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*** UPDATED x1 - Quinn “no intention” to testify *** Question of the day

Thursday, Jun 26, 2014

*** UPDATE *** From our old pal Charles Thomas…

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* A transcript of part of last night’s Chicago Tonight…

PHIL PONCE: Here’s what’s happening in Chicago tonight. Republican State senator Matt Murphy wants Governor Pat Quinn to voluntarily testify before a legislative commission about the scandal-plagued Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. That’s the anti-violence program under investigation by federal and county authorities as well as a state panel.

GOP SEN. MATT MURPHY: When is the governor going to explain to the taxpayers of the state what he did with $55 million of their money that went through the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative program? That week after week we get a new story of embarrassment and scandal. And I’m here today to call on the governor to cooperate with the Audit Commission in every way possible and to go as far as to actually himself show up at the hearings in July, put his hand up, testify under oath, and answer the questions of the taxpayers of this state.


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Both the transcript and the video were supplied by the Illinois Republican Party.

* The Sun-Times followed up with Rauner

Gov. Pat Quinn should be hauled before the Legislative Audit Commission to testify about how decisions were made with regard to a $54.5 million anti-violence program as well as give a full public accounting of his role in decision-making about the troubled initiative, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner told the Sun-Times on Wednesday.

“I think he should come forward in every regard. This really looks corrupt. He should come forward and make clear what’s his role in it,” Rauner told the Sun-Times on Wednesday. […]

“This anti-violence program looks like a massive abuse and fraudulent. I think he’s got to come forward, come clean in-depth,” Rauner said. “His office, the governor’s office has been in the detail of picking some contractors who have been doing the work on this anti-violence program. It was the day care center that was picked to do reentry work for prisoners….It really looked like it was political, get out the vote.”

Quinn has submitted to a lengthy question and answer session with reporters regarding the program that’s been under attack for months. Quinn maintains it was set up to combat violence in Chicago. But revelations over the NRI have continued and evolved since then. […]

“There is no investigation of the governor. The governor shut the program down in 2012 and abolished the agency. He has made clear that those who are asked to participate by the commission should participate,” the governor’s office said on Wednesday. “Employees who were involved with now-defunct program no longer work for the state.”

* The Question: Should the Legislative Audit Commission subpoena Gov. Pat Quinn to testify about his own role in the anti-violence program? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

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- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - dog days - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 8:44 am:

    As a technical matter, I’m not certain option 3 exists… can anyone(even the gov) simply volunteer testimony on this issue or do you have to be called as a witness/subpoenaed? Certainly, I wouldn’t think anyone who wanted to volunteer testimony could do so.

  2. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 8:44 am:

    Best to get out in front of it, if you “always do the right thing” like your former running mate.

  3. - goose/gander - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 8:49 am:

    rauner et al bet be careful what they wish for. this sets a heckuva precedent for a gov rauner and an embattled democratic GA

  4. - capjunkie - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 8:51 am:

    At the meeting on Monday Barickman repeatedly said that this wasn’t about politics. If you believed him, the joke is on you. Any thought Barickman is really trying to do the job of the commission, that’s gone now. There is no way to dispute that the GOP is doing this solely for political purposes. They have turned this typically innocuous committee into nothing more than a political joke.

  5. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 8:51 am:

    Subpoena Quinn would be 100% political theater and 0% substance. Big waste of time, no one would win.

  6. - Sun - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 8:52 am:

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. And with PQs tendency to ramble, it’s best he doesn’t.

  7. - Hotel Ibiza - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 8:52 am:

    Any ideas where the $54.5 million is ?

  8. - phocion - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 8:59 am:

    Foolish to subpoena Quinn when the Republicans would be best served by letting him twist in the wind. Quinn would be better served, and could repair his increasingly tarnished “good government” brand, by volunteering to testify. Unfortunately for Quinn, however, he has surrounded himself with hacks and yes-men who do everything they can to try and keep bad news under wraps instead of getting out ahead of the story.

  9. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 9:01 am:

    No -

    Separation of powers. IF Quinn feels the need to talk about it, do it with the press.

  10. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 9:17 am:

    No. The idea is a Banana Republic political stunt on the order of Quinn’s veto of legislative pay.

    It’s nice to see legislators getting personally involved in their work and exercising oversight. But it’s the Legislative Audit Commission, not the Election Year Star Chamber.

    There’s more than a little sanctimonious chutzpah here from lawmakers who sit around for months in Springfield and still can’t pass a budget.

    Perhaps the main takeaway should be that, in the future, they actually fulfill their Constitutionally mandadated duties and craft a budget, not just throw a big wad of money at the governor and tell him to deal with it.

  11. - OneMan - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 9:19 am:

    He should get ahead of it and offer himself up.. Phocon is right, it politically makes more sense for the GOP for him to twist in the wind.

  12. - anon - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 9:21 am:

    1 - At least Pat Quinn hasn’t killed anyone - the same cannot be said for Rauner’s companies. I think Rauner should be forced to testify about his role in the deaths of nursing home patients. 2 - It has been novel watching the Sun-Times actually pursue a story aggressively like they have been this one. I believe that has to do with Rauner’s former ownership of the Times and his influence there. Normally, a “GOP candidate” would not be able to get his side of the story out. But then again - is Rauner really a GOP candidate. I don’t think so.

  13. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 9:22 am:

    ===that has to do with Rauner’s former ownership===

    Take a breath already.

