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*** UPDATED *** LIVE VIDEO * Legislative Audit Commission

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014

* Illinois Public Radio

Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration has released thousands of emails to a panel of lawmakers investigating his troubled anti-violence program.

Senate Republican spokeswoman Patty Schuh says members of the Legislative Audit Commission received an estimated 2,000 emails linked to the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative on Friday and are currently reviewing their contents.

Schuh says the emails came at the request of the bipartisan commission. They’re expected to be discussed during hearings about the $54.5 million program scheduled Wednesday and Thursday in Chicago.

The commission is also expected to discuss a federal request to suspend interviews of those connected to the program for 90 days.

* Tribune

It’s unclear if any of the seven aides who have been subpoenaed will actually testify today, or if they do, whether they will take the fifth. They include Barbara Shaw, former head of the anti-violence program; Jack Lavin, Quinn’s former chief of staff; Toni Irving, former deputy chief of staff; Malcom Weems, former head of the Department of Central Management Services; Billy Ocasio, a former senior advisor; Warren Ribley, former head of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; and Andrew Ross, Quinn’s former chief operating officer.

* Our good friends at BlueRoomStream.com will be broadcasting the hearing live. Click here to watch. I’ll also put together a ScribbleLive feed around the 10 o’clock start time.

*** UPDATE *** As promised…

- Posted by Rich Miller        


120 Comments
  1. - too obvious - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 9:14 am:

    A serious issue but small potatoes compared to Rauner’s nursing home problem.

    We’ll see if GOP is prepared to ignore the DOJ’s concerns and jeopardize the real investigation for the sake of trying to score political points. My guess is yes. Such is the level of desperation.


  2. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    Seven “formers”.

    This was from 4 years ago. Too bad they’re just getting around to it now.


  3. - Chicago Publius - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    No quorum, no hearing; no hearing, no failure to respond to subpoena.

    A quorum of the committee is one person more than half.

    If all the dems stay away from this meeting, there is no quorum, no hearing, and no failure to respond to a subpoena. Simple as that.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    - Chicago Publius -,

    Nope. Opposite.

    Dems will attend. On the Twitter, check out what is already happening outside.

    Dems should want to be heard on the record with “witch hunt” “is this undermining a federal investigation for politics?”

    Can’t unring a bell, so the Dems should go.

    This could all backfire.


  5. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    Wonder what Rauner thinks of all this? Does he trust the Feds or does he want the ILGA to go through with this?


  6. - Bill White - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    This is July.

    Let’s have a media circus over this now, when everyone is focused like a laser on Illinois politics. And if that causes the Feds to postpone their investigation until after the election, oh well, gotta break some eggs to make an omelette.

    Fortunately, the IL GOP recognizes that July is a much better month for political stories than October.

    /snark

    Maybe Bruce Rauner truly has purchased a Mickey Mouse outfit.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    No Dems so far in attendance? Interesting.

    Maybe they will be holding a presser calling this political gamesmanship?


  8. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    I thought they were in Springfield but that looks like the Bilandic hearing room.


  9. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    Wow - this is kind of silly Barickman.


  10. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    –If all the dems stay away from this meeting, there is no quorum, no hearing, and no failure to respond to a subpoena. Simple as that.–

    LOL, maybe you ought to count to 10 before revealing the latest twist in The Grand Conspiracy.


  11. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    Sorry, 10:17 was me.


  12. - PoolGuy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    this is a joke, on both sides. wow


  13. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    2010 Brady Campaign off to shakey start…better let Brady run his own campaign


  14. - too obvious - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    Barickman is making a fool of himself.


  15. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    It looks bad if Dems try changing the rules midstream, much as Mautino almost backed off on the agreement over who to subpoena. It was good to see him keep his word.

    It’s one thing to call out the GOP and fight this every step of the way. It’s another to start changing the rules in the middle of the game and surprising each other by playing “gotcha”.

    The whole thing is simultaneously fascinating and disappointing.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    Rep. Drury’s background comes into play…


  17. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    Does Barickman want to start with a count of the witnesses, because he can see some or all of those subpoenaed aren’t present?


