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This just in…

Thursday, Dec 22, 2005

Carl Hawkinson retires. From a press release:

Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today named Colonel Jill
Morgenthaler, manager of the Emergency Response Center at Argonne National Laboratory, to the position of Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety.

Col. Morgenthaler replaces Carl Hawkinson, who is retiring from state government after almost 30 years of public service. The Governor thanked Hawkinson for his three years of service to the administration.

“For more than three years, Carl served as my chief advisor on issues of public safety and homeland security. I appreciate his hard work, dedication and commitment. Carl served the people of this state very well, not only as my Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety, but as a state senator, state representative and state’s attorney,” said Governor Blagojevich.

The resume looks impressive.

Col. Morgenthaler brings extensive experience to state government, both as an Army Reserve colonel and as one of Argonne National Laboratory’s Emergency Response Center managers. As an Army officer with close to 30 years of experience, she has worked extensively in command centers in Korea, Berlin, Bosnia, and Iraq; handled disaster recovery during the San Francisco earthquake of 1989 and evacuation operations for Kosovar refugees in New Jersey. As Argonne’s Emergency Response Center manager, she supervised the center during incidents and exercises. She led the center during the national exercise, TOPOFF 2, receiving accolades from the Department of Energy. Col. Morgenthaler has participated in training conducted by the Department of Energy’s Emergency Operations Training Academy, Department of Defense Anti-terrorism programs, Department of Homeland Security, and the State of Illinois.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

10 Comments
  1. - Reddbyrd - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 1:55 pm:

    Always thought The Hawk was a class guy and the best evidence that things in GRod’s world werre not as bad as the GOP (as in MOPE) would have you believe. He did not need to hang around.
    Good Luck Hawk
    Merry Christmas to All


  2. - Randall Sherman - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 2:42 pm:

    Governor Blagojevich has made a few capable appointments in his administration, generally in areas like Hawkinson’s post (which was the Illinois equivilent of heading Homeland Security) and Veterans Affairs (with the appointment of Roy Dolgos, who I would love to see run for 49th Ward Alderman and oust Joe Moore). However, these seem to be agencies that don’t involve big state contracts and/or are security-related (which means Rod and his cronies just wanted someone who would protect their butts from disaster).

    As for Morgenthaler, she is an excellent choice. She has talked to a number of veterans groups about her recent tours of service in Iraq. My only question is whether this new job will insure that Col. Morgenthaler doesn’t have to go back to Iraq for a third time.

    Should Blagojevich be defeated in 2006 (which I still hope occurs), it would be a good idea for his replacement (be it Edwin Eisendrath or one of the Republican hopefuls) to keep a talented person like Jill Morgenthaler on the job.


  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 4:00 pm:

    Its no coincidence that Hawk is jumping off the ship before the entire thing sinks.. ;)


  4. - reality check - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 4:40 pm:

    I like the Hawk too, but believe he simply maxed his 85% pension by working for Rod (without ANY independent authority). Don’t forget he had 8 years as a State’s Attorney–which counts towards his legislative pension. And, his last law firm affiliation did not work out.


  5. - Fighting Ennui - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 8:56 pm:

    Yes, Carl was a class act as far as I ever knew. You have to remember how bad the new administration was scrambling to figure out appointments early in the game, and here Carl was, willing to do the people’s business in the finest sense of public service. Hiring him also gave Rod some political cover for a while against charges of partisan cronyism, while giving him somebody he could throw to the wolves easily if things ever broke bad in the Homeland Security area. I think everybody got what they wanted out of the deal, all around.

    I would like to point out too that while George was indeed a scoundrel, one positive thing you could point to from his administration, (whatever the motivations for it were), his admin was way ahead of the curve on homeland security issues. Was that his admin’s work, or legislative initiatives, the fact we had so many nuke plants and tornadoes and got in the habit of preparedness, or some combination, I really couldn’t say. I can say this:

    Illinois had systems and procedures and people already in place *before* 9-11-01; our state has had it’s #$@% together well ahead of many others in this regard, and time after time, from then till now with the hurricanes, it is Illinois the other states look to for guidance, support, and examples of how to organize and run disaster programs. Hopefully, that will continue unchanged, regardless of the vagaries of gubernatorial politics. It may prove with time to be Ryan’s truest, best legacy, whatever else he did wrong.


  6. - FredNietch - Friday, Dec 23, 05 @ 3:59 am:

    The most positive development of 2005 has been the debunking of the Hispanic Democratic Organization.

    It makes sense that in an era in which the Latino minority is becoming the majority, amongst the population of marginalized identities, that it now should be made obvious that this project was never aimed at TRUE Latino political empowerment. HDO was always already a scheme to perpetuate the political machine that begot it- i.e. the Daley system.

    I cannot imagine that any HDO-backed legislators will remain after the March Primary. Garza is motivated and ambitious enough to unseat Sandoval. Munoz will be challenged by a recognized name like Frias and by a new unencumbered name like Torres.

    And Eddie Acevedo WILL lose to the enterprising young newcomer Francisco Rodriguez. I met Rodriguez at fundraiser and he is impressive.

    So, thank God for the repudiation of HDO in 2005.


  7. - Cassandra - Friday, Dec 23, 05 @ 8:43 am:

    Col. Morgenthaler seems overqualified, especially given that Illinois is hardly a prime terrorist target.

    Of course, it might be hard to find a Democratic political hack who is qualified for this type of position especially at a time when Dems nationally are concerned about their image in the security arena. I would, however, expect the Colonel’s deputies and other top administrators to be more of the Democratic hack variety. Perhaps some local Dem versions of Michael Brown?

    But what is in this for Col Morgenthaler?


  8. - Matt Jones - Friday, Dec 23, 05 @ 11:04 am:

    Congradulations to Carl and his family, they have earned this retirement. Carl was a true testament to public service. I specifically remember an instance when newly elected Debbie Halverson had a flawed criminal bill. Rather than scuttle her bill for political reasons, he directed me to work with her and her staff to make the necessary changes. His like will not soon be seen again.


  9. - Operator - Saturday, Dec 24, 05 @ 2:00 pm:

    Col. Morganthaler seems a good choice on paper, I just hope she is willing to follow as well as lead. This state has a good system for its security, so facilitating cooperation between the large number of agencies involved should be her main focus. To Cassandra: Wake up! This state is ripe with possible targets for terrorists. This is especially true when YOU and others like you believe we are safe because we are not on either coast. The ability to strike in the “American Heartland” is what terrorism is all about.


  10. - IknowtherealJillM - Wednesday, Sep 20, 06 @ 11:57 am:

    Morganthaler lacks credentials. Delve into her qualifications and you’ll find no real skills.


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