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Quinn keeps pushing; a Saturday roundup; and comments are now closed

Saturday, Jan 30, 2010

* Gov. Quinn is trying his best to get that ABC7 report into the bloodstream. From the AP

Gov. Pat Quinn and his allies say Dan Hynes is both incompetent and cold-hearted for the way he responded to problems at Burr Oak Cemetery.

They also accuse Hynes of running an “evil” campaign ad in the race for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Quinn claimed Saturday that Hynes knew years ago about bodies being dumped and desecrated at Burr Oak, a historically black cemetery. He says that as state comptroller, Hynes could have taken action but chose not to.

The “they” in the story is Congressman Bobby Rush, who called Hynes “evil” today for using the Harold Washington ad and also said Hynes was “cold and callous and uncaring.” Quinn said Rush’s allegations were “on target.”

That event really shows a lot about this governor’s character. And none of it is good.

* Eric Zorn asks a couple of questions

1. Hynes has given plenty of “not my table!” responses to reporters and in debates — and indeed it is a somewhat persuasive point that it makes no sense for a check-writing, accounts-monitoring office like the Comptroller to be cemetery cops — but where are the campaign commercials fighting back on Burr Oak?

2. Where is the Hynes campaign commercial quoting Quinn vouching for the integrity of Rod Blagojevich during the 2006 campaign season? You want a failure of due diligence, how about the reassurances the Lieutenant Governor gave voters that, despite all the scandals swirling around Blagojevich, he was a man of integrity?

1) I’m assuming Hynes’ early release ad combined with the Harold Washington ad are a much more effective one-two punch on Quinn than the governor’s cemetery ad response. If they thought that the cemetery ad was truly effective, they’d probably do something. Also, and more importantly, a campaign can only do so many messages at a time. More messages requires much more money and results in more dilution of a campaign’s core story. Also, Hynes’ standard stump response - it’s not my job - is just not really all that wonderful. How do you put that in an ad?

2) Quinn is certainly on record saying nice things about Blagojevich, but Blagojevich is also on record time and time again saying how he loathes Pat Quinn. I heard Hynes has killer video of Blagojevich heaping praise on Quinn, but the campaign decided not to use it. The “beauty” of the Harold Washington ad is that there is legitimately divided opinion over what Washington really thought of Pat Quinn. There is no disupte that Blagojevich despises Quinn and has for some time. So, the push-back on a Blagojevich ad is far easier and far more believable. Perhaps because of this, the Blagojevich-Quinn hit has never tested well against Quinn, going all the way back to last fall. And, finally, it’s more message dilution.

* On that afore-mentioned Blagojevich topic, the national AP desks gets it wrong

In a race tinged by scandal and turning nasty, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is in danger of losing Tuesday because of his association with Blagojevich, who was expelled from office. Quinn, who twice ran as lieutenant governor on the same ticket as Blagojevich, is up against state Comptroller Dan Hynes.

Quinn is in danger of losing his seat because of numerous acts of incompetence and the fact that he didn’t respond well to some very effective advertising - early release and Harold Washington.

* Meanwhile, Gov. Quinn unveiled yet another job-producing news item today

One of the nation’s largest power generators plans to join the FutureGen Alliance, an organization developing an experimental clean-coal power plant in eastern Illinois.

Chicago-based Exelon Corp. says it wants to help build the plant near Mattoon.

Gov. Pat Quinn and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin made the announcement Saturday in Chicago.

Two months of those events (and firing his Dept. of Corrections director) and he might not have been in this sort of trouble.

* Toni Preckwinkle’s new TV ad

* Let’s hope this driver recovers

Officials say one person is critically injured after an accident involving an Illinois congressional candidate’s campaign bus in suburban Chicago.

Republican Robert Dold wasn’t aboard the bus when it crashed in Glenview late Friday. He is seeking his party’s nomination for Illinois’ 10th Congressional District, which covers suburbs north of Chicago to nearly Wisconsin.

The campaign claimed a passenger car driver turned into the bus’ path.

* If you think ads here are rough and tumble, have a look at this one from New Orleans


* We’re shutting down comments until Monday because the comment section has basically just devolved into a mindless running dispute between partisans. So, here’s a video. Get up and dance

About some useless information
That’s supposed to fire my imagination

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Everything you always wanted to know about me but were afraid to ask

Saturday, Jan 30, 2010

* I knew instantly when that bartender offered me a Jameson’s and soda before I said a single word that Kevin McDermott had his lede. Sure enough

It’s a rainy December evening, and Rich Miller is still keyed up over the day’s top story when he arrives at the small, dark bar at Maldaner’s Restaurant in downtown Springfield. The founder, publisher, editor and sole reporter for the Capitol Fax political newsletter rejects the Jameson’s-and-soda that the bartender automatically offers. “Too early,’’ Miller declares — and he orders a Guinness instead.

Not that I blame Kevin. I would’ve used it, too.

And if you ever wondered where I am while I’m blogging…

The house is a spacious, immaculate structure full of collected art, antiques and political paraphernalia. A 30-acre nature preserve borders one side of the property; on the other is Lake Springfield.

There are views everywhere, except from the small, cluttered corner office on the second floor from which Capitol Fax is produced on a widescreen Mac monitor. Miller’s view is mainly of the William Crook Jr. drawing of the state Capitol that hangs over his desk. “I like it that way. If you’ve got a view, you get distracted by the damned view.’’

Hey, I actually cleaned my office before I let him into my house. Cluttered? I’m glad I didn’t let Kevin come by before I cleaned. Oh, man, the description would’ve been brutal.

Also, I have one of the smaller homes in my neighborhood. Yes, it’s a great ‘hood. No doubt. And, yes, it’s a nice home, but it’s no mansion.

This really is my day…

If the legislature is in session, he’ll drive to the Capitol by midafternoon and stop by a series of what he calls “watering holes.’’

“It’s like hunting — you know, you go to a watering hole, and you wait for the animals to come to you. You don’t go out in the middle of the desert searching for animals.’’ The watering holes include the brass rail outside the House and Senate chambers, certain hallways, certain lawmakers’ offices, “the little nooks and crannies of the Capitol.’’ And, later, the bars.

Todd knows me better than most…

“[Miller] is not an ideologue for any cause,’’ suggests lobbyist Todd Vandermyde. “He just has no patience for stupidity in government.’’

Yep. He’s right.

More from Todd…

To Miller’s fans, that kind of no-holds-barred, total-immersion reporting is what makes Capitol Fax urgent reading. “He’s different from you others in the mainstream media,’’ says Vandermyde, the lobbyist. “He actually spends time mixing and mingling with the politicos. He doesn’t just come in for the issue du jour.’’

Of course, Kevin goes on to overestimate my income, but he’s not alone. Just so you know, it’s not even close to what he or others think. And “$175,000 over the past decade” equals $17,500 a year. I don’t charge nearly enough.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’ve always wanted to be on the cover of Illinois Issues. That’s why I agreed to do this interview. Kevin is a heckuva writer, so I thought he could make my dream come true. The story came out pretty much as I figured. Kevin did a great job. But, alas, I didn’t make the cover. I’m not exactly photogenic, so some pension story fronted the mag.

Oh, well. Maybe when I die.

- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      

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