Thirty-one days after the election, a few hours after the Illinois Board of Elections certified him the winner of the Illinois Republican gubernatorial primary by the margin of 193 votes and an hour after Senator Dillard gracefully chose not to ask for a recount, downstate Senator Bill Brady, 48, stood with his wife, Nancy, and three kids at the Union League Club of Chicago yesterday afternoon to accept the nomination of his party for Governor of Illinois.
Brady hits a tough patch
Sen. Brady [R-Bloomington], who served eight years in the Illinois House and is in his 8th year in the State Senate has had a rough time of it since the election. He has found himself talking about euthanasia for cats and dogs and getting some facts wrong about the Governor's and the State's early release program. The mainstream media and the blogosphere have had fun with all of that. Lucky for Bill, not too many people are paying attention to politics and gaffes right now.
Brady back on message: jobs and reform
But, in case they are, Bill Brady got back on message yesterday. He emphasized his election campaign will be about jobs and reform. Brady painted a sharp contrast between Governor Quinn and himself on job creation. Essentially, Brady said Quinn wants to raise taxes to pay for public sector jobs. Brady wants to lower taxes and he thinks that approach will stimulate growth in the economy and eventually increase tax revenue, which can then be used to pay for needed government sector jobs, e.g., teachers and public safety.
Specifically, Brady referred to removing the double state tax on gasoline and reducing Illinois estate taxes. He also argued that "Quinn believes he needs to raise your taxes." Quinn failed in his effort last year to have the legislature pass a 50% increase in income tax rates and many pundits believe he will try again this spring, if not sooner, to increase tax revenue in Illinois by about four billion dollars, with a boost of individual and corporate income tax rates [indeed, that proposal may be in this coming week's budget speech]..
Brady spoke of a new form of leadership relative to Quinn, who he accused of trying to increase the size of government and to "keep the status quo." Senator Brady, on the other hand, said he wants to bring government back to the people, "eliminate the status quo," and foster private sector business investment. Brady said he wants to relieve the tax burden on families and business so they can invest in private sector jobs.
Senator Brady, the downstater, said that we all want a government that will bring jobs to Illinois. and "won't dig deep in the pockets of taxpayers to make up for the failures of government."
Brady: Too conservative for Illinois?
When asked if he was too conservative for Illinois, Brady said, "I am who I am but the Illinois people want someone who will focus on jobs and the economy."
Brady, social issues and journalism
Brady, at yesterday's presser, never once mentioned any of the words, "Gays, Guns, God and abortion," but the Chicago Tribune reminded its readers, "Brady opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest, and opposes gay marriage and civil unions for same-sex couples." If you did not read the Tribune article carefully, you might think Brady had discussed abortion and same sex marriage yesterday afternoon. He had not.
This is just an example of what Brady is up against with the mainstream media if he wants to focus on economics issues instead of social issues. Ironically, the Tribune Editorial page will likely chastise Brady if he doesn't focus on economic issues, but the Tribune reporters or editors are likely to modify, albeit slightly, his focus if he does.
Gov. Quinn: Too liberal for the State of Illinois?
Such reporting is a legitimate effort to provide additional background but you do have to wonder if the mainstream media will ever ask Gov. Quinn if he is "too liberal for the state of Illinois." And, if Quinn does not discuss abortion or same sex marriage when he responds, will the Tribune tell us his position on parental notice, partial birth abortion and same sex marriage? I wouldn't bet on it. But, I do think the Tribune and other news outlets should consider doing so. I mean, fair is fair.
For additional reporting on the presser from someone who had the benefit, yesterday, of a separate sit down with Brady, go here.