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More on the U of I, Hynes and “fumigation”

Thursday, Aug 27, 2009

* Gov. Pat Quinn’s refusal to fire the last two U of I trustees yesterday prompted a furious response from the perpetually furious Chicago Tribune editorial board. Today’s edit is entitled: Quinn caves

Gov. Pat Quinn offered a fine rationale Wednesday for firing James Montgomery and Frances Carroll, University of Illinois trustees who refuse to resign in the wake of a serious scandal at the school. Then Quinn caved. He said he’s leaving Montgomery and Carroll on the U. of I. board. With that, Quinn again proved that the people of Illinois cannot rely on him for decisive leadership. Seven months into his tenure, he is the incredible shrinking governor.

Quinn gave an excruciatingly repetitive explanation Wednesday — he does that when he’s anxious — for not dumping the two trustees. It was as if he tried to convince himself there’s justification for his inaction. There isn’t. […]

The governor allegedly is a bold populist. Time and again, though, he won’t stand firm if doing so would offend someone powerful: […]

Enough caves, Governor. Suck it up.

Bethany Jaeger takes a look at Dan Hynes’ response

Comptroller Dan Hynes, who is a Democratic opponent against Quinn in the February primary election, sent a statement through his campaign that said Quinn mishandled the situation from the beginning. “Yesterday, Gov. Quinn said he would act on the University of Illinois trustees issue with ‘certainty and with dispatch.’ Today he did neither. Unfortunately there is little that is certain about the ultimate resolution of a scandal first revealed last May, and acting with dispatch would have resolved this matter well before the students returned to class.”

Hynes did not say whether he would have forced the resignation of the remaining two trustees. A call to his campaign was not immediately returned.

UPDATED: I just missed the Hynes’ campaign returning my call last night. Spokesman Matt McGrath said that Hynes’ criticism is not about the handling of individual board members, but it is about how Quinn handled the case from the beginning without immediately determining his legal powers to clear the board or not. He said Hynes would have been more immediate in determining those legal powers and would have set a deadline and established a clear plan to meet that deadline.

But still no word on whether Hynes would try to fire the trustees or not.

* Meanwhile, Senate President John Cullerton’s vow to advance the “fumigation bill” to the Senate floor in the wake of Quinn’s refusal to act prompted this response from the governor’s office…

A spokesman for Quinn, who supported the measure in the spring, said the governor hasn’t decided if that [fumigation bill] route should be taken in this case.

“While the governor is aware that this is an option, he has not taken a position on this possibility,” Quinn spokesman Bob Reed said.

Um, OK.

House GOP Leader Tom Cross told Springfield radio host Jim Leach that he believes the fumigation bill will make it to the governor’s desk. From Leach’s Twitter page

Tom Cross says fumigation bill could hurt innocent people, but says it was not a mistake to vote for it; thinks it will pass Senate

* Related…

* Faculty leaders want top U. of I. officials out

* Quinn backs down: Governor won’t fire U. of I. trustees who refused to resign

* Two UI trustees remain

* Quinn Begins Fresh Appointments to U of I Board

* Press release: Quinn picks two new U of I trustees

* Christopher Kennedy appointed to Board of Trustees

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 11:43 am:

    If Hynes is going to criticize, he as to get in the arena. Issuing statements without putting yourself up in front of the press and public is weak.

  2. - Central_IL_farm_boy - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 11:53 am:

    “While the governor is aware that this is an option, he has not taken a position on this possibility,” Quinn spokesman Bob Reed said.

    What would it matter if he had taken a position on the bill? Would that tell us anything about how he would act if the bill arrived on his desk?

  3. - Niles Township - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 11:56 am:

    “If Hynes is going to criticize, he as to get in the arena. Issuing statements without putting yourself up in front of the press and public is weak.”

    Dan Hynes problem is that people aren’t going to ever vote for him if all he does is complain. Quinn’s easy response is, sure I changed positions on some items, but I was in the trenches dealing with the important issues confronting the state. I think we can all agree that we had enough of a governor who never changed his stiff headedness on anything. Hynes can critcize all he wants. It’s easy to do that from the side lines.

  4. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:06 pm:


    Hynes did speak to Sun-times columinst Mark Brown over coffee about the U of I matter. Brown wrote about it in his Monday column. Or was it Sunday? Also, Hynes was on Good Morning Chicago the other day talking about the U of I trustee issue.

