Thursday, January 07, 2010

Guv candidate Sen.Dillard on Blago-Quinn administration,Jim Ryan’s privatization of toll roads,no net tax increase pledges and McKenna's public record

Revised on Friday morning at 1:45 am to add a video link for Gov. Quinn; and a tax link for Jim Ryan.
Republican gubernatorial candidate State Senator Kirk Dillard (Naperville) had a press availability this morning at the Union League Club of Chicago. It was timed, apparently, to take advantage of the fact that many media were in the building, having just concluded covering an event by Cong. and Republican Primary Senate Candidate Mark Steven Kirk (R-Highland Park, 10th CD).

Prison early releasegate: What did Quinn know and when did he know it?

Senator Kirk Dillard [Watch Dillard here] indicated that there are “unanswered questions,” about the State’s and the Governor’s “early release program,” for those serving or about to serve time in the State’s prisons. He called for a “more detailed inquiry in the legislature of what’s going on,” and noted that the inquiry should be conducted with subpoena power. Dillard said the most important unanswered question is “what did Governor Quinn (and his staff) know and when did they know it.” [Watch Gov. Quinn].

In particular, Dillard said, “I’d like to know—was it really a secret early release program, and it goes to the leadership of Governor Quinn… the buck stops, especially with respect to public safety, with the Governor.” Senator Dillard said he “would hope that [Senate President Cullerton and House Speaker Madigan] would …be concerned that there was clearly a breakdown in protocol as to minding the store with respect to the release of violent criminals. Dillard said, “I bet you Senator Cullerton has raised eyebrows in private about this.” Senator Dillard referred to the early release program as “an abomination,” and “a mockery to the victims of crime.”
Contrasting Blagojevich-Quinn with Dillard

Senator Dillard re-capped his plans to restore growth to, stimulate jobs in and revitalize the Illinois economy. His program, called “Making Illinois a Destination Economy,” is discussed here. Dillard emphasized, “We must reduce the cost of doing business in Illinois,” but that “there is no one single answer to economic development in Illinois. Gubernatorial candidate Dillard said his economic development plan has “many, many, many different answers,” including venture capital, main street capital and “looking at all of the billion dollars of new fees and taxes that were put in under the Blagojevich-Quinn Administration, the first year of their Governorship or their Administration on Illinois businesses.”
Dillard discusses privatizing the Illinois toll roads and compares his ideas to those of Jim Ryan

Senator Dillard said he would consider privatizing the Illinois toll roads but that he would want to make sure “that money stays for infrastructure—that it is not going, as I think Jim Ryan wanted it to do, to close the state’s general budget hole-- that’s welfare spending, it’s monies for other projects…and if the suburbanites have paid the lion’s share of it, there needs to be a good distribution formula and last, but not least, every motorist needs to be aware that wherever they have privatized tolls, tolls have skyrocketed.” Dillard said if he were the Governor, he would have a system “that didn’t lead to fare increases.” Otherwise, he would “never be for the privatization of the toll way”

Commenting on Guv candidate Dan Proft’s proposal to privatize the state lottery

Dillard was asked by this journalist how he felt about Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Proft’s proposed sale or lease of the lottery [Watch Proft here] to obtain an injection of funds to help [along with spending cuts and “re-purposed,” economic stimulus funds] deal with the current state deficits, until the economy recovers. Senator Dillard noted the differences between the lottery and the toll way and said, “I’ve always thought we should look at leasing the lottery or privatizing the lottery as long as we guarantee…that education continues to get the lion’s share—we don’t want to lose that source of revenue for our schools--- and also we need to make sure that one governor doesn’t benefit or frontload all the money on privatization of the lottery—keep it all for himself…”
Responding to McKenna’s argument that Dillard can’t be trusted on taxes

Senator Dillard was asked by this journalist about Andy McKenna’s argument that Dillard can’t be trusted not to raise the income tax or general sales tax rate because he won’t sign the Americans for Tax Reform (“ATR”) pledge not to support a net increase in taxes. This reporter noted that Republican gubernatorial candidates Senator Brady, Dan Proft and Andy McKenna, Jr. have all signed the ATR no net tax increase pledge. Senator Dillard noted that “he has no design to raise taxes.” He argued further that his middle class status, background, expertise and experience make him the best gubernatorial candidate “to get us through,” without a tax increase. Dillard stated that in his attempt to reform and make taxes fairer, he wants some flexibility and he thinks tax pledges and forms are “gimmicks,” that might inhibit or constrain things like inflationary or tax fairness adjustments, and he said that he was not talking about tax swaps or general increases in taxes. [Ed. note: In addition to those identified above, Republican primary candidate for Governor Adam Andrzejewski has also signed the ATR no net tax increase pledge].

The ATR form and fairness and inflation tax adjustments

This journalist followed up and noted that the ATR pledge allows for inflation adjustments and other reforms. It simply prevents the signer from supporting net increases in overall tax rates. Thus, Dillard was asked: wouldn’t signing the ATR form prevent McKenna from raising the tax argument about Dillard every day of the campaign until February 2? Also, wouldn’t signing the ATR form prevent McKenna from putting Dillard in the same camp as Jim Ryan, who also refuses to sign the ATR form and did support, two years ago, a tax swap that would also have been a six billion dollar net increase in taxes?

Dillard compares his record with that of McKenna

Dillard responded, “I’ve been in the General Assembly for fifteen years, I’ve never voted for a general tax increase. I have a record. The only record Andy McKenna has is during his public time as Republican Chairman of this State we lost three congressional seats, we lost five state senate seats…a slaughter of suburban senators under Mr. McKenna’s reign. As the State Party Chair, he lost five State House Republican members and he leaves that office, the only public record he has, under an ethics investigation…”
More than 120 of our shows from the last two years are posted on the Public Affairs YouTube page . Now streaming are our most recent shows w/Republican Primary Gov Candidate Dan Proft; Paul Vallas, Supt. of the Recovery School District of New Orleans; 10th Cong. District Republican Primary Candidate Arie Friedman, M.D. (R-Highland Park); Republican Guv candidate State Sen. Kirk Dillard(R-Naperville); Cong. Danny Davis; Patrick Collins, former Chairman of the Illinois Reform Commission;
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Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at