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Question of the day

Thursday, Jun 29, 2006

Rate Pat Quinn’s performance as lt. governor.

Also, as a bonus question, is GOP LG candidate Joe Birkett an asset to the ticket or a drag? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 8:59 am:

    The old Pat Quinn = 9. He was a true populist. Insiders mocked him, but he was often right on point.

    PQ under Blago = 4. He has abandoned his principles and has repeatedly stayed silent through all of the misdoings of his boss, even when his boss jammed Pat on some of Pat’s own initiatives.

    The irony is that Pat could have beaten Rod in the primary.

  2. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 9:05 am:

    Pat is great, but he has been neutered by this administration. He cannot speak out as the guy he is because it will conflict with the governor. I am very disappointed that he decided to stay on with this sinking ship.

    As for Burkett, he is a plus. Just as conservatives jeered Quinn, liberals hate Burkett. Obviously tolerance and diversity are only acceptable to liberals when it agrees with their prejudices.

  3. - Niles Township - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 9:15 am:

    Pat is one of the few true public servants IL has, despite some of his crazy press conferences. Pre-Rod he was a 9, with Rod he is a 10 on some issues, veterans affairs and environmental issues, but a 5 - 6 on speaking out about other issues like corruption. He has done that occasionally, but needs to do it more often. Lt. Gov. is an interesting position for Pat. It gives him the freedom to do whatever he wants becuase of the lack of formal duties, but it also ties his hands in going against the administration too much. Perhaps he’ll run for SOS if Jesse White retires in 2010. I’m not sure what other position there is on a statewide ticket for him.

  4. - Randall Sherman, Secretary/Treasurer, Illinois Committee for Honest Government - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 9:18 am:

    Pat Quinn has done as much as any Lt. Governor can under our state constitution. It’s too bad he’s saddled with that sociopath piece of rat manure (AKA Gov. Elvis) in this election.

    As for “Albatross” Joe Birkett, he may be the biggest asset to the Blagojevich campaign.

  5. - can't imagine - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 9:39 am:

    Randall Come on!! Enough is enough. I think you have overstepped the boundaries!!! Your description of the Gov is one thing but to defame the name of Elvis!!! There are limits.

  6. - Pete Granata - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 9:51 am:

    Quinn has been top shelf. Birkett will drive more Demos back to Blago than conservatives to Judy.

  7. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 10:12 am:

    Sherman and Granata are correct. Quinn has done a better than solid job as Lt. Governor. The squawking that Quinn refuses to throw bricks at the Governor is absurd. Throwing bricks at the Governor is my job — and apparently Randall Sherman’s.

    As for Birkett, conservatives may love him, but the Tribune hates him, and since this election is likely to be decided by suburban women, that’s bad news for Topinka.

  8. - Yeah... - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 10:34 am:

    In a four way race Joe still took more than half of the votes. Doesn’t sound like much of a drag to me…

  9. - Anon - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 10:41 am:

    Pat Quinn has failed. Staying silent in IL’s worst administration is his downfall.

    Joe is a great man, I agree with “yeah,” pulling half the votes doesn’t sound like a drag. He’s honest and a fighter… literally

  10. - Reddbyrd - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 10:50 am:

    PQ is the best since Paaaul Simon

    Too bad Illinoisans are too wraught up about wrongful executions, because it would be fun to see the gallows and guillotine erected outside the Brickhead’s 2nd floor office. Sadly he can never win and flip the switch

  11. - Cesane - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 10:52 am:

    Pat Quinn goes off on fringe issues. There’s an odd guy who worked for him (and may still work for him) named Gerry Galloway, who was involved in that Aurora mayoral race (his guy has turned out be to a dud of a mayor). If Pat Quinn has any sense, he will speak against cronyism and corruption at Chicago’s City Hall and Cook County, if not his own Governor.

    Birkett is a definite plus for Topinka and makes conservatives feel less queasy about voting for her.

  12. - anon - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 11:01 am:

    Pat Quinn has chosen to stay on the sinking Blago ship of state rather than live up to his reputation as a statesman.

    As for Birkett, if the battle is in the suburbs, what better running mate than the most popular republican in the suburbs. Why don’t the Dems run anyone against him in the State’s Atty race if he’s so unpopular?

    And the Tribune? Please. Everyone they endorse in a tight race in IL loses.

