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Republican legislators call for criminal probe of Quinn program

Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014

* From a press release, with emphasis added. Read it all…

Illinois House and Senate Republicans are urging the Illinois Auditor General to refer findings from the Feb. 2014 audit of the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI) to the Executive Inspector General (EIG) for further review and potentially the U.S. Attorney for further investigation of potential criminal activity.

The lawmakers further called for freezing of any unexpended dollars – which could be as much as $31 million.

“Every component of this audit is barraged with questions of ethical integrity,” said State Rep. David Reis (R-Ste. Marie). “From the very beginning, many of us had grave reservations about the formation and implementation of this program. This audit supports these concerns. This is nothing more than Governor Quinn using taxpayer dollars to fund precinct walkers in Chicago.”

Sen. Barickman (R-Bloomington), Co-Chair of the Legislative Audit Commission, called the program “nothing more than a political slush fund for Governor Quinn.”

Sen. Murphy (R-Palatine) said, “There was no documentation, no monitoring, no attempt to recover funds. We need to get this information to the appropriate law enforcement authorities and freeze the spending. It’s a shameful waste of taxpayers’ dollars to bail out a failed politician.”

“When critical care services remain on the chopping block and transportation funding for rural schools have been cut, the Governor was able to increase limited state resources for the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative from $20 million to $50 million in less than two months,” said State Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon).

Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon) said, “I’ve spent 32 years in law enforcement and the information I’m looking at is the kind of information indictments are made of. This warrants in my estimation a criminal investigation.”

The Auditor General stated the $54.55 million NRI program was “hastily implemented” with “pervasive deficiencies in Illinois Violence Prevention Authority’s (IVPA) planning, implementation, and management.”

The Audits also found Governor Quinn broke state law when he shuffled funds among various accounts in order to circumvent the legislature’s authority to annually appropriate General Fund dollars. In effect, the Governor was able to create a non-appropriated slush fund of $91 million that he could use in future fiscal years without having to request that the General Assembly re-appropriate those dollars. Approximately $45 million was eventually given to the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. (IVPA Compliance Audit, for two years ended June 30, 2012; pages 10-14; Released 2/25/14. Finding 12-1.)

The Auditor General’s performance audit included the following key findings.

    · A troublesome timeline – beginning with Governor Quinn’s appearance in a Chicago neighborhood in August, 2010. In less than two week, $30 million was allocated to the program – before the IVPA staff was ever notified. In September, 2010 the “Governor’s office” tells the IVPA Board of the commitment to release some funds immediately and the “rest after the election.” By October 6, the program increased from $20 million to $50 million. (page 10) Subsequent funding brings NRI’s totals to nearly $100 million in taxpayer funds.

    · Auditors questioned 40 percent of spending in the NRI program.

    · IVPA turned over decision-making to Chicago aldermen for organizations to serve as lead agencies for the NRI program.

    · While billed as a violence prevention program, the city of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods were not included. (page 73)

    · Quarterly reports were submitted late and were inaccurate.

    · IVPA failed to adequately monitor spending of State NRI funds by providers. (page 92) and failed to exercise due diligence in selecting the agencies.

    · Lead agencies struggled for direction and management (page 29-31)

    · Lead agencies expended $46.2 million for NRI – over $37 million was for day-to-day activities.

    · They failed to properly ensure unspent taxpayers funds were returned to the state.

    · NRI failed to meet its goals and failed to measure outcomes.

The 2012 resolution (HR 1110) originally called upon the Auditor General to conduct a performance audit of State moneys provided through the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority to the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative in Fiscal Year 2011 and Fiscal Year 2012. The resolution was adopted in the House 100-16-1. Similar resolutions were blocked in the Illinois Senate.

For Years 1 and 2 of the NRI the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority received $54.55 million which $44.55 million came from the Governor’s Discretionary appropriations in FY11 and the remain $10 million were appropriated from General Revenue Funds in FY12.

Let’s be clear here. This is no murky, hard to comprehend, constantly changing, hyperpartisan “Benghazi!” pseudo-scandal. We’ve got a blistering Auditor General report and some possibly serious wrongdoing.

