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Madigan stomping Quinn in Chicago

Friday, Apr 24, 2009

* First up, more results from that poll of Chicagoans we discussed yesterday. Attorney General Lisa Madigan has a big lead over Gov. Pat Quinn…

Those numbers include initially undecided voters who were then asked which way they were leaning.

* Mayor Daley, however, thinks quite highly of Gov. Quinn

“Pat Quinn has done a very good job so far,” Daley said. “I think he has the passion and the heart. He does. He has a soul.” […]

Asked if his effusive praise for Quinn amounted to an endorsement in 2010, Daley replied, “You just asked me how well he was doing, and I think he is working really hard.” […]

“You know, the thing I’ve always been impressed with — he’s gone to every funeral of every young man killed in Afghanistan in Iraq, no matter what part of the state,” said the mayor, whose son was in the military in Afghanistan. “He doesn’t do it for publicity. He is just thanking them. Very, very interesting.”

* But Quinn canceled a fundraising appearance in Rockford last night after over 100 protesters showed up…

Governor or not, they chanted outside the Radison hotel. With signs in hand, more then 100 educators protested against Governor Pat Quinn’s proposal for school funding.

* And my Sun-Times column today takes Quinn to task

There’s a program for doctors and hospitals called “Sorry Works.” The idea is to apologize to patients after medical mistakes are made and offer reasonable compensation. It’s not only the right thing to do, but it often helps avoid expensive malpractice lawsuits.

The Chicago Sun-Times editorialized in favor of the program in 2005 after the paper published an article showing the concept had seemed to cut legal actions in half against the University of Michigan Health System.

Anyway, this column isn’t about doctors. It’s about Gov. Pat Quinn.

Earlier this week, the governor was asked if he thought he should apologize for defending and even praising the now-indicted Rod Blagojevich, particularly during the 2006 gubernatorial campaign. At the time, he was running with Blagojevich as his lieutenant governor.

“No, I don’t think apologies are necessary,” Quinn said, adding that voters “do not want to look backwards.”

“They want to look forward, and that’s what I’ve tried to do in the last 12 weeks, find every way we can to open up our government and to have reform in every place in our government,” Quinn said.

In a way, he’s right. It most certainly is time to fix the many horrific problems Blagojevich created. We shouldn’t be overly fixated on the past.

But, we cannot turn a blind eye to the terrible mistakes that many of us made. If we don’t own up to our mistakes, how can we expect others to believe that we won’t avoid similar errors in the future?

I for one, was at times taken in by Rod Blagojevich. Usually, I was pretty circumspect, but I believed some of his stories about the trouble he was in and occasionally fell for his considerable charms.

So, just let me say right here and now, I sincerely apologize and I’ll try never to let that happen again.

I feel better now. You might want to try it, especially if you voted for Blagojevich, or believed his lying campaign ads, fell for his spin doctors’ lines or ever defended him during a conversation.

Go ahead. I’ll wait. Just say it out loud. “I’m sorry.”

See? Don’t you feel better?

And if doctors can avoid lawsuits by apologizing, Quinn might want to start thinking about how voters will react to his refusal to say, “I’m sorry.”

A new poll conducted by the widely used Democratic firm of Bennett, Petts & Normington shows Attorney General Lisa Madigan is already thumping Quinn 2-1 in a Democratic primary.

Five hundred Chicagoans were surveyed March 23-25 and the margin of error is 4.5 percentage points. The poll was conducted on behalf of the Service Employees International Union.

According to the poll, Madigan has 44 percent to 22 percent for Quinn. Add in those who are leaning toward one candidate or the other, and Madigan is ahead 48-24. About 28 percent were undecided. She’s way up in the African-American community as well, 51-23.

Madigan had $3.5 million in her campaign account at the end of last year and has since been on a fund-raising tear. That’s a whole lot of money to bash Quinn for trying to raise taxes and stubbornly refusing to apologize for praising Blagojevich.

Quinn had just $85,000 on hand last year and is about to hold his first major fund-raiser since being elevated to the governor’s office.

