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*** UPDATED x3 *** Fire, ready, aim

Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009

* Gov. Pat Quinn went off on Comptroller Dan Hynes today, claiming that his rival in the Democratic primary was dragging his feet on approving a $500 million short-term borrowing plan. Quinn also claimed that Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias had signed on

“I’m ready to go, Alexi Giannoulias is ready to go, it’s time for Dan Hynes to stop dragging his feet and tell his people to sit down with our budget people,” Quinn said. “Now to be lollygagging along and meandering along instead of getting the job done is inexcusable. The people of Illinois expect every constitutional officer to do his or her job without politics and this is very important.”

“I talked to my budget director on Monday and on Tuesday, and I said, ‘What is the problem here with the comptroller’s office?’ ‘They’re still studying the matter.’ I know personally from my own experience as state treasurer it takes about an hour, maybe a half hour, to get this done. Now let’s get it done for the people.”

The only problem is that Treasurer Giannoulias hasn’t signed off on anything and hasn’t even seen the proposal…

“We haven’t seen anything from the governor’s office yet,” said spokesman Scott Burnham. “We haven’t been given any documents and if and when that happens, we’ll review it and make a decision based on the merits. The treasurer has previously expressed concerns about continuing to borrow, the state can ill afford to go into debt, but we also have a backlog of bills to health care providers that provide critical services.”

Oh, for Pete’s sake. I’m told Quinn’s office just reached out to Giannoulias’ office today.

You can listen to the audio of the governor’s rant by clicking here.

The governor has long been irked at Hynes for daring to run against him in the primary. Whatever. That’s politics.

But Quinn’s temperament really needs to be questioned when he does something as goofy as this. I mean, did he not think anybody would check out his story? What is wrong with him?

*** UPDATE *** It’s even worse than I thought, and I thought it was pretty bad.

Back in October, Gov. Quinn was talking about borrowing $900 million short-term for healthcare and college scholarships. Behind the scenes, however, that number fluctuated wildly almost day to day and finally settled on $500 million.

But that’s not the only thing that fluctuated. There are two kinds of short-term borrowing, failure of revenue and cash-flow. For weeks, Quinn wanted to do a failure of revenue bond, but then about two weeks ago he changed to cash-flow, so all the work that had been done by the attorney general’s office to make sure all the legalities were met was, at that point, for naught.

And it gets worse.

The governor’s office was apparently unable to provide the attorney general’s office with a list of expenditures for this fiscal year that was separate from last fiscal year. It’s too complicated to get into here, but the AG, for legal reasons, needs a separate list. Instead, after some back and forth, the AG’s office was told they’d have to get the numbers themselves from the comptroller’s office because the governor’s office couldn’t do it. That’s just bizarre and completely unprecedented.

And it gets worse.

The governor’s people gave conflicting accounts to the attorney general’s office about how much federal stimulus money was expected, but hadn’t yet arrived - the whole reason for the cash-flow borrowing plan. The accounts given by Quinn’s office varied by about $200 million.

And it gets worse.

Late Monday, Quinn’s office gave the AG a deadline of 6 o’clock Tuesday night to approve the borrowing plan - without the numbers and other information AG Madigan’s office needed to certify the borrowing as legal and proper.

Then, sometime yesterday, the AG’s office asked the governor’s people if the comptroller and the treasurer had given their approval. The AG’s folks were told that the treasurer had signed off - something we now know was untrue.

The problem, of course, is that the attorney general cannot act until both the comptroller and the treasurer approve the borrowing, so the 6 o’clock Tuesday deadline was absolute nonsense.

The governor’s office is planning to do a much bigger borrowing plan early next year to help the state catch up on its $4.5 billion in past due bills, so the interest and financing costs of this $500 million proposal seems a bit unnecessary in that context. As one person described it, this is like taking out a $25 payday loan when your house is being foreclosed. I think I may have an idea what may be going on here, but I think I’ll wait on that and fill in subscribers later in the week.

In short, this appears to be a complete foul-up from beginning to end and the governor and his people have displayed a gross lack of competence and truthfulness.

But, other than that, everything is fine.