Background and the audit are here. My “favorite” part

According to the former IVPA Director, IVPA selected the communities to be served by NRI based on an analysis performed by the Department of Human Services (DHS) for the Safety Net Works program. However, IVPA and DHS could not locate the analysis used nor could IVPA provide any other documentation to auditors showing how Chicago communities were selected to participate in NRI.

Additionally, the communities selected for NRI were not all the most violent in terms of crime in the Chicago area. Our comparison of NRI communities to the violent crime totals published by the Chicago Police found 7 Chicago neighborhoods that were among the 20 most violent neighborhoods that did not receive NRI funding. In Year 3 of NRI, another Chicago community, Hermosa, was added to the NRI program. This community ranked 48th in violent crime from 2005-2010.


* Coverage roundup…

* Audit raises 2010 election concern for Brady: State Sen. Bill Brady said Tuesday he’s unsure whether a now-discredited $55 million anti-violence plan launched by Gov. Pat Quinn might have altered the outcome of his 2010 bid for governor. The Republican from Bloomington said he believes federal prosecutors should investigate the taxpayer-financed program in light of questions raised in a blistering audit released Tuesday.

* State auditor slams Gov. Pat Quinn’s $54.5 million anti-violence program: “Clearly, the governor implemented a plan 30 days before the election that was a $50 million slush fund. It smacks of promises made in areas that he needed good turnout to win,” Brady told the Chicago Sun-Times.

* Audit: Anti-Violence Program Rife With Problems: But the now-defunct Illinois Violence Prevention Authority, which created the project, couldn’t produce the criteria it used to choose the communities and failed to include seven neighborhoods that Chicago police consider to be the most crime-ridden, the audit found. And it relied on Chicago aldermen — not an open bidding process — to find community organizations to run the programs.

* State audit criticizes Quinn anti-violence program: “The timing of those expenditures cause great concern for those of us who know that those funds were spent just prior to a major election for which the governor was on the ballot,” said Barickman, a Bloomington lawmaker.

* Rauner campaign takes shot at Quinn for ‘bungling’ anti-violence program: Republicans at the Statehouse called for a criminal investigation and even floated the word “impeachment” following Holland’s assessment that Quinn’s administration failed to monitor how those funds were spent, gave Chicago aldermen power to dictate which groups got funding and allowed some of the city’s most violence-prone neighborhoods to miss out entirely.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - RNUG - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    This report should have some legs. Even if there is no criminal investigation, you can bet we will see it featured in Rauner’s ads from now until the general election this fall.

  2. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    Not good for Quinn… or the taxpayers that footed this.

  3. - ??? - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:09 am:


  4. - Under Further Review - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    This must be investigated thoroughly.

    Quinn’s slim margin of victory over Brady in 2010 could have been tied to these questionable expenditures, but it may be difficult to prove conclusively.

    This is beginning to remind of the scandal that caused State Senator Rickey “Hollywood” Hendon to abruptly resign his office. Quinn will never do that, but the $31 million dollars has to be accounted for.

    I commend the Auditor General for doing his job.

  5. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    Big trouble.

  6. - OneMan - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    The really interesting question might be how the money in Hermosa was used and any info on why that community was added…

    Here come the FOIAs…

  7. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    If Rutherford drops today… Clearly Brady won’t…This may be the opening to catch up to the farmer… Or, this is the stuff that may clear an easier path to victory to the farmer… He can keep running the ad that says the only thing Governor is known for is prisioners… Bivins brings credibility to the statements… Partisan or not… This is a game changer for someone…

  8. - RNUG - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    Hmm … impeachment floated … maybe Sheila should have stayed on the ticket, might have missed her only chance for the top job.

  9. - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    The citizens of the City of Chicago needed more cops on the street in the “war zones” to reduce the drug war battles. Governor Quinn needed a conduit to use taxpayer dollars unaccountably doled out to get his campaign ground game going in communities key to his re-election.

    Guess who got their way here?

    So much for the “citizens advocate” brand of Guv Quinn.

    It took four years to move this forward. I wonder how many other corrupt $55 million boondoggles are out there that could be cut to balance the budget. IPI, are there? Sound like there’s a few more “pork busters” to investigate!

  10. - Big Muddy - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    Rauner shouldn’t just take shots with this, he should carpet-bomb Quinn on it. Now thru tax day with a “where does your money go” theme. Most people will be writing checks to the Illinois Dept of Revenue and tie it all together. Write a check to the state and see it blown on political deals will resonate with everyone.

