* The Quinnsters have repeatedly said that “not one penny” was spent before the election on the governor’s anti-violence initiative. True. But only because they essentially bounced a check…
Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration has long said its troubled, $54 million anti-violence program didn’t spend a dime before the governor’s 2010 general election, despite opponents contending it was a rush-job, “political slush fund,” the governor used to drive critical voters to the polls.
New emails obtained by the Sun-Times, however, indicate the administration had attempted to move large amounts of tax dollars into the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative three weeks before the Nov. 2 election, a critical period when Quinn was in a tough contest against Republican challenger Bill Brady. Quinn eventually prevailed, winning by about 31,000 votes.
Attempts to move the money onto the streets early on failed, however, when there were “insufficient funds” ready to pay for the new initiative. […]
Records show the Illinois comptroller’s office issued a voucher, saying the money would be used for “Gov Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.” However, the attempts backfired, when there were “insufficient funds” to pay the request made by the then-head of the anti-violence program.
Bruce Rauner has been citing Gov. Pat Quinn’s troubled $54.5 million anti-violence initiative as an example of “corruption and patronage” in Quinn’s administration — even though a church led by a Rauner ally got some of the state anti-violence cash.
Rauner, the Republican candidate for governor, for years served with the Rev. Marshall Hatch on a charter-school board and has talked about his relationship with Hatch and other African-American leaders on the campaign trail.
A onetime failed 29th Ward aldermanic candidate, Hatch, 56, is senior pastor of New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, 4301 W. Washington, which was awarded $192,000 in grant money through Quinn’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative — the anti-violence program Rauner has blasted.
At his church, Hatch works with Benton Cook III, who has been a minister there for eight years. Cook, the husband of Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, has become a lightning rod for criticism of the Quinn program because he was paid $146,401 in salary and benefits over 22 months to work for it despite having a felony conviction for writing bad checks.
There are two morals to this story…
1) The Sun-Times can creatively tie pretty much anyone to Dorothy Brown.
2) When you play in Chicago politics, as Rauner is doing, there are consequences, no matter how tenuous the ties.