*** UPDATE 2 *** From the governor’s office…

The source told you the Governor’s just reached out today to discuss short-term borrowing with the Treasurer’s office: Talks have been underway between the Office of Management and Budget and Treasurer’s staff, and Comptroller’s, for weeks on this issue.

State Treasurer has not signed off on borrowing plan yet: The Treasurer’s office has not been an obstacle to the plan going forward and has expressed an open mind about approving the short-term borrowing.

The sentence above was probably inartfully worded. The reaching out was a formal contact of the treasurer’s top attorney. As for the second part, saying the treasurer has an “open mind” is not the same as saying, as the governor did today, that the treasurer “is ready to go.” In fact, it’s completely different. More distortions.

*** UPDATE 3 *** This is kind of a long update, but it supports the attorney general’s office account. A quick e-mail from the comptroller’s office…

The Governor’s Office has proposed at least 4 different borrowing ideas in the last 3 weeks.

The Governor’s office has yet to satisfactorily explain specific details of the plan or how we can pay back another $500 million on top of the $2.25 billion we’ve already borrowed and the current $4.4 billion backlog (we also have to pay back $276 million to the rainy day fund).

We’ve asked the Governor’s office to tell us which of the outstanding bills he wants paid — $250 million would go to Medicaid (doctors, hospitals and nursing homes already are being paid within 30 days under the federal stimulus). That leaves $250 million to pay a backlog of $4.4 BILLION. The Governor’s office says agree to the borrowing, we will give you the details later. Well, since the plan keeps changing by the day, how can we do that? He’s telling vendors their problems will all be solved with this borrowing. They won’t be solved. It will just further delay payments because we will have another $500 million we will have to pay back before the fiscal year ends on June 30.

We’ve worked closely with the Gov’s office and his agencies to prioritize critical payments and will continue to do so. In fact, we recently paid more than $20 million the Gov’s chief of staff asked to be paid.

And here’s a timeline of events, according to the comptroller starting on October 27th. By the way, “IOC” means Illinois Office of the Comptroller” and “OMB” means “Governor’s Office of Management and Budget”…

Quinn emerges from leaders meeting and tells reporters he wants to borrow $900 million to keep state government afloat through the lean winter months. Says the traditional slowdown in tax collections between November and February could cause the backlog to grow even larger. “It’s a cash management device,” Quinn said. (Bloomington Pantagraph, Oct. 27, 2009) “You need to make sure we manage our cash” (Associated Press, Oct. 28 from Chicago Tribune) Says it will be paid back before the end of the fiscal year (Chicago Public Radio Oct. 28, 2009) Of the $900 million some $250 million would be dedicated to Medicaid (Illinois Issues Oct. 27)

Quinn says state will run out of money before the end of the year without emergency borrowing, says state can short term borrow nearly $1 billion for only 1 percent interest (Channel 7/ABC . Oct. 28, 2009)

Two weeks later……….

Nov 10, 2009
OMB officials make first telephone contact with IOC regarding borrowing. Indicate that they intend to issue $900 million in short term notes under “ failures in revenue” meaning a 30 day notice must be published with a corrective plan addressing said failures, in accordance with state law. Suggests possible two phase loan of $450 million each directed to MAP grants and Medicaid and other unspecified priorities. Law permits borrowing to be paid back over 12 months. IOC indicated that MAP grants were not due for payment until March or April and asked if plan was to reserve money until payments due. No response.

Nov 12, 2009
OMB Bond Director meets with IOC staff. Failures in Revenue borrowing discussed and OMB states intent to publish 30 day notice/ Corrective Plan by following day in order to finalize loan in late December. IOC expresses concerns about payback plan and asks for information on what bills will be prioritized under plan. $200 million in Map grants, $250 million in Medicaid referenced. Group health care also mentioned but no dollar amount. OMB provides tentative schedule of other bond sales planned during FY10.

Nov 18th, 2009
Bond Director calls IOC. Says Failures in Revenue borrowing no longer planned due to difficulties in projecting revenues/spending in FY 11. Wants limited borrowing of $250 million to be directed solely toward healthcare providers. Money must be paid back at end of June 2010. IOC asks questions about plan details and expresses concern with repayment given $2.25 billion in existing loans to be paid back between March and June. No deadline referenced.

