How will former governor Pat Quinn be remembered? At one time we thought it would be as a champion of the little guy, or a political reformer, or as a staunch supporter of our military. But Quinn’s pettiness and obstructionist actions on his way out of office have eclipsed all the positive accomplishments. His recent actions have ensured that he will be remembered simply as a sore loser.
Quinn burned the midnight oil setting land mines and poking sticks in the eyes of new Gov. Bruce Rauner. Instead of Rauner focusing solely on his own agenda, he’s had to spend time reviewing and undoing Quinn political appointments and executive orders. For instance, Rauner withdrew 178 appointments that Quinn made. Rauner is looking at things like Quinn’s order that requires state contractors to pay their workers at least $10 an hour. “My bias is to take action to undo pretty much everything that Gov. Quinn did since the election since every time we look most of it’s bad,” Rauner said.
One thing Quinn didn’t have time for: the state’s new medical marijuana program. Quinn blithely missed the deadline for awarding licenses. Program sponsor Rep. Lou Lang was sure that Quinn would get to it before his term ended; now Lang fears the program could be doomed. Rauner did leave the program director in place, giving supporters hope.
Rauner has made a number of other solid decisions. The day he took office he froze nonessential state spending, curtailed travel and ordered a review of state contracts and surplus property. On Thursday he issued an order to shine a light on political hiring by requiring the posting of information online.
Quinn’s childish antics make Rauner’s strong start look even better.