    I didn’t see the Good Morning Chicago interview so I am not sure if the anchors raised the issue of carroll and montgomery specifically and how hynes answered. Mark brown did not apparently ask about the issue and just focused on what brown took as hynes attacking the concept of citizen participation in government affairs.

    But, how hard is it for the media to call Hynes and ask him specifically where he stands on the carroll and montgomery issue?

    the chicago electornic media reporting on quinn’s decision to keep carroll and montgomery on the board is strange. They report as if he never said for several weeks that he planned to fire them had they not volunatrily stepped down. the chicago electronic media is still largely giving quinn a pass and the kid glove treatment. hmmm… very interesting.

  5. - Chi Gal - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:15 pm:

    Someone tell the Sun Times that Quinn made the two appointments yesterday and he isn’t removing the two remaining trustees. They run a teaser from AP yesterday and another lame AP article today.

    No reporting on their website yesterday after the press conference and press release issued by Quinn’s office and no reporting on their website today. I guess this goes hand-in-hand with Sneed and Foster’s direct line inside Quinn’s office and personal life. Nice job of non-reporting Sun Times!

  6. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:16 pm:

    Legions of people in American history have died over the principle of one man/one vote and all that goes with it (i.e., the rule of law, equal protection, a government that is not bought for). Rich, you may not agree with everything the Trib says and have correctly pointed out some failings in its reasoning and or intellectual vigor, but please don’t mock their outrage. I think resignation at our state’s status quo of gerrymandering, secrecy, protection of incumbants, patronage and legal bribing of judges (I still can’t get over how one tolerates the legality of lawyers giving money to judges they appear before) would be far worse, and I’m dubious that there’s a middle ground. This is one of those cases where if you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

  7. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:27 pm:

    Niles, I know that you are a supporter of quinn, but please. is it more likely that his legal counsel was finally able to knock sense into his head and get him to understand that legally he was treading on extremely thin ice with respect to firing carrol and montgomery?

    I know that he has to say that HE finally made a decision based on X, Y or Z, but come on. he had already made a decision several weeks ago when he said that he would fire any and all holdout trustees. he was hopin’ and wishin’ and prayin’ that he wouldn’t have to do that and that they would all just resign.

    The problem is niles, Quinn keeps changing his mind and never makes the right or good calls, and only makes things worse! maybe this will help…

    as the governor of illinois let’s say that Quinn is a headcoach, and as such he is in a position to call audibles. so, he decides that he will call all plays from the sidelines. he calls plays then changes his mind then changes his mind again, and again and again…

    Do you think his players won’t get confused? Do you think that the players won’t get frustrated and that their morale won’t be lowered? Do you think that it won’t cause his team to lose games? So, then wouldn’t you agree that a headcoach who does all of this to his team deserves to be fired for incompetence and poor leadership?

    Quinn’s constant changing of his mind, from one day to the next, and making bad calls from start to finish causes people to lose confidence in him. That’s all hynes and other Quinn critic is saying. And, they are right! The state of Illinois cannot afford to have a governor who doesn’t make good decisions in the beginning or end, especially with the troubles that face this state.

  8. - Niles Township - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 12:42 pm:

    Will County Woman:

    I’m not so much a supporter of Quinn as you might think. I was an anti-Rod though on this site and others as you may remember. One of my main critcism’s of Rod (beyond illegal conduct) was that he would never chnage his mind no matter what happend, no matter what anyone said. I don’t like that quality in a person. Quinn is taking the opposite to the extreme, but I’d rather a little of that in his first few months than what we had before. Until Hynes shows some metal in the game, I don’t like his daily negative press release chirping in from the sideline.

  9. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 1:08 pm:

    Niles, I am sorry. I misread your previous post. You were in fact quite clear that you and I are in agreement about the governor’s flip-flopping tendencies. Sorry about my long-winded football analogy post.

  10. - Johnnyc - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 1:30 pm:

    The Governor’s problem is simply messaging. Changing your stance happens all the time. Cullerton and Madigan do it often. The difference is that they are smart enough not to make grand pronounements into a camera on a daily basis.

    If Gov Quinn says I want to to accomplish X and am willing do anything withing Y and Z parameters to get it done he could avoid the apperance of indecision. Also a lot more thought has to be put into strategic planning. Things have been such a whirlwind with the transition to Gov, the state’s historic budget mess, the need to pass not only a capital bill but also a comprehensive ethics reform bill that the Governor’s staff hasn’t had time to settle in.

