Rhodes: Pat Quinn Is the Lollygagger

Hapless, clueless

Pat Quinn is fast becoming the Todd Stroger of Springfield.

Both slid into their jobs through the unexpected departures of their predecessors, both have acted as front men for Machine interests, and both have displayed a gross incompetence and haplessness that is jaw-dropping.

Quinn's latest miscue is his attempt to borrow $500 million for the state to help fill the budget deficit.

On Tuesday, Quinn blasted his primary opponent, state Comptroller Dan Hynes, of playing politics by delaying approval of the borrowing plan.

"I'm ready to go, [state Treasurer] Alexi Giannoulias is ready to go, it's time for Dan Hynes to stop dragging his feet and tell his people to sit down with our budget people," Quinn said. "Now to be lollygagging along and meandering along instead of getting the job done is inexcusable. The people of Illinois expect every constitutional officer to do his or her job without politics and this is very important."

Among the problems with Quinn's attack: Giannoulias is certainly not ready to go. And neither is Attorney General Lisa Madigan. And neither, it turns out, is Quinn.

"We haven't seen anything yet," a spokesman from Giannoulias's office said.

Neither had Madigan's office, which has to certify the borrowing plan.

Quinn, you see, is the lollygagger.

"This is insanity," Hynes said, "and somebody needs to stop the madness."

Hynes told the Chicgao Tribune that Quinn floated four proposals in three weeks, including one that promised details at a later date. Details? We don't need no stinkin' details! 

"The other night, I answered my phone and heard a recorded voice say, 'this is Governor Pat Quinn . . . ," commenter BigDog writes at Capitol Fax, where Rich Miller has by far the most exhaustive account of Quinn's bungling. "Is it wrong that I said 'You’re an idiot' into the phone (yes, to a recording), and slammed the phone down?"

Nope. Not wrong at all, BigDog.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, an award-winning Chicago-centric news and culture review that chronicles haplessness and cluelessness.

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