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The equivalent of a “dead fish”

Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012

* 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.

Whatever.

Wreckage is all I see here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


95 Comments
  1. - PQ's Primary Opponent - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:19 am:

    This is what happens when the Governor and his staff do a poor job of “vetting” their appointments..Look at all of PQ’s appointments languishing in the Senate..Yes, Rahm plays dirty!! Are you surprised? We have a Governor who is awash in 3×5 note cards but cant LEAD..


  2. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:19 am:

    Got to go with Emanuel on this one.

    A public body whose prime job is dealing with huge gobs of public money should be headed by someone with a solid financial background and no personal baggage.

    Is there no one better?…. Really?


  3. - so.... - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:24 am:

    Second on the poor vetting charge.

    Just for kicks I ran Ms. Kraft through Lexis, a widely-available tool for research folks, and the bankruptcy popped right up. A five minute background check is all it would have taken.


  4. - Knome Sane - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:26 am:

    I never met Ms. Kraft and have no opinion as to whether or not she would make a fine Exec. Director of the ISFA.

    However, it appears to me that Ms. Kraft’s problems are a somewhat similar to the problems facing the State of Illinois. Run up massive credit card debt, default on said debt and move on to the next big thing instead of paying off said debt. From what I read, her debts were mostly credit cards. A single woman with a well-paying job could have found a way to pay her $100k debt without bankruptcy, in my opinion. It may have taken her a while, but it was do-able.


  5. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:27 am:

    Her bankruptcy of over $100,000 in credit card debt should be a problem. Quinn says she is a very good person. Emanuel isn’t saying she isn’t.

    She may be a very good person with poor fiscal management skills. Who’d appoint that kind of person for this position?

    It’s outrageous that the Governor believes someone with that kind of ruinous debt should be in charge of any public institution. Sorry she got hit with this fiscal disaster, but dismissing it is a sign of poor administration.

    Emanuel is being political and Quinn gave him a reason to make a real case against her.

    The backroom deal Governor, happened when you nominated someone with this fiscal blemish on her at a time when you are demanding everyone dependant on the State to make sacrifices. You made the backroom deal Pat!


  6. - Joe Bidenopoulous - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:28 am:

    With Rahm also. Considering the principle purpose is to administer millions in bonding and amnage repayment, it seems someone with a strong personal background be preferred.

    Additionally, going with points Rich has made numerous times, PQ has a tendency to appoint inner circle folk rather than doing extensive searches for an ideal candidate - this would seem to be just such a time to do so.


  7. - MS - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:28 am:

    “A person who knows the financials, knows the bond world and is able to prevent backroom deals.”

    Huh? She filed for bankruptcy! By definition she doesn’t know financials.


  8. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:28 am:

    No wonder my paper had the slight smell of dead fish when I read that story. Yeah that was a low blow but this is yet another instance of someone’s primary qualification for an important state post being that they are buddies with Governor Quinn.


  9. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:29 am:

    ===She filed for bankruptcy! By definition she doesn’t know financials. ===

    By definition, she does.


  10. - PQ's Primary Opponent - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:32 am:

    Executive Power is such a terrible thing to waste!!!!!!!! is it 2014 yet??? Just asking


  11. - Esquire - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:37 am:

    Any answers from the Mayor on his continued support for City Colleges Chancellor Cheryl Hyman? Originally a Daley appointee, Hyman was retained by Emanuel.

    Ms. Hyman, who has no prior higher ed background — her previous employer was Com Ed — filed for bankruptcy as well, largely fueled by her credit card debts. Hyman also filed a few unsuccessful suits directed against creditors and collection agencies that were dunning her.

    Seems like Kelly Kraft and Cheryl Hyman are birds of a feather.


  12. - Aaron - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:38 am:

    Kelly Kraft may not be the wisest choice for ED at ISFA, but we’re all acting like Emanuel isn’t going to stick one of his guys (read: major donor) in there, and that’s nonsense.


  13. - Heh Heh - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:45 am:

    How about Brian McPartlin ? He’s squeaky clean….. Bwhaaaaaaaa!


