Worst Governor in the Country

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In a crowded field, Pat Quinn, Democrat Governor of Illinois, can now officially be proclaimed the worst governor in the United States.

He has been vying for the title ever since he took over from impeached and removed Governor Blagojevich, currently bound for a long stay in federal prison.  Since taking over from his felon predecessor, he has the following accomplishments to his discredit:

In a midnight session of  the lame duck legislature in January of this year he increased, in the midst of the worst economic slump since World War II, Illinois personal income taxes by 67-75%, and, as a result, the misgoverned state of Illinois became a national laughingstock.

He rammed through civil unions last year in December in another action of the lame duck legislature.

Quinn  got elected last year by a razor thin margin  largely by under the radar last minute internet ads posted by Personal PAC, a pro-abort lobbying group, headed by a Terry Cosgrove. As payback Quinn appointed Cosgrove to a $46,000 a year job on the Human Rights Commission.  Lake County Right to Life has good coverage on this story which may be read here.  Regular Guy Paul has been on top of the story at his blog here.

Now I happen to know Cosgrove from the days back in the Seventies when we were both attending the U of I. He is a lapsed Catholic, now a militant atheist, homosexual activist and fanatical pro-abort. He was head of the local campus pro-aborts and I was one of the founders of L.I.F.E. (Life Is For Everyone), the campus pro-life group. One time I saw Cosgrove at Mass circa 1980 at the Newman Chapel, at Saint John’s. Puzzled why he was there, after Mass I found out why. At the pamphlet rack in the back I saw that he had stuffed pro-abort obscene anti-Catholic pamphlets. I disposed of them. He also said in one memorable public forum that he carried a gun to defend himself against “militant anti-choicers”, as he phrased pro-lifers.  Quinn appointed him to the Illinois Human Rights Commission in April of this year. That a bigot like Cosgrove now has a seat on the Human Rights Commission in Illinois has a nice Orwellian touch.

Now Quinn has outdone himself and seized the title of worst governor.  As further payback to Cosgrove and his pro-abort pressure group, Quinn is going to attend the annual fund raising dinner for Personal Pac and present an award.  When challenged on this by every Catholic bishop in the State, and Cardinal George,  the ostensibly Catholic Quinn responded that giving the award was the “Christian thing to do.”  (Quinn obviously must have a unique gloss on the statement of Christ, “Suffer the little children…”.)

Go here to read the statement of Cardinal George and the bishops.  Did they excommunicate Quinn?  Nope.  Will this statement bother or inconvenience Quinn in the slightest?  Nope.  Canon Lawyer Edward Peters, at his always worth reading blog In The Light Of The Law, discusses this and is far more charitable than I am inclined to be.  Go here to read his comments.

Seriously, just what would it take for our bishops to excommunicate a pro-abort pol who clearly does not give a flying fig about the Faith?  Would he have to perform an abortion with his own hands on television?  One reason why CINO politicians do these type of things is because they know that there will be no effective action taken against them by the powers that be in the Catholic Church in America.  I am starting a count down now before Quinn is asked to speak at some Catholic college in Illinois, even perhaps receive an award.  I doubt if I will have to count long.

At any rate, I hereby proclaim Patrick Quinn, Governor of the Land of Lincoln, recipient of the title of worst governor of the country.  I know some of our commenters will probably accuse me of Illinois chauvinism, but Quinn has earned this title by his deeds, and I will defend his right to it!


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  1. A great analysis, Don, and you recognized the payback aspect of the awards ceremony which wasn’t mentioned by the bishops.

    Interestingly enough, when Rich Miller of Capitol Fax first got on this story Wednesday he called the Catholic Conference of Illinois for clarification regarding whether or not Quinn was being barred from Communion (Miller is not Catholic). The reply he got was that the bishops were not banning him, but “an individual priest can refuse Quinn Communion.” If that’s the case then maybe the bishops are giving the green light to priests to do just that, or at least letting it be known that they will not object if some priest chooses to do so.

  2. Thank you Elaine, and your observation about the comment about priests is correct. However, the bishops should not lay this on the shoulders of a priest to decide. Quinn is an ongoing public scandal of epic proportions in the State, not some petty miscreant who can be best left to his local parish priest.

  3. “In a crowded field, Pat Quinn, Democrat Governor of Illinois, can now officially be proclaimed the worst governor in the United States.”

