Friday, January 30, 2009

Who's Pat Quinn?


Well, for starters he became the Governor of Illinois yesterday when Rod Blagojevich was removed from office by a 59-0 vote in the state Senate. But is he any good-- or just more of the same. Another Blagojevich or Emanuel type? We turned to one of our most savvy and trusted sources about Illinois politics, former Democratic congressional candidate John Laesch. His report (after taking some time out of his birthday celebration to write it):

Pat Quinn – Change We Can Trust!

by John Laesch

John Laesch and Governor Pat Quinn
The impeachment of Rod Blagojevich highlights the greatest problem that this country faces, pay-to-play politics.  When elected officials and candidates spend all of their time raising money, they are not listening to constituents or writing/reading legislation that benefits people.  Even as I am writing this piece, talking heads on CNN are discussing the fact that they can not find one lawmaker who has read the $900 Billion stimulus plan.  With Democrats effectively controlling both Illinois and Washington D.C., the revolving door between special interest lobbyists and elected officials continues to turn.  Money continues to flow to the banking industry while homeowners continue to lose their homes.  Political consultants and political writers continue to emphasize fundraising as the only criteria for running for public office. And when someone like Blagojevich gets caught, people shake their heads and wonder, “how can this be?”
Instead of governing, elected officials spend countless hours raising money so they can run those television commercials that promise change.  Unfortunately, they get into office and have to start returning favors, raising more money and somehow, they never seem to deliver the change that we all keep waiting for.  This cycle pretty much describes Rod Blagojevich’s rise and fall.
In my parting words from my 2008 Congressional race, I differentiated between Paul Simon Democrats and Durbin Democrats.  Paul Simon would tell young political aspirants to meet as many people, shake as many hands, and listen to what people have to say.  Senator Durbin’s political assistant would tell you to raise $300,000 and come back after reaching that goal.  One Paul Simon Democrat who has never bought into the argument that you have to raise enormous amounts of money to get elected is Pat Quinn.
For those who do not live in Illinois, you can also rejoice!  Governor Pat Quinn gets it!  He has spent the last 30 plus years challenging the status quo and pushing for honest government.  Pat Quinn and Dr. Quentin Young walked across the state of Illinois to promote national healthcare.  Quinn has attended every funeral for fallen soldiers in the state of Illinois. While his commitment to veterans and our troops has nothing to do with honest government, this act alone is enough to earn my utmost respect.
In addition to his political accomplishments, I believe that Quinn has stayed true to the people by staying in touch with the people and being accessible.  When he visited my office almost a year ago, Quinn took several hours to simply listen to concerns that citizens had.  He didn’t give citizens a 3-minute time limit and the “bum rush” that you will get if you visit a local “Congress on your corner” event. He engaged in 2-way communication that demonstrated that he knew exactly what the issue was.  Finally, I feel that Pat Quinn actually loves the state of Illinois and the people who live and work here more than he loves his own political career.  He will be a phenomenal Governor, who will put the concerns of people over the fundraising checks submitted by special interest groups.
I think Governor Pat Quinn reflects change that we can both believe in, and trust.  Without question, the swearing in of Pat Quinn brings real hope to the citizens of this great state!

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At 9:19 AM, Blogger CatJab said...

The cream does rise eventually...
You're right.
Blago is an example (and a bat-crap crazy one at that!) of how the quest for money can sour the role of public servant.
The concern moves away from the needs of the people to political profiting.
John, your campaign was a wonderful gathering of people from all walks. People who believed in your message because it hit the core of the problem. We are all in the middle and the middle is rapidly shrinking.
You simply used attainable and effective resources to reach out to people. Once people heard your message, it was impossible to argue with the common sense of it.
Also, you were a political bargain!
You'd think the Party would be beating down your door to find out how you did what you did, with what you had.
I'm glad Quinn is at the helm. He seems a good egg.
I'm also very glad you're still sticking your nose in too.
Essay was aces!


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