Kirk Dillard Woos McHenry County Women

State Senator and Republican gubernatorial candidate Kirk Dillard speaks to mainly women at Crystal Lake's 1776 restaurant.

Billing himself as the only non-millionaire in the race for the Republican nomination for governor, State Senator Kirk Dillard spoke to mainly women at Crystal Lake’s 1776 restaurant Tuesday morning.

He related having received this advice from his former boss, former Governor Jim Edgar:

“You must find a way to attract women and Latinos.”

State Senator Kirk Dillard greets Cathy Danca after the 1776 breakfast hosted by his colleague State Senator Pam Althoff.

Jobs, education and safety are the approaches Dillard said he was taking for both demographics.

My friend Pete Castillo and I arrived during the question and answer session for the 45 or so McHenry Countians in attendance.

Dillard reflected on his ability to work with newly-elected Senate President John Cullerton:

“We work on things we can get along on.”

In answer to a question about the pension debt hanging over Illinois, Dillard came out in favor of a two-tiered pension system with new employees not being guaranteed a certain amount each month.

(Government pensions are typically called “defined benefits.” They guarantee a certain amount each month and, in the case of Illinois, a 3% increase each year whether inflation is lower or higher. Private enterprise has moved from the defined benefit approach to a “defined contribution” approach in which the employer agrees to put so much a pay period into a pension pot. The amount available for retirement depends on how the money is invested and whether and how much the employee sets aside his or her own money for retirement.)

Dillard said he thought he was the only one who could pull that off (not his words). In a telephone town meeting with Andy McKenna, I heard his rival take something of a similar approach to reforming future pensions.

Dillard pointed out that the pension problem is not just one for state taxpayers. Local governments’ police and fire protection personnel have similar problems of under funding.

“We can’t sustain” the state pension situation, Dillard said. If something is not done about the pension system, “we will have no money for education, (hospitals and other functions financed by state government).”

Why does Dillard say that?

Because the Illinois state constitution pretty much says that pensions get paid first. At least as long as members of the Illinois Supreme Court get pensions like other state employees.

Prairie Grove Village Administrator Jeanine Smith and former State Representative Rosemary Kurtz listen to GOP gubernatorial candidate Kirk Dillard.

“I’m the person who has the political courage to get it done),” the state senator said, indicating he would tell state employee union leaders,

“If we don’t make these changes, we’ll go insolvent and a Federal bankruptcy judge will (impose) them.”

A question was asked about providing “tax credits up to a certain level” for contributions to not-for-profit organizations. Credits are subtractions from what one owes in state or federal income taxes.

Dillard indicated his support for such a change in the income tax law because not-for-profit groups provide better services cheaper than state government.

Touching on the precarious nature of state finances, Edgar’s former chief of staff pointed out that bills were paid in 17 days when the former governor was in office, but now a nursing home in his district hasn’t been paid “in more than five months.”

More tomorrow.


Kirk Dillard Woos McHenry County Women — 5 Comments

  1. Kirk Dillard is a moderate Republican at best with a nasty voting record on the Second Amendment and was speaking to liberal women like Donna Kurtz and her campaign manager and liberal minded former State Rep., mother.

    Jeanine Smith is a liberal, anti-gun, anti hunting feminist being paid an exorbitant salary to do very little for Prairie Grove as an “administrator” besides annoy most of those in our community. Don’t believe a word any of those RHINO’S proclaim. Especially the one who doesn’t want to talk about the written reprimand they received serving on the on the MCC board…

  2. Dillard sponsored concealed carry. His 2nd amendment record is better than any other GOP candidate.

  3. He may have back it on the campaign trail, but that doesn’t say much. How about when he was actually voting…

    Then you’re telling me this is someone who supports our second amendment rights?

    Everyone needs to stop listening to elected politicians and start researching them. Votes say much more then verbal rhetoric.

  4. Better than the status quo, but not of the candidates. I am truly an undecided here.

  5. Did you know that MOST sex offenders have never been caught! And that those who scream the loudest usually have the most to hide… I find it ironic that sex offenders on parole must take polygraph tests regularly… How many politician voting for these laws are will to to sumbit to the SAME polygraph test… Come on law makers… What are you hiding?

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