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The full Frerichs response

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014

* I’m not sure how the AP interpreted this statement from Sen. Michael Frerichs as “confirming basic facts behind the allegations” made by the Tom Cross campaign yesterday, but that’s not how I read the Frerichs response…

Tom Cross’ media tour highlights exactly what is wrong with his run for Treasurer: loose with the facts and worried more about running against his opponent than running with a vision for the office.

Here are the facts:

    On the Champaign County early retirement initiative, many financial experts missed the continued recession that occurred after those decisions were made, not by Mike Frerichs but by other county leaders. The Champaign News-Gazette correctly pointed this out in its 2004 endorsement of Frerichs for County Auditor.

Deb Busey, who has been the Champaign County Administrator since 1998, said, “I brought the ERI proposal to the County Auditor and the County Board. To say otherwise is not accurate.”

Republican Mike Graham, a former Champaign County Board member and CPA, said, “I served on the Champaign County Board when we passed the Early Retirement Incentive. It was brought to the board by the County Administrator, Deb Busey, and Mike Frerichs provided us with an analysis that showed both costs and potential savings. I don’t know why the Cross campaign is saying otherwise.”

Steve Beckett, former Democratic Champaign Board member added, “The ERI under question was never a Mike Frerichs proposal. It was brought to the County Administrator by county employees and the administrator asked Mike to review its advantages and disadvantages. Mike did so and presented his findings to the Board, who then adopted it in a bipartisan fashion. This attack by Tom Cross is ludicrous and typical of a 20-year Springfield insider who would rather sling mud than talk about the issues.”

    The Champaign County Board changed its management of IMRF as part of a greater restructuring plan by the board, not a criticism of Frerichs’ work as Auditor. The Cross attack is revisionist history.

Deb Busey, who has been the Champaign County Administrator for 16 years, said, “The IMRF authorized agent was moved when the County reorganized to bring payroll into the same department as human resources, to say it was for any other reason is a fabrication.”

    On allegations of patronage, Frerichs employed neither of the two men mentioned in their official capacity. Again, these hiring decisions were made by the Champaign County Board.

Tom Cross might want to look more closely at his own past while he’s revisiting the facts:

    Rep. Tom Cross voted for the notorious $10 billion bond deal pushed by then-Gov. and now inmate Rod Blagojevich. Remember that deal? It provided more than $35 million in fees to big banks and more than $800,000 to Republican Springfield insider Bob Kjellander, whose ties to convicted felon Tony Rezko were a key part of the scandal that ultimately doomed Blagojevich.

    That same $10 billion pension bond fiasco Cross supported followed the infamous 1995 pension payment ramp he supported that pushed billions of dollars in pension debt onto future generations. Both helped create a system today whose debt tops $100 billion and puts state finances in peril.

    If Tom Cross wants to talk clout, then why did he appear on Blagojevich’s “clout list” 46 times?

Voters want more and deserve better than the distasteful politics shown here by party cronies for a 20-year Springfield insider who has shilled for corporate interests as House Republican Leader at the expense of working families. Mike Frerichs has a clear vision for reforming a Treasurer’s office swamped by scandal and using the tools in that office to better invest in Illinois’ success. Cross offers nothing new in commending the current Treasurer for doing a good job.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


25 Comments
  1. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 3:01 pm:

    == Mike Frerichs has a clear vision ==

    As evidenced by what? His inability to keep his own record straight? His penchant for shooting himself in the foot? His desire to inject politics into a fairly apolitical office? His capacity to lean on talking points?

    Please stop, Mike.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    In golf,

    This is Two-Putt “catching a flyer”…

    …it goes much farther than it normally would, it lands uncontrollably, and more times than not, you find your yourself “in trouble”…

    Yep. A “flyer”.


  3. - Big Debbie - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 3:10 pm:

    Hmm… I’m not sure that a single fact was confirmed. Seems like it is all B.S. Those quotes from Deb Busey are especially damning as she was appointed by a republican county board and is nonpartisan. You’d think the AP would put at least some weight on the person that was actually involved in the decisions and who has nothing to gain from the allegations. Very odd by the AP.


  4. - walker - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 3:12 pm:

    When Kjellander is brought back from the past, somebody’s getting worried.

    It appears that Cross’ attacks are almost all unfair or misdirected. Surprised? Welcome to state politics.

    Frerichs does admit to doing the forecast supporting the decision, and it was too optimistic about the speed of economic recovery. He was in good and wide company with that forecast, including those experts Cross and other GA leaders used when debating the state budget at that time. They were all too optimistic, back then.


  5. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 3:15 pm:

    About time Frerich’s tied Cross to his buddy Blago. What took so long? That’s low-hanging fruit.


  6. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 3:15 pm:

    If you’re explaining, you’re losing.


  7. - Bourbonrich - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    It’s almost like the Cross campaign wrote the AP press release.


  8. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 3:18 pm:

    ==- Formerly Known As… - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 3:01 pm:==

    An apolitical office. LOL, Treasurer has never been an apolitical office, not to Judy’s days not in Alexi’s days and not in Dan’s days. And all these attacks from Cross are definitely an injection of politics. In fact, Cross says he wants to keep Israeli bonds no matter what the performance, that’s certainly politics. The fact you think a self-described “close friend” of Rod Blagojevich is apolitical says more about you than just about anything else.


