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Wisconsin unrest delays Quinn’s Packers payback visit

SPRINGFIELD-Gov. Quinn pulled the plug on a planned appearance Monday at a Milwaukee food bank because of the dramatic union-rights struggle unfolding in Wisconsin, his aides said Sunday.

Illinois’ Democratic governor had intended to do volunteer work at the Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin food distribution center to fulfill his losing wager with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker over last month’s NFC championship game in which the Bears lost to the Green Bay Packers.

“In light of the very serious issues that the state of Wisconsin is trying to work through right now, the governor felt the timing was not necessarily ideal and that it would be more appropriate to find a better date,” Quinn spokeswoman Annie Thompson said.

Quinn was not planning a joint appearance with Wisconsin’s Republican governor but intended to don a Green Bay Packers jersey, she said, adding that Quinn likely will reschedule during the next few months.

The governor has avoided direct confrontations with Walker despite the Wisconsin governor’s publicity-seeking efforts to poach Illinois jobs following January’s Quinn-backed income-tax hike.

But Thompson noted that Quinn extends a welcome to Wisconsin’s Democratic state Senate delegation for as long as they need to be here and that the upheaval under Walker absolutely undercuts his drive to persuade Illinois businesses to cross the border.

“What we’re seeing in Wisconsin is not the way to do it,” she said. “When a state is experiencing such mass turmoil, businesses are not going to be attracted to it. The governor does welcome Democratic members of the Wisconsin Senate and really anybody from Wisconsin who wants to come to Illinois, where we’re up and running and doing our best to work together.”

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