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Trouble in paradise?

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009

* Is Gov. Pat Quinn having trouble managing state agency directors? This little nugget was buried at the bottom of a story about a state stimulus seminar…

Kristi Lafleur, who works on economic development out of the Illinois governor’s office, said more than 20 state agencies are involved in spreading out the federal stimulus money.

She referred delicately to the political turmoil that has gripped her state. Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was removed from office and replaced with Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn.

“Illinois has had a lot of challenges,” Lafleur said.

“We’re trying to get our state agencies to work together collaboratively.”


* Speaking of the stimulus: We’re number one!

A new report concludes Illinois has the worst official stimulus Web site in the country.

More at the Good Jobs Now website. Click here for the Illinois data. The group gave Illinois zero points. Hilarious.

* In other news, WBEZ has the full text of that Wal-Mart poll reported by the Tribune…

“This is a one-question public opinion poll concerning your view on whether Mayor Daley and the City Council should allow a Walmart to be built at 83rd & Stewart. Advocates of the plan cite the 400+ jobs that will be created and the wider availability of fresh groceries and other goods. Opponents to building the Walmart say the jobs are not good enough.

We’d like to know how you feel.

If you think the Walmart SHOULD be built, press ONE on your phone.

If you think the Walmart SHOULD NOT be built, press TWO on your phone.

If you’re unsure, press THREE.”

That ain’t no poll. Not a reasonable one, anyway.

* And our political quote of the day goes to GOP gubernatorial candidate Kirk Dillard…

“I have a great love and affinity for western Illinois from Jacksonville westward,” he explained. “And my mother was from Kentucky, and I have lots of relatives and friends in southern Illinois. I know how all of the puzzle pieces fall together geographically in this state and there is no part of Illinois that I haven’t visited or worshiped in. … A governor needs to understand how to bring this tremendously diverse state together.”

* You’ve probably noticed that the automated news feeds are not working today. The company I’ve been dealing with is upgrading its system or something. Not sure exactly when they’ll be back up, but I am sick of dealing with these people and am actively looking for a new service.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Niles Township - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:11 pm:

    I haven’t checked out the other states’ stimulus web sites, but I did review ours, and was happy to see each road project listed with the project type and amount received. It’s not such a fancy site, but it had all the information I was looking for. I’m always leery of these site ratings. I mean, with all respect intended, Rich, your site is the best IL political blog site, but if it was rating solely based on the look and feel, you would have no idea how great the substance is.

  2. - Wumpus - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:14 pm:

    I have not seen the site either, but why make it the best. That way, us silly citizens would be able to track which friends of Mayor Daley, etc get the contracts.

  3. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:24 pm:

    –“I have a great love and affinity for western Illinois from Jacksonville westward,”–

    Kirk must love corn and not cold beer. Pretty country, but the last time I was rolling west on IL 36 you had to cross over to Hannibal to get a drink. Very dry around there.

  4. - Obamarama - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:33 pm:

    So let me get this straight: our recovery site is the absolute worst in the nation–worse than North Dakota, Utah and, well, all of the South. Worst, period. Even still, it is better than our Board of Elections website. At least you can open freaking new pages in freaking new tabs on the recovery site!

  5. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:37 pm:

    I have a great love and affinity for western Illinois…

    If you can have a great love and affinity with western Illinois, Mr. Dillard, we’re going to have to keep you away from Wayne county, or your head is going to explode!

  6. - Deep South - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 3:44 pm:

    Every upstate politician that runs for statewide office claims to have ties to Southern Illinois. Yeah, right. Nobody down here knows who the hell Dillard is…he’s gotta long row to hoe one that score.

  7. - You Go Boy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:18 pm:

    Re: Trouble with Agency Heads: If PQ doesn’t have the smarts or inclination to crack some “Heads”, he deserves to lose. What exactly does a leader do? A few (long overdue)firings would incentivise a meeting of the minds.

  8. - Been There - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:21 pm:

    ===the last time I was rolling west on IL 36 you had to cross over to Hannibal to get a drink.===
    I’ve only been out there a few times but a little north of there, from what I can remember, Quincy had some good watering holes along with Mt. Sterling and Beardstown. Cell phones didn’t work but that gave you a reason to stop in and ask for directions.

  9. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:24 pm:

    I can confirm that Quincy has some good watering holes.

  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:25 pm:

    …And has had them since Prohibition. It was quite the mobster hangout back then, apparently.

  11. - Time To Step It Up - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:27 pm:

    ===We’re trying to get our state agencies to work together collaboratively===
    The problem for Kristi and her boss, Jack Lavin, is that under Blago they weren’t allowed to really be in charge. All the decisions needed to be kicked up stairs. The good thing for Kristi and Jack is they can honestly say they know nothing of any shenanigans. But now that they have both been kicked to the upstairs they find out all the rest of the agencies were also drifting aimlessly.

  12. - Abe's Ghost - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:29 pm:

    Being from Forgotonia, I concur that I have more trouble getting cell service than getting liquored up. I’m still recovering from my recent H.S. Reunion. The only thing surviving in most of the wide-spot-in-the-road towns is the local watering hole.

