(Chicago) – Insider: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Daley debuted under new management on Tuesday.
Under the guidance of his new campaign manager, Tom Bowen, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s former political director, Daley came out swinging at a press conference yesterday against Governor Pat Quinn on three fronts yesterday – Illinois pension reform, Illinois unemployment, and the Illinois capitol renovation controversy.
The Chicago media has temporarily set aside their frenzy over the Metra controversy and its various permutations and has leached onto a fresh frenzy involving $667,608 spent on the capitol’s new doors and $481,364 for four chandeliers as part of the $50 capitol million renovation.
Speaking at the posh Union League Club, Daley focused his fire on the renovation expenses “as evidence that Quinn is in over his head as the state’s chief executive,” according to the Ex-Commerce Secretary’s press release.
“Rather than jet from press conference to press conference, the Governor needs to show up for work and actually do the job of running the state the voters elected him to do. That includes meeting with the joint pension committee and blocking wasteful spending that could be better used to rehire teachers and restore health care cuts for people across Illinois,” said Daley.
“Under Governor Quinn, thousands of teachers have been laid off, health care has been cut, yet he somehow approves over $1 million for fancy chandeliers and doors, and wastes $5 million a day failing to fix the pension mess,” Daley added.
Despite the blistering rhetoric, Quinn not only blunted Daley’s attack but won the day’s media fight.
Daley telegraphed his intentions to hit the governor on capitol renovation controversy the day before in media advisory. And Quinn was ready for it.
While Daley was blasting his Democratic rival, Quinn ordered the suspension of further funding for the capitol’s renovation, grabbing the lion’s share of the day’s headlines.
Here’s how the clash played in the media:
- Daley Slams Governor On Capitol Renovation, Quinn Blocks Further …: CBS Local: CHICAGO (CBS) – Democratic challenger Bill Daley ripped into Gov. Pat Quinn on a number of issues on Tuesday, including the recent scandal over spending …
- Daley sharpens primary campaign against Quinn: ABC7Chicago.com: September 10, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) — Bill Daley is ratcheting up his primary campaign against Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn, and his naming of a …
- Gov. Quinn blasts Capitol rehab: ‘Palace of Versailles’ Chicago Sun-Times
- Gov. Pat Quinn halts funding for future Capitol renovation Rockford Register Star
- Quinn halts funding for future Capitol renovations The State Journal-Register
- Quinn wants Capitol architect reined in: Peoria Journal Star: Pat Quinn Tuesday said he’s suspending funding to complete the next phases of the Capitol renovation project. Speaking at a Chicago appearance, Quinn said …
- Illinois governor halts funding for next phase of Capitol renovation …: The Republic: CHICAGO — Gov. Pat Quinn announced Tuesday that he’s suspended funding for future renovations at the state Capitol, blasting the project’s architect for …
- Quinn puts a halt on Capitol renovation after controversy: Quincy Journal: Pat Quinn today said he has told his budget office not to release any more money for Capitol renovations after the $50 million project has come under criticism.
- Quinn Halts Funding for Future Capitol Renovation: WICS-TV: Pat Quinn has suspended funding for future renovations at the Capitol, a pricey project that’s already caused embarrassment for financially-shaky Illinois and …
- Quinn Halts Capital Renovation Funding: KWQC 6: Pat Quinn has suspended funding for the next phase of a pricey renovation project at the state Capitol that’s caused embarrassment for financially-shaky Illinois …
Meanwhile, GOP gubernatorial candidate State Senator Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale and his Lt. Gov. running mate State Rep. Jil Tracy of Quincy also jumped into the capitol renovation uproar, filing resolutions in both the House and Senate that demand an audit of the capitol’s renovation.
- Dillard Calls for Audit of State Capitol Renovations: CIproud.com: Dillard Calls for Audit of State Capitol Renovations. Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Kirk Dillard and his running mate State Representative Jil Tracy …
Nevertheless, it was the Daley-Quinn clash that dominated the day’s tussle over the capitol’s rehab. And Quinn, on the defensive and reacting to Daley’s attack, never a good a place to be, narrowly escaped a bloodier blistering by Daley with his last minute funding suspension maneuver.
But the governor may not be lucky next time.
And Quinn subtly reinforced Daley’s larger critique about his leadership – reacting is not leading. Leading is leading.
Moreover, Bowen’s thrust exposed that Quinn’s campaign – which is really just Quinn because he has no campaign manager – is one of daily improvisation. It relies on his position as chief executive, not a well-greased political operation.
Quinn needs his own Bowen to even the political playing field and play long ball.
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