  13. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 11:12 am:

    Yeah — Joe Birkett’s problem isn’t that Republicans don’t like him. His problem is that Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 2-1 in Illinois. In addition, it gives Madigan a strong reason to work against the Topinka-Birkett ticket.

    anon - The most popular Republican in the suburbs is Denny Hastert, not Joe Birkett. And it’s not the Tribune endorsements that kill you, it’s the news stories. Like the recent three-part series on how flawed the death penalty is.

  14. - Chris Davis - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 11:18 am:

    Joe Birkett is a total plus to the ticket.

    Joe has solid crime fighting credentials and executive experience, and would have been a credible candidate for governor in his own right.

    As far as the electoral angle goes, here’s “an inconvenient truth” for you; Joe came within a hair of defeating Lisa Madigan, despite being outspent by more than 3-1 in a Democratic year in what is essentially a Democratic state. He is popular with conservatives, but the ‘02 results reflect a much broader popularity.

    Joe is an asset in the campaign, and an asset to help govern.

  15. - Not So Fast - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 11:28 am:

    Birkett doesn’t seem very smart to me; you wonder how he passed the bar. I bet he went to John Marshall.

    Solid crime fighter? Didn’t one of his employees steal a half million dollars from a crime victims fund right under his nose? Hasn’t he totally bungled the Nicarico matter? Doesn’t he think shooting a naked, unarmed man is justified?

  16. - Garp - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 11:41 am:

    Pat Quinn is an honest politician. If you don’t believe it-go to his fundraiser tonight at O’Briens and see all the big shot money guys that won’t be there. They can’t get anything from him.

  17. - incredulous - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 11:43 am:

    YDD, you are predicting that the Tribune will endorse Blagojevich-Quinn because they don’t like Topinka’s running mate?

  18. - QueenB - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 11:52 am:

    Sherman, if I remember correctly, the albatross was a ship’s good luck until somebody killed it. You noted the wrong ship. Go read a poem.

    Joe is definitely an asset to Judy’s campaign, and not only for the fact that he keeps conservatives from voting for Rod out of spite. He pulled an incredible 51 percent in a four-way primary. He’s well-liked in suburban Cook and the collar counties. And, he’s got a tough-on-crime, “Git R Done” persona from his experiences with the state police, corrections, and homeland security that ensures he won’t just be a token second-in-command waiting around for his day in the sun.

  19. - illrino - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 12:04 pm:

    We have a lieutenant governor?

  20. - Gregor - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 12:39 pm:

    I think Quinn is among the few good people in this administration, I have admired him and his causes for some time, and he’s done very well with what he’s been given to work with.

    He is going to make a very capable caretaker governor when Rod is carried away in cuffs.

    My fantasy is that this happens as soon as next week, and that Pat takes a “what the hell, take as many down with me as I can” approach, and runs the government as it should be and damn the special interests and insiders. Declare he’s a one-termer, forget any and all campaign contributions and shady deals, make the hard choices like Otto had to, roust out the crooks and leave the state better than when he got it.

    A guy can dream, anyway.

  21. - bored now - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 1:00 pm:

    quinn’s done a suberb job raising issues that need to be heard and keeping others alive that the ptb might like to see dead. while i understand why people might like to see him take on the governor, that sounds kinda like suicide (plus, we have ydd for these dangerous missions!), not smart politics, to me. quinn’s definitely too smart for that. he’s got a good head on his shoulders and apparently an innate sense of the media. fascinating to watch. but i think it’s always difficult for politicians with honor to deal with those without it.

    plus, he was always available when the white socks needed someone to throw out the first ball! no question about that.

    as for birkett, it’s really hard to say what effect he’ll have. i don’t think he’ll be a drag on the ticket, but he doesn’t seem to have solidified the conservative voters yet, either. he’s kind of a lazy campaigner anyway…

  22. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 1:02 pm:

    Pat Quinn has been somewhat effective in the *very* limited governmental duties that he has in a useless position. Ummm…useless, that is, unless something unseemly happens to the sitting gov…which might happen once every 100 years or so. Are we due?

    He has taken an interest in environmental issues like Plum Island, IL River wetlands and the Indeck power plant proposal, which emphasis would not be apparent in this admin except for Pat’s presence.

    As far as Birkett’s presence on the ticket, I can’t see it influencing the gubernatorial vote more than 1% or 2% either way. After all, this will be a Referendum on Rod, and your choices as a voter are either Rod or Not Rod.

