[Bumped up and subscriber protection removed because the story is getting out.]
* 10:01 am - Gov. Quinn is calling around telling people that he has picked Paul Vallas as his running mate.
*** UPDATE 1 *** * 10:22 am - Vallas has been running school districts around the country for the past several years, facing controversy pretty much everywhere. But he is registered to vote in Palos Heights, where he
voted requested a Republican absentee ballot in the 2010 primary, but did not return it, according to his voter file the Cook County Clerk’s office. He took a Democratic ballot in the 2012 primary from the same address.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Click here to read a story from earlier this week which illustrates the controversy this guy has caused. The CTU is not gonna like this choice, to say the least.
*** UPDATE 3 *** Quinn has quite often been about the past. The choice of Sheila Simon was as much or more about her late father’s last name than about her. He surrounds himself with trusted old friends from the treasurer’s office, the Walker administration, etc. Vallas hasn’t been involved in Illinois politics for years, although he did consider running as a Republican in 2010.
*** UPDATE 4 *** I’m assuming that the governor took a good long look at case histories regarding residency requirements. I doubt he’d want to get caught up in a long, drawn-out suit over this.
…Adding… I’ve turned comments on in case you’d like to talk about this totally unexpected development.
* Vallas pretty much beat himself in the 2002 Democratic gubernatorial primary. He had a fear of flying (from a near death experience) that kept him from campaigning, he blew a ton of money on consultants who didn’t perform, and he didn’t raise enough cash.
But he has very strong interpersonal skills. He can blow you away one on one. We’ll see what happens next.
*** UPDATE 5 *** Greg Hinz…
The surprise development first was reported by Capital Fax in a subscribers-only alert a few minutes ago, but is being confirmed by Dean Vallas, Paul Vallas’ brother and longtime top political aide.
“It is true. He’s going to do it,” Dan Vallas told me in a cell-phone call. “It’s a great opportunity, particularly if that position is going to be remade. . . .Paul’s all about service.”
Quinn aides did not immediately return calls.
Mr. Vallas is respected as a tight fiscal manager and would bring some credibility to Mr. Quinn on that count.
As I told subscribers in a special edition, I talked to potential picks who’d been called this morning by the governor himself.
*** UPDATE 6 *** From the governor’s campaign…
Governor Pat Quinn Names Running Mate
for 2014 Campaign
Announces Paul Vallas as Democratic Candidate for Lieutenant Governor
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today named Paul Vallas as his running mate in the 2014 election. A longtime reformer and nationally renowned fiscal and education expert, Vallas will serve as the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor.
“I’ve known Paul Vallas for 30 years and he’s never been shy about fighting for education, reform and opportunities for working people,” Governor Quinn said. “We have made great progress these last few years, but serious challenges remain and our mission is not yet accomplished. Paul is an independent problem solver with a proven record of reform. He will be a strong Lt. Governor for the common good.”
“I am honored to join forces with the strongest reform governor in the country,” Paul Vallas said. “Since taking the oath of office, Governor Pat Quinn has rescued the state of Illinois from the verge of fiscal and ethical disaster following decades of bipartisan corruption. This governor has been getting big things done since he got here. Unlike his predecessors, Governor Quinn tackled the hard issues and has made the right decisions to get Illinois back on track.”
“Together we will fight every day for working families and deliver the reform and change that Illinois deserves,” said Vallas.
Nationally known for his success in improving some of America’s most troubled school systems, Paul Vallas enters the campaign following nearly two years of service in Connecticut’s largest city as Superintendent of the Bridgeport Public Schools. During his tenure, he eliminated a $12 million dollar budget deficit without closing a single school or laying off a single teacher. He instituted major reforms, modernized the curriculum and put laptops and Smart boards in every high school classroom.
Prior to that he served as Superintendent of the Recovery School District in New Orleans where he was instrumental in rebuilding the school district from scratch after Hurricane Katrina. Vallas raised test scores in New Orleans every year, significantly reduced the percentage of schools failing to meet state performance standards and eliminated reliance on FEMA restart dollars.
Vallas also oversaw the School District of Philadelphia for six years, overhauling the district’s curriculum, dramatically raising reading and math scores and eliminating the district’s massive budget deficit.
As the CEO of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for six years, he consistently raised test scores, launched the largest school construction program in CPS history, balanced six consecutive budgets which led to multiple bond rating upgrades, and left the school district with a $330 million surplus after inheriting a massive budget deficit. A suburban Chicago native, Vallas also ran in the Democratic primary for governor in 2002, narrowly losing by 25,000 votes.
