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*** UPDATED x2 - Spokesman identified - Rauner campaign responds *** DCEO official asks: “Is that a crime?”

Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014

* Joe Cahill on Gov. Pat Quinn’s month-long goodies tour

But lately Mr. Quinn has authorized some big-money discretionary grants to companies that agree to expand in Illinois. Like Amazon, many had strong business reasons to add staff here without state funding. This month alone, the governor gave a total of $22 million to four Illinois-based companies. We’re talking direct transfers of state money here, not loans or tax credits.

I know what you’re thinking, because I’m thinking the same thing: The governor is giving away our money to generate favorable headlines about new jobs in Illinois a month before voters decide whether or not to give him another term.

The commerce spokesman acknowledges a halo effect. “In most cases, I think the timing largely had to do with the companies and when they were able to go forward,” he says, but adds, “We have a good story to tell — and do I want to tell it before Nov. 4? Yes. Is that a crime?”

Joe doesn’t identify the spokesman and agrees with the spokesman that it’s not illegal.

I dunno about that. At minimum, an admission like this is bound to create an uproar over an inappropriate mixture of government and campaigning at DCEO.

And, really, what kind of a doofus admits to election day motivations for pushing state corporate subsidies out the door after the lousy year his governor has had with the 2010 NRI program? And less than a week before election day at that?

This ain’t good, campers.

*** UPDATE *** From the Rauner campaign…

“Pat Quinn is already under federal investigation for misusing millions in October of 2010, and now it looks like he’s pumped out half a billion dollars this month to boost his campaign once again. He’s throwing around taxpayer money in October in the hopes of raising your taxes in November. Throwing around more money in the last six days won’t change the harm Pat Quinn has caused Illinois over the last six years.” - Rauner spokesperson Mike Schrimpf

And adds…

As of today, Pat Quinn has doled out nearly $500 million in the last four weeks. In the last two days alone, he doled out $36 million.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Well, at least now we know who the doofus is. From an AP report posted yesterday

While Amazon’s Misener said the timing of his company’s announcement was “a complete coincidence,” a spokesman for the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity said that agency had been in regular contact with Cronus Chemicals hoping the announcement would happen before the election.

“We have some good news here, and, yes, we wanted everybody to know about that before the election,” DCEO spokesman David Roeder said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.”

How brazen can he get?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

124 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    Boom….

    Also much like I know when my vendors are facing the end of the quarter and/or the end of their sales year and more likely to deal these companies know that November 4th is a great hard deadline to extract maximum benefits from the state.


  2. - Rahm'sMiddleFinger - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    I simply can’t imagine someone was dumb enough to say that. As if people at DCEO, especially their spokesperson, weren’t paying close attention to the NRI hearings.

    Joe better have that quote recorded.


  3. - Anonymoiis - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    One small, easily connectable step removed from “Yeah we used the money for good campaign press. What ya gonna do, arrest me?”

    Oy.


  4. - Black Ivy - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    Will wonders ever cease, Governor Quinn?!? Have you learned nothing about inappropriate use of State funds for campaign purposes? Is that a crime…YES!!!


  5. - anon - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    Do you really know Pat Quinn????

    I think we all do!


  6. - plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    Another example in the sad parade of of State employees who have lost track of the difference between doing their jobs and doing the work of of the campaign committee.

    Is it a wonder that some ask of some departments are overstaffed when it seems the have time to do seemingly political work on state time?


  7. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    Quick, someone order a hot dog with ketchup on it.


  8. - Cassiopeia - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    Wow. More than shades of NRI.

    I’m sure they are scrambling at DCEO to put some CYA in motion.


  9. - the koala - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    I know we all love a good gotcha moment but I would actually interpret that statement to mean that given this is already happening why shouldn’t it be celebrated before Nov 4. The preceding sentence says it’s based on the companies’ timing.


  10. - So IL M - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 1:59 pm:

    So still going with that honest but not very smart defense?


