The gloves are off, and both Illinois gubernatorial candidates are leaving nothing out while making their cases to Illinois voters. But does this go-for-broke style of campaigning leave something to be desired for Illinoisans?
Madeleine Doubek thinks so. She says it's important to recognize that neither candidate is selling complete honesty. Both Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner have faced scrutiny recently with answers that don't always add up.
Quinn faces questions about his 2010 Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.
"A state audit found, among other problems, that background checks on adult mentors of teens were not conducted and that none of the millions in funds ever made it to six of Chicago's most violent neighborhoods. The anti-violence program is under federal investigation and is sure to re-surface just before the election."
There also are inconsistencies in what Rauner's plan for the state's taxes:
Rauner also has ads promising he will freeze property taxes. In one, Rauner says property taxes increased "30 percent under Pat Quinn." Except governors don't set or control property taxes.
The truth is that Rauner cannot single-handedly freeze property taxes. He's also pledged to lower income taxes by the end of his four-year term and to raise taxes on services, but, by his own accounting, those tax hikes would generate only $603,000 in new revenue.
The Better Government Association's Andy Shaw is also skeptical of both candidates. He wonders about Quinn's possible involvement with patronage hirings at the Illinois Department of Transportation and subsequent firings and unclear answers about who knew what when. But, Shaw concedes, at least Illinois voters know what to expect. Rauner is more of a mystery to Illinoisans. So far, we know hasn't made any mistakes as an elected official (because he's never been an elected official before), but Shaw raises concerns with some of Rauner's potentially overlapping business dealings and political donations. He challenges both candidates to adopt a candid attitude for the remainder of the race.