Thursday, October 14, 2010

Liveblogging the Debate

8:55 And that's all folks.

8:50 Closing statements.Waiting for a fourth mention of Gov. Blago from Brady. Doesn't happen though.

8:48 Quinn supports a graduated income tax on earnings over $250,000. Brady does not want to see any tax income tax. Whitney supports a graduated tax as well but since it would require a constitutional amendment, refers back to Senate Bill 750.

8:47 Quinn's stance on concealed carry? He does not support it and says we should ban assault weapons. Brady says he supports concealed carry as does Whitney, who would allow any county to opt out.

8:44 How does Quinn's promise not to cut state jobs until 2012 affect govs. ability to do his job. Quinn has gotten concessions from unions to the tune of $300 million and says he inherited the contract that ties the govs' hands. Brady brings up Blago again (that's 3) and says the agreement to not cut jobs was a secret agreement between the union and the governor. Whitney says the deal sold out the people of Illinois and ASCME at the same time.

8:40 Over to farms. What happens if farm subsidies from the federal government get cut? Brady says increase biodiesal production and eliminating bureaucracy and regulation. Whitney calls ethanol a boondoggle and supports moving towards local food production for local consumption. Only 4% of the food consumed in Illinois comes from Illinois. Quinn says he has pushed for farm exports, biodiesal and touts himself as "Mr. Soybean".

8:37 What is the Gov. going to do to lift the poverty rate in southern Illinois. Quinn refers to the Put Illinois to Work program, which employs 26,000. Brady says taking taxpayer dollars to put people to work is not a viable option. Says need to build an environment in Illinois that is business friendly, providing permanent private sector jobs. Whitney wants to establish a State Bank, like that in North Dakota and create a green energy program to create green jobs.

8:33 To Whitney, question about late payments to institutions like SIUC. Refers back to his plan to dig the budget out of its hole, which would get payments back on track. Quinn says he had gotten funding to build more buildings on campuses and supports higher education. No specific references to the late payments. Brady says he won't cut higher education funding, unlike Quinn-Blago administration (2nd mention of Blagoyovich).

8:30 Rebuttals. Quinn leaps on the education issue again. Keeps attacking Brady and ignoring Whitney completely. Brady says Quinn's budget has a lot of back-room expenditures that were passed in secret. Whitney says he's the only one with a plan and that Quinn made the largest cut to education in Ill. history. Brady proposes a 10% cut in state revenue to balance the budget which requires a 40% cut to balance it.

8:26 Where are we going wrong in education? Quinn says we need accountability in education and properly paid teachers. We need more community colleges and more teachers. Brady says Quinn cut over a billion in education funding in the last budget. Whitney says we need a list of things for schools which need more funding and Illinois has one of the lowest rates of funding among the states. Refers back to Senate Bill 750 again.

8:23 Question about Medicare to Whitney, who wants a single payer system to replace the one we have now. Quinn wants to cut waste in the system and taking on insurance companies. Brady just used Reagan's "There you go again" line, says Quinn has failed to root out fraud and abuse.

8:19 Question about cutting mandatory payments i.e. pensions. Brad is pretty noncommittal as to how, and whoops, there's the first mention of Gov. Blagoyovich. Whitney says don't balance the budget by cutting promised pensions. Quinn talks about cuts he has made but no specific details about pensions. Talking about Brady and cuts in education.

8:16 Question to Whitney: how do we bring jobs to all parts of the state. Whitney refers back to his plan to provide free higher education to all citizens of Illinois that want and emphasizing green energy. Quinn brings up his support for the Jobs Recovery Bill and emphasizes the jobs brought to southern Illinois, refers to the STAR bonds program in Marion, notes that Brady voted against the Jobs Recovery Bill. Brady points out Illinois has had a net loss in jobs and that Illinois has lost 200,000 jobs during Quinn's term.

8:12 Next question from Jennifer Fuller: How do we get people back to work? Brady responds that we have to balance the budget and become more business friendly. Whitney says that the private sector does best when there is a strong public infrastructure. He wants to offer free high education to all Illinois citizens. Quinn says that jobs have actually been added during his term of office.

8:05 First question goes to Quinn, asking how he's going to balance the budget. Quinn is pretty non-specific. Brady says he will balance the budget without raising taxes. Whitney brings up actual figures and refers to Senate bill 750 as one way to start turning it around. Also proposes more taxes on riverboat gambling.

8:04 Rich Whitney has a go at it. He says that he's the only candidate with a plan to fix state government.

8:03 Bill Brady is making his statement now. He is saying that if you like the way Illinois government runs now, vote for Quinn.

8 p.m Questioning is Robert Rich, Jennifer Fuller and Rob Crowe I didn't catch. Jak Tichnor is moderator. Pat Quinn gets the opening statement.

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