Please bear with me as I make a long wind-up for a simple pitch. The pitch is: I've always thought Pat Quinn was a pretty decent guy. Honest, sincere, well-meaning and not self-aggrandizing. Lately, though, Quinn has given me reason to wonder.
And now the wind-up.
In Illinois, the lieutenant governor, for all practical purposes, has no duties. None. A governor can assign duties to his/her second-in-command, but they rarely do. So it was that Pat Quinn, serving as "lite gov" to Rod Blagojevich (a man who, we would learn from FBI recordings in 2010, hated being governor after 2006) decided he would devote much of his time to honoring military service members from Illinois...
Lately, though, Quinn's actions haven't squared with those of the guy from [before].
First came Quinn's refusal to concede defeat to Bruce Rauner on election night. Then, when he did concede the next day, he wasn't exactly gracious. He didn't even acknowledge his opponent by name.
Then came word that Quinn intended to appoint his campaign manager, Lou Bertuca, as head of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority. Bertuca, 30, has no experience in finance or sports facilities management...
Then, late last week, came word that Quinn had appointed 51 people to various state boards and commissions. The action came a month to the day before Rauner is scheduled to be sworn into office...
I really hope all this is not a prelude to what could be one of the biggest, most audacious and most outrageous lame-duck acts by a governor in Illinois history.
Read the rest, including how Quinn's recent actions might a clue to what he plans to do with the vacant office of late Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, at Reboot Illinois.
While Quinn must deal with how to handle the empty seat of the comptroller, many Illinoisans are still mourning Topinka's death. Rich Miller of Capitol Fax says he will miss the government official who many remember as to-the-point and efficient.
In a matter of seconds, we lost not only one of our state's strongest voices for financial prudence, its most consistently successful female statewide elected official, its most pro-union, pro-gay rights Republican, but also its most human politician.
Read the rest of Miller's memories of Topinka at Reboot Illinois.