Gov. Pat Quinn is in office for at least two more years after this one, but he’s popping up as the villain in some Republican attack ads. For example, in one YouTube video, since taken down, challenger Mark Minor’s campaign suggested State Sen. Gary Forby (D-Benton) was in lockstep with the governor’s plan to close the supermax prison at Tamms. Forby wasn’t.
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Kent Redfield, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, says Quinn makes an easy punching bag because he’s unpopular, he’s not doing a very good job, and everybody knows who he is. “If you’re a Downstate Democrat, you want to make it about the district,” says Redfield. “And if you’re a Republican, you’d like to make it about state politics.” Redfield says you can expect Democrat incumbents to distance themselves from Quinn this campaign season; he says Quinn, riding a wave of popularity in the wake of the ouster of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, has failed to capitalize in his three-plus years in office because of what Redfield cites as a lack of leadership and management skills.
Republicans, on their day at the Illinois State Fair last week, displayed signs urging voters to “Fire Madigan, ”referring to Speaker of the House Mike Madigan (D-Chicago). Redfield says gaining enough seats to make the minority party the majority is a long-term strategy