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*** UPDATE: CANCELED *** You gotta be kidding me - A canoe czar? Really?

Wednesday, Apr 14, 2010

* At a time when the governor is cutting the State Police, human services and schools, this has to rank as one of the goofier hires of all time

A longtime advisor to Gov. Pat Quinn has been hired to be the state’s first canoe czar.

Claude Walker, who has served as an aide to Quinn dating back two decades, will coordinate kayaking and canoeing for the cash-strapped state Department of Natural Resources.

He will earn $85,000 annually.

The new job for the 57-year-old self-described kayaking enthusiast raised eyebrows among some lawmakers, who are in the midst of debating how to keep the state afloat during though budget times.

Claude is a great guy. But Quinn cannot claim on one hand that the state is broke and then pay somebody $85K to be a “canoe czar.”

*** UPDATE *** That didn’t last long. From a DNR spokesperson…

I wanted to reach out to you and let you know that the watertrails coordinator position has been recinded at the request of the Governor’s office today. The IDNR realizes that while watertrails are an important and growing aspect of outdoor recreation in Illinois, the timing was just not right in these tough fiscal times.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Pat - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:29 pm:

    Got a paddle?

  2. - jaded voter - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:31 pm:

    Quinn is so clumsy as an insider.

  3. - siriusly - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:33 pm:

    What’s he thinking?

  4. - OswegoDem - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:35 pm:

    Governor goofy strikes again just when you think that just maybe he might be getting it.

  5. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:36 pm:

    This has got to be a watershed moment in the history of the state of Illinois. The next one will be if the voters return this oblivious individual to the gov mansion.

    All you PQ supporters out there - let’s hear your spin on this one.

  6. - John Bambenek - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:37 pm:

    Come on… surely this idea will float.

  7. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:38 pm:

    WOW. I mean I love Claude, but WOW.

  8. - conda67 - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:38 pm:

    Let’s ask edgar what he thinks.

  9. - South Side Mike - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:38 pm:

    -/channeling my inner Chris Farley-

    “That’s just great, Pat. That’s a great idea. Maybe Walker can coordinate canoe trips to visit all of the out-of-work Illinoisans who are…


    I mean, I know that the Department of Natural Resources was gutted by Blago, and that maybe this is a good hire. But for $85k plus benefits, you could hire 1.5-2 maintenance workers in DNR that can actually perform preventative maintenance and keep parks open. Instead, I can see the next Brady ad:

    “At a time when all of Illinois is having to make tough decisions about money and finances, Pat Quinn hires an insider to be an $85,000 camp counselor.”

    He really wants to lose the election, doesn’t he?

  10. - small town social service provider hick - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:39 pm:

    Well, when you’re up the creek. It’s nice to have a professional on staff.

  11. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:44 pm:

    Well DuPage Dan, here are my choices–Pat Quinn, who just hired a guy as canoe czar, or that other guy who thinks I shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    Guess which one gets my vote. Even though I think we could live without a canoe czar.

  12. - OneMan - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:47 pm:

    DNR is cutting stuff left and right, talk to a DNR staffer about the issues they have and we hire a canoe czar…

    It looks like I picked the wrong week to stop drinking…

  13. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:48 pm:

    Cheryl44 - and you will get the government you deserve.

    Love the hyperbole, BTW. Useless drive-by comments like that have no real meaning - pablum.

  14. - ugh - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:51 pm:

    A few weeks ago I made a comments about all the new hires on Quinn’s staff and that fact that many were being paid well in excess of other state employees. Someone on this site told me I was crazy.

    Um, maybe I’m not.

  15. - OneMan - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:52 pm:

    Brady is against people who don’t make any sense in their capitolfax blog posts from voting?

    Well Cheryl44 I am four-square behind that!

  16. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:52 pm:

    I can’t understand why Claude Walker would want to leave his “do-nothing” job at ISAC. So I guess there is another spot for a “do-nothing” political hire at ISAC. The ISAC Chicago office is exploding!