  14. - Siobhan Sharpe - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:47 am:

    The thing is — If she has no formal financial training, then PQ thinks her inborn fiscal good sense will carry her through. The bankruptcy makes that assumption kind of questionable.


  15. - PQ's Primary Opponent - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:49 am:

    I do feel bad for Kelly: she is a very nice person.


  16. - Just Me - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:58 am:

    I’m sorry, but the time you spent working in the Illinois budget office does NOT make you qualified to run an authority with millions of dollars of bond issuances. Has anyone noticed how bad the State’s finances are in right now? If anything that should be a negative qualification, not a good one.


  17. - mokenavince - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:59 am:

    Democatic Gov. + Democratic Chicago Mayor = big time power struggle. The Democratic Gov. can never get elected without Chicago. Same O same0.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:08 pm:

    I think … we can all agree … and without deciding the “merit” of what Rahm (*cough*) allgegedly leaked out … Rahm … plays to WIN.

    To Win.

    If anyone is “confused”, or “misunderstanding” what is going on … it’s that Rahm does not mind going “nuclear” … does not mind hanging sometihing/someone out to dry until he gets his way … or doesn’t mind that long term relationships can/will be strained.

    Today. Rahm want to Win. Today.


  19. - Old and In the Way - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:08 pm:

    “She knows how to say no” “She knows finance”

    I’ve worked with her as well and found her to be a good TV reporter and press spokesperson. However, she does not know how to say “no” and she is a fiscal disaster. Aside from her poor personal fiscal habits she displayed no budget accumen or even interest. Typical of governor dufus, appoint your buddies and yes people in a back room.


  20. - WhoKnew - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:10 pm:

    PQ
    “We have a Governor who is awash in 3×5 note cards but cant LEAD.. ”

    Bet his dashboard is full of Sticky Notes, too!!


  21. - RetiredStateEmployee - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:12 pm:

    it seems to me that a TV reporter and director of communications isn’t exactly the correct resume for a person to run the sports authority. Will we ever see a qualified person suggested by the gov instead of a buddy? But the mayor would do the same. Never mind.


  22. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:14 pm:

    Quinn should stick it to Emanuel here.

    With a large, pointy stick and a powerful, vertical thrusting motion.

    What a punk move by Emanuel.

    Sorry, Rahm, not everyone had the foresight to leverage their public service to cash in later on the Freddie Mac board (great job!) or to grease deals with the federales for ComEd and Bruce Rauner.

    Do we all know who we’re dealing with here? This is a guy, an elected mayor, who dumped all over his constituents, teachers, and put himself out on the airwaves as the mouthpiece for a bunch of New York hedgies who want to cash in on the public schools.

    Emanuel’s concern for the critical position of ISFA executive director is moving, even inspiring. If she gets the job, perhaps Ms. Kraft should be required to wear a Scarlet B.

    But Mr. Mayor, when you’re done tearing down Ms. Kraft in the media, in your spare time, maybe you could exert some energy on the Gangster Disciples war that’s tearing apart the West and South sides.

    The folks there don’t write big checks, but they are citizens.


  23. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:27 pm:

    Wordslinger: I agree, Rahm can’t appoint Pat’s appointee…Rahm is showing his true “my way or the highway M.O. yet again”. Short man syndrome at work?


  24. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    MJM is to Michael Corleone, as Rahm is to Sonny Corleone …

    Another example …


  25. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:32 pm:

    sorry for the misplaced quotation mark…typing and eating at the same time is a bad idea…


  26. - James the Intolerant - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:38 pm:

    If he wanted the “best there”, why would he appoint Emil Jones as the Chairman of the Board?


  27. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:39 pm:

    Willy, does that make PQ Fredo Corleone?


  28. - Pelon - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:41 pm:

    How could a former journalist with no background in public finance and a personal bankruptcy history ever be considered the most qualifed person to serve as an assistant budget director let alone the ED of the ISFA? The whole political appointment system in Illinos smells of dead fish.


  29. - lincolnlover - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:45 pm:

    What?? Governor Quinn has ignored past practices and is just doing his own thing? Totally ignoring reality and lashing out at anyone who dares to oppose him? Sounds like the mayor and AFSCME could commisserate together.


