels. Do you feel there is too much focus at the college level? Should there be more focus at the elementary and secondary level, especially on improving the the high school graduation rates even if college level funding has to suffer? And should there be more focus on vocational training and community colleges as an alternative to the traditional four year college?

  51. - Downstate GOP voter - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    All Illinois drivers are required to have insurance. Should all gun owners be required to carry similar insurance?

  52. - Budget Watcher - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    Greg Hinz of Crains Chicago Business recently wrote about a report showing that income inequality in Illinois between the top 20% of earners and the lowest 20% of earners has been rising at one of the fastest rates in the US. Should the state government of Illinois engage in more active policies aimed towards mitigating this trend in income inequalities through redistribution of wealth, or should the state engage in policies that encourages greater free-market solutions that determine how wealth should be distributed.

  53. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    Would all your appointees be like-minded people or would you have a few contrarians, possibly even people from some of your political opponents / the opposite party?

  54. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    How many automobiles do you own? Which one is your favorite and why?

  55. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    How much did you spend the last time you bought a watch?

    Ok, sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

    In what city will you and your family live should you be elected Governor?

  56. - Nieva - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    We have a boot camp and a work camp in Southern Illinois. In the last 6 years no roadside cleanup has occurred in our area. Will you see that funds are used to put these crews back out on the roads to pick up the massive amounts of trash that has accumulated and blighted beautiful and once scenic Southern Illinois?

  57. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    Which governor from Illinois history do you most admire?

  58. - Try-4-Truth - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    The reality is, the Democrats will most likely be in control of the legislature after November’s election. Tough talk might sell during an election season, but it is a horribly ineffective way to govern.Question, please tell me (us) about your willingness to compromise. What would you not compromise on? What would you? Please tell me (us) if compromise would be tried first, or if you think compromise comes from debate and struggle?

  59. - Union Man - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    The law states that all drivers must have insurance. Yet in my local paper there are five to ten drivers every week that are involved in various traffic stops and found to be without insurance. Many driving on suspended licenses as well. Will you support legislation that will take away the offenders automobile if found to be driving without insurance?

  60. - East Central Illinois - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    Are you a Cubs, Cards or White Sox fan? If you are a Cubs fan . . . WHY?????

  61. - mythoughtis - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    How many laws currently on the books will you work to repeal? Which ones?

    Will you involve yourself in things like how large a drink at a fast food resturant can be?

    Do you believe that we should work harder to gain maufacturing jobs in areas of Illinois that are not collar Cook or Collar St. Louis countires?

    What, if anything, will you do to show Illinois citizens that you do value the efforts of state employees to do their jobs?

  62. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    Tell us about a mistake you made in your professional life, what led to it, and how did you overcome it.

    If you could go back and change one thing about your life to this point, what would it be and why?

    Pretend you’re in an elevator with an important CEO and you have 30 seconds to pitch Illinois as the perfect location for his or her corporate HQ, what do you say?

    Nike Madigan has been a major force in Springfield for 40 years and you’re going to have to work with him if elected. What do you think the key to his success and longevity has been and what do you like most about him?

  63. - Downstate GOP voter - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    Relative to most states, Illinois has a high tax on gas. Would you support or oppose a cut in the gas tax?

  64. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    Carhartt coats - work coat or prop coat?

  65. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    Nike? Oof. Just do it. Mike. M. Emmmm.

  66. - Union Man - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    What’s the meaning of life with MJM?

  67. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Fried foods at fairs - eat ‘em or skip ‘em?

  68. - Union Man - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    Governors Mansion….. Love it or List it?

  69. - East Central Illinois - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    Of all the presidents that have served in the United States, who do you most admire and why?

  70. - Union Man - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    what does the fox say?

  71. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    What former Illinois governor do you admire most, and why?

    There is an emerging consensus that the state should begin to revoke, or at least not expand, corporate tax incentives (sometimes called loopholes). Some say big corporations do not now pay their fair share of state taxes. Others say such incentives interfere with the free market. What is your position on corporate tax incentives/loopholes?

