Friday, January 22, 2010
Gov. Pat Quinn was stung by the campaign commercial released by rival and comptroller Dan Hynes in which the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, a week before he died, savaged Quinn in an interview.
Quinn was just a young opportunist back in the 1980s, thin and with a full head of hair and promises of frugal grandeur. Quinn's most destructive act was to mislead voters into believing he was a reformer, rather than a big mouthed opportunist, and rallied a drive to cut back the 3rd seat in the Illinois legislative districts that we now know crippled party diversity.
Quinn's people blasted Hynes for the use of Washington's powerful and devastating words, and then, came back with an attack of their own in which Washington attacked Hynes three times. Not Dan Hynes, but Dan Hynes' popular and brilliant father Tom Hynes.
It's typical of the vicious nature of the Quinn campaign. Quinn has a hate list that he keeps targeting journalists who have criticized him, and is blind to corruption and questionable conduct by people around him. Some of Tony Rezko's closest activists found their way in to state government and controversy through Quinn who associates with some questionable characters in the American Arab and Islamic community. Quinn is no friend of moderation and has helped the most extreme, anti-Israel elements rise in state power. They're all around him and recently some of them were involved in forums to showcase their preferred candidates.
As an American Arab involved in fighting for moderation for years, I would not want to be in the same room as some of the fanatics that Quinn has allied himself and I have spent the past two decades distancing myself from those questionable characters. There is a battle between moderates and extremists in the American Arab and Muslim community and Quinn has not associated himself with the moderates.
Dan Hynes, however, responded that Quinn's attack ads focus on his father, Tom Hynes, at a time when Dan Hynes was only a teenager.
Quinn's biggest complaint about Hynes is the narrowly focused controversy over the Alsip cemetery. In truth, it's terrible but every state agency was duped by the operators. Public sector fraud is committed by criminals, not the government officials whose agencies monitor the public sectors. The fact is Quinn as the twice-running mate of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich has more to answer to than Hynes. What did he do to protect Illinois citizens.
I knew Tom Hynes well. He is a great man. Dan Hynes will undoubtedly be even greater.
Quinn, well, he has been one big disappointment. A self-serving hypocrite with a grudge and that's not the kind of person who should be running our state.
I covered Harold Washington during my 17 years as City Hall reporter including for the Chicago Sin-Times. Washington really disliked Quinn. And although Hynes challenged Washington for mayor, many thought Hynes' real focus was on the sinister Ed Vrdolyak. Washington actually liked Hynes very much and although they had their political squabbles, it wasn't a personal fight, but always professional between Hynes and Washington. You can't say the same for Quinn.