  30. - Cook County Commoner - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:46 pm:

    I’m curious about the “personal situation” that resulted in credit card debt of over $100,000 and bankruptcy. Perhaps, one of those “prominent journalists” that sent letters to Judge Zagel on behalf of Cellini could look into this. Bakruptcy is no big deal so long as the “personal situation” does not involve moral turitude.


  31. - Knome Sane - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:47 pm:

    @Wordslinger: I agree with you 98.7 percent of the time (I checked). But on this one, I have to disagree. If Kelly Kraft had not filed for bankruptcy 10 years ago instead of just three, she might have been qualified. But she didn’t.

    Let’s not lose sight of what this is really about: the Mayor wants to appoint the ED, which was his to appoint under previous machinations of the ISFA process. Plain and simple.


  32. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:47 pm:

    –Considering the principle purpose is to administer millions in bonding and amnage repayment, it seems someone with a strong personal background be preferred.–

    Right. Because the ISFA executive director personally goes to all the hotels, along with Paulie Walnuts, to collect the hotel tax that pays the bonds.

    The ISFA is on automatic. It has a staff of four.

    Let’s just all be thankful we had a strong, powerful guy like Big Jim to build the White Sox a restaurant and bar on the public dime, for which the taxpayers get nothing.


  33. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:49 pm:

    –I agree with you 98.7 percent of the time (I checked).–

    Try harder, dude, lol.


  34. - RSW - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:51 pm:

    I don’t know how anyone can believe she is qualified. Job skills: reporter, spokesperson and assistant. Wow. I’m overwhelmed. I see this constantly in state government. It’s embarrassing. I understand it is a political appointment but pick someone with the needed skills.


  35. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:52 pm:

    – I understand it is a political appointment but pick someone with the needed skills.–

    Which are?


  36. - sal-says - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:57 pm:

    How long was Ms. Kraft ‘Asst Budget Dir’?

    With this gov, it does seem that it’s better to be ‘best buddies’ rather than ‘best qualified’.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 12:58 pm:

    I hate to say it … but after some thought …maybe … Dan Rutherford is Fredo … “I’m smaaat. I can run tings”

    Between Quinn and Rutherford I think.


  38. - RSW - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:01 pm:

    Negotiating contracts, dealing with employment issues, bond experience, running any kind of business, meeting a budget, to name a few.


  39. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:06 pm:

    – I understand it is a political appointment but pick someone with the needed skills.–

    Which are?

    How to say no to Big Jim?


  40. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:06 pm:

    It would seem that the pool of close friends PQ trusts to do his bidding is very, very small. If you start with a very, very small list, those on the list are “the most qualified” for just about any possible appointment.


  41. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:07 pm:

    ===How to say no to Big Jim? ===

    Thompson was replaced by Emil Jones.


  42. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:09 pm:

    ===Bakruptcy is no big deal so long as the “personal situation” does not involve moral turitude.===

    It used to be a very big deal. Time was, when all of your business dealings were local (before the credit card companies and big banks took over), you had to leave town if you went BK. You couldn’t look your neighbors in the eye. For some reason, today we think it’s no big deal to stiff your creditors because they are faceless corporations. Of course, divorce used to be scandalous too.

    Bankruptcy is perfectly legal but used too often by people who should take responsibility and pay back what they borrow. It sucks for people like Kraft when this becomes a public issue, but actions have consequences.


  43. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:15 pm:

    “It’s outrageous that the Governor believes someone with that kind of ruinous debt should be in charge of any public institution. Sorry she got hit with this fiscal disaster, but dismissing it is a sign of poor administration.”

    Exactly. Kraft was not qualified anyway, this baggage just makes it worse. And if there was any kind of employment search it would have found this lots earlier and not publicly. Quinn created this embarrassment for her by nominating her.


  44. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:23 pm:

    Willy, think you are right there as well. Let’s stroke PQ a bit and make him Tom Hagen.