  13. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:35 pm:

    It was dry around Mississippi Park and Fish near Hull. The boys at the filling station sent me over to Hannibal. Could be they were messing with me.

  14. - Joe Schmoe - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:48 pm:

    “wordslinger” must have been messing with Bubba

  15. - Vote Quimby! - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:56 pm:

    Maybe the Missouri economic development team is working together collaboratively and pays the gas station workers to send them across the river…

  16. - One of the 35 - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 5:00 pm:

    A good Governor must control his agencies and insure they execute his plans with complete loyalty. That’s the only way to get such an unwieldy organization to work.

  17. - RJW - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 5:00 pm:

    It’s not a question of State Agencies working collaboratively. The issue is that Governor Quinn’s office can’t or won’t make any decisions. Agencies still haven’t been given guidance on how to proceed with the budget!!!!!!

    I would also say that Illinois hasn’t spent that much stimulus money yet so there isn’t really anything to report on right now.

  18. - Inish - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 5:05 pm:

    Kristi is the champion behind the Entrepreneur Centers- a Blago initiative that duplicates the services of the 25 year old Small Business Development Centers- There is a way to save a million dollars in the budget- cut the centers that do nothing but dilute the resources of existing programs.

  19. - imos - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 5:06 pm:

    looks like the Lavin crew had a rough day today…last place for the stimulus site and no communication to directors on the ARRA….actually that may be par for the course

  20. - hmmm - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 6:30 pm:

    If I remember correctly, I believe Kristi left state government during the Blago craziness of the past couple years.

    I assume she was recruited by Jack to come back.

  21. - KrossMeEyes - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 7:24 pm:

    Lots of little dives along the rivers of the west and if you can’t find a bar, just stop at a house with people on the porch and you might get a cold beer just for looking lost and interested.

    Southern Illinois on a Sunday–there’s a hops desert. Look around Ridgway on any Sunday and abandon all hope ye who enter.

    As for directors, Quinn’s people are completely on the defensive. You Go Boy hit it on the head. Quinn should have brought in his own people, no matter the “sponsor” factor. With Hynes in, the establishment cronies are all but Comptroller staffers by now anyway, just being rented by Quinn till February.

    Rightly or wrongly, most of the holdover directors are just saying yes and fawning at every Stermer and Stewart request in one breath while looking for a way to cozy up the to the Hynes’ people in the next.

    Who can blame them. Survival is the name of the game right now if you are a D or a favored R. Loyalty is a secondary concern.

    Lavin and Ribley probably figure they’re good with either administration as do Hannig and Doug Scott (who is rumored to be picked up by Obama’s people soon).

    The rest, except for any other Quinn actual appointees (e.g., IEMA), should have been freebies–free to go as soon as Quinn came in. Instead, they are left as kings in their own little castles, spending Quinn’s paychecks to buy Hynes’ people brews.

    Ah, Illinois politics.

  22. - Sick of It All - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 8:34 pm:

    Perhaps some state agencies resent that their budgets (and having to laid off staff) are having to pay for some of the Governor’s staff salaries.

  23. - western illinois - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:03 pm:

    There are bars all overthere. He seems to like the Quincy part most . He had to plege support for the Macomb Bypass in Quincy -25 million for one interchange. I would like to see 67 sped up and other routes 4 laned but we dont need expensive bypasses when 5 and 3 lane routes could go through town and in fact allready do in Macomb

  24. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 1:05 am:

    ==Entrepreneur Centers- a Blago initiative that duplicates the services of the 25 year old Small Business Development Centers==

    Ding, ding…we have a winner!

  25. - innovate - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 7:42 am:

    Kristi is one of the most talented people in the administration and has done more for the entrepreneurial community than anyone in recent history. The entrepreneurial centers are a vital part of the ecosystem that fuels job growth throughout the state and we are lucky that they exist. They would not be here if not for the leadership of Kristi and Jack!

  26. - not fooled before/again - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 8:43 am:

    Perhaps agencies don’t work collaboratively because the same self-important but unimpressive Blago upper management types remain in most all of them. The Blago position on inter-agency collaboration still rules - it’s a happy-face front pasted over issues (both legit and B-S) that never get competently dealt with and so never get resolved.

  27. - Narcoleptic - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 8:54 am:

    not fooled–

    You simply don’t appreciate good staff when you see them. Unless, of course, you rarely see them.

  28. - Yellow Dog - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 9:13 am:

    If you’re looking for cold beer in Western Illinois, just follow the river.

    The Southside Tap (so named because its south of the bridge) in Meredosia is one you don’t want to miss. $1.10 drafts, good grub, and walls covered in dead animal heads.

    Mt. Sterling, Beardstown, Havana, Canton, La Harpe, Lomax, Dallas City, Winchester, and of course Macomb all have good watering holes. Even Nauvoo.

    End then of course, there are the burgoos.

    Dillard can’t really claim to know anything about Western Illinois if he can’t cite atleast one burgoo.

  29. - Yellow Dog - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 9:16 am:

    === Is Gov. Pat Quinn having trouble managing state agency directors? ===

    I thought we all agreed that was Jerry Stermer’s job.

  30. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 9:52 am:

    YD, I’ll bite. What’s a burgoo?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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