… is Pat Quinn. (Good Irish name, that.) The NYT reports today that
In 1980, one of Mr. Quinn’s petition drives ended the practice that allowed Illinois legislators to collect their entire salaries on the first day in office. Along with his other petitions, like the one that reduced the size of the legislature, he was not earning a lot of friends in state government.
One afternoon in 1976, he visited the Capitol and took a seat in the gallery.
“They said, ‘Up there in the gallery is that Pat Quinn,’ ” he remembered one lawmaker saying. “And they stood up and booed for three minutes. One guy called it a standing boo-vation.”
A few years later, he was elected commissioner of the Cook County Board of Tax Appeals, his first elected office. He has served in a number of other positions, usually gravitating to veterans affairs, environmental and consumer protection issues. He was elected state treasurer in the early 1990s.
Mr. Quinn said he was not sure whether he would run in 2010, when Mr. Blagojevich’s term ends. As it was, he had not decided what to do when his term as lieutenant governor was up.
One thing he will not do, he said, is let his newfound popularity go to his head.
“You want to know my philosophy?” Mr. Quinn said. “One day a peacock. The next day a feather duster.”
I like the sound of this guy.