A recent poll taken by Rasmussen Reports had Quinn with a 61 percent job approval rating. But most — 44 percent — only “somewhat” approved. His numbers are soft and he’s vulnerable.

Sorry works, governor.

* Related…

* Gov: State will ‘overcome challenges’

* Watch replay of Quinn’s visit

* Health panel quackery

* Quinn won’t apologize for Blagojevich connections

* Quinn opens historic sites, says they’ll stay open

* Crowd helps Quinn reopen Dana-Thomas House

* Quinn touts aid for home updates during visit

* Gov. Quinn in Rockford for Earth Day

* Wind power: Homeowners, small businesses install turbines to cut long-term energy costs

* Even in the wild blue yonder, it’s up to us to go green

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 9:02 am:

    Yikes, Governor. No wonder he didn’t give up his Sox tickets..he’ll have plenty of time to watch games in 2011.

  2. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 9:21 am:

    As a guy who has been hounding the Illinois Democrats for these past few years demanding they acknowledge some accountability for their mistakes regarding Blagojevich, I wish to clarify some things as to why I have been hounding them, using the Governor’s debating points.

    Apologies are necessary because we need to know what actions will be taken in the future to remove any possibilities that there will be future Blagojevichs. Acknowledging that a terrible mistake occurred twice is a necessary first step. I am very tired of living in a society where it seems that people we depend upon feel that legalese requires that they no longer acknowledge mistakes. We are a society of liars and losers if we follow this legal advice in our daily lives.

    Governments are important. Being empowered by fellow citizens to sit in public office is a duty, and a responsibility. We don’t expect perfection, but we do expect mature leadership from elected officials humble enough to know that they work for us, not vice-versa. Americans are very forgiving, yet we have had to deal with elected leaders who will not ask for forgiveness. Consequentially, every mistake becomes a partisan argument. We are tired of seeing elected officials defend themselves from accountabilities and apologies with claims of partisanship.

    IF you are an Illinois Democratic leader, you have lost credibility by your position within that party, due to the horrific administration foisted onto this state by your party.

    We will look forward when politicians repair the mistakes in their past.

  3. - IrishPirate - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 9:32 am:

    Quinn needs to learn to take the heat. Canceling a fundraiser because of some protesters is silly, silly, silly as da mare might say. Or sayeth in these Shakespearian times we live in.

    As for the poll it seems to contradict an earlier poll that showed Quinn being relatively popular in terms of job approval. I guess the polls are not mutually exclusive, but I question how much many “real people” are paying to the coming Governor’s race. “Real people” as opposed to the political junkies who inhabit or infest, depending on your point of view, this and other similar websites.

    I refuse to drink the Madigan kool aid. This inevitability argument regarding her electoral chances reminds me of President Hillary Clinton’s campaign………oops……….I mean Secretary of State.

    Quinn obviously has some real weaknesses in terms of fundraising and management style, but somehow I think his populist background will play well against LM’s machine background. The harder elements of the machine work for LM the easier it will be for Quinn to play the defender of the people. How Lisa Madigan can claim to be against tax raises whilst her dad passes them is going to be a hard sell.

    I don’t claim to know how it will work out. The only thing I’m relatively confident about is the ability of the Illinois GOP to find some totally unacceptable statewide candidate to run against the Democratic nominee. I hear the milkman in the background……….

    Now if you will excuse me I need to continue infesting some other sites and see what’s happening in the world.

  4. - Hank - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 9:34 am:

    I’m surprised by the support in the AA community for Madigan. Blago and Emil were always seen as holding the line against the evil Madigan who was to blame for blocking any progress in the state. Granted, the poll is about LM and not MM but I’m still surprised at the numbers

  5. - IrishPirate - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 9:34 am:


    I meant to say “paying attention”.

    I guess I’m suffering my own “slings and arrows of outrageous “typing”.

  6. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 9:35 am:

    === it seems to contradict an earlier poll that showed Quinn being relatively popular in terms of job approval. ===

    That’s addressed in my column…

    === A recent poll taken by Rasmussen Reports had Quinn with a 61 percent job approval rating. But most — 44 percent — only “somewhat” approved. His numbers are soft and he’s vulnerable.

