Quigley, The Anti-Geoghegan?

Yesterday, the Democratic primary for IL-05 ended with the victory of Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley. Because the district has a partisan voting index of D+18, the primary was the election; Quigley will replace Rahm Emanuel in the House.

As I wrote last night, the consensus seems to be that Quigley was probably the second most progressive candidate after Tom Geoghegan, so on the face, this should be seen as a victory for the district and for our majority in Congress. Certainly he's likely to be far less cautious than Rahm Emanuel was as a legislator but standing next to Geoghegan, even a conventional progressive Democrat is somewhat of a disappointment. Take a look at these tweets from Quigley's campaign today to see what I mean.

First came:

QuigleyCampaign @tomgeoghegan Tom, congrats to you, your volunteers & supporters for proposing important ideas for the problems we face.

Then immediately following:

QuigleyCampaign @tomgeoghegan We'll fight for full access to health care & to protect Social Security.

Talk about not getting what Geoghegan was fighting for in the campaign at all. In fact, Quigley is precisely the opposite of the sort of Democrat Geoghegan promised to be. Geoghegan on multiple occasions spoke about how Democrats in Congress always talk about "saving Social Security" but in fact what we need to do is increase SS payments. In addition, while Quigley Dem boilerplate rhetoric on health care reform, Geoghegan was a fierce advocate for single payer.

As of now, I have no reason to doubt that Mike Quigley will be anything but a solid partner for Barack Obama in the House, but I sure hope he takes a long hard look at the actual ideas Tom Geoghegan was fighting for in this campaign as an example of the sort of better Democrat so many of us hope at some point will be plentiful in Congress.

Tags: IL-05, Mike Quigley, Tom Geoghegan (all tags)



why should he???

mike quigley was running for congress.  geoghegan did great on the blogs, but he didn't have much of a presence in the district.  y'all tried to make this special election an ideas primary, but voters weren't interested.  geoghegan didn't speak to what voters were interested in -- jobs -- and his result showed that.

the attempt to elevate tom geoghegan as some kind of moral victor not-withstanding, taking your angst out over mike quigley -- who is certainly what most people would consider progressive (although the term basically has no meaning in illinois) -- is misguided.  quigley doesn't need the bloggers, since he's never been a good fund-raiser and will continue to suck at it.  i find this whole attempt to demonize mike rather disgusting.

i guess i should have known that six weeks in, democrats would circle the firing squad and start eating their young...

by bored now 2009-03-04 03:25PM | 0 recs
geez, Todd

You want Quigley's entire SS position in detail on a Tweeter post?  He dared say 'protect' instead of 'increase benefits'?  Primary the bastard in 2010!

by Tangie3 2009-03-04 03:30PM | 0 recs
Quigs pandered to seniors on Twitter

Quigley was putting out some hardcore pandering to seniors on Twitter.

For example, Quigley said he wants to not tax senior income up to $50,000.

Remember, Social Security income doesn't count toward taxable income. A senior with $45,000 per year in non-Social Security income probably has at least $18,000 in Social Security income, probably much more.

And a senior making that kind of money probably has his/her house paid off. And, of course, s/he has Medicare.

Quigley advocating for eliminating income tax on seniors who seem affluent to me is part pandering and part ignorance of policy. (Mike is more of a policy wonk than most of the Illinois delegation.)

And announcing pandering to seniors on Twitter seems goofy in that Facebook and Twitter are more geered to a younger audience.

by Carl Nyberg 2009-03-04 04:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Quigs pandered to seniors on Twitter

Seniors read Twitter?

by MNPundit 2009-03-04 06:26PM | 0 recs
Quigley seems good to me

These are slogans the party can unite behind.

by John DE 2009-03-04 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Quigley, The Anti-Geoghegan?

Wow, Quigley is "precisely the opposite" of Geoghegan as a Democrat!  That doesn't leave much room for Ben Nelson, I gotta tell ya.

Some people would think it was a classy gesture to reach out to the 7th-place candidate and express appreciation for his ideas.  I certainly can't get behind the notion that we should be deeply disappointed in Quigley for promising to "protect Social Security."

This is a really weird post in a lot of ways.

by Steve M 2009-03-04 04:08PM | 0 recs
what to expect from Quigley

I first met Mike Quigley about ten years ago. As my dad points out, Quigley is one of two politicians who ever came to my dad's house. The first was a GOP incumbent going door-to-door in Bloomington, IN. The next was Quigs.

Quigley came to speak to a small group of people (under a dozen) who were ecology activists who were either volunteer stewards, like my dad, or people who came out for workdays, again as volunteers.

Quigley ultimately came to chair the committee that overseas the Cook County Forest Preserve District. He is a committed environmentalist grounded in local activism, not theories about western public lands or global warming.

