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A day after an interview surfaced in which equity investor Bruce Rauner, one of a handful of Republicans in the gubernatorial race, said that the minimum wage should be lowered by a dollar rather than raised, he backtracked.
"I made a mistake. I was flippant and I was quick," Rauner said in an interview with The Chicago Tribune. "I should have said, ‘Tie the Illinois minimum wage to the national wage and, in that context, with other changes in being pro-business, I support raising the national minimum wage.’ I’m OK with that."
Specifically, Rauner argued that Illinois' minimum wage should be lowered from $8.25 to $7.25. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. That proposal contrasts with calls by Gov. Pat Quinn (D), who Rauner is hoping to replace, to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour. President Barack Obama and national Democrats have also called on raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
But going forward, Rauner said he plans to push for linking Illinois minimum wage to the national minimum wage. - TPM, 1/9/14
Governor Pat Quinn (D. IL) has long been a supporter of raising the minimum wage in Illinois:
Gov. Pat Quinn attempted to spread the gospel of better wages this past Sunday, marking the Labor Day weekend with a renewed call to raise Illinois' minimum wage to $10 an hour.
"It's a principle as old as the Bible to help those who work hard to not live in poverty," Quinn said to the congregation at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago's Fuller Park neighborhood. (embedded above) "The best way to fight crime, the best way to fight poverty is to have a decent wage. That's why we're going to raise the minimum wage and make the will of the people the law of the land."
Quinn also invoked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who organized Memphis sanitation workers to strike for better wages.
“No one in Illinois should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty,” Quinn said. “There is no better way to honor hard-working men and women across Illinois by raising the minimum wage. As we honor Illinois’ workers this Labor Day, we should also remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, ‘It’s always the right time to do the right thing.'" - Huffington Post, 9/4/13
Rauner's running as a Republican in a blue state so of course he has to backtrack oh hist stupid idea. But it's clear now more than ever that raising the minimum wage is a popular campaign issue and could help Quinn in a tough race. If you would like to get involved with Quinn's campaign, you can do so here: