Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wal-Mart on the gubernatorial campaign trail

Bill Brady, the Republican nominee for governor, was in Pullman today with his state Senate colleague Rev. James Meeks in support of building a Wal-Mart in that neighborhood. Back in October, Brady also made a campaign appearance at the Wal-Mart site at 83rd and Steward to discuss his thoughts regarding this issue. This quote is via a press release from Brady's campaign:
Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady today stood with Reverend Senator James Meeks (D-Chicago) and Pastor Larry Roberts, Sr. to support an agreement to build a new Wal-Mart in the Pullman neighborhood.  Brady said the agreement would result in thousands of new jobs, more consumer choices, and boost much needed tax revenues for Illinois.

Brady last year introduced legislation that would prevent municipalities from blocking the construction of such stores, and previously visited with local officials in the Chatham neighborhood in support for a new Wal-Mart there.

“I’ve supported this proposal from day one because it means thousands of both union and non-union jobs for communities that desperately need them – and for consumers who deserve them,” Brady said.

“Estimates show this proposal could result in almost 10,000 new jobs, and $500 million in sales and property tax revenues for Illinois.  I was encouraged to hear Mayor Daley yesterday voice his strong support for this proposal, and join everyone here today in urging the zoning board to approve it,” Brady said.

“With record high unemployment, state government should be doing every single thing it can to promote job growth. I don’t believe our Governor is fighting hard enough for this community, and for other food deserts.”

“That’s one of the greatest differences between myself and Governor Quinn – I believe Illinois needs real and permanent jobs – not just temporary jobs that go away when federal funds dry up.  If it weren’t for the Mayor, and for leaders like those here today, this proposal would never have gotten off the ground.”
I really got wind of this visit by Brady via Capitol Fax which posted an earlier press release and Rich Miller also found an article that expresses Gov. Pat Quinn's feelings on the deal to bring more Wal-Marts to the city:
Quinn said Tuesday that he is happy to see so many jobs potentially coming to Chicago. He tried to downplay the politically sticky issue that many of those jobs will not be union jobs, and will pay less than the demanded "living wage."

Quinn instead focused his comments on the need Wal-Mart could fill in providing supermarkets to Chicago-area residents.

"It's a municipal issue for the city of Chicago…It puts people to work, gets grocery stores where they need to be located in every neighborhood, and at the same time helps our economy go forward."
"I've said all along that I believe…[in getting] a good wage for employees who work in the stores and for those who build the store," said Quinn.

And the governor hopes that point can smooth over any election year bitterness from labor groups who may be unhappy with a final Wal-Mart deal.

"The person I'm running against, Sen. Brady, he had a home building business that didn't hire union labor that didn't have union contractors. I believe that when we build something in Chicago we build it the right way."

But Quinn said he has not actively taken part in any negotiations. He instead will leave the deal-making to the Chicago City council.
Wait, only union labor and union contractors is the right way to build anything?

Anyway yesterday there was a rally outside of the Daley Center with protestors playing their vuvuzelas (horns that have been made famous by the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa). You can read this write-up or watch the video below.

Finally there is another rally scheduled outside of the Thompson Center tomorrow morning:
Jobs Rally

Aldermen and Community to Rally Before Zoning Vote

WHAT: Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), Ald. Emma Mitts (37th), City Council colleagues, Community & Ministerial leaders, Rhymefest

Thursday, June 24

WHERE: State of Illinois Plaza
BTW, if you would like to know more about this rally which I have recieved via e-mail there is some contact information in the e-mail. If you would like to see that information I would be happy to e-mail it to you.

UPDATE 4:45 PM I've got one more link for you to read from Clout Street regarding today's appearance of State Sen. Bill Brady with Rev. James Meeks outside of a vacant Pullman building:
But Meeks, who in the past threatened to run for governor only to be bluffed out by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, stopped short of endorsing Brady, a Senate colleague from Bloomington, or Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. Asked by reporters if a Brady endorsement was possible, Meeks, who also is pastor of Salem Baptist Church, responded: “All things are possible. That’s what the scriptures teach us.”

Though Brady and Meeks sought to promote job growth ahead of a critical City Council Zoning Committee vote on Wal-Mart’s future that could take place as early as Thursday, the political picture was one of a prominent city African-American lawmaker standing side-by-side with a downstate white Republican who is vehemently opposed to the Democrats’ fiscal and social agendas.

Brady and Meeks differ vastly on tax policy. Meeks has long championed higher income taxes for schools while Brady is campaigning on a theme of opposing and cutting taxes. Still, both men have worked together on efforts to launch a school voucher program for disadvantaged children.

“I’m not making a commitment or an endorsement at this time of either candidate,” Meeks said. “I support many of the initiatives of Gov. Quinn. Gov. Quinn and I both support a tax increase. Sen. Brady does not. Gov. Quinn and I both support many initiatives. So we’re together on many things.”

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