  23. - bomber91 - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 1:07 pm:

    I’ve come to be a Pat Quinn fan. He has been very proactive with veterans’ issues (I am a veteran). He has also been helping a certain collegiate legislative simulation I am involved with deal with some funding problems with no fanfare whatsoever.

    If he was like his “boss”, you would have read all about it in every newspaper in the state. This does not mean that I will vote for him in the fall. A person doesn’t vote for the second spot on the ticket.

    As for Birkett, I voted for him in the primary because the Rausch got a little loony in the end. Time will tell about his effect on the ticket.

  24. - John S. Matijevich - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 1:18 pm:

    ……..considering the constraints of the Lt. Gov. position, Pat Quinn has been very effective. He is still consumer-taxpayer friendly.

  25. - HoosierDaddy - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 1:24 pm:

    Rate what? The LG position should be eliminated by the next con-con. The next in line of succession should be the SOS.

  26. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 1:55 pm:

    Mr. Quinn should address corruption issues and promote reform legislation.

    Mr. Birkett should emphasize his education plan of ensuring at least 65% of every public education dollar is going into the classroom, not administration.

  27. - chinman - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 1:57 pm:

    Could the real Pat Quinn please return from the spaceship?
    Who cut out his tounge?
    Birkett is a cop. Nobody likes pigs.

  28. - One Man Can Make A Difference Foundation - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 2:00 pm:

    After reading the Governor’s Offices response to Pat Quinn yesterday, I agree with Randle Sherman.

    I also agree that Joe Birkett is an asset.

  29. - One Man Can Make A Difference Foundation - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 2:09 pm:

    To continue my comment, in the past it was my belief that the Lt. Governor should have more input in the operation of government.

    However, it appears that the Governor’s office doesn’t want him to have that type of input.

    So he’s doing what he can. Yet, I still believe that he should denounce some of the actions of the Governor’s office since it is apparent that Rod is not in control, someone else is.

    I believe that the Lt. Governor should have the same authority as the Governor in terms of operating government services. Like a business or corporation, the Lt. Governor is like the Vice-President of the corporation.

  30. - Little Egypt - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 2:33 pm:

    As the parent of a son serving our country in Iraq and most definitely in harms way being imbedded with 700 Iraqi military, Pat Quinn is top drawer. He has gone above and beyond to support the families of those military who have given their life for us and he has done so quietly until the past few months when the press figured out he was attending funerals. Quinn is doing as much as Blago will allow him to do. It would not take much for Quinn to overshadow this sorry a$$ governor.

  31. - Good government - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 2:52 pm:

    Pat Quinn? Superb record. One of the rare individuals who is both a talented administrator and a talented politician. Fights for what he believes in but applies common sense. Can work with different factions but will take on the Establishment when it’s wrong. Would be a terrific governor, which still may happen if Blago is taken down by the Feds. Unfortunately, he has an aversion to raising money so that’s his best bet.

  32. - NIEVA - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 2:59 pm:

    Pat who?

  33. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 3:00 pm:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t Pat Quinn conscientiously object to millitary service before supporting our troops became politically popular again?

  34. - Anon - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 3:15 pm:

    The mystery to me is why Pat Quinn, one of the more outspoken members of the General Assembly in his legislative days, providing his two cents on everything, has become a taciturn lap dog for Blago’s administration.

    As for Birkett, he’s an incredible asset to the ticket. He’s been demonstrably effective in fighting crime and corruption, and provides much needed energy to the campaign.

  35. - Larry Horse - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 4:20 pm:

    I was in Pat Quinn’s district when he was in the General Assembly and I remember that he was always very involved in the community and fighting for us. I think that’s why he was shafted out of a committee chairmanship.

  36. - Hmmmmm - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 4:23 pm:

    Pat Quinn was never in the Legislature

    Just Saying

  37. - Lt. Guv - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 4:48 pm:

    Quinn - 4

    Birkett - Lead weight. He’s too tightly wound and comes off like a rabid dog.

  38. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 5:38 pm:

    I think the question most voters will be grapping with in the fall is “Who in the world is Pat Quinn?”

    Joe Birkett is a tremendous boost for the ticket; he received over 51% in the primary, is well known and liked by conservatives — especially in Cook and the collars. This state sorely needs Birkett, who has decades of experience in law enforcement and with the legal system to take charge of our state’s homeland security, prisons, and state police.

