Quinn, Brady trade jabs in ABC7 debate
October 20, 2010 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- The fight for the top job in Illinois played out in a debate at ABC7 Wednesday night. Bill Brady and Pat Quinn traded jabs on jobs, the state's massive budget deficit, education and questions of character.
Both sides agree it was the most important face-to-face, televised debate between the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor. Elevated governor Pat Quinn defended his record for the past 21 months, while his major party opponent insisted he could do better:
"I want to cut spending and taxes and create private sector jobs," said Brady.
But Republican Senator Bill Brady had no specifics on how he would reach his goal of a healthy Illinois economy.
Governor Quinn, saddled with a 19-month record made during the 'Great Recession,' said he would return stability, despite the state's record $13 billion deficit.
"We preserved our education. We've maintained our health care. We've made sure we've had public safety," said Quinn.
But Brady, again criticizing Quinn for trying to save money with a state prison early release program, went on the offensive.
"Governor Quinn's record on public safety is abysmal," said Brady.
Then the governor attacked Brady's reported plan to cut state education funding.
"My opponent wants to cut the education budget in Illinois by over a billion dollors and raise local property taxes," said Brady.
" Perish the thought you'd tell the truth. I never talked about raising property taxes and you know it," replied Brady.
Brady re-affirmed his stances for gun rights and against abortion and gay marriage and accused the governor of using social issues for political purposes.
"I'm proud of my beliefs and unlike Gov. Quinn I'm not using them to divide Illinois," said Brady.
The governor accused Brady of ignoring the African-American community during the campaign and being anti-gay rights.
"He sponsored the legislation voted for it to allow employers to fire gay people from the job," said Quinn.
During one question, the governor learned of a link between Senator Brady and Dean Martinez, a former deputy to ousted Rod Blagojevich.
"I really was surprised to learn that the former deputy to Rod Blagojevich was hosting a secret fundraiser for Senator Brady," said Quinn.
"Governor Quinn is drawing for straws. These are fine people. Let me talk about governor Quinn," said Brady.
After Brady tried to change the subject, he eventually confirmed the relationship, then spun it as outreach to the Latino community.
"What the public should make of it is that Bill Brady is reaching out to the Latino Community. We're winning them over," said Brady.
Brady and Quinn also disagreed on the state's job situation. The governor noted the falling Illinois unemployment rate and claimed his administration has created jobs. Senator Brady says the state is still in recession and losing jobs.
Meanwhile, Green Party candidate Rich Whitney and supporters protested the fact he was not included in Wednesday's debate.
The League of Women Voters set the rules for who is included. The group invited only candidates for governor who received 10 percent or more in any of several non-partisan polls taken during the last 30 days.
"We invite all of the candidates who demonstrate what we call a meaningful level of voter interest," said Jan Czarnik, IL League of Women Voters.
But Whitney, who received more than 350,000 votes in his first run for governor four years ago, says that alone should demonstrate voter interest in him.
The other candidates on the ballot are Independent Scott Lee Cohen and Libertarian Lex Green.
politics, charles thomas
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