Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Quinn just can’t catch a break

A lot of it depends on the political spin one wants to buy into – were those Chicago Teachers Union members picketing Gov. Pat Quinn?
QUINN: Does anybody like him?

Or a memorial tribute to the events that occurred 11 years ago Tuesday?

EITHER WAY, QUINN’S attempt to partake in an event paying tribute to the people who perished on Sept. 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center and at the Pentagon got sideswiped by striking schoolteachers who wanted to ensure someone would pay attention to them.

Personally, I suspect that was their true motive. It’s not like Quinn has been hostile toward the teachers during the months leading up to walking off the job beginning Monday.

Then again, he hasn’t exactly done anything to try to put a muzzle on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to get him to negotiate with the teachers in a more rational manner. So maybe they’re peeved with the governor for not being supportive enough?

But Quinn, as he tried to show himself sympathetic to the military, wound up getting caught up in the middle of the labor dispute that is the reason why the whole world IS watching Chicago these days.

FOR WHAT IT’S worth, Quinn decided to make his public appearance at a Sept. 11-type event in the Archer Heights neighborhood. The city’s Southwest Side. It might have played over well.

Except for the fact that the memorial he attended was just a couple of blocks from the Curie Metro High School (for what it’s worth, I had a couple of cousins who attended that school a few decades ago).

The teachers picketing there decided to take their signs and their shouts and move them over to be within earshot of Quinn.

Although the reports from the Associated Press indicate that the teachers tried to temper their behavior while at a Sept. 11 tribute. Some even made sure to have U.S. flags to wave about.

BUT QUINN STILL gets dumped on and dragged into something I’m sure he would have preferred to stay far away from – since a local school district is pretty far well removed from the jurisdiction of state government.

It’s not like anyone should expect him to get involved in the negotiations. If he were to try to, then we’d have a legitimate gripe and an excuse to go picket the Thompson Center state government building and chant, “Mind your own (expletive deleted) business!”

Besides, there are enough people complaining about the governor on issues that are his business.

Take the meeting held Monday in suburban South Holland by the Abraham Lincoln National Airport Commission – the entity affiliated with Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., to promote (and someday operate) a new Chicago-area airport in rural Will County.

THAT MEETING DEVOLVED into a gripe session about why no airport has been built despite more than two decades of talk. And everybody blamed Quinn – claiming that his talk is cheap and his actions don’t come close to backing it up.

Which strikes me as odd because I have always felt that among state government officials, Quinn may be one of the few who actually cares about the issue. Learning that some African-American pastors (who want an airport because they want their parishioners to get jobs there, or at businesses nearby) are talking in terms of dumping Quinn in 2014 for this issue alone borders on ludicrous!

Then again, Quinn has become the punching bag for our local political scene; no matter what the issue. Other government officials have enough muscle that people fear taking them on.

Take Emanuel, whom a new poll says most people think has bungled the teacher contract negotiations. How many people have yet gotten into his face about it? Challenging Quinn seems so much easier. He doesn’t bite!


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