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Déjà vu all over again

Monday, Aug 24, 2009

* On Friday morning, I suggested that Gov. Pat Quinn’s call for the resignations of two African-American U of I trustees looked a lot like Quinn’s failed demand that Roland Burris resign from the US Senate.

By the end of the day, it was Déjà vu all over again

Congressman Bobby Rush says Governor Pat Quinn should stop asking two University of Illinois Trustees to resign. […]

In a letter sent to Governor Quinn [Friday], Rush calls trustee James Montgomery an “outstanding citizen.” And he says trustee Frances Carroll is a person of honor and high moral character.

Rush, of course, played the race card right off the bat with the Burris appointment, and kept up the heat when Quinn took over as governor and pushed for Burris’ ouster.

And Eric Zorn isn’t making Quinn’s task any easier…

Did making a few phone calls on behalf of applicants they felt were deserving of admission to the U of I despite falling below conventional threshholds constitute such malfeasance that it demands termination? Well then we should be demanding the resignations of numerous state lawmakers who did the same.

Does remaining silent or failing to investigate when there were certainly major hints that all was not on the square rise to the level of neglect of duty? Well then Quinn himself should resign for being a silent enabler and occasional apologist for now indicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, his running mate in 2002 and 2006.

If those responsible for the “Clout Goes to College” scandal start losing their jobs or resigning in order of culpability, from the top down, and we get to Carroll and Montgomery on that list, then yes, they should go. But until then, this still looks like grandstanding and symbolism.


And now comes word that today’s absolute deadline has been pushed back yet again

But Quinn told reporters Sunday that he’ll be at a military funeral in Romeoville on Monday and will instead act later in the week.

Using a military funeral as an excuse is typical Pat Quinn.

* Meanwhile, Comptroller Dan Hynes whacked Gov. Quinn again yesterday. This time, it was over a Chicago Tribune report that the IEPA was allegedly not doing its job. From the AP summary

Dozens of criminal cases against polluters were not pursued because former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration would not refer cases to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, according to a published report Sunday.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has not sent a criminal case to Madigan’s office for two years, according to a Chicago Tribune story, which cited interviews, state records and memos. By contrast, in 2003, the IEPA sent nearly 30 cases to the attorney general’s office.

The report said members of the ousted governor’s administration refused to work with Madigan’s office due to political feuding.

Quinn held a press conference with IEPA Director Doug Scott and Attorney General Lisa Madigan yesterday and praised Scott’s performance

“Doug’s been a good friend of mine,” Quinn said. “I worked with him as lieutenant governor and governor on this mission … to make sure that we have a healthful environment for every person in Illinois.”

Which led to this attack by Hynes…

“It is troubling enough that Governor Quinn has failed to act on this matter. I am appalled, however, that even in light of the facts revealed in the Tribune that Governor Quinn would praise Scott’s tenure in office.”

“The Governor’s inexplicable delay in removing Blagojevich appointees, from Director Scott to his budget team, prevents our state from moving forward. Governor Quinn likes to talk about making tough choices. This is not a tough choice - it’s a no-brainer,” Hynes said.

Director Scott, however, claimed the Trib report contained several “factually wrong” items, but didn’t specify what those were.

* Related…

* Lethal bacteria strikes Illinois inmates; prisons fail to notify state: The virulent bacterial disease, which over decades has developed a resistance to antibiotics, also has infected guards and even visitors. Those infected can become carriers for life with the potential of infecting relatives.

* Quinn grapples with prison cuts amid budget mess

* IFDA financial adviser’s hearing delayed

* Ill. reverses course, funds indigent burial expenses

* State cuts free tuition for vets; SIUE will cover them anyway

* Quinn: Ethics reform action this week

* Illinois Governor Must Act on HB 723 in Next Three Days

* Comptroller race has its first candidate - Former state Deputy Treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi seeking post

* Showdown coming at U of I; 2 trustees trying to hang on

* U. of I. students on campus react to clout admissions scandal

* U of I trustees who resigned push to get jobs back

* Clout no help at SIU medical school

* Can Anita Alvarez ‘Just Say No?’: That also may be harder to do to the one prominent Democrat who endorsed Alvarez back in her highly competitive primary was then-Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn. He stood with Alvarez when none of the other old boys were in sight.

* Blagojevich prosecutor didn’t want impeachment case to end quietly: “I wanted a fight,” David Ellis said. “I wanted them to challenge me every step of the way, because I thought I could overcome that challenge.”

