Gov. Pat Quinn won a mandate in this month’s election, but not the one he wanted. Throughout the campaign, Quinn insisted that a vote for him was a vote for a one-point tax increase.
Uh-uh, says House Speaker Michael Madigan,
“I just didn’t consider the result of the election to be a mandate for a tax increase,” Madigan said at the start of this fall’s veto session in Springfield. “I didn’t see it that way.”
Madigan says he won’t pass a tax increase unless Republicans go along, too, which is the same as saying he won’t pass it. Getting Republicans to vote for higher taxes is like getting vampires to vote for garlic.On the other hand, Madigan says there’s a “good chance” his House of Representatives will pass a bill allowing civil unions for gays and lesbians.
Whether Quinn likes it or not, that’s the mandate he actually campaigned for. During the worst fiscal crisis in Illinois’s history, Quinn didn’t campaign on economic issues. If he had, he would have lost. Instead, he changed the subject and ran against Bill Brady’s 15th Century views on women, dogs and homosexuals.
Not once did Quinn run an ad promising that, if elected, he would raise the state’s income tax. Instead, he ran ads portraying Brady as the bastard son of Ebenezer Scrooge and Cruella de Ville -- a heartless conservative who wanted to lower the minimum wage and throw puppies into gas chambers.
Now that he’s won the election, Quinn wants to change the subject back to the economy. But Madigan is correct. We didn’t vote for Quinn because we wanted him to raise our taxes. We voted for him because we were afraid Bill Brady would make the Spanish Inquisition look like the Enlightenment.
If Gov. Quinn wanted a tax increase, he should have made that the main platform of his campaign. But if he’d done that, he wouldn’t be Gov. Quinn much longer.