    If elected governor, you will have to work with a Democratic legislature. What in your past demonstrates an ability to work across the aisle? Give specific examples.

    If the current pension reform legislation is found unconstitutional during your term as governor, what would you propose to address this issue going forward?

    You can have dinner with any historical figure, living or dead. Who would you choose and why?

    If no action is taken this year to address the expiration of the temporary tax increase, the next governor’s first budget proposal will have nearly $5 billion less to spend - an amount roughly equal to 1 of every 2 dollars spent on schools, 3 of every 5 dollars spent on health care, or nearly every dollar spent on human services. What are your specific proposals to cut spending and/or raise revenue to address this “fiscal cliff”?

    What is your greatest regret, personal or professional?

    Name your three favorite musical artists and/or songs.

    Illinois has the nation’s smallest state workforce per capita - that is, the fewest state employees per resident of any state in the country. Published reports and departmental audits frequently reveal the negative consequences of this staff shortage, such as unsafe caseloads in DCFS, backlogged evidence in state crime labs and dangerous conditions in state prisons. How does your rhetoric about further cutting government square with the need to fix these problems?

    What one word best describes you? What one word best describes each of your opponents?

    Pending legislation would put on the ballot a referendum to amend the state constitution allowing a graduated income tax (like 35 other states, most of our neighbors and the federal government). Leaving aside your position on the merits of the graduated income tax, do you believe the voters should be allowed to decide this question for themselves via referendum? Please answer yes or no, then explain.

    What Democratic elected official, past or present, do you most admire and why?

    Sox, Cubs or Cardinals?

  72. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    “Do you support tax cuts for businesses in Lincoln county?” Ok, now to be serious, “As a way to create jobs, rather than taking jobs from another state and moving them to Illinois, would you form regional partnerships with neighboring states for the mutual benefit of all?” (Not as well worded as I had hoped, but you get the idea.)

  73. - Mittuns - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    If you were a hot dog, and you were starving, would you eat yourself?

  74. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    Running government is different from private industry, both in terms of goals, deliverables and measurable metrics. Do you think you understand the difference and do you think you can effectively run the State?

  75. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    Do you support high speed rail? Do you support the third airport? Do you support the Crosstown Expressway?

  76. - Union Man - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    Which former, convicted governor, would you like to have lunch with and why?

  77. - East Central Illinois - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    If you were NOT running for governor, which of the other 3 guys would you vote for?

  78. - Downstate GOP voter - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    Should home owners be given property tax relief by increasing the sales tax or the income tax?

  79. - Union Man - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    2014 Mustang GT or 2015 Mustang Eco Boost?

  80. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    Govs’ Blago and Quinn have historically failed to fill State Board and Commission positions in a timely manner. How will your administration address this problem? Further, do you think the State has too many Boards and Commissions? If so, tell us which ones you would eliminate.

  81. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Do you support the strategic use of Illinois based Con$ulting Firms by State Government to help the State in $olving its toughest problems?

  82. - Anon - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    If the temp income tax hike mostly expires afyer this year, how specifically would you balance the budget and pay off the overdue bills with $5billion less revenie?

  83. - flea - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    What do you know about Agriculture and the Department of Agricultures role in the most robust industry in this state? Got any plans?

  84. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    ===how specifically would you balance the budget and pay off the overdue bills with $5billion less revenie?===

    I just don’t think anybody will answer a question like that. You gotta get ‘em cornered in a televised debate for something like that.

  85. - langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    mr rauner, about those wonderful bird dogs…what are their names and where do they live? at the condo? winnetka? montana? rahm? with the breeder? and, most importantly, will they be coming to the mansion with you?

  86. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    What’s your favorite state park? When did you last visit a state park?

  87. - langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    what responsibility does the state have for homeless veterans? how much of a problem is it, and will it be a priority for you? what can the state do to help them with medical and mental health care, housing, drug treatment, job skills, etc?