    I don’t know about that. He’s got some tough competition from Governor Andy Cuomo. The Bishops must publicly excommunicate politicians like Quinn and Cuomo. The precedence of how St. Paul dealt with Hymenaeus and Alexander in 1st Timothy 1:19-20 rings loudly and clearly.

  4. They are more than welcome to him Joe! Almost all Illinois politicians since Abraham Lincoln have managed to live down to my expectations, but Quinn is working overtime to be even worse than I would have imagined before he was raised from gadfly to governor.

  5. I wonder if the bishops of Illinois would actually stand behind any priests that denied
    Holy Communion to the Governor. If the press turned too ugly, it would be awfully
    tempting for them to leave the priest twisting in the wind. If they truly were committed
    to standing behind their men, wouldn’t they say so publicly?

    I’m glad that all of the bishops of the state have come together to protest the Governor’s
    actions. However, I cannot help but think that this protest is just the least bothersome
    thing the bishops can do and still show their faces in public. Actually addressing the
    continuing public scandal of pro-abortion CINO politicians seems to be more of an
    inconvenience than the bishops of this country are willing to take on.

    It amazes me that in the 40 years since Roe v. Wade the bishops have yet to come up
    with a coherent, well-articulated and unified response to the ongoing scandal of these
    cynical, pro-abortion CINO politicians. I can only conclude that it is because it is not
    really a priority for them.

  6. The oddity is that uneducated Catholic teenage girls in Rio and Bogota and Uganda who have abortions are excommunicated latae sentenciae and don’t know it. And a pro gay, pro abortion educated Catholic pol in an enabling position can’t get excommunicated by Pope or Bishops….no matter how hard he tries. Could it be time for Benedict to meet with a management consultancy
    firm? I often think that there is a standing memo in the Vatican for Popes to punish no one….because such active ruling would make the mass movements of Protestants back to the Church less likely (e.g. Anclicans). if so, it’s a mistake ala Paul’s example noted by Paul above.

  7. “… a pro gay, pro abortion educated Catholic pol in an enabling position can’t get excommunicated by Pope or Bishops….no matter how hard he tries… I often think that there is a standing memo in the Vatican for Popes to punish no one….”

    Punish no one … except the orthodox faithful when they get too uppity about calling Bishops on the carpet for failing to enforce the teachings of the Church. Then they get called names by our bishops and are told that they are “divisive” or “Judgmental” or “uncharitable” or “sinful” and are accused of doing “irreparable damage to the communion of the Church”. Or they get railroaded off of Catholic radio programs.

    As I once wrote in the context of the bishops’ backlash against faithful Catholics in the wake (no pun intended) of the Ted Kennedy funeral/canonization:

    I wonder if our shepherds REALLY believe about abortion what they proclaim to be the Church’s teaching on the matter. I know that pro-lifers have taken them at their word, and have sacrificed their time, treasure, talent, and reputations – and even, in some cases, voting against our own economic best interests – to work on behalf of the unborn.

    And, for that, pro-lifers have been rewarded with scorn. I expect as much from the mainstream media, from the Democrat Party, and even from the Republican Party, which takes the pro-life movement for granted, pretty much only paying attention to our concerns during election years.

    But from our Bishops? Again, why do we even bother?

  8. I don’t believe it is the Pope’s job to micromanage one billion Catholics and thousands
    of bishops. The scandal of the bishops’ avoidance of concrete action regarding these
    pro-abortion CINO politicians is no one’s fault but the bishops’. They are squandering
    their moral authority and credibility by refusing to take any sort of meaningful action.

    As Mr. McClarey said in his post above, Gov. Quinn is not in the least inconvenienced by
    this latest episcopal tut-tutting. In fact, it enhances his credentials in the rabidly pro-
    abortion Democrat party. If it were determined that Gov. Quinn should be barred the
    Sacraments until he repents and does penance, at least the faithful would be spared
    his scandal, the pro-life laity would be encouraged, and the bishops would be seen to
    take their obligations as shepherds seriously and the erosion of their credibility would

  9. Indeed Clinton. Cut him off from the sacraments and publicly state that he is no longer a Catholic in good standing. The Church has condemned abortion since the time of Christ. This type of lackadaisical attitude is further evidence that what has traditionally been the Church Militant is now the Church Mushy. Additionally the Church has a duty to sinners, even to one as far gone as Quinn. The purpose of excommunication has never been to punish, but rather to recognize that someone has cut himself off by his actions from the Bride of Christ. Who knows, perhaps in Quinn’s case it might even cause him to repent. Certainly excommunication has had that impact on sinners even worse that Quinn.

