MOLINE -- Republican gubernatorial candidate Kirk Dillard pledges to tame House Speaker Mike Madigan if he's elected to lead Illinois.
The state senator from Hinsdale said during a meeting Friday with the editorial board of The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus it is delusional to think that Democrats would lose control of the legislature even if a Republican is elected governor, which means that whoever wins the gubernatorial election will have to negotiate with Rep. Madigan.
"I know how to tell Mike Madigan 'no' and how to get a Democratic legislature to live within its means," Sen. Dillard said.
Sen. Dillard is an attorney and former chief of staff to Republican governor Jim Edgar. He's competing with state Sen. Bill Brady, venture capitalist Bruce Rauner and state treasurer Dan Rutherford in the Republican primary. The winner will take on Gov. Pat Quinn in the general election in November.
Sen. Dillard said the ability to loosen the grip on power held by Rep. Madigan and Senate Leader John Cullerton in the legislature is a skill he has honed over many years.
He promised to build a broad coalition that will bring independents and Democrats together "to save their state."
Among Sen. Dillard's policy proposals is to scrap the sales tax on gasoline in Illinois and repeal regulations that he said make it hard to do business in Illinois. He also promised to reform the tax system in Illinois to make it fairer for businesses.
Sen. Dillard said the Chicago Mercantile Exchange had paid one-sixth of all corporate taxes in Illinois in a recent year while Caterpillar had paid none.
"I'm not saying Cat ought to pay it, but something's wrong when the Mercantile Exchange is paying one-sixth of your entire corporate income taxes," he said. "We've got to look at fairness."
The Republican gubernatorial candidate supports the independent maps campaign, which is collecting signatures to hold a referendum in November. If successful, the campaign take redistricting out of the hands of politicians and under the control of an independent panel.
Sen. Dillard also said he supports a new capital bill and is not afraid of raising revenue to support it because the state's infrastructure is badly in need of improvement.
He also supports increased funding for programs that help the developmentally disabled.
But he said the state must get Medicaid spending under control. The program that provides health care for the poor costs more than education in the state budget, he said. He wants to purge the Medicaid rolls of those who claim benefits but might not be eligible to do so.
"I want Illinois to be the entrepreneurial capital of the Midwest and not the welfare capital of the Midwest," he said.
The primary election for governor is March 18, and the general election is Nov. 4.
Today is Wednesday, Sept. 17, the 260th day of 2014. There are 105 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: We are told league merchants have paid no attention to the prohibition on selling ammunition, but continue to sell just as before the order was issued. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The Rev. R.F. Sweet, rector of Trinity Episcopal Parish, left for the East to visit his boyhood home in Boston before attending the general convention of the Episcopal Church in New York. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Dr. E.A. Anderson was named to succeed Dr. E.L. Kerns as head physician of the Modern Woodmen of America, and moved to Rock Island from Holdingford, Minn. 1939 -- 75 years ago: One week late, because of the outbreak of war, Dr. E.L. Beyer resumed his work as professor of romance languages at Augustana College. Dr. and Mrs. Beyer left Germany on the last train to the Belgian border. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Employees in Turnstyle stores in Moline and Davenport will vote Oct. 2 in an election set up by the Chicago regional office of the National Labor Relations Board. Employees will vote either for the Retail Clerk International or for no union. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Rock Island High School is considering a step to help teen moms stay in school and get their diploma. The school board is expected to vote tonight on instituting an on-site child care center.