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Edgar whacks Brady again, and Quinn the odd duck

Friday, Apr 9, 2010

* One wonders if Jim Edgar is gonna keep this up all year. Sure looks like it

Former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar said Thursday his party’s candidate for governor is wrong on Illinois’ budget crisis and made the case for hiking taxes - the main plank of Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s platform. […]

Asked after the speech if Brady’s budget plans - cutting taxes and services to balance the budget - were realistic, Edgar said Brady needs to “flush out his budget policies” more.

Edgar has previously called Brady’s plan for a 10 percent across-the-board cut “naive,” which he conceded Thursday led to angry calls from Brady backers.

“I know that upsets their camp when I say that,” Edgar said to laughter from the students, teachers and residents.

The former governor also whacked the current governor for his frequent flip-flops, saying Gov. Quinn needs to think things through before he says things.

* My Sun-Times column today is about how Quinn appears to be doing what he can to lose this thing to Brady

Gov. Pat Quinn is one odd duck.

Forget about the 30-year-old briefcase he calls “Betsy.” Or the constant references to his Super 8 VIP card to stress his frugality, even though Super 8 discontinued the VIP card program years ago. Or his penchant for blue-and-purple-striped ties.

That’s just quirkiness. Some of it is even endearing. Quinn also has a very big heart, and I know for a fact that he’s a decent man in private.

But he’s odd, man. Really, really odd.

Five straight polls in the past month have shown Quinn trailing conservative Republican state Sen. Bill Brady by an average of about 10 points. That’s the 100 percent pro-life, pro-gun, anti-gay rights, anti-union, proud Chicago-bashing Downstater who won the Republican primary by 193 votes and who almost never set foot in Cook County Bill Brady.

Ten points. In “blue” Illinois.


And what has Quinn been doing about this impending disaster? Well, for one, he has all but shut down his campaign. Two months since he barely won a primary that he should’ve walked away with and the guy has no campaign manager.

Dawn Clark Netsch did the very same thing after she won the 1994 Democratic gubernatorial primary. It’s not like she would’ve won anyway; 1994 turned out to be a Republican landslide. But it sure did confound a whole bunch of people when she did it.

Quinn and Netsch haven’t gotten along in decades, so you’d think the governor wouldn’t be following her ‘94 playbook during yet another off-year election of a Democratic president’s first term. Yep. Odd.

Quinn has not yet addressed the one issue that almost lost him the primary. In fact, he has made things worse. The governor stubbornly refused to fire his Department of Corrections director for concocting a secret plan to release hundreds of violent felons from prison. That single issue nearly destroyed Quinn and catapulted Dan Hynes into serious contention.

Instead of fixing the problem, Quinn swept out of the department people who had — get this — argued against the director’s early release program. And then a week ago, as if to spit in the eyes of the political gods, Quinn pardoned 147 convicted criminals in one, fell swoop. It’s a veritable Oddapalooza with this guy.

Two polls have shown Quinn’s job approval rating at a George Ryanesque 25 percent. In order to get back into the game and win some hearts and minds, he’ll need to raise a ton of campaign cash. But his staunch support for a sweeping public employee pension reform bill last month has infuriated the unions — the single largest source of campaign money and volunteers a Democrat has.

This week, Quinn sat down for a meeting with a bunch of union leaders at the Chicago Federation of Labor’s headquarters. After being excoriated by the leaders of Service Employees International Union (which contributed almost $2 million to Quinn’s primary campaign), the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the teachers union, Quinn finally had enough. If you can’t convince your members to vote for me over Brady, he reportedly said, then fine. He rose to make a grand exit, but accidentally walked into the kitchen instead. He was forced to make yet another grand exit through the proper door. It was like a bad movie.

Odd, that one.

The governor is doing what he thinks is right. And he may actually be correct on the merits. But being right doesn’t always win elections, and at the moment it looks like he’s doing everything he can to lose. It’s one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ahoy - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:06 am:

    Good article. You didn’t mention the Simon pick, maybe because it’s old news, but that was an odd pick as well. I think any rational person would have gone with Turner… or just about anyone else.

  2. - Anon-Number7 - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:09 am:

    Rich - I know you will probably scold me here, but what happened to Quinn’s primary campaign manager - John Kamis?

  3. - Shore - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:15 am:

    People worked very hard for jim edgar for a lot of years. He should put a passafire in his mouth and return the years of support he got from the party by getting behind brady. I am sorry his cos didn’t win, but grow up and stop acting like a sore loser.

    Dillard has been an adult, jim ryan showed as much class as anyone I’ve ever seen in the waning days of that campaign, dan proft, and adam also showed dignity. He’s hurting the party and diminishing his standing with the grassroots.

    He’s making pat hughes look like a statesman which is hard to do.

