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Duckworth begs out as bills advance on primary, lt. governor

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010

* NBC5 broke the story yesterday afternoon that Tammy Duckworth doesn’t want to be Pat Quinn’s running mate. Here’s her statement…

“While I am honored my name has been mentioned for potential consideration by the Illinois Democratic Central Committee for the Lt. Governor candidate position, I have respectfully requested that my name be removed from consideration,” Duckworth said in a statement.

“I made a commitment to President Obama and our Nation’s Veterans to serve at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and I want to fulfill my promise before returning home.

“Governor Quinn has my full support as he continues to fight hard on behalf of working families across the state.”

Quinn has been floating her name since soon after the primary, apparently without fully consulting her.

…ADDING… I’m now told that Quinn talked to Duckworth several times and that she expressed interest in the job.

He finally met with her over the weekend and asked her to consider…

Quinn said he met with Duckworth when he was in Washington last weekend for National Governors Association meetings and that she called him [yesterday] morning to say she was staying put.

“I think it was an agonizing decision for her,” Quinn said.

And here comes the deluge

Some Quinn supporters say a female candidate would help his standing among women voters. A Downstater would help him win votes outside the Chicago area. Republican gubernatorial front-runner state Sen. Bill Brady and his running-mate Jason Plummer are both from Downstate.

The five candidates who lost the Democratic primary election to Cohen, led by State Rep. Art Turner, D-Chicago, are interested. Turner said on WVON Tuesday that he got votes Downstate, so he would be a good choice.

Quinn refused to say if he thought regional balance was important, saying only he is looking for “a person who shares my point of view, who believes in progressive, honest government. We have to use the power of government to help the people of Illinois. The economy is the No. 1 issue.”

He also wants someone committed to veterans’ well-being. Quinn spent his six years as lieutenant governor focusing on veterans — that’s how he met Duckworth. […]

Quinn did not say whether he’s hearing bloggers’ attempts to draft [Paul] Simon’s daughter Sheila, who Quinn named to his state ethics reform commission, as a nominee. Sheila Simon ran and lost for mayor of Carbondale. Another ethics panel member, Democratic U.S. Senate runner-up David Hoffman, has been mentioned as a possible running mate. Downstate Sen. John Sullivan has been touted by, among others, former state Senate President Emil Jones.

Being endorsed by Emil Jones is probably not the thing to highlight on the resume. Jones lost his state central committeeman slot to Jesse Jackson, Jr. this month, so Jones’ backing will work against him there. But Jones loaned a ton of money to Quinn’s campaign, and appears to have the governor’s ear on some matters.

* Meanwhile

A House committee approved one measure that would push the state’s primary election to mid-March instead of having it in February.

This year’s early election, which was the first in the nation, has been attributed by some lawmakers for low voter turnout.

“I think given the experience of the voters and candidates in the February election that it is a good idea to move it back,” said state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, the bill’s sponsor.

It was approved by a 9-0 vote and now moves to the House floor for a full debate.

The second plan lawmakers approved Tuesday also would shake up campaigns by requiring candidates for governor to pick a lieutenant governor running mate for the primary. Currently, governors and lieutenant governors are nominated separately in the primary, and they run together in the general election.

* House Speaker Michael Madigan is planning to testify this morning at 10:30 in the House Executive Committee (rm. 118) on behalf of his constitutional amendment to ban the office of the lt. governor. You can read HJRCA 50 by clicking here. You can also click here at 10:30 to see if they’re broadcasting the hearing live.

* Related…

* Illinois primary would return to March under House bill: Republican House leader Tom Cross of Oswego proposed legislation that would move the primary in presidential-election years to March and also shift the primary in nonpresidential years to June. Cross said he still doesn’t think March is late enough but felt the committee’s decision to advance Nekritz’s proposal was a step in the right direction.

* Primary election changes considered: “Who do you think Gov. Blagojevich would have picked? Harris?” asked Rep. Monique Davis, a Chicago Democrat, referring to the former governor’s chief of staff, John Harris, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud. “You’re saying that whoever the governor is would have the right to choose his or her successor.”

