* This is what’s really at the heart of the matter in the dispute between Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel over who will be the new executive director of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority…
The mayor appoints three board members, the governor four, including the chairman. But there was a “political understanding” that the mayor would choose the executive director to balance things out, said Peter Bynoe, the lawyer who helped create the authority and was its first executive director.
“That was the understanding,” Bynoe said. “I think a lot of people have gotten confused and a lot of things have gotten blurred since then.”
There used to be the same sort of deal with McPier, until the law was rewritten. Springfield has its own such arrangements. The House Republicans for years controlled who was director of the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. And it’s still their guy, kinda.
…Adding… The governor’s people say the governor’s office has controlled the post for quite a few years.
* So the governor now wants to break the old ISFA arrangement, perhaps because he’s trying to stop Mayor Emanuel from cutting a multi-million dollar deal to help the Chicago Cubs, and maybe the Bulls and Blackhawks. The governor ostensibly controls the ISFA board, but the mayor can be mighty persuasive and there are some very persuadable people on that board.
From what I hear, Quinn can’t get the ISFA board to back him up on his new executive director appointment of communications director Kelly Kraft, so they’re in stalemate right now.
* And it sure looks like the mayor’s side retaliated by leaking or at least pointing to a bit of somewhat embarrassing information about the past life of the governor’s choice to run the agency. She didn’t do anything that millions of other Americans haven’t done in this country. But it’s Rahm, so he’s always gotta be brutal. Always with the dead fish. Always with humiliating the enemy.
* Gov. Pat Quinn isn’t taking this lying down…
Gov. Pat Quinn accuses Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel of character assassination in connection with Quinn’s choice to run the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority. […]
Finally, the governor’s office confirmed that shortly before she joined the Quinn administration, Kraft filed a personal bankruptcy in 2009, with $102,500 in debts mainly from credit cards.
The governor says his appointee’s financial problems stemming from a “personal situation” are resolved, as he blamed the mayor’s people for trying to smear Kraft’s reputation.
“I wish the mayor would stop doing this. This is a very good person. Stop assassinating her character. He has his operatives doing that. That’s not the right way to go,” said Quinn.
* The mayor’s response…
“I want the best there,” Emanuel said. “I have nothing against Ms. Kraft, nothing individually… we need to make sure the people in and around the Illinois Sports Authority have the best professionalism to achieve that goal of protecting the Chicago taxpayers — not anybody else — Chicago’s taxpayers, from paying the bonds if, God forbid, anything bad happens.”
Kraft was a TV reporter before she joined the Quinn administration as a budget spokeswoman in 2009, the same year she filed for personal bankruptcy with $102,500 in debt. The case has been resolved. Quinn later promoted Kraft to assistant budget director before naming her his director of communications in July.
* And the governor has ratcheted things up…
Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday accused Mayor Rahm Emanuel of blocking the governor’s choice to lead the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority — and tarnishing the reputation of a “strong woman” in the process — to pave the way for a “backroom deal” to renovate 98-year-old Wrigley Field. […]
“We’re not gonna have any backroom deals involving the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority and Wrigley Field. I want to make sure there is someone there — the executive director — who is a goalie for the taxpayers and prevents any cooked-up deals behind closed doors on Wrigley Field,” the governor said in an exclusive interview with the Chicago Sun-Times.
Quinn then referred to Tribune Co. CEO Sam Zell’s failed plan to have the state acquire and renovate Wrigley under now-convicted-and-jailed former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
“We’ve already had a preamble here — a couple of efforts to use public money to invest in Wrigley Field. We don’t want another one of these deals that comes down that involves a private sports stadium, Wrigley Field, wanting public money with the cooperation of City Hall,” Quinn said.
“I’ve said over and over again I don’t think public money should be abused with respect to private stadiums. Kelly Kraft is a strong woman who knows how to say `no’ to proposals that are not in the public interest. That’s what the position entails: A person who knows the financials, knows the bond world and is able to prevent backroom deals.”
The Sun-Times claims that sources close to Emanuel say he has no intention of using the ISFA in a Wrigley deal.
Wreckage is all I see here.