  10. “If it were determined that Gov. Quinn should be barred the Sacraments until he repents and does penance, at least the faithful would be spared his scandal, the pro-life laity would be encouraged, and the bishops would be seen to take their obligations as shepherds seriously and the erosion of their credibility would cease.”

    That’s the whole point. There is so much Scriptural precedence for this. Ananias and Sapphira were dropped dead on the spot in Acts 5:1-11. The man living with his father’s wife in 1st Corinthians 5 was kicked out till he repented in 2nd Corinthians 2:5-11. Hymenaeus and Alexander were turned over to Satan in 1st Timothy 1:19-20 to be taught not to blaspheme. And Jezebel in Revelation 2:20-23 was told that she’d be put on a sick bed and her children killed for teaching people at the Church in Thyatira to commit adultery and eat meat sacrificed to idols.

    But most of today’s bishops in these United States don’t really BELIEVE in the power of God, so they don’t really take Scripture seriously (nor for that matter the 2000 years of Tradition in the Church or the teaching of the Magisterium unless it’s something about promoting social justice). There are exceptions here and there. But until the Bishops as a whole throw Andy Cuomo, Patrick Quinn, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Patrick Leahy, Dennis Kucinich, Kathleen Sebelius and all the rest out of the Church publicly, all their protestations are smoke in the wind which dissipates quickly as things return to “normal.” And furthermore, if the bishops do NOT kick these apostates out, then God will prune His Church exactly as described in Romans 11. The branches that don’t produce fruit will be cut off to make way for those who do. God’s will will be done no matter what, either with the bishops cooperating with God’s justice or with the bishops finding themselves pruned off because they wouldn’t cooperate God’s justice. And yes, God’s justice is His love – justice had to be dumped on the head of that man in the Church at Corinth before he stopped his sexual perversion and that was LOVE. Being nice ain’t love at all (“oh, you must really love your Dad if you’re taking care of his wife that way! – St. Paul had a virtual conniption fit about that excuse); it’s only confirming the person in sin so that his slide into hell can be all greased up. Bishops who do that would do well to remember Ezekiel 34:1-10.

    Lord deliver us from liberal weak-kneed, yellow bellied, cowardly, effeminate clerics!

  11. Clinton
    If a Pope has time to write three scholarly books in 6 years, I think he has time to do a tad bit of micro managing on this issue after decades of Bishop indecision on pols…an issue, abortion, which is now clearly infallibly condemned in section 62 of Evangelium Vitae so as to pass muster in Church courts under canon 749-3. Few moral issues actually have that clearly manifest infallibilty.
    Canon law (331) talks of his power thus:
    “By virtue of his office he possesses supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely.”

    Is it easy emotionally to use that power in a phone call to a Bishop and then ask him to call you back in two weeks with what he did on the problem? I’ll bet not. I wish he’d call the Jesuit head about Georgetown and tell them to stop the lavender graduations for the glbt group there.
    But as I say…I wonder if they think Protestants will never return if Popes use that power…but will return if Popes never micro manage. If so, it’s a mistake.

  12. Bill,

    How much would the Pope know about the details of these issues? Otherwise, I am inclined to agree with you. I find it fascinating and dismay that – for example – hundred of Irish clerics can defy the Church over married priesthood, contraceptives, etc. This is happening most everywhere because the problem was never nipped in the bud when it first appeared.

  13. Paul
    I’m sure at the CDF Benedict got thousands of letters on the pro choice pols in the US for years ever since Cuomo and Ferraro. On other moral issues, there is not the crystal clear infallibility that abortion now has.
    Read canon 749-3. Abortion and euthanasia now pass that manifest clarity test.

  14. Mr. Primavera, you list several examples of corrections administered in scripture. I
    would also like to mention the chastisement St. Ambrose administered to a political
    figure of his day. Around 390 AD there was an uprising in a city in Thessalonica.
    Several Roman officers were killed and the Christian emperor Theodosius ordered
    reprisals. During a festival held in the city Roman soldiers sealed the exits of the
    amphitheater and slaughtered the 7000 men, women, and children inside.

    News of the massacre soon reached Milan, St. Ambrose’s diocese and the current
    residence of the emperor. When the emperor attempted to enter the cathedral to
    attend Mass, St. Ambrose barred him at the door and forbade him to enter any
    church until he both repented taking innocent lives and did public penance. Mind
    you, St. Ambrose was facing down a powerful man who had killed 7000 people just
    to make a point. As it was, the emperor did repent and did his penance.

    About 1300 years after St. Ambrose’s confrontation with the emperor, Peter Paul
    Reubens depicted the scene in a magnificent painting that now hangs in Britain’s
    National Gallery. Somehow I doubt that 1300 years hence any artists will be
    commemorating our bishops’ feeble handwringing in response to the scandal of
    all these cynical pro-abortion CINO politicians we’re saddled with.

  15. “The conflict between David and Nathan, and other such examples in the Bible, placed into the Western mind the concept of a body outside the State always judging the actions of the State. This is an all-important development for Western notions of freedom. The Greek democracies and republics eventually collapsed into rule by divinized Hellenic monarchs after the death of Alexander. Those republics and democracies that were not directly ruled were rendered impotent and subject to constant threat of conquest by the sprawling absolute monarchies established by the Diadochi. The Roman Republic suffered the same fate, collapsing during the chaotic century before Christ into the rule by Augustus Caesar and his successors which eventually developed into absolute rule by divinized God-Emperors.

    With the advent of Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire, this changed. Emperors were now held to account for their actions, as Theodosius was after the massacre of Thessalonica by Saint Ambrose. The State could no longer be held to be all-powerful, even in theory. The Church stood as a constant reminder to rulers that they had to answer to God for the actions, and the Church often served as a rallying point against a ruler who was becoming a tyrant. It is interesting that the doctrine of the divine right of kings, came about only after the Reformation, when Luther made his new church an arm of the state in order to secure a break with Rome. In the Middle Ages, the idea that the King was head of the Church as well as the State, would have been regarded as blatant heresy. The coronation oaths that Kings took in the Middle Ages obliged them to protect the rights of the Church, and it was the Church that administered the sacred chrism necessary for the coronation ceremony.”


    “During a crisis within the Roman Empire, Emperor Theodosius I slaughtered 7,000 of his own citizens in 390 AD. Shortly after this massacre Emperor Theodosius arrived in Milan where Saint Ambrose resided as bishop. Upon hearing of the emperors arrival Saint Ambrose refused to meet nor offer the Holy Sacrifice to him. Instead he castigated the emperor and demanded he repent for his sins.

    Emperor Theodosius quickly obeyed [emphasis mine],

    “and, being laid hold of by the discipline of the Church, did penance in such a way that the sight of his imperial loftiness prostrated made the people who were interceding for him weep more than the consciousness of offence had made them fear it when enraged”. “Stripping himself of every emblem of royalty”, says Ambrose in his funeral oration, “he publicly in church bewailed his sin. That public penance, which private individuals shrink from, an Emperor was not ashamed to perform; nor was there afterwards a day on which he did not grieve for his mistake.”[1]

    Ted Kennedy was the leading proponent of abortion on demand.

    Millions of innocent humans died due to the policies that Ted Kennedy championed.

    Ted Kennedy passed away without repenting nor showing remorse for his direct actions in the death of millions.

    Instead of performing his duty as Archbishop of Boston and teaching Ted Kennedy the errors of his ways, Cardinal O’Malley does absolutely nothing and then presides at his funeral.

    Saint Ambrose, ora pro nobis!”


  16. Well said, Mac!

    Bell, book, and candle: the rite of excommunication concluded with the offer to the reprobate to burst the fetters of the demon, to do penance and to satisfy the (Teachings of the) Church so as to return to a state of grace.

    The theological virtues are Faith, Hope and Love. The greatest of these is Love. I think St. Paul.

    Is it Charity to do nothing as a sinner hurdles headlong down the express lanes of the road to perdition?

  17. I wonder what a man like this thinks when he looks at the Body of our Lord in Communion. Does he think it is truly the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus contained in a common piece of bread. If this is true, why is it a stretch for him to believe a unique human being is contained in any stage after conception in the womb of it’s mother?

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  18. Thank you, Donald and Clinton. I would remind Clinton, however, that if it weren’t for the ascendency of godless liberalism, there would be no CINO’s (Conservatives in Name Only).

    Sancte Ambrosie, Ora pro nobis!

  19. Opps, it occurred to me as I was just cleaning the bathroom (how appropriate!) that CINO is likely an acronym for “Catholic In name Only” or “Christian In Name Only” vice “Conservative In Name Only”. I apologize for the error (CINOs exist with regard to political persuasion) and will now return to cleaning the toilet bowl and kitter litter as I contemplate the acronym “CINO.”


