Lawmakers To Decide Whether To Delay Probe Of Anti-Violence Program

Jul 16, 2014

Governor Pat Quinn's troubled anti-violence program will be in the spotlight Wednesday as a bipartisan legislative commission meets in Chicago. It's not yet clear how lawmakers will proceed, given that the federal government wants them to put a hold on their investigation of the program. How this all affects the race for governor remains to be seen.

Legislators have to decide if they'll abide by prosecutors' request to hold off until mid-October, just before the November election, when Quinn will face Republican Bruce Rauner.

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown says that's what Quinn's campaign wants.

"The governor's people are really pushing the media to let go of this story, it's like, 'Hey, enough of this already, look over here at Mr. Rauner.' So … they are happy to have this, this excuse," Brown said.

Brown says legislators should proceed anyway; he says voters need to learn the facts before they go to the ballot box, not after.

But Democratic strategist Thomas Bowen says there's a danger if Republicans push too hard to carry on with their probe.

"And not abuse the public's patience, in trying to make political hay out of something," Bowen said.

Bowen points to the investigation Republicans led in 1996 against President Bill Clinton. He says it backfired as Clinton won re-election.