CHICAGO (CBS) — Gov. Pat Quinn has dispatched his running mate, Paul Vallas, to ridicule the so-called 10-point budget plan outlined by Republican challenger Bruce Rauner.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Vallas called Rauner’s budget outline nothing more than a prank. Rauner brought a trio of chickens to his news conference Thursday to make a point about what he called wasteful spending by the Quinn administration.
Specifically, Rauner slammed $117,000 spent to bring in prairie chickens from Kansas on state planes to replenish the endangered species here. However, the Quinn campaign has noted all of the money for the program came from fees hunters pay into an endangered species replenishment fund, and federal dollars, so no state taxpayer funds were used.
Vallas, who is running for lieutenant governor alongside Quinn, brought a copy of the governor’s budget plan for reporters as he criticized Rauner’s budget announcement. Quinn’s budget book totals more than 500 pages, compared to Rauner’s 11-page outline.
“Rauner had an opportunity to present a vision, a partial vision, of how he was planning to address the critical needs of the state, and for all practical purposes, yesterday he chickened out,” Vallas said.
He said Rauner’s outline contained no real cuts to state spending, and isn’t a real budget plan.
Vallas said the governor has made real cuts to state spending – such as 4,000 fewer state employees and $3 billion in savings from the overhaul of the Medicaid program in Illinois.
Rauner’s campaign has said it will unveil more of its fiscal plan in coming weeks.
Vallas scoffed at Rauner’s repeated claims that he’ll present a detailed budget plan, a promise he has been making for more than a year.
“I think you’re going to see a series of events like this, as shallow and as insignificant as this, and they’re going to use their multimedia campaign to try to convince people that somehow they have articulated a vision for the future. That’s what you’re going to see,” he said.
Vallas denied Rauner’s broad-brush approach might better resonate with voters. He said Quinn has cut state spending by $5.7 billion, and is willing to discuss details. He said voters want specific answers, and Rauner isn’t giving them.