  17. - Responsa - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:54 pm:

    It really is starting to look as if Quinn may be self sabotaging himself because (perhaps subconsciously) he does not want the awesome responsibilities of the governorship at this difficult time in Illinois history. Quinn had a golden opportunity to hold back a little and let Hynes pull it out and win–yet didn’t. But now, since the primary, Quinn is doing nothing to engender trust from the electorate, and in fact this type of nutty hire plays right into the tea partiers’ complaints that the Dem party in IL is out of touch with regular people. The Governor may be personally likable, but he is increasingly coming across as a very strange dude.

  18. - Brennan - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:55 pm:

    Quinn does need help paddling upstream. This is a good hire.

  19. - siriusly - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:58 pm:

    I am submitting my application to become the fast food tasting czar. I am qualified.

    You want to set up your friend with a sweet job, fine. Can’t you hide him in something that appears to be meaningful?

  20. - WRMNPolitics - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 2:58 pm:

    Pat Quinn wanted to be Governor the worst way, and his actions in office continually prove it.

  21. - Curious - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:00 pm:

    What Quinn really needs is a “decision czar.”

  22. - Lefty Lefty - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:01 pm:

    I just said to my wife this morning that Quinn acts like he’s phoning it in. He doesn’t act like he’s interested in governing. And as I write this I realize that that’s saying a lot in this state.

    Where’s Whitney?

  23. - Anonymiss - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:03 pm:

    So Quinn hires a Canoe Czar before he hires a Campaign Manager? Yeah, that makes complete sense. Merry Christmas, Brady.

  24. - Robert - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:05 pm:

    at the rate quinn is running his campaign, I’m hoepful this canoe czar can quickly build a noah’s ark to protect the animals from governor brady.

  25. - OneMan - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:12 pm:

    How about a spine czar so Pat can grow one…

  26. - Pie in the Sky - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:12 pm:

    Unrelated, but the local Hyde Park Herald is reporting that Toni Preckwinkle has told Daley she wants Will Burns (D-26) to fill her seat on city council when she wins Cook Board presidency in Nov.

  27. - Leroy Brown - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:12 pm:

    This is hilarious. We should tell human service providers in this state to just play the game as well:

    “$216 million in cuts, weaksauce, make it an even $300, we’re full of it out here, who needs payments from the state.”

    “All this talk about clients losing services, staff getting laid off and basically the notion that short sighted cuts will cost you more in the end is just a bunch of BS. We like playing these games too!”

  28. - L.S. - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:12 pm:

    This is what happens when you hire nothing but well-intended 20 somethings who have never been in the political trenches. They can’t see the landmines. You could have called this guy a Tourism Czar and made it a positive thing about bringing in more revenue through increased water recreation. Now they’ve handed a ready made attack ad to Brady. For God’s sake someone save these people from themselves.

  29. - Bill - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:14 pm:

    Hey Quinn! Can I be the Bud Light czar? How about the White Sox czar. I’ll “work” for half of what Claude is getting.

  30. - 10th Indy - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:17 pm:

    Can I please be the spitting-on-the-keyboard czar? I have been laughing out loud for the past 10 minutes. I love this blog and every last one of you people.

  31. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:17 pm:

    Is it April 1st? No.

    Is this the Onion? No.

    Sigh…this isn’t a joke is it? Please tell me it is.

  32. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:18 pm:

    Dibs on Fax Czar.

  33. - El Conquistador - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:19 pm:

    You’d be worth every penny Bill

  34. - titan - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:19 pm:

    Te campaign ads almost write themselves - just see the line of comments above (if Brady could just raise the money to air them, he might have a chance).

  35. - OneMan - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:21 pm:

    Pie Czar…

    I will also take

    Illinois Craft Brewing Tour Czar

  36. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:22 pm:

    Quinn needs a “Boot up your …” Czar.

    Goodbye, any hope for a tax hike, and good luck explaining this to the public employee groups whose pensions just got shafted.

  37. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:22 pm:

    ===Illinois Craft Brewing Tour Czar

    That’s mine pal. I hear cab ride homes are expensable too.

