Republicans Beware: Dillard Accepts IEA Endorsement
- - IEA Opposes Litany of Pro-Student Reforms, Supports Income Tax Hike - -
- - Questions Persist About His Vote on Pension Bill in Exchange for Endorsement - -
After originally telling a group of Republicans that he’s never took IEA money, Senator Kirk Dillard today accepted the endorsement of the Illinois Education Association. News outlets reported that Dan Rutherford had also sought the union’s endorsement.
“It’s no surprise that a twenty-year Springfield insider like Kirk Dillard would seek and receive the endorsement of a government union that typically backs Democrats and opposes pro-student reforms while supporting a massive tax hike,” said Mike Schrimpf, spokesman for Bruce Rauner’s campaign. “This endorsement is a clear reminder to Republican primary voters that Kirk Dillard is part of the problem and will not fundamentally shake up Springfield.”
In 2010, Kirk Dillard took $250,000 in contributions from the IEA. Over the course of his career, Dillard has taken nearly $500,000 from various government unions.
Dillard has also faced questions about whether his vote against the pension bill was in exchange for IEA support. Unlike Bruce Rauner, who opposed the legislation on principle, Dillard has not provided a clear reason for his “no” vote.
In November, the Sun-Times reported:
“Word was also spreading that Dillard may not back a pension compromise deal that’s scheduled to be voted on Dec. 3. Dillard strongly denied that, saying he’s voted twice in favor of pension reform.
‘I always supported pension reform. I want to see what the final bill is — but I can’t imagine I wouldn’t be (in support). Pension reform is not an easy vote — it’s not a matter of being easy, it’s a matter of being fiscally prudent for the taxpayers and retirees.’
Illinois Education Association Positions:
Supports: A Progressive Income Tax
Opposes: School Vouchers for Students in the Worst Performing and Most Overcrowded Chicago Public Schools
Supports: Tenure After Just Three Years for New Teachers
Opposes: Merit Pay Programs for Teachers