  18. - Jaded - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    If Drury is such an expert, why is he reading a written statement?


  19. - Try-4-Truth - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    Wow, Oberweis, you are not doing a very good job.


  20. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    Willie, LOL. I had no idea he used to be a “former prosecutor”. It gets me every time.


  21. - Try-4-Truth - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    I don’t get it Republicans. What was specifically wrong with what Mr. Drury said?


  22. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    Who knew Drury was a former federal prosecutor?

    Is he the Jar-Jar Binks of this movie, the comic relief?


  23. - too obvious - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    These Republicans still aren’t ready for prime time. #embarrassed

    And BTW can we have just ONE proceeding w/o a shout out to Rich Miller? ;)


  24. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    Drury concurs with the portion of the letter from U.S. Atty. stating that it is perfectly fine to continue gathering documents, information, etc. from subpoenaed witnesses.


  25. - Dirty Red - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    New GOP strategy: Let Ron Sandack do all of the talking.


  26. - Archiesmom - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    This is painfully transparent grandstanding for press visibility, especially by Oberweis. If it were not the summer before a big election, I’m betting we’d never have seen this hearing actually called. If you want to really drill down on the real issue, you’d let the Feds get their time in. It’s embarrassing. Well, it would be if politicians didn’t have the shame gene routinely removed.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    “Former Federal Prosecutor”…It’s comedy gold…


  28. - LAC watcher - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Drury’s stock as a serious person rising.

    Oberweis and Barickman look out of their league


  29. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    Seeing the farce of Mautino and Barickman hashing things out in public beautifully summarizes our state of affairs.

    This should have been worked out behind closed doors, in cooperation, as a team looking out for the best interests of our state instead of the gamesmanship, drama and bickering from both sides.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    Are they really trying to remove Rep. Mautino from the Chair of this hearing?

    The train is on the track, the wall is starting to be seen in the way distance..,


  31. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    Drury earlier stated that he was approached by the Dems, but at other times seems to be saying he is speaking up as a result of his own initiative.

    No need to obfuscate here Mr. Drury, it’s clear your surprise appearance was orchestrated by the party being subject to scrutiny.


  32. - anon - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    Rep. Drury believes public corruption shouldn’t be handled publicly. Should be done privately. Totally disagree with this statement.


  33. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    Not impressed with Barickman or Mautino thus far.


  34. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    Does drury ever say that he “was a former federal prosecutor”? I’m sure I’ve heard it, but that would make it even more effin golden.


  35. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    Anybody recall when the Legislative Audit Commission got any coverage at all, much less radio and TV?

    The shrooms are going to milk it for all it’s worth.


  36. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    Ron Sandack seems the better spokesperson. He sets the frame around fact-finding processes and battling corruption.

    Obie and Barickman, and then Reis, fell into the trap of making it all about politics. That’s the point the Dems are trying to drive home and they’re playing along.


  37. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    Malcolm Weems’ failure to appear or send an attorney violates the subpoena, does it not?

    Toni Irving’s failure to provide the documents today, which the letter from the U.S. Attorney’s office expressly authorizes collection of, also violates the subpoena doesn’t it?


  38. - LAC watcher - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    Drury spoke from his experience. Something everyone should listen to. Are the GOP members really arguing against the federal request to allow them to conduct their investigation? And that is a good idea? Really?


  39. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    That LAC subpoena doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of juice.


  40. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    Mr. King states that the Speaker’s counsel, Heather Weir, instructed him no need to supply the subpoenaed documents today, without any communication from or to the committee.


  41. - LAC watcher - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    Asking an attorney to share what advice was given to his client? Why not? Add Brady to the list of out of his league.


  42. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    anon 10:57: We can read your comments (a rewrite of what he actually said) on the IL House GOP comments streamed above. No need for you to post them twice.


