Gov. Pat Quinn seized an opportunity Bruce Rauner did not: an opportunity to throw mud on convicted felon and longtime Springfield Republican powerbroker Bill Cellini (pictured).
Cellini, recently released from prison, attended an event for Rauner, Quinn’s November opponent, in Springfield Tuesday. Cellini praised Rauner, who, when pressed by reporters, said he did not know Cellini was there and would not comment about him.
“I did serve as state treasurer, and I went head-to-head with Mr. Cellini about the financing of the Abraham Lincoln Hotel,” Quinn said at an unrelated news conference Wednesday. “He’s now a convicted felon, and I certainly don’t want anything to do with him personally, and I think anybody who aspires to this office should steer clear of him and make that crystal clear to the people of Illinois.”
A Rauner spokesman, in a statement, said Rauner “obviously renounces Cellini” and pointed out Quinn ran as Rod Blagojevich’s running mate twice, called him “honest,” and did nothing overt to call attention to the misdeeds which resulted in Blagojevich losing the governor’s office and going to prison.
When asked how the Quinn-Blagojevich connection is different from the Rauner-Cellini connection, Quinn instead continued to discuss Cellini.
On another subject, Quinn said he needed time to study the Chicago pension restructuring bill which zoomed through the legislature Tuesday, though he did say he was glad the property tax increase was taken out of it.