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Question of the day

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

* Gov. Pat Quinn stressed to reporters again today that the problems with his anti-violence initiative are at the grant recipient level, not at his level. The top people in his administration who were closely associated with the grant program are mostly no longer in government, so throwing them off the train ain’t gonna work. Throwing them under the bus probably won’t work either because he praised them both when they resigned. He’s tried to highlight real, substantive reforms he’s hoping to put in place, but was mostly ignored by reporters. He’s even getting blamed for the fact that Dorothy Brown’s husband was hired by one of the oldest and most respected anti-poverty, anti-violence groups in the nation, and that nobody knew the guy had an out of state felony conviction for writing a bad check.

As a commenter put it today

here’s the recurring problem for Quinn, he can’t stay on a single message.

Message #1: i found the corruption and put an end to it. False-Senate R’s found it first.

Message #2: it’s all politics. False-Bipartisan group of legislators just called for investigation.

stay tuned for message #3

And I’m pretty sure whatever message he decides on next will be outdated or proved false as soon as he delivers it.

* The Question: What should Gov. Quinn do now to deal with this mess?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


65 Comments
  1. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    Announce that he will not seek reelection until the situation is handled. He needs to restore his credibility.


  2. - Reformed Public Servant - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    I had given the election to PQ, but this might actually make it a 50/50 race for Rauner.


  3. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:14 pm:

    Pledge full cooperation with the investigation(s). Tell us he is as disappointed as we are with how this program was bungled despite his best intentions. Vow to work night and day to root out corruption in his administration.

    Then change the subject.


  4. - A guy... - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:15 pm:

    Speed it up any way he can, be as forthright as possible and get it behind him while summer vacations are being taken. At the same time, figure out what it takes to solve the CTU problem and git er done. If the teachers go on strike after all of this, he’s shredded wheat, not toast.


  5. - Concerned Voter - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    He should say that under advice of counsel I can’t speak about an ongoing investigation inside the Governors office, than say it was fun being Governor of Illinois, and move over Blago I think you have a new roommate coming.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    It may, in all seriousness, be the, “I will testify, and I will sit in front of the Joint Committee and will answer all questions to my role as Governor and this sorted affair.”

    TV ain’t helping.

    Ads will be killing him.

    Friday news dumps are useless.

    If getting in front of this means actually getting in front of a Joint Committee, with an Auditor General report that is also in the hands of the US Attorney, the way to get the attention of those ignoring your side(s) or spin(s), might have to be to sit and be grilled, and count in incompetence and not criminality shines through.

    It’s a Hail Mary times 11, but no one is listening to what he’s peddling or how he is peddling it.

    “Blue Ribbon Commission”?

    Got a Joint Committee, thanks.

    No one to “fire”, not existing now to shut down…

    Not many outs. Might have to raise his hand and speak(?)


  7. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    Change the subject.

    He has no control as to where this will go. He’s in the big chair, he’ll take the hit no matter what.


  8. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    – False-Senate R’s found it first–

    Only if the auditor general is a GOP Senator.


  9. - Tony Strupac - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    Own it.


  10. - Norseman - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    I’m with 47.


  11. - In the Middle - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    Prove me wrong, but I tend to think the program was a giant slush fund.

    If that’s the case, there’s nothing Quinn can do but hope the truth doesn’t come out.


  12. - abc123 - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    Regarding his claim that he investigated first and acted on it, the stupid reporters neglected to ask the obvious: What did you learn and who did you tell? Why didn’t he tell legal authorities and the public? He’s dug himself into a ‘what did you know and when did you know it’ scandal. Failure to disclose a felony is a felony.


  13. - Just Me - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:29 pm:

    Stick with story #1. If you say it over and over again eventually people believe it.


  14. - Waffle Fries - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    The answer is legislate to the lowest denominator, use a cannon to swat a mosquito.

    We’ll never root out bad behavior and folks will always exploit if grant funds get into the wrong hands.

    I would say its important to make sure any legislation that passes due to this elephant in the room is well thought out and doesn’t cause any negative consequences in the long run.


