Kim pushes for job growth with new leader

Robert Blackford/Editor

Kim pushes for job growth with new leader

Steve Kim, candidate for Lieutenant Governor, was in Aledo Friday as part of a western Illinois tour that also touched Carthage and Moline.

Kim, an attorney from Northbrook is running with State Treasurer Dan Rutherford on the Republican ticket in an effort to displace current governor Pat Quinn.

Kim noted, "Our focus as governor and Lieutenant Governor is going to be job growth. Job creation and retention is our number one goal," said Kim.

Kim said it will be their goal to insure government agreements don't hinder small business growth."

Kim feels that the larger businesses can kind of take care of themselves but recognizes that the loss of small businesses throughout the state is really hurting. Kim pointed at higher taxes, fees and regulations as hurting the business environment in Illinois.

He noted the population decline of 600,000 people over the last 10 years and $20 billion in lost revenues. "We need to increase our tax base. on the people who are left are going to get stuck with the bill. We've heard of too many businesses that have chosen to live right across the state border in Iowa or Indiana.

Kim, works out of a law office in Chicago, noted that Illinois' reputation of being unfriendly to businesses has come back to him from as far away as Germany. He recalled friend in Germany reading about Illinois in his hometown newspaper written in German.

"This is a great state," said Kim pointing to Illinois' natural resources. We are in the middle of the country. From here barges can go down the river and reach the rest of the world. We have the finest universities, a wealth of talent, resources.

Kim admits the state has a lot of rough patches including governors who continually disappoint. There is a "Have to pay to play" perception about the state.

Kim said he and Rutherford are out talking about jobs in different commutes. We have to increase the number of jobs in Illinois while protecting the taxpayer's wallet. We have to know that every dollar is used wisely.

Kim pointed to the fact that Rutherford has reduced his budget 10 percent while in the state treasurer's office. "Just pouring money into a problem doesn't mean it will work well."

Kim added that while Rutherford is the state treasurer he isn't a career politician having spent 25 years at a private company like Servicemaster.

Kim said as Lieutenant Governor he will bring his business background to his office while focusing on job growth.

Kim noted while listening to the governor's State of the State speech that he wasn't painting a rosy picture of the state. Kim said the governor was taking a page from their play book in creating a position to deal with getting rid of the red tape in government bureaucracy. "Imitation is the best form of flattery," said Kim.

In his campaign around the state Kim said people are asking many of the same questions, "'Why are we taxed so much,' and 'Why is the cost of worker's compensation so high.' That's what's pivotable in people's minds."

"We can't continue assaulting the small business community," said Kim.

Kim said if he and Rutherford are elected they will conduct a performance audit to look at how effective the state's money is being spent to cut down the inefficiencies. "The private sector will conduct the audit," said Kim.

"Our workers compensation is three times higher than other states," said Kim.

Young couple

Asked what would attract a young couple to Illinois Kim said, "We are running for office to fix this state. That young couple will have a voice in state government. There are going to be changes here. We are going to do things that our different in this state. There are diverse industries here, a wonderful higher education system. It is a great place to raise a family.

Kim talked about a friend of his who was a business owner who was thinking about relocating his business. The friend received a telephone call from Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels urging him to come to the state. "We have to care enough to make those kinds of phone calls. It meant a lot to him that Gov. Daniels called and made that personal contact."

Education

Kim said he was concerned that Illinois students are not receiving the education they need for the right jobs in this globalized economy. "Economies have changed. They are more technically sophisticated. Our schools need to reflect that to compete in the global economy."

Kim agreed that all education should be local and controlled by those communities where the students live.