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* Tough talk today during the first governor’s debate of the season between Pat Quinn and Bill Brady. The other candidates weren’t invited.
Click here to download the raw video file of the debate. This is a very big file, so I hope it doesn’t crash my site. If bad things happen, I’ll have to chop it up and post it on YouTube. [To make it easier to watch, I’m uploading the files to YouTube now. They’ll be ready after lunch.] Many thanks to the folks at Blue Room Stream for the file.
I’ll also be posting stories about the debate as they come in. From the Sun-Times’ take…
The people of Illinois “need a governor with a heart - somebody who cares about them,” Quinn said. “Sen. Brady wanted to cut human services 50 percent. He didn’t have a heart then and he doesn’t have a heart now.” But Brady said Quinn’s announcement Tuesday that he was spending $75 million in state money to fund a program that gives 26,000 state residents $10-an-hour jobs now that the federal funding has run out for that program was heartless for the state’s social service providers, who are waiting six months or more to get paid by the state.
“Governor, where¹s the money?” Brady asked. “There is no federal money tied to the $75 million. Those 26,000 jobs should be provided by the public [he meant to say “private”] sector. Our human service providers, you don’t have the money to reimburse them - and they’re having to lay people off. This is a dishonest campaign ploy.” Among the other issues the candidates argued about are whether Quinn really lives at the governor¹s mansion. His predecessor Rod Blagojevich rarely visited the governor¹s mansion. Quinn said he was there Saturday night and he does live there.
“My clothes are at the governor’s mansion - even my underwear are there. I think that establishes residency, doesn’t it?” Quinn said after the debate to chuckles from reporters.
Quinn accused Brady of “pie in the sky” promises. He says Illinois needs a governor with “common sense not nonsense.”
Brady blamed the “instability” of Quinn’s proposed tax increase for the state’s financial problems.
When asked whether he really resided in Springfield, Quinn replied with extemporaneous aplomb.
“The test is, where do you have your underwear,” Quinn said, before explaining unbidden that his skivvies are located at the state mansion.
*** UPDATE 1 *** The Tribune has a long story. Here’s part of it…
Brady also contended it is time to end the “secret deals” like the governor’s agreement with AFSCME, the state’s largest employee union, to avoid layoffs until mid-2012. The deal, which Brady wants Quinn to nix, came within days of Quinn getting the powerful union’s endorsement in the race.
Further Brady lashed out at Quinn over Tuesday’s announcement to pump $75 million to keep alive a jobs program until Congress can act to extend federal funds by November. The federal funds are due to expire this week. Brady said the state money should have been spent on paying down billions of dollars in backlogged state bills.
But Quinn, more than once calling himself the “Jobs Governor,” argued he could not cut a program that has given jobs and hope to as many as 26,000 people in Illinois, part of training program that typically pay $10 an hour to people who otherwise might be unemployed.
Quinn called on the hundreds of people in the audience to consider how he has improved campaign finance laws, reformed pensions and won passage of a major construction program, saying he should be judged by his record and suggesting they should refrain from embracing the platitudes of “fast-talking politicians.”
*** UPDATE 2 *** The Union League Club explains why it didn’t invite Green Party nominee Rich Whitney…
Supporters of Green Party candidate Rich Whitney picketed the event with signs reading “Let Rich Debate.”
According to Union League Club Executive Director David Kohn, Whitney was excluded because he hasn’t reached 10 percent in any recent polls.
“The ULCC’s policy for a general election candidate involving statewide offices requires candidates to demonstrate support of at least 10% in an independent , statewide poll conducted in reasonable proximity to the forum,” Kohn said, according to Green Party officials. “As the most recent statewide polls in the Illinois Governor’s race (conducted by Rasmussen Report, September 12; Chicago Tribune , September 3) show Mr. Whitney polling at 4% and 2%, respectively, Mr. Whitney does not meet this criterion and is, therefore, ineligible to participate in the forum.”