* Judge refused to open all Blagojevich records

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Will County Woman - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 10:23 am:

    Zorn is 100 percent correct, and that is a fair and totally appropriate line of attack on Quinn.
    Quinn’s problem here, beyond the hypocrisy that Zorn points out, is the fact that he has delayed his final action yet again. His repeated delays leaves the door wide open for attacks and inquiries such as Zorn’s. Now, Zorn has people scratching their heads and saying, yeah governor how about that?

    If memory serves Zorn and/o the Tribune Editorial Board questioned Quinn years ago about why he was so mum on Blago’s shennanigans? If memory serves they didn’t understand how Quinn could be so silent and act as if nothing was wrong. In all fairness we know that Quinn found his voice in 2007—well after he and Blago won their bid for re-election, but still.

  2. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 10:29 am:

    A chief executive is supposed to have these things lined up before he speaks.

    Quinn is in a dangerous political territory of perceived weakness that Hynes is now exploiting: He tries to intimidate Burris and the U of I trustees out, and they call his bluff; yet he also doesn’t seem to have the courage of his convictions and fumigate the Blago types as promised.

    I bet we’re going to see a lot more stories about Blago holdovers before the primary.

  3. - fed up - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 10:34 am:

    Quinn just doesnt have what it takes to be in charge and he shows it daily. He is better off cashing his paychecks while ignoring corruption for 6 years. He will cave in and not remove the trustees and being a coward he will drag this out and make it worse

  4. - Captain Flume - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 10:36 am:

    The Governor himself is a Blagojevich holdover, being elected on the same ticket. But the Democratic Party supported both in the past two gubernatorial elections, so I find criticism coming from party regulars and current officeholders teetering toward hypocritical.

  5. - Leroy - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 10:36 am:

    Romeoville? Quinn is spending a lot of time in northern Illinois these days….how’s that state plane doing?

    I remember we tore the former governor a new one because he was overusing the state plane.

    Were we just using that as a issue for a political attack on Blago, who we all hated, or was that a legitimate issue?

    Seem like the former to me now.

  6. - Captain Flume - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 10:42 am:

    I’m not sure where to find information on this, but it might interesting to see a list of board and commission appointees of the former Governor being re-appointed by the current Governor, U of I trustees notwithstanding, as terms expire.

  7. - Scooby - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 10:48 am:

    Blagojevich prosecutor didn’t want impeachment case to end quietly: “I wanted a fight,” David Ellis said.

    How professional.

  8. - Betsy - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 10:54 am:

    Quinn is at a military funeral today? How come he did not lower the flags for this person?

    The last one was on 8/4/09

  9. - Will County Woman - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 10:57 am:

    Anita Alvarez will endorse quinn becuase she does owe him.

    But, might Dan Hynes be endorsed later down the pike by a good friend and considerably more prestigious county officer holder who has made international headlines, in a good way, in first his first term as a county office holder?

    (*Thinking* Why am I writing like Michael Sneed????? Lord, please forgive me)

  10. - VanillaMan - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 11:09 am:

    Regardless of political party, when corruption or incompetence arises from within a party’s support base, it takes political courage from within that same party to do the right thing and remove the corrupted or incompetent individuals.

    Just as it is nonsense to believe that the Illinois Democratic Party will cut funding from any political program which assists it’s voter base, it is nonsense to believe that Quinn would force out African American office holders and appointees. While he may call them out for their actions and hope - when the fighting begins, Quinn folds.

    Quinn has to be aware that if he wishes to take a stand, he needs to see it through. Quinn lost votes with his recent dust-ups with the Board, backing down doesn’t win them back. He further damages himself with independant and open-minded voters who expect house cleanings without regards to partisanship and loses their votes too.

    When a political party has been in power as long as the Illinois Democratic Party has been ruling Illinois, it naturally reaches a point where it can no longer reform government - because it has become the government.

  11. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 11:20 am:

    ===Just as it is nonsense to believe that the Illinois Democratic Party will cut funding from any political program which assists it’s voter base===

    I suggest you take a look at the current budget.

  12. - Chi Gal - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 11:21 am:

    Leroy - I was recently thinking the same thing when listening to Quinn recently comment about living in the “people’s house,” unlike his predecessor. It certainly is a minor issue, in light of everything else going on in the state, but for months now he has had a daily press conference or bill signing in Chicago and the Sun Times regularly publicizes his night life, which also seems to revolve around Chicago. He may have clothes hanging in the closet in Springfield but that hardly counts as living there. It may be time that he drop that line. And as far as the state plane, I’m not sure he is really using it that much because it seems like he is governing from Chicago!

