* Bill Brady stood with his former primary opponent yesterday to demand an investigation into why the Dept. of Corrections has lost track of some parolees who were part of the secret, botched MGT Push release program…
A group of Illinois legislators that includes Gov. Pat Quinn’s Republican opponent want a joint committee of the Illinois House and Senate to investigate parolees who disappeared after being released early from prison.
Senators Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard and Rep. Dennis Reboletti said Thursday that they’ll seek information from Quinn’s office. Brady is running against Quinn for governor.
The legislators’ move comes after The Associated Press reported that dozens of parolees disappeared after being set free as part of a secret early release program.
This issue won’t ever go away. But Gov. Quinn tried to blame the General Assembly and, by extension, Brady for the problem.
Gov. Pat Quinn blamed an outdated computer system Thursday for his Corrections Department’s failure to keep track of all the prison inmates who were granted parole under a secret early release program.
The outdated technology makes it harder to keep track of the thousands of inmates in Illinois prisons, he said, a day after The Associated Press reported that officials don’t know the location of dozens of inmates who were released early.
The Democratic governor did not provide details of how the computer system supposedly hampers tracking parolees. The Corrections Department has not mentioned computer problems in explaining the missing parolees or what’s being done to track them.
Quinn said he asked for money to update the computer system earlier this year but legislators said no.
“I inherited this. I didn’t create it,” he said during a news conference. “I’m trying to solve a problem.”
*** UPDATE *** Brady responds to Quinn’s response…
Republican candidate for governor Bill Brady says Gov. Pat Quinn should have fixed Illinois’ prison computer system before releasing criminals early.
Brady on Friday said Quinn should have used $3 billion in discretionary money last year to upgrade the Corrections Department computer system. He says then maybe dozens of parolees let out of prison early wouldn’t be missing.
[ *** End of Update *** ]
* Meanwhile, this is highly unusual, to say the least…
Gov. Pat Quinn’s new chief spokesman is taking an indefinite leave of absence to pursue a spot in the General Assembly, according to an administration source familiar with the decision.
Bill Cunningham, who joined the governor’s office earlier this month, is seeking to be named the replacement on the November ballot for the Southwest Side House seat that opened up when Democratic Rep. Kevin Joyce announced he will not seek re-election.
Cunningham went on unpaid leave [yesterday] in order to avoid any conflicts of interest as he tries to get the House seat, the source said.
Kristen McQueary wrote a few days ago that Cunningham is the frontrunner to replace Rep. Joyce…
Joyce’s announcement has spawned intrigue about a few possible contenders: Maureen Kelly, who ran for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board; Fran Hurley, a trusted Rugai aide; Bill Cunningham, who worked for Sheriffs Michael Sheahan and Tom Dart and recently accepted a post with Gov. Pat Quinn; Frank Bilecki, local government liaison for Comptroller Dan Hynes; Mike Cullen, legislative liaison for the Illinois Commerce Commission; and John O’Sullivan, Worth Township Democratic committeeman.
The front-runner? Cunningham, although the timing is miserable. He accepted a job as Quinn’s chief spokesman days before Joyce announced his decision to withdraw. […]
Cunningham would be Joyce’s top recommendation, and O’Shea likes him, too. He is campaign-ready, having worked for years within the sphere of government, politics and media.
O’Shea said he will wait until June 28, the last day to apply online for the 35th District seat, before interviewing candidates. The decision will be wrenching. He carries the heaviest weighted vote based on the makeup of the district, followed by O’Sullivan and Palos Township Democratic Committeeman Sam Simone. Orland and Lyons township Committeemen Dan McLaughlin and Steve Landek represent a small piece of the district as well.
* In other campaign, um, news, SLC got himself a new iPhone yesterday…
Illinois gubernatorial candidate Scott Lee Cohen was among the masses waiting in line at Northbrook Court.
“There’s no special treatment here,” said Cohen grabbing some fresh air while his two sons held their place in line. “I’m waiting my turn just like everybody else.”
The Cohens, still hours away from iPhone pay dirt, had already waited for three hours.
“I’m very fortunate to have great kids and they wanted the new phone,” said Cohen while campaigning over his old iPhone.
“The iPhone allows me to be in constant contact with my staff, with my calendar and it makes me more accessible to the people of the state.”
There’s your quote of the day.
* Panel interviewing candidates for 60th state House seat: Link would confirm the identity of only one of the applicants: Angelo Kyle, a Lake County Board member from Waukegan who had twice unsuccessfully challenged Washington for the seat in Democratic primaries, most recently this past February.
* Questions Linger About Planned Southern Illinois Development: Leaders in Southern Illinois say a new destination development is the key to thousands of new jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment. But one leader from Metro East isn’t so sure.
* Cavaletto Reacts to Signing of “Star Bonds” Legislation: Critics say it’s nothing more than corporate welfare - using taxpayer dollars to support a private developer. State Representative John Cavaletto in Salem says while Star Bonds will benefit southern Illinois - his district has their own priorities which could have benefitted from the legislation. “We’re going to keep working for our district and the 600 acres in Mt. Vernon just sitting there,” he says. “We want to promote that area and bring jobs and businesses to our area, so we’re going to be working on that in the next legislative session.”
* Quinn Signs STAR Bonds Bill in Marion: The bill may be signed, but there’s no official list of businesses that plan to build. Holland said prospective users for the site include Great Wolf Lodge, a hotel and water park, and outdoor retailers like Cabela’s or Bass Pro. He expects to break ground in about a year.
* Quinn inks STAR bond legislation: “We have a long way to go,” Quinn said. “We were dealt a blow with the Great Recession. A lot of wheelers and dealers on Wall Street … will never put us down. We’ll never give up.”
* Jobs to ‘last a lifetime”: A jubilant crowd gathered in Marion to watch as the governor signed the bill sponsored by state Rep. John Bradley and state Sen. Gary Forby into law, the first of its kind in the state.
* Holland says Cabela’s now interested
* Boosters: There’s infinite potential for entire region
* Sherman pops up at STAR bond signing: Self-described atheist Rob Sherman surprised the Benton Democrat by showing up at the gathering and asking Forby about the $20,000 grant he helped secure for Friends of the Cross, the group raising funds for the restoration of Bald Knob Cross of Peace. “Sen. Forby had declined to respond to my numerous requests to speak to him about the $20,000 grant,” Sherman said.
* Press Release: Economic Recovery Commission Presents Final Report to Governor Quinn: The Economic Recovery Commission today presented its final report to Governor Pat Quinn detailing recommendations to improve upon Illinois’ 21st-century business model and help rebuild the state’s position as a strong, expanding economic power. “I appreciate the hard work of the Economic Recovery Commission,” said Governor Quinn. “Its insights will help us work together to build on our existing assets and position our state for strong, lasting recovery as we move out of this historic recession.”
* The Chicago Politician, the Discredited Non-Profit and a Mystery Earmark
* Time for Crotty to stand on her own feet
* Illinois AG Madigan inspects E. St. Louis nursing home, finds wanted man