Quick Hit Bob Skolnik Tuesday November 4th, 2014, 6:10pm

Voters Offer Dueling Views On Governor's Race In Southwestern Suburbs

How one voted in the governor's race is not an infallible indication of how someone voted on the non-binding referendum to raise the minimum wage. At least that's the case at the polling place at the Crest Hill branch of the White Oak Library District, where subdivisions meet cornfields on the outskirts of Lockport and Joliet in Will County.

Michael Arbanas, a semi-retired iron worker and antiques dealer from Crest Hill, voted for Bruce Rauner for governor, but also voted in favor of raising the minimum wage.

"I believe that Pat Quinn, by raising taxes on big business, he drove business out of the state and I think it's time for a change," Arbanas said.

But Arbanas supported increasing the minimum wage.

"Because of the economy and the way things cost," Arbanas said in explaining why he favors increasing the minimum wage. "People are hurting and a few extra bucks, I think, would help them out."

Arbanas also voted in favor the non-binding referendum to impose an additional three percent tax on income over one million dollars and using that money to provide additional funding to public schools.

"Kids are our future and we need to spend the best we can do on education," Arbanas said.

Die-hard Democrat Larry Kozak of Lockport voted against increasing the minimum wage.

"I think it's satisfactory where it's at right now," said Kozak of the minimum wage. He voted for Pat Quinn for governor.

"I think he's doing a good job," Kozak, adding tthat he almost always votes for Democrats.

"I voted for (George W.) Bush to re-elect him a long time ago (2004), the worst mistake I ever made," Kozak said.

Union man

Patrick Sifuentes, a member of Local 17 of the Heat and Frost Insulators Union, voted for Pat Quinn for governor and also voted in favor of raising the minimum wage and the millionaire's tax.

"Everyone deserves a fair wage," Sifuentes,27, said. "Being union we get to collectively bargain for ours and I think everyone else should be able to also. Granted people don't have a voice in generally what they get, but $10 minimum wage, that's barely enough to live off of."

The current $8.25 minimum wage is too low, Sifuentes said.

"You can't do anything with that, even if you're working two 40-hour jobs," he said.

Sifuentes also supported the millionaire's tax.

"My mom's a school teacher, so anything that helps the public schools I'm all for it," Sifuentes said. "Three percent for public schools. Of course, I voted for it."

Images: AP/Seth Perlman & AP/M. Spencer Green

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