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Tribune endorses Quigley, whacks Fritchey

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009

* 5:06 pm - The Chicago Tribune has just endorsed Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley in the 5th Congressional District race…

Quigley has been a forceful, persistent critic of Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. Even better, Quigley has done exhaustive work on how county government could provide better health care and other services to people in far more efficient and cost-effective ways.

His reports on how to improve county government are without parallel in Illinois politics. They’re not goo-goo yammer. They’re tightly researched and spot-on accurate in their assertions about best practices and likely savings. He produces facts, facts, facts. If Quigley’s ideas had all been put in place, the county would not be crying now for more money. […]

There is more to him than his work on government reform. Quigley has an outstanding record on human rights, health care and the environment. (The Reader said he’s “arguably the greenest elected official in Chicago.”) He has sound ideas on reviving the U.S. economy, on national health care, on how to put people back to work.

Quigley couldn’t have written that better himself. Notice how the line about Todd Stroger will help Quigley fend off attacks by Rep. Feigenholtz over his endorsement of Stroger and his support for Stroger’s first budget.

And at the end of the piece, the Trib whacks Fritchey…

Another candidate, state Rep. John Fritchey talks about reform, but voters really ought to take a look at how Fritchey deflected the hard questioning of Sen. Roland Burris during testimony at the now-infamous House impeachment committee hearing. Rep. Fritchey, whose interests were you serving there? Not the public’s.

This Burris explosion is coming at absolutely the wrong time for Fritchey.

The Sun-Times also endorsed Quigley. Like the Tribune, it praised several of the other candidates. Unlike the Trib, the CS-T didn’t mention Fritchey’s name in its endorsement.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oh, please.... - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 5:22 pm:

    I can’t believe the Tribune and others are seriously trying to blame Reps. Fritchey and Durkin for asking the wrong question, rather than the fact that Burris was skirting the truth, avoiding the question…and now we find out, outright lying. Ridiculous.

  2. - fed up - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 5:22 pm:

    The public has every right to judge Fritchey by the friends he keeps and helps protect. I like quigley but worry about what will happebn if he leaves the Crook Co. board.

  3. - AliveInFive - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 5:56 pm:

    Suprised the Trib did not cite Quigley for his deft handling of Bernie’s baseball tickets. He was really good at that and actually got things done.
    Doubt his “spot on” studies won’t mean squat in DC.
    The move will split some votes and help Sara win in a walk

  4. - walter sobchak - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 5:58 pm:

    I remember Fritchey jumping in and interrupting Durkin’s questioning of Burris. It, and his improbable tan, stood out as being incongruous. Not knowing much more about him than his sort of ‘good government’ appearances on the Roe Conn show, it made me change my mind about him. Just another potentially bent politician was my take. Rich, is right, the Burris explosion has a kill radius just wide enough to kill his chance to win the 5th. Lets hope it doesn’t make him take the fifth.

  5. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 6:08 pm:

    If Quigley wins by a relatively narrow margin it will allow the major newspaper editorial boards to claim they are relevant again.

    And if Quigley wins without buying TV ads that will be noteworthy too.

  6. - Levois - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 6:30 pm:

    Meh I don’t have a problem with him interrupting Durkin. His line of questioning didn’t seem to go anywhere, although I do understand where he was going. I think this is a bum rap anyway.

  7. - 4 percent - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 6:39 pm:

    where is Michael Flanagan when we need him?!

  8. - Lakefront Liberal - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 6:45 pm:

    I can’t believe both papers actually made a good endorsement! Though my nickname is “Lakefront Liberal” what we DON’T need in congress are more liberal yes-men (or women). What we need are people who will stand up to the monied/powerful interests, which Quigley has no problem doing. And he’s liberal/progressive to boot!

    I have been a Quigley fan for a long time, but what really sealed it for me was going to a City Club luncheon where he was scheduled to talk about TIFs. There he was telling a room full of corporate types and politicos that TIFs are a slush fund that Mayor Daley uses to reward his cronies. In those words! It’s one thing for Fritchey to criticize Blago from behind the shadow of Madigan, but who is out there protecting Quigley when he calls out the Mayor? No one. Against Stroger he at least has a little back up (though very little), but on the TIF thing he is really out there on his own. And he wouldn’t have to do it at all, it would be a hell of a lot easier for him to just keep his mouth shut on TIFs, and on county government, but he doesn’t.

  9. - JonShibleyFan - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 7:15 pm:

    “where is Michael Flanagan when we need him?! ”

    Gettin’ rich off of being a one and done Congressman in his eponymous Capitol Hill lobbying firm.

  10. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 8:13 pm:

    What was Pat O’Connor doing in this race anyway? Was he just another dude on the ballot to help Sara?

  11. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 8:17 pm:

    Good question.

  12. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 8:36 pm:

    Read the Hearing transcript. Fritchey interrupted when the Republican questioning became irrelevant. When they started asking “what if”s and “will you run in 2010?”

    When Jil Tracy was on track and asking about contacts with the Gov’s people, Fritchey said not a word. Same with Durkin’s questioning. He only jumps in when the Republican’s veer off the impeachment track.

    I don’t know Fritchey, he may be a complete hack, but I don’t think his actions in the Burris testimony were out of line.