  38. - Disappointed Trooper - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:23 pm:

    Is this the “professional” leadership Governor Quinn had in mind for DNR. I am waiting for Director Miller to state his outrage and condemn this inappropriate use of DNR funds. I am sure this will go a long way in boosting the morale of dedicated DNR employees who have worked for years and will never earn $85,000 per year. There are no words to justify hiring one of the Governor’s political hack buddies to be a canoe czar. Is this one of the Governor’s spending priorities for our citizens? Speak up Director Miller and stop this hire!!! Heaven help our state!!!

  39. - Niles Township - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:25 pm:

    Having worked with him before, I can tell you Claude really is one of the good guys in the game…but Quinn made a mistake on this one.

  40. - Niles Township - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:27 pm:

    Still not great, but:

    “the job is financed by boating fees, not the state’s financially squeezed general revenue fund”

  41. - 2010 - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:28 pm:


    $85,000 is the salary but on top of that the state will pay for PENSION (not to bring up a sore subject), insurance and social security so you’re really looking at $100,000 which could pay for some Medicaid reimbursement due to docs and hospitals…or rent…or other bills.

  42. - South Side Mike - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:28 pm:

    I think I was too hard on the announcement with my earlier comment. Claude will be the czar for canoeing AND kayaking. That’s much better. I wonder if he’ll need an assistant czar to help with rowboats and paddleboats.

  43. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:31 pm:

    Quinn really wants to lose in November, doesn’t he?

  44. - downstate dem - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:32 pm:

    NO matter what you say, it is typical of the actions of Illinois governors. YUK!!

  45. - BIG R.PH. - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:33 pm:

    I’d bet $100 that the State of Il does not even bring in $85K in “kayak & canoe” rental revenue.

    I’ll be the Cardinals Czar!

    Land Shark Lager too

  46. - OneMan - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:34 pm:

    Arch –

    You can have winery czar (shorter drive for you)

  47. - Cindy Lou - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:38 pm:

    Seriously biting fingers not to go crazy right now. While it is not a terible idea, the surroundings of it, the timing of it are and I sure can think of things needed out here before this (bite bite fingers).

  48. - fedup dem - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:39 pm:

    Could someone check the Governor’s offices to see what sort of toxin is hidden in there that causes all who sit in that office to lose touch with reality?

  49. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:42 pm:

    ==Arch –You can have winery czar (shorter drive for you)

    Thanks, thanks a lot. Have you tasted that crap? (pile on Illinois wine lovers)

  50. - soccermom - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:43 pm:

    I have had the privilege of working with Claude on many projects over the years. He’s smart, hard-working, clever, committed, and a staunch longtime advocate of environmental issues. Director Miller may know every river, stream and rivulet in Illinois — but I think Claude knows most of the fish in them by name. His title is unfortunate, and should be changed. (I am guessing that’s not his official title, but a joke Claude made in passing that somebody took too seriously.) But DNR needs someone with Claude’s credibility, smarts, media savvy, and longstanding relationships in the enviro community. He’s a good man, and anyone who brushes him off as a political hack doesn’t know him.

  51. - Old Milwaukee - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:44 pm:

    At least he’s creating jobs.

  52. - jonbtuba - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:47 pm:

    People, read the entire article. The position is paid by boating fees. It does not affect the state budget, meaning no further problems with pensions, education, etc.

  53. - No To New Taxes - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:48 pm:

    Based on Governor Quinn’s reputation (hiring a $85,000 canoe czar) how can he he ask legislators to vote yes to increase the state income tax so he can have more taxpayer money to waste.

  54. - PalosParkBob - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:52 pm:

    Any chance this guy is ALSO getting a public early retirement pension? Double dipping from a bankrupt, excessive public pension system and getting a salary about double the average household income for a position of highly questionable need would certainly be the coups de gras!

  55. - Nice - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:54 pm:

    Was this before or after he signed the pension bill?

  56. - Bill - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:55 pm:

    What boating fees? Those funds are always the first to get swept.

  57. - Anonymiss - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:55 pm:

    jonbtuba - that’s nearly irrelevant from a public perception standpoint, and the point here is that he should know that.

  58. - No To New Taxes - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:56 pm:

    Niles Township & jonbtuba, “financed or paid by boating fees” - people, this is still state money that needs to be spent wisely. We are not saying it is general revenue funds but it is still our money!

