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Breathtaking, Part 2

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005

Like I said before, it never helps to look ‘em in the eye and not tell the truth.

Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich has dragged his feet on naming members to the Illinois Gaming Board and balked at its plea to hire more investigators, yet his administration has forced the panel to hire a lobbyist that board members say they neither want nor need. […]

Though the Gaming Board is a quasi-independent agency, Blagojevich’s Revenue Department oversees its budget and hiring. In January, before Freveletti formally came on the payroll, [Gaming Board members] Peterlin and Dugan wrote a letter to Revenue Director Brian Hamer to complain they had not been consulted about the possibility she could be hired.

“As the economic shortfalls of the state call for budget tightening, this is a position the Illinois Gaming Board has identified as one that is not required,” the letter read. “We’ve previously informed your office of our position.” […]

As recently as last week, Blagojevich declared his commitment to preserving the independence of the board. “The more independent the better the Gaming Board should be,” Blagojevich told the Tribune.

You see, he was just saying they should be independent. It’s not like he took a solemn pledge or anything.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 23, 05 @ 8:27 am:

    What am I missing……why does the Gaming Board need a lobbyist? Is it so the lobbyist can lobby for additional appointments to the Gaming Board? That’s what the Gaming Board needs…the appointment of members so they can conduct their business.

  2. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 23, 05 @ 9:00 am:

    Is the hiring of the lobbyist the first step in the dissolution of the board? Hire a administration friendly lobbyist who is the go-to person — and who has marching orders to make sure there’s no policy contradiction.

    It seems like Blago is waiting for the clock to run out on the board’s panel. Once that happens, I assume, Blago will dissolve everything and reformulate so it meshes exactly with Blago/Tusk’s policy. Of course, by that time, the session will be over — and Blago will just about be announcing that he’ll be running for a second term. (Late August? Early September?)

    I dunno. He’s obviously playing a game with the whole thing, moving carefully and deliberately slowly so he’s able to control everything until his campaign in fullswing.

  3. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 23, 05 @ 9:33 am:

    There is another, and in my mind, greater issue than the Board’s inability to award the 10th license or approve expansions at existing properties, or even if they have a person doing legislative work. Without a full Board, the public is at risk. There is no way the Board can suspend or revoke a license or ban a person from gaming in Illinois should a situation requiring that type of action arise. Nobody is writing that story, and in the realm of gambling, the true power and authority held by a gaming regulator is the power and authority to take away a licensee’s ability to make money, which is the one and only product of gambling. Maybe the administration is waiting for something, but at what cost?

  4. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 23, 05 @ 9:51 am:

    Seems like something the anti-gambling folks ought to be yelling about.

    But it’s pretty silent. Except of course for the new gaming lobbyist who admits that her connections have nothing to do with her job and that she’s qualified. (How in the world can an applicant who received a job only a few weeks ago comment on whether or not he/she was qualified?)

    I’ve come to believe that *everybody* is qualified for *every* job in the Blagojevich administration. That’s nice. Is that the “open” government everybody talks about?

    I know a couple of former Butler and Maytag employees in Galesburg who sure would like a state job. Where do they sign up?

  5. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 23, 05 @ 10:40 am:

    Put Emmet Paloian or Danny Stefanski on the Gaming Board. Paloian and Abbinate have gaming experience.

  6. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 23, 05 @ 12:21 pm:

    Now, don’t get me wrong, a college education isn’t everything. But it’s something.

    According to this article in the Sun Times:
    the woman they hired — Fevreletti — doesn’t even have a college education.

    Come on, now. That’s borderline absurd.

    So, no, a college education isn’t everything. But, geez, you’d think a lobbyist — someone who (apparently) can wield a significant amount of clout would have — at the very minimum — a college education.

    It’s ironic that if she’d apply to an agency via CMS and the CMS 100 standard application form, she would not get a CMS grade high enough for most state jobs.

  7. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 23, 05 @ 6:38 pm:

    It is good to be king. Remeber they were out for 20 years…now it is their turn. What irks me is that it is so obvious it is a political hiring but then the admin. turns around and says he/she is the most qualified (qualified out of what? they don’t interview or solicit applications anymore) and we don’t hire based upon politics.

  8. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 24, 05 @ 4:08 pm:

    Political hiring:

    Did the Gov just hire a vote fraud convictee out of Alderman Pastries Banks organization?

  9. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 24, 05 @ 4:59 pm:

    And don’t forget that this girl’s brother Tony also spent a short time at the “new” CMS as patronage chief before being asked to move on.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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