Huffington Post

Bill Brady Proposed Borrowing For Pensions, Now Calls It 'Digging The Hole Deeper'

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady appeared on WTTW's "Chicago Tonight" on Monday. And for the second time in as many days, he reversed himself completely on a major plank of his budget platform.
When asked by host Carol Marin about the state of Illinois borrowing money to meet its pension obligations, Brady reiterated a claim he had made often in the past.
"Digging a deeper hole," he replied curtly. "Kicking the can down the road."
Vigorous opposition to borrowing has been a repeated and central tenet of the state senator's budget discussions. But the ever-vigilant Capitol Fax blog pointed out this morning that Brady was, in fact, for it before he was against it.
CapFax points to a story from Greg Hinz of Crain's Chicago Business, published shortly after the February primaries, when it appeared likely that Brady would win the nomination. (Of course, the vote was so close that weeks of counting were required before a final result.)
He'd fill much of the existing $80-billion hole in the state's pension plans by borrowing. The borrowing would be repaid by allotting much of the natural growth in state revenues to pension debt service, he says.
The paragraph before that in the story foreshadows Brady's other recent flip-flop. "On the budget itself, Mr. Brady calls for a 10 percent across-the-board cut affecting just about everything," Hinz wrote.
Brady recently told reporters that he'd never called for such a cut, but again, Capitol Fax found video and quotes of him saying just that. During his "Chicago Tonight" appearance, he called that discussion "semantics."
The television appearance was part of an effort by Brady, a state senator from Bloomington, to find support in Chicagoland as well as his downstate base. Brady has two children living in the city, and said, "We have been spending a lot of time in Chicago."