  59. - Cindy Lou - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:58 pm:

    I did read the entire article, jonbtuba, it does not change my unspoken/typed opinion just because it does not come out of GF. Does not special funds still have to be responsible and accountable? I suppose my questioning of position has more to do with priority/operational needs no matter what the funding classification status.

    On the other hand, all my finger biting and whining in disagreements on urgently needed position fills is not going to change much, so guess I’ll suck it up and welcome aboard our new czar.

  60. - South Side Mike - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 3:59 pm:

    jonbtuba, I did read the article. An $85k salary is still $85k out of DNR’s total budget, whether the salary is slated to be paid from general fund revenue or special fund revenue. (Also, a few governors have been known to sweep special fund revenue whenever convenient. Now there is $85k less to sweep to the general fund.) The $85k that is now taken from the boat fee fund must now be made up somehow or else some low-level workers without political connections (if any of them are left) will have to lose their jobs.

    Even if this appointment truly has zero impact on Illinois’ fiscal position and ends up being a net-gain with increased tourism, the appearance is rotten. That matters.

  61. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:00 pm:

    Or Quinn could cut $85,000 from the general revenue to DNR for boating and replace it with boat tax funds. Money is relatively fungible and in hard times this is a pretty obvious tack to take.

  62. - Vole - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:01 pm:

    Uh, how about maintaining and staffing that $50 million World Shooting Sports Complex in this budget crisis?

    This may just be the spark that draws attention to Quinn’s statements that all non essential programs need to go. There just ain’t no bite to his words.

    Time to revisit Quinn’s budget proposal and start weeding.

    I canoe in Illinois (where and when the landowners don’t run me out). This announcement is really ironic considering how archaic our state water laws are. If this guy could lobby the state legislature to change the water laws to make our rivers and streams public waters, I’d be all for it. But, the Farm Bureau would lop his head off before he had a chance.

    Illinois just kind of sucks.

  63. - Pelon - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:04 pm:

    “People, read the entire article. The position is paid by boating fees. It does not affect the state budget, meaning no further problems with pensions, education, etc.”

    Yeah, and the lottery money goes to education. Considering that the State has the ability to sweep funds out of other accounts, there is no difference between a dollar in “boating fees” and a dollar in “general revenue”.

    Even if you take the view that this money has to be spent on boating, can you really make a good case that this is the best way to use those funds?

  64. - OneMan - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:05 pm:

    == Thanks, thanks a lot. Have you tasted that crap? (pile on Illinois wine lovers) ==

    Yes I have…

    I know you are the man to help move that industry forward, you have the taste and the drive…

    Also I called the Craft Beer Tour Czar first!

  65. - Old Milwaukee - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:05 pm:

    Row Row Row your boat, gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily merrily, Quinn is Brady’s dream.

  66. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:09 pm:

    When special funds are constantly raided for GRF spending, it’s incorrect to say this won’t have any impact on GRF.

  67. - siriusly - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:09 pm:

    Maybe his amazing experiences as kayak czar will give him material for a third novel:

    Or maybe someone will convince Quinn to undo this hire and Claude will be placed elsewhere.

    PS: Pie in The Sky - Rich reported the Burns for Alderman item two days ago.
    Like others have said - Claude is good people - but this is awfully bad thinking by both men.

  68. - frustrated GOP - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:10 pm:

    another governor election in Illinois another choice between dumb and dumber.
    It like Louisiana without the fun, the humidity and the open booze laws. there we go. someone pass a law that allows us to carry our drinks around chicago. at least we would have a reason for some of this mess. can’t really drive there anymore so don’t need to worry about drinking and driving.

  69. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:13 pm:

    Well, at least Quinn finally has a campaign manager.

  70. - really? - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:20 pm:

    Inspector General Allen will now have to learn how to swim and buy a canoe to covertly observe this CZAR after hours?? LOL

  71. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:24 pm:

    I’ll take a canoe czar, a camping czar and whatever green czar’s Quinn wants to invent over all the money for prisons, police and medicaid, ect. These are things I actually might appreciate and so will countless kids. Who knows, it might get a couple gang kids interested in something besides killing eachother and save lives as well as future prison expenses.