  11. - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    Gee, I wonder why Dillard, Brady and Rutherford didn’t make a big deal about this when the Senate rejected the 2012 resolution to get this audit going? That’s what REAL reformers and corruption fighters would have done.
    Have those three EVER found something dirty going on like this and fought for the truth and exposure? I think not……

  12. - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    Governor Vallas has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it…(I volunteered on his primary campaign for Guv back in the day)

  13. - Worth It - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    2010 put enough heat on Quinn for him to panic. That panic resulted in both the AFSCME no layoff pledge (got AFSCME back on board and a $450K donation) and now this $50 Million dollar slush fund.

    Both were GOTV efforts for Quinn and it probably did help make the difference in the election. All paid for by the taxpayer.

  14. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    RNUG…. I think you may be on to something… It will be interesting to see what or any D’s come out and say… I said after Madigan mentioned Rauner by name after the pension vote. He saw his competition or his candidate… It’s always good to have someone else to blame… My tinfoil hat fitting is set for later today…

  15. - Walker - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    Not with Brady on much, but I’m with him on this one.

    This kind of waste and mismanagement, (best case), makes all the many good public servants look bad. As I said yesterday, as soon as I read that alderman picked the final winners, I thought “UH OH”, before even reading the other findings.

    Murphy as usual, overstates the case in full black and white.

  16. - Bobo - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    I listened to the police commissioner speak at length on crime, just yesterday, and the crime numbers are way down so the program must have worked.

    Let’s just move along-snark

  17. - Rod - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    I am in the process of reading the full report and I may comment on it intelligently after that. But as to Arizona Bob’s comment that the solution to crime and gang related violence in Chicago is flooding the war zones in the city with police, its not as simple as that.

    The links between local ward level corruption in the City of Chicago and various gangs has been well established by several sting operations conducted by the US Department of Justice. One example was Alderman Arenda Troutman who had direct links to the Black Gangster Disciples. I would strongly also recommend this article

  18. - Tom Joad - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    We have had two comments raising the question of impeachment of state officials in the last two weeks. Neither one is going anywhere. Calm down, there is still 9 months until the election.

  19. - Under Further Review - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    The relationships between gangs and ward politicians are quite old and well established. Gangsters made good precinct captains. Reading about Chicago elections during the Roaring Twenties is especially interesting.

  20. - Walker - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    David Reis’ comment that these funds were being used to “fund precinct walkers in Chicago” is laughably inane.

    I don’t disagree with his other comments above, however.

  21. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    Well, this doesn’t make me look kindly on an income tax increase. Or even an extension of the temporary increase. Nor should state retirees look kindly on Quinn’s support of plundering their pensions. We may be naive and clueless out here but $50 million, even to corruption-hardened Illinois residents, seems like a lot of money. And it’s hard to believe there aren’t more such boondoggles yet uncovered.

    Maybe the legislature should start by interviewing the director of the now-defunct IVPA. (Why is it defunct, by the way). Perhaps she has an explanation. She must have known the money was going out. Where did she think it was going.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    This will be talked about for quite some time, and sadly, rightly so.

    Very serious set of circumstances, and the way the Governor though they should be addressed, and what seems to have actually occurred(?)

    Storm is brewing.

  23. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    === Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 2:38 pm:

    Here we go with stupid election year politics. I see the Republicans want a criminal investigation of this. ===

    === Let’s be clear here. This is no murky, hard to comprehend, constantly changing, hyperpartisan “Benghazi!” pseudo-scandal. We’ve got a blistering Auditor General report and some possibly serious wrongdoing ===

    Compare and contrast.

  24. - Allen - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    Nothing inane about Reis’ comment. You work for the NRI during the day and Oh, by the way “we would like for you to walk precincts at night and on weekends. We help reelect Quinn and you will get to keep your new tax payer job.” Life is good.

  25. - fed up - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    Lets see months before an election Quinn sends southside Revs 50 million dollars and months later the southside provides the votes for Quinn to win, while the rest of the state goes brady. Yeah nothing to look at here, Soy Boy took some notes all those years working with Blago

  26. - Judgment Day - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    Pat Quinn just handed Bruce Rauner the most incredible gift…. And he’s got nine months to drive it home.

