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Brady/Quinn Wage War

 For the second time in 12 days, we quote that reknowned sage of Illinois politics, House Speaker and state Democratic Party chairman Michael Madigan:

"The best thing the Quinn campaign has going for it is the Brady campaign."

  Senator Bill Brady, the republican candidate for governor, appears to have stepped into another thorny thicket along the campaign trail.   A trap he easily could have avoided by keeping his mouth shut.

  Frontrunner Brady has been quoted in news stories around the state since last weekend saying that Illinois' $8.25 per hour minimum wage (effective July 1) will be too high and should not be more than the $7.25 federal rate that is paid in neighboring states.

  The Bloomington real estate developer says the state's higher minimum causes businesses either to leave Illinois or reduce the number of people they hire here.  Brady points out the unemployment rates in Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana and Missouri--which pay the federal minimum--are lower than the Illinois jobless rate.

 Governor Pat Quinn is having a campaign feast.

  The democratic incumbent notes that 390,000 Illinois workers are paid the minimum wage and says most of them would lose an average of $2000 a year if paid $7.25 per hour.  In fact, a 40 hour per week Illinois worker earning the state's minimum wage would gross $330.00 a week. 

  In Bradyland, that gross would fall to $290.00 a week.

  While Brady's theory might play well among business owners who pay the minimum wage, it is a sure-fire political disaster for him among the state's least-paid workers who are trying to survive the worst economy in decades.

  Brady, who criticizes Quinn for trying to raise a minimum wage worker's state income tax $3.30 a week, is suggesting the state's economy would be better served if that same worker took a $40.00 a week pay cut.

  The Senator--who accused the governor of trying to distract voters with the issue--spent several minutes in front of the television cameras Tuesday trying to explain his theory on why the Illinois minimum wage should not be higher than the federal rate.

  That's right, he was recorded saying it to the TV cameras.

  I'll bet he'll be able to watch himself later this year on Quinn campaign commercials.



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