* House Speaker Michael Madigan’s press secretary Steve Brown reacting to Gov. Pat Quinn’s angry denunciation of the pricey Statehouse renovations…
“It looks like the governor’s a couple days late, possibly jet-lagged from his trip to Japan, because he took his usual Sunday morning press conference cheap shot and did it on a Tuesday afternoon.”
* And not everybody is up in arms about the alleged scandal…
A spokeswoman for Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), whose office is in the newly renovated wing, defended the expenditures and the project, in general.
“At this point in time, any spending on anything can be made to look extravagant,” Radogno spokeswoman Patty Schuh said. “But this is part of a long-term, long-range maintenance and restoration plan for a historical building that has 200,000 people in it every year. The bulk of the project is the beyond-necessary mechanical fixes, ADA access and life-safety and fire code requirements.”
* Meanwhile, there’s more than a little doubt that the governor’s “suspension” of funding for more Statehouse construction actually means anything…
“It’s up to the governor whether to make that money available for bidding and construction purposes,” Blanchette said. “And that’s what he’s doing, is holding up the release of funding for items that have already been placed in the budget by the General Assembly, until such time as things can be carefully examined.”
But no money has actually been appropriated for the north wing yet. So is anything actually being halted?
“No, there’s nothing to stop at this point,” UIS Political Science Professor Kent Redfield said.
Redfield believes this was a purely political move by the governor.
“It’s election season, and the state is having a lot of really bad fiscal problems,” Redfield said. “And so this becomes an issue that you can be against it, and particularly since you can’t have any impact on what’s happened, then it’s a pretty easy thing to take a public stand on it.”
…Adding… I forgot to post this one…
Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, who’s also trying to win the Democratic nomination for governor, says Quinn is ultimately responsible.
“The problem with the governor’s action is, he was asleep at the switch when all this funding was approved,” says Daley’s campaign manager, Tom Bowen. “So this action is typical of Gov. Quinn: too little, too late, reacting to a mistake that’s already been made.”