SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
More audit fallout for Quinn

Monday, Mar 3, 2014

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

Some Illinois Legislative Black Caucus members are saying “I told you so” in the wake of a stunning state Auditor General’s investigation into misspending, waste and possibly even fraud in an anti-violence initiative hastily created by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Quinn created the program in August of 2010 a few days after meeting with ministers from Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood about rising violence. In early September, several Chicago aldermen gave their lists of preferred local groups which could administer the state program. Quinn’s administration sent requests for proposal only to those alderman-recommended groups.

By October, just weeks before the November, 2010 election, the program had mushroomed to $50 million.

Despite initial claims that a specific formula was used to choose the targeted neighborhoods for violence reduction programs, no actual documentation exists for how those decisions were made.

Some of the request for proposal applications were changed retroactively and, curiously enough, quite a few of the highest crime neighborhoods received no funding at all.

The audit found that up to 40 percent of spending couldn’t be documented, several neighborhood groups did not maintain required time sheet documentation, and $2 million in unspent funds couldn’t be explained.

The audit produced some of the most scathing findings and harshest language of any such reports since the Rod Blagojevich days. The audit uncovered “pervasive deficiencies in [the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority’s] planning, implementation, and management of the [Governor’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative] program,” for instance.

Some Legislative Black Caucus members say Gov. Quinn was specifically warned in 2010 not to deal directly with aldermen or allow them to pick local groups. State grants have a history of problems, and tough regulatory and reporting laws meant that letting politicized aldermen control the recipients could only lead to trouble.

Plus, this was state money. Legislators viewed that as their domain. Going around them to the aldermen was seen as an insult.

But Quinn went around the legislators anyway, threw the program together in a rush and then the whole thing disintegrated.

A 2012 CNN report included minutes from a September, 2010 IVPA meeting that quoted an official from the governor’s office saying “The governor’s office is committed to allocating some of the funds for this initiative immediately and will allocate the rest after the election,” which was deemed a “smoking gun” by some Republicans, who claimed that it proves Quinn used millions in state money to boost his tough election campaign against Bill Brady. Quinn barely edged out Brady that November.

Currying favor with Chicago aldermen also resulted in a recent benefit for Quinn. Some members of the Legislative Black Caucus met with African-American aldermen who are also ward committeemen last year and asked them to hold off on an early Cook County Democratic Party vote to slate Quinn.

The legislators wanted the opportunity to push Quinn on things like Medicaid funding, but their pleas were dismissed, with aldermen saying that, unlike the legislators, they had built a strong relationship with Quinn.

The result is that Quinn isn’t currently finding many allies among the Black Caucus as he gears up to defend himself against the allegations.

In fact, the Senate’s Black Caucus Chairman Sen. Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) has introduced legislation to require that members of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority be confirmed by the Illinois Senate.

The ICJIA is now administering the scaled back anti-violence program. Jones’ bill has been assigned to the Senate Executive Committee and Sen. Jones said last week he wants to use the legislation to bring some “accountability” to the violence programs.

Quinn has been in hot water with the Black Caucus for a while now. For instance, African-American Senators, along with Latinos have refused to support the Senate’s confirmation of Julie Hamos for another term as Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

They’re angry at the way Hamos has pushed for cuts to the state’s Medicaid program. “Let her get Republican votes,” said one Senator recently when asked about Hamos’ prospects.

The governor recently hired a formerly popular black state official to handle Hamos’ relations with the General Assembly, but the political brick on Hamos appears too big to be schmoozed away.

Anyway, Republicans want a full-scale criminal investigation of this violence program mess, with some justification, so things could get really hairy, really soon. And Gov. Quinn will need all the allies he can get. It’s time he made a peace offering.

* Quinn went on Channel 7 Friday to defend himself

The governor says his administration caught what he called “paperwork problems” two years ago. It then abolished the IVPA to let the Illinois Justice Information Authority oversee the anti-violence program.

“Everything that was in that audit, we were accomplishing two years ago,” said Quinn.

Meanwhile, the governor is also taking heat from fellow Democrats. Some legislative black caucus members are disappointed that aldermen and neighborhood residents steered the anti-violence grants. Senator Donne Trotter said of the governor: “He thought he would do better with his city friends. Instead of working with his traditional partners– state lawmakers– he tried something new and it backfired in his face.”

