Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
(Hat tip: Rich Miller)
How unusual? Look how Quinn was described in the November 13, 1992, issue of the Chicago Tribune (no link available):
On the walls of Patrick Quinn's 15th-floor office at the State of Illinois Building are two bold posters from the massive anti-government protests of May 1968 in Paris. One, with rows of identical stylized, blank faces, proclaims, "No to Bureaucracy." The other, with fists thrust in the air, promises, "We Will Fight to the End."
What, exactly, did Quinn do to make everyone so angry? The Associated Press on March 23, 2003, presented some of the details:Quinn, 54, first made a name for himself in 1976 when he and the Coalition for Political Honesty managed to end the practice of lawmakers collecting their entire annual salary on their first day in office.
In some ways, Pat Quinn has a very easy job to do. Anyone would look good in comparison to Rod Blagojevich. Governors who have replaced someone who left in disgrace have a pretty good record of success (think Mike Huckabee and Jodi Rell).
Quinn, though, faces a couple of fundamental questions. One is whether an activist can transition to an effective leader and manager. Can a gadlfy run the government?
But, the other question, in a sense, conflicts with the first one. Quinn served as Blagojevich's lieutenant governor. He eventually became a fierce critic of the governor, but not before supporting him for years. Quinn and Blagojevich ran for reelection as a team, after the governor was already under federal investigation. So, folks in Illinois are wondering: Is Pat Quinn still the good government activist he was one decade or two decades or three decades ago?
That's relevant, of course, because Illinois probably doesn't need someone right now who will get along with the political establishment. The old Pat Quinn -- the one who demands ethical conduct to the point that he sounds sanctimonious and makes everyone angry -- may be just what the state needs.
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