Gov. Quinn Brings High-Profile Supporters Into Minimum Wage Campaign

Oct 6, 2014

This week, Michelle Obama and Gloria Steinem are scheduled to campaign for Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. But over the weekend, actor Martin Sheen lent a hand.

Martin Sheen, "The West Wing"
Credit IMDb.com

According to the trade magazine "Variety," Sheen made as much as 300-thousand dollars an episode for his role as Democratic Pres. Jeb Bartlet in the show "West Wing." He says he was paid nothing fundraise for Quinn and call for an increase in minimum wage.

"No, I didn't get a nickle. I do it because I cannot not do it and be myself. This is a social justice fight and he's in the forefront."
--- "The West Wing" actor Martin Sheen

Governor Pat Quinn has made the state minimum wage a campaign issue. There are more than enough Democratic legislators to pass a wage hike without Republican votes. Part of why Quinn wasn't able to get it done was because of opposition from downstate Democrats.

Campaigning outside a Chicago church, Quinn said he's against a regional minimum wage, or something that would have one wage in the Chicago area, and a lower one elsewhere.

"No. It's the minimum wage. $10 an hour minimum; that's the minimum."
--- Gov. Pat Quinn

Gov. Quinn has spent the campaign trying to portray his businessman opponent, Republican Bruce Rauner, as so wealthy he's out of touch. Rauner has wavered in his stance on the minimum wage, but now says he too supports an increase if it's paired with pro-business changes, like workers' compensation.

Voters next month will get to weigh in on whether Illinois should pay workers at least $10 an hour, instead of $8.25, but the referendum is only advisory.