    Besides, Daley can recycle guys like Picardi for $35,000 more per and nobody says a word.

    So let that be a lesson to all you short sighted thinkers.

    I’ll trade two trooper’s for a czar.

  72. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:24 pm:

    –DNR spokesman Chris McCloud said Walker will coordinate the creation of new “water trails” throughout Illinois and promote existing paddling routes. He said the position could provide a boost to tourism, resulting in more revenue for the state.–

    A few college kids with Macs, a couple of cases of beer and unlimited pizza and convenience store privileges could knock off that project in a long weekend.

    Very weak, governor. Hire your campaign staff on your own dime.

    Nice gift for Brady. I gas puppies, but he has a canoe czar. Who’s more goofy?

  73. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:25 pm:

    === People, read the entire article. The position is paid by boating fees. ===

    Your absolutely right. The ifrst thing voters are going to do after they hear Brady’s radio ad is go to the State of Illinois website to find out whether the position is funded through General Revenue Funds.

    This issue is going nowhere. Like a canoeist up the creek without a paddle.

  74. - Illinois Mom - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:33 pm:

    10th Indy, you are absolutely right! The comments on this blog CRACK me up - LOVE reading them!! Sad to say, but you gotta laugh to keep from crying as these boneheads we keep electing suck our state down the tubes… God help us all.

  75. - Really?? - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:37 pm:

    I think this is one of those instances where a campaign manager may have come in handy.

  76. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:43 pm:

    === I think this is one of those instances where a campaign manager may have come in handy. ===

    Not the campaign manager’s job. This is a state hire.

    If common sense were common, they’d just call it “sense.”
    -YDD, 1994

  77. - dumb ol' country boy - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:51 pm:

    geez ydd if you thinnk people are going to go and find out where the position is funded from, i got a couple of briges to sell you…. John Q Public is gonna take this info and run, they aren’t doing any research.. This is stupid appointment to a hack….. Even if it paid for out of boating fees, do you not think that money could have been better spent.. the average citizen is not going to buy the bull your selling… tax dollars are tax dollars and the quicker the politicans in il. understand that, the better off illinois will be!!!

  78. - Bill - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:54 pm:

    LOL, thanks for chiming in, Sen. Brady.

  79. - Really?? - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 4:57 pm:

    I know it isn’t the campaign manager’s job to hire state employees. But I’m guessing it wasn’t really Brady’s campaign manager’s job to pull his candidates name off of the puppy killing bill either, but he probably had something to do with it.

  80. - DHee - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 5:02 pm:

    When I first skimmed the title I thought it was Kazoo Czar. What a relief. People won’t laugh at Illinois anymore.

  81. - GoodbyeClaude - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 5:05 pm:

    Any takers on how long it will be before Claude exits stage left?

    “It was an honest effort by Director Miller to beef up tourism and generate enthusiasm for Outdoor Illinois,” Governor Quinn will say. “Claude will now work with John Filan on a contractual basis to ferret out tourism waste.”

  82. - RJW - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 5:18 pm:

    Seriously, though, does the Governor get any sane advice from his advisors or does he just not listen? In which alternate universe was a “Canoe Czar” considered a good idea.

  83. - jaded voter - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 5:24 pm:

    Remember a few weeks ago when you guys were all excited that Brady won and Dillard lost. You thought Quinn was a shoe-in.

    Brady has more on the ball than most of you would acknowledge. But more importantly, Gov. sleepy invertebrate will wear out the limited patience and attention of the electorate. PRINT IT.

  84. - Living in Oklahoma - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 5:27 pm:

    This is almost Blagojevichian.

  85. - KeepSmiling - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 5:34 pm:

    Couldn’t they have made him a Carp Czar that will also coordinate kayaking and canoeing for the cash strapped state Department of Natural Resources?

  86. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 5:41 pm:

    Yup! There is absolutely no waste in State Government! Everything has been cut to the bone! :-)

  87. - Downstate Redneck who know nuttin - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 6:14 pm:

    If weezins down south were bettin’ people, weezins would say it ain’t gonna be long before the ol’ boy Travis Lloyd will be takin’ over at good ol’ DNR. Just ask him and he will tell you “between me and you.” Now HE is a professional!! Bass fisher-person that is.