    Do you really think Dave McKinney is all-in with Bruce Rauner? C’mon. Remove your tinfoil hat.

  14. - A guy... - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 9:32 am:

    I didn’t vote because I actually need one more option: ____ not yet.
    There appear to be more than enough subpoenas out there to gather information providing the whole slew of them don’t take the 5th. If those pieces of testimony suggest the Governor should get a subpoena, to defend himself or add clarity, then one should be sent to him. Otherwise; no.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 9:36 am:


    I voted “No”.

    Having Quinn testify, or to subpoena Quinn, today, without a single person having already testifying on any aspect of this reeks of grandstanding, and is not a move to follow where testimony takes the committee.

    Let those subpoenaed testify. Go through their testimony, look at what was presented, where it leads, where it stalls, and then look after all that to move forward with more testimony.

    My “yikes” is from this hyperbole of “wanting” answers, without asking anything as of yet from those already subpoenaed.

  16. - Anon. - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    No. Separation of powers and just respect for a co-equal branch of government should mean no subpoena except possibly as part of consideration of an impeachment bill, and we are nowhere near that stage.

  17. - Amalia - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    no. tons of staff to answer the questions.

    Quinn is having a bad week, and next week bodes ill as well…..Harris v. Quinn coming down from U.S. Supremes on Monday and prediction is that Alito is writing the decision.

  18. - Tom Joad - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    “That week after week we get a new story of embarrassment and scandal.” Hyperbole seems to be Murphy’s forte. Murphy’s broadside has advanced the obvious point that this is all being done just to help Rauner. This press conference shows we should just let this play out with the current subpoenas.

  19. - dupage dan - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    Twist in the wind. I voted yes but would have preferred “not yet” as “a guy” had proposed. The question didn’t clarify when. I think at some point it may be appropriate for PQ to testify. Whether he responds to a request and appears or is subpoenaed would be up to him, wouldn’t it?

    But for now, twisting sounds good.

  20. - walker - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    Murphy’s often short on facts and common sense, long on political outrage — at least when he gets in front of a microphone. In person, different story.

    They will stretch anything out to get more time and space in the press. The report was issued over 4 months ago, but now it’s a big public issue. We will watch the committee slow-march this thing for the 4 months to election day, until all of a sudden it wasn’t that big a deal after all.

    Not to say some junior Fed might not want to impact his year-end performance appraisal.

    Just wish this was about finding the simple truth and doing something about it.

  21. - Responsa - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    A true reformer, a true governor of the people, a true man of integrity would come forth voluntarily, openly and willingly with what he knew about this seedy mess, and explain to taxpayers how things went so terribly awry to the point of illegality and massive waste.

    I would hope the threat of an eventual subpoena might hasten his heart-to-heart with the media and the public and might cause him to realize how very damaging this all has been to him as it unfolds. But no, he should not be subpoenaed by the Audit Commission before the election.

    He’s also probably worried about what the feds might do.

  22. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    anon 921, you can say a lot of things about the Sun-Times and Dave McKinney, but claiming they are in the tank for Rauner because he was a former minority shareholder in the place is just silly. They are pursuing this because it is a good story.

  23. - 36th Warder - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Come on this is getting ridiculous. The committee subpoenaed the correct people to testify. Let’s not make this political is what the R’s said, let’s stay focused on the people that were subpoenaed.

  24. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    As much as I’d love to see our pols have to answer for themselves under oath and not just talk to the press, the witch-hunt potential is too great. See Congressman Issa for example.

  25. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    Nope. Politically, better to keep people wondering “what did Nixon, er, Quinn, know and when?” Practically, let the LAC hear from all the Quinn 7 before dropping what might be an unnecessary hammer.

  26. - A guy... - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    ===36th Warder - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Come on this is getting ridiculous. The committee subpoenaed the correct people to testify. Let’s not make this political is what the R’s said, let’s stay focused on the people that were subpoenaed.===

    Respectfully, don’t forget how these subpoenas jumped from 1 to 7 to 5 back to 7.

  27. - anon - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    Rauner wants a witch hunt - he wants a show. Why give him one?

  28. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    ===Respectfully, don’t forget how these subpoenas jumped from 1 to 7 to 5 back to 7.===

    Respectfully, don’t forget how these subpoenas jumped from 1 (Quinn) to 7 (total subpoenas) to 5 (before Mautino agreed to the final to, to reach the number…) back to 7.

    You’re welcome. If this goes too fast…

  29. - Keyser Soze - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    Testimony from the others may lead to PQ, or not. The entire matter may have been orchestrated and managed by staffers. PQ is not much of a “hands on” type.

  30. - 36th Warder - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    All I am saying is that let’s hear from the folks subpoenaed first and if it comes out that PQ has to testify then that’s fine. But to cast this huge net and try to dirty people up just for politics sake is wrong.

  31. - bockrand - Thursday, Jun 26, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    As long as Shaw gets hers, nothing else matters to me.

  32. - Coffee Cup - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 6:13 am:

    A simple explanation to the public based on questions submitted to Quinn by the Legislative Audit Commission would extinguish misunderstandings. Nobody is above answering questions that are posed by their boss (taxpayers). Accountability starts at the top rung of the ladder and continues on down to the bottom rung. The worst that will happen is that it could show Quinn is incompetent which is already “a given” in the minds of all residents of this state. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Quell the rumors and the speculation Pat. Just answer their questions. It should be over in an hour or less.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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