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Quinn endorses Vallas. Pension stealing birds of a feather.
For a while former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was dropping hints he wanted to be the next mayor of Chicago.
That idea received a collective yawn from the voters.
Then he decided he would endorse Congressman Jesus Chuy Garcia. At the time Chuy was doing pretty well in the polls. Many thought he was a shoe-in for the run off.
Following Quinn’s endorsement Chuy’s numbers dropped like a rock. He finished an embarrassing fourth.
Maybe it was Quinn’s endorsement. Maybe not. But it sure didn’t help.
I’m no election strategist but I’ve read that endorsements have limited impact. Maybe 2%, which can matter in a close race.
As I write this it appears that Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson are in a tight race for mayor. One poll I saw showed a 2% difference.
Yesterday Pat Quinn endorsed Vallas.
I’m not convinced a Quinn endorsement is worth much.
I’m thinking Chuy now might be wishing that Pat Quinn had endorsed Vallas in the primary instead of him.
I also understand why Quinn is attracted to Vallas, who he picked to be his running mate for governor against Bruce Rauner. Pat Quinn’s anti-labor record and his choice of running mate doomed us to four years of Bruce Rauner.
Thousands of union members state-wide refused to vote for Quinn as governor even if it meant electing Bruce Rauner.
One estimate showed that Quinn as a Democrat received 10,000 less votes for Governor than Democrat Dick Durbin on the same ballot.
In July when Quinn was still thinking about running for mayor I wrote:
Good grief. I thought we were done with this guy.
Until he was ousted by Bruce Rauner who was the most anti-worker governor in the history of our state, Pat Quinn held the title.
Don’t believe me?
Just go back to 2012 when he was booed off the stage of the Illinois State Fair by members of AFSCME for refusing to bargain a contract.
Quinn has one of the worst records in the country—coming up right behind Wisconsin governor Scott Walker—when it comes to attacking working families. He is trying to lay off more than 4000 state workers, destroying jobs in communities across Illinois. He’s withholding negotiated pay raises, leading the charge to cut pensions, and pushing for huge contract concessions
So it’s no wonder that when Quinn finally made his appearance at a rally on the fairgrounds, hundreds of angry union members were waiting to greet him with signs, boos and chants. Their righteous chorus quickly drowned out anything the governor had to say and sent him scurrying off to leap into his waiting limo.
Quinn’s anti-labor record is long, but for me it came to a head when he proclaimed that he was put on this earth (by who?) to “solve” the public pension debt. His solution was to join with the now disgraced former Democratic Speaker of the House, Michael Madigan, signing pension theft into law.
That bill was ruled unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court in a unanimous ruling in 2015.
Recall that Pat Quinn was also responsible for enacting a law that undermined teacher tenure and seniority protection.
It tied teacher evaluations to individual test scores. It required a 75 percent vote of all Chicago teachers in order to authorize a strike instead of the previous requirement of 50 percent plus one of voting teachers.
It also limited the issues that the Chicago Teachers Union could bargain.
SB 7 was drafted as a collaborative effort between Democratic legislators, Stand for Children and, ironically, the state’s two teacher unions
It was intended to weaken teachers’ power and prevent the CTU from striking.
Of course, we know what happened. Over 90 percent of all CTU members voted to authorize a strike in 2012.
Led by the courageous Karen Lewis, the CTU made demands that went far beyond the limits that Pat Quinn established.
If cutting teacher pensions and SB7 wasn’t enough Quinn chose as his running mate for lieutenant governor Paul Vallas, former head of Chicago Public Schools before Arne Duncan.
Vallas in now also running for Chicago mayor.
Both should just go away.
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