AARP: Gubernatorial candidates need to communicate better with voters

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With less than two months before the election,Illinois voters ages 50 and older  want Gov.Pat Quinnand his opponentBruce Raunerto address critical economic and financial security issues the state is facing, and engage with the public instead of avoiding specifics and resorting to character attacks, jargon and spin.

A recentAARP surveyfound that nearly half of 50+ voters say it's hard to find objective and reliable information about the positions of candidates running for office this election. Eighty-six percent of voters believe that both gubernatorial candidates need to do more to explain their positions on jobs and the economy. Other issues that are top of mind forIllinoisvoters 50+ include long term care services, utilities, caregiving and helping people save for retirement.

"Individuals are postponing retirement because they cannot afford it, working families are struggling to make ends meet and incomes do not keep up with the increasing cost of living. These are the critical issuesIllinoisvoters want gubernatorial candidates to address," saidBob Gallo, AARP Illinois State Director. "Unfortunately, both candidates keep avoiding substantive responses and positions on these issues, and they keep avoiding facing voters through public debates."

The survey found that more than 90 percent ofIllinoisvoters 50+ say that Quinn’s andRauner'spositions on jobs and the economy are important in helping them make their voting decisions this year in the gubernatorial election. Meanwhile, 86 percent of voters say that both gubernatorial candidates need to do more to explain their positions on these issues.

"AARP has invited both Governor Quinn andBruce Raunerto a Gubernatorial Forum where each candidate would have the opportunity to address the concerns of the 50+ population in a public way," added Gallo.  "It is disappointing that thus far, neither candidate has accepted our invitation."

AARPIllinois, along with partner organizations 89 WLS and the Union League Club ofChicago, invited both candidates to participate in a Gubernatorial Forum that would be broadcast live to a statewide audience.  To date, AARP has not received a response from either candidate. 


About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).