* Democrats dispute need for more campaign finance limits: Reform advocates testified in support of the legislation, calling it a necessary next step. Additionally, they said refusing to close the loophole would foster a dangerous dependence on legislative leaders and political party money in general elections. “That exception, I think, makes for not only an incomplete system of campaign finance but a system that discourages the support at the local level from the districts the legislators represent,” said Peter Bensinger, co-chair of CHANGE Illinois.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Loyalty - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 9:24 am:

    Leave Ms. Duckworth alone Mr. Quinn.
    Your in a sinking ship, man-up and go down by yourself.

  2. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 9:26 am:

    If the Party wants to demonstrate transparency, fairness and remove the stigma of backroom dealmaking for the 2010 campaign, (you know, the one that will feature Rod Blagojevich’s backroom dealmaking as a campaign highlight), then Turner gets it based on the fact that he received the second greatest total votes.

    No surprises, no calls of unfairness, no demands for political gamesmanship.

    This is the year to straighten up and fly right. Turner needed to have gotten the nod as soon as the steroids hit the fan for Cohen weeks ago. This shouldn’t be another issue.

  3. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 9:34 am:

    If Brady/Plummer are such weak candidates, this should be a lead pipe cinch of a lite gov choice for PQ. A yellow dog would suffice, no? A downstate yellow dog of the fairer sex? One with ties to MJM so he can have his control? Or maybe MJM wants to pick someone who can look good on paper now but lose later when Lisa MJM wants to run? Oh, the agony of indecision!

    PQ floats the name of Duckworth before talking to her? I think the Cubs and Bears tried that out and look where it got them? It’s hard to think of more tortured dancing going on here - and we don’t even know what is going on behind closed doors. Can it get more ridiculous?

  4. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 9:36 am:

    It’s kind of strange that Quinn didn’t check with Duckworth before floating her name. When you have the Big Job, you should avoid letting it be known that you can be turned down for anything.

  5. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 9:36 am:

    Loyalty - Real intelligent post pal. Duckworth said she was honored but felt she had a job to do in Washington. Quinn respected that. And if you think Brady is a sure winner, you really don’t have much of a grasp on things.

  6. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 9:41 am:

    This was a lose/lose for Pat. Simply, put, he touted the name of someone who had already said no, thereby making him look impotent. Besides, he has no vote in the matter and is unlikely to get his way because he’s a weak back room player.

    To quote someone famous around here, “what’s he thinking?”

  7. - cassandra - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 9:43 am:

    I’m sure Quinn was telling the truth when he said
    his choice would be Duckworth. Everybody likes to pick their successor and Quinn is probably looking ahead to the days when he’ll be picking his. And with Brady the almost certain candidate of the hapless Illinois Republicans, that day will surely come.

    Also, even our always waffling Pat probably doesn’t like being a Madigan puppet-on-a-string. Publicly endorsing Duckworth allows him to tease Madigan a bit. Duckworth is likely the least desirable candidate from the Madigan viewpoint.

  8. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 9:51 am:

    dupage dan - I’m prepared to put my money where my mouth is, you?

  9. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 9:57 am:

    ===Duckworth is likely the least desirable candidate from the Madigan viewpoint. ===


  10. - KeepSmiling - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 9:58 am:

    MJM and PQ are not doing themselves, or their Party, any favor by dragging this thing out and working at odds with each other. They need to decide to kill or fill it, and then move quickly and decisively in the same direction.

  11. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 10:02 am:


    I only bet on sure things. Sun coming over the horizon tomorrow, that kind of stuff. I made no prediction in my post so there is nothing to back up. Too many variables in the mix. RB trial during the campaign, looming “bankrupcy” of the state, PQ failing in his quest for higher taxes/bigger gov’t w/shrinking revenues. On the other hand, Brady could start to focus on what’s important - economy vs social issues. If he connects like Brown in Mass. it could be a real horse race. Hard to imagine this die hard blue state going to the red side but one can have his fantasies, can’t one?

  12. - titan - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 10:06 am:

    “Who do you think Gov. Blagojevich would have picked? Harris?” asked Rep. Monique Davis, a Chicago Democrat, referring to the former governor’s chief of staff, John Harris, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud. “You’re saying that whoever the governor is would have the right to choose his or her successor.”