“I just don’t agree with that approach. I think when you fight violence you have to have a bubble up approach,” said Gov. Quinn. “The bottom line is, I listened to the parents who had lost their sons and daughters more than anything.”

Quinn says the anti-violence program is now overseen by another state agency called the Illinois Justice Information Authority. But the controversy is far from over, certainly not during this election year.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - A guy... - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    This will ripen big time for the general. There’s no rose in this manure patch. It doesn’t look like there’s a single thing to point to that says this money did an ounce of good. Paperwork problem?? Oy.

  2. - OneMan - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    40% of the spending not being documented is not a ‘paperwork problem’…

  3. - horse w/ no name - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    The dynamic between city alderman and their legislators is a complicated one. Quinn injecting himself into that dynamic is just the latest example that the man as zero clue how to govern effectively.

  4. - Cassandra - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    So, the head of the IVPA is the designated scapegoat? Whoever this person is, shouldn’t there first be an investigation of what he/she thought was going on. If something seemed off, what did the agency head do about it. If state agencies are simply pass-throughs for politically motivated spending by the governor’s office, then what, exactly, is the role of agency chiefs. Is anybody in state government protecting our money
    under the Quinn admin. A Quinn admin that likely will soon be asking for a lot more of it.

  5. - Steve - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    Mistakes were made.

  6. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    Nothing good here for Quinn. The most generous conclusion is terrible management.

    Anyone can put together a tough spot about “millions of taxpayer dollars unaccounted for.”

  7. - VanillaMan - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    The difference between Rauner and Quinn is Rauner uses his money to buy an election and Quinn uses your money to buy an election.

    I prefer the guy who doesn’t see our money as his.

  8. - Cassandra - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    And mistakes will be made. We taxpayers understand that. But $54 million of mistakes? Or even half of that, assuming some of the money went someplace legit. That’s an awful lot of money to most people. Where is the AG on this? Or the feds? Shouldn’t somebody go to jail?

  9. - RonOglesby - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    Tossing money at a problem generally gets folks headlines and votes. but rarely actually solves the problem. And of course when you start vote buying its hard to account for the money.

  10. - Walker - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    ===There’s no rose in this manure patch.===

    Thanks A guy. Made my morning.

    Quinn pretty much knows those he likes. He seems to have little sense whom not to trust.

  11. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    “I prefer the guy who doesn’t see our money as his”

    I prefer a candidate who doesn’t use money he made off of people like me to turn around and try to smash us with it.

  12. - OneMan - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    Does responsible fiscal management ever go with Chicago Alderman?

  13. - Langhorne - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    This needs a serious criminal investigation, w resources and subpoena power. Not a legislative committee. It may be difficult, because they have had two years to lose or destroy docs. The comptroller should still have copies of vouchers and contracts, though. Vouchers have that pesky perjury stmt above the signature line, which would be a good place to start.

  14. - Walter Mitty - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    Vanilla…Totally agree…. That should be a bi-partisan agreement… Grandson… If it was “your” candidate or whomever you choose make it okay that PQ did this? How did the farmer make money of of you? I am in one of the funds that made great returns from the farmers company…He’s not my choice, but I am also tired of the misuse of public funds….Anything but agreement on that is very short sighted…

  15. - Barney Fife - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    PQ should be investigated. The black caucus should not support any PQ appointments for Senate confirmation. Send a Message!

  16. - Living in Machiaville - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    Since Lisa is not going to investigate, the US Atty might want to take a look, after all isn’t this just another “golden” opportunity too?

  17. - railrat - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    wait ’til Auditor General gets around to IDNR as stated earlier “Oy” for sure !!

  18. - Whale watcher - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    Follow the paper…house appros committee had a hand in the cookie jar..The chair that is…

  19. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    >>If it was “your” candidate or whomever you choose make it okay that PQ did this?>How did the farmer make money of of you? I am in one of the funds that made great returns from the farmers company

  20. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    Oops, sorry about the above post. Let’s try this again:

    ##If it was “your” candidate or whomever you choose make it okay that PQ did this?##

    Of course not. It should be thoroughly investigated.

