I laughed so hard when I heard this today on WBBM. Harold Washington campaigns from beyond the grave for Dan Hynes.
Give me a break.
One of Chicago’s most iconic politicians, Mayor Harold Washington, surfaced from the grave Thursday to call his 1986 hiring of Gov. Quinn as city revenue director “perhaps my greatest mistake in government.”
Washington’s comments appear in a new ad by Comptroller Dan Hynes that debuted on Chicago television stations Thursday and could prove to be a defining moment in their bitter gubernatorial primary.
“I must have been blind or staggering,” Washington said in the ad, which uses archival video from a November 1987 WGN-TV interview of Washington. “I would never appoint Pat Quinn to do anything. Pat Quinn is a totally and completely undisciplined individual who thinks this government is nothing but a large easel by which he can do his PR work.”
Quinn, at that point an up-and-coming government reformer, was brought on by Washington in 1986 to clean up the city’s scandal-plagued Revenue Department. But Washington canned Quinn in June 1987, alleging that Quinn engaged in grandstanding and repeatedly ignored orders.
“He went in there like a bull in a closet, wouldn’t do what he was told, which was to put the systems in there which I had discussed thoroughly with him,” Washington said, showing flashes of anger as he spoke. “No, he thought that department was a PR plantation, and he didn’t do his work. He was dismissed. He should have been dismissed. My only regret is that we hired him and kept him too long.”
The ad’s emergence caused Quinn’s gubernatorial campaign to go into major damage control, quickly issuing a lengthy statement that disputed Washington’s assertion Quinn was dismissed and asserted the late mayor is “spinning in his grave today.”
Quinn’s camp also ridiculed Hynes’ use of Washington’s image when the comptroller’s father, Tom Hynes, left the Democratic Party to mount an unsuccessful, third-party bid to unseat Washington in 1987.
“It is outrageous that Dan Hynes is now invoking the name of Mayor Harold Washington in a blatant maneuver to mislead voters. That Dan Hynes would use a 24-year-old news clip of a beloved figure to attack Gov. Quinn shows there is no limit to his negative campaigning. There also is no limit to his hypocrisy,” Quinn spokeswoman Elizabeth Austin said in a statement.
This is insane.
Dan, Pat, I could give a care how bad you think the other guy is. Tell us what you bring to the job, not what the other guy lacks.
For the record, Harold Washington and Pat Quinn reconciled, and Quinn supported Washington after the events referenced in the commercial. It’s politics. That’s all.
That having been said, I’m voting for Quinn. I like both of them, but I like Pat Quinn for governor more.