  88. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    How should the state mark its 2018 bicentennial?

  89. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    Word is catching my drift. Good stuff.

  90. - langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    sen. dillard, have you drafted your constitutional amendment to withhold legislators’ pay if they do not pass a “balanced budget”? who are your cosponsors? if it was passed at the next election, how would you implement it?

  91. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    “Cubs or White Sox?”

  92. - langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    mr. rauner, please explain how your term limits referendum would work. is the limit 8 years for any elective office? just legislative? combined service in the house and senate?

    explain how reducing the number of senate districts is beneficial. has it been drafted, and do you have cosponsors?

    if the referendum is passed, since it is prospective, that means speaker madigan can stay in office another eight to ten years, depending on the implementation schedule, correct?

  93. - PolPal56 - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    How many hours a week do you watch Fox News?

  94. - Say It Ain't So! - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    Boxers or briefs?

  95. - Tommydanger - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    To eliminate any remaining pretense that what happens south of I80 matters, would you favor relocating the state capitol to Chicago?

    Asphalt or concrete for expressways?

    Boxer dogs or brief press conferences?

  96. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    Every Governor needs someone to work with the legislature in order to get deals done. If they were available, who would you prefer: old man Daley, the kid, Jane Byrne, Harold Washington or Rahm?

  97. - langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    all of you want to reduce spending, except for favored areas, please identify $250 million in cuts you would put into effect immediately upon taking office.

    please dont give us a “process” answer, like a blue ribbon committee w recommendations, or a “forensic audit”, “strategic plannin”, or minor gimmicks like selling state planes. this is a take home test, please just identify $250 million in cuts. if you are unable to do so, why should we take you seriously about cutting spending?

  98. - The Captain - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    What is your plan to invade Missouri and how many days in office will have elapsed before you begin the invasion?

  99. - langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    will you pledge to eliminate the backlog of bills by the end of your first term, or not run again? how will you pay off the backlog without making the tax increase permanent?

  100. - PolPal56 - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    Have you rubbed Lincoln’s nose at his tomb for luck?

  101. - langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    most other states tax retirement income. why not tax retirement income, with a very generous personal exemption, in order to raise money to pay off the backlog of bills?

  102. - PolPal56 - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    His nose on his STATUE. Sheesh. Don’t dig the dude up.

  103. - langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    mr. rauner, when michael jordan played minor league baseball, he paid for a better team bus. will you provide your own state plane and helicopter, to save the state that money? if not, why not?

  104. - langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    starting with sen rutherford, what is your favorite casserole to take to a pot luck at the legion hall, or your church? please share the recipe.

  105. - langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    have you ever worked for tips? when and where? what was the experience like?

    what is the physically hardest job you ever had?

  106. - langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    mr rauner, do you have a personal chef? how many people are emloyed at your various properties?

  107. - the Other Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    Probably too serious, but:

    If a Republican is elected Governor, he will almost certainly have to deal with a General Assembly run by Democrats. In Congress, this has led to a highly partisan atmosphere.

    What’s the right balance between principle and pragmatic governing in these situations?

  108. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    langhorne, what about: “Do you now or have you ever employed domestic help?”

  109. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    Do you now, or have you in the past, employed or contracted with undocumented workers?

    If the answer is no, how are you certain of that?

  110. - Enemy of the State - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    How much are you willing to spend to get the Fighting Illini to the Rose Bowl?

    How would you fund your inaugural ball?

    Would you allow Rich Miller to select the music at your inaugural ball?

    Have you ever been enrolled in a public school?

    Which federal prison best accommodates former Illinois governors?

    Who serves the best pizza in New Berlin?

    Rank the best Burgoo Festivals you have attended.

    Do you have a concealed carry permit or do you prefer others to provide this service for you?

    If the crew from ‘American Pickers’ came to Springfield, what would you sell from the governor’s mansion?

  111. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    What is your favorite TV show currently airing? All-time favorite?

