Thursday, May 6, 2010

Quinn, Brady Spar At Business Lunch

By Benjamin Yount, Illinois Statehouse News
Election Day is months away, but Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bill Brady provided a preview of the race Wednesday at a Springfield lunch of the Illinois Retail Merchant’s Association and Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. Both spoke about the state budget, cuts, spending, and taxes but had very different things to say.

Both candidates said they were all for business and job creation. Quinn continued to call his proposed 33 percent jump in state income tax a surcharge for education. Brady said it was just a tax increase.

Quinn pushed for a sales tax holiday for back-to-school shoppers and merchants. “As we come into the second-largest shopping season next to Christmas, that’s the school-supply-buying season…We want to make sure we have a school supply tax holiday in Illinois,” said Quinn.

“I think we need to anything we can to reduce the tax burden on families and businesses,” Brady said. “But an eight-day holiday doesn’t make near as much sense as overall reduction.”

After the tax and business speeches, the two candidates clashed with each other on what the governor said is Brady’s “down” attitude about the state.

“I think there’s a lot of hand-wringing on the part of Sen. Brady and others,” Quinn said. “I think it’s important to have a governor who is a positive person about the Illinois economy.”

But Brady said Quinn has little to be positive about, “Gov. Quinn wants to mask the fact that his first 12 months cost Illinois over 250,000 jobs."

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