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Wisconsin Labor Protests: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Won't Volunteer In Milwaukee, Per Bears-Packers Bet

First Posted: 02/21/11 11:17 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:35 PM ET

Quinn

When one of professional football's most storied rivalries was headed for a major postseason match-up, two governors made a bet.

Illinois Democrat Pat Quinn agreed that if his Chicago Bears lost to the Green Bay Packers, he'd head to Wisconsin to volunteer at a food pantry in Packers colors. Wisconsin Republican Scott Walker made the same deal if the Bears won.

It was a good-natured, well-intentioned wager at a moment when the two states were engaged in some nasty infighting. But now, with Wisconsin Senate Democrats on the lam in Illinois and protests gripping the capitol in Madison, Governor Quinn has decided to postpone his trip to the Milwaukee food pantry.

“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 told the Chicago Sun-Times.

She also took a moment to score some points at the Governor Walker's expense.

"When a state is experiencing such mass turmoil, businesses are not going to be attracted to it," Thompson said. Gov. Walker had argued that Illinois's income tax increase would drive businesses away, and was pushing to attract Illinois businesses to his state -- despite Wisconsin's markedly higher personal income tax rate.

NBC Chicago reports that Quinn is planning to reschedule "in the next few months."

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Filed by Will Guzzardi  |