Moylan, Gott play Madigan-Rauner state budget blame game
Who's to blame for the state's budget stalemate, Gov. Bruce Rauner or House Speaker Michael Madigan?
Candidates running for a 2-year term in the 55th state House district, which covers portions of Des Plaines, Park Ridge and Elk Grove Village, held to their respective party lines Thursday during a debate of the issues before the Daily Herald Editorial Board.
Democratic State Rep. Marty Moylan, 65, the former Des Plaines mayor and electricians union business agent elected to the House in 2012, said some of Rauner's proposed reforms are non-starters for House Democrats, including weakening collective bargaining and prevailing wage rules.
Moylan called the proposals "extreme" and questioned whether they would save much money.
"He's the governor," Moylan said. "He can't be blaming Madigan. Did (Jim) Edgar say that? Did (George) Ryan say that? No. They worked with the other side of the aisle. That's what I do as a legislator."
Republican challenger Dan Gott, 72, a retired engineer from Des Plaines, said Rauner's hands are tied by Madigan, who has been speaker for all but two of the last 33 years. Gott criticized excessive spending in the state and lack of action on Rauner's reforms.
"It's a waiting game with House Speaker Madigan until Gov. Rauner's term expires in 2018," Gott said. "We can't wait. The people I've talked to as I walk the doors are suffering. They want relief. They want needed reforms now. They're asking because they cannot afford to stay in this state."
There are some parts of Rauner's agenda that Moylan agrees with: term limits, redistricting reforms, and a property tax freeze. Gott also agreed on those points.
Moylan did say he'd be open to some changes on workers' compensation laws, "but not go all the way."
He emphasized his record as Des Plaines mayor from 2009 to 2012, cutting positions, reducing expenditures, building up reserves and holding the line on taxes.
As a legislator, Moylan said he worked with both parties to pass a bill last session that freed up state gambling funds, gas taxes and emergency 911 fees to local towns.
But Gott says voters have described Moylan as a political "chameleon" who changes colors from conservative to liberal to independent. He criticized Moylan's vote on an unbalanced budget as "immoral" and "unconscionable."
"We are circling the drain financially," Gott said.
Gott, who is making his first run for public office, has been involved with the Republicans of Maine Township organization since 2014.
"I am not a politician," he said. "I am just a fed-up citizen who wants change."