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Friday, January 30, 2009 The Tidy Quinn
Hey, there's a guy who became governor, too! There's some good cramming material out there, for those who thought he'd be the nice guy who finished second forever.
Here's Ben Joravsky snickering at a younger, zanier incarnation of Quinn as the city's revenue director (via Whet). I guess the idea is that he's a self-promoter with some untested ideas about getting parking tickets paid. To me, though, it reads like a sad dispatch from the relative sincerity of the Washington years. I would love to have more chirpy a-holes like that Pat Quinn around running things. The piece is also interesting for this blast from the past: "After [May 1], all people with ten or more outstanding parking tickets will get the boot." Ten!
Joravsky strikes a different tone in praising Quinn's tenure on the board of tax appeals, in an article about a succession battle there in 1988 (ibid). He's also got some interesting ideas on school funding.
Mick Dumke points out that he has raised money from the kind of people and organizations who give money in Illinois elections. The amounts are pretty small--$49,000 from AFSCME over three or four years sounds like a marker to me, but I don't know.
It does furnish grounds for speculation about his motives for trying to push the 2010 primary back from February to September, however: he needs time to raise some more money. He claims that it's about giving the state a year to focus on governance before electioneering starts. The motives are not mutually exclusive.
So far I'm not seeing much basis for cynicism or scorn. The guy has been too powerless to be crooked and too earnest to be a very successful hypocrite. He's had a hit-and-miss career both in politics and policy (cutting down the size of the state house of representatives had some nasty unintended consequences), but I'm hard-pressed to think of a better type to run this crudely dysfunctional state than an irritating, self-promoting goo-goo. Good luck!1:37 PM
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