    “How did the farmer make money of of you? I am in one of the funds that made great returns from the farmers company”

    Sure, he managed pension funds out of charity and the kindness of his heart and not to make money for himself.

    Plus, you may like it when someone who made money off of you later uses it to attack you, but I don’t. I’m not masochistic that way.

    Rauner made tons of government money from the nursing homes and pensions, but of course that’s not our money. It’s only “our money” when government unions make it.

  21. - A guy... - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Grandson, he made a fee or commission. The fund did really well. Worry not, your leadership is using your money to criticize him for making so much for your union. Wow. My head hurts.

  22. - Rick S. - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    The tension between African-American alderman and GA members is a really interesting aspect of this story. And another chapter of that battle is about to be written when Chicago pension reform comes up this session. The African-American members of the GA are going to be asked to cut benefits and raise Chicago property taxes, while the aldermen sit politically unscathed on the sidelines — handing out state grants to their favorite community groups and pastors. Expect the calls for shifting pension authority from Springfield to the City Council to pick up steam in the Black Caucus.

  23. - Cassidy - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:47 am:

    Unclear from the reports if this program was managed out of the Governor’s office or GOMB. Would be interested in knowing which of the Governor’s staff was in charge and could be on the hot seat.

  24. - Barney Fife - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:50 am:

    Cassidy. Shouldn’t be hard to figure out Lavi & Weems disappeared?

  25. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    “Wow. My head hurts.”

    So does mine, from the hypocrisy. Why did he want the TRS fund anyway? He wanted it badly enough to try to get it a second time.

    “The fund did really well.”

    That makes it even worse. Why is someone who had a beneficial relationship with unionized public employees now so against them? NOW he hates “union bosses,” but not when he invested pension funds for many years? Please.

  26. - Hans Sanity - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    How many senior citizens died in nursing homes as a result of the potential mismanagement state funds in this program?

    The best thing Rauner opponents can do is keep their eye on the ball, find a dozen more, and keep swinging.

  27. - Downstater - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 12:06 pm:

    No surprise, with this report. Look forward to Quinn appointing a blue ribbon panel.

  28. - OneMan - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    Well I suspect you would say it is a stretch but using the ‘using your money against you’ wouldn’t the same be true for them helping Dillard unless they plan on turning on him after the primary.

    I am assuming Dillard voted no on the income tax increase right. Is he against the progressive tax? I would assume so, if so that puts him against the viewpoint of the teachers union, right?

    I get being against Ruaner for his veiwpoints on pensions and unions, but being against him because he made money of off a fund that union members (and non-union members) contributed to without applying that metric consistently seems like a reach.

  29. - Demoralized - Monday, Mar 3, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    The Black Caucus members are upset because they didn’t get their hands on the money and did not get to direct where it was spent. I doubt the outcome would have been any different.

  30. - concern1 - Tuesday, Mar 4, 14 @ 8:38 am:

    Quinn is the paperwork problem and it ends with a vote to get him out of office and maybe next to blago!!!!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Happy Thanksgiving!
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Five unanswered questions
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day
* Caption contest!
* Crossing the line
* Moody's warns Illinois
* The Credit Union Difference
* *** UPDATED x1 - Franks responds *** Uh-oh
* Then and now
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* iPhone mini, Galaxy Marshmallow updates comments & more – Pocketnow Daily Recap
* Samsung’s new Exynos 8890 SoC tops all benchmark results on AnTuTu
* Fossil Q Founder smartwatch listed as ‘coming soon’ on the Google Store
* Verizon ad wants us to disconnect for the holidays
* Samsung wants you to gift Samsung products this Christmas
* The future is now: Transparent aluminum on your phone
* Make your truck driving dreams come true in TruckSimulation 16

* South Side Sox' SB Nation MLB Awards voting results
* Starting Pitcher Rankings: Chris Sale and Jose Quintana maintain st...
* Scouting profile: Adam Engel
* Alex Avila will try to shed limitations with White Sox
* White Sox program provides kids real chance
* Johnson solid candidate for White Sox rotation
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Illinois has taken few Syrians in last 5 years .....

