SPRINGFIELD - Illinois retailers aren't happy with either incumbent Governor Pat Quinn nor GOP candidate Bruce Rauner's positions on issues important to them and their customers, so Friday the Illinois Merchants Political Action Committee Team (IMPACT) announced they will not be endorsing in the November election.
Retailers were caught between a desire to see Illinois stabilized and revitalized and discerning which candidate could best accomplish that mission, Rob Karr, treasurer of IMPACT, said in a press statement.
IMPACT said they recognized Governor Quinn's leadership in beginning the process of reforming workers' compensation, fundamentally addressing the state's broken pension system, championing leveling the sales tax disparity between Illinois retailers and their Internet competitors, significantly lowering the state's payment backlog to vendors, and preserving the agreed bill process for unemployment insurance.
However, they are still concerned that the state will not continue to control spending and retailers disagree with proposals championed by the Governor that significantly add to the cost of doing business, such as increasing the minimum wage, which will make it harder to increase employment in the retail and service sector.
Republican candidate Bruce Rauner's passion and dedication to Illinois are evident and his desire to limit the growth of government and return Illinois to economic prosperity cannot be questioned and are shared by retailers, IMPACT said.
But how Rauner plans to do it, is "unclear," the group said.
Additionally, concerns exist over Mr. Rauner's lack of support for leveling the sales tax disparity between Illinois retailers and their Internet competitors, the viability of preserving payment backlogs while proposing additional spending, the viability of the agreed bill process for unemployment insurance, and support for minimum wage increases, left the group in a quandry.
"Given these uncertainties and concerns with both candidate's proposals for moving the state forward in a sustainable manner, the IMPACT agreed with the recommendation of the IRMA Board of Directors and declined to endorse in the race for governor," the statement said.
Over the years, IMPACT's endorsement history has swung from Republican to Democrat picks. IMPACT endorsed Bill Brady in 2010, Rod Blagojevich in 2006 and 2002. They picked George Ryan in 1998 and Jim Edgar in 1994 and 1990.