    Word and RSW, I think the most important skill that the Director of ISFA, or any of these kind of agencies, is the ability to work with a Board of Trustees and to know how to keep them out of hot water. As Rich noted above, a Board with “persuadable” trustees and huge bond deals is fresh meat for the Wall Street/La Salle Street hustlers who will move on that place like Willie Sutton if they see an opening. You know, like what Rahm did for awhile when he was between political jobs.


  45. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:31 pm:

    AA,

    How about “Sally” Tessio - He makes the “Smart” play, but it always seems to backfire, and in “Sall-ee” case, it ends with a car ride.

    “Tell Michael (MJM) it was only business, I always liked him”

    THAT is the Quinn I know …


  46. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:35 pm:

    AA, I’m sure you’re right.

    I also believe that Quinn is right, in that Emanuel wants his own stooge in place for a Wrigley deal.

    “Nobody else but the taxpayers of Chicago are on the hook if the bonds are bad or there’s financial mismanagement or something financially goes wrong, which nearly happened during the deep recession,” the mayor said.

    “…if the bonds are bad.” What exactly does that mean? Seriously? How could an executive director effect an existing bond agreement?

    The ISFA issued revenue bonds backed by a 2% tax on Chicago hotel rooms. If that comes up short, the city’s share of the state income tax covers it.

    Mayor Emanuel is demonstrating a profound lack of understanding of municipal finance. Perhaps he should educate himself a little bit before he weighs in on such critical matters.

    If he’s worried about the bonds, he should concern himself with front-page stories like the one in USA Today the other day about the city’s gun violence. That keeps tourists out of the hotels, and they’re the ones paying the bonds.


  47. - Irish - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:38 pm:

    “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.

    But it’s okay for the Governor’s operatives to assasinate the character of state employees.

    How does it feel Governor? How does it feel to be on the receiving end? Bullies usually don’t like a taste of their own medicine.


  48. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:43 pm:

    Rememer, Rahm wants all the leverage against the Ricketts. Rahm does NOT want to have to rely on Quinn to squeeze Old Man Ricketts after what he is doing to Obama.

    It’s as much about haveing the raw power of running the board, and the raw power of giving the Ricketts NO “outs” - the Ricketts MUST go to Rahm, and that is the way Rahm likes it when doling out his special form or retribution.

    Rahm may “help” the Cubs; but not it’s going to cost them more than they even thought when this all began.

    Don’t believe me? Ask Kelly Kraft about getting on the wrong side of Sonny Corleone…er, … Rahm.


  49. - Irish - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:52 pm:

    I don’t know that I would put any faith in any one put out there by the Gov. When you think about it the Governor is promoting someone from his camp to fill a position that will make complicated fiscal/financial decisions. His camp has not had the greatest record on sound fiscal/financial decisions. The Governor has not demonstrated leadership in those areas either. The fact that she is from that group is a non-starter for me.


  50. - Chris - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:52 pm:

    “it seems to me that a TV reporter and director of communications isn’t exactly the correct resume for a person to run the sports authority.”

    THIS.

    Wordslinger: [variously saying that a PR person is qualified for this job, bc …? it’s mostly a big zero of a job?]

    If that is so, then why the hell do we need to pay someone $175k/yr to have the job, in addition to a 7 person board? Shouldn’t they just eliminate the job, if the qualifications are satisfied by a degree in broadcast journalism and 15 years as on-air talent? Is Tom Skilling *over*qualified for the job?


  51. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:58 pm:

    ===Willy, think you are right there as well. Let’s stroke PQ a bit and make him Tom Hagen.===

    BTW, concur, insofar as Tom Hagen is/was not a “war-time Consigliere.” and that is Pat Quinn in all this mess as well.

    You are on it.


  52. - Norseman - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:58 pm:

    I could pretend that this is all about the qualifications of the ED, but it’s not as Rich and others have pointed out. This is another one of Illinois’ classic political civil wars. Quinn tweaks Rahm; Rahm pokes Quinn. Kraft is collateral damage in this war.


  53. - Not to get technical, but - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 2:05 pm:

    I don’t think it’s “character assassination” if it’s true


  54. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 2:07 pm:

    Pat Quinn is no Tom Hagen.