    And he’s got the money to do it.

  27. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    @dupage dan:

    Apparently you are not capable of reading comprehension. Let me type really, really, really slowly for you. All I said was that it is ripe for election politics. Period. I believe I said in subsequent comments that an investigation was warranted. So bite me.

  28. - DuPage - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    I am not sure about this until they really find out where the money went. New Programs/agencies often have accounting problems. Many times it involves inexperienced people paying legitimate bills out of the wrong account. Someone pays the gas bill out of a account for computer repair, without correct paperwork to explain what they did.
    On the other hand, (example, Dixon), accounts can be robbed blind and the books be made to LOOK OK by people that know how to do it.
    The timing seems political.

  29. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    Hold your horses, everybody.

    Read the report.

    There is evidence of nonfeasance. There are suggestions of misfeasance.

    Except for the argument that the appropriations process was circumvented, I did not see any evidence or suggestion of malfeasance. Certainly no allegations of anything criminal.

    As for whether the appropriations process was circumvented, I don’t think the Comptroller’s office would have been cutting checks if they thought Quinn’s actions were illegal.

    The report does highlight a problem which the state’s new Budgeting for Results law is designed to address: the need for strategic planning and independent performance metrics for all government programs. The problems cited are not unique to this state agency, the Quinn administration, state government, Illinois government or even the public sector.

    In addition to the Budgeting for Results changes already implemented, one reform I have long advocated is moving to a two-year budget process, with appropriations made in non-election years. This reform would:

    1. Provide greater stability for school districts, health care providers, law enforcement agencies, and social service agencies which depend on state funding;

    2. Force state government to think more sustainably in its spending and revenue practices;

    3. Mitigate the impact of public opinion “hot flashes” and politics on the budget process.

  30. - The Historian - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    I think a lot of folks on this blog have got to practice pronouncing a phrase that everyone will be saying a lot the next few years: “Governor Rauner”……..

  31. - OneMan - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    If I were Rauner, I would start on the air with this now (one or the other, I think the DNR thing for now actually) to blunt any bump Quinn might get from the Goose Island thing.

  32. - Judgment Day - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    After reading all of this stuff, looks to me like Pat Quinn just threw Lisa Madigan under the bus.

    If the AG is the primary investigating agency for this, then it’s not going to be long before there’s real conflicts between the AG and the Quinn administration.

    Rauner’s going to turn this whole thing white hot, Quinn will want to be cleared (however likely that is) ASAP, and the AG’s office is going to be front and center.

    Now, the AG’s best ‘out’ is for the Fed’s to step in and take over, but if that happens, Quinn is almost certainly toast.

    It’s tough to run as a ‘populist - I’m for the small guy’ when the Fed’s are all over you for being nothing more than another corrupt pol, like his two predecessors.

    Particularly when up against a guy who can put a mil a week into publicizing this story.

  33. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    Demoralized - so the word “stupid” means what, exactly? You infer and then walk it back. I get it.

  34. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    Quinn has really stepped in it lately. This just adds fuel to the fire for Rauner’s assault on Springfield politics. You don’t even have to say anything. It pretty much speaks for itself. Just flash a few of the audit findings on the screen and you’re done.

  35. - Worth It - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    Off of previous comments…can you imagine if they can trace any of this money to gang members or felons?

    Quinn creating this unaccounted for fund just prior to an election he was losing in the polls and having money that was earmarked for an anti-violence initiative going to felons would blow this thing up. If that scenario plays out, Quinn had better start working on his best Clay Davis defense…Sheeeeit!

  36. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    @dupage dan:

    I don’t know how else to spell it out for you. I’m sorry you don’t get it.

  37. - A guy... - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    No one’s getting impeached. That’s goofy. What this does play into is the old and ongoing narrative of PJQ being an inept bumbler. Can’t trust him with the keys to the family sedan- trees and hydrants find the middle of the street when he’s driving.

  38. - SO IL M - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    And does this really surprise people? One question that I have, since I do not know the neighborhoods well enough, is what gangs are active or control the neighborhoods involved?

  39. - Jack Handy - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    Someone will be looking at the axle of the bus. Won’t be PQ but maybe someone pretty high up.

  40. - thechampaignlife - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    Another governor on a course for jail? Sheesh.

