Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Return of PQ v1.0 (The Honeymoon's Over)

I've got a post swirling inside me about the state of the Democratic Party in our state and county and city, but until I can get that post from my head to my keyboard, I'll give you this latest gem.

If you already read my post from Monday about HB1, which would ban pay-to-play politics, then you know the backdrop of this story. If you haven't, go read my post.

Well, the chorus of calls for doing the right thing is about to get louder. I was given a heads-up by a reporter that this afternoon, only hours before Governor Blagojevich's big-ticket fundraiser ($1000+), Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn is scheduled to hold a press conference calling on the Governor pass and sign HB1 into law before the passage of any capital bill. (Disclaimer - I knew nothing about the press conference until being told about it Wednesday afternoon, and I have not discussed it with the Lt. Gov.)

Quinn's message echoes that contained in a letter sent to leaders last week by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, which correctly recognizes that, in addition to infrastructure repairs, a capital bill also means big dollar contracts that heighten the need for a law that makes sure that those contracts are not dependent upon political contributions.

I obviously agree with the Lt. Gov. on this issue and am glad that he is trying to put more light (heat) on the issue. So no real story there.

But I think that the bigger issue is that the press conference appears to be the latest chapter in the re-emergence of PQ v1.o.

To the praise of many, and disdain of others, Pat Quinn earned his stripes over decades by being the populist's populist. I've worked with Pat on numerous issues and will attest that his passion is as sincere as it gets. And I can think of no other elected official who comes even close to Pat in showing an unwavering dedication in honoring our veterans and fallen soldiers.

But after his election as Lt. Gov. in 2002, the old Pat just wasn't as evident. The fire and belief was there, but in a much more muted version. Hence, PQ v2.o. (The stories behind Pat's silence are a story unto themselves, and aren't mine to discuss.)

But lately, shades of renegade Pat are popping up with increasing frequency. A couple of weeks ago, he was talking about the need for a recall provision, which I'm sure went over big with his running mate.

And now, he fires a shot directly across the Governor's campaign juggernaut just as the tables and chairs are being set up for the Governor's fundraising event.

So now, in addition to: the Governor vs. the Speaker; the Speaker vs. the Senate President; and the Governor + Senate President vs. the House Democrats; you can add the Lt. Governor vs. the Governor.

Welcome to the Democratic Party of Illinois.


At October 18, 2007 at 9:38 AM, Anonymous DuPage Saint said...

Pat Quinn screwed up this state with the amendment to get rid of cummulative voting giving supreme power to the 4 tops and the gov. making you guys window dressing. The Dem Primary for Gov ought to be interesting and I bet Obama wins it. By the way, don't hold your breath on your HB1 will never become law, and if it does will be challenged by every big law firm in town, unless Big Jim is still defending Ryan. If it ever passes I will by you a beer, as long as you disclose it.

At October 18, 2007 at 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well somebody needs to start muckraking the party and the leaders especially. Here is hoping Pats common sense populism is not only limited to HB1 and Governor Blago.


At October 19, 2007 at 9:31 PM, Anonymous Lainer said...

I had to laugh when I read a story this morning that described Quinn as Blago's "estranged lieutenant governor," which makes them sound like a married couple on the verge of divorce. Only in their case, they can't get "divorced" for another 3 1/2 years (until the next gubernatorial election) so we're stuck listening to their bickering in the meantime!

At October 20, 2007 at 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat Quinn has always had trouble raising money. This should not be a surprise. Also, DuPage Saint is right. We can thank him for making the four tops what they are today.


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