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Quinn: “I plan to run”

Friday, Jul 24, 2009

* Gov. Pat Quinn finally offers up a kinda/sorta straight answer to something, after a bit of prodding

“So when do you officially announce that you’re running for Governor?” Goldblatt asked.

“Oh, I haven’t thought about that,” Quinn said, adding that he would begin thinking about it.

Goldblatt responded, “Why are you being slightly coy on this?”

“I plan to run,” Quinn said, “there’s no doubt about that. When I announce is another story.”

Watch it…

* Democratic state Rep. Julie Hamos will announce for something next Tuesday. From an e-mail to supporters…

I am pleased to tell you that after a great deal of discussion with you and many other supporters, I have made some decisions about my future and I plan on making a public announcement next Tuesday at noon.

I would like to invite you to the announcement, but if you cannot attend, I will hold a briefing conference call for my statewide exploratory committee at 5:00 pm on Tuesday evening.

She’s widely expected to run for the open 10th Congressional District seat. We’ll see.

* Conservative talk show host Cisco Cotto, of WIND AM, may run for US Senate

Cotto wrote to his FaceBook friends Thursday, “I’m going to start talking with some people about the Senate to see if it would work. I know many of you think it’s crazy because I’m young and have never been in politics, but someone has to do something…”

Cotto would not be the first radio talk show host to run for U.S. Senate in Illinois. In 2004, 890 WLS liberal talk show host Nancy Skinner ran against five others, including Barack Obama, who eventually won over fellow Democrats Comptroller Dan Hynes, CPS School Board Prez Gery Chico and millionaire Blair Hull.

* Speaking of the Senate, Republican Mark Kirk took a hit from Pace board chairman Richard Kwasneski for a recent letter to the editor

While hybrid buses are more expensive than diesel buses ($500,000 vs. $320,000), a hybrid bus will use approximately 30,000 gallons less fuel over its lifetime. A new hybrid fleet could save more than 1 million gallons of fuel and eliminate 10,500 tons of greenhouse gases, saving taxpayers at least $2.6 million in diesel costs alone. Those savings will only increase as diesel prices rise.

When asked why it won’t change course, Pace responds it will lose stimulus funds if it doesn’t act quickly. Far from the case — the stimulus only requires 50 percent of the funds designated to each transit agency to be spent within the first 180 days before those funds are lost.

Kwasneski responded

For starters, attacking a transit agency to make a point about fighting fuel usage and improving air quality is incongruous, considering each Pace bus can take 50 cars off the road.

The comparisons Kirk makes relating to the fuel economy of diesel and hybrid buses are an apples-to-oranges comparison, because the figures he cites compare 40-foot hybrid buses with 40-foot diesel buses. However, the buses Pace purchases are 30 feet in length and actually get better fuel mileage than the 40-foot hybrids he heralds. A 30-foot hybrid might achieve fuel savings, but no such model is in production.

Pace approached Congressman Kirk for five straight years requesting federal funding to add hybrid buses to our fleet, and each time the request was ignored. Had he taken action, it’s very likely Pace would not only purchase hybrid buses with federal stimulus money as he’s now asking us to do, but we would already have them out on the road today.

We’ve done the research to prove that buying more of the considerably less expensive diesel buses for the available funding we have will result in a greater net improvement in air quality. Emissions control technology for diesel buses has advanced to the extent that the difference in the amount of particulate matter found in exhaust from buses is essentially negligible between diesels and hybrids.

Kirk’s comments also ignore a fact we have repeatedly conveyed to him: Pace is committed to testing not only hybrid vehicles but other “green” technology.

The DNC also jumped into the fray

“Mark Kirk would have a lot more credibility in calling for investments in environmentally friendly technology if he had signed onto the Economic Recovery Act that invested hundreds of millions in green jobs when he had a chance,” said Press Secretary Hari Sevugan.