    OK - explain this one to me. If the Gov/Lt. Gov ran as a pair, then the people would have picked them. If the office is eliminated, then I wouldn’t think that a impeached Gov would pick the successor, the job would go under some set line of succession or some other entity would pick the new Gov. What am I missing here?

  13. - cassandra - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 10:15 am:

    She’s a threat to Lisa.

  14. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 10:17 am:

    Please pick Sheila Simon. She couldn’t beat Brad Cole in Carbondale. She would eliminate any of the questions regarding Plummers lack of experience because she has never done anything other then be the duaghter of a good man.

    On the other end of living off your father’s legacy, you have Lisa Madigan’s father proposing a constitutional amendment that would allow her to be governor without an election. You have to have somc cahonies to propose an amendment so your (step)daughter can be governor without an election. Can you say, dibs on the phrase, “the daughter dictator.”

    Maybe Mike can have a book burning event to raise money for her campaign while he is at it.

  15. - Fixit - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 10:27 am:

    What ever happened to the Lt. Gov picked by the people of Illinois. Just because the front runner quit does that mean that the governor gets to pick anyone he wishes? If so why bother with the position. Lets save Illinois a little tax payers money we can sure use it.

  16. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 10:30 am:

    the Patriot - I’d put Sheila Simon’s credentials against Plummer’s any day:

  17. - Frank - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 10:42 am:

    the Patriot-

    A (step)daughter is a daughter of one’s wife or husband by a former partner

    Lisa Madigan was adopted.

  18. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 10:44 am:

    I hope this Lt. thing doesn’t continue to be a fiasco. The dems had the opportunity to fix an open wound but appear to be letting it fester. Why Quinn didn’t call Duckworth and get her answer first instead of floating her name is frustrating.

    The best system for picking an Lt. is for the nominee to pick after the primary, however, Quinn needs to demonstrate that by doing so with causing more chaos.

  19. - Paul S - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 10:58 am:

    It is this kind of thing that undercuts Quinn’s credibility and why Hynes was so effective and would have won if he had more time. Quinn foolishly went public with a name without even consulting with Duckworth. That is pure incompetence and yet this person is in charge of our State? Quinn needs to start acting like a governor instead of a goof ball. These are amateur mistakes that the Governor should not be doing. Stop acting like a politician Quinn, and start acting like a leader. He’s too concerned about re-election and thus is going to make grave mistakes.

    If he concentrates on doing the right thing; then he will begin to show some leadership. He keeps hanging with the old guard, surrounding himself with the cronies of the Dem party. He’ll lose what faith (all be it slim) the voters have in him. Be a true reformer and act like it — don’t just talk about it.

  20. - Whatever - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 11:04 am:

    Is Alan Keyes still available?

  21. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 11:09 am:


    So, what political campaign has Ms Simon won? Great credentials she has but she couldn’t win mayor in Carbondale with them? And you think she would be a help to PQ when she can’t succeed in her “home town” with Paul Simon as her dad? Really? I said before, I only bet on sure things.

    I bet she is not picked.

  22. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 11:11 am:


    Maybe they could get Cohen back on the ticket.

  23. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 11:16 am:

    Thanks, Small Town. Now everyone can see that Sheila Simon’s entire resume consists of jobs she got because she is Paul Simon’s daughter. It also shows that each time she was given a job, she failed to distinuish herself in any way and moved to the next fee pass job.

    It was my recollection Lias was Mike Madigans step daughter and who he later adopted so she would have the Madigan name for obvious political reasons. Please correct me if I am mistaken and MIke is not her step dad, adoption or not?

  24. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 11:28 am:

    dupage dan - She’s not my first choice for sure, but when thePatriot says she’s never accomplished anything, I felt the need to disagree. And thePatriot, what has Plummer done besides win a primary with his family’s money and work for his family’s company?

  25. - titan - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 11:39 am:

    Patriot - a legal adoption would make her his daughter (albeit not a biological one) for all purposes under the law.

    I don’t think we want to open the can of worms here as to some silly notion of adopted children being somehow not real or full children.

  26. - Scooby - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 12:04 pm:

    March Madness. Please fill out your brackets and get them to me by the end of the month.

