Dillard Takes Shots at Gubernatorial Debate

Here’s a press release from State Senator Kirk Dillard, a candidate for the GOP nomination for governor:

Dillard Renews Ethical Judgment Charge at Debate Important Party Nominates Candidate Who Can Win in Fall

(Lisle, IL) – Illinois Republican candidate for governor Kirk Dillard today renewed his charge that Andy McKenna’s ethics violation sends the wrong message to voters and contrasts sharply from Dillard’s record as a leader on ethics reform. GOP officials announced last week that McKenna, while Chairman, used party funds to further a possible run for political office.

Dillard has said that as Chairman of the DuPage County Republican Party he was never found guilty of ethics violations. “My opponent Andy McKenna, the ‘insider,’ cannot say the same,” Dillard said at the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce debate in Countryside.

Dillard also questioned the ethical judgment of Jim Ryan for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Stuart Levine, later convicted of influence peddling during the Blagojevich administration. “Unlike my opponent Jim Ryan, you won’t find any of my close friends or largest contributors sitting in a federal holding cell for a ‘pay to play’ scheme,” Dillard said. Ryan did not attend the debate.

Dillard argued that Republicans need to nominate a candidate who can win back the governor’s office in November, not someone who reminds voters of the Blagojevich/Quinn administration. “The stakes are too high. The judgment of our candidate for Governor should not be in question,” Dillard said.

Dillard has pledged to shut down his campaign fund when sworn-in as Governor. “The state is in crisis, and I need to spend all of my time governing, not fundraising,” Dillard explained. “We need a Governor who will lead by example to end corruption and focus all of his attention on making Illinois work again.”

Dillard was first elected to the Illinois Senate in 1994. He served as Chief of Staff for former Governor Jim Edgar and was Legislative Affairs Director for former Governor Jim Thompson.

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Not included in the press release was this criticism of opponent State Senator Bill  Brady:

“Sadly, we do have candidates here of my own party who lack ethical judgment too:  Bill Brady, I haven’t taken a $10,000 contribution from a contributor and given their child free tuition at the University of Illinois Medical School.”

I found that in the Sun-Times story about the debate.

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