In governor's race, top issue is jobs

March 20, 2014 

The ballots weren't even fully counted on Tuesday when Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn began his attacks on Republican challenger Bruce Rauner. That's what an incumbent has to do when he doesn't have a record to tout.

"We in the Democratic Party ... respect our workers," Quinn said in his victory speech -- the implication being that Republicans and Rauner do not.

But what greater respect for workers could a candidate have than to want to enact policies that actually lead to job growth? Quinn hasn't been able to do that in his five years in office even though both the House and Senate are also controlled by his party. Under Quinn, the state's unemployment rate is 8.7 percent, among the worst in the nation. The national average is 6.6 percent.

Rauner said he wants to be like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. That would be a big improvement considering how great those two neighboring states are doing.

Indiana's unemployment rate is 6.4 percent, down from 7.9 percent in January 2012. Wisconsin's rate is 6.1 percent, the lowest there since 2008. Both states continue to lure residents and businesses away from Illinois.

Whether Rauner could be as effective as Walker and Daniels is anyone's guess. But people know that Quinn has proved to be an ineffective leader. No politician is out on the campaign trail saying he wants to be just like Quinn.

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