  43. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    I think Willie was right, they’re going to ruin this. I wonder…

    If this was Obama/Holder’s plan all along. Give the Republicans this epic win of a situation. Sure guys, we’d like you to wait until just before the elections to hold hearings… Lol. Then sit back and watch their paranoia and distrust force them to doing what you wanted anyway, for them to use all of their powder now when no one’s watching. Brilliant. But that’s just Phase One. Now that they’ve taunted the LAC into holding hearings, they can move to Phase Two of Evil Plan Theta and let Quinn walk, blaming the LAC for hindering their prosecution. 11 dimensional chess indeed, but Scott Drury, a former federal prosecutor, should know better than to fall for this type of thing


  44. - Why Guy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    The R’s s so far look pretty lame.Too eager to score cheap political points.


  45. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    Sandack impressive so far.

    Brady raises the question of whether subpoenas issued by a bipartisan committee under state statutes command a person to appear or are just a polite suggestion.


  46. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    By the way, that was indeed snark. I used html tags though, so they didn’t show up. Oops.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    Here is what has happened in the political;

    Fr. Pflager holds rally before hearing; Rauner interns leaflet the rally, even having a costumed Blago. As Fr. Pflager points out, “Theatre in the theatre district.”

    Numerous political moves, not limited to Dems “late”, Rep. Drury’s non-political testimony that the GOP kept referencing as a Speaker’s Office move, who happens to be a Democrat, the attempted removal of Rep. Mautino as the Chair for today, and Rep. Drury, calling out any member, to say publicly the US Attorney can’t do the job…

    Yikes.


  48. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    What a clown show. My head hurts. We’re going to have several hours yet of stupid answers to stupid questions.


  49. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    And here we have the spectacle of the ILGOP once more snatching defeat from the jaws of — if not victory, at least a point in their favor.

    Keep it up guys. We appreciate it.


  50. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    How crisp, how pristine, how utterly perfect to have just issed a statement, no sideshow rally before with leaflets and characters, no fear of looking partisan, no fear of saying “Democrats” constantly..,

    It would have been beautiful. It would have been a heavy sledgehammer, with no retort.

    Wait, the “witch hunt” and “partisan” rhetoric began… the second the “rally” on the street had a costumed Blago mocking ministers and Fr. Pflager, who also played the partisan card, because the hearing allowed the forum to be that way.


  51. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    It’s going to be about 107K “missing” e-mails now, which the atty has now repeated three times are all her e-mails, not just those that have anything to do with this issue or committee? Obviously all are not subject to the subpoena, while logic says a small portion certainly are. ILGOP already issues press release of outrage, before finding out just what they’re talking about?


  52. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    ouch 2010 Brady campaign is pouting don’t get big photo op don’t get the 5th just a lot of video of them looking like dopes and dopettes


  53. - LAC watcher - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Repubs keep trying to put words in peoples’s mouths. It’s like a high school debate. Embarrassing to the GOP.


  54. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    Weems is still using CMS calendaring and will show up tomorrow.


  55. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    Look, I know the GOP is frustrated by the US Atty request, but please stop embarrassing yourselves. This is really pathetically bad political theater.

    What exactly are they trying to prove anyway?


  56. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    == because the hearing allowed the forum to be that way ==

    You hit on the most important point there, Willy. If anyone wonders why Illinoisans have lost faith in the way their state is being run, this is a prime example. It takes both parties to combine and create this level of dysfunction and distrust.


  57. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:50 am:

    Though it seems like a massive miscalculation to not provide any documents at all today, assuming the rest of the hearing goes this way.

    Especially when the U.S. Attorney’s letter specifically states that collecting documents and so on does not impede anything in their work.


  58. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    Rita: “What is the end game here?

    That sound you hear is a wheel about to fall off of a train getting ready to hit a wall.


  59. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    How many more opportunities will the Republicans give the attys to point out that they are bucking the request of the US Atty? They insist on giving the folks they are trying to hang multiple opportunities to point out how compliant with the legal authorities they are being.


  60. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    Have I missed something? Has any GOPer yet said “Quinn administration,” “ongong criminal investigation” and “tens of millions of tax dollars” in the same sentence yet? For the cameras?

    These guys are all going for individual star turns. Maybe one of them will get five seconds on the news. Maybe.


  61. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    Rita “owns the day”.

    It has been picked up by those covering this, and might be the TV shot the GOP fears;

    “What is the end game?”

