Republican state senator Bill Brady and Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn clashed on everything during the sixty-minute slug fest -- from the budget crisis to ethics. Several times they even ignored the forum's moderator.
On a $4 billion borrowing plan to help close the state's unfunded pension problem, Senator Brady said he is opposed. Governor Quinn said he is in favor.
"We have to pay the pension payment. We have bi-partisan support in the Illinois House this year and last year, bi-partisan support in the Senate to borrow money to make sure we pay our pension," said Quinn.
"We owe it to our children and grandchildren to have the fiscal discipline to live within our means," Brady retorted.
In what will likely be one of the closing themes for his campaign, Brady tried to link Quinn with his predecessor.
"You were Gov. Blagojevich's partner for eight years. You can't blame it all on him," said Brady.
Quinn, in turn, tried to connect Brady to another disgraced governor.
"You supported George Ryan in 1994 and in 1998 for governor. You know it," said Quinn.
Brady began the day with questions about his campaign's finances after several Chicago TV and radio stations, including ABC7, pulled his commercials because of unpaid bills.
"It was a glitch. It's been taken care of and everything's back in place," said Brady." I don't know about that. Sounds like you didn't pay your bills," Quinn responded.
The wide-ranging debate also touched on social issues, including Brady's opposition to same-sex marriage and civil unions.
"Marriage is a protected institution between man and woman. I support that law," said Brady.
"The governor should be tolerant and you haven't been tolerant," said Quinn.
The other candidates for governor, Rich Whitney, Scott Lee Cohen, and Lex Green were not invited to Thursday night's debate.
ABC 7 received a payment from Brady's campaign for ads late Thursday afternoon. Those ads purchased by Citizens for Brady will be back on the air Friday.