Quinn said he isn't concerned that his connection to the
Blagojevich administration will affect him in November's general
Blagojevich is in federal court in Chicago facing
corruption charges. The General Assembly removed Blagojevich from
office last year after federal officials arrested him in his Chicago
home in 2008.
Although he was Blagojevich's running mate ran in 2002 and 2006,
Quinn said he was independently chosen by voters in the Democratic
In Illinois the nominees for governor and lieutenant governor run
separately in the primary instead of as a team, and the two chosen
candidates for each party are combined into one ticket for the
Quinn said his interaction with Blagojevich has always been
limited. Once in office, Quinn said he disagreed with Blagojevich
often and openly. He outlined two major initiatives that the two
diverged on: the gross receipts tax and recall.
The gross receipts tax was proposed by Blagojevich as a way to
generate revenue for the state. It would have placed a tax directly
on businesses' gross income. It was widely criticized as
anti-business and was voted down by the General Assembly. Quinn
publicly broke with Blagojevich during debate over the measure and
denounced the proposal.
In 2008, before Blagojevich's arrest, Quinn proposed a
constitutional amendment that would have allowed voters to recall a
sitting governor. Blagojevich opposed the measure, which failed
before reaching the ballot.
Voters will consider a recall amendment during November's general
election. Quinn said he thinks recall could insulate Illinois from
"I believe in recall," Quinn said. "I think the first time I
talked about it was in 1976, so this is the opportunity, a third of
a century later, to actually put it in the constitution, and I think
that's the best antidote, whether you have a George Ryan or a Rod
George Ryan preceded Blagojevich as governor and is now in prison
after being convicted of federal corruption charges.
[to top of second column]
Quinn said his opposition to Blagojevich made him an outsider to
the previous governor's administration.
"When I saw things going in the wrong direction in the second
term, early on, from the gross receipts tax on, I was banished from
the administration," Quinn said. "My predecessor went on the media,
TV and radio, and said that I was not a part of his administration."
But state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington, Quinn's GOP opponent in
the upcoming November election, said in a press release that Quinn
shouldn't be given a free pass.
"This election marks one of the best opportunities in a
generation to finally put an end to the backroom deals and the go
along, get along culture of politics as usual in Springfield," Brady
said in the statement. "But we can't change Illinois by electing
politicians like Gov. Pat Quinn, who publicly stated that Rod
Blagojevich -- whom he served alongside -- is an 'honest' politician
with 'integrity.' We need a clean break."
State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington said he understands how Quinn
could work with Blagojevich without knowing what was going on.
"When you're in government and you're in politics, sometimes the
people you're closest to, you think you know, and you come to find
out you didn't know them maybe that well," Brady said. "Whether it's
Speaker Madigan, who is the honorary campaign chair for Gov.
Blagojevich, or it's someone who was close to then-Gov. George Ryan.
The fact of the matter remains that it doesn't matter the party."
Quinn said he is confident voters understand he is not affiliated
with Blagojevich. The general election is Nov. 2.
Statehouse News; By JENNIFER WESSNER]