    If anyone thinks this is going well or as planned…


  62. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    Turns out the penalty for contempt of the Legislative Audit Commission is being forced to listen to more Legislative Audit Commission.


  63. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    Lawyers: With all due respect, Committee, you are being dissed. We are not talking because of the feds. And, by the way, we have no documents. We’re done for now. Us showing up tomorrow you will get more of the same.


  64. - Archiesmom - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    The big winners seem to be the folks under subpoena - they’re coming off looking like the adults in the room.


  65. - Taxandspendfolly - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    US Attorney’s request is just that. They often exaggerate the ‘damage’ that could be done to their investigations by others interviewing witnesses and subjects. Subpoenaed witnesses have no right to refuse to testify merely because of the DOJ request. Any competent attorney would just send a ‘take the fifth’ letter in lieu of testimony. But they are stalling.


  66. - Archiesmom - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    Flaherty rules!


  67. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    Rita didn’t seem impressive either, but more like the guy you send out in a hockey game to do a specific job. Protect the team.

    Sandack came across well.

    Incredible that people appear to be blowing off a properly issued subpoena from a bipartisan commission. This sets a terribly damaging precedent if allowed to stand.

    Barickman redeemed himself somewhat towards the end by quoting specific passages rebutting some of the lawyers claims their clients weren’t involved whatsoever.


  68. - too obvious - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    Now it all become clear. This is really The Bill Brady Can’t Let His 2010 Loss Go Committee.


  69. - Bill White - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    Kyle Hillman has a great hashtag on Facebook

    #NRIGHAZI


  70. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    Painful. Why is Barickman apparently reading random emails to the audience?

    Hmmm..they may need to hire AWillyWord Commission Con$ulting-”Where we can’t Guarantee You won’t look Dopey, But We’ll Try to Minimize the Chance.”


  71. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    AA — they probably aren’t hiring you because you don’t have any women on your team.


  72. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    Sad! This has turned into a bigger joke than Willy predicted.


  73. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:53 pm:

    Why are we here? What’s the end game? Let the US Attorney do his job.

    Other soundbites?


  74. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    - Soccermom -,

    You know I try to recruit you every chance I get, as full partner.

    - Norseman -, I wish I could say I had insight, I just think these guys have no foresight.

    It was laughable, it was comical, it was partisan, and it did no good, but might have done optics harm.

    Other than that, I guess…


  75. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:58 pm:

    Mom, we offered you a full partnership! Right, Willy?


  76. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    - FKA - & Jimbo,

    It just comes down to not seeing beyond the “Quinnochio” nose on his face.

    The rest is ego and ignorance to impact. I’m a Dope, and I knew this isn’t a good idea, what does that tell you?


  77. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 1:05 pm:

    I guess those GOP staffers who get assigned to read all those emails will know where they stand on the old workplace totem pole.

    This was pretty surprising. There clearly was no game plan going in, no objective.

    How could that be? Why did you want it so badly if you weren’t willing to do the prep work and coordinate ahead of time?

    For crying out loud, you had Brady asking questions about their own subpoena power!

    Geez, what a spectacle, what a missed opportunity.


  78. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 1:23 pm:

    They also made Rep. Drury look at least sympathetic, when all the partisan questions began about his status in the GA.

    He’s a Democrat, and a member of the GA with Federal Prosecutorial experience. Gave Rich that “shout out”, I mean - wordslinger - asks the question we all should ask;

    Any prep work? Any?

    When Rep. Rita asked “What is the end game?” It kinda fizzled on those words.

    - AA -, get - Soccermom - in the fold.


  79. - Why guy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 1:41 pm:

    Here’s the deal,the GOP hates Obama so much that they don’t trust Holder and the DOJ. They wouldn’t say it but they are sure that there is a conspiracy to protect Quinn that goes all the way to the White House. They have just shown why the USAtty. Should be the ones to investigate this program.


  80. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    Why, if the LAC was interested in finding out what went on here they would have — and should have — held hearings shortly after the audit came out in February. That’s their job.

