Gov. Quinn On His Personal Cell Phone: "I Call My Mother"

Governor minimizes use of personal cell phone

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images / Scott Olson
    Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says he's only calling his mom on his personal cell phone.

    Hey Governor Quinn, say hello to your mother for me.

    Gov. Pat Quinn said his private cell phone use is limited. 

    "I call my mother."

    Those were the words he used as he signed new laws making public records, board appointments and state spending more transparent.

    The move was an advance on the vow he made when he came into office seven months ago to clean up government.

    But just last week, some said the use of his personal BlackBerry allows him to conduct business without having to disclose any of his activities under the Freedom of Information Act.

    "This is vintage Pat Quinn, doing something in his own quirky way that in this case blurs the line between transparency and privacy in a way that’s hard to resolve," the executive director of the Better Government Association, Andy Shaw, said last week.

    Quinn was joined at Monday's signing ceremony by Attorney General Lisa Madigan. She'd championed the legislation to strengthen the state's public records laws.

    The new law includes training so public employees know how to comply with public records laws, and it gives the attorney general's office more authority in public records cases.

    Madigan's office sought changes in the law to prevent abuse by state offices that looked for ways not to comply or to delay.

    Quinn also signed laws that make it easier to get information about the state's boards and commissions and state spending.