Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Lose to Kirk, Get a Job

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    NEWSLETTERS

    If you’re an Illinois Democrat, there’s no success like failure. Especially if you live in the 10th Congressional District, and are trying to succeed Mark Kirk.

    Dan Seals lost three consecutive elections in the 10th District -- twice to Mark Kirk, and once to Rep. Robert Dold, who currently holds the seat.

    Gov. Pat Quinn admires persistence -- he lost races for Secretary of State, U.S. Senate and Lieutenant Governor before finally catching on as Lite Guv in 2002. So he’s given Seals a $121,029-a-year job as assistant director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

    “He’s worked in corporate America, and the governor feels his expertise and his experience will really help us continue to show businesses why Illinois is a great state to locate,” Quinn spokeswoman Annie Thompson said.

    Seals is the second 10th District loser to find a landing spot in Quinn’s administration. Last year, Quinn hired former state Rep. Julie Hamos, who lost the Democratic primary to Seals, as director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

    Neither of these jobs pay as well as serving in Congress, which comes with a $174,000-a-year salary, but Springfield is less expensive than Washington, D.C.

    This leads to the question, “What is Gov. Quinn doing for Alexi Giannoulias?” So far, Giannoulias’s only post-election gig is a part-time job teaching political science at Northwestern University. The banking heir doesn’t need the money -- he’s so wealthy he didn’t have to pay taxes last year -- but he obviously needs something to keep him busy. The last time we saw him, he was schmoozing at a Robert Redford red carpet event. He’s also writing a book, a “tell-mostly” about his political career. That’s the true sign of a man with too much time on his hands.

    Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!