Quinn cancels Fair's Democrats Day

August 9, 2013 4:22:28 PM PDT
Governor Pat Quinn is cancelling a long standing tradition at the Illinois State Fair, the rally on Democrats Day.

The governor says he will be in Springfield next Wednesday and he will speak at the Democratic Party's breakfast that morning. What he says he will not do is attend the traditional "Governor's Day" picnic on the state fairgrounds.

The governor denies his plans for this year have anything to do with what happened at the fairgrounds last year.

Public employee union members, angry that Quinn had rescinded their pay raise and had proposed their pensions be cut, booed and heckled the governor as he pleaded for civility.

"We all believe in the first amendment and the opportunity to speak," Quinn told the crowd at the time. "So I will use my voice as I best can to thank everybody for coming."

Last year, there also were demonstrators outside the Democratic Party breakfast. But they were not allowed inside the Crown Plaza Hotel and presumably, that will be the situation this year.

Friday in Springfield, the governor said despite the fact he's running in a contested party primary in march 2014, next Wednesday breakfast would be enough politicking for him.

"I plan to make a little talk there," Quinn said. "But I think when you come over to the Fair, we think it's a good time to celebrate family and music and things for kids. Folks will have had plenty of speechmaking early in the morning."

A campaign spokesman for Governor Quinn's primary opponent Bill Daley confirmed by text Friday that Daley will attend the Democratic Party breakfast in Springfield next Wednesday.

Now the coast is clear for Daley to attend the picnic, but there is no word on whether he will be allowed to speak.


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