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Progress Illinois: 2009, The Year in Quotes

Jan 15, 2010
In the News


The following story was originally published by Progress Illinois on Dec. 31, 2009.


It was a long, eventful, and not-always-productful year in Illinois.  As these quotes below remind us, we saw lots of good intentions, plenty of bad ones, and way too many of ugly realities.  Happy New Year to all our readers and here's hoping for a great 2010.


"We have to understand that the people of Illinois want us to be aggressive and progressive."
- Pat Quinn on January 30, the day he was sworn in as governor.


"And the banks ...  are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place."
- Sen. Dick Durbin delivers some real talk about the influence of Wall Street banks.


"It's time for the showdown."
- Durbin helps kick off the Showdown in Chicago, a three-day series of demonstrations against the banking industry.

"I tell you, if I hear the term 'jobless recovery' one more time, I'm going to become ill."
- Rep. Phil Hare talking about the need for further economic stimulus.


"I owe, I owe, I owe.  But I owe the voters of the 5th Congressional District and no one else."
- Mike Quigley after winning the March 3 Democratic primary in IL-5.


"This is bad public policy."
- Ald. Manny Flores (1st Ward) on the tax increment financing (TIF) subsidies given to Republic Windows & Doors.


"Mayor Daley is out of control."
- Action Now's Denise Dixon on the Daley administration's privatization spree.


"I think that Chicago suffers from not having a broad enough range of voices that legitimately get to sit at the table."
- Amy Dean reacts to Chicago's failure to secure the 2016 Olympic Games.


"[The city] needs a new influx of ideas and policies. The old way of doing things no longer works."
- Ald. Scott Waguespeck (32nd Ward) hopes for reform at City Hall.


"We can't be doing this one, by one, by one."
- Rep. Jan Schakowsky on the need to pass immigration reform to protect students like Chicagoan Rigo Padilla.


"We are here to say that we will not rest until the raids stop and our brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers are no longer torn apart by the government of the United States of America."
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez kicks off his push for comprehensive immigration reform.


"This is a mainstream position, this is a moderate position, and it's the right position to have in the state of Illinois."
- State Rep. Heather Steans pushes the Equal Marriage Act.


"I would like to appeal to someone's conscience that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is morally repugnant."
- Rep. Mike Quigley speaks out against the controversial Army policy.


"It sounds like you have jobs to go back to and we're all happy about that.
- Bankruptcy Court Judge Bruce Black before approving the sale of Hartmarx.


"When the time came, you stood up. ... You stood up and fought.  And you know what, brothers and sisters?  You won."
- SEIU Illinois President Tom Balanoff addresses the Hartmarx workers.




"So if we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere?" - Rep. John Shimkus shows off his environmental science knowledge during a hearing on climate change legislation.


"These are really, really mean people whose job it is to kill people, driven by some savage religion." - Rep. Don Manzullo warns about the potential dangers of transferring Guantanamo Bay detainees to Illinois.  (He later apologized ... sort of.)


"Our state and the Chicago Metropolitan Area will become ground zero for Jihadist terrorist plots, recruitment and radicalization." - Rep. Mark Kirk fearmongers about the Gitmo transfer proposal.


"I warned people back then that [Obama] was a socialist." - State Sen. Kirk Dillard defends his appearance in a campaign ad for Barack Obama.


"Senator DeMint is so grounded and wise." - Rep. Peter Roskam compliments the U.S. Senate's most conservative member.


"I told China not to belive the U.S. budget figures." - Rep. Kirk brags about undercutting the Obama administration.


"'Just say no' is going to be the GOP's chant from now until Election Day, because we've been saying no for a long time." - Rep. Shimkus coins a new party slogan at the Illinois State Fair.


"The Democrats' proposal will require counseling of seniors that might encourage those who are seriously ill to 'give up.'" - Rep. Judy Biggert spreads the false claim that health care reform will usher in "death panels."


"I would not wish the government health plan on anybody." - Rep. Manzullo insists he wouldn't want American's uninsured to receive the federal health care coverage he enjoys.


"Did you hear that Obama and Rev. Wright were popping champagne last night?" - WLS Radio host Mancow Muller suggests that President Obama had celebrated after the June 10 shooting at the Holocaust Museum.


"I think the people of Illinois are ready to shoot anyone who is going to raise taxes by that degree." - Rep. Kirk responds to Gov. Pat Quinn's tax reform proposal.


"We're more transparent than any other government.  Look at it." - Chicago Mayor Richard Daley


"Sure we will.  Sure we will." - Daley's answer when asked if he plans to make the TIF system more transparent.


"I thought about Mandela, Dr. King, And Ghandi" - Rod Blagojevich explains his thoughts on the day he was arrested.




"Gov. Blagojevich is hereby impeached" - The General Assembly evicts Blagojevich from office.


"[T]here was not any contact between myself or any of my representatives with Gov. Blagojevich or any of his representatives regarding my appointment to the United States Senate." - Roland Burris in a January 5 affidavit submitted to the Illinois House impeachment committee.


"The Committee found that you should have known that you were providing incorrect, inconsistent, misleading, or incomplete information." - From the U.S. Senate Ethics Committee's November 20 letter concluding their probe of Burris.


"It's historic." - Gov. Quinn heaps praise on a campaign finance bill he would later veto.


"It's not possible." - Rep. Luis Gutierrez rejects a proposal to implement a 36 percent cap on all consumer credit transactions.


"The anemic firefly flicker of nominal oversight." - Stephen Colbert satirizes Gutierrez' industry-friendly payday loan reform bill.


"At what point does the International Monetary Fund put Illinois on an austerity budget? We're like the Argentina of the Midwest ...There's going to be a day of reckoning." - State Rep. Will Burns laments the state budget crisis.


"The pain is palpable." - The Illinois Hunger Coalition's Diane Doherty describes the human effect of the budget crisis.


"If Madigan wanted this bill passed, it would have been passed." - State Sen. James Meeks highlights House Speaker Michael Madigan's refusal to push for an income tax increase.


"Next year, we fall off the cliff." - State Board of Education chair Jesse Ruiz addresses the Responsible Budget Coalition.