Frese, Sullivan spar over pay raises and tax hike votes
9 months ago
Senator claims he didn't vote to increase his pay while challenger says voting for the funding appropriation is the same thing
State Senate Candidate Randy Frese says Sen. John Sullivan’s television commercials are misleading the citizens of Western Illinois.
Sullivan’s 60 second television spot (click in the gallery above to play) was a response to a third party ad taken out by Adam Andrzejewski’s For the Good of Illinois PAC. Frese and Andrezejewski have each made statements about Sullivan’s ad saying voting to fund his pay raise is the same thing as voting for the pay raise.
“John Sullivan costs taxpayers 25% more today than he did just 5 years ago,” said Adam Andrzejewski. “Not one single taxpayer believes Illinois is running well and this senator is on the political gravy train.”
According to state records, Sullivan’s pay has increased from $66,389 in 2006 to $82,775 in 2011.
Frese said Sullivan’s pay has increased nearly 50 percent since Sullivan has been in office.
Rachel Campbell, Campaign Manager for the Friends of John Sullivan campaign issued the following statement:
“For the past four years in a row, John Sullivan cut his own pay. He has taken furlough days, frozen cost of living adjustments, and cut travel reimbursements every year for four years.”
“Legislators’ base pay is set by statute and can only be raised or lowered by a vote of the General Assembly. John Sullivan, without exception, has voted to oppose any and all pay raises. An increase in John’s base pay resulted when he was appointed to a leadership position, giving downstate Illinois’ a stronger voice in the State Senate.”
“Votes that have been cited as ‘pay increases’ were, in fact, appropriation or budget bills that allocate the resources necessary to fund state government. Specifically, the bill numbers referenced in recent attack ads allocated funding to Western Illinois University, the Quincy Veterans Home, and school construction grants, among many other things. A vote against these measures would have been a vote against funding these important resources for western Illinois.”
Frese said Sullivan has acted like “a typical Springfield politician” because “he hid them in bills that contained funding to justify his vote for his own raise.”
Frese said Sullivan could have easily moved the pay raise appropriations out of the funding bills.
Frese also pointed out while Sullivan's ad also mentions how he couldn't see voting for a tax increase when the state increased the state's income tax by 67 percent last year, but Sullivan did vote for the tax increase in HB 174 in May 2009.