Nov 19th, 2009
Bond Director calls again. Apologizes and says new plan is to borrow $250 million for Medicaid and $250 million more for general purposes. IOC again asks for details about where $250 million should be directed given $4.4 billion in unpaid obligations. IOC also again expresses concerns about repayment in context with existing loans. No deadline referenced. IOC asked about Quinn plan to bail out RTA/CTA and whether that was part of borrowing plan. Response was that another $10 million had been promised to Transit entity but when IOC said that we already owed RTA $180 million in unpaid obligations, there was no response.

Later that day Quinn announces $ 70.8 million in new spending allocations from lump sum appropriations.

Nov 23rd, 2009
Bond Director calls again to discuss concept of selling state payables, known as factoring, to financial institutions to provide relief to vendors who may qualify for such a program. Prior borrowing plan only mentioned in passing.

Dec 1st, 2009
Bond director says concurrence needed on borrowing by the end of the day to meet self imposed OMB Christmas Eve deadline for finalization. Only prior reference to any critical dates was in context with abandoned 11/10/2009 borrowing plan. No prior communication as to significance of 12/1/2009 as decision date. Attempts by IOC to once again obtain specific plan information unsuccessful.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


59 Comments
  1. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 1:30 pm:

    “What was he thinking”


  2. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 1:31 pm:

    >>

    Is Quinn talking about himself? :-)


  3. - Ghost - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 1:38 pm:

    Hynes: Quinn was dragging his heels on the capital plan, and it cost the State jobs.

    Quinn: Nu uh, Hynes is the one dragging his heels!!! (on having the State borrow even more money for which it lacks any revenue to pay)


  4. - BigDog - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 1:39 pm:

    The other night, I answered my phone and heard a recorded voice say, “This is Governor Pat Quinn….”. Is it wrong that I said “You’re an idiot” into the phone (yes, to a recording), and slammed the phone down?


  5. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 1:48 pm:

    ===What is wrong with him?===

    Well, since you asked…I think this erratic behavior is partly the result of Quinn abandoning his principles to retain the job he was thrust into in January. Simply put, he has walked away from the Quinn brand of maverick populism, and Hynes has been trying to pick it up and use it against him.

    That is partly why Quinn reacts so visually to Hynes’ attacks — because Hynes is using many of Quinn’s bread and butter tactics against him. Quinn is in an uncomfortable position, he is wearing a new suit that doesn’t quite fit the way his old one did.

    Hynes and Quinn are now locked-in to their new roles, and there isn’t enough time to change strategies. I think Quinn is scared, not necessarily of Hynes, but of the fact that he can’t change the dynamics of the race.


  6. - Obamarama - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 1:57 pm:

    Great, in about an hour the Hynes camp will send out another stupid press release that will get zero MSM coverage and do nothing attract voters.

    After another 90 minutes, the Quinn camp will release a response slightly backing off the Governor’s comments and slightly explaining why it wasn’t entirely incorrect–but mostly not saying anything.


  7. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 2:01 pm:

    One of the justifications for excluding minor party candidates from the media coverage is that they are not particularly serious. They lack the experience to be credible.

    But which of the Democrats and Republican candidates for governor is credible or serious?

    Which of these candidates is supposed to impress me that he’s got a plan for the state and won’t be catering to the kooks in the Tea Party movement?

    I don’t especially feel warmth for Jim Ryan, but he’s the only one not embarrassing himself on the campaign trail.


  8. - Okay Then... - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 2:03 pm:

    I listened to the Quinn audio…

    Has Vaught been lying to his boss (Quinn) about trying to communicate with Hynes’ office or did Quinn outright lie about Hynes’s office?

    If it’s the former, Vaught can’t be trusted and needs to be dismissed immediately. If it’s the latter, Quinn needs to abort his run for governor ASAP! For Quinn’s sake, he better hope that it is the former.


  9. - Joe from Joliet - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 2:04 pm:

    … What is wrong with him? …

    He kept the Blagojevich people.

    This is an example of the hate I mentioned yesterday. As theater, interesting. But hate does nothing to convince anyone that either of these guys is worthy of a vote.


