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Why recall target Gov. Scott Walker is taking his message to Illinois

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is facing a recall, but he still found time to visit Springfield, Ill., Tuesday to take on one of his favorite targets: Illinois' $8 billion budget deficit.  


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is surrounded by the news media after speaking to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, April 17, 2012 in Springfield, Ill.

Seth Perlman/AP

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Embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has his tried-and-true talking points – pushing back against public-sector unions and advocating private-sector job growth – as he makes the rounds ahead of a recall election in June. What was unusual Tuesday was where Governor Walker took his message: Illinois.

Walker frequently bashes Illinois, Wisconsin's southern neighbor, for its ballooning budget deficit and oversubscribed pension obligations, saying voters need to keep him in office to prevent such fiscal woes from besetting Wisconsin. Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington in February, Walker described Illinois as “no greater example of the failed policies [he’s] running against.” 

Walker appeared Tuesday in Springfield, Ill., the state capital, at the invitation of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, which supports his approach to fiscal reform. His keynote speech was timed to coincide with the start of a new seven-week legislative session, in which Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) and the state’s Democratic majority face a number of troubling economic burdens, including an estimated $8 billion budget deficit this fiscal year.


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