* Related…

* Suburban lawmakers play key, opposing roles in health care battle

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 12:03 pm:

    “Its not easy being green.” - Kermit the frog

  2. - 10th Indy - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 12:05 pm:

    According to the Pioneer Press Kirk joined local Dem elected officials on this issue:

    “U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, state Sen. Susan Garrett, state Rep. Karen May and Highland Park Mayor Mike Belsky have teamed up in hopes that the taxpayer funds will be re-routed toward hybrid buses.

    Kirk, R-10th, of Highland Park; Garrett, D-29th, of Highwood; May, D-58th, of Highwood; and Belsky made their bipartisan argument while standing in front of one of the city’s 22 hybrid vehicles at a news conference at Highland Park City Hall.”

  3. - Will County Woman - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 12:09 pm:

    Governor at this point just come on out with it! Everything you have done since being governor was done with the intention of running for the seat out right, so much so in fact, as nearly everyone has pointed out, that you have been running for governor instead of leading. you’re a nice guy and I wish you luck. :-)

  4. - Shore - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 12:10 pm:

    Pretty arrogant with the record Hamos has put together down there in Springfield for her to get the nerve to ask a district she barely represents to send her to congress. Can’t wait to see the NRCC trash her for cheerleading tax increases or for those cuts to education. Even better, Gash, another jewish state rep, who at least pretended to be moderate, was beaten and she didn’t carry the liberal and blago baggage Hamos will. Bring her on, and even better the bloody seals/bond/hamos clash.

  5. - Shore - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 12:11 pm:

    Rich, I know I hit you on Alexi’s trip to greece 5 months ago, but everything I write ends up in spam. If there’s a beef with me, pls explain.

  6. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 12:12 pm:

    Nice to see 2 R’s argue like this:-)

    For those who don’t know, Rich Kwasneski was the mayor of Lemont and also had a big role in developing the old Joliet arsenal into a huge rail/truck intermodal center before chairing Pace. I think Kwas has the better argument here.

  7. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 12:12 pm:

    Shore, tone down the goofy paranoia, please.

    I have no control over Akismet. Take it up with them.

  8. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 12:16 pm:

    “Let’s buy a bigger bus, that will cost twice as much money, and use about the same amount of fuel as one of our shortys, because it’s a HYBRID!”

    True, we are evolving toward very fuel efficient and alternative types of vehicles. But Europe has been using clean diesels for years, and with their fuel prices, it makes sense there and should make sense here…until something better and appropriate to the task comes along.

  9. - 10th Indy - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 12:18 pm:

    Looks like Pace told Kirk, Garret, May and Belsky they were going to do one thing and then did another. Not a smart play by Pace legislative affairs and I’m not sure Kwasneski’s response helps the agency in the long run.

  10. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 12:19 pm:

    Clean Diesels look to be better then Hyrbids overall. Also i think i saw a story somewhere about eing able to make diesel fuel from fry cooking oil, motor oil, soybeans and sugar cane. So you dont need to drill it, and we can make it from stuf we normally throw away.

  11. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 12:22 pm:

    Pretty good smackdown of Kirk by Pace.

    Did Kirk really need to take crack at the suburban GOPers at Pace to make a point about being GOP Green?

    He needs to understand he’s on a much bigger stage now and is going to get a lot more scrutiny.

  12. - Been There - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 12:42 pm:

    ===While hybrid buses are more expensive than diesel buses ($500,000 vs. $320,000), a hybrid bus will use approximately 30,000 gallons less fuel over its lifetime.===
    Well, considering that diesel is around $3 a gallon that means they would save $90,000 in fuel cost over the life of the bus. That only makes up half the diffence in the upfront cost of $180,000. That doesn’t seem to be enough incentive to me.

  13. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 12:45 pm:

    BT, there’s also the 40 foot vs. 30 foot argument. Kirk goofed on this one.

  14. - give me a break - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 1:06 pm:

    Cisco who?

    Give me a break. This guy has no political experience and no money. If he jumped in he’d be on the same level as Andy Martin.

  15. - FredBecker - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 1:10 pm:

    Cisco Koto? He has no resume, money or backing and would lose the primary. Under the rules, he loses his job the minute he becomes a candidate.

  16. - Gob Bluth - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 1:27 pm:

    An untested candidate w/ no money or politcal experience. Cisco is only tossing his name out there to gain ratings from the black helicopter crowd.

