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Guv cand Whitney (G) Disappointed in Closure of South Illinois Tourism Office

Rich Whitney

Rich Whitney

Green Party Governor candidate Rich Whitney was critical of the shutdown of a major proponent of tourism in Southern Illinois. Russell Ward, the sole employee and executive director of the Southern Illinois Tourism Development Office, was laid off earlier this week due to the lack of state funding. The organization promoted tourism in the state’s southernmost 22 counties.

According to Whitney, who resides in Carbondale:

Tourism has actually been one fairly bright spot in economically depressed Southern Illinois. A lot of good, solid small businesses have arisen to support the influx of visitors to such places as the Shawnee National Forest, Giant City State Park, Garden of the Gods and many other valuable areas that are used for hunting, fishing, canoeing, hiking and camping.

This is one more example of a point that I’ve repeatedly made during this campaign: That we need to restore health to our public sector by fixing our broken tax system in order for our private sector to flourish. By failing to come to grips with the budget problem, the leadership of the Democratic and Republican parties, including their respective candidates for governor, are also failing to address the desperate need for more job opportunities in our state. The failure of the two corporate-sponsored parties to deal with our state budget crisis just claimed another victim: The Southern Illinois Tourism industry.

Rich Whitney is a 55-year-old civil rights and employment lawyer from Carbondale. As a lawyer, he has fought for working people who have lost their jobs or had their rights violated. A founder of the Illinois Green Party, he has long been politically active in support of the labor, health-care reform, environmental, civil rights, and peace movements. In 2006, he served as the Green Party’s first candidate for Governor, winning over 360,000 votes and making it possible for Illinois voters to have a third choice on the ballot statewide.

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  2. […] Guv cand Whitney (G) Disappointed in Closure of South Illinois Tourism Office (www.onthewilderside.com) Filed under: 3rd party, election, Election 2010, elections, governor, grassroots democracy, Green Party, News, politics, Press Release, US Politics Tagged: Civil and political rights, Criminal Justice, green, health care, Illinois Governor, Illinois Green Party, politics, rich whitney, Rod Blagojevich […]

  3. […] Guv cand Whitney (G) Disappointed in Closure of South Illinois Tourism Office (www.onthewilderside.com) […]

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