Merry Fitzmas: What Illinois Gets with Pat Quinn
by bored now, Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 06:24:04 AM EST
We voted for change. But it appears we may be getting some real change here in Illinois. The differences between Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and indicted Governor Rod Blagojevich are staggering, and that's simply from a (good) government perspective. (Can't wait for Rich Miller to start calling me a goo goo!)
First of all, when Pat Quinn takes over as our Governor we will have an engaged governor, someone who not only puts the people of Illinois first but is incessantly thinking about how to improve our lives. If Pat Quinn ever chooses to "work from home," you will know that real work is getting done. But I wouldn't count on Quinn taking the slacker path. You'd probably see him more at the Thompson Center, not less. There's no question that he'd been seen more doing the people's business than we've seen of Rod. (In the indicted Governor's defense, it's probably a good thing that he was conducting his illegal activities based out of his house and not the 15th floor. You'd hope that fewer state employees were engaged in Blagojevich's illegal activities that way.)
Secondly, imagine all the state employees who's time will be freed to do the people's business instead of taking part in Blagojevich's aggrandisement! Quinn walks around the state (and the country!) without all the "bodyguards" that are detailed to "protect" the indicted governor. Imagine state troopers protecting our highways instead of Rod's ego! Now that's real change!
On a (almost) tangential point, we will also benefit from the fact that Quinn won't be holding up state employees as has been the practice of our indicted Governor. No more elevators blocked off for hours because Elvis was in the building. State employees will have to worry more about their job performance than about whether they "offended" him.
This benefit will clearly filter down to the rest of us. Not only will we be getting our money's worth from our public servants (granted, their lack of efficiency being due to the governor's ego not their willingness to do their jobs), but we will finally be able to work in and around the state without having to worry about Blagojevich trying to extort us (because we live in Illinois). One can only imagine that the indicted Governor's effort to extort money from the head of Children's Hospital was one of a long line of extortion attempts.
The one thing you got out of Patrick Fitzgerald's indictment was that our indicted Governor spent quite a bit of time thinking about how to shake people down. Imagine that same time and intellectual energy spent on thinking about how to move Illinois out of this political and fiscal crisis? It appeared that our indicted Governor never had time to think about us; he was spending way too much time thinking about how to benefit financially from the Governor's office.There are other, equally dramatic changes in the way the Governor's office will operate once it has been passed from our indicted Governor to the Lt. Governor. No doubt, everyone has their own list. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
No one can say that Pat Quinn isn't a hard worker, someone who is trying to better the state and the people of Illinois. The fact that traditional machine pols are weary of Quinn is just an added bonus. I've heard Barack Obama say many times, "This is our moment, this is our time... We will not just win this general election, but you and I together, we will change this country and we will change the world." Pat Quinn stands at a defining moment in Illinois' history, where a politician coming with a machine legacy tried to borrow the reform mantle only to raise the bar for the standard of corruption in the state. Quinn is untainted by either the wiff of scandal or ties to a long corrupt political machine. Illinois is blessed to have a man of his integrity, his character waiting in the wings...