  13. - VanillaMan - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 11:26 am:

    I suggest you take a look at the current budget.

    Yeah - watch the pea…now tell me under which shell the pea is now?

  14. - TDin47th - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 11:30 am:

    Did anyone catch Governor Palin, er Quinn say yesterday that signing bills always reminds him of the troops? It really is getting pretty disturbing with this guy and the troops.

  15. - Obamarama - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 11:43 am:

    This U of I trustee thing is getting out of hand. At the end of the day, Governor* Quinn would have been better off ignoring it completely. Time and time again he proves himself to be a fickle and incapable leader. Being a populist figurehead and being the executive of a state are two dramatically different things and only one of them suits him.

  16. - Leave a Light on George - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 11:46 am:

    In a statement, Hynes said the Tribune report “reminds us all that the Blagojevich culture of politically driven decisions still has a foothold in Pat Quinn’s administration,”

    Wrong Mr. Hynes. They have long ago established a beachhead and have moved inland. Until/Unless the Blago hold overs are banished Quinn has no chance of success. They know no other way than what’s in it for me and my political sponsor.

  17. - Brother Darryl - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 11:59 am:

    It was reported last week Quinn was a no show in Loami and Williamsville after the storms hit. I thought he lived in the mansion? If he did he would have visited these communities. At Blago came to town

  18. - Chi Gal - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 12:07 pm:

    – VM: Just as it is nonsense to believe that the Illinois Democratic Party will cut funding from any political program which assists it’s voter base, it is nonsense to believe that Quinn would force out African American office holders and appointees. –

    You are correct; he has backed himself into a corner again. This spring he used the impoverished African American community daily in his media appearances to sell his tax increase. Remember, if we were against his tax increase we were personally against those surrounding him. Period! His deliberate positioning helped increase his popularity within the demographic. And also since the spring, he has been openly dating Monica Walker, an influential woman in both the financial and African American communities. Quinn, now on Monica’s arm, is a regular in the happenings of the African American movers and shakers of the community.

    So while working both ends of the spectrum, Quinn has backed himself into a corner. Like any politician, he isn’t making decisions without first calculating votes. I think he will either cave on his demand or he will use his new friends to convince the two trustees to resign but… he will re-appoint them and at yet another press conference, where he will have nothing but glowing comments to make about both of them.

  19. - try4truth - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 12:19 pm:

    Doug Scott is a dedicated, hardworking, honest public servant. To paint him with the brush of Blago’s malfesence is dishonest at best and slander at worst. Dan Hynes has lost my vote. (And I volunteered and voted for him in 2004. He has no credibility any longer)

  20. - Bardo2 - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 12:23 pm:

    I’ve known Doug Scott for almost 15 years now, and can honestly say that a more ethical public servent would be VERY hard to find.

  21. - Read This Article - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 1:18 pm:

    Are you kidding me, the dysfunction at the epa put people in direct harm, and your pal Scott was in charge. You need to read this article:,0,2006600.story

  22. - idot guy - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 1:26 pm:

    Is anyone really surprised by this action from Bobby Rush. Utterly Pathetic

  23. - state worker - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 1:30 pm:

    Why has the former lawyer for EPA,Alec Messina, moved to the Illinois State Fire Marshal office. These political appointees always seem to land on their feet

  24. - Niles Township - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 1:39 pm:

    I’m sick of Bobby Rush…and getting sick of Dan Hynes.

  25. - Quinn T. Sential - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 2:01 pm:

    {He stood with Alvarez when none of the other old boys were in sight.}

    While his endorsement was quite neighborly, it was substantially worthless in comparison to those that helped her privately that actually knew what they were doing.

    All is not quite as rosy at the CCSAO as this article suggests either, so I suspect that political endorsements are the least of her concerns right now and I sure PQ knows it as well.

  26. - Leave a Light on George - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 2:27 pm:


    Being associated with Blago has and will continue to tarnish the reputation of many good people. Fact is, cases that should have been refered to the AG weren’t because of political considerations.

  27. - try4truth - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 2:46 pm:

    Dan Hynes is trying to associate Quinn with Blago.. Nothing more, nothing less. To tarnish the name of a good man for political gain is the lowest thing a politician can do. Yes, cases should have been referred but put the blame on Blago where it belongs. When Blago was removed, cases were being referred once again. Doug Scott only wants to serve. You people want to run him out the door. Please know who and what you are talking about before you try to bring people down.

