Digital Access

Digital Access
Access from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
National Editorial & Columnists

The old Quinn was better than the new Quinn

On key issues, governor will not take stand

SPRINGFIELD – Will the real Pat Quinn stand up?

One of the trademarks of the old pot-stirring Pat Quinn – the one who existed before he became governor – is you knew where he stood.

You may not have always have liked that rabble rouser’s positions, but his resoluteness was admirable.

Today? Not so much.

Take a look at how Quinn handled an interview with another reporter who dared to ask about whether the governor supports keeping the “temporary” 67 percent income tax hike:

QUINN: “Well, I think we have to deal with the pension reform, which is the No. 1 fiscal, financial issue.”

REPORTER: “But ... you campaigned on raising the income tax, should it stay in place?”

QUINN:  “I have worked very hard on pension reform, I know the committee that I proposed ...”

In journalism, that’s what we call a non-answer.

Voters deserve to know where their chief executive – who is seeking re-election – stands on one of the most important issues facing the state of Illinois.

But we’re left in the dark.

I liked the old Pat Quinn better.

That Pat Quinn wasn’t ashamed to take a position. Apparently, that’s not the case anymore. And his habits are rubbing off on the aides reporting to him.

Today, his office packs in more flip-flops than a group of college spring-breakers heading to South Padre Island.

Don’t believe me?

A few weeks ago, I asked all of the gubernatorial candidates where they stood on a constitutional amendment being promoted by GOP hopeful Bruce Rauner. The measure would limit the terms of state lawmakers, reduce the number of senators, and slightly increase the number of House members.

Here’s how a Quinn spokesman responded to my queries:

Me: “So I could say he [Quinn] opposes the amendment as currently written because it includes expanding the size of the House?”

Spokesman: “Yes.”

That would seem a straightforward and unambiguous answer. You can read the full email exchange on

But after my article was published, another Quinn aide started telling newspaper editors that wasn’t what was said.

When I got wind of this, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request for his emails to find out just what was said.

It turns out, the administration was falsely claiming that it had never made a statement that it had.

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.

After all, it’s possible the original spokesman misspoke, or the governor changed his position. Or perhaps there wasn’t adequate communication between two spokesmen.

So I asked Quinn spokesman Abdon Pallasch to clarify where the governor stands on the amendment.

He declined.

So, at the end of the day, we don’t know where the governor stands on two important issues: whether the tax hike should be made permanent, or where he stands on a proposed constitutional amendment creating term limits for lawmakers.

The people of Illinois deserve to know where candidates stand on issues.

Without this information, voters can’t make informed decisions.

When the administration chooses obfuscation, it shows contempt not only for the voters, but also for our democratic system.

Don’t the people of Illinois deserve better?

Note to readers – Scott Reeder’s column is underwritten by the Illinois Policy Institute.

Loading more