Quinn and Hynes Set to Spar - NBC Chicago

Quinn and Hynes Set to Spar

Primary voting is just weeks away



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    The Democratic candidates for governor have beef.

    Gov. Pat Quinn and his Democratic primary challenger, Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes, will square off in a debate this evening sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Illinois and the Better Government Association.

    It has been a contentious campaign so far between Quinn and Hynes, with both taking swipes at the other's character. In the latest installment, Hynes says Quinn is lying in a political ad about the early prisoner release program that dogged him weeks ago.

    In the Quinn ad, the narrator says the governor supports moving some non-violent criminals to half-way houses so prison space can be used to house the state's most violent offenders.

    "Pat Quinn's TV ad is an insult to our intelligence," the voice in Hynes' ad retorts. "It's an outrage. Pat Quinn caught secretly releasing 1,700 dangerous criminals to try and save money."

    Quinn responded to the attack, saying, "I think that just is not a good way to go in a democracy.  I believe in civility and decency.  I'm going to run a positive campaign."

    Then he ran ads attacking Hynes, accusing his office of employing criminal aides -- one who allegedly stole $100,000 in state funds and another who allegedly used state computers to commit securities fraud.

    The two men are trying to hold on to the governor's mansion for Democrats in the wake of the Rod Blagojevich scandal and huge state budget crisis.

    Both Quinn and Hynes say the state needs to raise the income tax to turn things around, but they have different ideas about how to do it.

    The debate airs on WLS-TV at 7 p.m.

    Full Coverage:  Illinois Elections 2010