Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I’m pleased I’m not Pat Quinn

QUINN: Stinks to be him these days
The problem confronting Illinois government of adequately funding the pension programs the state oversees is ongoing – nothing happened Tuesday on that front, largely because the General Assembly was more concerned about dumping on Gov. Pat Quinn than they were about reaching a resolution.

Tuesday was the day the Illinois Legislature spent its time trying to override the governor so that he’d have to accept as law their version of allowing people to carry a concealed firearm on their person for self-protection.

AN ACT THAT the Democrats will surely be campaigning against come the 2014 election cycle – even many of those who voted for the idea on Tuesday.

Because this is more about letting the governor know who’s boss than anything else. Which may well be the real problem with our government – and not any of the partisan rhetoric that the ideologues of either side will claim it to be!

Even the Chicago Tribune (whose editorial page is on record as supporting the Legislature’s override of Quinn’s amendatory veto, unlike the Chicago Sun-Times which supports the governor) got into the act on Tuesday; coming up with a story that used quotes from state Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, to make it seem that a rural candidate will get into the Democratic primary for governor.

After all, the two candidates thus far (Quinn and William Daley) are both Chicagoans who are going to spend the primary election cycle trying to claim to be more anti-gun than each other.

AND THE POSSIBLE candidacy of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan likely wouldn’t give the firearms fanatics crowd (the people whom Quinn would say are, “genuflect(ing) before the National Rifle Association”) anyone they would want to support.

Not that it’s likely the rural parts of Illinois will produce a credible candidate for governor in the Democratic primary. Not unless someone out there is desperately eager to repeat the 1998 campaign of Glenn Poshard – whose stronger-than-usual Democratic support in rural Illinois was totally outweighed by Chicago voter apathy; thereby giving us the concept of “Gov. George Ryan” for a four-year time period.

It’s more likely that the voters who have this firearms-related concern are going to gravitate to the Republican primary – and this could become an issue where the gun control proponents who are peeved that this issue has become so prominent will wind up backing the Democratic opponent.

Unless, that is, some other issue becomes even more prominent in the voters’ minds.

I’D LIKE TO think that could be the case. Although I suspect that if an issue comes up, it will be one in which the partisans are convinced they can bash Quinn about.

I’m even at the point where I’m starting to wonder if the people who say that the major reason the Legislature has been willing to postpone acting upon pension funding problems is that they don’t want it to happen during the administration of a “Gov. Pat Quinn.”

They don’t want him to be able to get credit for a problem fix – a mentality that is a little too reminiscent of the “Council Wars” of old and the Vrdolyak 29; the Harold Washington opposition that was willing to let problems fester for the short-term because they thought dumping Harold was better for Chicago’s long-term.

I’m not ready to proclaim a direct parallel – largely because I don’t know whom I’d say fills the Vrdolyak role. Then again, “Fast Eddie” was such a unique character that no one could ever compare.

BUT MORE IMPORTANT, in my mind, is the fact that we still don’t have a resolution to funding the state-overseen pension programs. Keep that in mind if you think that Tuesday was some sort of political victory.

And it really makes me grateful that I’m not Pat Quinn these days. While he’s not blameless by any means, the amount of abuse he gets these days to prevent him from accomplishing much is more nerve-wracking than anything I endure.

Although his annoyances also are ours, since we Illinoisans are going to suffer due to the partisan-motivated inactivity.


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