No MLK holiday for Dem candidates for governor

January 18, 2010 3:26:09 PM PST
On the day we honor the peaceful legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., there was anything but peace among the two Democratic candidates for Illinois governor. Incumbent Pat Quinn and comptroller Dan Hynes took the occasion to try and knock each other down a bit at Monday morning's annual King Day Breakfast.

The hosts could not insulate the city's largest MLK Day celebration from election year politics. The event was visited by the rolling Hynes-Quinn political fistfight.

For campaigning politicians, the Rainbow/PUSH-sponsored, Martin Luther King Day Breakfast was a feast for those running in this year's primary.

"There's 15 days 'til the election, 30 if you don't sleep," said Gov. Quinn.

Because he is governor, Pat Quinn had a special advantage Monday morning, a few premium minutes at the podium.

"Dr. King said everyone can be great because everyone can serve. Dr. King had a life of service. God did not give him a long life, but he gave him a purposeful life that changed our world and changed our country," said Quinn.

Quinn's opponent on February 2, state comptroller Dan Hynes, was not a speaker. But he did hold an impromptu news conference afterward about the governor.

"He governs on the fly, by the seat of his pants, and he's inconsistent. I think people are seeing that," said Hynes.

Hynes blasted Quinn's 80-minute long State of the State address last week as "meandering" and lacking the focus needed to solve the Illinois budget crisis.

"He's disorganized. He's not methodical in his approach. He's more concerned about the next day's press conference than he is about solving problems or running the government," Hynes said.

"I'm a very well organized person. People know that. For some people who are name-callers and want to tear people down, that's my opponent," said Quinn.

The governor and Comptroller Hynes debate at ABC 7 Tuesday night.

The Rainbow/PUSH breakfast is supposed to be non-political. But the vast majority of candidates there were Democrats. In fact, none of the seven Republicans running for governor were there.