  28. - Beowulf - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 3:10 pm:

    Although I am a Republican, I have always liked Pat Quinn. I see him as an honest guy. However, Pat is going to start getting whacked at least once a day by Dan Hynes. Dan Hynes is far less likely to keep moving the line back a couple of feet every time someone decides to cross the line in the sand on poor Quinn. Governor Quinn has allowed himself to look weak & ineffectual with his failure to get rid of the two remaining University of Illinois trustees. Everybody knows that if they weren’t African-American, they would be gone like the rest of the trustees by now. Quinn is terrified that someone like Bobby Rush will play the race card against him. God help him if Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were to also jump on race bandwagon against Quinn. As soon as Bobby Rush yelled “race card” there was a puddle of water under Pat Quinn and a big wet spot on the leg of his trousers. Dan Hynd is going to start playing “Whack A Mole” except the mole is being replaced with Pat Quinn from now until Primary Day.

  29. - Cosmic Charlie - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 3:31 pm:

    You don’t have to “try to associate” Quinn with Blago. Quinn did that himself when he ran with Blago the second time. Its certainly a fair association. You can be sure the Republicans will do it.

  30. - try4truth - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 4:22 pm:

    Cosmic, yes, I understand that. What Hynes is doing is tearing someone down in order to hammer that point home. This is what Blago would do and it’s not acceptable. Shame on Dan Hynes!!!

  31. - steve schnorf - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 4:28 pm:

    Truth, for better or worse that’s how campaigns work in Illinois. I think there is no shame in what Hynes is doing, even though I, as you, would prefer that campaigns didn’t work that way. Remember, “JBT was George Ryan’s Treasurer”.

  32. - Lyle - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 4:38 pm:

    Dan Hynes has sunk very low. Where is the outrage from the environmental community? That is because there will not be one. Doug Scott is Springfield’s Mr. Smith. He is honest and hardworking. Hynes’ sleazy Chicago politics will backfire. No reason to attack a good public servant to ignite a lackluster campaign. Lets stop beating up on the quality people that are just trying to do their job and who do it well.

  33. - Central IL Guy - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 5:08 pm:

    I don’t believe Doug Scott’s ethics and dedication should be questioned. Unfortunately, he got caught up in a power struggle between the Blagojevich administration and AG. If there is one area where Scott could be criticized, it’s that he’s relied heavily on “holdovers” from the Edgar and Ryan administrations to handle the day-to-day affairs at IEPA. While this approach provided continuity, he probably should have looked outside the agency to help fill some of the senior level positions.

  34. - macoupin county - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 7:41 pm:

    Wordslinger is right! Quinn has backpeddled on everything! Fumigation, Teachers Union BS and U of I BS! Who cares if Doug Scott is a nice guy he didn’t do his job! If those cases were suppose to go to the AG’s Office and there were ethical violations they should have been reported. Give us all a break. There will be many many more stories come out, just wait and see. I had such high hopes for Quinn and he has let us all down.

  35. - hangdog - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 9:45 pm:

    Someone (Rich?) should look into the Special Attorney General (SAG) status of the IEPA’s legal staff. It is there you may discover why referals stopped going from IEPA to the AG.

  36. - Bobs yer - Monday, Aug 24, 09 @ 10:04 pm:

    I just love seeing Illinois Dems trapped by racial politics. It works great for them for years, then they get caught up with the inevitable Burris-type situation. So Quinn….try and get out of this one.


  37. - Truth Teller - Tuesday, Aug 25, 09 @ 1:28 am:

    I have also known Doug Scott, Blago’s roomate and best friend for several years. He ran for state representative against a really nice Democratic women and then was a terrible mayor and the people of Rockford bounced him out on his ear. He is not well-liked by many people and is widely known to be a “go along get along” political hack. He may be hardworking, but he doesn’t accomplish much and his “ethics” in his dealings, both political and at work are questionable. The EPA never used to be a “political” agency but it certainly became one under Scott’s direction. He added several highly paid “management” positions and charges taxpayers for his travel to his Chicago and Springfield offices because he didn’t want to be inconvenienced by having to leave Rockford - he just created himself an office there. How many agency directors live in their home city? Not many unless they live in Chicago or Springfield. It must really be riling Soctt that Hynes called for his outster - since Scott endorsed Hynes for US Senate instead of Barck Obama. He always goes along with the party line. Are you surprised that he would do anything different at the EPA? Maybe justice will be served for the environment and the people of Illinois. Quinn should ask for his resignation. He is toxic goods no matter how much he resembles “Opie”. Don’t be fooled. He ain’t the nice guy he likes people to think he is. He obviously has some people, including Governor Quinn fooled though. Its just a matter of time before all the truth about Scott comes out. Stay tuned.

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