Bill Daley blasts Quinn on cronyism, won't discuss hiring under brother
August 8, 2013 11:00AM
Updated: August 9, 2013 1:08AM
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Daley on Thursday called on Gov. Pat Quinn to pull back on “the usual politics” and rescind the nomination of insider Frank Zuccarelli to the CTA board.
But Bill Daley, the brother and son of longtime Chicago mayors, refused to address the culture of cronyism during his brother’s more than two-decades as mayor of Chicago, which included a steady drumbeat of minority fraud contracts, the Hired Truck scandal and a patronage scandal.
“I’m standing here as my own person. You can make judgments about past administrations or relatives or whatever you want but I’m telling you what I believe and how I will be a leader,” Bill Daley said.
What would he say to those who ask why he wasn’t raising issues about cronyism back then?
“I wasn’t in office,” Bill Daley said. “I wasn’t in a position to stand up and and you know, as a lawyer or as a banker. I was in the private sector, I was making a living in a very different way.”
The news conference marked an unquestionable hurdle Bill Daley will face throughout his campaign to overcome the baggage that comes along with having a name like Daley before voters. When pressed on the issue, Daley attempted to steer the focus on Quinn, who was Rod Blagojevich’s Lt. Governor.
Bill Daley would not refer to his brother by name when asked if it were ironic that a Daley was calling on an end to insider politics.
“You may think it’s ironic. I’m talking about what I believe not about what others may have done or believe about patronage. I just think right now leaders and in this time and when we’e had the last 12 years of scandal — we had a governor go to jail. You’ve got a Blagojevich-Quinn administration, now you’ve got a Quinn administration basically doing the same sort of thing that’s been going on and on and on, and we’ve seen it. No doubt about it. But isn’t it time to do something different?”
When asked what he thought about the steady drumbeat of cronyism under his brother with hiring and contracts, Daley responded: “I don’t know, the last I checked he’s not running, maybe he’s changed his mind.”
When pressed to comment about cronyism under his brother, Bill Daley turned the conversation to the imprisoned Rod Blagojevich.
“You can go back over the last 10, 20 years or 30 years, we’re talking about a governor who’s been alleging he’s a reformer. A man who stood with Blagojevich twice for election.”
With regard to Zuccarelli, Daley said if Quinn was to position himself as a reformer, he wouldn’t name the Thornton Township Supervisor to a transit board at a time when the entirety of the transit system in the state has been enmeshed in a patronage scandal.
He called on Quinn to pull back on Zuccarelli’s appointment.
“If that doesn’t happen, I call on the Senate to reject this nomination,” Daley said.
“All I’m saying is the usual politics is gotta change. We’ve seen it. We’ve seen it in the Blagojevich-Quinn administration now we’re seeing it in the Quinn administration. And we should be better about this thing .This is the 21st century this is not the 1950s,” Daley said. “This is a time when leaders need to step forward and do things differently. I think playing the same old game is the definition of insanity.”
A Quinn spokeswoman wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Bill Daley was former Commerce Secretary under President Bill Clinton. When Mayor Richard Daley announced he was stepping down as mayor, Rahm Emanuel left his position as White House Chief of Staff to run for mayor of Chicago.
Bill Daley was then named White House Chief of Staff, a position he held for one year. Emanuel was later elected mayor.