The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top 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
Top News
  • Amid Russian warning, Ukraine's in a security bind

    Ukraine's highly publicized goal to recapture police stations and government buildings seized by pro-Russia forces in the east produced little action on the ground Wednesday but ignited foreboding words from Moscow.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that Russia would mount a firm response if its citizens or interests come under attack in Ukraine. Although he did not specifically say Russia would launch a military attack, his comments bolstered wide concern that Russia could use any violence in eastern Ukraine as a pretext for sending in troops.

    April 23, 2014

  • UN seeks probe of alleged chlorine gas in Syria

    The U.N. Security Council called for an investigation Wednesday into reports of alleged chlorine gas use in some Syrian towns, causing deaths and injuries.

    Nigeria's U.N. Ambassador U. Joy Ogwu, the current council president, said the allegations were raised during a closed-door council meeting following a briefing Wednesday by Sigrid Kaag, who heads the mission charged with destroying Syria's chemical weapons.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Justin Bieber apologizes for Japan war shrine trip

    Justin Bieber apologized Wednesday to those he offended by visiting a Japanese war shrine, saying he thought it was a beautiful site and only a place of prayer.

    The Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo enshrines 2.5 million war dead, including Japan's 14 convicted war criminals, and operates a war museum that defends Japan's wartime aggression. It is a flashpoint between Japan and its neighbors that see the shrine as distinct from other Shinto-style establishments mainly honoring gods of nature. China and South Korea in particular see Yasukuni as a symbol of Japan's past militarism and consider Japanese officials' visits there as a lack of understanding or remorse over wartime history.

    April 23, 2014

  • Internet TV case: Justices skeptical, concerned

    Grappling with fast-changing technology, Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to the shows they send out without strangling innovations in the use of the internet.

    The high court heard arguments in a dispute between television broadcasters and Aereo Inc., which takes free television signals from the airwaves and charges subscribers to watch the programs on laptop computers, smartphones and even their large-screen televisions. The case has the potential to bring big changes to the television industry.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Soldier convicted in WikiLeaks case gets new name

    An Army private convicted of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks won an initial victory Wednesday to living as a woman when a Kansas judge granted a petition to change her name to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.

    The decision clears the way for official changes to Manning's military records, but does not compel the military to treat the soldier previously known as Bradley Edward Manning as a woman.

    April 23, 2014

  • First lady announces one-stop job site for vets

    To help veterans leaving the military as it downsizes, the government on Wednesday started a one-stop job-shopping website for them to create resumes, connect with employers and become part of a database for companies to mine.

    April 23, 2014

  • Schultz deputy lost duties, kept pay

    Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, who is running for Congress as a budget-cutting conservative, allowed his top aide to keep collecting a $126,000 annual salary for months after deciding to eliminate his job, The Associated Press has learned.

    Schultz decided in May 2012 to cut the office's chief deputy position held for 17 months by Jim Gibbons, a former Iowa State wrestling coach and Republican congressional candidate, under a restructuring that ultimately saved money. But rather than dismiss Gibbons quickly as he did to four career workers laid off that summer, Schultz took unusual steps that kept his political appointee on the payroll through the end of the year.

    April 23, 2014

AP Video