But during his 2010 campaign for governor, Dillard exclaimed, "I warned people he was a socialist then."
Uh...no you didn't. You lie.
Dillard boasts of his ties to the Jim Edgar administration--he was the two-term Republican governor's first chief-of-staff. The 1990s, when Edgar served, were good to Illinois and he still maintains much popularity in here--enough that Edgar's endorsement and his appearance in a Dillard ad almost pushed him to victory in the GOP primary two years ago.
But the Edgar administration had very close ties to since-convicted felon William Cellini. Of course other governors did too--including Rod Blagojevich. It was the Blago scandals that brought Cellini down.
From a 1996 Chicago Sun-Times article about Cellini:
Cellini remains in regular contact with Edgar's chiefs of staff, said Dillard, who had the job for three years.
"When I was the governor's chief of staff, Bill and I talked, but it wasn't nearly as often as people imagined . . . a couple times a month," Dillard said. "It could be (about) upcoming political races or just rumors he would pick up.
"One of the things that makes Bill Cellini a trusted adviser is the longevity and breadth of his experience in state government," Dillard said.
"Bill Cellini personally cares in a friendship type of fashion . . . about governors Thompson and Edgar," Dillard said. "He's very different . . . from many of the other individuals who tangentially profit from government.""Tangentially?" Huh? Until Cellini got involved in politics, he was a man of modest means. Illinois government turned him into a multi-millionaire.
Dillard has another obstacle that will draw the ire of Illinois conservatives. As it was in the case of John McCain--until 2008 of course--Dillard is the favorite Republican among Prairie State liberals.
Other potential GOP candidates for governor include US Rep Aaron Schock, Tea Party favorite and Gerrymandering-victim Joe Walsh, and state treasurer Dan Rutherford.
As for Dillard--he has a lot of explaining to do.
The capturing of the governor's mansion by the Republicans is crucial for the future of Illinois. The Democrats--once again because of Gerrymandering--now have veto-proof majorities in both houses of the General Assembly. The Dems have not been able to confront the reckless debt problem that has been piling up for over a decade in Illinois.
One party rule does not work.
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