CHAMPAIGN, IL- In a new interview entitled “Tom Cross For Treasurer: What He Would Do Differently,” on WGN’s ‘The Steve Cochran Show,’ 22 year incumbent Republican leader Tom Cross laid out plans for the State Treasurer’s office. Cross now takes positions on key state budget issues that directly contradict his 22 year record as a Republican leader in Springfield. Across his career, Tom Cross voted in favor of pension deals and massive borrowing backed by his ally Rod Blagojevich, and Tom Cross supported bad budgets that contributed to the financial turmoil in Springfield.
Cross on Corruption
Tom Cross says he will create a Government Integrity Unit within the Treasurer’s Office, and Cross will go after:
“Abuses in the pension system, where a person can be a substitute teacher for a day, as executive director of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and get a pension for life.” – [Tom Cross, The Steve Cochran Show (1:56)]
The Double-Cross: Tom Cross voted for the 2006 legislation to boost union leaders’ pensions. The roll call for SB 36 is here.
Cross on Balanced Budgets
Cross launched his interview by saying the Treasurer’s Office should sue the General Assembly and Governor for adopting unbalanced budgets.
“The General Assembly and the Governor need to be held accountable just like everybody else….If they spend more than we take in, we’ve got to stop that. And if that even means going to court, we’re gonna do that.” [Tom Cross, The Steve Cochran Show (0:55)]
The Double-Cross: Tom Cross has played a leading role in passing unbalanced budgets. Cross voted for and helped pass all four George Ryan budgets, of which the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board said:
“Ryan and lawmakers burned through a budget surplus, bloated the state’s per-capita debt to help launch a $12 billion public works spree, boosted the payroll by tens of millions of dollars and raided hundreds of millions of dollars from the main checking account to pay for legislative pork-barrel projects. “[Chicago Tribune, 05/05/02]
Tom Cross has said he supports Bruce Rauner’s spending plan. But Cross is dodging questions about whether Bruce Rauner’s budget is constitutional, even though the Rauner plan is being widely panned as unbalanced.
Cross On Debt
Later in the interview, Tom Cross repeated his opposition to unbalanced budgets and borrowing:
“And we have gotta learn to live within the money, within the means we have, and also start to pay down our bills. You have 5 or 6 billion dollars of unpaid bills. You have got to get those paid down, you’ve got to live within your means.” – [Tom Cross, The Steve Cochran Show, 9/10/14 (3:36)]
The Double-Cross: Tom Cross backed borrowing by Blagojevich and George Ryan that was unprecedented:
Tom Cross voted for the unprecedented $10 billion Blagojevich pension borrowing plan which netted Cross ally Bob Kjellander $800,000 in fees at taxpayer expense and was at the heart of the Blagojevich corruption trial.
In a historic move, Tom Cross also backed a plan to increase state debt by over a billion dollars to pay for operations. “This is the first time since 1818 that we’ve borrowed long term for short-term cash flow,” said Sen. Steve Rauschenberger, R-Elgin. (State Journal-Register, June 3, 2002)
Statement from Frerichs for Illinois:
“Tom Cross has a 20 year history of double-crossing voters, saying one thing while doing the exact opposite. Like Bruce Rauner, Tom Cross has double-crossed voters on the minimum wage, repeatedly opposing efforts to raise the minimum wage while saying he is for it. Like Bruce Rauner, Tom Cross now says he supports gay rights, but Tom Cross voted twice to say its okay to fire someone for being lesbian or gay. Tom Cross now says he supports fiscal reform to undo the very mess he created. It’s time to bring his double-crossing career to an end.”