  11. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 1:59 pm:

    koala

    I am sure this all getting done right before election day is just a coincidence…


  12. - Jorge - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    Doofus….very appropriate description in this case.


  13. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    ===given this is already happening why shouldn’t it be celebrated before Nov 4===

    Why would any spokesperson in their right mind ever, ever, ever admit to something like that?


  14. - One of the 35 - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:01 pm:

    The sad part of this story is that the DCEO employee just admitted to what has been standard state government practice for the last 150 years. (across both parties and many different administrations) Some administrations were better at disguising it.


  15. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:01 pm:

    Hurrah, crap all over your big jobs announcement with a process story.

    Who cares, koala.

    They want to be talking about jobs, not process.


  16. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:01 pm:

    Oh, I don’t know. Illegal? It’s Illinois politics not to mention a prime example of the huge political advantage enjoyed by most incumbents. They get to play in the govt piggy bank, or promise to anyway, on behalf of their candidacies. And I doubt anyone is going to vote against Quin because of this proposed addition of
    (probably not so great, it’s Amazon) jobs. It’s something, if modest. And modest is about all middle and working class job seekers can hope for
    these days.


  17. - Millie K. - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    SAme old….same old……..


  18. - Anonymoiis - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:05 pm:

    ==why shouldn’t it be celebrated before Nov 4==

    Answer me this: Why should it be, and why specifically the 4th?

    The only answer is: because it helps put Quinn in a better light on Election Day…i.e. It will help him be re elected….it’s a State Worker pushing State money on a certain schedule for strictly political purposes


  19. - Confused - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    Amazon gets incentive to open warehouse in Illinois. Illinois gets to charge sales tax for Amazon purchases. Win win for everyone except Amazon customers.


  20. - A guy... - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    Any of you folks in the pension system, or working social services or education think we could use $22M somewhere else? Existing businesses in Illinois waiting on a backlog of bill paying have gone out of business waiting for a lot less.

    As for the brash dude/dudette with DCEO. That’s a sign of institutional corruption. They do it and say it in daylight and tell you it’s just fine.

    This doesn’t even begin to cover all of the park districts, munis, colleges and other places suddenly getting money showers around the area. Put pins in a map and it will tell you where his trouble spots are. Bad Gubmint. Really bad.


  21. - Responsa - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:08 pm:

    Well, he’s the Jobs Governor. He told us so. Is it too late to make an ad?


  22. - A guy... - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    Don’t let it get lost on you that the person speaking to Joe was the “SPOKESMAN”.


  23. - Capt. Von Trapp - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    How stupid can people be? Less then a week before the election and this happens.
    I doubt it will have any effect with voters ( most have made up their minds) but the Tribune and other papers will be sure to pick this up.
    Just plain dumb


  24. - liandro - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    - Confused - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    “Amazon gets incentive to open warehouse in Illinois. Illinois gets to charge sales tax for Amazon purchases. Win win for everyone except Amazon customers.”

    No difference to them, they were all claiming it on their taxes like they’re supposed to…wait, is that off-topic?


  25. - anonymoose - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    Here is the Quinn campaign providing funds to North Central and Elmhurst colleges this week. Please see picture of Gov. Quinn giving your 2% tax increase a run for its money.

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20141029/news/141028074/


  26. - unclesam - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    (Cue next ad): Illinois is broke…owing $XXX billion to state vendors; just don’t tell that to Pat Quinn who is giving millions to big corporations. Why? “We have a good story to tell…and do I want to tell it before Nov. 4? Yes!”


  27. - David Ormsby - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    –Why would any spokesperson in their right mind ever, ever, ever admit to something like that?–

    Why?

    Incompetence as a spokesperson.


  28. - Wondering Woman - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:14 pm:

    One of the 35 is absolutely right. It’s also sad that whether or not it’s illegal is the standard, not whether it’s right or ethical.