  15. - Responsa - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    He should on his own find some other current grant programs that have also been mishandled and money seriously misused, (shouldn’t be hard to find) and make a huge public display of being shocked, firing people, shutting the programs down, and suing to get the money back for Illinois taxpayers. Some perennial cronies will need to be sacrificed. Quinn’s going to have to break some serious eggs here if he wants to restore his personal reputation and credibility and prove he’s trustworthy enough to be re-elected.


  16. - Oh Come On! - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    Pledge to cooperate and change the subject immediately.


  17. - William j Kelly - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    According to Rahm and McCarthy crime in Chicago is down, so the grant money is working! Quinn should be declaring victory! next question!


  18. - Steve - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:33 pm:

    Just say he knew nothing. What more can he said?


  19. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    Thing is, even being “Governor”, this thing, however it plays itself out, is going to dog him. It will either be Ads or the Joint Committee dragging, or what if from July until November, the US Attorney, after announcing possible indictments of others in 3 week intervals, it will be incredibly difficult to change the subject as all this swirls around him.

    Quinn ain’t Rod. Managing all this controversy during campaigning, tough road.

    I hate it, but may have to do more than just be “forthcoming”.

    Lawyers would be totally against it, but facing the music of that Joint Committee, it’s awful, awful optics. Horrible option, but that might be the most control Quinn could have.


  20. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:39 pm:

    Steve got it. The Sargent Schultz defense.

    Quinn better make sure no other dubious bungled programs are uncovered. I bet there’s more, e.g., summer youth jobs program.


  21. - William j Kelly - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    Or maybe Quinn could say what was I supposed to do NOTHING?!


  22. - OneMan - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    A) Try some more puppy bills…
    B) Say “It isn’t like we were trying to sell a senate seat or something”
    C) Use Billionare, People Of Illinois Good and True as much as possible…

    Seriously…

    Full document dump. Get ahead of it and toss Dorthy Brown under the bus.


  23. - Simple Message - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    47th Ward hit it on the head but I would cut out the “my adminstration” part and replace it with:

    Pledge full cooperation with the investigation(s). Tell us he is as disappointed as we are with how this program was bungled despite his best intentions. Vow to work night and day to root out corruption in - (”anywhere in this state. The people are tired of it and so am I.”)

    Then change the subject.


  24. - William j Kelly - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:45 pm:

    Or maybe Quinn Should say, if not elected officials who know the affected violent areas of the city who else was I supposed to give the to???


  25. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    –Steve got it. The Sargent Schultz defense.–

    It’s already taken. Rauner scooped it up in the primary.


  26. - William j Kelly - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    Or maybe Quinn should say, why aren’t you investigating rahmner’s grant to tio’s ceasefire leader who primaried me?


  27. - Wensicia - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    Maybe, “I put my trust in the wrong people and will work with authorities to get to the bottom of this.”

    He’s gotta claim ignorance on his part, and use Rauner’s favorite excuse, “As far as my involvement, there’s no there there.”


  28. - A guy... - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    ==* The Question: What should Gov. Quinn do now to deal with this mess?===

    Find out if there’s any money left in the program and start distributing it now. But find a new local dealer.


  29. - I B Strapped - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:51 pm:

    He should be truthful and say he doesn’t know even a smidgen about the supposed allegations.


  30. - William j Kelly - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:52 pm:

    Or maybe Quinn should say, why isn’t someone investigation Rauner’s apparent campaign finance law obfuscation and possible vote buying tactics in relation to iPi , jack roeser and rev. Meeks etc.


  31. - John A Logan - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    Start a program to help combat violence in the South side. Assign Chicago alderman to dictate where the money gets spent.


  32. - New guy - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    Follow the money. Where is it?


  33. - NW Illinois Dem - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    Hand over the reins to Bill Daley — ha ha.

    I don’t know — but he has to roll some heads immediately. His reputation as an honest, but ineffective, manager and CEO are killing him right now. Clean house. Fire all the kids who say “yes” to him. Bring in some veterans. He needs to take action to turn the page - demonstrate a New Era of Mature Governing.


