Dillard pledges coalition 'to save the state'

Originally Posted Online: Feb. 21, 2014, 9:39 pm
Last Updated: March 06, 2014, 1:18 pm
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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com

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.


Local events heading

  Today is Tuesday, July 22, the 203rd day of 2014. There are 162 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Everybody is invited to go on a moonlight excursion next Monday evening on the steamer New Boston. The trip will be from Davenport to Muscatine and back.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The mayor and bridge committee let a contract to the Clinton Bridge company for a $1,125 iron bridge across Sears canal near Milan.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Injunction proceedings to compel the Central Association to keep a baseball team in Rock Island for the remainder of the season were contemplated by some of the Rock Island fans, but they decided to defer action.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The first of the new and more powerful diesel engines built for the Rock Island Lines for the proposed Chicago-Denver run, passed thru the Tri-Cities this morning.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island Rescue Mission is negotiating for the purchase of the Prince Hall Masonic Home located at 37th Avenue and 5th Street, Rock Island.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Quad Cities Container Terminal is being lauded as a giant business boon that will save several days and hundreds of dollars on each goods shipment to the coasts. The Quad Cities Container Terminal is the final piece of the puzzle that opens up increase access to world markets, Robert Goldstein said.

(More History)