  41. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    In simple terms

    - The Governor illegally shifts money around to create a slush fund of taxpayer dollars.

    - The Governor then creates a “program” using recommendations from Chicago aldermen and other “non-State agency personnel” to selectively distribute $50 million from that slush fund.

    - This happens right around election time.

    - Afterwards, millions of dollars cannot be accounted for.

    Nope. Nothing to see here.

    Time to follow precedent and bring in the Feds, just as we did while investigating similar circumstances concerning Illinois’ “summer jobs” program of 2008.

  42. - Rod - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    Regarding “Formerly Known As” comment. A few of the community based partners for the NRI program are the same ones as were used back in 1995 under the Jim Ryan controlled Illinois Violence Prevention Authority. So is the root of this problem corrupt Democrats or questionable community based organizations that have over the years established relationships with local politicians?

    As I have indicated there are ward level politicians in Chicago who have at least an arms length relationship with street gangs, if not more as was the case with Alderman Arenda Troutman. The real question for me is the fact that I have little doubt Mayor Emanuel has some awareness of these connections and there is no evidence he has unleashed any significant investigation of these links to gang activity.

  43. - SG8prl - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 1:05 pm:

    @SO IL M There may be a better source but here is a start.

  44. - Under Further Review - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 1:23 pm:

    Rahm Emanuel was the beneficiary of such precinct level corruption in his initial campaign for the US Congress. I suspect that he has some awareness of these connections.

  45. - carbaby - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 1:33 pm:

    I have worked in non profits/community organizations for the last 20 years. What I came to learn early in my career is that business, money and especially politics are front and center to operations. Political connections/relationships are often how agencies obtain and maintain contracts. To be honest that is how some very poor performing agencies are still in existence to this day. Those of us who work in the field know these agencies and often question how they still continue to receive federal or state or city funding or any combination. There are so many regulatory/auditing arms of various parts of gov’t you would really want to believe these kind of things couldn’t happen but they do- even at the largest statewide agencies with multiple programs and funding streams.
    This is in no way to excuse what has happened. This reports just highlights these things and brings them to light. And these things have been going on long before Rod and Quinn were in office.

  46. - Left Leaner - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    Yellow Dog - well said.

    Carbaby - all true…sadly.

    Hoping that Budgeting for Results can help fix some of this stuff - and would hate to see the good work done there undermined by this.

    IVPA was silently moved under ICJIA last year. Former Director - gone. Coincidence to this story? I think not.

    A sad waste of money in communities that need well-informed investments in tackling a very serious problem. Unless, of course, you’re looking for precinct workers and votes.

    Won’t hold my breath for Lisa Madigan to investigate.

    Get IN Chicago - another violence prevention initiative funded by private sources but organized by Mayor Emanuel last year - was woefully unprepared for its recent first round of grant RFPs.

    Smart, comprehensive violence prevention can and needs to be done - stop with these half-brained efforts.

  47. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    If you like @Rod’s article concerning gangs & Illinois politicians, you should take a gander at their follow up article printed the very next day:

    It illustrates how certain politicians continually use their influence to get gun, drug and homicide offenders better accommodations in prison as well as transfers to prisons closer to their base of power.

    Crazy stuff.

  48. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    Thanks Left Leaner.

    I would not read too much into the fact that not every high-crime neighborhood was targeted. You need both a target population AND the infrastructure to deliver the program.

    Make no mistake, they will blame this on the old director, but this is the kind of problems you can expect if you try to bring a $50 million program to scale in 60 days.

  49. - SO IL M - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    The sad fact of the matter is that politicians have for many years used gangs to get people to the polls and found ways to get money to them. Not just democrats both parties have. Nixon even did. Not just in Chicago either. Most have just done a better job at hiding it.

  50. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    – Nixon even did.–

    Nixon, when he was president, used to golf with Frank Fitzsimmons of the Teamsters and Tony Provenzano, a Teamsters official who was also a capo in the Genovese Family.

    Gus Russo recounts a meeting in Palm Springs where Tony Accardo, Allen Dorfman and Syd Korshak signed off on secret, illegal Teamsters cash to Nixon, funneled through Chuck Colson. They also provided the hush money for the Watergate burglars.

  51. - anon - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:25 pm:

    This is good news for Rauner, bad news for government workers and retirees.

