To use some football lingo, it was like a pre-season scrimmage - without pads - between Gov. Pat Quinn and a possible challenger in next year's Democratic primary. There were no hard hits, so to speak, but Quinn and Attorney Lisa Madigan have enough differences on one issue, at least, to perhaps make a race of it next year.
After he signed a new consumer protection bill supported by the attorney general, Madigan was asked if she'd give an assessment of Pat Quinn as governor during the past ten weeks.
"Things are going much better from what you can see and from the internal workings," said Madigan. "In terms of my aspirations and the governor's aspirations, we'll probably be making those decisions later on."
Quinn told ABC7 last month, he's already decided to run for a full term in 2010. As he felt the tension rising in the room on Friday morning, he made nice to his potential primary challenger.
"We believe in the common good. Lisa and I, we're into that and I think the people of Illinois are into that," said Quinn.<
The attorney general said she opposes the governor's income tax reform plan to help balance the state's $11.5 billion budget deficit. Quinn wants to reduce or eliminate taxes for lower income workers but raise them as much as 50 per cent for middle and higher income earners.
"To put an increased tax burden on people already having to cut back in their family's budgets is really difficult," said Madigan.
"We need strong medicine to get rid of the budget deficit and strong medicine to revive our economy," said Quinn.
Getting any tax increase through the general assembly will depend on Lisa's father, House Speaker Michael Madigan. Last weekend, Mr. Madigan said he had not made up his mind about who to support for governor.
"We'll decide that down the road," said Madigan.
Veteran State Rep. Monique Davis warns party members against backing either candidate now before the state's budget is balanced.
"I think that's what we must focus on because if they start running against each other now, we will never get a solution," said Davis.
Also on Friday, Gov. Quinn told a radio interviewer that he now expects a provision to reduce property taxes to his proposed income tax increase. That is a demand made by Mayor Daley among others as a condition of their support for any plan to raise income taxes.