  10. - Okay Then... - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 2:18 pm:

    I’m listening to this audio multiple times.
    Whether Vaught is lying or Quinn is lying either way none of this looks good for Quinn, especially because the Treasuer’s Office spokesman’s statement, and Rich Miller’s follow-up statement. Both of which totally undermine and contradict everything Quinn says in the audio about the Treasurer’s Office.

    Not good, there’s likely to be fallout from this for Quinn. He and his office will have some serious explaining to do.


  11. - Cindy Lou - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 2:29 pm:

    well if it only takes an hour, maybe half an hour, Quinn obviously thought it would be done in Alexi’s office before the tirade played?

    Seriously though, neither man played a real part in the budget , this is Quinn and the GA’s mess to blame if Quinn would like to point fingers.


  12. - KeepSmiling - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 2:30 pm:

    Gov Quinn owes Comptroller Hynes an apology, right away. Quinn was way, way out of line to publicly disparage an elected officer of the state and as it happens… he was also apparently wrong. Quinn comes across as mean-spirited and paranoid when he spews unfounded charges like this at a current statewide office holder.


  13. - Bill - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 2:36 pm:

    This is typical. I’m not sure what Quinn’s problem is but he thinks he can say whatever he wants no matter how ridiculous or untrue it is and nobody will notice. He’s done this type of thing before and not just to Hynes. Check out some of his rants about Cullerton and Madigan during the budget negotiations.
    I think it stems from all those years when nobody paid any attention to anything he said so he never got called on it.
    It is a different ballgame now but I’m guessing no one will pay attention to this rant either.


  14. - Okay Then... - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 2:38 pm:

    ==well if it only takes an hour, maybe half an hour, Quinn obviously thought it would be done in Alexi’s office before the tirade played?==

    According to Quinn it should only take an hour or half hour, but he is not Dan or Alexi. If they want and need more than an hour or half hour to review the matter then it is not for Quinn, or anyone, to take issue with that.

    Also it unfairly assumes that Alexi and Dan are just sitting around waiting for Quinn’s budget problems to be dumped in their laps for them to deal with. As the audio notes Quinn had been sitting on this thing for six weeks. Admittedly the issue is important, but it took Quinn’s office six weeks. So on their list of priorities where exactly did it fall?


  15. - Okay Then... - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 2:41 pm:

    So on their list of priorities where exactly did it fall?

    By this I mean Quinn’s staff (e.g., Vaught etc.).


  16. - anon - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 2:45 pm:

    This will seem pretty meaningless on the evening of Feb 2nd when Quinn wins the primary and Hynes is lame duck comptroller. It is a concern, however, the the Quinn camp needs to focus on for the november general.


  17. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 2:46 pm:

    There’s nothing worse than getting caught blaming your opponent for a situation that’s a result of your own neglect.

    What’s interesting, though, is Quinn reveals a very interesting fact: State borrowings, big and small, are about the least exotic on the market. They don’t require a lot of new plowing; it’s all templates.

    Remember that when you check out the fees that will get spread around on the upcoming, multi-covered capital bill financings.


  18. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 3:13 pm:

    wordslinger, if you think it was bad before, check out the update.


  19. - Okay Then... - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 3:16 pm:

    Update 1 = YIKES

    It seems Quinn has just been caught in a BIG WHOPPER of a lie! There goes his “I’m the most honest politician ever” spiel.

    (btw…I’m STILL listening to the Quinn audio for the 10th or 11th time now–I almost know it word for word by heart. Call me crazy?)


  20. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 3:22 pm:

    Is it possible Pat Quinn has reached the point in life where his mental faculties are in decline?

    Has he surrounded himself with incompetents?


  21. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 3:27 pm:

    Just read the update.

    Some grownup (that would be the governor) needs to grab the bull by the horns here. This ain’t heavy lifting. It’s been done before without much drama.

    I don’t get it. Was this a priority of staff or not? If it was, a governor has to follow through and make sure it happens. Part of the job. If it wasn’t, probably best not to bring it up.


  22. - Leave a light on George - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 3:31 pm:

    Joe from Joliet you nailed it.

    There is no reason to give these folks more money in the form of tax increases until they begin to show some competence in cleaning up the messes left by Blago.


