After his Saturday night show at the Illinois State Fair, early ’90s rap star MC Hammer got on Twitter and sent this message to his 2.1 million followers:
"Also special thanks to Governor Pat Quinn for coming out to the show tonite. #Salute #Hammertime."
Quinn’s taste in music runs more toward country singer George Strait. As Illinois State Treasurer from 1991 to 1995, he did not wear Aladdin pants. He probably doesn’t even know MC Hammer ripped off Rick James for his biggest hit. But by attending a hip-hop concert, Quinn sent a political message: you don’t have to gamble to have a good time at the State Fair.
Slot machines at the State Fairgrounds harness track are just one the provisions Quinn doesn’t like about the gambling expansion bill. The bill passed the General Assembly after heavy lobbying by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but has not yet been sent to a reluctant Quinn.
Could MC Hammer, then, be an ally in Quinn’s battle with Emanuel? It began as a dispute over the gambling bill, but seems to be getting personal, according the Tribune:
Emanuel is counting on a city-owned casino included in the bill to generate up to $140 million to help pay for public works improvements, including repairs to roads, bridges, schools and mass transit. Emanuel maintains Quinn knew of the mayor’s list of how he would spend the city’s new gambling revenue prior to its public release. But when Emanuel outlined it last week, Quinn responded by saying the mayor was “putting the cart before the horse” and suggested it was the latest effort to pressure him to sign the measure.
Quinn’s office denied the mayor’s contention that the governor had asked Emanuel to release a spending list for gambling proceeds. The governor’s office also pushed back by saying Quinn wouldn’t make a “rush to judgment” and approve the measure in light of the “parking-meter fiasco,” a reference to Daley’s unpopular long-term lease of the city meters.
The reference to the parking-meter controversy was viewed unfavorably in the new mayor’s shop. A frustrated Emanuel said he “will not allow Chicago’s future to be held hostage because the state obviously has other financial issues and their resources have been drying up over the years.”
Ouch. After seeing MC Hammer Quinn knows just what to say to Emanuel: “Boy, you better step back freeze ’cause you don't want none/ I hustle for my muscle and you look weak son.”
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