Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Why Pat Quinn Was Labeled Governor of Chicago

Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    If an Illinois governor wins four counties, does that give him the right to run the other 98?

    Not according to some Downstate newspapers, who are questioning Quinn’s mandate because of his unbalanced victory. He may be the governor of the state of Chicago, they’re saying, but he’s not our governor.

    Steve Stanek, a research fellow at the conservative Heartland Institute, wrote in the Northwest Herald that the counties Quinn won:

    rely extensively on government money, political corruption or both to function. And they are the reason Quinn will remain governor.

    “More than half of Quinn’s vote total came from Cook County. He received more than 500,000 more votes there than did Brady, in an election where the difference statewide was some 19,000 votes.

    Yet Quinn has boldly told reporters that his re-election is a “mandate” for a higher income tax. He says the state needs the tax hike because of its disastrous fiscal situation.

    So not only did Quinn only win four counties, he won the four worst counties in the state, which makes him even less legitimate.

    The Southern Illinoisan of Carbondale is published in one of the counties Quinn won, but it still proposed disenfranchising Chicagoans by creating an Electoral College to ensure that tax-happy urban voters alone cannot choose a governor.

    “It would give our state a chance to remain known as the ‘Land of Lincoln’ and not as ‘the suburb of Chicago,’” wrote the editorialist, who may not be aware that similar systems in other states have been ruled unconstitutional for violating the principle of one-person, one-vote.

    And Decatur’s Herald & Review writes that “the fact that Quinn won only four counties doesn’t diminish the fact that he will be governor for the next 4 years.

    But it should have an impact on the way he governs. The vote clearly demonstrates that downstate folks are not happy with the way things are in Springfield.”

    Quinn may only have won 3.9 percent of the state’s counties, but he won 100 percent of his governorship. And he’ll be letting Illinois down if he acts like anything less than a full-fledged governor. Quinn has not been a strong leader the last two years. Part of that may be due to the fact that even he considered himself an “accidental governor.” Now he’s an elected governor. During the campaign, he declared that a vote for Quinn was a vote for a 1 point increase in the state’s income tax. He needs to push the General Assembly to pass that, despite its narrow margin.

    Chicago newspapers didn’t whine when Jim Edgar of Charleston and George Ryan of Kankakee were elected governor. Or when Mark Kirk was elected senator.  Bill Brady didn’t lose because Cook County alone decides who’ll run the state.

    In fact, Cook County cast just under 40 percent of the votes in this year’s election. He lost because he was a terrible candidate who wanted to believe he didn’t need any Cook County votes to win. Accept that, and choose a better candidate in four years. One who’ll campaign Downstate, and in Cook County.