Quinn and Bear It?

Quinn withers under Harold Washington ad as Hynes grabs South Side support

By Mary Ann Ahern and Steve Bryant
|  Friday, Jan 22, 2010  |  Updated 2:00 PM CDT
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Illinois Politics Goes MAD

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Pat Quinn.

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Depending on whom you talk to, late mayor Harold Washington is either rolling in his grave -- or cackling gleefully.

Quinn's supporters say rolling.

"If Harold Washington were alive, he would support Pat Quinn," said former Washington political advisor Jacky Grimshaw.

One day after Quinn's primary opponent Comptroller Dan Hynes launched a controversial political advertisement that featured Washington criticizing Quinn on tape, several state politicians and leaders joined in support of Quinn; among them, Congressman Luis Guitterez, Jacky Grimshaw and Rep. Bobby Rush.

"[This is] the act of a desperate man to manipulate black votes," said Rush.

But Hynes, speaking today at Jones College Prep High School on Chicago's South Side, apparently thinks Washington would be only too happy to see Quinn floundering against the attack.

"I really believe words are powerful," said Hynes, while standing beside six prominent African-American South Side leaders -- some of whom worked for Washington. "Quinn should be fired again. He's more interested in P.R. than solving problems."

And at least one former Washington's insider agrees.

"It's almost kind of paternal disappointment," said Alton Millter, speechwriter and press secretary for the late mayor, to the Chicago Current. "Harold Washington thought he had another team player ... and became alarmed when he noticed that Quinn was talking to the media without ... sufficient coordination from the mayor's standpoint."

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