Sparks Fly Over Campaign Ads

Quinn says Washington ad is part of "low-blow" campaign; Hynes says it's "relevant"

By BJ Lutz
|  Friday, Jan 22, 2010  |  Updated 5:35 AM CDT
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Harold Washington Used in New Hynes Attack Ad

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The Democratic candidates sparred during a debate Thursday.

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Quinn, Hynes Spar Over "Washington" Ad

The Democratic candidates for governor met in Carbondale to debate the issues just hours after a new campaign ad invoked the memory of Chicago's first black mayor.

Harold Washington Used in New Hynes Attack Ad

Candidate for governor Dan Hynes turns 20-year-old comments from Mayor Harold Washington into an attack ad on Gov. Pat Quinn. But does it go too far?
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Comptroller Dan Hynes says his one-minute campaign ad with video of Chicago's first black mayor eviscerating Pat Quinn is "relevant" to the current campaign.

"I think it's history repeating itself," Hynes said during a Thursday night debate with the governor in Carbondale.  "It's relevant.  It's a parallel that I think people will now understand and realize that it's time for a change."

Hynes' statement was a response to a moderator's question about why it's fair to use the words of former Mayor Harold Washington when his own father ran against him.

Hynes' ad features a 1987 interview Washington did with WGN-TV, explaining why he fired Quinn as the city's revenue director.

"Pat Quinn is a totally and completely undisciplined individual," says Washington in the video, "who thinks this government is nothing but a large easel on which to do his PR work. He almost created a shambles in that department."

Quinn was chomping at the bit to rebut. 

"OK, our Comptroller here has been running a low-road campaign from day one," Quinn said before refuting the claim that Washington had fired him and reminding voters that the comptroller's father, Tom Hynes, left the Democratic party in 1987 so he could try to unseat Washington.

Quinn said Washington considered him a friend.

"I don't appreciate what the comptroller is doing with his low-blow campaign.  He ought to be ashamed of himself," Quinn said. 

Quinn's latest ad blames Hynes for allegedly failing to catch the misdeeds at Alsip's historic Burr Oak Cemetery. 

Both candidates denied the ads were specifically for black voters, saying they're looking to appeal to "all voters."

The primary election is Feb. 2.

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