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Politics as usual

Monday, Jun 10, 2013

* Frank Zuccarelli has been looking for a new board post ever since Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle pushed to strip him of his sweet salary and benefits. Enter Gov. Pat Quinn

Gov. Pat Quinn is naming a Cook County Democratic politician and contributor to a $25,000-a-year Chicago Transit Authority Board post.

Frank Zuccarelli was named Friday as a representative of suburban metropolitan Chicago. He replaces John Bourman.

The appointment requires Senate approval.

The South Holland resident has been the elected supervisor of Thornton Township since 1993. He also was elected to the South Suburban College Board of Trustees in 1978 and has served as its chairman since 1987.

* Thornton Township turns out huge numbers in the Democratic primary. And Zuccarelli goes with his friends, particularly those who earmark $41.6 million for a college he controls

South Suburban College board Chairman Frank Zuccarelli said such a commitment is why he considers Quinn to be an asset to the community college, and why the school on Sunday presented Quinn with an honorary degree following his commencement speech.

“He doesn’t always say ‘yes,’ but he gives it to us straight,” Zuccarelli said of Quinn. “That is why he will have our support in the future.”

* Meanwhile, little background is needed to set up this story…

Vowing to ensure there will be “no shenanigans” with a state charter-school grant, Gov. Pat Quinn on Saturday defended his decision to restore funding to the politically influential United Neighborhood Organization.

Quinn had cut off UNO’s $98 million grant six weeks ago, after the Chicago Sun-Times reported $8.5 million in taxpayer money given to UNO went to companies owned by two brothers of the group’s No. 2 executive. But a day after his aides said the grant suspension will be lifted, Quinn said his about-face doesn’t mean he condones the money going to UNO insiders. […]

Juan Rangel, UNO’s chief executive officer, has apologized for the scandal and announced the appointment of new directors for the Hispanic community group and its 13-school charter network. Quinn’s decision to give UNO another chance came after Ald. Edward Burke (14th) — a major Quinn campaign donor — backed Rangel and urged the governor to restore the state funding.

Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia (D-Chicago) said Quinn shouldn’t have done that unless Rangel resigned or was removed from his $250,000-a-year post.

Commissioner Garcia is a longtime antagonist of Rangel and the old HDO, who ousted him from the Illinois Senate.

* In other news, Lisa Madigan talked about a gubernatorial bid

“Well as you now, I’m seriously considering running for governor, but at the same time, I’m also full time the attorney general of the state of Illinois and there’s a lot of work to be done,” said Madigan after being awarded an honorary degree at the Knox College commencement ceremony.

During her brief remarks on the subject, the longest-tenured female attorney general in the country sounded very much like a candidate for higher office, rattling off a string of accomplishments from the past 12 months.

“I’m very proud of the fact over the past year, we brought in over $1.1 billion to the state in collections. In addition, we were also able in the past year to bring in over $1.8 billion of relief to homeowners in the state. So there’s a lot of very important work going on at the office. That is the first and foremost priority,” she said.

* On the other side, Bruce Rauner is running a new Web ad on conservative sites like Fox and Drudge…

If it’s a machine, it’s not a very good one.

* Rauner also contributed $10,500 to Jack Roeser’s Republican Renaissance PAC the other day. Rauner had previously contributed $10K in late 2012, as did his spouse, whom the candidate has often claimed is a strong Democrat.

* Related…

* Rauner campaign ads to hit Chicago and downstate cable markets

* VIDEO: Bruce Rauner Peoria Press Conference

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Just Saying $$$ - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 1:15 pm:

    Since Rauner “can’t be bought” it sounds like he’s more than willing to buy everyone else off!

    Hmmm…smart business or corrupting the system? Interesting paradigm to say the least.

  2. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 1:22 pm:

    What is UNO? A political army or a schools’ network.

    Whether it’s the hedgies with their campaign contributions or the political armies with their foot soldiers, charters schools are now the taxpayer-financed pay-to-play slush funds.

  3. - Keyrock - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 1:28 pm:

    Pat Quinn — reform outsider or former patronage chief? You decide.