  27. - Will County Woman - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 12:10 pm:

    Phineas, it already is a fiasco but I won’t go into too much detail; i don’t want to tip the Quinn Camp. But, Quinn should have just manned-up and went on to run under another party and left Cohen and his deal alone.

    Also, Quinn’s insistence that he have say that carries weight in the selection process is also problematic, but I don’t want to tip the Quinn camp as to why.

    We’ll revisit all of this later this year and it won’t be pretty or nice for Quinn and the IL Dems. You’ve been fairly warned. :)

  28. - Will County Woman - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 12:34 pm:

    Rich, who told you that Quinn had spoken to Duckworth several times and that she had expressed an interest? The Quinn Camp?

    If memory serves, approximately two weeks ago Mary Ann Ahern of NBC5 was reporting that Duckworth was “highly or very unlikely” “according to sources” to leave her federal post to join Quinn.

    Is it possible that Quinn mistook her polite talk over the past couple of weeks out context and got way too ahead of himself? Yes. It’s plausible as we’ve seen this from him before. Besides wasn’t it him who a couple of weeks ago who told interested parties to let their interest in the LT. Guv position be known? If Duckworth had been on the fence, why would have made an open casting call the way he did?

  29. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 12:50 pm:

    Newsflash to WCW: folks in the Quinn camp do not hang on your every word…please get over yourself and find a new boogie man…

  30. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 1:26 pm:

    titan, it was Frank above who mentioned the adoption. It was my initial assertion that she was just his daughter, but I think we are off issue.

    Is anyone really confortable with the Speaker of the House introducing an Amendment that would allow him to impeach the Governor and then replace him or her with his Daughter? Really? If that idea, republican or democrat, doesn’t make your skin crawl a little, I can’t help you.

    On Simon, I don’t personally have anyting against her. I would have voted for her over Cole if I lived in Carbondale. I just don’t think she helps Quinn and she hasn’s exactly distinguised herself as a force. She does some good work, but I don’t think it is the game changer Quinn is looking for and I don’t think you look at her resume along with Plummers and go WOW!

  31. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 1:28 pm:

    ===would allow him to impeach the Governor and then replace him or her with his Daughter===

    The House impeaches, the Senate removes.

    And if you think a guy who worships process as much as MJM does would just blithely impeach somebody for no good reason, think again. He could’ve impeached Quinn and made his daughter governor, remember.

    Sometimes, the tinfoil hat paranoia out there just becomes insane. Try taking a chill pill. Thanks.

  32. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 2:03 pm:

    People still have the Byzantine, irrational Lisa Madigan conspiracies out there.

    Put your minds to rest. To borrow from Sollozzo to Tom Hagen, “If I wanted to be governor (or Senator), I’d be the nominee right now.”

  33. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 2:09 pm:

    I can not believe how people on these boards have gone from the honest debate (heated banter at times, snark, and all that goes with politics …) to being downright mean about the manner by which some have made a point of Lisa and her relationship with her FATHER MJM and defining who… is what type of father? Michael J. Madigan is Lisa Madigan’s father, in every sense, in every defining way you, or anyone would feel, a father is that to a child. I do not speak for either of them. I do not know them as far as anyone knows. But, what I do know, is that anyone who questions the love they have for one another in that family dynamic is wrong and makes me sad.

    It is insulting to anyone who is adopted, has adopted, remarried, remarrired with children, remarried and had a family with other children…

    In a way, I am glad, Rich, you let those post simmer out there. It is a reminder to all that if debate is about credentials, relationships, age, etc., then that is what it is, warts and all. But when posts want to dissect the meaning of what relationships are in a family, to demean what one could mean to another in a family, then that is not politics, and those arguments, and those who make those arguements, have no merit.

    Bang away at Hynes, Lisa, Plummer, Fitzgerald, Berrios, Burke, McAuliffe, Mautino, Jacobs … any and all, pluses and minuses of who they are in the arena. But take notice, when you decide to define fatherhood, brotherhood, sisterhood, what is a daughter is or what a son is… then take a step back and think what you are attacking.

  34. - Illinois voter - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 2:09 pm:

    All these weird conspiracy theories for the last two weeks about MM proposing the elimination of the Lt. Gov’s ofc so Lisa can be Gov is just silly. I think according to IL Constitution, written in 1970, when Lisa was a toddler, AG is already third in line to the Gov’s ofc,nso matter which party is holding that office.