    Tom Hagen is smarter by half.


  55. - Fed up - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 2:08 pm:

    This might not be about qualifications but no matter what she isn’t qualified. Quinn should be embarrassed of this nomination. Rahm is a tyrant but on this issue he is correct.


  56. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 2:10 pm:

    –If that is so, then why the hell do we need to pay someone $175k/yr to have the job, in addition to a 7 person board?–

    We don’t. It’s a political job, and this is a political fight.


  57. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 2:14 pm:

    ===Tom Hagen is smarter by half.===

    Never said ‘Smart’ … said … NOT a “war-time Consigliere.”

    Huge difference.

    How you handle Rahm, or MJM, or anyone doesn’t mean you are at all smart, as in SMART … means you can handle the “fire”, and Quinn lacks at times … like Tom Hagen is seen by Rahm, … er, … Sonny.


  58. - Paine in the Behind - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 2:15 pm:

    The Mayor wants pension “relief” for the City of Chicago, CPS, and the Park District. The Mayor wants a casino for Chicago. The Mayor wants an infusion of cash for the CPS budget next year.

    And he’s picking a public fight with the Governor over the Executive Director of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority?

    Where is the common sense in that?


  59. - Sue - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 2:18 pm:

    Quinn is a complete ZERO as Governor- his appointments for the most part have been crony light weights- A battle between Quinn and Rahm won’t end pretty for the Governor- his political skill and instincts are no match


  60. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 2:22 pm:

    ===Where is the common sense in that?===

    Since when does common sense come into play with Rahm, revenge, and politics …

    (thinking)

    “Tell Old Man Ricketts … I’ll give him a call … right after …I talk to my Sports Authority Board and MY Executive Director there … THEN, I will THINK about calling him back after I call President Obama … tell him that.”


  61. - Esquire - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 2:26 pm:

    Thus far, in its relatively brief agency history, the ISFA has one stadium to operate (US Cellular Field) and less than a dozen employees, plus some contracts to award to outside firms.

    Compare this to the City Colleges of Chicago, with seven campuses and thousands of employees and a formerly bankrupt chancellor with no prior higher ed experience and a penchant for hiring friends and relatives and increasing the travel budget for executives by 300% (according to Carol Marin) and who has lavished tens of thousands of dollars to redesign college colors and logos.

    C’mon Patsy, push back. Rent the dvd with Sean Connery and learn the Chicago way.


  62. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 2:33 pm:

    –A battle between Quinn and Rahm won’t end pretty for the Governor- his political skill and instincts are no match–

    How’s that Chicago casino doing these days?


  63. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 2:39 pm:

    ===How’s that Chicago casino doing these days?===

    Touche’

    Will be very interesting to see Quinn stick to his guns with Kelly Kraft after the revelation in the paper, and its meaning that Rahm is “going to the mattresses”.

    Quinn is governor. Quinn has the “juice” …let’s see how dirty Rahm can get this appointment and who is going to blink.

    Sorry, Kelly Kraft. You are now a pawn in this one. Just hope Quinn will play chess as THE Governor, and not checkers and fold.


  64. - Offensive Lineman - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 2:40 pm:

    Have to go with Quinn. The financial background is less important than someone who will say NO to Rahm and his plans to use the board for his other projects. Anyone but a Rahm appointee will be good for Chicago (and Illinois) and give balance to a board that would otherwise be a rubberstamp for Rahm.


  65. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 2:50 pm:

    I agree that Kraft is not qualified, but I’m a little taken by all the negative commentary about a person’s personal financial history and that some of you think bankruptcy automatically disqualifies a person from having a job dealing with finances. I’ve declared bankruptcy. My job is in finance. Two totally separate worlds. People have different reasons for declaring bankruptcy and it’s really nobody’s damn business anyway. So some of you can take your holier-than-thou attitude on that topic and shove it.


  66. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 3:10 pm:

    ===Bakruptcy is no big deal so long as the “personal situation” does not involve moral turitude.===

    Abraham Lincoln went bankrupt. So did Thomas Jefferson. So did U.S. Grant. So did Walt Disney. So did Henry Ford. Many more.

