Gov candidate Edwin Eisendrath stops in Moline
"Illinois needs to turn its old industrial sites into new economic engines," Mr. Eisendrath said at the Moline Community Center. "A system of marketable tax credits will raise the needed funds and net a return to the state."Dispatch photo by Terry Herbig
He proposes tax credits pay for 100 percent of brownfield clean-up, no matter the size of the project, and that the tax credits be tradable as a way of raising funds for clean-up.
The Department of Revenue would calculate the net return on the project and cap the tax credits at that level, Mr. Eisendrath proposes.
Mr. Eisendrath points to a similar program in Missouri that has provided about five times more brownfield cleaning assistance than Illinois.
"Illinois is lagging behind all the states around us in economic growth," he said.
A former Chicago alderman, Mr. Eisendrath has served as regional director of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department, and currently serves as a college administrator.
Mr. Eisendrath faces a fund-raising juggernaut in Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and hammers him on that issue, saying the state needs to ends its "pay for play" culture. Mr. Blagojevich will stop in Moline Monday as part of a two-day campaign swing.
Mr. Eisendrath calls the governor's suggested partial opening of the Thomson prison as "cynical" and says the governor hasn't delivered on repeated promises to fund the planned Moline riverfront campus for Western Illinois University.
"Fund-raising hasn't been the focus of my career, it has been to get things done," Mr. Eisendrath said. "People around the state tell me they are disappointed in what he has done."
He says that if elected he wouldn't take any campaign donations until campaign finance reform is passed. Part of that reform would be to no longer take donations from state contractors, while limiting political action committees, and ban union and corporate gifts.
"I'm not afraid of winning. I'm not afraid of losing," Mr. Eisendrath said. "I'm afraid for the future of this state, and that is what makes me dangerous."