Monday, February 21, 2011

Illinois Governor Delays Visit To Wisconsin Due to Protests

When it comes to the playoffs in professional sports, we often see elected officials from the various cities represented to make light hearted bets between each other. That was the case when the Democratic governor from Illinois, Pat Quinn, made a bet with Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker. If the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears, then Governor Quinn would head to Wisconsin to volunteer at a food pantry wearing Green Bay’s colors. Since Green Bay not only beat the Bears but also went on to win the Super Bowl, Quinn was expected to make a trip today to volunteer at a food bank in Wisconsin.

Quinn won’t be traveling to Wisconsin today, however, because of the labor protests that are currently taking place in Madison. His spokeswoman, Annie Thompson, told the Chicago Sun-Times that they will be looking for another date for Quinn to do the volunteer work.
“In light of the very serious issues that the state of Wisconsin is trying to work through right now, the governor felt the timing was not necessarily ideal and that it would be more appropriate to find a better date.”
It’s worth noting that the bet around the football game also came at a time when the two governors were having a difference of opinion about how to solve the budget deficits in their respective states. In Illinois, Quinn suggested that they should have a temporary increase in income tax so the state could address the enormous deficit it was facing. Since Gov. Walker is trying claim it’s alright to take away the rights of workers and make major cuts to crucial programs, it’s safe to say he disagreed with Quinn’s decision. He even used the tax issue in attempts to get businesses to come to Wisconsin. As Gov. Quinn's spokeswoman told the Chicago paper, however, Walker’s lack of good governing recently has actually show why people from Wisconsin might want to move to Illinois.
“What we’re seeing in Wisconsin is not the way to do it,” she said. “When a state is experiencing such mass turmoil, businesses are not going to be attracted to it. The governor does welcome Democratic members of the Wisconsin Senate and really anybody from Wisconsin who wants to come to Illinois, where we’re up and running and doing our best to work together.”
With members of the Wisconsin state senate currently in Illinois to prevent the Republican majority from taking away the rights of workers, it will be interesting to see if the situation has any other impact on the relationship between the two states. Of course, a lot of the tension could be solved if Gov. Scott Walker simply was willing to come to the table and discuss potential compromises. The Democrats and union leaders have already said they’re willing to do so.

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