  35. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 2:15 pm:

    Conspiracy theorists …

    MJM Proofs:

    1) Do nothing to put the House Majority in jeopary.
    2) Do nothing that will put Lisa Madigan in jeopardy.

    This amendment is about SCL, embarrassment, and now headaches of a vacant LG …and the MJM ego that got bruised with criticism that could affect #1 and #2 of the MJM Proofs .. …not about Lisa, not about getting seats in the GA

  36. - cookiemonster - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 2:34 pm:

    OK, I am not a political person, just find these discussions interesting at times, but will someone please explain to me, why if we just spent money on a primary, the person who finished second in the dems race for is not the next choice to be quinns running mate….just like they would if this were misss america or usa, etc

  37. - Will County Woman - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 3:02 pm:

    Oswego, yeah but aren’t you a quinn supporter or am i mistaken? if so, then he and his supporters who have been playing the mike madigan boggeyman card at every turn. i suspect that the main reason pat quinn doesn’t want to do away with the lt. guv office is because he fears that lisa madigan and her father will somehow do him in. yet, hynes bravely proposed and supported the idea of doing away with the lt. guv office when ostensibly he too could have been picked off by team-madigan. Arguably hynes was a greater threat/obstacle to team-madigan’s hopes for lisa becoming governor because of his age, which would’ve meant that as the conspiracy theories go team-madigan would’ve definitely put the screws to him somehow, someway.

    perfect challenge play for brady here because he could easily call quinn out and say if it means saving the state needed money and doing away with an unnecessary office, i’m not afraid of lisa madigan so why are you?

    the bottom line is if you’re governor, don’t do anything stupid/illegal that will cause you to be ousted. just do your job, stay focus and committed to serving the public interest that way you won’t have to constantly be looking over your shoulder watching out for lisa madigan or anyone else.

    i too get sick and tired of the blaming mike madigan for everything that happens to the displeasure of some in illinois. geeze it snows outside and mike madigan is to blame????? he’s no angel, but he’s not the devil either.

  38. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 3:09 pm:

    I have stated many times I am a Repub … I try to give both sides, about both sided …

    I am not afraid of Madigan, I know his rules, I know wh he does things, and I know he is ahead of most, 5 steps ahead … WCW, do you read what others post, or just look to throw it to the wall and see what happens?

    I am for Brady now, if “Jay-Jay” doesn’t drag him down, or if Brady doesn’t decide to paint HIMSELF a too extreme.

  39. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 3:15 pm:

    WCW - You’re pretty much insane, huh? If Lisa Madigan wanted to be governor next year, she would have ran, and she would have won. Do you think Mike Madigan would rather his daughter inherit the office through some sort of fiasco? Yeah, that would be smart.

  40. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 3:24 pm:

    If OW is a Quinn supporter WCW, you just can’t trust his posts, can you?

    Wow, to have such a simple prism by which to gauge opinions on this blog…this is the type of lack of respect for public discourse that is poisoning our national, state, and local politics…”if your for that guy, I can’t trust anything you say”…Sad…

    I think we need a Lt. Governor, just pare down staff and expenses…There are constitutional duties to the office, the LG can work with the Gov on legislative initiatives, and otherwise free up the Gov to do work that is of an more urgent, or policy nature…The Gov and LG should run as a team…part of the reason Quinn has been at a disadvantage the past year is because he was completely shut out of the business of the State by RBB…at this juncture, this is obviously good from a legal perspective…bad from the assume the reins perspective…

  41. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 4:46 pm:

    If Lisa Madigan wanted to be governor next year, she would have ran, and she would have won.

    Or according to many, she would be anointed by the mere thought of the move, and her visage would light up the Illinois sky, and thus it would be so.

  42. - dumb ol' country boy - Wednesday, Feb 24, 10 @ 7:13 pm:

    The thing the bothers me about the elimination of the Lt. Gov. position, is who takes over if the gov leaves? Would it be the President of Senate????? Not elected by the people of the State of Illinois, elected by a district. Second question or concern? If the replacement is the President of Senate, how would that play out if the Gov. was an R and President of Senate was a D???? Curious minds want to know!!!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
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