  9. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    ==- Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 3:18 pm ==

    Comptroller and Treasurer are largely fiduciary positions. In comparison to a position like Governor, Lt. Governor, State Rep., State Senator and so on, those are “fairly apolitical office”.

    Are they absent of politics or political ambition? Of course not. Are they answering questions about and developing legislation on issues like abortion, gun rights and marijuana? Of course not.

    The fact you either cannot or will not see such a simple and obvious thing == says more about you than anything else ==.


  10. - SAP - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 3:56 pm:

    Wonder how Cross feels about his vote in favor of the State’s big early retirement incentive back in 2002. (92HB2671 if the link below isn’t working)

    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/hrollcalls92/920HB2671_06012002_002000C.html


  11. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 4:01 pm:

    FKA, get real. Candidates for treasurer and comptroller always talk about things they have no influence over. What else are they going to talk about?

    If you don’t believe me, check out the websites of Cross or Frerichs. You’d think they were running for generalissimo.


  12. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 4:23 pm:

    That is gonna make for some good tv ads.


  13. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 4:25 pm:

    Come on, word. You see no difference in the roles and responsibilities of the those two offices in comparison to others once in office?

    No differences in their ability to shape legislation and control policy on issues like concealed carry or education funding?


  14. - Easy - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 4:39 pm:

    To recap from Frerichs statement
    1. Yes, the eri was a disaster that cost taxpayers $3 million
    2. Mike Frerichs ran the numbers and did the analysis for the county board to educate and advise them on eri.

    And that’s their answer? Ok. Good luck with all that.


  15. - hollie ann - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 4:42 pm:

    Didn’t Frerichs claim this morning that he wanted to maintain a positive campaign and not respond to Cross?

    Go ahead and rebut the claims, but don’t try and take the high road while your campaign is typing up the response.


  16. - Peter R - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 4:53 pm:

    So you respond by saying it wasn’t my idea but I screwed up the numbers when I said there would be savings?

    He never fails to amaze me.


  17. - low level - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 5:00 pm:

    Cross claimed that “a more qualified person was passed over” for a job when Frerichs was Auditor.

    Really? Who? Can we have a name or at least some objective criteria upon which this statement was made?

    Cross says that Democrats were given jobs. Well I hope so, considering the number of hacks brought in by Republucans there over the years! The long line of GOP hack clerks and their underlings is the best example of that.

    There’s no love lost between me and many Champaign Co Dems, despite our shared party affiliation, but Tom Cross’ charges are laughable. Like ha ha LOL laughable.


  18. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 5:21 pm:

    Hey low level, no cheap shots at Denny Bing lol!

    “Two-Putt” as my friend Willy calls him, may want to call it a round and head for the clubhouse at this point, as from where I sit it’s all bogies and water, so to speak.

    Calling elected officials, even a terrible one, “patronage hires?”
    C’mon, man.

    And didn’t someone one the crew think that Cross’ ERI voting history would come up when he tweaked Frerichs on the County ERI?

    And the novel-length presser.

    Yikes.


  19. - low level - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 5:49 pm:

    Quite correct, AA. I should not have mentioned that high minded, defender of democracy, Thomas Jefferson personified Clerk Dennis Bing.

    You would have thought that with Cross 20+ years in the General Assembly, including 10+ as Republicon leader, that he would have some capable press people available, no?

    God if I had written that press “release” - more like “press novela”, I’d have been beheaded immediately.

    Or is it just that Cross’ people are mopes? I can’t believe that, just on a professional level, but I don’t know anymore. That’s why I got out.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 6:04 pm:

    “Write it. Cut it in half. Now cut that half, in half again. That’s your statement.”

    I guess Two-Putt’s Crew needed to cut this in thirds, take out two of those thirds, then start with the halfs.

    Math is hard.

    To the Post,

    This “Flyer” is also like any golf Flyer you get when you see it happen before it happens, but you hit the shot anyway.

    Good golfers know a Flyer happens most of the time by a bad decision to hit the shot.

    Frerichs has been hitting his head walking through doorways this campaign, why produce this Dopiness?

    At any level; length, message, “interpretation”…

    Yikes.


  21. - OurMagician - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 6:23 pm:

    Curt Deedrich was appointed 14-13, wouldn’t have been hired without a push from Frerichs, did a terrible job and got fired by a 19-5 vote just over 3 years later.


  22. - low level - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 7:14 pm:

    Who was “passed over ” that was “more” qualified exactly?


  23. - low level - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 7:21 pm:

    Was there a test or some other requirement? Was this a civil service position? Come on, you’ve got to do better than giving me the county board vote approving the person who got the job in the first place.

    It sounds like an exempt position, and when he didn’t pan out the board took action.


  24. - Eric Bussell - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 10:33 pm:

    http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2004-05-07/pesotum-man-gets-top-assessor-post.html

    Low level, here is coverage when Paula Bates was passed up.


  25. - DuPage Bard - Wednesday, Aug 13, 14 @ 11:48 pm:

    Just curious, Frerichs keeps falling into all this clap trap. Why isn’t he going back at Cross…. 20 years in Springfield and there’s no issues? Legislative scholarships, Metra hires, IDOT hires?
    BTW isn’t it about time Rauner endorses Frerichs because he’s not a “career politician” and Rauner is here to get rid of ALL the “career politicians”.


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