  88. - cassandra - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 6:17 pm:

    2010, you are so right. Most folks don’t realize that when the salary is $85,000, the real compensation package is much higher, as it contains lucrative pension credits and cheap health insurance. And if he stays on for a while, his final few years’average comp, on which his pension will be based, will be probably be much higher, leading to a really great pension—on us.

    This is not corrupt or illegal or anything. But it does show that our Pat is a traditional Democratic pol from Chicago. To the victor, the spoils. Major spoils.

  89. - Samwise - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 6:23 pm:

    Canoe Czar is now a no-go.

  90. - Vote Quimby! - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 6:27 pm:

    Dibs on “deputy director for flotation technology”…I throw things in water and see if they sink or float.

  91. - Bill - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 6:28 pm:

    Well, at least Quinn knows how to get to the CF Blog!
    Who says we can’t influence policy!
    Sorry Claude, but it was a real dumb idea.

  92. - Bad, Bad Dog - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 6:32 pm:

    Gosh darn Rufus!! That was hired and fired faster than Blago on Apprentice. Who is Travis Lloyd?

  93. - Skirmisher - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 6:34 pm:

    Everyone is Springfield figured out that Quinn was a phoney long ago. Just another example…

  94. - No To New Taxes - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 7:17 pm:

    Governor Quinn rescinded the position but it is too late! Illinois taxpayers know he tried to pull a fast one and create a position so his ol’ pal could be paid $85,000 to be DNR canoe czar when the state is broke. Thanks Rich for, once again, keeping us so well informed. I am sure you will stay on top of where Claude Walker will
    paddle to next.

  95. - Park - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 7:28 pm:

    saw this at work, driving to pick up dinner at 6:35, WGN announces that Quinn has reversed himself. No canoe guy.

    OK, I know many of you are establishment D’s and doing everything you can to paint a downstate senator (hey, he’s not from Cook!) into the devil with the hope that Quinn will be elected. But….isn’t it time to just give up on this guy? He ain’t FDR, OK? In fact he’s getting more pathetic by the day. And its only mid-April, thanks to the primary election date manipulation. Time to think about the State’s best interests. They’re not now, nor will ever be, Pat Quinn as CEO of the State.

  96. - GoodbyeClaude - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 7:46 pm:

    One thing about Quinn: He is very predictable.

  97. - Zoble21 - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 8:23 pm:

    PLEASE!! Look @ the salaries were just given to new employees at dept. of veterans affairs Manteno Home!! And the new furniturem ect…The govs good ol boys!!

  98. - And I Approved This Message - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 8:51 pm:

    Claude is a really good guy. And has served Pat well for longer than Pat should have expected. The headline writer called him “the canoe czar” not Quinn. But the absense of a campaign manager or a strong chief of staff or anyone looking out for Pat’s long or short term interests faclitated this happening.

    Pat, if you want to be governor shape up really fast. If you don’t. Have a press conference and articulate your health reason.

  99. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 8:55 pm:

    The damage has already been done. Will Walker resume his old position with the state or is he totally out?

    Why are so many still so willing to give Quinn a pass on all of his errors? How old is he? How long has he been in government/politics?

  100. - Bad, bad dog - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 9:07 pm:

    Sally: who exactly is Travis Lloyd? Everyone knows who Tom Flattery is but who is the other guy? Flattery leaving was a huge loss to DNR but seeing what DNR has become…. Miller did Flattery a favor!!

  101. - skhicks - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 9:31 pm:

    Maybe the name should be changed to the Department of Supernatural Resources, because the stuff goin’ on over there cannot be explained. This place gives out a $40K pension to a former rep for 19 days on the job without even being formally confirmed. And now there’s projections pension programs could be insolvent at some point. Go figure.

    Perhaps the “fumigation” idea should be revisited. That Agency became infested even before the 2002 election, and then it went downhill from there. At least this hiring maneuver was exposed and thwarted. Illinois has some good outdoor writers in Lampe, Bowman, and Winkeler. Maybe they can light a fire under these guys. Jeesh!

