Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady seems to be getting the best of both worlds this campaign season. His sometimes extreme, socially conservative views have earned him respect from state Republicans--even Tea Partiers--but not talking about these issues on the campaign trail has kept him ahead in the polls for months.
In recent weeks, however, Governor Pat Quinn has released several ads making Brady's anti-choice, anti-gay rights and pro-gun views public knowledge. Quinn has seen a boost in polling numbers. The Chicago Sun-Times endorsed Quinn, saying that Brady lives in an "ideological box that shuts out real people and real pain." But will usually moderate voters get to know what Brady stands for in time for it to make a difference in the voting booth? Not if Brady has his way.
In an interview with the Daily Herald on Monday, Brady said he does not have a social agenda he plans on pushing if elected governor. So, all that talk about teaching creationism in schools, banning abortion even in cases of rape and incest and banning civil unions will have no effect on his governing?
"I have my personal beliefs. ... We all have our personal beliefs," Brady told the Daily Herald. "My agenda is about rebuilding Illinois' economy and bringing integrity back to the government."
Brady went on to tell the paper that, if elected, he would enforce the state's parental notification law, which requires doctors to notify the parents of women under 18 seeking abortions. Though approved in 1995, the law has been held up in court and never enforced.
Brady also told the paper that if civil unions are approved by state legislature in the next few months (which Gov. Quinn predicted last week), he would not move to overturn them.
His conservative views have many concerned, but his pledge to not push a social agenda seemed to please the Daily Herald--which endorsed him:
"Not an ideal candidate, Brady's personal views veer to the right of our tastes and the well-being of the state, but we take him at his word that he won't push a social agenda as governor and we call on him to govern from the middle."
Those concerned about women's rights, however, aren't sold, saying that Brady's record speaks for itself:
"Since entering the General Assembly in 1993, Bill Brady has a 100 percent anti-choice and anti-family planning voting record," Pam Sutherland of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action said in a statement. "His record demonstrates that he is anti-woman, anti-choice. He is downright dangerous for Illinois women."