  29. - Been There - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:15 pm:

    This is what happens when your communications director is a graduate of the Rod Blagojevich School of Media Relations…


  30. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:16 pm:

    @Ormsby -

    I heard Quinn ordered his pulled pork with coleslaw ON THE SIDE in Tuscola today. #chawgate


  31. - liandro - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:17 pm:

    To the actual topic: the Rauner team needs to tie this to the NRI program pronto. Quinn covers over his poor results via buying (with taxpayer money) good press. Very legitimate critique.


  32. - The Colossus of Roads - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    Dear DECO:
    I am wanting to buy a vacation home, a yacht and a sports car. Please send me $1,000,000 tax free and I promise the purchase of these items will generate at least four part time jobs. Thanks.


  33. - Mason born - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    This is kind of like the patronage thing. We all know it happens. We all know both parties do it. Now you put it in our faces and it disgusts us.


  34. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    $22,000,000 to get good press before November?

    Hmmm.

    That means we saved $32,500,000!

    Because it took $54,500,000 via NRI in 2010 for Quinn to win last election!


  35. - Responsa - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    Maybe Olive Garden got a special shout out instead of cash?


  36. - North Shore Joe - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:28 pm:

    For every job Amazon creates, its same day delivery service will eliminate five-ten.


  37. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    Every state equivalent of DCEO is a multi-million dollar corporate welfare/governor’s press release machine.

    That’s the nature of the monster you create when you believe it’s the job of the state to “create jobs’ and give governors millions in discretionary funds to do so.

    Get rid of the monster and you won’t faint when politicians leverage their office to advance their electoral chances.

    I think thats been going on since the crust cooled.


  38. - Lunchbox - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    How does the Rauner campaign come up with the $500 million figure?


  39. - Cassiopeia - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    If Rauner drives that $500 million giveaway theme hard it could be a real closer.


  40. - phocion - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    Whole lot of doling going on.


  41. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    I hope Mike Schrimpf and Chip Englander are reading this thread. Hey, dudes, take my advise and do a commercial about this. Like - now.


  42. - Cite? - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    How did they arrive at $500 million?


  43. - Snucka - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:38 pm:

    Quinn should respond the way Rauner would respond:

    “I didn’t personally hire the spokesman who made that statement. I have never met him and I have no idea who he is or what he does. I have nothing to do with it the way DCEO does its day-to-day business. Now, vote for me because I’m a great leader!”


  44. - admin - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:39 pm:

    Not brazen at all. Good news happens and - so you want to make sure people know about it before the election - so?

    Has Rauner responded to the fact that he was directly involved in ensuring he and his company were not liable for the nursing home deaths?


  45. - Snucka - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:39 pm:

    David Roeder? Never heard of him. Next question.


  46. - Responsa - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    Meanwhile, somewhere in the fifth ward Leslie Hairston breathes easier knowing that her little vote lotto may not be leading the political news tonight on TV.


  47. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    ===so?===

    Quinnbots just ain’t as good as the Raunerbots.


  48. - Mason born - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    Mr Roeder might want to start dusting off his resume.


  49. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    How brazen can he get?

    Challenge accepted…

    admin,
    Do you really think the impeding election had no impact on what the state was willing to offer and when the announcement was going to be made. Heck it is good business to use hard deadlines the other party has to your advantage?


  50. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    Would you all feel better if Roeder said the election had nothing to do with the timing?

    Would you believe him?

    You want politicians to create jobs? This is how they’ll do it, everywhere, every time, regardless of who it is.

    Fish will swim and birds will fly, too.


  51. - phocion - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    Hope Roeder wasn’t planning on landing a gig with Jay Pritzker after his tour of duty with Quinn.


  52. - Cassiopeia - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:44 pm:

    David Roeder works at CMS, not directly for DCEO.


  53. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:44 pm:

    Word… Who is the victim now? Really?


  54. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    David Roeder used to be business reporter for the SunTimes.


  55. - chi - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    Stop the presses, a spokesman told the truth.


  56. - Urbs In Horto - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    Obviously, BR has studied his Manchurian Candidate.