  4. - Shore - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:17 am:

    The national media is also finally starting to catch on. NBC’s first read for the first time this cycle noted this race as one of the top 5 most competitive in the nation this morning. If we lose this because edgar was a child, he’s finished.

  5. - Niles Township - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:18 am:


    This article is right on the money. As most of you know, I support Quinn even if I don’t agree with him on every issue. I think he is running so far as though this is four years ago. It took him forever in the primary to grasp the economy as the big issue he could use. Now he is acting like he won the general because IL is so blue. I think that is a big mistake. He needs a campaign manager, and fast; someone he will at listen to (since no one can ‘control’ him). This year is anti-incumbent in every way. He needs to wake up soon.

  6. - Joe - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:18 am:

    Another paritsan article for democrats by Rich Miller.

  7. - irish - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:20 am:

    I also think there is another faction out there that is not being counted in the polls or in the strategies of the campaigns and that is the student group. The position the Dems are taking on no tax/cut education is affecting a whole lot of students who are seniors in high school and attending college. These folks can vote and as history has shown, think 1960’s, they will vote. And they will become activists for their cause which is getting the opportunity for a good education. AS the summer goes on I think we are going to see a more of this group and they might have an impact. The issue will be who do they support. In the 60’s they had the liberal side of the Dem party to carry their banner. Now it is that very party who is causing the problem. And the Repubs are not providing any help either. It will get interesting.

  8. - cassandra - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:22 am:

    I know the unions say they are infuriated. After all, they have members to play to.

    But I wonder how upset they really are. It’ll be decades before this actually impacts a retiree. And the pension envy issue has been taking up time and energy union leaders would probably like to spend on other rhings. Other states have made similar reforms–Illinois is not way out there.

    Besides, Im convinced that the feds are going to
    deal with the retirement security issue at some point. It seems likely that the current dependence
    on a defined contribution system subject to the whims of the stock market is going to become a political hot potato. Maybe not during Obama’s
    tensure. But soon. When national reform happens the whole retirement security landscape will look different with the effect on unions uncertain.

    The public employee unions really came out of this modest Illinois reform ok.

  9. - - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:22 am:

    There’s no love lost between Edgar and the far right of the state party. They ran against him twice for governor and things were said. Elephants never forget.

  10. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:22 am:

    May we all pray that BlinkyJim does not lose his voice.

    Speaking of GOP goofs —- a favorite and ample — topic; the WSJ today ends the dream of GOP happiness in NJ and VA with reports that the new Savior/Governors there are shorting their pension funds.
    Guess that means StateWideTOm,RxRon and the Blowhards will have a tough time ripping Ds. And with Scott Brown voting with the Ds it looks like that big avalance is starting to melt.

  11. - dupage dan - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:23 am:

    Maybe I was wrong about PQ. Maybe he is working hard to fumigate the highest ranking person brought into the RB administrations. Himself.

    Bravo, PQ!

  12. - - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:25 am:

    –Another paritsan article for democrats by Rich Miller.–

    Yeah, Quinn couldn’t have written the column better himself. And Edgar shouldn’t be covered at all.

    Careful in the sun with that thin skin.

  13. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:25 am:

    I’m pretty sure that was snark, dude.

    Also, Kamis is now on the state payroll as a legislative liaison.

  14. - irish - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:25 am:

    BTW - Spot on article Rich.

    Joe - I don’t know what you read. I am no Dem supporter and I thought the article was a factual reporting of the situation.

  15. - dupage dan - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:28 am:


    I wonder how much the perception of a lack of support translates into a loss/gain in contributions. That’s what really counts right now for PQ.

  16. - Loop Lady - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:39 am:

    DD: I don’t think the unions will be giving money to Brady this cycle…unions are helpful in a multitude of ways besides cash…read: bodies on the street…they will never walk for a Republican..

  17. - dupage dan - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:42 am:

    I agree, the unions won’t walk for the GOP. Quinn will find it difficult to mount an effective campaign w/out cash or a campaign manager. I imagine union canvassers walking around bumping into each other w/out a campaign to direct them. All the gears gotta mesh for the machine to work.

  18. Pingback Last GOP Gov. To Not Go To Jail Takes Another Shot at GOP Nominee Brady | Illinois Alliance For Growth - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:45 am:

    […] More Jim Edgar hypocrisy over at CapFax. […]

  19. - N'ville - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:48 am:

    Interesting to me that Edgar, while talking about immigration reform, scolds Republicans for not listening to the public…but when it comes to the income tax increase, it’s that same public that he DOESN’T want to listen to.

  20. - cassandra - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:49 am:


    Still, I suspect the unions see their agenda as best left in the hands of the Dems, whoever sits in the temporary king chair.

    Unions have the luxury of long-term planning, and I doubt they see their future as bright if Repubs are in charge…whether or not that is accurate.

