CHICAGO — Marquee lights and hot gubernatorial nights! That’s how I would describe this fourth debate sponsored by the Women League of Voters and televised here in Chicago on ABC 7.
Their names — Pat Quinn and Bill Brady — are certainly big and recognizable. One, Quinn, is the current governor of Illinois. The other, Brady, is a millionaire Republican state senator who has traveled this road before, running for governor back in 2006. He finished third with 18 percent of the vote in the Republican primary election.
Gov. Quinn certainly has his name in the annals of Illinois state history when he was promoted to head of the state after the removal of Rod Blagojevich in what we all know as a real messy scandal.
They are two big names in another debate that is designed to enlighten the Illinois constituencies, lay out political plans, as well as answer lingering questions voters may have. For the undecided, its a time to bring out the artillery; shoot for the stars, turn on all the lights, pull out all the stops, and reel the fish in. Sounds like a plan, right?
And though there were no major revelations, or earth-shattering remedies offered as I waited on the edge of my seat for some something spectacular, I thought Quinn out-talked Brady, slightly nudging ahead in the gubernatorial night televised talks over political chatter. Mind you, the edge was ever so slight for me.
In fact, it was mostly redundant, repetitive, back-and-forth finger-pointing accusations with hardly a word directed at the questions posed by the three panelists; a Latina, an African-American, and a Caucasian.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a poll conducted has Brady and Quinn still in a too-tight-for-comfort race with Brady capturing 42 percent; Quinn on his tail with 41 percent. Well, they didn’t ask me.
Keep in mind that poll only canvassed 557 registered voters in two days, between Oct. 14 to Oct. 16. The population of Illinois is 12,900,000. Voting registration is at an all-time high in the state, the highest in five decades with 7.5 million people registered.
I thought Quinn’s time in Springfield made him appear more ‘governor ready.” All Brady could do was talk about what Quinn didn’t do. Some of his research was a bit off. He accused Gov. Quinn of being AWOL when it comes to job creation in the minority communities, yet the governor has a work incentive program that found jobs for financially challenged African-Americans, giving them an opportunity to make $10 an hour to put food on their tables.
Gov. Quinn also champions the cause of Latinos, who make up 20 percent of the state’s population with 1.6 of Mexican decent. That makes us the second largest Mexican American community in the U.S..
One thing Quinn pointed out that hit dead-on for me: he is present at Urban League and NAACP meetings and debates to listen and talk to the members-at-large. He regularly visits African-American neighborhoods and wards to meet with the powers that be in order to stay abreast on the latest happenings. Brady stumbled on this one. Quinn pointed out that Brady has never even shown up at any African-American community events.
Brady likes to use his hands a lot. Quinn got into the TV theatrics a bit, too, bringing his right hand to his chest to demonstrate emotion from time-to-time, which went over quite well. Brady looked like he was at a loss when the governor highlighted his gubernatorial contributions and successful programs. All Brady could do was fire back to say what he thinks Quinn hasn’t done.
One thing voters have to remember is that Democrats inherited a big mish-mosh of complex issues. Who mixed things up causing the economy to go south? Baby Bush. Everything starts in D.C. and permeates statewide.
Neither candidate scored a home run with me. Both looked stressed from the whole evening of events and it was evident on their faces. Especially when each opponent stated a fact that was perhaps a tad erroneous.
Historically, only 28 percent show up to vote in gubernatorial elections here in Illinois. Sadly, this one seems no more able to stir up political excitement with the debates than previous elections. Failure to outline plans to take our state ahead the next four years overshadows the lackluster televised challenges. We came seeking, we really didn’t find anything new; knocked, but the door was only half-opened; asked, but many were left with few answers.
Watch Gov. Quinn in a post-debate October 17th news conference here.
suntimes.com, chicagotribune.com, lincolncourier.com, YouTube.com