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Dillard promises to appoint conservative advisory committee, wants “second gas tax” instead of casinos

Tuesday, Aug 27, 2013 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Illinois Review has an interesting roundup of the weekend’s “Conservative Summit,” which picked state Sen. Kirk Dillard as their guy for governor

Dillard promised the group conservatives would have unprecedented access to him, and that he would appoint, and regularly meet with, a committee of conservatives to strategize on public policy.

* But he also created an opening for anti-tax candidate Bruce Rauner

When asked about gambling expansion, [Dillard] said he would try and pair down the number of casinos, preferring a second gas tax rather than gambling expansion to fund roads.

* And what about that Obama TV ad? It’ll help him in the general, Dillard said

As to the 2008 ad he did praising Barack Obama, Dillard told the attendees he has never supported Obama, but that the ad does give him some credibility in the Black community.


  1. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 9:48 am:

    Yes, I’m sure he’d prefer another regressive gas tax. Big revelation there.

  2. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 9:50 am:

    “pair down the number of casinos”? Is that a typo or an unintentional pun?

  3. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 9:50 am:

    That Barack ad would be great in the general, if not for the whole “pandering to the far right to get the nomination” thing.

    The left and moderates do not trust the guy because of his moves to the right.

    The right does not trust him because of his Barack support.

    Where does Team D-Lard expect to get support?

    By the way, given the fact that there is no clear path to victory, shouldn’t Kass be calling him a spoiler?

  4. - Transplant - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 9:52 am:

    “Pssst! Don’t tell them, but I only pretended to support Obama to gain the support of the black community … “

  5. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 9:52 am:

    I find this to be a very troubling statement. The Illinois Governor is supposed to look after the interests of all citizens, not just a few wealthy well connected insiders. Is he also going to meet regularly with citizens that aren’t conservatives and give them unprecendeted access and opportunities to strategize as well ? He’s beginning to sound like Blago. I think I can cross him off the list of candidates that I would vote for.

    “Dillard promised the group conservatives would have unprecedented access to him, and that he would appoint, and regularly meet with, a committee of conservatives to strategize on public policy.”

  6. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 9:53 am:

    What’s a “second gas tax?”

    Is that raising the current gas tax, or raising the sales tax on gas, or a double-secret-probation gas tax, or what?

    How much?

  7. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 9:56 am:

    Pare down the casinos? Who exactly is Dillard proposing to put out of business and for what good reason?

    There are winners and losers under such a proposal. Who would Gov. Dillard like to see win and who does he want to lose?

    For what good reason, again?

  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 9:57 am:

    “I was for Obama before I was against Obama, so I got some street cred.”

    Yikes, listen to what you are saying when you are walking back something 5 or so years ago.

    I understand the Play here by Dillard, but it looks/smells/walks like a Play.

    If you keep with the John Kerry lines, it may/may not work long-term.

    I will be watching this play out, with the Right in the Primary, and the Center in the General… if Dillard gets that far.

  9. - Bill White - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:02 am:

    Every day, Pat Quinn is looking better and better

  10. - Norseman - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:11 am:

    Pandering taken to a new level.

    Bill, you can join me in voting for Oswego Willy.

  11. - brokeback citizen - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:13 am:

    I agree with Bill. A 2nd gas tax??? Are you kidding right now? Not only can’t I afford another tax, but it is laughable that it is coming from the supposed “NO TAX” Conservative Right. Enough! PQ may not be perfect, but looking at the entire field of candidates..He’s looking pretty good to me right now.

  12. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:14 am:

    Yes he is, Bill, yes he is…

  13. - anonymouse - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:19 am:

    Look Dillard, I can’t vote for a Cook county Democrat but with the middle east about to go up in flames, do you think you could maybe find a better time to announce your wish for a ’second gas tax’?
    (Give it some thought anyway, OK?)

  14. - Jimbo - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:20 am:

    Okay, I get conservative sentiment towards casinos, but aren’t they supposed to be against taxes. In fact, when gas prices first shot up to the 4 dollar range wasn’t it conservative governors and legislators across the nation who proposed gas tax holidays? Proposing a higher gas tax can’t possibly be more tenable than tolerating a little gambling.

  15. - Keep Calm and Carry On - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:22 am:

    I went to sleep in Illinois. Apparently, I woke up in Texas.

  16. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:23 am:

    ==By the way, given the fact that there is no clear path to victory, shouldn’t Kass be calling him a spoiler?==

    Why would Kwame be a spoiler and not Kirk? What are their differences that Kass attacks only one?

    Also, if Dillard thinks black voters are stupid enough that no one will see through his for/against Obama nonsense, he is sadly mistaken. Cutting an ad for a black guy doesn’t give you the unequivocal support of the black community, especially when the core of your beliefs are policies believed largely antithetical to the general welfare of Illinois’ black citizens.

