July 29, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Ill. Race Turns on Change

“What altered the landscape since [Obama] was sworn in?” Quigley asked. “It made sense that he was campaigning for change and change we can believe in, except we’ve thrown a governor out of office and [Sen. Roland] Burris followed in his footsteps and the economy is still in the situation that it is, people still read the scandal du jour in Chicago.”

Quigley stopped and apologized as he moved his mouth around and flexed his fingers, which were stiff from the two hours of canvassing he did that morning in 16-degree temperatures.

Later that afternoon, a dozen Chicago 30-somethings clad in colorful sweaters with their hyperactive children in tow gathered for a meet-and-greet in a residential home, just around the corner from Blagojevich’s house.

When Quigley talked to the crowd, he appeared most proud of his work to enact the smoking ban in Chicago, an ordinance that resisted repeal by a single vote. When seeking that needed vote, Quigley described how he bargained with another local official to get it done — an example, he said, of his legislative acumen.

“I traded other votes for that issue.” Quigley said. “I understand how to get things done.”

Quigley’s candid admission did not elicit any unusual response from the crowd, though it would certainly raise eyebrows in many other districts around the country.

It was a stark reminder that while a lot of grease might be gone from the old Democratic machine, this is still Chicago.

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