  34. - Cassandra - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    Blaming the whole thing on the grant recipients is an interesting, if perhaps necessary approach, but aren’t these grant recipients the same groups with whom Quinn was allegedly currying favor with his $54 million handout in 2010. And isn’t there another election coming up. Maybe the recipients feel differently about what happened with the money. Maybe having various investigative bodies tramping scarily through their files and indicting people won’t inspire them to vote Quinn this time. If you are going to hand out tens of millions in taxpayer money to advance your election prospects, you need to do it right.


  35. - William j Kelly - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    Btw how is this vote buying, where these people going to vote republican? Rauner donations to rev. Meeks etc are another story. How are these rauner donations being reported?


  36. - Formerpol - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    He should resign.


  37. - William j Kelly - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 3:49 pm:

    Also how is this grant any different from any other state grant to any other organization in regards to vote buying? Do grants to cultural centers buy cultural center votes? Do grants to hospitals buy hospital votes? Who is to say this money was any more ore less wasted than any other grant money?


  38. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    More puppies. Lots and lots of puppies.


  39. - Solo - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    Every one of the Quinn scandals (IDOT, DNR, IVPA) are dug up by the media, auditors, etc., and he is then forced to respond after the fact. I’d like to see his administration actually discover misdeeds on their own and go to the media to get in front of the scandal for once.


  40. - Anon. - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 4:09 pm:

    ==More puppies. Lots and lots of puppies.==

    Confess that the whole thing was a scam to divert state moneys to rescue puppies that were going to be gassed in bunches under Brady’s legislation. “It was wrong, but my heart told me to do it and I’d do it again today to save senior citizens from abuse in Bruce Rauner’s nursing homes.”


  41. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 4:29 pm:

    Quinn is far more honest than the people who are trying to make him appear to be guilty of wrong doing. This scandal says more about Quinn’s opponents than it says about him.


  42. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    ==The answer is legislate to the lowest denominator, use a cannon to swat a mosquito.==

    So the state legislature should pass a bill for every single contract in the state? You think that would make things better?


  43. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 4:49 pm:

    ==Quinn is far more honest than the people who are trying to make him appear to be guilty of wrong doing. This scandal says more about Quinn’s opponents than it says about him.==

    And the Captain of the Titanic once thought his ship was unsinkable, and such things that looked like small icebergs were no threat.


  44. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 4:57 pm:

    Anonymous :

    Team Quinn is making themselves look guilty.

    Initially, Team Quinn claimed the program was based on recommendations from a task force. Turned out, they began asking aldermen for recommendations for grantees a week before the task force made its recommendations.

    I thought part of Quinn’s initial response was the strongest: I was at the funeral for three different police officers that summer. We had a moral responsibility to act.


  45. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 5:34 pm:

    Agree completely YDD - that was and is absolutely his best defense. Noble goals. Sloppy execution.


  46. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 6:11 pm:

    I’m serious.
    He announces that he will reconsider his candidacy and suspend his campaign. Then Democrats orchestrate a groundswell of support to reaffirm him as their candidate. Quinn didn’t get a challenger, but right now he needs legitimacy in light of this news that beating a challenger would give him.

    The move helps restore his credibility as a guy who ended up as governor due to chance and merit, and reaffirms his support among the party faithful. It would make news. It would bounce the issue off the page. It will show voters that the Democrats believe Quinn.

    The only drawback for Quinn would be if he doesn’t get a reaffirmation by his party. But better that happen by chance than hoping ignoring, bloviating and luck wins him the Office again.


  47. - MrJM - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 6:12 pm:

    The Question: What should Gov. Quinn do now to deal with this mess?

    Prepare three envelopes…

    – MrJM


  48. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 6:23 pm:

    Thanks Cynic.

    Given what we know about Quinn, I presume the only reason they haven’t tried to throw anyone under the bus is because anyone they might try to toss would certainly drag a few with them.

    I am not certain I would plead guilty to lousy execution for that reason. There are other options, depending on the facts.


  49. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 7:14 pm:

    VanillaMan:

    If he really wanted to go that route, he could just role back to Senator Murphy’s original comments for CNN that this program was “just welfare.” There are easier ways to rally the base if that is your only goal.

    Heck, my good friend Beth Coulson sponsored legislation banning a particular toy after one child was nearly killed…but Pat Quinn responds to 66 children being shot to death in one year and it is no more than “welfare.”