    As for the “second gas tax,” I’m surprised no one here knows what Dillard means. Especially in light of his conservative citizens council idea, clearly Dillard is going to target those evil hybrid, electric, and alternative fuel vehicles. That is a mainstream conservative “public policy proposal” after all.

  17. - Young and In The Way - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:23 am:

    A second gas tax? Yeah, that will play well in the suburbs! This guy stands for nothing but more power and glory for himself. There is no pandering too low for the ‘Lard man!

  18. - Bill White - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:24 am:


    With fracking, the United States is now very close to being energy independent. Even without Keystone, which I oppose strongly. And, the IL fracking statute could very well be a model for America.

  19. - too obvious - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:25 am:

    Wow. Just wow. Where to begin.

    So now we learn Dillard in truth has never been a fan of Obama. It’s all been a con on black folks. Good to know. Dillard’s really pushed this one. Apparently so intent is he on misleading black folks about his like for Obama, he even accepted an invitation to the White House Easter Egg Roll a few years back. Nice follow-through Kirk. Must have been very uncomfortable hanging out at the White House with a President you now say you don’t support. What a trooper.

    And Dillard now says he wants to “pair down the number of casinos?” Well that’s interesting. Certainly a strange way of showing it. Just in 2011 Dillard voted for SB744 which represented the most massive gambling expansion ever. Authorized FIVE new casinos (including one Chicago-owned casino), slot machines at the state’s horse racing tracks, slot machines at Chicago’s two airports, more gaming positions at existing casinos, and slot machines and year-round racing at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. This was just one of Dillard’s votes for massive gambling expansion over the years.

    Dillard demonstrates disturbing dishonesty. Absolutely mind boggling in its audacity.

    The conservatives at the “conservative summit” must be very proud. Good going people. You’ve lost what little credibility you ever had.

  20. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:26 am:

    How about a LARD tax?

  21. - Keep Calm and Carry On - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:34 am:


    I strongly support fracking as well, but a recent study covered in next month’s Scientific American shows that it may be contaminating groundwater and has given me pause:

    As to our energy independence? We keep hearing about it while Illinois gas prices continue increasing. Looking forward tot he day we will finally reap some rewards in the form of lower prices.

  22. - Fed up - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:36 am:

    Dillard will lose this vote thinking that way, I much prefer gambling, which I don’t partake in to another gas tax.

  23. - woodchuck - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:37 am:

    At this rate of self-implosion, he wont’ have to worry about naming a Lt. Governor running mate.

  24. - GOPGal - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:38 am:

    What a Pander Bear. How embarrassing.

  25. - Mason born - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:48 am:

    So Mr. Dillard thinks it is less onerous to impose an additional tax on fuel which most of us cannot avoid than having a Casino which someone most knowingly walk in the door to give away their money.

    So glad D’lard is unlikely to end up on the ticket. My liver would never survive the liquid courage to vote for him.

  26. - Joan P. - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:53 am:

    “Dillard promised the group conservatives would have unprecedented access to him, and that he would appoint, and regularly meet with, a committee of conservatives to strategize on public policy.”

    In other words, “I’m going to appoint an advisory panel that will tell me what I want to hear.”

    Sadly, typical of pols all across the political spectrum.

  27. - Montrose - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:55 am:

    Nothing plays better in the black community than saying something you did will play well in the black community.

  28. - Reader - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:56 am:


    “The left and moderates do not trust the guy because of his moves to the right.”
    - That ad was years ago. The left and moderates don’t even know who Dillard is and I doubt they’ll get the chance.
    If these dudes (Dillard, Brady, Quinn, Daley, Rauner) are the best the two parties have to offer, we are worse off than ever. How depressing.

  29. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:56 am:

    Let me get this straight. The Republican candidate who, arguably, was most likely to win over disenchanted Dems has decided his best bet is to swing to the far right? Sheesh. I mean, I’m happy that he’s doing his best to assure a D in the Mansion come 2015, but I am kind of disappointed in him personally.

  30. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 10:57 am:

    –With fracking, the United States is now very close to being energy independent. –

    Doesn’t work that way. There’s no such thing as “American” oil.

    Oil extracted from the United States is refined and sold at the most profit anywhere in the world. The United States is a net exporter of refined petroleum products.

    The myth of “American oil” is kind of like how the United States has to spend billions and risk the lives of our youth to “protect” the oil supplies of the Middle East.

    After the loss of much American and Iraqi blood and treasure over the years, I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that Chinese state-owned enterprises now extract 50% of the oil in Iraq for consumption in China.

    Their tankers receive safe passage home through the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea courtesy of the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

    The U.S. Navy also provides protection for Iranian oil exports to China, India, Japan and South Korea.

    No charge. Happy to do it.

