Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Quinn, Caterpillar CEO to Hold Joint Presser

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Governor Pat Quinn Tuesday will appear in Peoria with Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman ostensibly to discuss the Fortune-500 business and its future in Illinois.

    Oberhelman caused something of a media stir in late March when a letter he had sent to Quinn, bemoaning the record Illinois sales tax increase and its potential effect on Caterpillar employees, was leaked.

    Quinn Responds to Caterpillar Questions

    [CHI] Quinn Responds to Caterpillar Questions
    Gov. Pat Quinn says he's confident Caterpillar won't go, despite a letter from the CEO that says a move out of state is on the table. (Published Sunday, Mar 27, 2011)

    "I want to stay here. But as the leader of this business, I have to do what's right for Caterpillar when making decisions about where to invest … The direction that this state is headed in is not favorable to business, and I'd like to work with you to change that."

    Many inferred that Caterpillar was threatening to leave the state if the governor didn't do something to save thebusiness. But Quinn said he didn't think Caterpillar was looking to take its business and the 23,000 employees that comprise it anywhere else.
     
    “I think Caterpillar, when it looks at all the ingredients Illinois has to offer, the middle of the country, workers who get the job done -- who is making these great machines? … it’s Illinois workers who know how to get the job done.”
     
    Last week Oberhelman said his company had no plans to leave the state.
     
    "The headlines were sensational -- they said things like, "'Cat leaving Illinois,' which isn't what the letter said," Oberhelman said in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in late March. "I actually said I'm looking forward to finding ways to invest more in Illinois."
     
    Tuesday the two men will meet privately at the Par-a-Dice hotel in East Peoria, where they're both slated to attend a conference. They plan to address the media afterward.

    Caterpillar Could Leave Illinois

    [CHI] Caterpillar Could Leave Illinois
    CEO: "I have been called...cornered in meetings and wined and dined. The heat is on." (Published Monday, Mar 28, 2011)