Brady pushes for Pullman Wal-Mart, says it would create jobs in a 'food desert'

Adrian G. Uribarri

April 29, 2010 @ 7:35 AM

Update: Bill Brady campaign spokesman John Hoffman says "the Brady businesses have no financial interest connected with Wal-Mart."

Original post: Republican candidate for governor Bill Brady this morning called on Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn to support a proposed Wal-Mart in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago, calling the area a "food desert" that desperately needs new jobs.

"Whose side is the governor on?" Brady asked in a statement. "Instead of trying to raise our taxes, he should be standing up for raised opportunity. ... One of the most effective anti-violence programs is jobs."

Quinn's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last May, state Sen. Brady introduced legislation in the General Assembly that would prevent municipalities from blocking the construction of "big-box" stores.

Critics of the stores, chief among them Wal-mart, say they cause congestion and are often an eyesore in urban communities, and that they create low-paying jobs with few or no benefits.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Alderman Anthony Beale, who represents the 9th Ward, where the Wal-mart is proposed, support the store's construction.

Five days ago, Daley sarcastically called for the full City Council to vote on the issue.

"Vote it up or down," Daley said, "and then go back and tell the people, 'Hey, I got a job as alderman, but you don't have one, ha ha ha.' "Laugh at the people: 'I got a job, OK, you don't have a job.'"

The project, awaiting approval from the zoning commission and city council, would create almost 4,000 jobs, including about 780 unionized construction positions, according to Brady's statement. The store would then hire nearly 700 employees.

Brady owns a real-estate company in Bloomington. A campaign spokesman could not immediately respond to whether his firm would benefit from any deals with the company, but said he would check with other members of the campaign.

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