  112. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    How often do you visit The Capitol Fax Blog? Do
    you comment? Do you have a favorite commenter?

  113. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    When did you buy your $18 watch? Where was it made?

    Yes on domestic help question.

  114. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    If Illinois offered an IPO, what should be the initial price and how much would you buy?

  115. - Casual Observer - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    If the legislature were to appropriate a one time $50 million dollars for you to spend any way you wished, where would you spend it?

  116. - Earnest - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    What are your top five things to market in order to bring in more visitors/tourists to Illinois?

  117. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    Should Illinois eliminate the election process for the Governor’s office and instead just put it up for bid on eBay? If so, what minimum reserve would you set and what amount would you expect the winning bid to be?

  118. - Casual Observer - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    If a young republican supports the ACA, gay marriage and legalized marijuana but otherwise supports the conservative agenda, are they still a republican?

  119. - WhoKnew - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    If and when you lose the GOP primary. How supportive do you plan to be of the Winner in the General Election?
    Would you consider an administrative roll in their eventual administration?

  120. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    Following on to what - WhoKnew - said and being a bit more specific, if you lose the primary and, after paying all debts, have left over funds, will you donate those funds to the primary winner to help win the general election?

  121. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    Have you ever toured an Illinois prison? If so, what did you take away from the experience?

  122. - railrat - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    do you dry clean or machine wash your Carhartt “real guy” gear ??

  123. - Casual Observer - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    How many purple ties do you own and how long have you had them?

    Have you ever driven the Great River Road? (Hint: it’s not Wacker drive or Main Street, Metropolis in the spring).

  124. - s - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    Illinois currently has nearly 7000 units of local government, by far the most of nay state. In fact, California, Texas, and Pennsylvania are the only other states with over 4000. What is your plan to consolidate and eliminate units of local government?

  125. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    In the interest of transparency …

    Will patronage have a place in your administration? Who will oversee it?

  126. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    Serious: What are your top three legislative changes you will propose to increase jobs in Illinois?

    A little less Serious: How much did you pay for the watch that you are wearing?

  127. - downstate commissioner - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    1, Illinois Roads are falling apart, especially the local roads. 80,000 pound trucks were rammed down locals throats without any additional revenue. Will you accept that some additional funding is necessary for roads, and will you actively support it? I not, how will you explain to the big businesses you are attempting to attract how they will get their products in and out?
    2. Will you explain that Township Road Districts are the cheapest operating road maintenance crews in the State, and that the County Highway Departments can NOT do as an effective job as twps. do?

  128. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    AWillyWord Con$ulting is an Illinois company,… Sorry it’s not a question, just saying…

    Give a complete, thoughtful, all encompassing answer, leaving nothing out; what does it mean to be Bi-Partisan, and how important is that to you, your administration with a presumed Democratic General Assembly, and how important is it to Illinois and her citizens?

  129. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    What’s your greatest accomplishment in the public sector? You’re greatest regret?

  130. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    Name one thing you promise to achieve in your first year in office that, if not accomplished, you pledge to resign.

    Do you think judges should be forced to recuse themselves from cases where counsel have given them money?

    Do you believe universal preschool would save the state money in the long run?

  131. - No Longer A Lurker - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    Do you wear Red Wing steel toe boots or Allen Edmonds wingtip boots with your Carhartt coat?

  132. - No Longer A Lurker - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    Do you use Trip Advisor to help plan your summer vacation?

  133. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    You are a “foursome”, if you played golf;

    Who would win?
    Who would lose?
    Who would be most likely to cheat?
    Who would want to “walk”, who would want a cart?
    Who would be the best “company”
    Who would be the worst “company”
    You root for your opponents to do their best, it wang then to fail?
    Who would you want as a “partner” in a 2-man game
    Who wouldn’t you want as a “partner”
    Clubs make the golfer, of golfer makes the “player”
    What is your “snack” … “At the turn”
    Masters, US Open, British Open, PGA; Best Major?
    Golf, recreation? Exercise? Social? Competitive? All/None?
    Cool clothes, or “Cool” you play well?
    Women admitted to private clubs? Yes or no, and why.

