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Question of the day

Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

* The Chicago Tribune editorial board took a look at the reporting on the NRI and IDOT messes and concluded

The governor’s spokespeople invariably use the words “zero tolerance” to defend his response to the unfolding disasters.

Besides replacing Schneider at IDOT, Quinn has ordered the agency to abolish the “staff assistant” position. Last week, IDOT fired 58 people whose jobs were improperly classified and created a merit board to oversee hiring.

Quinn also signed legislation meant to toughen the rules governing state grants and prevent some of the problems that occurred with his own bungled anti-violence program. And he ordered all state agencies to cooperate with investigators.

Quinn took those actions as the headlines and audits and subpoenas exploded around him. That’s not zero tolerance. It’s CYA.

* The Question: “Zero tolerance” or “CYA”? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - so... - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    Totally CYA. With IDOT in particular. Quinn has been a patronage guy from day one. That’s how he got his start in Illinois politics. He’s only taking these actions now because he’s in a tough race against an opponent who’s making it an issue.

    CYA is a way of life with Quinn. IDOT and NRI are just the two most recent examples. Remember how he handled the MGT-Push early release scandal in 2010?

  2. - OneMan - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    Zero tolerance would have resulted in at the least these people being let go before the Trib called with questions…

  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    Zero tolerance. Governors have to rely on staff, they aren’t made aware of every problem immediately, and it’s best not to make rash decisions. When it became clear there was mismanagement, the Governor took action.

  4. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    There’s not one out of 58 that’s qualified to work?? Why not give those 58 workers (and the public) a certain deadline to submit their applications/resumes for specific positions (clearly these positions need to be defined), and put them through the hiring process - that seems more reasonable than laying off more people.

  5. - Jon - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    Unfortunately it’s CYA, I doubt there is a single incident of the Governor’s Office putting a stop to a unethical/illegal practices prior to a 3rd party identifying the issue first.

  6. - Sir Reel - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:25 pm:


    While Schneider is history, who’s gone because of their role in NRI?

    Zero tolerance means heads should roll.

  7. - phocion - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    CYI. If Quinn made it known from Day One that he would have zero tolerance for skirting around patronage rules, staff wouldn’t have done what they did. Everything he’s doing now is for show.

  8. - Chris - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    Second phocion’s full comment.

  9. - admin - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    Rich, still not seeing Tribune cover the Rauner vote suppression story or Quinn’s call for an investigation - is the Tribune MIA?

  10. - Wensicia - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    CYA, but it ain’t working.

  11. - Stones - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    CYA but it’s still all on PQ

  12. - too obvious - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    meh. At least Quinn never sent armed men out to intimidate persons who were simply participating in the democratic process.

    But of course the Trib endorsed Rauner and will do so again.

  13. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    It’s CYA which is SOP in politics.

  14. - Anon. - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    Phocion nailed it.

  15. - Mason born - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    CYA correct me if I’m wrong but quinn claimed to have stopped the patronage problem before with zero tolerance at least until he was caught. Now though it is different right pat?

    I guess it is who’s fractured fairy tale you want. Magic Mathvs. Mythical Sneaky All Powerful Low Level Staffer. At least Bruce doesn’t have feds searching for the math genie.

  16. - Cassiopeia - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:53 pm:

    Looks like Quinn’s staff is too demoralized by events to comment.

    They are beginning to realize that more of them could be next to go under the wheels of the bus.

  17. - Toure's Latte - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:54 pm:

    Is there anyone in the Illinois Democratic Party with any experience at damage control?

  18. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 12:58 pm:

    Governor Quinn trying to pass himself off as a reformer is like watching M*A*S*H’s Corporal Klinger trying to pass himself off as Judy Garland.

    CYA - and five years too late!

  19. - Tequila Mockingbird - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    Patronage isn’t patronage until you get caught.

  20. - bored to zzzzz - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    Zero tolerance would require the numbers going down rather than up since his crew took over - oh wait they were largely the same crew. CYA and not remotely credible CYA.

  21. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    I think I made the question too lopsided. But at least we now know that 13 percent are with PQ no matter what.


  22. - Roadbuilder - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 1:44 pm:

    As of this day, all of the ones listed at the IDOT Div. of Aero are still employed there…

  23. - Mokenavince - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    CYA you bet! Zero tolerance is for the birds.

  24. - WhoKnew - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    He Knew!

  25. - Mason born - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    Be interesting if the 13% holds or if it the 31 members of PQ friends and family plan who didn’t get the axe.

  26. - js - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    Pat has zero tolerance for taking responsibility.

  27. - Judgment Day - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 2:01 pm:

    It’s ‘zero tolerance’ after he gets caught. So, I’m voting ‘zero tolerance’.

  28. - walker - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    A public announcement of “zero tolerance”, which Quinn did make early on, is not the same as management processes to make sure everyone got the message — and that’s being kind. CYA.

  29. - archimedes - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    CYA. If it was Zero Tolerance, you fire those responsible (if they were insubordinate) and make sure all are aware of your policies and procedures that are in place to prevent this.

    Instead, he fires the ones that were hired. Sounds more like - oops, we got caught, the jig is up.

  30. - zatoichi - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    Zero tolerance implies the hire/fire policy was actively in place and this post-article activity is just a wrap-up for the existing process. CYA.

  31. - A guy... - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 3:20 pm:

    ===Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    I think I made the question too lopsided. But at least we now know that 13 percent are with PQ no matter

    You did worse than pitch a lopsided question Kemo Sabe.
    You asked for an explanation of the very obvious.

    Next question: How in the heck could 13% see it any other way or try to defend it? Now those would be interesting comments! lol

  32. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    It’s CYA, all day…

    It’s also the worst kind of CYA, that is a CYA that very few could actually believe is Zero Tolerance.

  33. - retiree - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    Rich, you once described Quinn as a “ferocious patronage guy” Why is anybody surprised with any of this? Don’t stop with DOT. He stuffed folks into every agency that I have any knowledge about.

  34. - dupage dan - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    Quinn has been honing his patronage craft for decades and this is the best he can do. I can’t vote for Rauner and will not vote for Quinn. First time I will likely leave a major contest blank in a long long time. Vote for the guy who is breaking the law or the guy who is breaking the law. What a choice.

  35. - better days - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 6:04 pm:

    zero tolerance would have prevented the illegal old boys hiring at IDOT ..CYA is after the fact

    Governor Rauner here we come !!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. - Soccertease - Thursday, Aug 28, 14 @ 9:41 pm:

    It’s CYA at best. It’s really kneejerk panic.

  37. - Mason born - Friday, Aug 29, 14 @ 9:19 am:

    62 for zero tolerance Rauners crew should have said scores more instead of dozens.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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