Meet Blago's Unlikely Replacement

Crusader Quinn promises to 'fumigate' state government
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2009 11:37 AM CST

(Newser) – Rod Blagojevich never wanted Patrick Quinn as his running mate. Few Democrats would. Quinn is a notorious gadfly, who’s spent 40 years ruffling feathers with his populist crusades and citizens’ initiatives, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. He’s not planning on calming down as governor, either. “We can do great things in the next 700 days,” he said. “I plan to fumigate the state government.”

Quinn’s crusades have, among other things, ended the practice of paying legislators their full year’s salary on day one, cut the legislature's size, and set up a watchdog agency for state utilities. Many annoyed Democrats quietly helped his Republican opponent beat him in his secretary of state run in 1994. He later won consecutive lieutenant governor primaries, but his shotgun marriage with Blagojevich wasn’t a happy one; 4 months ago, he protested a Blagojevich speech.