  134. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    Dog person or cat person? If both, should they co-habitat?

  135. - Observation - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    Describe your presence in the Illinois State Fair parade. Walk or run? Tractor or horse? Convertable or golf cart? Harley or Honda? And after the parade: Slide or no slide? Cozy Dog or Vose’s? Funnel cake or deep fried Twinky? Bud tent or Miller Tent?

  136. - Endangered Moderate Species - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    What book are you currently reading? What is your top ten ipod playlist? What is your favorite movie?

  137. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    Do you currently belong to any social clubs that does not admit women as members?

  138. - Fifth Beatle - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    Would you sell I-80 to Indiana or Iowa for $5,000,000,000.00 to help reduce the states debt?

  139. - Fifth Beatle - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    Do any of the candidates wifes’ work? Any of their children work? Work for minimum wage?

  140. - Postman - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    If elected, would you donated your salary to charity?

  141. - No Longer A Lurker - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    When in need of help with a product or service do you call the customer service department or the CEO.

  142. - No Longer A Lurker - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    Can you claim a homeowners exemption on your property tax for every home you own in Illinois or just your primary residence?

  143. - Buzzie - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    Would you consider dividing the Chicago Public School system into three separate school districts (with their own respective elected school boards) and place them under the same legal requirements, as mandated by the Illinois School Code, which apply to all other Illinois public school districts?

  144. - Downstate GOP voter - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    Would you support a lease of the Illinois toll highway system to someone like Morgan Stanley Group for 75 years in return for several billion dollars of quick cash?

  145. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    sorta fun question-

    Do you read this blog: never, occasionally, daily?

  146. - Senator Clay Davis - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    Do you agree with the broad consensus of the scientific community that man-made climate change is a threat to Illinois, and if so, what state action would you support to address this threat?

    This question is especially focused on Mr Rauner, a former member of the Sierra Club.

  147. - Hans Sanity - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    Do you want to learn more about the cannabis debate? Are you curious about the current debate in Oregon?

    If you willing to give up 54 minutes (or less), go to youtube to search for The Russ Belville Show #327 - SPECIAL Presentation on Kevin Sabet… and listen from the 6 minute mark to as close to the end 54 minutes later as you can.

  148. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    Follow-on to - Robert the Bruce - question:

    Name the most important thing you have learned from reading the CapFax blog …

  149. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    If you are married, do you and your spouse claim the SAME primary residence?

  150. - Anon - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    In suburban Cook County, township highway depts. have as few as four miles of unincorporated roads to maintain. With fewer than ten miles of roads, there are no economies of scale. Would you support eliminating these costly and inefficient departments?

  151. - Postman - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    Do any of the candidates support allowing the Illinois 22nd district to become the 51st state and him made King Michael?

  152. - Tommydanger - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 3:24 pm:

    Miller’s dog or Riemer’s, a, er, dog, I think?

  153. - Downstate GOP voter - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    The Jan. 1, 2014, three year budget projection of the general funds for FY15 from the Office of Management and Budget shows a deficit of $1,901 million under current law. Which specific expenses should be cut (budget line items) and/or which specific taxes should be increased, both with dollar amounts to cover this forecasted deficit? The dollar amounts should total $1.9B.

  154. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    When the pension fund savings run out in a year or two, do you support paying the current IL bond holders half of the contracted interest rate so a state income tax increase can be kicked down the road a couple of more years?

  155. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 4:24 pm:

    If you are in a parade do you work both sides of the street or stay in the middle?

  156. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 4:29 pm:

    To win the general election, would you walk the entire state like Dan Walker?

  157. - Hans Sanity - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    Would you sign or veto legislation approving recreational cannabis use by adults in IL?

    In New Hampshire, its General Assembly just passed a bill seeking to legalize personal use of up to an ounce of cannabis by adults while creating regs for the retail production and sale of cannabis.

