April 25, 2014

Barely News: Ill. Gov. Quinn’s Campaign Pulls Tweets Comparing Blacks Who Support Opponent to Jews Who Collaborated With Nazis

A search at the Associated Press’s national site on the last name of Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn and “Jews” at 7:30 this evening returned nothing.

That’s pretty amazing, considering that Quinn’s campaign enthusiastically retweeted its support for an outrageous April 17 column by Neil Steinberg at the Chicago Sun-Times. For all practical purposes, Steinberg equated African-Americans who might support Republican Bruce Rauner in November’s gubernatorial election against Quinn to “Jews (who) collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, helping them to round up their own people in the hopes they’d be the last to go.” Quinn’s people quietly deleted the tweets, according to the Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo, “after local Jewish community officials quietly communicated their outrage to the governor.” Given that the time between the tweets and the deletes was apparently a few days, and that the sort-of apologies came almost a week after Steinberg’s column, I’m not detecting a lot of sincerity here. Coverage from CNN’s Political Ticker follows the jump (bolds are mine; links are in original):

Deleted tweets spark controversy in Illinois gubernatorial race

PatQuinnWide

Amid backlash for tweeting out an article with inflammatory language, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s campaign said Thursday it didn’t thoroughly read the story before blasting it out to its Twitter followers.

Neil Steinberg wrote the article published by the Chicago Sun Times last Thursday. …

In the tweets, which were deleted from the account but saved and posted by the website Politwoops, Quinn’s re-election campaign quotes a line from the bottom of Steinberg’s piece with a link to the article. Politwoops is part of the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit that aims for more transparency in government. The Washington Free Beacon was the first to report the story.

“If Rauner is willing to throw his own money away like this, what’s he going to do when he gets his hands on ours?” the tweet read.

In another tweet that has since been deleted, Quinn’s campaign account retweets one of Steinberg’s tweets promoting his article.

Republicans pounced on the tweets, which Quinn’s re-election team deleted the day after the uproar.

The bet here is that Quinn’s peeps wouldn’t have deleted anything without the quiet pressure or Republicans’ objections, because they agree with what Steinberg wrote, despite their “didn’t thoroughly read the story” cop-out.

Steiner doesn’t have a very good grasp of Illinois’s fiscal reality, either:

Gov. Pat Quinn has flaws. He’s sleepy and shambolic, buffeted trying to keep the state together.

Illinois is coming apart under Quinn thanks to huge tax increases enacted three years ago which of course didn’t solve the state’s financial problems as promised. He has Democratic Party majorities in both houses of the legislature. There’s no one but Democrats to blame for the state’s woes, which include billions in seriously past due bills to the state’s vendors and providers ($7.6 billion as of the end of 2013).

Imagine an incumbent Republican governor’s campaign doing something analogous. Now imagine the national press, including the AP’s national site, virtually ignoring it. Neither can I.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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