    According to Emanuel’s whispering goons, a bad lot, all of them. Not worthy of the public trust.

    Capitalism could not exist without bankruptcy protection. It allows for and encourages risk. It allows for a just recovery for the risk taker and the lender.


  67. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 3:12 pm:

    Yawn]
    THis is all about C-A-S-I-N-0


  68. - Knome Sane - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 3:13 pm:

    @Demoralized

    I disagree with your assessment that they are two separate worlds. And it is our (the taxpayers’) business. If she ran up credit cards at Nordstroms without concern for how she would pay for it goes to her state of mind and how she views “someone elses money” i.e. the credit cards companies. However, if she put emergency open-heart surgery on her credit card, then that’s different. But I doubt we’ll ever know.


  69. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 3:31 pm:

    - CircularFiringSquad -

    I think we can all agree … this AIN’T about Kelly Kraft … that is for sure …

    It’s about casinos, its about stadium expansions, it’s about making the Cubs PAY for all the headaches while getting all Rahm wants with a Cubs expansion …

    This all would be a heck of alot easier if this was only about Kelly Kraft.


  70. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 3:51 pm:

    Kelly is the Steve Rauschenberger of the Quinn Administration.


  71. - mela - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 3:55 pm:

    I’m surprised the Mayor is touting Rufus Williams as a possible candidate. During his tenure at CPS he came under fire for thousands of dollars worth of questionable expenses he charged to the district.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-01-04/news/ct-met-cps-president-spending-0105-20110104_1_school-board-report-questions-spending-annual-report


  72. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 3:56 pm:

    ===Kelly is the Steve Rauschenberger of the Quinn Administration.===

    Kelly then needs to lose her old Senate seat about 6 times, run for Governor, LG, and then do radio with Dan Proft.

    I can see her doing that radio show gig after the dust settles …


  73. - Enough - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 4:05 pm:

    In a government full of crooks, liars and incompetency of course they find a good person to drag through the mud publicly!


  74. - state worker - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 4:06 pm:

    I’m appalled by this comment chain. Declaring bankruptcy is not a crime, and it is not an indicator that you are not smart with finances. As others have pointed out, many of the greats have declared bankruptcy. I think there is more than a little sexism going in here.

    I also think that Kraft has been an excellent press person and communications director with some pretty tough stuff to deal with. When she got promoted, I thought “good move” for Quinn.

    This story is about Rahm and nothing else. You will see great things from Kraft, whatever her job.


  75. - please stop - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 4:13 pm:

    “Abraham Lincoln went bankrupt. So did Thomas Jefferson. So did U.S. Grant. So did Walt Disney. So did Henry Ford. Many more.”

    Yeah, but not from buying clothes at Nordstrom.


  76. - Bill - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 4:15 pm:

    ==Thompson was replaced by Emil Jones.==
    LOL. uh oh


  77. - Bill - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 4:18 pm:

    ==Yeah, but not from buying clothes at Nordstrom.==

    C.mon, she was on TV. She had to look good.


  78. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 4:20 pm:

    Illinois doesn’t replace Big Jim. It just gives him what he wants.


  79. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 4:28 pm:

    State Worker, believe me, I’m with you.


  80. - Esquire - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 4:32 pm:

    Be accurate. Lincoln labored for years to repay his creditors.

    Grant completed his memoirs less than a week before his death to provide a sizeable income for his family. Grant lost most of his wealth due to the actions of a dishonest business partner who was a swindler.


  81. - Paine in the Behind - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 4:37 pm:

    1. 62% of all personal bankruptcies were caused by medical expenses.

    2. Kraft seems to be at least as qualified as Rahm. From Wiki:

    “After serving as an advisor to Bill Clinton, in 1998 Emanuel resigned from his position in the Clinton administration and joined the investment banking firm Wasserstein Perella, where he worked until 2002. Although he did not have an MBA degree or prior banking experience, he became a managing director at the firm’s Chicago office in 1999, and according to Congressional disclosures, made $16.2 million in his two-and-a-half-years as a banker.”


