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06/14/2010

A "Boo-Vation" for the Governor

  Now that the confetti is swept away and hundreds of thousands of Blackhawks fans are safely back in the suburbs, let's remember the tense few seconds Friday after Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was introduced to the throng at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive.

  The Guv got "a standing boo-vation".

  Quinn's campaign strategists have to be concerned. 

  The brief, spontaneous chorus of boos happened just over 24 hours after the latest Rasmussen Poll suggested the governor had fallen behind Senator Bill Brady by double digits (11%).  The survey of 500 likely general election voters was taken only four days earlier on June 7th.  The 47% to 36% result has a margin of error of +/- 4.5%.  Compare it to a similar Rasmussen sample taken in late April that showed Brady ahead by 45%-38%.

  Quinn's slide in the polls comes after a difficult month of May.  He failed in his effort to get the General Assembly to pass his one per cent income tax surcharge for education and he could not get GA approval to borrow nearly $4 billion to pay the state's pension obligation for fiscal 2010/11.

  After 16 months in office with members of his own party in control of both the House and Senate, Quinn is even farther way from a balanced budget.  As the 2010 regular legislative session ended in May, the Governor was unable to get democratic legislative leaders and lawmakers to agree on a plan to resolve a reported $13 billion deficit which includes nearly $6 billion dollars in arrears bills.  

  A central theme of republican Brady's campaign is Quinn's ineffectiveness.

  During May, the Bloomington real estate developer focused on building his name recognition in the Chicago suburbs where, incidentally, most of those 'Hawks fans live.  Since last weekend, his campaign was assisted by $400,000 worth of anti-Quinn television advertising purchased on Chicago television by the Republican Governor's Association

  The incumbent insists he isn't worried about Brady's ad blitz or the challenger's reported favored status in a poll taken five months before election day.  The Governor told me he has plenty of time to respond to the republicans and that Illinois will choose "his side" over Brady's once voters start paying attention.

  But judging by the way many 'Hawks fans expressed themselves at the rally Friday, The Stanley Cup Playoffs weren't the only games they paid attention to in May.

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