    Again, depends on the facts. But as I said before, Rauner is going to try to make this campaign about Quinn, and Quinn seems to want to have a battle about who is the better manager. Might as well have that fight here, rather than elsewhere and here.


  50. - Capo - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 8:06 pm:

    Focus on the reason he was put on this earth and how he solved the pension crisis - at least temporarily. Then tell everyone how he allowed the tolls to double under his watch and how the temporary tax increase needs to be made permanent. Maybe remind the voters that he was Blago’s lieutenant governor and tell us how he is the ultimate outsider. Maybe he should just resign.


  51. - Empty Suit - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 8:56 pm:

    Change the subject to Climate Control..and blame the Republicans for that too.


  52. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 7:39 am:

    The problem with pleading ignorance is the Feds are involved. PQ is an incredible politician. Give credit where it is due. He can’t claim ignorance because he knows what that means for his freedom….This.Is.Real. This was a slush fund….He has to prove it was not. That will be tough with the little we know. Wait until the Feds start asking questions to Dorothy and goodness knows who ever…. These “cronies” that will be sacrificed know OW’s advice matters…Lawyer up early….


  53. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 7:42 am:

    There is no telling, btw, what advice or talking points advisers are giving to Quinn. It may very well be that he is the one who decided to wander away into the wilderness.

    In either case, it probably would not hurt to bring in someone fresh for some advice…a Dennis Culloton type.


  54. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 7:47 am:

    –This.Is.Real. This was a slush fund….He has to prove it was not.–

    You’re a wee bit ahead of yourself, Walter.


  55. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 7:51 am:

    Word… Perhaps. .. If not, what is the reason you attribute a skilled politician not being out front? It may not be too far off…


  56. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 7:51 am:

    Also, the December, 2012 CNN story mentioned that University of Chicago was analyzing the outcomes…where is that analysis?

    It is not terribly hard to design a study that will tell you the impact.

    Also, Quinn ought to highlight that grants were given out not just in Chicago and Cook, but also to some downstate communities. Voters tend to be more cynical about Chicago politicians, and the fact that the money reportedly went to five Chicago wards plays into old parochial animosities.


  57. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 7:53 am:

    ===In either case, it probably would not hurt to bring in someone fresh for some advice…a Dennis Culloton type.===

    Probably the best advice I read.

    New face, new voice, “battle-tested”, someone of that ilk.


  58. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 8:05 am:

    –In either case, it probably would not hurt to bring in someone fresh for some advice…a Dennis Culloton type.–

    Advice on what? Does he know what the state’s attorney and U.S. attorney are up to?

    They’re the ones driving the process on this issue now.


  59. - South Suburban Voter - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 8:08 am:

    Bring should bring in some people who are knowledgeable and more connected to the community! People in the community knew this Benton Cook was shady and Quinn should never say he heard about Cook’s involvement from the Sun-times article and not his staff!! There was an auditors report and a federal investigation going on and your finding things out from the newspapers?1?


  60. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 8:12 am:

    ===Advice on what? Does he know what the state’s attorney and U.S. attorney are up to?

    They’re the ones driving the process on this issue now.===

    If everyone above says “change the subject”, well, a new set of vocal chords and new face to do what everyone said, and tray new voice and face being battle-tested can only help in that changing of the subject.

    That’s all.


  61. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 8:21 am:

    Changing the subject with another voice that say’s it ain’t raining…still doesn’t stop the rain…


  62. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 8:24 am:

    Mabye Quinn will get lucky and the prosecutors will come through with an “October Surprise” for him like Scott Lassar did for George Ryan.

    Given the heat that Lassar has taken for it since then, I kind of doubt it, lol.


  63. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 8:27 am:

    “Changing the subject” is fine, and they’ll do that every day.

    But, again, it’s out of their hands as to when “this” subject will pop back up.


  64. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 8:31 am:

    That’s why this Pickle… it’s a tough one.

    “Controlling something you have zero control of…”

    Brutal.


  65. - G.I.Joe - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 9:09 am:

    Cartoon - PQ holding up two hangers of clothes, one with vertical stripes and one with horizontal stripes. RB making the comment ‘I think you would look better in orange’.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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