  23. - Ghost - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 3:39 pm:

    So the Govenors office of Management and Budget doesnt have a list of expenditures for the fiscal year?

    I am not really sure what to say to that.

    === But, other than that, everything is fine. ====

    great line :)


  24. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 3:43 pm:

    Ghost, if you can’t pay the bills, why worry about the bills.


  25. - Bill - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 3:44 pm:

    Man, its amateur hour over there!


  26. - Old Milwaukee - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 3:45 pm:

    This is getting so old. Let’s get somebody in Springfield who can actually run government.


  27. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 3:49 pm:

    It’s been said before, but Quinn needs to either lead, follow, or get out of the way.

    Rome is burning while Quinn is fiddling.


  28. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 4:15 pm:

    –The source told you the Governor’s just reached out today to discuss short-term borrowing with the Treasurer’s office: Talks have been underway between the Office of Management and Budget and Treasurer’s staff, and Comptroller’s, for weeks on this issue.–

    Weeks? Are you kidding? It’s not possible to discuss the mechanics of this vanilla offering for weeks. Like the governor said, an hour to an hour-and-a-half would do.


  29. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 4:20 pm:

    ==By the way, “IOC” means Illinois Office of the Comptroller” and “OMB” means “Governor’s Office of Management and Budget”… ==

    SOL stands for the status of vendors who are owed money by the state.

    Also could a court force the state to pay someone now?


  30. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 4:21 pm:

    wordslinger, they’ve been discussing it for weeks because the plan keeps changing. lol


  31. - One of the 35 - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 4:28 pm:

    The thunderous sound of this ongoing incompetance is deafening. Does anyone in the gov’s office understand the terms “responsibility” or “deadline”?


  32. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 4:30 pm:

    Second question, could one of these agencies try and go to the courts and get the state declared bankrupt to get it put into receivership?

    They would likely fail but the publicity would be interesting.


  33. - anon - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 4:33 pm:

    it is amatuer hour over there. starting with vincks leg shop. what a bunch of incompetents. anyone who has been in a meeting with them knows its a joke. just endless pat quinn impressions.


  34. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 4:34 pm:

    The amazing thing about politics and elections is that voters often times will blow off candidates with prior management/executive experience and label them as not serious or not sexy enough for a top job. Dan Hynes has run the Comptroller’s office well for 11 years. Bob Schillerstrom has run DuPage County fairly efficiently for 11 years. Adam A. (don’t want to spell it) built a company from the ground up and made a handsome profit after the company’s sale. While newspapers and interest groups may take those aforementioned candidates seriously, the electorate, according to many polls, does not.

    I mention this nugget because it is apparent that Quinn is over his head while trying to operate in governing and campaign modes at the same time. His relative inexperience doing both is clearly showing when he and his senior staff make gaffes such as this. Hynes should pounce, and this should be MAJOR news - not just editorial room fodder in Friday’s papers. Voters need to take heed that another four years of this sophomoric drivel could bury us deeper in debt while simultaneously setting our state back even further than its current path.


  35. - Rubbernecker - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 4:40 pm:

    Only one “anon” commenter (2:45) defending Quinn? Says to me that the Quinn staff hasn’t wrapped their arms around this latest gaffe.

    Seriously, Rich. You hit it on the head; there is a complete lack of competence in the Quinn camp. Yes, they had to take the reins in an unexpected timeframe. Yes, there should be some growing pains expected with the (or any) new administration. But they have been in office (I won’t say “control”) for 10 months now. They have known that they were to be taking the wheel a year ago (51 weeks to be exact) and they still cannot get their act together. This is very troubling for the State for the next 13 months and for the Democrats if he is at the top of the ticket next November: Quinn lacks the competence to govern and the composure to win.


  36. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 4:44 pm:

    This whole thing can be summed up with one sentence: Rod lives thru Quinn.

    Actually, that’s unfair to RRB. The guy got a short-term borrowing plan thru after he’d been arrested, for crying out loud. I think impeachment had begun by then, too.


  37. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 4:47 pm:

    Hey they sent the form over today….

    Mission Accomplished!


  38. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 4:47 pm:

    –Second question, could one of these agencies try and go to the courts and get the state declared bankrupt to get it put into receivership?–

    No. No. No.

