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updated: 5/20/2014 6:53 PM

Rauner targets Democrats with anti-tax robocalls

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  • Gov. Pat Quinn, left, is running for re-election against Bruce Rauner.

      Gov. Pat Quinn, left, is running for re-election against Bruce Rauner.

 
 

Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner's campaign has dispatched robocalls to constituents of four suburban Democratic state representatives in an effort to pressure the lawmakers to vote against extending Illinois' income tax hike.

Rauner is focusing on Democrats who could have competitive races in November: state Reps. Deborah Conroy of Villa Park, Sam Yingling of Grayslake, Marty Moylan of Des Plaines and Carol Sente of Vernon Hills.

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"There's still time to help me fight Pat Quinn's tax increase -- and to let state Rep. Deb Conroy know you want her to protect you from higher income taxes," one version of the call says.

Conroy, Moylan, Yingling and Sente have all told the Daily Herald they plan to vote against extending the state's 5 percent income tax past Jan. 1, when it's set to lower to 3.75 percent.

"I was a firm 'no' in 2011, and I continue to be a firm 'no' on making the temporary income tax permanent," Sente said earlier this month.

Still, Rauner's effort shows how sweeping his campaign could be, trying to boost Republican candidates throughout Illinois as the Winnetka Republican fights in his own race against Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat.

Quinn has ripped Rauner for not having his own budget plan despite his vocal criticism and argues Rauner's plan to let taxes drop would mean deep cuts to what the state can spend on schools, care for the disabled and other programs.

Rauner is also placing robocalls in three downstate House districts with the same message.

Lawmakers have until May 31 to craft a budget, and House Speaker Michael Madigan has suggested Democrats are far short of the number of votes they'd need to extend the tax hike.

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