  17. - krome - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 1:31 pm:

    I’ve read that the hybrid buses are a lot more expensive to maintain, such that the fuel cost savings are more than offset by higher maintenance costs. When coupled with the much higher initial purchase costs, hybrids are much more expensive.

    And with golbal temps falling for the last 10 years, I don’t think the global warming battle is worth a great investment of public funds by a bankrupt state.

  18. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 1:54 pm:

    Sorry, but whatever mistakes Kirk made doesn’t outweigh the plusses he gains by advocating the green line.

    It is easier to tell voters you wanted more hybrid buses, than to explain in detail the pros and cons of diesel vs. hybrid.

    It was an easy pick-up for Kirk, and easy two-fer, and the backlash against him only shows that the guys at PACE feel used. Because they were!

  19. - R_K - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 1:59 pm:

    Hmmm. A far-right bloviator whose only qualification appears to be a love of his own voice…

    Quick! Someone call Dan Proft and tell him that Cisco Cotto is stealing his schtick!

  20. - Anon - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 2:11 pm:

    That radio guy needs to do whatever it takes to get his radio program noticed. He wasn’t even allowed to participate in the tea party in Chicago. His radio partner supports Kirk and said so on air.

  21. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 2:18 pm:

    Wow Quinn, running for Governor? You’d be better off to follow Burris’ lead and just take what they gave you.
    The credentials of Cisco Kotto in no way compare to those of Mark Kirk’s. There is no way that he could even stand up to any of the current democratic hopefuls, especially Alexi with Obama backing him. Support a real candidate with real experience, Mark Kirk.

  22. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 3:06 pm:

    –Cisco Koto–

    Aweome name, though. Action hero name.

  23. - DannyBoy - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 3:41 pm:

    If Quinn thinks cutting $2.1 billion in social services and an additional cut of $1.1 billion to be implemented later this year is helping those that live paycheck to paycheck he’s dellusional!

  24. - Rob_N - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 3:48 pm:

    krome says, “And with golbal [sic] temps falling for the last 10 years, I don’t think the global warming battle is worth a great investment of public funds by a bankrupt state.

    Yes, because asthma and lowered IQs due to pollution are issues that have magically disappeared in the last 10 years. ;)

    There’s more than one reason to convert to clean technology y’know.

    And VM, it seems to me the point is that Kirk was suddenly for ‘green’ busses after being against them … and the guy running the bus agency made sure everyone knew it.

    Seems to be a pattern: he was for the Iraq War before he voted against it.

    He was for cap and trade before right-wingers yelled at him enough that now he’s thinking he might need to vote against it in the future.

    And just now it turns out he was for trains (getting subsidies for Metra) before voting against trains today… Gotta work to burnish those hard-line conservative credentials donchaknow.

    Kinda hard to tell what he’s for or against and when he might change his mind.

    Is it Moderate Mark on odd days and Conservative Kirk on even days? Maybe Team America will stop by and let us know the secret to deciphering his guy’s waffling.

  25. - sal-says - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 3:54 pm:

    “I plan to run,” Quinn said, “there’s no doubt about that. When I announce is another story.”

    Hmmmm…..sounds like another FFF = freakin’-flip-flop.

    Exactly WHAT is he gonna run on ???? The new leadership = flip-flops?

  26. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 4:42 pm:

    === It is easier to tell voters you wanted more hybrid buses, than to explain in detail the pros and cons of diesel vs. hybrid. ====

    yes and no. I admit that generally these types of detil on a point are lost ion the battle of soundbites. But on green intiatives I think the voters who will be interested in this issue, will also be more passionate about the topic and have the interest in the details.

  27. - Reggaeman - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 6:25 pm:

    Glad you plan to run PQ.. I glad I get to vote against you

  28. - Kimmie - Friday, Jul 24, 09 @ 9:20 pm:

    Cotto blew a top when WLS sponsored the tea party. Totally unprofessional. His station, WIND, has been losing ground against WLS…Cotto must be looking for a new gig.

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