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GOP Governor Candidates Debate, Few Distinctions Made

By Jake Guidry in News on Dec 15, 2009 9:20PM

Six Republican candidates for governor met in a debate Monday that focused hard on the issues of government spending and corruption in Illinois. Each candidate vowed to slash spending and restore ethics to a state government that has seen its share of scandal over the past few years. How this will be achieved, however, is still up for, well, debate.

With a huge budget problem hanging over the state of Illinois, all of the candidates agreed that the best way to do this is to cut spending, yet each were vague on how they would accomplish such a feat. According to ABC 7 News, the candidates "promised to reduce Medicaid and pension costs," but "rarely cited specific programs that would be slashed." Of course, most opposed state spending on public transit, including the $400 million required for a high-speed rail and another $300 million to reduce CTA rail congestion in Chicago.

The candidates also agreed that the voters are "sick" of government corruption and in order to win next year's election, the Republicans "must draw a sharp distinction on ethics between the GOP and the Democrats who now control the Legislature and every statewide office." While a polarization of ethics between parties remains a key to the GOP's political strategy, the candidates yet again were vague on how to reach their goal. Opposing a mass-firing of those who were hired by the past two governors, most agreed the issue required more attention and that guilt by association must be avoided.