    It is not allowed, by federal law. The people, under the federal and state constitutions, have given the State of Illinois the necessary tools to meet its obligations.

    McKenna’s ads (not him personally, I guess, since he doesn’t speak) does a great disservice by abusing that legal term. The state is not, and cannot, be on the brink of bankruptcy.

    There’s no shame in using extraordinary m


  39. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 4:50 pm:

    OneMan -

    Kurt Erickson had an interesting article about states declaring bankruptcy. Basically, they can’t. Hmmm.

    TS


  40. - this old hack - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 4:51 pm:

    Quinn is just all over the place…just like he always has been, and most likely always will be.

    I will say again, this borrowing is a BAD idea. Rather than have the courage to raise the needed revenues, Democrats have decided to borrow which will wind up costing us more in the long run. Just like Daley’s dumb dumb plan to use the parking meter sale reserves to shore up this years shortfall, it may be nice in the short run but like this borrowing, will prove costly in the long run.

    Not that the GOPs have offered anything other than the usual nonsense. They have proposed nothing other than the usual b.s. that sounds good but does not solve anything.


  41. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 4:52 pm:

    ===It is not allowed, by federal law.===

    Also, the courts have struck down attempts to force the state, via the courts, to live up to its “constitutional obligations” on school funding. It can’t be done.


  42. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 4:52 pm:

    Word, perhaps McKenna was hinting at “moral” bankruptcy. But probably not, because it’s Andy McKenna we’re talking about.


  43. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 4:58 pm:

    Figured something like that was the case…


  44. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 5:01 pm:

    “It’s only a paper moon, drifting ‘cross a cardboard sky…” Illinois, land of make believe.


  45. - Bill - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 5:11 pm:

    The comptroller’s office did have a valid question every time OMB came in with a “new” borrowing plan…How are you going to pay this back along with the $2.5 b you already owe by June? Their answer was to just ignore the question and come back a week or two later with another, larger, borrowing scheme.
    I’m still wondering how they are going to pay this back? Wait for the natural growth that follows a recession? Wait for tax revenue from all the jobs the Gov has created? Mission accomplished, remember? We, as a state, are screwed!


  46. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 5:12 pm:

    Oh, gosh, don’t you all yearn for the calm, steady, collaborative hand of Filan back at the State’s fiscal tiller? Not.

    Not surprised by the FUBAR. Less surprised by the fibbing. I can’t think of one person close to Quinn that I would trust to buy a used car from, let alone to run the affairs of the State.


  47. - cassandra - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 5:16 pm:

    Maybe Vaught didn’t tell him the whole story, time pressures and all, but this is an unncessary rant.

    All he had to say is that there had been some delays in working things out with the Comptroller’s office, which is what he may have believed, if that’s what Vaught told him. He could have suggested that politics
    might be a reason. And left it at that. The man has no class.

    And it’s early days for the pressure to be showing….and it’s not even the first of the year. We want this guy to be in charge of the state for 4 years? Or eight years? What happens when a real problem comes along.


  48. - A Citizen - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 5:28 pm:

    This performance by Quinn is very disturbing - it causes me to basically take a timeout and realize the severity of incompetence that has just played out. He should be removed from office as he is not capable of fulfilling the requirements of office and is actually doing great harm to our ship of state.


  49. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 5:38 pm:

    –Word, perhaps McKenna was hinting at “moral” bankruptcy.–

    If stiffing your contractors is the test, then we’re already there.

    More than anything in this gubernatorial “debate,” I hope we can get a true, universal, sincere commitment by the candidates to get the state off the deadbeat list.

    Until we do that, everything else is just gas.


  50. - Chief UIUC - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 5:45 pm:

    Amzaingly the Governor came to UI campus today to annouce that Lincoln Hall will be renovated. From his press release:

    “CHAMPAIGN – December 2, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today announced funding for three construction projects at the University of Illinois’ (U of I) Urbana-Champaign campus, and Southern Illinois University’s (SIU) Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses. The funding is part of the Illinois Jobs Now! capital plan, which will revive the state’s economy by creating and retaining over 439,000 jobs over the next six years.”

