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Harold Washington Gets Spotlight in Dem Primary

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Harold Washington Gets Spotlight in Dem Primary

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is scolding his Democratic opponent, Comptroller Dan Hynes, for the latest round in an increasingly negative campaign. Hynes released a TV ad Thursday with video of the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington.

Washington is shown in 1987 explaining his decision to dismiss Quinn from a job with the city as revenue director. In a debate Thursday night, the governor said it was inappropriate for Hynes to use footage of the mayor, noting that Hynes’ father Tom worked to defeat Washington.

QUINN: And I don’t appreciate what the comptroller is doing with his low-blow campaign. He ought to be ashamed of himself.

Hynes defends the ad, saying Washington’s criticisms back then show Quinn has a pattern of failure on fiscal issues. And Hynes says his father’s opposition to Washington should not be a factor.

HYNES: My father’s not running in this race. I am. And that is, that is just the fact.

Former Washington press secretary Alton Miller says he thinks the late mayor is somewhere “grinning a great big grin” at the irony of the situation.

Quinn says he was asked to resign back then because he couldn’t get along with Washington’s chief of staff, whom Quinn says wanted him to do his job in a political way. But Quinn insists Washington was his friend.

QUINN: He told me the last day I saw him, ‘Quinn, you’re my friend, and you’ll always be my friend, and someday we’ll have a bourbon together.’ That’s what he told me.

Quinn’s spokeswoman says that conversation took place the day Quinn was asked to resign.

But Miller says the story “sounds totally artificial.” He says the mayor had an “almost paternal disappointment” in Quinn, and says there was no “off-stage chumminess.” That’s at odds with the statement from another Washington aide, Jacky Grimshaw. She says the mayor had no “lasting animosity” toward Quinn.

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