  4. - Keyrock - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 1:29 pm:

    “Quinn-Madigan” machine? Rich, can you do a reverse caption contest and have people submit a drawing of that machine?

  5. - Loop Lady - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 1:30 pm:

    and the campaign of misinformation begins…so lame…anyone how knows how the State really works will see right through this…I hope Rauner didn’t pay the creator of this shlock much…very unoriginal to say the least and a total fabrication…

  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 1:36 pm:

    Rauner, “How much money do I have to give so everyone forgets we contributed to Rahm? 10 Grand? 20 Grand? …while I have the Checkbook out, might as well donate something to Payton Prep as a ‘thank you’ for the clouting, and to soften up all the families that got leap frogged over…Man, $50 million might be about right…”

  7. - too obvious - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 1:42 pm:

    If Rauner is throwing money at Jack Roeser, then it’s fair to say Rauner has no problem with Roeser’s infamous anti-gay views. Big problem.

    BTW, Roeser is on Rauner’s campaign committee or whatever Rauner calls it. Shouldn’t Roeser be the one giving money TO Rauner? The rich are funny.

  8. - Boone's is Back - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 1:50 pm:

    I guess its better than the rubber chicken one?

  9. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 1:52 pm:

    Pat Quinn is doing his best work alienating every voter in Illinois. As someone with a ChicagoCard Plus, I do not want anyone on the CTA board who lives outside of the CTA service area. This guy doesn’t ride the L. He should not be on the board. End of discussion.

  10. - Century Club - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 2:05 pm:

    I think my weed wacker is a Quinn-Madigan machine. Every time I try to use it, one part (the wire) spools out endlessly, flailing around and doing no good what so ever. Then another part cuts it off.

  11. - Loop Lady - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 2:31 pm:

    Century Club: LOL! Excellent!

  12. - Missing Word? - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 2:53 pm:

    Looks like Rich accidentally omitted a three-letter from the second phrase of this sentence, maybe ’cause he didn’t want to spell it:
    “Commissioner Garcia is a longtime antagonist of Rangel and the old HDO, who ousted his from the Illinois Senate.”

  13. - Independent - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 3:27 pm:

    The old HDO is the new UNO. Align yourself with the powerful white guys in charge, deliver Hispanic votes, and get all sorts of contracts and city jobs in return. Everybody wins! Except the taxpayers, of course.

  14. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 3:29 pm:

    ==What is UNO? A political army or a schools’ network.==

    Always has been and always will be a political organization. That’s not to say that that is a bad thing, but is when it is using charter profit to do so IMO.

  15. - soccermom - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 4:14 pm:

    The Quinn-Madigan machine:

  16. - orzo - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 4:33 pm:

    Anyone who deludes themselves into still thinking of Pat Quinn as the “reformer” he once pretended to be need only look at the Zuccarelli appointment to bring them to the real world. “Zuc” is a serial Government paycheck collector and this is a bald attempt by Quinn to buy those Thornton votes in the primary. The “old” Quinn would be embarrassed by the “new” Quinn.

  17. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 5:45 pm:

    Mom, that video is fabulous.

  18. - K3 - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 5:48 pm:

    Ask Congressman Trotter how much Zuc’s support helps

  19. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 7:22 pm:

    - soccermom -,

    Good stuff after a long day. Thanks!

  20. - stratten - Monday, Jun 10, 13 @ 7:58 pm:

    brilliant political move by Quinn.. anyone living in the south suburbs instantly understood what was going on when he gave SSC 42 million…Zucc will deliver, this is a major move against anyone who runs in the primary…

  21. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 6:26 am:

    “I’m in, period,” said Daley, who noted he’s spent months considering a run for governor. “I’m totally committed, 100 percent in it.”}

    He’s 100% in it until he’s 100% out of it; and the countdown clock on that has already begun. Its only a matter of time now.

  22. - A Springfield legislator - Tuesday, Jun 11, 13 @ 7:47 pm:

    It pays to be the number 1 producer of democratic votes in Cook County

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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