    As it is, the GOP members didn’t get interested in hearings until it was revealed that there were county and federal grand juries looking into it.

    They’re trying to make political points, which is fine in and of itself, it’s a political year.

    They’re just doing it very badly. It’s inexplicable.


  81. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 1:59 pm:

    ===They’re trying to make political points, which is fine in and of itself, it’s a political year.===

    The play was to either begin in February, and have results that resonate until November, or issue a statement yesterday, deferring to the US Attorney and use the ambiguity for the next 90 days to pummel Quinn, when Quinn has no retort during those 90 days.

    That’s it. Those were the two, and after skipping February, this was all teed up, if they would have passively attacked at the “Ongoing Federal Investigation” of the Quinn Administration.

    Perfect. Clean, and pristine, and no partisan bent;

    Watching politics being done badly is like watching awful amateur theatre do a Shakespeare play, and the actors think they are good, and don’t know better.

    Welp, I tried. Others tried. I gave an alternative too. No lip service, I gave another avenue, not just a whine or complaint. I have a clear conscious, so now what…

    What is the political end game now, opening up the partisan part now and all…


  82. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    GOPies must be waiting for Jumpin’ Jason to finish his nap…yawn


  83. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 2:14 pm:

    Looks like nap time over…hope the 90 min was enough


  84. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 2:23 pm:

    I assume the break was to allow Sandack to get caught up on social media?


  85. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 2:28 pm:

    You’re welcome….


  86. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    Looks like Jumpin’Jason whimps out, guess the nap sobered him up….GOPies whiff big time….bet Mitt Rauner wants his money back…looks like a Brady 2010 replay for sure


  87. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    - AA -, send the bill to Sen. Barickman…

    That “motion” is or work-product. Refer to it.


  88. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    Drownded ?


  89. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    90 days. 90 days. 90 days. Which part of 90 days requires 20 minutes of back and forth silliness. I agree with Jim Oberweis (my God did I just type that????), enough already!!


  90. - Touree's Latte - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    Not quite the implosion I expected, but entertaining to see who likes to hear himself talk.


  91. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    This has been such an embarrassment.

    What to be learned;

    Use the cover that is given to make your hay, don’t light an unseeded fire off the hay to burn all the hay, and burn down the barn.

    If your gonna have a dog and pony show, train the dogs and ride the pony down a paved known path. Having no plan in a dog and pony show means a lot of “waste” left behind to clean up .

    Do things by release when ya can. This all could have been avoided. No rally in the morning, no Blago character behind ministers, no “partisan” outcries.

    Waiting is a strategy that works best when the offer is there. Fermenting this, and letting it breathe and unencumbered looks really good after the fumbling today, doesn’t it?

    The mistakes are fatal today, but it just shows a complete lack of political acumen by the GOP, that is scary. The backtracking after the “short” lunch really highlights how ill-prepared the GOP was, and Rep. Rita asking about the end game really was the beginning of the end, of a true non-starter.

    Do better. Understand.

    OW


  92. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    Goodness gracious people. Live in the real world. Why are they being so intransigent about this? The US Atty will not know today what he will know in 75 days. What the hell is their problem. They are just being silly.


  93. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    ===The mistakes are fatal today===

    “The mistakes are not fatal today”

    …Just my spelling and auto-correct is, lol


  94. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    Could not agree more OW. And people wonder why the Illinois GOP continues its permanent minority status. Exhibit A - this hearing. Exhibit B - when Jim Oberweis is your rational voice, consider a serious course correction.


  95. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    Keep in mind ILGOP GA;

    If this was all orchestrated to be a help to Bruce Rauner, the man who called 1/3 of you corrupt, he’s not there looking Dopey with you guys. You guys get to wear the jacket, while trying to help him.

    Food for thought…


  96. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    == Kyle Hillman has a great hashtag on Facebook #NRIGHAZI ==

    If true, then he is being a goof. In the words of a wise sage from this past February == 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. == http://capitolfax.com/2014/02/26/republican-legislators-call-for-criminal-probe-of-quinn-program/


  97. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 4:01 pm:

    FKA, the issue itself is still quite valid. This hearing today is an embarrassment.


