Blagojevich is out! Quinn is in! There is gubernatorial hope for corruption-riddled Illinois.
Now, admittedly, I don’t agree with Governor Pat Quinn on every issue. But few governors can boast Quinn’s long record as an anti-establishmentarian reformer.
In April of last year, Pat Quinn, then Illinois’s lieutenant governor, was pushing hard for a ballot measure to give voters the power to recall elected officials. This was after the sitting governor, Blago, got in hot water for various corruption, but long before he was caught scheming to sell president-elect Obama’s vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder.
Certainly, the first target of a new recall power would have been Blagojevich. The bill passed the Illinois house but unfortunately failed in the senate.
Of course, Quinn’s track record goes way beyond the political battles of 2008. In addition to being pro-recall, he is also pro-initiative rights and pro-term limits. In 1994, Quinn did the heavy lifting to put a term limits measure on the ballot. It would have capped state legislative tenure at eight years had not the Illinois Supreme Court outrageously removed the ballot measure, blocking the vote.
Quinn is in. Illinois reformers should beat a path to his door and urge him to push for these necessary changes harder than ever.