  7. - Cassandra - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 9:39 am:

    Quinn would be in trouble even if he weren’t trying to put through a tax increase that will fall mostly on Illinois’ struggling middle class. He seems to have been take prisoner by the Democrats’ liberal elite wing on the tax issue.
    Taxes are good for us middle class schmucks. We should shut up and pay out and not ask too many questions about where the money might be going. But I’m not sure that’s his problem re getting re-elected.

    Lisa is young, well-spoken, and she has a high-profile job where she gets to prosecute bad guys. Because of Dad, she has huge name recognitions. Obama reportedly likes her. She doesn’t have to deal with this year’s budget.

    Quinn is a poor public speaker and other than his widely publicized middle class tax increase and the usual bromides about ethics, he seems a bit, well, hapless. Sitting atop the old Blago bureaucracy he does give the impression of being, well, a place holder.

    Maybe he can turn it around in this upcoming legislative session. It’s his last chance, really.

  8. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 9:49 am:

    Did Quinn really cancel his appearance at a fundraiser because of 100 protesters, as the story suggests? That seems out of character for him.

  9. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 9:50 am:

    “You know, the thing I’ve always been impressed with — he’s gone to every funeral of every young man killed in Afghanistan in Iraq, no matter what part of the state,” said the mayor, whose son was in the military in Afghanistan. “He doesn’t do it for publicity. He is just thanking them. Very, very interesting.”

    So the Mayor finds this..uh..interesting? That is a crazy thing to say. Why couldn’t Daley just say that he thought this was a nice touch, or a classy thing to do, or a thoughtful gesture, or patriotics? He thought that, right? Then why did he end up changing that into interesting?

    Please. If you are so concerned that saying something positive about a governor may corner you into reporters claiming you support the governor, you are in the wrong business. Daley can support the Governor, yet endorse Madigan. If he does so, he can man-up and tell reporters why he changed his mind. If Daley wants to support Madigan over Quinn, he can make that statement later too.

    But enough with the silly qualifiers. It isn’t interesting. At all.

  10. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 9:52 am:

    Oh, and Cassandra is right about that poll.

  11. - Downstate weed chewing hick - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 9:52 am:

    With the economic crisis Illinois is in, the Governor is forced to make very unpopular choices. It is not possible to pass a budget without angering darn near everyone. Pat Quinn should accept the fact that he has to carry the water on those tough choices. It means that he will only be governor for 2 years. Skip the campaigning and serve the people of Illinois now, when they need the leadership.

  12. - History Lesson - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 9:53 am:

    Maybe Quinn is just repeating history.

    After he received his death sentence at the Nuremburg War Tribunal Hermann Goring reportedly said:

    “No, I don’t think apologies are necessary,” adding that citizens “do not want to look backwards.”

  13. - IrishPirate - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 10:01 am:

    I suggest you look up the term “Godwin’s law” regarding the Goering comparison.

    Quinn may be many things, but using a Goering quote was silly, silly, silly. Or perhaps the mayor would say “interesting”.

  14. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 10:01 am:

    What’s with the apology crusade? If everybody who enabled Blago had to apologize for their actions then I guess Quinn should be in the line, however, virtually every democratic official had the crook on their palm cards-all getting their orders from the father of the proverbial gubernatorial bride. I guess the whole party should join hands, sing Kumbaya and ask for repentance.

    I get the feeling the day after Quinn apologizes the headlines will read “Quinn accepts blame for Blago.”

    As long as I read story shorts like Quinn re-opens historic sights and vows they will stay open and Quinn opens Dana Thomas House-I know he is trying to doing his job and that’s good enough for me.

    The guy that should apologize is in California pumping bad TV shows.

  15. - dan l - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 10:09 am:

    Not to mention the Illinois republicans who’s ineptitude might be directly responsible as well…..

  16. - History Lesson - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 10:10 am:

    The Goring “quote” was used for its comedic value, not to win an argument. Lighten up pal!