    Maybe our Pat did the right thing, in the current political climate, to signal that he is not a union pawn.

    Although, it being our Pat, I hesitate to say this was a planned reaction.

  21. - downstater - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:57 am:

    If Quinn doesn’t fire Randal and deal with the issues at the Department of Corrections, it will cost him the election. Has Quinn forgot about the issues in the primary. Geeeeeeezzzzz!

  22. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:57 am:

    I have to think that the campaign strategy has probably been in limbo while waiting to see who the lt. gov. candidate would be. I’d expect things to start moving forward pretty soon now that thats been figured out.

  23. - dupage dan - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:08 am:

    Yeah, I’m sure PQ is all over that now. Rick commented yesterday that it appears not many folk want the manager job. Since it appears PQ won’t actually listen or heed anyone, what would be the point? I like the reference to Netsch and her failed campaign. Seems like a fair comparison given the similar political climate. I like Ms Netsch and voted for her. She ran a brilliant primary campaign (Remember the pool game ad?) and then virtually disappeared in the general. I didn’t know she hadn’t a manager but it explains alot. I hope PQ keeps going in the same direction. Nice person, like Netsch. Clueless, like…well, like PQ.

  24. - OneMan - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:20 am:

    I love the dramatic exit with the kitchen…

  25. - Fed up - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:28 am:

    Quinn realizes the same idiots who elected Blago twice are all he needs. Never underestimate the voters in this state Quinn will get by just fine he learned alot from Blago in the 6 years they were partners

  26. - Fed up - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:35 am:

    Quinn is doing what he thinks is right? Did he really think it was right to flip flop and back down about the Burris appointment. Did he really think itwas right to flip flop and back down about the U of I trustees. He may very well win the election but as history has shown in Illinois that doesn’t mean much.

  27. - unclesam - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:36 am:

    Maybe it’s a covert strategy by the GOPs to give Brady cover, in the event he wins the general election, and all of a sudden “sees the reality” that is the budget and has to increase taxes.

  28. - dupage dan - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:44 am:


    I want you to be wrong. I worry you may be right.

  29. - Good - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:52 am:

    This is good folks. Jim Edgar has not selected the winner on election day in the last three cycles. What is good for Brady is to keep Edgar as far away as possible and continue to be critical. The history and odds tell us that the candidate that Edgar does not support will be the winner.

  30. - Whatever - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 12:17 pm:

    Rich — I also heard Edgar on the radio this morning saying Brady needs to moderate his positions to appeal to suburban voters. (While that might be good campaign strategy, it certainly reinforces the CW about Brady being a “winger”, which doesn’t help.)

    Edgar is enjoying the longest “15 minutes” of fame of any past political figure thanks to the media which can’t stand the idea of a Brady victory. For the sake of his party and its nominee, Edgar needs to pipe down!

  31. - Chubs Mahoney - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 12:28 pm:

    Edgar’s open support for the income tax hike is a game-changer. Like anyone acquainted with the state budget facts, he knows it’s an awful truth: we have to raise revenue. Maybe some House GOPers will be able to bite the bullet and go for it now that someone of Edgar’s stature is publicly supportive. Brady just hasn’t acknowledged reality on this subject. Honest observers like Edgar should not be criticized for calling him out.

  32. - Louis Howe - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 12:29 pm:

    Edgar has every reason to support a tax increase. If fact, he has $300,000 plus reasons. He’s collecting $156,000 state pension while the U of I is paying him $173,000 to teach others how to suck-up and get appointed Secretary of State.
    However, perhaps it’s time for PQ to get ahead of the curve and pull out an Edgar trick from 1994. Edgar surprised everyone by running a negative anti-death penalty campaign ad against Netsch in JUNE, defining her as an out of touch Liberal. It’s not rocket science, or Edgar couldn’t be teaching it. Quinn needs to define Brady early before Brady has a chance to move to the center.

  33. Pingback ArchPundit | It’s Not A Race To Win - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 12:29 pm:

    […] It’s a race to see who can lose the Governorship.  Both candidates have arguments about why the other guy is unelectable and while Brady is up, he’s not far up.  This is the election to see who can screw up the election the worse and the other one wins by default.  Brady has kept his mouth shut lately leading one to assume his campaign manager has him hogtied in the trunk of his car.  He’ll eventually get free so until then, we have a perfect Pat Quinn story from Rich: […]

  34. - One of the 35 - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 12:31 pm:

    Rich: 2 points I’d like to make. 1. Edgar is dispensing good budgetary advice that both sides of the aisle should heed. He has earned the right to provide such advice. 2. with regard to the pension reform, a new state employee could end up with more retirement benefit after 30 years if investments pay off. Granted there are no guarantees with a defined contribution plan like there are with a defined benefit plan, but neither are there any upside limitations.