  39. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 5:55 pm:

    Um, Larry? Quinn was never in the legislature.

  40. - angry and outraged - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 6:39 pm:

    I wasn’t even sure we had a Lt. Governor until he came out the other day and lashed out at Blago for not coming out to intervene on the Sheridan Correctional Facility strike. Kudos to Quinn for that! I grant you Birkett comes off as Mr. Roboto, not unlike Al Gore, but I think he has integrity which God knows after this administration Illinios needs!

  41. - Beowulf - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 6:40 pm:

    Pat Quinn is a decent guy. He loses some luster for future political consideration because of his silence on some of the events that the old Pat Quinn would have spoken out about.

    Joe Birkett is also a decent, no nonsense type of guy. Yes, he pulled quite a few votes in his primary race but that was because he had Judy’s supporters and the Illinois Republican Party under Andy McKenna pushing him along.

    By the way, what is it that the Lt. Governor does anyway? Just teasing. I feel sorry for both Quinn and Birkett. They both have more to offer in politics than the positions that they were given. As Farmer John would say, “They are about as relevant as teats on a boar hog.”

  42. - Lovie's Leather - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 7:06 pm:

    Jonathan Quinn was an awful backup quarterback. Pat Quinn? Who cares as long as he is a back-up governor?

  43. - Bondi Girl - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 7:31 pm:

    Pat is a hard working real person. He travels sans entourage…no one holds his hairbrush…beleive it or not, the LG’s office has several duties defined by the State statutes…I have had many ocasions to work with him during my tenure as a state agency employee and have found him to be prepared for meetings, on time, and knowledgeable of the issues which he addresses…he works himself and his staff to the bone…look at his work on the IL River Coordinating Council, Veteran’s issues, and environmental bills to protect public health via through several legislative bills…

    Birkett turns me off, a suburban Cook County female voter…he may be intelligent but way too strident for me…his work on the Nicarico case makes me wonder about his integrity…

  44. - B Hicks - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 8:51 pm:

    Pat Quinn, great Lt. Governor. Rod Blagojevich, excellent Governor.

    Joe (Wally Cleaver) Birkett will be demonstrably effective in undoing the 2006 GOP gubernatorial ticket.

  45. - Middle Majority - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 9:55 pm:

    I respect Pat Quinn, even when I disagree with him. He always had principles. I understand the fiscal and political constraints that govern his actions now, but I must agree that the “old” Pat Quinn could not have been silent about some of the corruption issues that are surfacing now. And if Pat Quinn believes the corruption charges are baseless, then I want to hear his defense of the administration. His past reputation would carry some weight in the discussion if he spoke out. Silence, however, is damning.

  46. - Lovie's Leather - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 9:55 pm:

    Hmm… great job partisans, The love for Quinn and the hate for Birkett or vice-a-versa crowds are always nice to see. So let me go non-partisan for you. Screw ‘em both. I am sure they are both fine people. But they want to be Lite gov. It’s like wanting to be Robin instead of Batman. You played these games as a kid, right? The kids that wanted to be Robin were always a little wierd….

  47. - Faceman - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 10:55 pm:

    Pat Quin who? Ask any average voter who Pat Quin is, let alone what he has acomplished. If you’re a high ranking democrat in this state and don’t speak out against Blago, you obviously support him.

    Joe Birkett has been nothing but an asset to the Topinka campaign. In the 2002 GOP AG primary, he won every county in the state and has a consistent reputation among prosecutors and law makers a sucessful state’s attorney and public servant.

    And to the guy who claims Rod Blagojevic, “excellent governor” have you watched the news or read an IL newspaper? maybe left your house at all?

    Joe Birkett is a strong conservative who balances the ticket in the GOP’s favor. What do the dem’s bring to the table? A joke of a playboy governor whose office is under continous federal investigation and reads nothing but his name on the front page claiming to be giving jobs for favors. He’s either stupid or he’s lying and in either case needs to go.

  48. - Jeff Trigg - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 12:17 am:

    If Pat Quinn has spent more than $1 of taxpayer money he has been a shameless drain on the poor people of Illinois. There is absolutely no reason to have a Lt. Governor position, let alone spend any of the poor people’s money on it. Shame on Pat Quinn for STEALING poor people’s money!!! Give them their money back you communist!!!