    If the Fritchey is at fault, it’s for not pursuing the line of questioning about who Burris talked to and when, but this applies to just about every member of the committee.

  13. - Amy - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 8:48 pm:

    is the Tribune trying to refer to Banks family connections with the Fritchey slap? the blogosphere loves Fritchey, which seems logical since he is a good writer, uses blogs, is communicative and smart, but that connection is a huge issue.

  14. - blackdem - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 9:37 pm:

    Its funny how the Tribune Board thinks they know everything. Where are the “spot on” answers on Cook County??? Not his reform 2003 document that puts all of the county services on the local governments..Or better yet someone define a “reformer” How can you work for the Mayor (claypool), or be a democrat and when no one likes you and you have no clout (Quigley) do you all of a sudden become a reformer. Quigleys chief of staff and other memebers of his camp was on Strogers transition team. He was with Stroger until he couldnt get anywhere and he and Claypool decided to run for board president using the Axelrod method..Tear down the current administration and try to ride to victory. Quigley has not has any meaningful iyems EVER enacted. Lets talk about action and results not so called plans on paper

  15. - Amy - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 10:19 pm:

    “Tear down the current administration and try to ride to victory.”
    I think that the two gentlemen you mention have tried to create change, good change. One of them has a track record reforming the park district. The other was at the County Board before the wave of reformers, presenting alternative ideas. Now both of them do that at the County Board, trying to change a government that is Dickensian.

  16. - Fritchey Watcher - Tuesday, Feb 17, 09 @ 11:28 pm:

    I’ve never been comfortable with Fritchey’s association with the Banks, especially the zoning stuff with his father in law. I think the Tribune got this one right.

    Feigenholtz really didn’t do a good job at the Trib endorsement session. She was really evasive about her push-poll.

  17. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Feb 18, 09 @ 6:48 am:

    I’m supporting Feigenholtz in this race, but Fritchey’s only mistake was wearing the wrong hat at the wrong time.

    He was acting as a lawmaker who understands the legal proceedings and the precedence of an impeachment investigation.

    The committee’s mission was a fact-finding one. Committee members should not have been asking hypothetical questions. And if I had been Burris’s attorney, I would have advised him not to answer them.

    You’re absolutely right that Fritchey’s actions weren’t smart for a CANDIDATE. As a candidate, he should have seized the opportunity to issue a headline-grabbing yet inconsequential press release, backed up by some superfluous speech during the proceedings.

    Instead, the Tribune whacks him for doing his job.

  18. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 18, 09 @ 8:02 am:

    ==The committee’s mission was a fact-finding one.==

    YDD, I think that’s the exact problem that Burris and Fritchey have with this right now.

    Burris and Fritchey knew exactly why Burris was called and what information the committee was looking for.

    Burris, behaving like a criminal defendant by parsing words and omitting obvious points of interest, and Fritchey, by inexplicably choosing to act like a criminal defense attorney, brought this wrath upon themselves.

  19. - 44th Ward - Wednesday, Feb 18, 09 @ 8:21 am:

    The Quigley endorsement is more of an attest to Tom Bowen’s strategy and skill than actual difference between the candidates…Tom’s had experience with both the S-T and Trib from his time with Congressman Foster. Give credit where credit is due…the problem is that we NEED Mike on the County Board. Unless Vallas can somehow take over…

    The Trib whacking Fritchey seems a little disingenuous. Have to agree with YDD in that Rep Fritchey put his job as State Rep first and Candidate second in the proceedings. The swipe from the Trib was undeserved.

  20. - Amy - Wednesday, Feb 18, 09 @ 8:56 am:

    O’connor has a commercial, and it’s on.

  21. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Feb 18, 09 @ 9:01 am:

    I remember watching the Burris testimony and saying to myself, why is Fritchey defending this guy? I chalked it up to a pol wanting to sound important, say intelligent things and slap around the Repubs a little. Basically, show them who’s boss of the committee. It was pointless grandstanding but I don’t think he meant to cover for Burris.

    His opponents should realize this and give Fritchey a pass. lol

  22. - CC - Wednesday, Feb 18, 09 @ 10:47 am:

    “As a candidate, he should have seized the opportunity to issue a headline-grabbing yet inconsequential press release, backed up by some superfluous speech during the proceedings.”

    That’s all Fritchey ever does. He’s a media hound with a big mouth and very white teeth. He has to get his face in the picture. Now it get’s him in trouble. It made him look dumb w/ Geraldo. How stupid can you get? Now the Burris stuff. The Sun Times and the Tribune were right on w/ Quigley.

  23. - Larry Mullholland - Wednesday, Feb 18, 09 @ 10:50 am:

    Fritchey gets whacked for running point for Burris…As I recall, it was Lou Lang who interjected on merit during the questioning by the r’s…

  24. - Larry Mullholland - Wednesday, Feb 18, 09 @ 11:07 am:

    Pages 964 & 965 of the transcript

    Lou Lang
    Line 13 & 14
    …you have a loop you want to close “Close it up. Otherwise, lets move on…”

    Page 966 Line 18
    Currie to Durkin
    “Lets move on… Finish this line of questioning quite quickly..

    Durkin was attempting to show a historical financial Burris/Blago relationship that benefitted Blago and was rushed along by Currie & Lang

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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