The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

September 30, 2013

Quinn now has nothing to distract him

We may never know the exact reasons Bill Daley unexpectedly dropped out of the governor’s race this week.

Daley, who was challenging Gov. Pat Quinn for the Democratic nomination, said he thought he could win but was apparently worried about the enormity of the job if he was successful.

The state has the second-highest unemployment rate in the country, the worst state government credit rating, $7.5 billion in unpaid bills and a $100 billion unfunded pension obligation. The state’s political leaders don’t appear inclined to address any of these issues, preferring instead to dither and delay.

The next governor will not only have to face that mountain of problems, but also establish a working relationship with House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton. In addition, the new governor will have to deal with a General Assembly that is much more comfortable spending money the state doesn’t have on projects it doesn’t need than facing the state’s real issues.

Yeah, who wouldn’t want that job?

The Daley decision practically guarantees the Democratic nomination will go to Quinn. A challenger could still emerge, but it’s doubtful anyone would have the pull or the ability to raise campaign funds to mount a serious challenge.

The two biggest threats to Quinn, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Daley, have stepped out of the race.

Quinn has been handed a unique opportunity, and he should push the advantage. He has the chance in the next year to set the state on the path to recovery. Without a primary to dog him, he should make clear to the General Assembly that he wants fiscal discipline, a pension solution that actually solves the crisis and an end to the corruption and ethical lapses that prevail in the state. If the special pension committee’s proposed legislation doesn’t go far enough, Quinn should announce before a vote is taken that he will veto it. He should be ruthless about calling out Republicans and Democrats who refuse to take the necessary votes on pension and other reforms. He should make it clear that all government spending will be carefully scrutinized.

Governor, you’ve been released from campaigning for the next several months. The next governor of Illinois needs to be someone who can lead the state back from the current abyss. Of the remaining candidates, you are best poised to start that process now.

1
Text Only
National News
  • Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    A couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.

    Helen Felumlee, of Nashport, died at 92 on April 12. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died the next morning.

    April 19, 2014

  • State Unemployment [Duplicate] Unemployment fell in March WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More than two-thirds of the states reported job gains in March, as hiring has improved for much of the country during what has been a sluggish but sustained 4 1/2-year recovery. The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment r

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Improved outlook for health law WASHINGTON (AP) -- A surge of eleventh-hour enrollments has improved the outlook for President Barack Obama's health care law, with more people signing up overall and a much-needed spark of interest among young adults. Nonetheless, Obama's announceme

    April 19, 2014

  • U.S. puts off decision on Keystone XL pipeline WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is putting off its decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, likely until after the November elections, by extending its review of the controversial project indefinitely. In a surprise announcement Friday as Was

    April 19, 2014

  • Chelsea Clinton [Duplicate] Title of new book:'Hard Choices' WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Hillary Rodham Clinton's upcoming book will be called "Hard Choices," a title that reflects how the potential 2016 presidential candidate may try to define her record as President Barack Obama's secretary of state while she consid

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge asks pointed questions in gay marriage case

    A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions.

    U.S. Circuit Judge Jerome Holmes is seen as the swing vote on the three-judge panel that heard the Oklahoma appeal and a similar case from Utah last week.

    April 18, 2014

  • NASA's moon-orbiting robot crashes down as planned

    April 18, 2014

  • Eyewitness testimony no longer a gold standard

    The American legal system offers few moments as dramatic as an eyewitness to a crime pointing his finger across a crowded courtroom at a defendant.

    The problem is that decades of studies show eyewitness testimony is only right about half the time — a reality that has prompted a small vanguard of police chiefs, courts and lawmakers to toughen laws governing the handling of eyewitnesses and their accounts of crimes.

    April 18, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    April 18, 2014

AP Video
Facebook