McGuire defends against opponent's smear campaign
Brandi McGuire, the Republican candidate for state House in District 72, recently faced a smear campaign driven by her Democratic opponent, Mike Halpin.
Mailers sent out by Halpin asserted that McGuire does not support veterans because she opposed the unbalanced budget passed by the Illinois House in late May.
McGuire's brother, former Army Reserve Sgt. Sean Mulkey, refuted Halpin's accusation. McGuire's recent mailer quoted her brother's reaction to Halpin's statement.
"According to Mike Halpin, my sister Brandi won't fight for me and for my fellow soldiers," Mulkey said. "That's news to me. It's also absurd. All Mr. Halpin proved with his political propaganda is that he doesn't know anything about our family's service to the country we love, and he either doesn't know anything about my sister or he just chose to lie about her. I don't know if Mr. Halpin is ignorant or a liar -- but I do know Brandi."
The budget that Halpin referred to in his mailer was the unbalanced budget presented by House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) in late May. Despite having only 90 minutes to review the approximately $40 billion budget proposal, which would have put the state $7 billion in the red, legislators passed it with a 63-53 vote.
The Illinois Policy Institute pointed out that if the budget had passed the Illinois Senate and been signed by the governor, the $7 billion deficit would have required an increase in income taxes in order to pay the state's bills. Taxpayers would have seen the personal income tax rate increase from 3.75 to 5.5 percent. Additionally, the income tax rate for corporations would have increased from 4.8 to 7.75 percent.
After the Senate voted down the House budget and the House, in turn, voted down the Senate's proposed budget, McGuire released a strongly worded statement regarding the actions of the legislators.
"I am running for office to say no to more taxes, no to more irresponsible spending, and no to business as usual," she said. "I am running for office to listen to the people of Rock Island County and to be an advocate for your concerns -- not those of special or partisan interests. I am going to Springfield to be a voice for those of us unheard, our working families, seniors, disabled, veterans and business owners."
While legislators did reconvene and pass a temporary stopgap spending bill, it is only in effect until after the general election in November. The stopgap budget ensured that essential services such as human services, veterans’ care and K-12 and higher education were funded. Road construction and prison operations were also funded under the temporary budget. Until a full budget is in place, however, Illinois' unpaid bill backlog will continue to grow. Moody's Investor Services has estimated that the unpaid bills could reach $14 billion by the end of the year.
State Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger warned that personal income taxes could increase to 8 percent if the state's unpaid bills are not addressed by the legislature. McGuire has already vowed to oppose all new taxes. She signed a contract on Jan. 20 that included a pledge to oppose all sales and income tax increases and to advocate for those unheard in Springfield. Seniors, children and the disabled were specifically mentioned in her pledge, which is posted on her election website, www.mcquireforillinois.com.
Although McGuire didn't specify veterans in her contract with Illinois families, Mulkey ended his rebuke of Halpin with a statement in support of McGuire and her campaign.
“And I know this: Brandi will fight for the families she seeks to represent in the Illinois General Assembly -- including veterans and their families -- with the same passion I fought to protect and defend this nation," he said.