  31. - MrJM - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:00 am:

    Dillard: “What do I have to do or say to prove to the conservative king-makers that I’ll do or say anything to appease the conservative king-makers?!?”

    – MrJM

  32. - Dan Johnson - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:02 am:

    The roadbuilding industry is a pretty heavy hitter in GOP primaries. Lots of GOP-friendly unions with high wages who work in transportation and appreciate capital investment strategies by the state. This is an interesting and pretty smart play by Dillard as an alternative path to victory to embrace the transportation industry as a constituent. I just wonder how many of them GOP transportation stakeholders might see the Dems as their natural ally (since Quinn/Dems passed and funded the capital bill) and be tempted to crossover in March.

  33. - Downstater - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:13 am:

    A second gas tax!!?? Dillard rolls the dice. Snake eyes! Thud. The sound of the hammer putting a nail in the Dillard for Governor campaign. Dillard will be walking that one back, when Obama bombs Syria and gas prices go up, again. Weren’t Republicans asking for the gas tax to be eliminated?

  34. - Reader - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:18 am:

    @Keep Calm and Carry On

    That article gives more hope than pause. It says outright that if the wells are constructed properly, there will be no contamination. That’s why proper oversight of well constuction is necessary, and hence the new IL regulations of the industry. Frack on!

  35. - Mokenavince - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:31 am:

    Rich guys always want to stick it to the working man. Dillard better hurry the all you can eat buffet at the Country Club ends in 2 hours.
    We finally found some one with less brains than Quinn.

  36. - reformer - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    There are already two state taxes on gasoline, the excise tax and the sales tax, that latter of which taxes the former. Now he wants to impose tax number 3.

    Since Dillard consistently invokes Jim Edgar, it’s too bad he doesn’t emulate his former boss. Edgar campaigned in 1990 on making the temporary income tax hike permanent. And in 1997 Edgar proposed the “Netsch II” income tax hike to increase education funding. I predict Dillard won’t touch either of those Edgar precedents with a ten-foot elephant trunk.

  37. - Truth teller - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:52 am:

    Dillard’s move is fraught with peril. Gaining the conservative vote in the primary costs votes in the general (see Romney, Mitt). Either way you look at, it’s a loser’s move.

  38. - Pius - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 12:18 pm:

    @Keep Calm and Carry On
    Do not hold your breath waiting for lower gas prices. Petroleum is a world-wide traded commodity and prices are most influenced by those who control the biggest piece (OPEC)–unless you support artificial prices. You have seen NG prices fall because NG is not easily moved around the world.

  39. - Downstate Illinois - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 12:20 pm:

    Not moving to the right means losing the primary in a four-way race again. Dillard’s acting like’s he learned something.

    Brady is giving the same Jeb Bush story like he did last go-around. “I never would have won the governor’s race if I hadn’t ran and lost the first time.” He’s hoping that the audience will not realize this is actually the third time.

    Dillard actually gave a pretty good stump speech in Marion last Saturday (the same night as the Grogran/Walsh photo was taken). Unlike Brady he stayed around and met with everyone.

  40. - chad - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 2:35 pm:

    I still do not see the case for a Dillard primary win. Insufficient field organization, money, candidate energy and policy consistency. This run to the right will gain some marginal additional support, but the vast moderate majority of GOP voters can and will be educated on this drift. The longer Dillard plays, the more likely he becomes the spoiler for Rutherford — and nominates Rauner.

  41. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 4:11 pm:

    Anytime you are talking about gambling, be it expansion, to “paring it down”, you are opening yourself to talk of “looking out for insiders”, or worse, “making sure the ‘right’ people are taken care of, as changes are made”

    I have no clue is changes need to be made with the Gaming Industry in Illinois, but I know talking about what you “might” do as governor, and there is a sound of “selective opportunity”… sends up red flags to some.

    As for the conservatives, their seat at the table, that doesn’t bother me. It’s all about who you are as a candidate, and who “brought you to the dance”.

    If the conservatives can get Dillard through the Primary .. and the General … they should be able to tlak with the “governor” about their issues, and how they would like the “governor” to help.

    No problem.

    Can the conservatives deliver …TWICE?

    That remains to be seen, but Dillard is…Gambling … it will work out.

  42. - Just Me - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 4:15 pm:

    I know the “electability” argument rarely works in a primary, but Dillard has officially crossed over that line for me.

  43. - Bored Chairman - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 4:50 pm:

    Dan Johnson got it right.

  44. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 7:58 pm:

    His reference to gaining “credibility in the Black Community,” or, spin, on the 2008 Pro-Obama Ad is about the smartest twist the Senator can put on it…it’s just NOT unwise at all, despite other candidates’ severe criticism of it 4 years ago because it shows his ability to move to the Center when needed, something critical politically in this State, plus, a solid, public pat on the back to the President is OBviously prudent in approaching this KEY part of the Illinois Constituency…!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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