The [Monday] Papers
Pat Quinn is a fraud. At least Scott Lee Cohen tried to tell the truth.
"With Illinois in a financial crisis, Gov. Pat Quinn repeatedly touts his membership in Super 8 hotel's VIP club as testament to his frugality," the Daily Herald reports. "But Quinn didn't like being asked by the Daily Herald for a copy of his membership card.
"'Most people when they hear somebody say something that's from the governor of Illinois, they believe them,' Quinn said after taking the card out of his wallet for a reporter at the state Capitol Wednesday.
"The problem is, however, that the Daily Herald has found Super 8 VIP cards like Quinn's were discontinued more than five years ago.
Calling it Super 8-gate might sound like a joke, but Quinn has been caught in a flagrant falsehood.
"Quinn's office said in a statement to the Daily Herald that the card was intended as a 'demonstration.' His office said the governor has stayed at Super 8 hotels in Moline, Mokena and Joliet within the last year."
I wonder which of the governor's advisers sitting around a table strategizing a response came up with, "Hey, I know, let's just say it was a 'demonstration'!"
"'Especially in these difficult economic times, we need a governor (who) is fiscally responsible,' read the statement from Quinn's office. 'Governor Quinn has stayed at Super 8 Hotels across the state for many years and will continue to do so.'"
Fine. But can you be fiscally responsible if you are not factually responsible?
We've also learned that Quinn has been holding up a demonstration budget for the cameras, not a real one.
"After he was sworn in as governor in late January of last year, Quinn held a lengthy news conference with reporters. At one point, he took the VIP card out of his wallet before the cameras and said, 'I am proud of being frugal. I'm a VIP member of the Super 8, and I moved up from Motel 6.'
"Then again last month, during his long state-of-the-state address, Quinn brought the card up as he told lawmakers he would continue to cut spending.
"'I think it's important that we embark on this journey, and I want to ensure you, over the course of this year, that we will continue to cut costs in government,' the Chicago Democrat said. 'There has only been one governor in the history of Illinois who has a Super 8 card, and I've used it as governor, and I'm going to continue using it where appropriate. I think it's important to show economy everywhere you can. And I have a VIP card, at that particular dwelling place, or lodging place.'
"Following that speech, the Daily Herald requested a copy of his Super 8 VIP club card and copies of the notes he used during delivery on the state House floor. The governor's office denied both requests, which were filed under the state's new Freedom of Information Act that Quinn heralded.
"'The governor's Super 8 discount card is his personal card and thus not subject to the Act," Erin Knowles, associate general counsel in the governor's office, said in denying the request."
If it's his personal card, then he wasn't saving the state money, was he? I mean, theoretically, given that we know now the card expired years before he became governor.
And then there's Mr. Transparency.
"The papers Quinn used to deliver his speech were deemed exempt from disclosure because they were preliminary drafts and notes in which opinions were expressed or policies or actions formulated.
"'Any notes or materials used by the governor were clearly preliminary in nature as they were used by the governor in finalizing his State of the State,' Knowles said in the rejection letter."
Except that his speech seemed to be only notes - or as Dan Hynes said at the time, the State of Pat Quinn's Mind.
"When Quinn was approached in the halls of the state Capitol Wednesday and asked about the Daily Herald's request for a copy of the card, he called the request disrespectful.
"'It belongs to me,' Quinn said. 'Why would I give it to you? It doesn't belong to you.'"
Refusing to show someone your Super 8 VIP card: Priceless.
Then again, we already know Quinn is a liar. They kicked the wrong guy off the ticket.
It makes one wonder: With friends like Emil Jones, Ed Burke and Joe Berrios, why would someone ever stay at a Super 8?
Maybe he won't show us the card because it's got Ed Burke's name on it.
Pat Quinn slept here - but not at a discount.
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The Beachwood Tip Line: Just super.
Posted on February 22, 2010
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