  98. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 4:06 pm:

    ===This hearing today is an embarrassment.===

    Yes.

    The fear the GOP should have is that people will now forget why there was a “hearing”, and only remember it being a partisan embarrassing failure.

    That’s my fear.


  99. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 4:11 pm:

    Rich - In hindsight, point taken. The issue is valid, but this hearing is obnoxious and aimless when it didn’t have to be so.


  100. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 4:15 pm:

    - FKA -, the hearing never should have happened.

    Throw in how incredibly poor it played out, it becomes even more embarrassing because it all could have been avoided.


  101. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 4:25 pm:

    OW - I think there is something to be said for the possible noncompliance with legislative subpoenas. That concerns me for reasons which have nothing to do with NRI, but for disturbing precedent it may set. Unfortunately, things are so partisan that there is no way to address that together right now.

    After the first hour or so, the hearing turned into a massive waste of time. I kept waiting for “the plan” to emerge courtesy of Barickman, but it never did. It just took them 7 hours to do 1 or 2 hours worth of work.


  102. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 4:26 pm:

    If we can even call it “work”.


  103. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    the state’s pension debt will be paid off faster than this commission hearing


  104. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    - FKA -,

    With respect,

    === I think there is something to be said for the possible noncompliance with legislative subpoenas.===

    Here is the crux,

    There is an ongoing Federal investigation, by rich a US Attorney asked that the commission hold off.

    What do you think an attorney of those subpoenaed by (possibly) both would suggest to a client?

    Don’t talk to the commission.

    That is all that happened here. I get you fear on subpoenas, but there is more afoot than the subpoenas. In realty, the commission seemed understanding to the plight too.

    This very specific hearing was only continued for theatre. If you agree, then the “non-compliance” of the subpoenas is theatre too, and not anything more.

    Again, with respect.


  105. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 4:41 pm:

    FKA, you’r right, there is a blistering auditor general’s report. It came out in February.

    The GOP members got interested in it a couple of months later when they found out there were grand juries looking into it.

    So today’s hearing was political theater. That’s fine, it’s certainly fair game in an election year. You’d have to be crazy not to leverage it.

    But have an objective and have a plan for achieving it. I don’t think the GOP members even talked to each other beforehand as to what they wanted to accomplish. It was all confused bickering.

    They had to know no one was going to testify (they apparently were surprised to find out their subpoenas are toothless). They had to know the media would be out in force.

    Seriously, you can’t go yard in this situation? If nothing else, how’s about saying “Quinn,” “criminal investigation,” “millions of dollars” over and over and over again?

    How about prepping your U.S. Senate candidate for some quality time in the spotlight, instead of him getting in a goofy spat with Drury?

    How do you whiff on this?


  106. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 4:45 pm:

    GOPies press release shows how they are bungling their own show
    Fire.Ready. Aim

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    July 16, 2014
    Contact: Andrew Welhouse - 312-201-9000

    BREAKING: MADIGAN INTERFERES WITH LEGISLATIVE AUDIT COMMISSION

    CHICAGO - In case you’re not watching this morning’s hearing on the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, we’ve already learned that Speaker Michael Madigan’s staff has actively interfered with the Legislative Audit Commission’s investigation.
    •First, Rep. Scott Drury admitted under questioning that he was asked to testify at the request of Speaker Madigan’s staff.
    •Second, and more startlingly, a lawyer for former Quinn Deputy Chief of Staff Toni Irving just told commissioners that Speaker Michael Madigan’s counsel consulted with him in the lead-up to today’s appearance and is refusing to turn over more than 100,000 emails.

    As a reminder, the U.S. Attorney told commissioners he had no issue with them collecting documents and emails from witnesses — like the 100,000 emails Toni Irving is refusing to turn over after consultations with Speaker Madigan’s office.


  107. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 4:48 pm:

    Is My Party going to blame Madigan … again???


  108. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 5:26 pm:

    Is Obieweis now the spokesman for the U.S. Attorney?


  109. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 5:51 pm:

    OW
    Your party always blames Madigan. Hence the GOPies always ends up where they always end up
    Fire, Aim Ready!


