PI Original Josh Kalven Tuesday June 9th, 2009, 3:47pm

Silence From Three Statewide Officials

The AP points out today that three of Illinois' statewide officials have avoided taking a firm stance on whether the state should raise the income tax rate:

The AP points out today that three of Illinois' statewide officials have avoided taking a firm stance on whether the state should raise the income tax rate:

Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a likely candidate for governor next year, won't take a firm position.

Comptroller Dan Hynes says raising taxes is acceptable only as part of a fundamental government restructuring. He won't explain what that means.

And after 32 years in government, Secretary of State Jesse White says he doesn't know enough about the state's finances to judge whether a tax increase is necessary.

As Eric Zorn noted last week, Madigan's lack of position is particularly noteworthy considering that she may challenge Gov. Quinn in 2010.  (One of Zorn's commenters remarked, "Being a leader does not afford the luxury of waiting for hindsight.")  Hynes is also thought to be considering a run for attorney general.  And White's response is just plain baffling.

At least State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias -- someone who certainly "know[s] enough about the state's finances" -- was willing to commit:

Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias argues the income tax will have to be part of the solution to the state's record-breaking budget deficit. 

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