Here’s a list of cities Gov. Pat Quinn has visited in the last four weeks: Chicago, Boston and Madrid. Last week, Quinn embarked on a flash trade mission to Spain, hoping to persuade Spanish investors to sink their money into manufacturing, construction and alternative energy in Illinois.
Three weeks ago, Quinn flew to Boston for the 2012 BIO International Convention.
Here’s a list of cities Quinn hasn’t visited in the last three weeks: Taylorville, Champaign, Decatur, Quincy, Carbondale, Moline, Olney, Belleville, Effingham, Sandoval.
Quinn last ventured south of Interstate 80 on June 14, when he attended a ceremony to honor Illinois veterans at the Peoria County Courthouse, spoke at a Special Olympics barbecue in Springfield, and opened an international distribution facility at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah. The next day, he was in Rockford to sign a bill protecting letter carriers. Since then, all his public events have been in the Chicago area. Quinn couldn’t even find a small-town Fourth of July parade, a mainstay of gubernatorial photo ops. Instead, he marched in Des Plaines, less than 10 miles from his home in Chicago’s Galewood neighborhood.
Throughout his governorship, Quinn has spent the vast majority of his time in Cook County. According to travel records obtained NBC Chicago through a Freedom of Information Act request, between January 22, 2010 and June 15, 2011, Quinn made 505 official appearances in the Chicago area.
Here’s how many events he held in other parts of the state (take a look for yourself on our interactive map):
Quad Cities: 12
Metro East: 16
Governor, you need to show Downstate you care. Earlier this year, a Champaign television station reported that Quinn spent only 40 nights in the governor’s mansion this year.
We know Quinn will be in Springfield for the Illinois State Fair, which begins Aug. 10. Miranda Lambert is playing on the 18th, and the governor loves that country music. But will he attend the Pike County Fair, from July 11-14? The Decatur Celebration, which runs Aug. 3-5 and features performances by Billy Ocean, Spin Doctors and Color Me Badd? The 33rd Annual Popeye Picnic in Chester, from Sept. 7-9? Or the Arcola Broom Corn Festival, that same weekend?
Summer is the time to find out more about the state you were elected to govern. (Even though that part of the state didn’t elect you to govern it.) It’s time for a road trip, from Rockford to Cairo, and Galena to Metropolis.
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!