Link: No 'charade,' he just wants to try Quinn's plan
SPRINGFIELD -- A spokeswoman for Gov. Pat Quinn Wednesday called Sen. Terry Link's attempt to draft the governor's gambling suggestions into legislation a "charade."
"Governor Quinn looks forward to moving past the political games and toward sincere negotiations to reach a legitimate proposal that meets the framework he laid out to protect the interests of the people of Illinois," spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said in a statement.
Link Wednesday led debate over gambling legislation that includes a new casino in Lake County but not slot machines at Arlington Park.
The Waukegan Democrat said he'll vote for Quinn's plan, but was needled by some Republicans who said the proposal is likely to fail.
"We're going to see if it works," said Link, a longtime gambling expansion supporter. "I don't know. I'm not an expert." That comment drew a grin from Sen. Dale Righter, a Republican from downstate Charleston.
"You're playing a role here, and I give you respect for playing that role," Righter said.
Link said he wasn't playing a role, arguing that he's fought for a Lake County casino for 20 years, since before he was a member of the Illinois Senate.
But, he reiterated that if Quinn's plan fails on the Senate floor, he'll keep pushing for gambling expansion in some form.
"I won't just sit back and go in a corner," Link said.
Sen. Matt Murphy, a Palatine Republican, questioned Link at the earlier hearing, saying Quinn's suggestions could kill the gambling expansion effort and leave the cash-strapped state without additional revenue more gambling can bring.
He called it a "failure of leadership."
"That is going to sit right at the foot of the governor," Murphy said.