NewsViews: Independent candidate Scott Lee Cohen

August 22, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Scott Lee Cohen had reason to celebrate in February when the political unknown stunned a field that included veteran state lawmakers and became the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor. But he resigned five days later after allegations that included domestic violence.

However, all charges against him were dropped. And now Cohen is running for governor as an independent. He needed 25,000 petition signatures, and some were skeptical that he could obtain them. But, as he did in February, he pulled another surprise. He turned in 133,000 signatures.

Cohen cites his business experience, and promises he can help reduce Illinois' $13 billion budget deficit. He proposes cutting back on tax breaks to big, out-of-state companies. Instead, he'd give more tax incentives to small, local businesses.

Cohen says he would eliminate or consolidate many of the state's 300 special funds. He has sponsored job fairs and pledges to continue to do so. He urges more funding for schools in low-income areas. And he calls for comprehensive campaign finance reform.

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