    The NH Senate hasn’t voted on the bill yet.

  158. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 4:52 pm:

    I think one of the single most important questions is the one RNUG proposed: “A lot of people believe pension reform as defined in PA 98-0599 will eventually be found unconstitutional. What is your fall-back plan for saving/funding the State pension systems?”

    How frequently will you have lunch with Mike Madigan? Are you willing to pay for his apple yourself or will will you expense it to the state?

  159. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 5:19 pm:

    One I think we missed:

    Do you support the expansion of gaming in Illinois? If Yes, please explain the venues and/or locations that you would support and why. Also explain where you would direct State revenues from gaming expansion. If No, please explain your reasons for opposition.

  160. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 8:01 pm:

    Even if Term Limits does not end up the “Law of the Land” here in Illinois, would you, nevertheless, PLEDGE to the People of Illinois to serve NO LONGER than 2 full terms in Office as Governor? If not, why not, and please explain such reasons in detail.

  161. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 8:10 pm:

    P.S. Earlier in life, did any of you ever work a job for Minimum Wage? If yes, what job(s), where, and how did you care for it?

    P.S.S. If one of you eventually becomes Governor, do you have any Bride Projects in mind you’d want to put a halt to or shut down for some reason?

    P.S.S.S. Are you friends with Gov. Chris Christie or, if not, would you contact him for his advice on how to approach any public policy issue of importance to Illinois, particularly one having to do with public works and/or expanding the infrastructure, e.g. bridge repair??? If yes to either question, why?

  162. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 8:12 pm:

    I have to chuckle to even mySELF on this mistake! That was MEANT to read in “P.S.S.” above, NOT “Bride” but RATHER “Bridge” Projects…!!!

  163. - Andy - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 8:45 pm:

    If elected governor, would you pledge to end legislative pensions during your term in office?

  164. - Andy - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 8:55 pm:

    If it becomes obvious you are not doing as well as the other Republican candidates, will you drop out of the race in an effort to bolster the chances of another candidate?

  165. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:37 pm:

    If Illinois was a publicly traded corporation, would you short the stock?

  166. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:41 pm:

    What personal communication device would you buy Mike Madigan so you could always get in touch with him? And why that type?

  167. - Enemy of the State - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:43 pm:

    Is your Carhart wear the old fashion kind with the Union Label or the newer type sewed by an 11 year old girl in a Honduran sweatshop?

  168. - Andy - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 9:48 pm:

    Do you support Project Labor Agreements on Illinois’ highway construction contracts? Please explain your reasoning.

    What is your position on Right to Work legislation?

  169. - Andy - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:10 pm:

    It is the perception of many Illinoisans that our governors have played second fiddle in the power game to Michael Madigan during his reign as Illinois House Speaker. if you become Governor, what will you do to change that perception?

  170. - Andy - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:42 pm:

    When SB1 is ruled unconstitutional, will you support re-amoritizing the unfunded pension liability into flat, annual debt payments, as recommended by Ralph Martire in his “An Actual Honest to Goodness Pension Fix” article dated January 16, 2013?

  171. - Andy - Wednesday, Jan 15, 14 @ 10:54 pm:

    Professionalism in agencies under the Governor has gone by the wayside, and work is being outsourced to consultants who are highly paid and do not have the requisite knowledge base. What will you do to reverse this evolving trend, or will you allow/encourage this to continue?

  172. - Mama - Thursday, Jan 16, 14 @ 1:34 am:

    How much money do you plan to make as a governor (Salary + under the table perks)? Since you think the State can be ran like a private business, does that mean you will sink IL and move your business (IL)to another state? In your opinion, what type of business should IL become?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* No pension bump for Stermer, MJM still not persuaded on special session
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - More comptroller stuff
* 1:30 comptroller announcement expected - Stermer appointed, says he will resign January 12th
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Comptroller stuff
* Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Bears open thread
* More adventures in misgovernance
* Question of the day - Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Petulance all around
* Yesterday's blog posts

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