View the slideshow of the Carroll County Republican Women’s 70th Birthday dinner Below.
An Interview With Dan Rutherford, Candidate for Governor
By TOM KOCAL | Prairie Advocate News
SAVANNA – During the Carroll County Republican Women’s 70th Birthday dinner at Manny’s Banquet Hall in Savanna Sept. 10, Prairie Advocate News Publisher Tom Kocal had the opportunity to ask current State Treasurer Dan Rutherford a few questions about his Primary run for Governor in 2014.
PA: Why would you want to be Governor with the state in the financial condition it is in?
Rutherford: I love Illinois. I was born and raised here, did my professional career here. I don’t want Illinois to go down the drain.
I think the skill-set that I bring, being a private-sector businessman for 25 years, having served in the General Assembly, and I understand and appreciate the different geographic parts of Illinois. I know where Carroll County is! And I respect the urban areas. They deserve their fair share. But they don’t deserve any more than anybody else in Illinois. That’s the kind of approach that will be acceptable to be the Governor of the State of Illinois.
PA: Gov. Quinn’s Progressive Tax plan - Is that the answer to Illinois’ financial problems?
Rutherford: A progressive income tax, from a populist standpoint, sounds good. But it is basically a code word for tax increase. More taxes will be raised. Why did the 1970 Illinois Constitution state there would be a flat tax? The point was, if you are going to raise taxes, they will be raised on everybody. That makes it more resistant to raise taxes. It is not beneficial to have Illinois grow economically by raising taxes, whether you do it through a flat or progressive tax.
Illinois has the second-highest unemployment rate in the country, the lowest bond rating in the entire nation, and we are seeing more people leave the state than are moving in.
I’ll tell you this up-front: I am for Illinois. I think it’s a great state, we have a wonderful location in the marketplace of America, the tremendous job training skill sets in our community colleges and vocational training, infrastructure - this is a great state.
But right now, the problem is the leadership we’ve got in Illinois, and that’s why I intend to try to bring about the right perspective to lower the 9.2% unemployment rate, so that we can help put people to work.
PA: What is your solution to Illinois’ pension problem?
Rutherford: The pension problem should never have been allowed to get to the point it is today. When Pat Quinn and the Democrats in the General Assembly raised the income taxes in January 2011, that bill should have never been signed into law without a comprehensive package to solve the finances of this state. All they did was raise money and didn’t fix the problem.
In Jan. 2011 the outstanding bills to vendors - people who deliver goods and services to state government - was $8.5 billion. Two years later, after the income tax increase, it was $9 billion. If I was governor then, I would have never signed that tax increase into law, without having a complete financial comprehensive resolution to the problem we’re in, which would have included the state public pension issue.
PA: Good luck, and thank you for coming to Carroll County.
Rutherford: I have been back to Carroll County many, many times over the years. The commitment I make to your readers is, as Governor of the State of Illinois, I will be back again.