  35. - Steve-O - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 12:54 pm:

    Edgar needs to be put out to pasture…with a muzzle.

  36. - Chicago from the Lake - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 1:26 pm:

    If you ask me, that’s a little damning towards Brady - if anyone would have GOP credentials on the state budget, it’s Edgar. Having him level into Quinn would’ve been big for Brady’s camp.

    For my money, I think Brady’s at his ceiling right now. Quinn and the Dem groups haven’t put him in their sights yet - there’s a lot on that record to make hay from.

  37. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 1:48 pm:

    It appears that no one wants to be the Gov. of our state. Quinn, Brady, and even Whitney are out there doing everything they can to make sure they lose. Perhaps that amendment should eliminate the Gov. as well as the Lt. Gov.

    We’ve gotten along without a real chief exec for about 10 years…

  38. - lincolnlover - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 1:57 pm:

    The only people who care about the issues on either side are reading this article. When it comes right down to it, Chicagoans will not vote for a downstate conservatice republican. As a lifer-downstater, it galls me to say it, but the land up north has 2/3 of the vote and THEY will elect any of our future govs - including Quinn.

  39. - Dnstateanon - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 2:35 pm:

    “Brady has kept his mouth shut”? hasn’t he been on WLS for the last two days, Talking jobs?

    You all wish Edgar was right sorry the voters are doing the talking and know Quinn isn’t cutting it.

  40. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 3:14 pm:

    I thought Edgar was going to sit this one out and just observe from the sidelines. That’s what he said a month or two ago to WBEZ. He is acting very ugly. Brady has a good week in poll leads, so Edgar get upset. Geeze.

    Edgar and Thomspon both came out in support of Quinn’s tax increase last year. They called republicans and tried to use their influence to get them to support it, but none did. I guess we’ll know in a matter of days or weeks if Edgar was able to exert any infleuence this year.

    Tom and Christine contact your people and make sure you know who is still with you.

  41. - OldDem - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 3:29 pm:

    Great piece. You didn’t mention it, but that Simon pick was REALLY odd… Sure he’ll lose Turner supporters.

  42. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 3:32 pm:

    This whole thing stinks.
    If Quinn doesn’t want to campaign or govern, they he should have let Hynes win the nomination.

    Can you imagine how different things would be if Hynes and Dillard were the nominees?

    Wow. First we got Ryan. Then Blagojevich. Then we re-elected Blagojevich. Then we impeached and removed him from office. Then we got Governor Soy Boy. Then Burris. Then Cohen. Then Brady. So, just how many clowns are in this little car?!

  43. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 4:02 pm:

    Great ideas Rich.

    If we can convince Quinn he had them first, maybe he’ll follow them.

  44. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 4:09 pm:

    ==I love the dramatic exit with the kitchen… ==

    Did he bang his head on a hanging skillet, too?

    Great article, Rich…

  45. - maryn - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 4:56 pm:

    Man, if Edgar keeps hitting Brady as he’s been doing, that campaign’s in trouble. That PPP poll the other day said 55% of the sample didn’t know Brady. But I bet they know Jim Edgar.

    Be interesting to see what those polls look like when the electorate actually has opinions about the candidates.

  46. - Kids count - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 7:15 pm:

    And another mistake he wants to make is putting Department of Juvenile Justice in the already bomb keg of D.C.F.S. I wonder why he never thought of just replacing the Blago hire DJJ director? Do you really think Rod’s pick for agency director was a good choice to hold on to all these years with no results?

  47. - ironman - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 10:07 pm:

    Mr. Edgar needs to stop whining and support Mr. Brady. Bill Brady doesn’t have to release his plan yet. Anyway, almost everybody that Edgar has endorsed, has lost except for Kirk…

  48. - Zoble21 - Friday, Apr 9, 10 @ 11:01 pm:

    We need to remember what drives Edgar’s comments. It is self serving, he is on the state payroll @ U of I and would like to see a tax increase. He is not happy if he is not in the public eye. Remember, is was in the race then out then in then out last time,

  49. - FDR Democrat - Saturday, Apr 10, 10 @ 8:49 am:

    It is interesting that Brady is polling in the
    mid to high 40’s when probably only about a
    1/3 of the electorate has any idea who he is.
    That demonstrates the strength of the anti
    incumbent/anti Democrat feeling in the electorate, particularly downstate and the
    impact of Hyne’s attacks on the Governor.
    If Quinn does not raise $$ fast and get on tv
    defining Brady, well Brady can be like Harding in
    1920 and just mail it in from his front porch.

  50. - conda67 - Saturday, Apr 10, 10 @ 11:15 pm:

    Cut schools buy 17 percent edgar says nothing, Brady talks about a 10 percent cut edgar runs his mouth.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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