The Irony Of Illinois Election Results Is Hard To Ignore

The Irony Of Illinois Election Results Is Hard To Ignore

Illinois voters appear to have exercised some cognitive dissonance at the polls Tuesday night.

Voters overwhelmingly supported a referendum to raise the state's hourly minimum wage to $10 from $8.25 by 2015, while at the same time voting for the gubernatorial candidate who's gone on record as being highly unlikely to ever make that a reality.

The nonbinding referendum was among several on the Illinois ballot. State Democrats had hoped the measures would spur progressive voter turnout Tuesday. But, just like in several other states on Election Day, the progressive issues in Illinois fared pretty well; the progressive candidate, not so much.

Though a minimum wage hike has long been one of the central issues of incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn's (D) platform, he was passed over by Illinois voters for wealthy businessman Bruce Rauner (R).

Rauner, a multimillionaire former venture capitalist who has never held public office before, has changed his stance on the minimum wage several times.

Last December Rauner was first caught saying he supported cutting the state's current minimum wage of $8.25. Rauner later backed off those comments, calling them "flippant" and, in an about-face, said he supported a wage increase to $10. But in a video just months before the election, Rauner said he “adamantly, adamantly” opposes raising the minimum wage.

In yet another twist of irony, voters supported a tax on millionaires like Rauner. The governor-elect had opposed such taxes, saying they would make Illinois less competitive for business.

The other progressive, nonbinding referendums that gathered support Tuesday would grant more rights to crime victims and require in-state insurance plans to cover birth control.

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