* 3 teens killed in northern Illinois crash
* Springfield micro-lending fund gives $120K in 1st 2 months
* Project searches for pre-1860 farmhouses in Sangamon County
* Illinois community college plans to boost foreign recruiting
* Historic re-enactors gather at former French fort
* Foul play not suspected in death of southern Illinois woman
* Lawyers for Schock say documents handed over to prosecutors
* EXCHANGE: Highland art teachers exhibit works on campus
* Police make arrest in killing of Chicago 9-year-old boy
* Mascoutah burglary victim shot in 1st night at new home

* 'Pot doctors' pushing boundaries in Illinois, other states
* Burger King manager: Police erased video of Chicago shooting
* Local free community college plans may be template for U.S.
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block refugees
* Vendor Payment Program suspended due to budget impasse
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield jobless rate falls again, to 5.1 percent
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing

* How a big deal is changing Chicago's hotel market
* Crain's names Danielle Narcisse copy chief
* What's new at Roti? Its name and a national ambition
* State's job woes start on the factory floor
* Illinois biz community getting walloped

* Blackhawks preternatural confidence rubs off on new players
* Joel Quenneville wants Jonathan Toews to keep his gloves on
* Activists circle City Hall with black casket to honor Laquan, Tyshawn
* CPS lags in hiring black teachers
* BGA Public Eye: Dolton voters may get shot to recall trustees
* Blackhawks rally for stunning victory with two late goals
* Aaron Schock’s lawyers voluntarily providing records sought by feds
* In wake of dashcam video, Emanuel must navigate political minefield
* White House under holiday lockdown after man jumps fence
* Trevor Daley turning the corner at both ends of the ice

* Young couple who died in McHenry County crash were planning to get married
* Midlothian man charged after roommate's body found in suitcase
* Burger King manager told grand jury of gap in Laquan McDonald video
* Girl, 14, missing nearly a month from South Side
* Woman dead after Dan Ryan crash
* 5 hurt, including seriously injured child, in South Side crash
* Girl, 14, went missing in West Lawn neighborhood
* 1 killed, 2 wounded in city shootings
* Illinois schools' strengths, weaknesses exposed in statewide survey
* Fiery crash in McHenry County kills three 18-year-olds; bystanders try to free passengers

* 'Pot doctors' pushing boundaries in Illinois, other states
* Burger King manager: Police erased video of Chicago shooting
* Kristina Rasmussen: Relying on one another, not the government
* Charles Krauthammer: The Syrian immigration cul-de-sac
* Rob Elliott: EPA ethanol ruling affects more than energy policy
* Local free community college plans may be template for U.S.
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block refugees
* Vendor Payment Program suspended due to budget impasse
* Eugene Robinson: The GOP's political correctness dodge
* Douglas Holt: Woman's protest of Trump was misguided, inappropriate

* Daniels: Cubit deal curious decision
* LIVE! Northwestern
* LIVE: vs. Iowa State in Florida
* Plays of the Game - UAB
* Pregame Show Presented by Financial Adviser Paul Ruedi 11-28-15
* Illini, Cubit reach deal
* Fisher fire under investigation
* Champaign woman dies from fire injuries
* Saturday SportsTalk 11-28-15

* Glenbard West downs Libertyville for 7A title
* No. 11 UNC beats rival NC State 45-34 for 11th straight win
* Williams runs for 187 yards as Utah defeats Colorado 20-14
* Montini wins Class 6A championship
* Perry, Maine South have it covered against Maine West

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Durbin Calls on Gov. Rauner to Meet With S......
* Durbin Statement on Pfizer-Allergan Invers......

* Opinion: Sen. Kirk must stand with crimina......

* Tony at the Red Line Tap.
* The cover-up of the killing of Laquan McDonald.
* Keeping retirement weird. Justice is the public face of love.
* RLC Roundup: Drivers Aim Lawsuit At Tinley Park Red Light Cameras
* Dueling pair of children being used to fight for attention of Chicago, world
* No Positive Loitering Tonight
* Fairness.
* It brings out the rats.
* If we are to get Goldman Sachs out of ESEA, we will have to be the ones to do it.
* Black Friday on North Michigan Avenue.

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller