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Website on 'Governing' Ranks Illinois' Economy 45th in the Nation

Governor Quinn's 'failings as a leader' cited in report.
WTVO/WQRF -- The website 'Governing' has ranked Illinois' economy 45th out of the 50 states.  By contrast, neighboring Iowa's economy finished an impressive 2nd using their list of criteria.  Wisconsin did not make either their top 10 or bottom 15, and a complete list of where state's rank was not published.

The article was published in the context of how an economy can impact a Governor's popularity, and how his leadership can impact a state's economy.  Not surprisingly, Gov. Pat Quinn does not fare well in their analysis.

"Another example of a solidly blue state with an embattled governor is Illinois," the website writes.  "The 45th-ranked state on our list. Gov. Pat Quinn has struggled with a number of policy challenges, including a particularly difficult state pension outlook. He's facing a strong primary challenge from former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley and a potentially viable challenge from the GOP.  "If the state's overall economy was improving and the job numbers in particular were trending up, it would make it easier for voters and the news media to overlook the governor's failings as a leader and his inability to move legislation through the legislature, and it could create a more positive, or maybe hopeful, light through which to view the state's glaring budget and pension problems," said Kent Redfield, a political scientist at the University of Illinois-Springfield."

By contrast, the website praises Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa.  The website writes of his leadership, "Meanwhile, in Iowa, another state with robust partisan competition, Republican Gov. Terry Brandstad is in fine shape for re-election in 2014, due in part to an economy that, by our measure, is the second best in the nation. In addition to benefiting from a healthy agricultural sector, Branstad can claim success in securing billions of dollars in investment from such companies as Facebook, Google and MidAmerican Energy, though some Democrats are skeptical of tax breaks he's offered.  "Branstad campaigned in 2010 on rebuilding Iowa's economy, and the data thus far are supportive," said Christopher W. Larimer, a political scientist at the University of Northern Iowa. "Right or wrong, voters attribute a positive economy to the actions of the executive.""

Last week, 'Eyewitness News' did an analysis of federal unemployment data to show how Iowa and Wisconsin are moving in a positive direction on the employment front while Illinois is not.  You can read that article at the link below:

http://www.mystateline.com/story/labor-day-blues-why-workers-in-wisconsin-and-iowa-are-doing-so-much-better-than-those-in-illinois/d/story/i9lef_i0pE2dzpBdrjbeUA

You can read the full 'Governing' analysis at the link below:

http://www.governing.com/blogs/politics/gov-good-economy-popular-governor.html
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