State Sen. Bill Brady, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, said voters have grown weary of Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's populist actions and want a leader who will "deal with reality."
Brady, a Bloomington Republican who lost the 2010 general election to Quinn, also said he backs giving state tax breaks to agricultural processor Archer Daniels Midland to move its corporate headquarters to Chicago from its current base in Decatur.
Quinn, seeking his second elected term as governor next year, has said ADM's request for tax breaks should not be considered until lawmakers deal with Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation unfunded public employee pension liability.
ADM is seeking $24 million in state assistance over 20 years.
"We have to face reality. We can't be populist in this. The reality is because the governor has raised taxes so high, there are other alternatives (for ADM to relocate) out there," Brady said in an interview on WGN-AM 720.
Quinn also vetoed lawmakers' paychecks pending a plan to deal with the unfunded pension liability. A Cook County judge ruled the governor's action unconstitutional, a decision Quinn has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to review.
"You don't tie ADM to another issue that the governor's failed on," Brady said of the pension issue. "We need a governor who will move away from the populist point of view and do the right thing in each instance."
Brady is one of four major candidates for the Republican nomination for governor. Also seeking the nomination are state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, who narrowly lost to Brady four years ago; state Treasurer Dan Rutherford of Chenoa; and wealthy businessman Bruce Rauner.
Brady also sits on a 10-member legislative conference committee that has been charged with coming up with a plan to deal with the state's $100 billion public worker pension liability. He credited the Democratic majority on the panel with working in "earnest" on the problem but said the process was "floundering" from Quinn's refusal to appear before the committee to offer his proposed solution.
While another leading panel member, Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook, said last week that she believed it was "very likely" the committee would be able to offer a pension plan in time for the General Assembly's Oct. 22 veto session, Brady was more reserved.
Brady said Republicans question whether the panel's framework for pension reform, creating $138 billion in savings over 30 years, was "sustainable." He said he believed the framework "still ate into too much general revenue" to fund other government services and that he would prefer to see additional savings.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun