ROCKFORD - Carl Wasco and John Cabello are the candidates for the 68th State Representative district. The two both come from public service backgrounds. Wasco serves as alderman for Rockford's 4th Ward, and once served as the head of the housing authority. Cabello's been acting as state representative when he replaced Dave Winters when he made an early retirement from the House two months ago. He's served on the Winnebago County Board and is a Rockford Police officer. Wasco was in the Navy.
But even though the two may come from similar backgrounds, their stances on budget cuts differ. A question about public-private partnerships at Rockford College's human services political forum Monday night prompted these responses:
"My opponent, he suggested 10% across the board cuts to every department," said Ald. Carl Wasco (D)
"When you cut across the board 10% on every department, that means human services, education and public safety will take a 10% budget cut. I don't think we can afford to do a 10% across the board cut," said Wasco.
John Cabello (R) responded to Wasco by saying that cutting like that is the state's only option.
"If we can't pay our bills now, then we need to start looking at different programs," said Cabello.
"We cut over $39 million in the county's government without reducing services. If the Winnebago County board can do that, then the state of Illinois can do that."
The candidates were also asked a question about the state's backlog of bills owed to human service providers around the state. Cabello brought up another plan of his, a plan that he says Wasco doesn't agree with.
"What we need to do is have the lawmakers in Springfield, until we get the problem solved, and I don't think they should be paid while they're doing that because then maybe people will get serious about the problems that this state has," said Cabello.
Wasco chose not to rebut Cabello stance but instead repeated much of what all the candidates said that night, which is that business needs to get back to normal.
"They're looking for stability from the state and that's what we're looking for and we have to get back to paying our bills within 90 days or less," said Wasco.
Both Wasco and Cabello square off again in another forum on October 11 at 7:30 AM at the YWCA on East State Street. The forum is being put on by the Next Rockford group.