When Governor Quinn took office, Illinois was suffering from decades of fiscal mismanagement and corruption, in addition to the worst recession since the Great Depression. Since then, he enacted tough, new ethics laws; landmark education reform; and the largest capital construction program in state history, which is supporting more than 400,000 jobs updating our roads, schools and bridges. The governor also led historic budget reforms, including reducing discretionary spending to historic lows, enacting pension reform for new employees and restructuring the Medicaid program to save the state billions of dollars.
A champion for everyday people, Governor Quinn has always put working families first as he continues to fight to move Illinois forward.
*** UPDATE 7 *** The react begins…
*** UPDATE 8 *** I just talked with Rupert Borgsmiller, who chairs the Illinois State Board of Elections.
I asked the chairman what could happen if somehow Vallas was kicked off the ballot due to a residency challenge. Would that “infect” Quinn’s legal viability as a candidate since state law requires them to run together?
Borgsmiller checked with his top lawyer and got back to me. Since this is a new law, he said, “There’s no way to determine an outcome of a scenario (like that).”
So, it’d be up to the courts.
However, Vallas has been voting at an Illinois residence for many years, and the failed challenge to Mayor Emanuel’s residency was probably stronger than this would be, so I really doubt this’ll be an issue once the dust clears.
*** UPDATE 9 *** There is one thing that Vallas brings to the table that the other LG choices do not: Executive experience. Quinn, more than any of his likely GOP opponents, can point to his choice as someone who could step up and run the government.
Also, Vallas’ previous statewide experience will be crucial. This is a very big state, man, and Vallas has already done that gig.
*** UPDATE 10 *** Vallas may have needed another job soon anyway. From the Hartford, CT Courant..
Vallas said at the time he was appointed that he expected it would take him about a year to turn Bridgeport around, but the city — thought a fraction of the size of the other districts where Vallas has worked — has proven a substantial challenge.
The school board that appointed Vallas was eventually ousted as a result of a state Supreme Court ruling and recently a new board was elected that is heavy on Vallas critics.
Vallas’ qualifications for the position have also been called into question by critics who say a University of Connecticut academic program did not provide the credentials he needs.
About six months ago, Vallas told the Courant that he planned to stay in Bridgeport “until I feel we have reached the point where we can safely say these reforms have been institutionalized.”
*** UPDATE 11 *** From the Illinois Radio Network…
Gov. Pat Quinn has selected Paul Vallas, who ran for governor in 2002 and lost in the Democratic primary. Vallas has talked about giving politics a try again on several occasions, and four years ago, he told host Jeff Berkowitz on the Public Affairs cable TV show that he’s now a Republican.
VALLAS: “I would take a Republican primary ballot.”
BERKOWITZ: “Do you think of yourself as a Republican?”
VALLAS: “I’m more of a Republican than a Democrat.”
BERKOWITZ: “If you run again for office you’d be running as a Republican?”
VALLAS: “I would, yes, yes.”
*** UPDATE 12 *** From the Rauner campaign…
Mike Schrimpf, communications director for Bruce Rauner’s gubernatorial campaign, issued the following statement regarding Pat Quinn’s lieutenant governor selection:
“Picking Paul Vallas confirms that Pat Quinn is running scared. Quinn understands that Bruce Rauner has a proven record on school reform and is the only candidate who will shake up the status quo in Springfield. Unfortunately for Quinn, no lieutenant governor candidate can cover up his record of skyrocketing unemployment, higher taxes and failing schools.”
*** UPDATE 13 *** Dillard…
Republican candidate for Governor Kirk Dillard issued the following statement regarding Gov. Quinn’s choice of former Chicago Schools CEO Paul Vallas for Lt. Governor.
“While I’m focused on winning the GOP Primary, clearly this is an all City Hall/Chicago ticket. Paul Vallas — like Pat Quinn — is a big spender. In a Kirk Dillard and Jil Tracy ticket, the collar counties and downstate will be represented too.”
*** UPDATE 14 *** Secretary of State Jesse White…
I applaud Gov. Pat Quinn for selecting Paul Vallas as his candidate for Lt. Governor. Paul has a proven track record of not only protecting our kids and ensuring that they have the opportunities to succeed in life, but also protecting our tax dollars. Paul’s budget and education experiences make him an outstanding choice and I am confident that he will be an outstanding Lt. Governor.