    Things could have been done much more efficiently but its still amazing to me how much the Governor actually accomplished this session. Still a long way to go but I, for one, appreaciate flexibility in my leaders. At the very least, it beats the alternative.

  11. - You Go Boy - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 1:36 pm:

    Could the ‘fumigation bill’ be a threat/pressure on the 2 U of I trustees to resign, and not a serious attempt at truly getting rid of the Blago/Ryan appointees? In other words, many newspapers have presented the “F-bill” as a means to get rid of the 2 trustees and thereby avoiding charges of discrimination and costs of litigation thereof - lets can 750 appointees, and you two trustees just happen to be part of the crowd. How would you like to be one of the trustee’s knowing the F-bill was “revived” because you wouldn’t resign. 750 ex-employees a bit angry at you.

  12. - Chi Gal - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 1:51 pm:

    Johnnyc - Where those accomplishments really Quinn’s or the GA’s? While I agree that flexibility is a good trait, he is using “flexibility” to now cover his incompetencies. If someone had been plucked out of the public and thrown in the Gov’s position, you could understand incompetence, but Quinn has been involved in politics his entire life. And I disagree that his staff has not had time to settle in. They came with him from the LtG office or they remained from Blago. He hasn’t made wholesale changes. So when he makes decisions that are so clearly to benefit his political future, messaging isn’t the problem - character is. And that is why he has lost my support.

  13. - RJW - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 2:08 pm:

    Once again my family and I wait and wonder about the “fumigation” bill. I’ve worked for the state for 12 years and was promoted up the ranks from the very bottom, including promotions during Ryan and Blagojevich (I’m not in a “hack” position). Nice thank you for 12 years of service. As soon as I find another job I’m outta here because I’m sick of the whole thing. Please stop using me and the rest as “political tools” in your little games!!!

  14. - Chi Gal - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 2:57 pm:

    Memo to Sun Times: Over 24 hours ago, Quinn flipped on his demand to remove all trustees at the state’s flagship and premier state university. Still nothing on your website?

    But, they managed to get up a story and quote from today’s press conference:

    – The Campaign for Political Reform’s Cindi Canary praised Quinn for taking the bravest possible course of action by agreeing to try again. “What could be braver?” she asked. –

    What could be braver, hmmmm… I guess we will have to see what promo copy the Guv’s office feeds Sneed and Foster.

  15. - Johnnyc - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 5:21 pm:

    “messaging isn’t the problem - character is. And that is why he has lost my support.”

    After 30 years in public service I am not aware of anyone who has worked with Pat Quinn that has questioned his charachter. His methods and rhetoric maybe, but charachter, nope. But you must know something everyone else doesn’t.

    I’m fairly sure from reading your posts that Governor Quinn has never had your support so don’t pretend like he “lost” it.

  16. - Chi Gal - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 8:53 pm:

    Ah, Johnnyc, my boy — It is too bad I can’t pull my past posts for you. More than once I’ve been criticized on this blog of being too much of a PQ supporter. And if you really are paying attention to my posts, you would have read me being questioned just this week about my sudden and definite change of opinion. It was because of what Pat stood for these past 30 years that I and others were so pleased to see him sworn in. Through March, 99% of the regulars on this blog wrote highly of the man – both dems and reps. It is because of his own actions that he is losing support here and across the state. Like many others, I never thought I’d see that day that he’d put his own political future ahead of doing what is right, but he did so yesterday. I guess that was pretty naive thinking on my part., but you know what they say…. fool me once….

  17. - Fumigate away - Thursday, Aug 27, 09 @ 9:13 pm:

    I’ve worked for one of the 750 and pray for that bill to pass daily. Person has been a disaster from day one. Funniest part, they came in under Blago, spent their every day musing on ways to further his campaign, to the detriment of all other office work, and now the same jerk spends all their time sucking up to the Quinn people, when for six years they wouldn’t have deigned to micturate on the Quinn staff if the staff were on fire. I have to think the other 749 are pretty much the same. It is a tumor on the body politic. Slice it out and burn it.

  18. - ggcarano - Friday, Aug 28, 09 @ 7:59 am:

    Ok my superb man in the sound world (His a wretch) is hysterically in attraction with Gina Carano and he talks hither her all time and night long. Like I would ask him but he would by a hair’s breadth start talking and I wouldn’t gather what he was saying, so how is she conspicuous whats her livelihood and is she fasten on or married. Like I said I would enquire of him but he would of went eccentric a fairy tale and I don’t include time instead of that so if you discern something nearly her it would workers me alot.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
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