Durbin repeats criticism of Quinn's handling of pensions

March 25, 2013 3:12:16 PM PDT
Senator Dick Durbin repeated his criticism of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and his handling of the state's pension crisis Monday.

Durbin repeated what he said in Washington last week: that fellow Democrat Quinn's political future depends on whether or not the state's fiscal crisis is resolved.

"I believe this governor, any governor is going to be judged based on performance and the likelihood of Governor Quinn being re-nominated and re-elected depends to a great extent on his success in Springfield," Durbin said in Chicago Monday.

Quinn announced Monday morning that the state would spend nearly a half-billion dollars on capital projects, creating hundreds of jobs this spring and summer for rebuilding infrastructure.

"I really feel we're on the right path," Quinn said. "Since I've been Governor, we've been able to work and improve 1,113 bridges all across our state."

Later a spokeswoman for Quinn said, "No one has done more to achieve pension reform and shown more leadership than Governor Pat Quinn."

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley are considering challenging the incumbent in the 2014 Democratic primary.

Chicago Congressman Bobby Rush chided those who would criticize Quinn's performance.

"The pot can't call the skillet 'non-productive' if it's non-productive," Rush said.

Durbin, who has not announced his candidacy for reelection in 2014, said if he does run, he would not endorse any primary candidate for governor.

"I am not formally a candidate for re-election yet but I'm unlikely to get involved in primaries in that circumstance," he said.

Durbin said he'll make a decision on whether to run for a fourth term later this spring. Indications are that he will, given the fact that he has accepted more responsibility in the chamber. It's that same political gravitas that has caused Democrats to pay such close attention to his comments on Quinn.