    Yet as I understand there is no way he is going to get the money released anytime soon to really begin the bidding process, etc. Campus speculation is that these road shows are in response to justified criticism from Hynes that Quinn just sat on his hands and didn’t get the capital bill implemented.


  51. - DuPage Dave - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 7:01 pm:

    Pat Quinn, to his credit, is not a sociopathic criminal like his predecessor. Having said that, it’s pretty difficult to come up with positives regarding his performance since January.

    The state agency I work for has had nothing but trouble dealing with the G.O. since Quinn took over. Not that Blago’s people were a joy to work with, but expectations were so very low for them to start with.


  52. - Quinn T. Sential - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 7:56 pm:

    Which organizations ( ie. labor unions) affiliated with entities that would be beneficiaries of this short term borrowing scheme have not yet provided an endorsement for either candidate in the Democratic primary?

    Some how I have a suspicion that this is what is driving the process, and the sudden sense of urgency suggested by the Governor. I sense he has been told by some beneficiary entity or organization that it is time to “put up or shut up”, and he can’t find it within himself to do either.


  53. - Can't Say My Nickname - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 8:18 pm:

    Quinn is flopping around like a fish out of water. I think Quinn is tired and he needs to take a good long nap.


  54. - Responsa - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 8:39 pm:

    Chief UIUC,
    I had been hearing about the stalled restoration of Lincoln Hall on the quad of the U of I campus. It is a huge edifice and nearly everyone alive who has ever attended that university has attended a class in Lincoln Hall at some point. It has been completely closed for classes this year although it is desperately needed. I saw it (empty and in effect boarded up) in person on a visit to campus on a recent football weekend.

    The Lincoln Hall project at the premiere state school has been held hostage. It is a perfect metaphor and tangible example that should be used in somebody’s election ad (not Quinn).


  55. - 4 percent - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 10:07 pm:

    I worked with David Vaught on a couple of issues this year before he moved to OMB. He is a very nice man and I would say has good intentions.

    That being said, he has no ability to run meetings effectively or really move the ball forward on complicated issues. I was severely underimpressed by his ability.


  56. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 2, 09 @ 11:14 pm:

    All these problems stem from the basic fact that THE STATE HAS NO MONEY. Actually, they have less than zero.

    For years, the legislative leaders and whoever was governor (and the AG, IOC, SOS,& Treas.) have been playing a shell game where they put off paying some bills and borrow a little here and sweep a fund there, etc. The process has become incredibly complicated and beyond the ability of one office to maintain. Much as they hated Rod, the leg leaders and the constitutionals were willing to help him stay fiscally afloat. They signed off on all of his tricks (sometimes with a comment, but they still signed off).

    When Quinn took office, he was supposed to hold the office until the term ran out. Possibly, he was to shoulder the burden for the tax increase on his way out(take one for the team). When Quinn decided to run for the office and indicated he wanted to play hardball, all the folks who were helping keep the overextended state going bailed on him.

    Quinn looks incompetent because he’s in over his head. But he’s in over his head because the rest of the state’s leadership (legislative & AG & IOC & Treas) left him out there.


  57. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 3, 09 @ 7:43 am:

    Pot/Kettle,

    That last line makes zero sense.


  58. - Josh - Thursday, Dec 3, 09 @ 7:49 am:

    Look at where we are…again! Providers of services for the disabled and mentally ill are owed money from July 1, 2009 - the first day of the fiscal year - today is December 3, 2009. Every major newspaper is including stories of a provider who is in hardship or might close because the state can’t pay its bills…or it will send them a check just to keep the doors open.

    Are these democrats in office that have let this happen? for realz?


  59. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Dec 3, 09 @ 9:33 am:

    Anon 7:43

    Quinn is shopping schemes to keep the state afloat. Since he has no support from the folks who have to approve & sign-off on any of them, he keeps switching plans to find one that will get traction which looks pretty stupid.

    In the past, all of this took place behind closed doors. Gov. B and his people were masters at keeping things going with not enough money, but only because the AG, IOC, Treas, and GA approved his plans without too much resistance. If they had said “no way” and Gov. B had been forced to go back to the drawing board again and again, he would have looked as inept at budgeting as Quinn does now.


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