Former comptroller endorses Hynes

January 25, 2010 4:21:19 PM PST
A progressive Democratic icon has endorsed Dan Hynes in the Democratic primary race for governor. Former State Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch not only endorsed Hynes, but also said Gov. Pat Quinn is incompetent when it comes to managing the state's financial crisis. In the past, Quinn, who is running to keep his office, has said he has support from the Democratic progressive wing.

"I think if our state's leaders had listened to Dan Hynes, we wouldn't be in the same crisis that we are in now," said Netsch.

The 83-year-old is a former state senator, Illinois comptroller, Democratic candidate for governor, professor of law, and Progressive icon. She announced her endorsement to a roomful of applauding Hynes campaign workers.

"It's a powerful political endorsement, of course, because people listen to Dawn Clark Netsch. They respect her opinion," said Hynes.

While Hynes spoke downtown, Governor Quinn was on the city's South Side with over a dozen African-American elected officials. They're still fuming over the Hynes campaign commercial that uses 22-year-old video of the late Harold Washington, the city's first black mayor, questioning the competence of Quinn, who Washington hired and later fired as city revenue director.

"I was there in the 1980's. I stood by Harold Washington in every election," said Gov. Quinn.

"You don't have to convince me that you're with the black community because we know you," said State Senator James Meeks, "and you're not a person who just showed up because you were running for office."

Back at Hynes headquarters, Netsch said she did like negative campaign tactics or personal attacks during a campaign. When pressed on the premise of the Washington ad and the claim made repeatedly by candidate Hynes that the governor is incompetent.

"I do not think that he has shown the right competence to deal with the budget at the present time. With the fiscal crisis. That's more than the budget," said Netsch.

Last year, Netsch was appointed by Quinn to serve on the Governor's Reform Commission.

Hynes called the endorsement the "proudest day of his political career."