Quinn lashes out at New Jersey governor over job poaching

January 25, 2011

(AP/Seth Perlman)
Illinois' governor was responding to an ad campaign meant to lure businesses from the Prairie State to the Garden State.

Illinois' governor lashed out at the governor of New Jersey on Tuesday over a new ad campaign aimed at luring Illinois businesses from the Prairie State to the Garden State.The media campaign, which will run in several Illinois markets, targets business owners who are upset by the recent 46 percent hike in the state income tax.

"Don't let Illinois balance its budget on the back of your business," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, says in a new audio ad. "Choose New Jersey. We mean business." New Jersey's print and media blitz comes shortly after Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno sent "personal appeals" to Illinois businesses, entreating them to move to New Jersey, according to Christie's office.

For his part, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, brushed aside the ad campaign at a press conference Tuesday, referring to Christie as "some guy from Jersey."

"There's always gonna be political actors who show up after an election and show off," Quinn said of Christie, who campaigned in Illinois for Quinn's Republican rival, state Sen. Bill Brady, in the 2010 gubernatorial eleciton. "Our state - we're gonna show them what it's all about when it comes to job creation in 2011, just like we did in 2010."

New Jersey's campaign is the latest in a series of cross-border attacks since last month, when Quinn signed into law a 67 percent increase in the state's personal income tax, as well as the hike in the corporate income tax.

Illinois Democrats pushed for the bill as a means of dealing with Illinois' budget deficit, which is expected to reach $15 billion by the next fiscal year. But Illinois' Republican minority swiftly labeled the tax hikes as job-killers, and they were soon reinforced by their GOP colleagues in neighboring states.  Wisconsin's newly-elected Republican Gov. Scott Walker invited Illinois businesses to retreat to his state shortly after the tax hikes were passed. And Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels reportedly likened sharing a border with Illinois to living down the block from the dysfunctional cartoon family, the Simpsons.

"I don't believe that the governors of our country should be kicking each other in the shins. I am going to defend Illinois," Quinn said.