  17. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 10:14 am:

    ==Cassandra is right about that poll==

    I’m still googling “bromide” :-)

  18. - IrishPirate - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 10:17 am:

    Sorry History Lesson I missed your exquisite sense of humor in that post. I like to think of myself as not only funny looking, but funny. However, the humor in Nazi comparisons always escapes me.

    I guess I’ll go lighten up now. The lakefront bike path beckons………….

  19. - History Lesson - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 10:54 am:

    Hey, IrishPirate, go ask Mel Brooks………he’s made millions on this comparison.

  20. - Central IL Guy - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 1:19 pm:

    I have to agree with Mr. Whoopee, this apology stuff is pretty silly. Blago was enabled by a whole host of politicians and voters, including myself. I voted for him the first time around. Where do I get in line?

    Maybe some of Quinn’s ideas are not well thought out for dealing with our mess, but at least he’s trying.

  21. - Tom Joad - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 1:40 pm:

    I don’t see a comparison between a doctor or nurse expressing their compassion to a patient’s relative for a bad outcome of a medical procedure and Quinn apologizing for being on the ticket with Blagoyavich. The hospital situation is about compassion for someone who has just received bad news and had nothing to do with it. Quinn apologizing to voters who voted for Blagovich several years before, and were misled by Blagovich like everyone else, is more like commiseration than compassion.

  22. - joe - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 2:07 pm:

    Rich, it seems that you are a big fan of team Madigan. Is this true, and if it is, should you be honest about your support so your readers can have better perspective of your blog’s angle?

  23. - Nellaelad27 - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 2:45 pm:

    Hey Chicago! Take as many polls as you want. The southern border of Illinois does not stop at the Cook county line. It takes the entire state of Illinois to elect a governor and by the way, wasn’t Blago from Chicago?

  24. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 2:52 pm:

    “Chicago” didn’t “take” that poll. The poll was taken of Chicagoans.

    Some people….

  25. - Rambler - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 3:53 pm:

    With all due respect, some of your views are hard to make sense of, IMHO.
    What exactly do you think Quinn should have said about Blago during a campaign in which a vote for Blago and Quinn was one and the same? Blago is a bad guy so don’t vote for us? That would be a political first to my knowledge. Even if he disapproved of Blago (and there was plenty of evidence that he did), he easily might have believed that Blago’s re-election and likely removal from office would be preferable to Ms. Topinka.
    You continually take shots at Quinn for his unpopular tax proposal, which has to be high on the list of the easiest things in the world to do. I have yet to see your credible, popular tax and budget proposal.
    Let me be clear that I think you do a great job with the site and provide a valuable service to Illinois voters. But some of this Quinn bashing appears to be taking the easy route.

  26. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 4:00 pm:

    ===What exactly do you think Quinn should have said about Blago during a campaign in which a vote for Blago and Quinn was one and the same?===

    The column is about what he should say now, not what he should’ve said then.

  27. - colby - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 4:26 pm:

    Interesting poll, but only polling Chicago seems to only answer half the question. Could Quinn make up this margin downstate?

  28. - dan l - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 7:21 pm:

    Hey Chicago! Take as many polls as you want. The southern border of Illinois does not stop at the Cook county line.

    Yeah lol. Southern border of Illinois is I-80.

  29. - Loop Lady - Friday, Apr 24, 09 @ 7:39 pm:

    and Lisa’s Dad chaired Blago’s committee TWICE…

  30. - phocion - Saturday, Apr 25, 09 @ 9:39 am:

    Rich, by your logic, shouldn’t you be demanding that Obama apologize to us for his support of Todd Stroger?

  31. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 27, 09 @ 3:20 pm:

    –Yeah lol. Southern border of Illinois is I-80.–

    No sir, it’s the Ohio River. Statue of George Rogers Clark at Ft. Massac, Metropolis. Cairo is a continental landmarkl, just as is where the Missouri runs into the Mississippi around Alton..

    North to South, East to West, it;s magnificent — rich, smart and lucky.

    Times are tough, and people are scared. But don’t kid yourselves — take a look around the world. We’ve got one of the best spots and situations on the planet. What we make of it is on us.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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