* 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.
* Rauner campaign ads to hit Chicago and downstate cable markets
* VIDEO: Bruce Rauner Peoria Press Conference