* I wonder if Sen. Kirk realizes that Cairo, Illinois is further south than Richmond, Virginia…
Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk gave a lively speech boosting Illinois to the manufacturers group on Friday, but one attempt at a joke veered into stereotypes.
Kirk said he often asks employers why they operate businesses in Illinois, given the state’s reputation for “high costs and unions and corruption.” Kirk said one employer explained that in the states south of Illinois, it was hard to keep a business open, “because everybody was huntin’ on that day.”
The first-term senator, who is up for re-election next year, put on a southern accent as he cracked the joke, drawing a bit of laughter from the crowd. Illinois employees, Kirk said, “they just show up, they work all day.”
“My reason for this is our inherent Polish character,” Kirk continued. “The 2 million Poles that, you know, Poles just work all day long and don’t ask for recess. … We’ve got to make sure that we sell that. There’s no absenteeism during huntin’ season for us, unlike the southern jurisdictions. We sell the Illinois worker who is just going to work like crazy.”
Yep. No hillbilly hunters and a whole lot of Poles. That’s what makes Illinois so great.
But, hey, at least he’s saying positive stuff, unlike so many other folks in this state.