  110. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 5:57 pm:

    You put Oberweis on a panel…


  111. - DG_blohard - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 6:22 pm:

    Did this end up as the Committee trying to play a twisted version of the pre-school game of red light/green light with the USCDIL Attorney?


  112. - LAC watcher - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 6:57 pm:

    Dear Bruce,
    No amount of contribution to the party or a PAC supporting your Republican friends makes them capable. They proved that today. My suggestion is to get onboard with the real issue - certain neighborhoods in Chicago are losing a generation of youth in a completely out of control environment. Put money and effort into solving that. Not ridiculous theater to gain a political advantage. You lost today - become a serious person that speaks to the real issue. Children are shooting children everyday. What’s your plan?


  113. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 7:16 pm:

    They’re going to do this again tomorrow? Can’t the GOP members see they’ve already won?

    The point was never to get testimony; if they wanted that, they would have gotten it in March.

    The point was for the Quinn crew to refuse to testify. That was the victory.

    Right then and there, every GOP member could have made statements to the cameras, one after the other, using words like “stonewalling,” “scandal,” “coverup,” “criminal investigation,” “millions of taxpayer dollars,” and “Quinn, Quinn, Quinn.”

    Over and out. Some of that would have made the news.

    Instead, those who paid attention were treated to hours of an unfocused and confused group flopping around from one thing to the next, who struggled with the mighty task of when to break for lunch.

    They’re going to do that again?

    By the way, none of those “formers” is ever going to testify before the LAC and you can’t make them. The “subpoenas” aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

    But hard date or not, you can start hollering about it again after 90 days, which will also be a victory, if you recognize it as such.


  114. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 7:37 pm:

    - CircularFiringSquad -,

    My Party is consistent. We have “that”.


  115. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 7:38 pm:

    More razzle dazzle, back and forth, yes-no-maybe so, don’t bother ‘cuz we’ve got nothin’ to say now anyway, blah blah blah. Ok, well, it’s Dinner time. Have a good one. See ya in the Mornin’…and maybe in 90 days (unless the U.S. District Attorney asks for more time, in which case it starts all over again)…! Sheesh.


  116. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 7:40 pm:

    P.S. Excellent All-Star Game last night, by the way. And yes, Trout IS the goods. And good to see White Sox Alexi Ramirez finally shine on a National Stage for once–well-deserved/good for him…!


  117. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 8:37 pm:

    OW - that alleviates my concern a bit. When it comes down to speaking with the commission or the US Atty, anyone would take US Atty. Let’s hope that context isn’t lost the next time a legislative investigation like this rears its ugly head.

    Anonymous & Wordslinger - the meandering nature of today’s “work” was painful to watch. Like we said earlier, this should have been in, out & done in a matter of hours. Instead they got stuck in the mud and any meaning was lost.

    Good night all.


  118. - Bill White - Wednesday, Jul 16, 14 @ 9:20 pm:

    We’ve got a blistering Auditor General report and some possibly serious wrongdoing.

    And . . .

    Through bungling the IL GOP will allow this to become

    #NRIghazi


  119. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 1:49 am:

    Today we saw a fine but sad example of generally good people, for the most part competent, playing out the roles that have been assigned to them to the best of their abilities. I am so reminded, “This is the business we have chosen.” There are certain jobs that have to be done, and so they do them. I really don’t say any of this as criticism, more out of recognition. It was bad theater, but it was intended to be..


  120. - Norseman - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 9:04 am:

    === Today we saw a fine but sad example of generally good people, for the most part competent, playing out the roles that have been assigned to them to the best of their abilities. … It was bad theater, but it was intended to be.. ===

    To most of us, we know that it was political theater. This production turned out to be a farce. You rightly point out that the script was written by the leaders, but the “ad libs” from the players can’t be dismissed that easily. The problem I see with Illinois government and politics is that we have leaders and followers who are more focused on the theater and not on problem solving. The theater is about grabbing or maintaining power, but somewhere down the line you have to have leaders who realize that off stage there are real problems requiring cooperation and thoughtful solutions.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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