Here's what the district gets in Quigley. He's a smart guy, who is willing to stand-up to those in power. Quigley has been a tough critic of the president of the Cook County board on the budget. He's been tough on the Cook County sheriff's department. And Quigley was the leading voice in calling out Mayor Richard M. Daley on the abuses of tax increment financing districts (TIFs).

While Quigley is a progressive, his dominant instinct is as a good government reformer. Like Sen. Russ Feingold, I suspect progressives are going to find Quigley an ally willing to go the extra distance on some issues, like expanding transportation, but on a few issues Quigley is going to stand for fiscal discipline, which will be frustrating.

Quigley was an Obama delegate, so I think Quigley will try hard to see the merit in gov't expansion proposed by Obama.

Quigley is not going to be as pro-labor as Rep. Phil Hare. Quigley is not going to climb into Dem leadership like Jan Schakowsky. But Quigley is going to look like a flaming liberal compared to Rahm Emanuel, Rod Blagojevich (only Illinois Dem to vote for Iraq War) and Dan Rostenkowski, the last three Dems to represent the district.

And on Israel and Middle East policy, Quigley will vote more hawkish. Fair warning.

by Carl Nyberg 2009-03-04 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: what to expect from Quigley
Your comparison to Feingold is dead on.  He and Claypool are certainly the Feingolds of the county commission.  Quigley's been a populist, civil rights, good government guy forever, but I'm absolutely amazed that he won.
Early on, I asked a friend who he was supporting and he said, "Sara, natch."  That was such a predominant response, that, though I pushed for Geoghegan, I knew I wasn't getting anywhere; I really thought Feigenholtz was a shoe-in.  (That wouldn't have been bad, either.)
Although he is an elected county board member, I kinda thought that Quigley had become a "perennial candidate."  He's been politically hyper-ambitious for so long that I didn't take this run seriously.  I thought he'd get 8 or 9 percent, as he has so many times before.
He'll be a good Congressional progressive, and member of the progressive caucus, because he's been an exceptional grassroots progressive in Chicago.
by ChgoSteve 2009-03-04 09:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Quigley, The Anti-Geoghegan?

 I was expecting a lot more damning evidence than you provided.

by bruh3 2009-03-04 04:38PM | 0 recs
Geoghegan's problem

Howard Dean was right on the Iraq War. It's just that he was six months ahead of the voters and four years ahead of the media elites.

Geoghegan is right on Social Security and single-payer, but he's probably a decade ahead of the rest of the country.

Only later in the campaign did Geoghegan describe his position in a way that clicked for me.

Geoghegan argues that the WTO and related international trade agreements and int'l financial institutions disallows countries from protecting their farmers and industries in the ways the United States has used. These institutions do allow countries to protect their farmers and industries with the techniques used in Europe.

The gov't can provide health care and pensions.

U.S. industry (and American farmers) are losing competitively b/c they are expected to shoulder their pension and health care costs while their competitors aren't.

Geoghegan's point is partly that changing the U.S. health care system and pension system is inevitable and partly that it's essential to compete (protect jobs).

Geoghegan did not clearly explain his analysis from the beginning.

I think he's right on a hugely important issue, but the guy was too far ahead of everyone else and his explanation to voters was not effective.

Geoghegan should start a national non-profit or affiliate with an existing think tank or non-profit to educate people on the issue.

But just b/c Geoghegan is brilliant doesn't mean the most appropriate place for him is in Congress.

by Carl Nyberg 2009-03-04 04:51PM | 0 recs
Sorry, But You're Wrong About Quigley

There's no simpler way to put it. Read the people posting here who know Quigley, who know his work on the Cook County Board, and who know his bonafides as not only a Progressive, but a Progressive who gets legislation and action for his work.

And if you don't, well, you remind me of my hardcore lefty friends who still believe that Ralph Nader proved that there wasn't an iota of difference between Gore and Bush. You seek perfection that has never existed and would rather be "pure" and "right" (Geoghgean) than accept someone whose record isn't 1000% Progressive but who will get some work done (Quigley).

This is not a rip against Geoghgean. This is a rip against people who apparently believe it was Geoghgean or nobody.

by Edgewater Joe 2009-03-04 07:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Sorry, But You're Wrong About Quigley

At least part of politics is about forming personal relationships with people.

Local politicians are going to have a leg up.

Geoghegan made my top four preferred candidates in the race (Forys, Fritchey, Geoghegan and Quigley), but it's asking alot for national bloggers to ask locals to set aside personal relationships built over years over minor ideological quibbles.

It seemed like the national guys were asking locals to prioritize the personal relationships the national progressive activists and bloggers had with Geoghegan over the personal relationships locals had with Feigenholtz, Forys, Fritchey, O'Connor and Quigley.

by Carl Nyberg 2009-03-04 07:47PM | 0 recs

Is that you???

by Vox Populi 2009-03-05 06:21AM | 0 recs


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