Pat Quinn's Halloween Costume

Trick or treating in Springfield

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Pat Quinn is scary.

    Pat Quinn will welcome Halloween visitors to the governor's mansion in Springfield on Saturday.

    That won't be much of a stretch. Illinois governors are used to folks knocking on their door and demanding rewards; they typically do so while pretending to be people they aren't, so Halloween is a perfect holiday for our political cohort.

    For example, pols going as reformers is always a popular choice. Some of them don't even bother to put on a costume; they just grovel from a well-rehearsed script. Quinn went as a reformer for years. This year he's going as a competent governor.

    Then again, few state lawmakers need costumes to be scary. Michael Madigan strikes fear in the hearts of children and little old ladies just by walking down the street, though no one is as scared of him as state representatives in swing districts.

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    Andy McKenna kicked off his campaign for governor by taking an obvious stab at former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

    Republicans trying to appeal to their base are sometimes the scariest creatures of all this year, promising to tear their enemies limb from limb and even drown Democrats and trial lawyers to see if they are witches.

    While Rod Blagojevich hair pieces will be popular throughout the rest of the country, no one in Springfield wants to be caught dead looking like our former governor, so don't expect many Blago costumes - even though Republicans keep trying to force one on Quinn.

    (Memo to Republicans: Quinn is doing fine trying on Blago costumes all by himself.)

    Perhaps the scariest creatures in Springfield, though, are the lobbyists. Many of them only work at night or, if they must work during the day, do so in dark cloak rooms or the shadowy crevices of our democracy. Sunlight tends to kill them - or at least make them nauseaus.

    Still, Quinn won't deny treats to anyone who asks for some. Not with an election coming up. The key for the rest of us is to track who comes to his door - and how much candy they get.

    Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.