Governor tells GOP rival to give up pay for missed days

But Quinn won't do the same

  • Gov. Pat Quinn

    Gov. Pat Quinn

 
By Timothy Magaw
Updated 6/16/2010 7:38 AM

SPRINGFIELD - Gov. Pat Quinn charged Tuesday that Bill Brady, the Republican nominee for governor, should forgo his state paycheck for any days where he missed a vote in his role as Bloomington's state senator.

"Most citizens, if they weren't showing up for work, wouldn't get paid, and I think that's something we should always take into consideration," Quinn told reporters.

 

But when the tables were turned, Quinn said he wouldn't give up any of the nearly $150,000 he's collecting as governor for days he was off seeking endorsements or raising money for his campaign.

"If I get a call in the middle of the night, there's no time off. I have to act in the middle of the night," said Quinn, adding that Brady has failed at his only job - making votes.

Brady's missed votes recently came under fire after a Daily Herald story revealed that he had missed more than 200 votes in the hectic final weeks of the legislative session. A further review of voting records revealed that Brady missed votes on 25 different session days this year. Brady has since refused to accept any state mileage, hotel or meal money for any days where he missed any votes.

Contacted for comment, Brady campaign spokeswoman Patty Schuh cautioned this might not be a fight Quinn wants to pursue.

"I don't think Governor Quinn wants to debate who deserves a paycheck from the taxpayers," Schuh said.

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Meanwhile, the Democratic Governors Association issued an Internet campaign ad highlighting Brady's missed votes. The ad starts with a scene of the General Assembly and zooms in on an empty chair and then asks, "Where is Bill Brady?"

The video clip used, however, is actually footage from the House chamber from Quinn's March budget address. Brady serves in the Illinois Senate, which is located on the other side of the Capitol. Audio from a Senate session is overdubbed. The empty seat featured in the ad is actually that of Grayslake Republican state Rep. Sandy Cole, who had an excused absence that day.

Repeated calls to a Democratic Governors Association spokeswoman were not returned. It was not immediately clear how the group obtained the audio or video for the ad. General Assembly sessions are broadcast on the Internet and video and audio archives can be ordered from the state. However, there are frequently others filming and taping the proceedings as well.

Steve Brown, a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, said he had not seen the video in question and was not aware of any contact between the Democratic Governors Association and Illinois Democrats regarding it. Brown said there is a long-standing policy forbidding use of official state footage and audio from the General Assembly's proceedings for political purposes.