  102. - helen - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 9:42 pm:

    Travis is DNR’s ghost employee, no one seems to know where his office is located!!!!!

  103. - dick - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 9:47 pm:

    What about the state car he drives!!! Didn’t Travis receive a higher position within a few months at DNR~~”PROFESSIONAL”!!!Not to mention the increase he probably received!!!

  104. - Paul S. - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 10:27 pm:

    Quinn runs away under pressure. That’s not the Governor we need. We need someone strong to lead this state. He is so weak and is showing incredible weakness as time goes on. I say throw in the towel Quinn; the Democrats should have all backed Hynes. At least he could stand on his own and not cower like a baby.

  105. - Suburban voter - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 11:17 pm:

    Claude is a good guy and doesn’t deserve all this negative press. Quinn however continues to disappoint. He has quickly revoked his job offer to Claude, and won’t make any effort to defend why he created the position. Other than appointing Hamos can’t think of another good decision. Thankfully he didn’t mess that one up.

  106. - Roy Slade - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 11:29 pm:

    There are state parks without maintenance workers- at more than one would imagine! But this governor and his hand picked director hire a “canoe czar” and a below average state rep candidate (who lost in the primary)/ profesional fisherman to run the different parts of the department. Can you please stop trying to help us?

  107. - haverford - Wednesday, Apr 14, 10 @ 11:36 pm:

    Roy Slade, I think that cut on Julie Hamos is a bit much. She’s been a well-respected legislator for 18 years, with a long health care record. She’s a great choice for DHF.

  108. - City Slicker - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 12:23 am:

    I don’t care if I am a Democrat…I just can’t see myself voting for someone as incompetent as Quinn.

    Is he seriously trying to lose on purpose? There is no way that somebody can be this amateurish, is there?

    I think I will be leaving the “Governor” portion of my ballot BLANK.

  109. - Paddler - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 12:38 am:

    With the understanding that Illinois is in a financial quagmire, the choices are not easy. Education should be a priority, as should reducing the deficit (both state and federal).
    That said, having someone in the DNR who actually works towards providing river recreation in Illinois would be a great plus for the State. IL ranks near the bottom of all states in outdoor recreation opportunities per capita, and also has perhaps the most regressive water law in the entire USA, with only 8% of all IL rivers considered as “public waters”. Floating down rivers is a non-consumptive sport, a healthy recreational pasttime, one that requires minimal capital investment, and one that allows residents - and tourists - to see the most beautiful natural places in Illinois - without spending big bucks to travel far from home. There’s a lot of other fat that can be cut in the Illinois budget, and I think it sad that John Q. Smith of Illinois does not realize the value of promoting a low-cost, healthy. non-polluting outdoor recreational opportunity. For decades, the IL DNR has not recognized paddling as a valid form of outdoor recreation, and this would have been a big step in a good direction.
    I say cut the fat elsewhere - and work towards providing river recreation opportunities in Illinois!

  110. - Dnstateanon - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 6:17 am:

    Puddler tell that to the reported 20000 teachers (impact on kids) and more that are getting laid off but can give his buddy a job.

  111. - Cognative Dissonance - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 7:06 am:

    If Claude wanted to keep this job, he needed to release some people from prison early….

  112. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 7:08 am:

    @dumb ol’ country boy -

    Its called sarcasm.

    Frankly, I’ve got to give Quinn credit for reversing course here relatively quickly.

    We all recognized this shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

    But in the past, Quinn’s had a bad habit of sticking to his guns when he makes a bad decision, or dilly-dallying.

    He’s learning.

    And I think we’ve all learned that they should start vetting things through CapitolFax.

    Or maybe Quinn needs to start his own blog?

    “Hey, I’m thinking about appointing a canoe czar. Reader thoughts?”

  113. - Vole - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 7:16 am:

    Paddler: Your argument would fly if the economy and state budget were sound. Paddlers, downstate especially, have seen little return from their canoe/kayak registration fees in the way of improved access to flowing waters. But, following on the heels of Quinn’s proposal to cut education, state police, etc., the idea of adding this highly paid position right now was totally out of sync. Quinn needs to focus on keeping the wheels on and creating a sustainable structure for IL government and not continue piling on the sand castle we have now. His main constituent group should not be Illinois government.

