The late, great Mayor Harold Washington is spinning in his grave today.
It is outrageous that Dan Hynes is now invoking the name of Mayor Harold Washington in a blatant maneuver to mislead voters. That Dan Hynes would use a 24 year-old news clip of a beloved figure to attack Governor Quinn shows there is no limit to his negative campaigning. There also is no limit to his hypocrisy.
As African-Americans, reformers and progressives all remember well, Machine politician Tom Hynes left the Democratic Party in 1987 to run against Mayor Washington’s re-election, in a failed effort to unseat Chicago’s first black mayor. Now, Tom’s son is using Mayor Washington to try to win an election.
Let us set the record straight: In 1983, Pat Quinn was the only Cook County elected official to stand with Harold Washington against the forces of the Democratic machine and its leaders – include Assessor Tom Hynes. And let us remember, at that time, Pat Quinn’s principled stand with Harold Washington was considered political suicide by the powers that be.
In 1987, Pat Quinn stood proudly with Mayor Harold Washington – both before the 1987 Democratic primary, when Harold Washington beat Jane Byrne fair and square, and then afterward, when Mayor Washington faced down the Hynes family and their renegade bid to unseat him.
During the Hynes family’s revolt against Democratic voters and their incumbent mayoral nominee, Dan Hynes joined his father in television ads targeting Harold Washington – whose election as Mayor of the City of Chicago had changed history.
It is true that Mayor Washington hired Pat Quinn to clean up the City of Chicago’s revenue department. It also is true that, after eight months, Pat Quinn handed in his resignation. News reports at the time suggested that Pat Quinn’s gritty personal integrity might have put him at odds with some political insiders at City Hall.
It also is true, as anyone who remembers those days in Chicago will attest, that Mayor Washington was known, and loved, for his occasional intemperate outbursts.
In the video clip presented by Comptroller Hynes, “Mayor Harold Washington addressed issues that were getting public attention in his own inimitable way,” says Jacky Grimshaw, who was director of Mayor Washington’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at that time and served as his 1987 campaign manager. “Pat Quinn was with Harold Washington from the start, long before it was the politically popular thing to do. This episode in no way decreased the friendship and regard that Harold had for Pat Quinn.”
We firmly believe that, if Mayor Washington were with us today, we would have his support against the son of a 19th ward boss who grew up in Chicago’s old-time political machine.
We expect the African-American community, and all who revered Mayor Washington and everything he stood for, to reject Hynes’ appalling tactics. And we are confident that the voters of Illinois will reject his campaign of distortion and character assassination. Illinois can do better.
# # #
(To contact Jacky Grimshaw for media interviews, please call 773-617-9923)