Bob Daiber Candidate Profile

Meet governor hopeful Bob Daiber

Bob Daiber is seeking the Democratic nomination to face Bruce Rauner in the 2018 election for governor.
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Bob Daiber is seeking the Democratic nomination to face Bruce Rauner in the 2018 election for governor.

Name: Bob Daiber

Office seeking: Governor

Party: Democratic

Age: 61

City of residence: Marine

Campaign website: BobDaiber.com

Why are you running and why should you be nominated? I’m one of only two candidates with any government experience, and I have the most and best experience of those two. We don’t need another billionaire to get to Springfield with no idea how government works. I’ve been a city council member, a county board member who chaired the Planning and Development Committee, and I’m a countywide elected official as regional superintendent of schools, and I served in a statewide leadership position as president of the Regional Superintendents’ Association. I know how government works, and I have political skills that go beyond writing a check.

What is the most important issue facing the state? How would you approach it? We can’t do anything until we get a handle on the budget. We have $9 billion in unpaid bills. We owe this money. I propose selling bonds to pay these bills. This will get money into the hands of the creditors, and it’ll get the state a lower interest rate. We still will owe the money, though, and there’s no option other than to pay it. We can look for ways to make government more efficient, but the reality is that Medicaid, pensions and aid to school districts are where the billions are. We can’t cut Medicaid and pensions, and we don’t want to cut aid to school districts. So here we are.

The state's income tax was increased to 4.95 percent in 2017. Would you try to roll it back? Why or why not? And if so, how would you roll it back? I’m for a progressive income tax, and I’m the only candidate who has put numbers on paper as to how that would look. Under my plan, income over $1 million would be taxed at 6 percent, and those making under $45,000 would get a tax cut. Illinois still would have cheaper income taxes than neighboring states except Indiana. Obviously this requires a constitutional amendment. It’s up to the people to decide. But the people should know that Illinois currently has the fifth-most regressive system of state and local taxation in the nation, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (https://itep.org/whopays/#). In Illinois, the poorest 20 percent pay 13.2 percent of their income in state and local taxes. The middle 60 percent pay 10.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes. The wealthiest 1 percent pay 4.6 of their income in state and local taxes. We do not have a “flat tax” now. We have regressive tax. We need a progressive income tax to overcome that.

Illinois is still running a deficit budget. How should it be balanced? If cuts should be made, what programming cuts should be considered? As I said above, we can always be more efficient, but efficiency saves nickels and dimes. The billions are in pensions, Medicaid and aid to school districts. Illinois has a revenue problem -- not just now, but for 30 years we have not been taxing our wealth. We've been taxing regular people and poor people, and we can't go any further with that. We have to tax the wealth in this state, and it'll take some time to make up for all the years that we haven't done so. Our budget problems will not be solved in one year, but the budget must be stabilized and the state must be headed toward solvency.

Campaign funding has been an issue in the last few months. Should there be changes in the state's campaign finance rules? Why or why not?If so, what changes would you want to see? Especially with Citizens United in effect, you can't stop candidates from spending, and you can't stop outside groups from weighing in. But voters don't have to wait for a magical outside solution. They should realize they don't have to vote for the candidate with the most money and the most TV ads. Get involved, listen to the debates, go to events where candidates speak. If you as a voter want elections decided by some means other than who has the most money, then it's up to you: Don't just vote for the candidate with the most money. Sometimes that's the best candidate, sometimes not. It's up to the voters to decide.