How did Hynes come up with Harold footage?

Chicago Sun-Times - - Boom News - BY FRAN SPIEL­MAN AND DAVE MCKIN­NEY

It’s the cam­paign com­mer­cial that could tip the scales in the Demo­cratic gu­ber­na­to­rial pri­mary — and ul­ti­mately de­ter­mine who the next gov­er­nor of Illi­nois will be.

But how did a 23-year-old video­tape of for­mer Mayor Harold Wash­ing­ton con­demn­ing his fired city rev­enue di­rec­tor, Pat Quinn, end up in the hands of Dan Hynes’ cam­paign?

The an­swer will prob­a­bly re­main some­what of a mys­tery. But the com­mer­cial’s gen­e­sis be­gins with an ea­gleeyed Hynes vol­un­teer with a long mem­ory and an un­der­dog cam­paign will­ing to run the risk of a back­lash.

“If she was tipped off by some­one, I wouldn’t know about it. I don’t think she was,” Hynes cam­paign man­ager Mike Ren­d­ina said, re­fer­ring to the vol­un­teer who un­earthed the long-for­got­ten Wash­ing­ton tape. “She her­self re­mem­bered this whole saga. She lived through it.”

Po­lit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor Joel Weis­man’s in­ter­view with Wash­ing­ton, in which the mayor ripped Quinn, aired on WGN-TV two weeks be­fore Wash­ing­ton died 1987.

Hynes’ cam­paign be­came aware of the in­ter­view more than a month ago. The footage is among more than 8,000 broad­casts on the Mu­seum of Broad­cast Com­mu­ni­ca­tions’ Web site archive. Ren­d­ina would not say whether that’s where the cam­paign got the in­ter­view.

The tape, in which Wash­ing­ton said he must have been “blind or stag­ger­ing” to have hired Quinn, took place in the mayor’s City Hall of­fice.

Quinn’s cam­paign has been reel­ing since the ad hit the air last week. His cam­paign said Wash­ing­ton was “spin­ning in his grave” at the “hypocrisy” of his words be­ing used to bol­ster the po­lit­i­cal for­tunes of the son of his Watch the ad at sun­ /news/elec­tions one-time foe, Thomas Hynes.

The Mu­seum of Broad­cast Com­mu­ni­ca­tions per­mits Web site users to ac­cess but not down­load its broad­cast archives. Copies of footage can be ob­tained for re­use if per­mis­sion is granted from the sta­tion that orig­i­nally aired the broad­cast. That never hap­pened.

“No­body ever asked us,” said Greg Ca­puto, WGN-TV’s news di­rec­tor.

To Weis­man, who

still hosts the WTTW-TV pro­gram “Chicago Week in Re­view,” the ad smacked of an “in­side job.” It was clear that some­body with in­side knowl­edge tipped the Hynes cam­paign to the tape, he said.

“Ob­vi­ously, some­body told them about it,” Weis­man said. “It’s cer­tainly not some­thing I would do. It’s ut­terly un­eth­i­cal. I don’t pimp for any­body. Politi­cians run their own cam­paigns. They don’t need me.”

Dan Hynes’ ad uses a 1987 video of Mayor Harold Wash­ing­ton.

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