SPRINGFIELD | Despite having his budget proposals called "naive" by former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar last week, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady stood by them Thursday, arguing that no tax increase is needed to solve the state’s fiscal crisis.
"The people I talk to throughout Illinois are looking for a governor who’s got the courage to balance the budget without raising taxes," Brady said in a press conference at the Capitol.
The state senator from Bloomington is calling for a 10 percent across-the-board cut to all agencies. Edgar, who served as governor from 1991 to 1999, previously called the proposal simplistic, adding that a tax increase will be necessary for the state to climb out of its $13 billion hole.
Edgar also said Brady needed to "flush out his budget policies," but the senator gave no indication that he would.
"Businesses and families have cut their spending by more than 10 percent," Brady said.
While pushing his no-tax pledge, Brady attacked Gov. Pat Quinn, his opponent in the November general election, for calling for a 33 percent income tax increase. The Brady camp launched a new Web site as well: www.StopThePatQuinnTax.com.
During the press conference, Brady complemented both Sarah Palin and statewide tea partiers.
Palin, the former Republican vice president candidate, is speaking near Peoria on Saturday. Brady said he wasn’t going to be in attendance because of scheduling conflicts, but said he wished he could be.
"I think she has done a great job showing people their importance in government," he said.
Brady did leave open the possibility for an endorsement from the outspoken conservative.
"I’m looking for the endorsement from everybody, including Sarah Palin," Brady said. "We think this is a game of addition."
Brady also had nice things to say about the Tea Party movement.
"I applaud what the Tea Party is doing in terms of getting people involved," he said. "I believe my philosophy is much in tune with what they support."