When it comes to managing the state, Republican Bill Brady says Gov. Pat Quinn is worse than former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
"There's no question," Brady told reporters during a campaign swing through central Illinois Thursday. "In terms of fiscal mismanagement this administration is far worse than the Blagojevich six years."
Brady's remarks about Quinn came after he was asked about plans by two state agencies to purchase or lease new vehicles at a time when Quinn has directed state workers to cut costs.
"It seems like the governor has no clue to what the people we owe money to are dealing with back home," Brady said. "I don't think we've ever had less competency in the governor's office in my political career."
The Illinois Housing Development Authority and the Illinois Department of Military Affairs each filed documents in recent weeks showing that they are looking to buy or lease new cars - despite the state's $13 billion deficit.
The Housing Development Authority said it wants to replace three older vehicles with more than 100,000 on their odometers with new ones to be used for inspections and traveling to outreach events. Military Affairs wants to lease two new sedans for four years.
Quinn's budget office was apparently unaware of the proposed purchases, but vowed to block them. The governor, who took over after Blagojevich was ousted in January 2009, has called on agencies to cut costs while the state deals with a huge backlog of unpaid bills.
A report on the vehicles gave Brady fresh ammunition as he kicked off the second leg of a downstate campaign swing Thursday. Along with stops in Taylorville, he was heading to Hillsboro, Greenville, Centralia and Mount Vernon.
"It's hard for the people of Illinois that I talk to to comprehend how we can be spending money when we aren't paying our bills," Brady said.