  82. - amalia - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 4:46 pm:

    stick it to Rahm. find someone else who has been properly vetted and then go to town on Cheryl Hyman. be better than Rahm on the fiscal responsibility score.


  83. - justbabs - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 4:57 pm:

    “The ISFA issued revenue bonds backed by a 2% tax on Chicago hotel rooms. If that comes up short, the city’s share of the state income tax covers it.”
    And then the taxpayers in Chicago have to pay extra to cover that loss. It does come back to bite you.
    Neither RE nor PQ has made a name for himself by hiring the best and the brightest. Would love to see that happen in my lifetime - but not expecting it. Sad to say.


  84. - Tired of this state - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 5:09 pm:

    Why not Quinn put people in charge of every agency that dont know what they are doing


  85. - Bill - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 5:19 pm:

    Quinn is just as mean and vindictive as Rahm and almost as smart. This whole thing should be really fun to watch as it plays out. Maybe OB can mediate some kind of truce.


  86. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 5:20 pm:

    State Worker said, “I think there is more than a little sexism going in here.”
    Other than your projecting it, there is no evidence of that. Not a single commenter mentioned her gender before you. Lots of comments questioned her lack of financial experience and management experience, and several more questioned whether her personal bankruptcy reflects badly on her financial acumen for the job. (And although you dismiss the latter out of hand, be aware that it is a factor for evaluating a potential candidate with executive search firms). Both of those are gender-neutral concerns.


  87. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 5:21 pm:

    “Quinn is just as mean and vindictive as Rahm and almost as smart.”

    Half of this statement is right.


  88. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 5:33 pm:

    Willy, and just think, but for Pat Fitzgerald, who made a token appearance in our movie as Jesus (you may have missed him) all these tough guys were beholden to the Godfather, Don Vito Corleone, played of course by Bill Cellini.


  89. - Been There - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 5:38 pm:

    If this little battle didn’t erupt my guess is 99% of people would not even know these agency even existed.
    The next question is why these two really care? Does the authority currently have the power to cut a deal with the Rickets or does it need legislative change? If it needs to go to the GA this whole Cubs issue is moot. As bad as the budget is the gov office can afford pens.


  90. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 6:25 pm:

    ===Willy, and just think, but for Pat Fitzgerald, who made a token appearance in our movie as Jesus (you may have missed him) all these tough guys were beholden to the Godfather, Don Vito Corleone, played of course by Bill Cellini.===

    Same genre, different movie … but I see Bill Cellini as Paulie Cicero in Goodfellas … Even Paulie went away, while Don Corleone died a free man.

    I am with ya AA, I got where you are taking me.


  91. - Dan Bureaucrat - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 7:35 pm:

    Quinn is Quinn. Rahm is a ruthless bully. Kraft is a talented professional. The press have collectively have brought us to a place where no one can afford the psychic damage that comes from serving the public. Judgement fails.

    That said, Quinn does pick good agency directors and other people and luckily, he will have Kraft in his administration either way.


  92. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 7:53 pm:

    You can’t have an agency director, or deputy agency director going by a fake name. This is all stupid. The logical conclusion would be that this position doesn’t need to exist.


  93. - Lincoln Lad - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 8:09 pm:

    It seems to me that someone’s reputation gets trashed because two grown men with huge staff support can’t have or cause a conversation to occur to settle something in their shared interest. That’s the true failing - and they share it equally. AND they’re in the same party.


  94. - Soccertease - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 11:12 pm:

    There is a pattern here. When I belonged to a national financial organization, many state comptrollers were CPA’s, many state auditos were CPA’s or CIA’s. Many state treasurer’s had banking and finance degrees and certifications. Many of these same individuals headed the organization. Then there is IL where elected officials are totally political-no professional certifications required. The ISFA is a significant agency that should have a CEO or CFO with appropriate credentials. Another low Illinois standard.


  95. - WazUp - Wednesday, Oct 10, 12 @ 7:08 am:

    ===”I don’t think public money should be abused with respect to private stadiums.”===

    “We have other ways of abusing public money!”


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