Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Illinois Governor Feb. 2 primary a tossup


By Abdon M. Pallasch and Lynn Sweet
Chicago Sun-Times

CHICAGO--Illinois Democratic governor primary rivals Pat Quinn, the governor and Dan Hynes, the comptroller, flooded the television ad zone on Friday, with each putting up hard hitting ads in the Chicago media market in final weekend before the Feb. 2 balloting.

There's also a bit of odd news over on the GOP primary side--former Polish President and Solidarity founder Lech Walesa made his first-ever endorsement of an American political candidate Friday. Read on to find out who.

Hynes gathered a group of African-American ministers at a hotel on 26th Street near State to tout their endorsement. This comes as the Hynes/Quinn showdown may hinge on black votes. Hynes is using an ad featuring the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington criticizing Quinn when he worked for him in City Hall. Hynes was asked how his campaign got a hold of the video. "The footage, I don't even know, but I think it is out there in the public domain."

Former Polish President and Solidarity founder Lech Walesa made his first-ever endorsement of an American political candidate Friday -- for longshot Republican gubernertorial candidate Adam Andrzejewski. Though Walesa started as a union activist, he was socially conservative and economically suppportive of a free market, so he supports Andrzejewski for his stands, not just his Polish heritage, Walesa told a freezing crowd of tea partyers in the federal plaza Friday. He promised to come back and campaign for Andrzejewski in the general election.

"I wish you all success, and, if you succeed, I will show up again," Walesa told the tea partyers. In longer, indoor comments earlier, Walesa and fellow Solidarity founder Mieczyslaw Gilsaid they saw themselves in Andrzewjewski, 40, when they were his age -- a young man not willing to work within the existing system and willing to try to restructure it, they said.

Andrzejewski, moreso than any of the other five Republican candidates, has been willing to back up his threats to restructure state government with actual examples, such as zero-ing out the million-dollar budget of the Department of Commerce, which he says is under-performing.

Andrzejewski┬╣s grandfather came from Poland but he had never visited his ancestral home until November when Atlanta businessman Witold Zabinski brought him over and introduced him to Gil and other Walesa friends. Andrzejewski grew up bailing hay in Kankakee County where his father ran as a Democrat against then-state legislator George Ryan.

Meanwhile, just a few blocks from where the minsters endorsed Hynes, Mayor Daley lavished very warmly on Quinn. If it wasn┬╣t an endorsement, it came awfully close. Mayor Daley reached out and touched Gov. Pat Quinn's arm 1, 2, 3, 4 times during a 2-minute speech four days before Election Day praising Quinn for all his work over the years that helped secure millions of dollars in federal funding for a new high-speed rail corridor from Chicago to St. Louis. Daley then set off to repeat the not-quite-an-endorsement -- since Daley has made clear he does not endorse in primaries -- at other stops around the state.

Retiring Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan endorsed State Comptroller Dan Hynes Friday, on the same day that Quinn endorsed Cook County Democratic Chairman Joe Berrios to succeed Houlihan. Houlihan spent his years as assessor delivering on a promise of transparency. Property owners in Cook County can look at their properties and their neighbors' properties on-line, in contrast to the Board of Review, where Berrios sits, and where precious little is on-line. Years ago, Quinn endorsing Berrios would have been unthinkable.


I fully support and have voted for Adam. I believe it will be the man for REAL reform and will bring honor and pride back to this state of Illinois. Seeing 'every dime on line' will be an option that no one else offers and I believe he will stand against the corruption that ALL OF US know is in this great State! What a privilege to see a the Mr. Walesa come to America. A true man of honor in his country and a Nobel Peace Prize awarded him in the years past. Adam also appeared on this program and it too speaks for his integrity and what his plan is. My vote has been cast for him and I ask for you to do the same for Illinois. All the other men HAVE BEEN serving Illinois AND WE ARE in the mess we are in and I ask, what have they done to prevent it?

I think you should do some research. I believe Walesa came to our country to endorse and campaign for the late Ronald Reagan.

I have seen a number of Adam Andrzejewski signs here in Rockford. From the commments I see in the rrstar Adam is the way to go.

People say he can't do it, but with 1.1 million Illinois citizens with Polish ancestory, I say watch out. They understand what happens when a goverment takes over their country.

They understand freedoms lost and the sacrifice one has to make to get back on track.

Return Illinois to it's citizens, we the voter have a chance to do so this time around. Adam leads all other Repulicians with his values. All the other candidates have past history in Illinois politics. If you want real change, the vote for Adam, if you want it's the way it's been going then don't. It's up to you to make the choice and to me, that choice is easy as checking the box for Adams Andrzejewski.

At the Hynes press conference, you failed to note that it was former staff, and key religious and community organizers for Harold Washington publicly suppported Dan Hynes use of the Harold Washington footage -- and in the back of the room former Washington aide Bill "Dock" Walls shouted "I gave it to him," in response to the question of how Hynes' campaign people knew where to find the footage for Walls had planned to use the footage against Quinn once it was clear that Quinn was challenging Walls petitions to be in the primary election in February and since was pulled out the February primary, he still felt Quinn neded to feel the pain of the Black commuity for his move to stop a Black candidacy for Governor.

Hynes campaign did the smart thing by ibvesting in Community organizers in the Black community and not Black elected officials as Quinn has done. As a former youth coordinator for the '83 & '87 campaigns of Mayor Washington, I TOO have organized for Hynes and was at the press conference with about 30 more of my community organizing allies to back uo the Black religious leaders who endorsed Hynes.

Great news about Adam Andrzejewski,regret being in Fla. at this moment-return Illinois to its citizens. GO ADAM ! D.D.

I was amazed that one of the world's greatest leader Lech Walsea visited Chicago to endorse Adam for governor. The CHICAGO TRIBUNE did NOT send out a reporter. But in all fairness to the Trib they had a whopping 117 word paragraph they wrote from information they got from AP.
The ONLY other candidate Lech Walsea has ever endorsed was Ronald Reagan.
Little notice for the X President of Poland and the leader of Solidarity who no less stood up to the russians.
Here's a thought.
Ya think the Chicago Tribune might be a little bias?
Perhaps it is time for conservatives to boycott the tribune and any other media outlet that has a liberal bias. No fair and balanced reporting we boycott you!
They forget: They report WE DECIDE!

I am posting this post election. It was amazing how little coverage there was of any of the Republican primaries on our local Chicago stations. It has been non stop Quinn/Hynes or Giannoulias/Hoffman. Finally, at the end they did actually include the "others" in the mix. Sad. The Chicago media market is a microcosm of the national alphabet network coverage.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 29, 2010 7:34 PM.

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