Vallas questions Rauner's position on minimum wage

Thursday, September 4, 2014
Paul Vallas

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As protestors call for an increase in minimum wage, gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's position on the issue is being questioned.

"He's on tape and this is not the first time he's been caught red-handed," Democrat Paul Vallas, running for lieutenant governor with incumbent Il. Gov. Pat Quinn, said.

Vallas led the Democrats' latest minimum wage-related attack, which centered on a radio interview Republican Rauner did eight months ago in Bloomington.

"I have said, on a number of occasions, that we could have a lower minimum wage or no minimum wage as part of increasing Illinois' competitiveness. I've said that many times," Rauner said.

"We're now seeing a consistent pattern and philosophy emerge from the candidates own words," Vallas said.

Late last year, Rauner advocated lowering Illinois' $8.25 an hour minimum wage to the $7.25 federal rate observed by surrounding states. He repeated his current position most recently last week.

"I wouldn't support raising Illinois minimum wage without pro business reforms," Rauner said.

When asked this afternoon if Rauner ever advocated eliminating the minimum wage, his campaign issued a statement saying in part..."Bruce favors raising the minimum wage."

At the Conservative Illinois Policy Institute to which Rauner is a major contributor, Ted Dabrowski said raising the minimum wage does not address the state's real problem.

"What's the best way to help those who can't get jobs? And what's the best way to create jobs rather than be talking about the minimum wage per se?" Dabrowski said.

On another front, Vallas responded, 'Yes,' when asked if he thought Rauner was "just too rich" to be governor.

"I think he definitely cannot relate to everyday voters and he cannot relate to working families," Vallas said.