Governors Quinn and Branstad nearly cross paths in Quad City visits

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Tuesday marked a rare opportunity in the Quad Cities. That’s because governors from Illinois and Iowa made appearances in the area within an hour of each other.

Pat Quinn and Terry Branstad are governors from two different states with political views at opposite ends of the spectrum. And their dual visits pinpoint similarities and differences between the states.

“We believe in Western Illinois,” Gov. Quinn said. “Everybody today is a Leatherneck, right?”

Gov. Quinn came to Moline to unveil the new riverfront campus for Western Illinois University. He also revealed $38 million in state funding to pay for the next phase of the campus.

The visit represents his push for new construction and job creation.

“If you want economic growth that sustains itself, jobs follow brain power,” he said.

A few miles away in Bettendorf, Iowa, Gov. Terry Branstad speaks before the Bettendorf Rotary Club. The Republican reviews his Condition of the State Message.

“Here in Iowa, I believe we’re a role model for the country on how Republicans and Democrats can work together.”

Gov. Branstad also focuses on job creation. It’s a theme that resonates across Iowa and Illinois to start 2012.

“Our job creators are ready,” he said. “The question is, are the policy makers in state government? Are we ready to plant the seeds of growth and prosperity.”

While both governors came to the Quad Cities on Tuesday, their state’s financial situations are very different. Illinois is dealing with a deficit while Iowa enjoys a surplus.

As both states try to do more with less, each governor is focusing on the future.

“I believe that being better isn’t good enough,” Gov. Branstad said. “We should strive to be the very best.”

“We have to have economic growth and jobs in 2012 like nobody’s ever seen,” Gov. Quinn concluded.

Challenges from Iowa and Illinois governors during Quad City stops to boost their states.