    The ONLY thing Birkett should be saying in his campaign is PUT ME OUT OF A JOB by eliminating my office. Anything else he says he will do with the office is continued STEALING OF POOR PEOPLE’S MONEY.

    Juda Baar Topinka has agreed the Lt. Governor position should be eliminated, how about Rod Blagojevich? Sounds like a good campaign piece for Topinka to me. (I hate Topinka more than most, so don’t even try.)

  49. - Faceman - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 12:27 am:

    Mind posting the quote and source of when she said the post of Lt. Governor should be eliminated?

  50. - The Conservative - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 12:46 am:

    Joe is a great guy and I support him strongly, that said it still will not get me to support Judy and I think a lot of other conservatives feel the same. It is to bad because Blago is going down.

  51. - Jeff Trigg - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 1:26 am:

    “From the State Capitol in Springfield: State Treasurer Judy Barr Topinka is joined by House Republican Leader, Representative Tom Cross and Senate Republican Leader, Senator Frank Watson at a press conference in which they announce their plan to combine the Treasurer’s office with the Comptroller’s office and eliminate the office of the Lieutenant Governor. The Republican leaders claim this will save the state between $4 million to $15 million a year and will lead to better operations within state government.

    Recorded February 4, 2004. Aired the week of February 9, 2004. 12 minutes”

  52. - Jeff Trigg - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 1:46 am:

    I know there were some news articles on it at the time but I can’t find them. I remember this because the Libertarians had been advocating getting rid of the Comptroller and Lt. Governor since at least 1986. That source and quote I only have a photocopy of somewhere.

  53. - Suburbanon - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:36 am:

    For once Quinn is playing politics like a fox. Before he would immediately shoot off his mouth and get great headlines but quickly be marginalized. Now he is picking and choosing his fights, getting quality headlines, and earning some respect. Before he would risk his office for a crusade, now he realizes that principles alone don’t keep you warm at night. He knows that you have to be in the tent, even if it means occasionally holding your nose, in order to win the big important battles.

    I’m actually starting to like him again and so are a lot of Democrats and independent voters. If he has truly learned how to be a “statesman” then his opportunity to become head of state may come much sooner than later.

  54. - PalosParkBob - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 8:29 am:

    Pat Quinn is now thinking more and more like a politician. He used to be an unpopular voice for saying what he thought was right, rather than popular. That’s the difference between being a leader and a politician.

    Now he’s avoiding controversey. Has he changed his mindset or just his image? Either way, I no longer trust him.

    Joe Birkett has failed to define himself to the voters, but it’s not his only his fault.

    He can’t go out espousing his policies on the huge and onerous income tax increase being planned, talk about education reform, medicaid reform, changing state policy on services provided to illegal aliens in Illinois, tort reform, and judical and prosecutorial reform until “leader” JBT does.

    Until he shows us more than his toothy grin, he’s an empty suit to voters outside DuPage County.

  55. - Reddbyrd - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 8:52 am:

    And the final results……
    Pat Quinn Great Guy and he would have been a great legislator if he had not been busy cutting the House by 1/3 :)
    Brickhead Joe — Biggest iediment to success since that Iceberg that jumped up and bit the Titanic.
    Judy Bore —Opps. Now AccordionGal has to explain this policy snafu. Maybe she’ll send out TomCross& to explain “what was she thinking.”

  56. - Not So Fast - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 11:23 am:

    Funny how JBT acknowledges that we don’t need both a treasurer and a comptroller when she has decided to move on.

    In late November, Birkett announced that he would not run for State-wide office (presumably after polls showed he had no chance for governor or AG). The stated reason was that his office was too busy. A few weeks later, JBT asks him to run for lieutenant governor and he accepts. Isn’t lieutenant governor a State-wide office? And did the DuPage State’s Attorney’s Office suddenly get “unbusy” or was the supposed business a lie?

  57. - T.J. - Sunday, Jul 2, 06 @ 6:34 pm:

    Birkett legitimizes the ticket somewhat.

  58. - Debbi - Monday, Nov 6, 06 @ 9:28 am:

    I’d love to be able to see his stand on the issues, but browsing through his extensive website, and NO INFO! WTF? But links on everything else, including a whole section oh “How you can support him”. I am open minded and liberal, but how can I be objective if I am shown nothing.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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