  114. - Chum - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 7:36 am:

    Well, Vole, I sort of agree. But, there really is a huge disconnect in state government when you believe you can have two PIOs on staff (whose job it is to provide information and do promotion) for an agency but need an $85K political hire to promote the “non-consumptive” sport of “River Recreation” when we’re in this financial mess.

    Put together a plan. Send out the full-time photographer (yes, DNR has one). Organize some press event(s) for Miller at strategic locations along (you guessed it) Illinois rivers. Have the folks at CMS put together some brochures. Have ONE of your press people orchestrate this promotion. There are 100 variations of this–then, Voila! No need for Claude (no matter how great a guy he is). Of course, that’s saying you want to use available resources.

  115. - Beowulf - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 7:50 am:

    How can Bill Brady actually top “Canoe Czar”? I mean you can’t pay an ad firm to come up with these. I think American Express called them “Priceless.”

  116. - Cindy Lou - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 8:13 am:

    It’s having to hire one person and give them this sole responsiblity that is out of line at present time. It’s not an unworthy idea. Rethink it. Find a way to utilize current employees crossed with the volunteer programs and you’ll have your promotion of the sport. It’s really should be no different than when SSs work with ‘Friends Of…” or when state works with city/county/statewide/national groups.

  117. - wizard - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 8:30 am:

    pq denied knowledge of the canoe czar on don and roma this am according to a coworker.

  118. - dupage dan - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 8:37 am:

    So, if you’re right, wizard, PQ is gonna throw another staff under the bus. That will certainly make him look like governor material in my eyes. Wow, what decisive leadership.

  119. - 3 beers to springfield - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 8:46 am:

    Canoe czar - “I was for it before I was against it.”

  120. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 8:48 am:

    Canoe “Czar” Capsizes - Governor All Wet

  121. - state employee, on my day off - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 8:50 am:

    Absolutely a bone-headed move to make such an appointment. It suggests a lack of understanding about perception at a time when the state’s budget is such a wreck. But here’s my bottom-line concern. It’s too easy to fixate on things like the canoe czar when there are very important differences between Quinn and Brady. Brady is anti-choice (I dare say radically so), believes in creationism and the teaching of it in schools (probably one reason why he wants to eliminate the state board of ed), and has a terrible record on gay rights. And don’t forget the guy is a puppy killer! Quinn has a much more progressive record that is being obscured by bad political moves. I fear that I will have to abstain on voting for governor in November because Quinn is incompetent and Brady isn’t the kind of guy I want as a leader. What a mess.

  122. - Niles Township - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 8:54 am:

    VM…you wrtie better the headliners that the Tribsters.

  123. - Niles Township - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 8:56 am:

    the Democrats should have all backed Hynes. At least he could stand on his own and not cower like a baby.

    Apparently you don’t know Hynes that well. Big talker…not much for action.

  124. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 9:00 am:

    What is truly amazing is BillTheBuilder and CampaignMasterClarK had to learned this from one of the slowest moving news organizations in the Free World. One would think Illinois’ only cerTEEfied Downstate Candidate would have a large network of spies aka/under appreciated workforce calling in tips by the bucket.
    Truly amazing. Perhaps Bill&Crew have some work to do.

  125. - Huh? - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 9:23 am:

    Quinn just can’t help himself!!

  126. - Amalia - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 9:25 am:

    this just in, Pat Quinn appoints czar of snipe hunting.

    i want to be the snark czarina.

  127. - Pelon - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 10:18 am:

    “And don’t forget the guy is a puppy killer!”

    Really? Please provide your evidence. If you are referring to his association with the mass euthanization bill, you are really stretching facts to support your bias.

  128. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Apr 15, 10 @ 10:57 am:

    And don’t forget the guy is a puppy killer!

    Because HE HATES puppies! And KITTIES! Brady wants us all to gas our PETS! Because Senator Brady hates pets! He hates Santa too!

    How are we going to have an Easter Egg Hunt at the Governor’s Mansion if Brady is governor and gasses the Easter Bunny?!

    The man is the DEVIL!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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