  52. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    This is a win win for rauner. First, it takes attn away from his probs w levine, nursing homes, etc. second, it reinforces his theme to throw the bums out. Bad news for dillard and brady

  53. - fed up - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    “This is good news for Rauner, bad news for government workers and retirees”

    No fan of Rauner, but Quinn is no friend of retirees, he has signed an unconstitutional pension theft bill into law.

  54. - Bobo - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 7:56 pm:

    So some Repubs are trying to make a federal case out of this already. Nice to see they are above playing politics too.

  55. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 9:05 pm:

    Matt Murphy: “…to bail out a failed politician.” Is he referring to himself? This man wouldn’t know the definition of loyalty to one’s own Political Entity and its’ legitimate Leadership in the State, if it hit him in the face. Needed by the Murphmeister: major chill pill. Some are clearly going over the top about all this, which will likely be acted upon/responded to properly by Pat Quinn very soon.

  56. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Feb 27, 14 @ 6:40 am:

    Republicans love to bash Government for its inability to roll out new programs. Obamacare is another fine example.

    How many restaurants fail? How many new breakfast cereals?

    Heck, even Apple, the most highly regarded private company in the world, is dealing with serious product problems right now.

  57. - Palm Tree - Thursday, Feb 27, 14 @ 7:16 am:

    YDD: Most businesses fail because they fail to make a profit to sustain the business. Government doesn’t have to worry about that. They just need to deliver the money to the right place and have some idea that it was spent correctly.

    The excuse making for purposefully bad government is appalling.

  58. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Feb 27, 14 @ 7:47 am:

    Palm Tree:

    GM’s recall of 1.6 million vehicles was a profitability issue? Toyota’s recall of 1 million? The security threat Apple has known about for months?

    No. They were all due to inadequate design, testing and implementation.

    And you apparently have not read the audit. No where is malfeasance suggested that I can see. Partisans presume that because it happened in Chicago, it must have been nefarious.

    All I see is a governor reacting to public outcry regarding crime in poverty-stricken neighborhoods by implementing a program designed to get youth off the street. There is not much fault in the intent or the rationale, although there are questions about the implementation’s effectiveness.

    It goes back to what I have said for years about the need to keep the crisis mentality out of public debate. Crises by their very nature lead to some very bad decision-making. Take the national “crisis” regarding Christians being forced to bake cakes for gay weddings, for example.

    Groups on both the left and the right have mastered the art of manufacturing crises that are to their advantage, and Tom Wolfe’s “Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers” ought to be mandatory reading for Democrats.

    Quinn got mau-mau’d, and that is not meant to imply the clergy backing the program were not well-meaning, nor that the program was a failure. In fact, citywide violent crime did begin to decline in 2010. The problem, as the audit points out, is that there wasn’t really a system in place to determine if the decline was a result of the program or other factors.

    Such a study could and should still be done. It is pretty straight forward.

  59. - Anon. - Thursday, Feb 27, 14 @ 8:38 am:

    ==No where is malfeasance suggested that I can see.==

    There was no plan for spending, just a lot of money handed out, and there are a couple of million dollars that are just plain not accounted for, which means the auditor has no idea where or how they were spent. Any time money goes missing like that, malfeasance is at least suggested. The first suspect would be the person who received the money and didn’t account for it’s spending, but the person who ordered the original disbursement and didn’t demand proper accounting has to be on the “person of interest” list as well.

  60. - Mary Wirth - Thursday, Feb 27, 14 @ 4:50 pm:

    Whatever is done, scrutinize the former commission chair and assistant director of public health, Terry Garate. She was a henchman for Quinn/Lavin who was maligned across the state; in fact, it is frequently said she reported directly to the governor’s office OVER the head of the former public health director, a veteran and physician. Multiple law suits, grievances and charges were filed against her from around Illinois (at least one of the suits has been settled), claiming racial discrimination, administrative corruption and ills pointing at her incompetency. Quinn/Lavin/OEIG protected her (as did the legislature, which somehow approved her on the first confirmation although she possessed NO public health or medical credentials whatsoever) until she became such a distraction they had to lead her out into a cushy position at a Chicago center associated with Lavin’s wife. Garate was all smoke and mirrors and where there is smoke….

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* 3 teens killed in northern Illinois crash
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