Gov. Pat Quinn brings out Mayor Richard Daley to rebut governor foe's criticism on tourism spending
It may have taken him a week, but Gov. Pat Quinn brought out a high-profile political figure today to rebut his Democratic primary challenger's criticism about state spending on tourism during a budget crisis.Mayor Richard Daley stood with Quinn to talk up tourism's importance to Chicago after Comptroller Dan Hynes last week said that he was suspending payments on more than $40 million in state and lottery tourism advertising contracts.Speaking at an event at Navy Pier, Quinn called Hynes' decision "very, very short-sighted."
"As long as I'm governor, we're going to make sure that everybody in the world knows about Illinois and Chicago," Quinn said.Daley also came to Quinn's defense, saying tourism is a competitive business and the state must do all it can to actively woo visitors.
"You have to compete for these conventions," Daley said. "We're competing against Atlanta, we're competing against Las Vegas and Orlando, so you have to put packages together to get the conventions here. At the same time, you have to publicize. You have to do marketing, worldwide and throughout the United States. You can't just sit back and say 'OK, they're going to come to the city of Chicago.' It just doesn't work that way, and I think Gov. Quinn has realized that."
A spokeswoman for Hynes said the comptroller's unwillingness to pay the tourism contracts represents a "difference in priorities" from those of Quinn."Last week, Comptroller Hynes said the Governor had a decision to make," spokeswoman Carol Knowles said in a statement. "Does he want to spend $53 million on consultant and marketing contracts, or does he want to spend it on education and health care? The choice was his. If the governor believes that tourism contracts are a priority, then he should resubmit them and they will be paid."
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