* Today’s question is more of a caption contest, so let’s do a serious one now. The Daily Herald has a story on the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force report from last week…
“Hiring based on political considerations is corrosive to good government,” the task force stated.
The report also focused on the RTA, refuting advice from Chairman John Gates to give the agency greater authority over the CTA, Metra and Pace.
Task force members pointed out hiring Madigan’s son-in-law Jordan Matyas in 2011 as an RTA lobbyist and later chief of staff at a time when there was talk in Springfield of abolishing the agency.
“We cannot credibly vouch … that the answer to decades of patronage that involved dozens of officials from both parties is to place (Metra) under the more rigorous oversight of an agency who chose to select the speaker’s son-in-law as chief lobbyist,” the task force concluded.
Former US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was the task force’s ethics chairman. Fitzgerald has never been a big MJM fan, to say the least.
* Gates responded…
Asked about the harsh task force language concerning the RTA, Gates said, “It was a really cheap shot.”
He insisted Matyas was selected months after a bill was defeated that would have given the governor appointing authority over the RTA chair.
Matyas “came in through the front door,” was one of at least two candidates he interviewed and “ has done a terrific job,” Gates told reporters after an address to the City Club of Chicago.
* The Question: “Hiring based on political considerations is corrosive to good government.” Agree or disagree? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.