  20. Mr. Primavera, the fault is all mine. Looking back at my comment, I realize that I
    never made it clear that my use of the CINO acronym stood for “Catholic in Name
    Only”. In that context, cat boxes and toilet bowls are most appropriate.

  21. For those of you not familiar with recent Illinois political history, Quinn is regarded by many as a prime example of someone who has become exactly the kind of person he used to despise.

    Early in his career he was often described as a populist “gadfly”. In the late 70s, after legislators outraged the public by voting themselves a substantial pay raise, Quinn led a successful drive to reduce the number of Illinois House members by 1/3. He also helped establish a consumer watchdog body called the Citizens Utility Board. He was also known for NOT living high off the hog as many politicians do — he drives older vehicles, stays in Super 8 motels on his own dime when traveling, etc.

    Today, however, he’s wiped out almost all of the populist/reformer cred he once had. One of the more interesting “Questions of the Day” that Rich Miller sometimes posts on his blog is “What would the young Pat Quinn say if he met his current self?” If he’s lapsed that far from his former political ideals it should come as no surprise that he’s lapsed even farther from the ideals of his faith, such as it is.

  22. Don

    A prediction please, what will come first:

    The state of Illinois will have honest politicians we can be proud of?

    The Cubs will become a consistent championship team?

    A cow will jump over the moon?

    The Second Coming?


    Even by Democratic Party standards Quinn has always been a gadfly. A popular gadfly which is why he ended up in the do nothing job of Lieutenant Governor. Perhaps an honest one he actually believes the democratic parry line which I suspect he thinks has more truth than the Church. A real crook might realize when he hit the point of diminishing personal financial returns, Quinn will just keep on pushing. He has failed to live up to even my low expectations.

    Hank’s Eclectic Meanderings

  23. Why is it that so many expect our bishops to grow backbones and stand up to the current corrupt world? If you read that the USCCB [through its bureaucrats] has taken a position, you will know from experience that the bishops have passed the buck. The USCCB has no authority. It is each bishop in his diocese who has authority. It seems that they are horrified at this thought, and would rather spend their time abusing the sheep who complain.
    Alas that they are so little believers in Our Lord that they believe not what awaits those who neglect their sheep.

  24. “Why do Catholics in Illinois continue to vote for politicians who espouse the liberal/progressive (anti-Catholic teaching) social agenda? ”

    It would be more accurate to say “Why do Catholics IN CHICAGO AND THE SUBURBS continue to vote for politicians…” Quinn didn’t get all that many Catholic votes, or all that many votes period, outside of the Chicago metro area. He lost in 98 of Illinois’ 102 counties — but the 3 that he won included Cook County, which due to its population, trumps almost all the others. The same problem is evident in other states such as New York and California that are dominated by 1 or 2 major cities.

  25. I’d like to refer everyone to Dr. Edward Peters’ column on the issue of the bishops’
    response to Gov. Quinn and politicians of his ilk. The link Canon Law by Dr. Ed
    can be found to the right, just below The American Catholic’s
    archives. Dr. Peters, of course, is an expert on canon law and was recently invited
    to advise the Apostolic Signatura, one of only six such invitees and the only layman
    so invited. I’d heed what he has to say on the matter.

  26. Quinn didn’t get all that many Catholic votes, or all that many votes period, outside of the Chicago metro area. He lost in 98 of Illinois’ 102 counties — but the 3 that he won included Cook County, which due to its population, trumps almost all the others.

    I think you are generally right about that. Illinois shares with New York, Massachusetts, and several other states the unfortunate property of being assemblages of incongruous components with some functioning as tributaries to the main.

    Quinn is regarded by many as a prime example of someone who has become exactly the kind of person he used to despise.

    Funny about George Ryan, too. He was a reasonably capable businessman from Downstate Illinois and ended up puking money into the school systems, embarking on public works bonanzas, and running a one-man crime wave. He even corrupted his daughters in the process.

  27. Art, Ryan was always corrupt. He comes from Kankakee County which is adjacent to Livingston County where I live, and everyone around here knew that Ryan was on the take long before he became Governor. That is why when he ran I voted for Glen Poshard, his pro-life Democrat opponent. Illinois could have been saved a lot of grief if Poshard had managed to beat Ryan in 98.

  28. The people deserve the government they get. And boy oh boy, with the likes of Quinn in Illinois, Cuomo in NY, Perdue in NC, Brown in CA, etc., we are going to get what we deserve.


    Pro dolorosa Eius passione, miserere nobis et totius mundi!

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