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Early critics of anti-violence program now have plenty of company

On Oct. 6, 2010, less than a month before the election, Gov. Pat Quinn stood alongside congressmen Bobby Rush and Danny Davis to announce he was plowing $50 million in state funds into an anti-violence program for Chicago neighborhoods.

As far as I can tell, the newspapers never even reported it at the time. All I can find are the press releases.

I have no memory of the announcement myself, but would guess most reporters figured it for an election year repackaging of existing state programs and ignored it. That was probably a mistake on our part.

But right from the start, Quinn’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative stuck in the craw of some Illinois Republicans, whose candidate for governor, Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington, was locked in a tight battle with Quinn.

They suspected it was an effort to use taxpayer money to pump up the vote for Quinn — in the African-American community, especially. Ever since, they have been pushing that theory.

It’s taken nearly four years, but those chickens are finally coming home to roost for Quinn at a most inopportune time — in the midst of his re-election campaign.

CONTINUE READING AT SUNTIMES.COM