  57. - Northsider - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    Isn’t that the same David Roeder who was a SunTimes business columnist until last year?


  58. - Norseman - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    === Why would any spokesperson in their right mind ever, ever, ever admit to something like that? ===

    Telling the “whole truth and nothing but the truth” is something to be avoided in PIO jobs.


  59. - Very Fed Up - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    Folks don’t forget. It is an absolute emergency that Quinn keeps the tax hike in place. Not a penny of waste to be found anywhere in the system first. Just ask him if you don’t believe him.


  60. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    If Roeder and Klinzman want to know how to get out of this, they should call me.


  61. - Voice of Reason - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    Quinn has always hired the wrong sort of people to work for him.. Naive, clueless and not savvy. Not surprised by this.


  62. - Goonhammer - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    Rauner needs to dump 3 million, now.


  63. - Judgment Day - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    Calling Jeff Bezos, Calling Jeff Bezos….

    Yeah, it’s just a coincidence….

    So now Amazon is going to get themselves all tied up with ‘Corporate Welfare’ here in Illinois… and with Pat Quinn, no less….

    Nice one, Jeff….

    Guys, did you ever stop to think how this might look….


  64. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    While I do not agree with Rauner’s shady business practices, I don’t think it is a problem if he does not break the law. So, if Quinn uses questionable tactics without violating the law, so be it.

    I think what will get Quinn in hot water if he wins is he was clearly holding money until the closing bell.


  65. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    Roeder is a top quality guy. He was a great journalist at the Sun-Times who they could and did throw into anything. Knowing the guy personally, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. He said something stupid. Overworked stressed out spokespeople occasionally do that. Sorry it happened to him.


  66. - And I Approved This Message - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    David Roeder has worked at newspapers in Chicago for 30 years. He left as the Sun-Times business reporter last year to go to DCEO.

    http://www.robertfeder.com/2013/10/02/roeder-leaving-sun-times-business-beat-for-state-job/

    I’d hardly call him a doofus but he certainly blew this call.


  67. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    === Why would any spokesperson in their right mind ever, ever, ever admit to something like that? ===

    This is also the same Crew as a governmental office and campaign apparatus touts public ally the withholding of legislators’ pay as a plus…when it was ruled unconstitutional.

    The utter ignorance of the messaging coming out of that Shop makes me question, often;

    “Do any of you understand controlling the messaging and perception and the truth of your words…”

    It canes back “No, we don’t”…a lot.


  68. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    Walter, DCEO , and before that DCCA, have been governors personal piggy banks since the ’70s.

    I would be happy to do away with it, EDGE credits and the rest of corporate welfare. They’ve been outrageous forever and never been proven to produce anything but press releases for whoever is governor at the time.

    I’m not outraged that a flack had a momentary lapse into candor. I’m down on these slush funds existing. Because this is how every governor, every mayor, everywhere uses them.

    Not to make you cynical, but I hear some politicians cut a lot more ribbons right around election time, too.


  69. - Cassidy - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:08 pm:

    The Grants Management Unit at DCEO that handles the member initiatives would be a great place for huge cuts in January if there is a change of administration.


  70. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    Word.. I guess…But this is the worst kind and why so many want change… even if it’s just the perception.. He doled out money… again… right before an election…again…Fool me once… You get the drift..This ain’t cutting ribbons.. This is the guy who says we can’t spare a dime… And did it again.. And rubbed our faces in it with the response… I am not partisan… So perhaps I can’t see your side on this one..


  71. - Illinoise - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:10 pm:

    The campaign would say that Pat Quinn is running on his record as Governor. The problem is that it doesn’t work vice-versa for the state to admit to campaign considerations. Emphasis on “admit”. These projects, at this scale, would have had to have been in the works for a long time. Obviously the big splashy events were timed, if possible, to land pre-10/4, but first rule of Fight Club is that no one talks about Fight Club.


  72. - A guy... - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    Know him. Like him. Can’t believe he was so goofy here. Can’t blame it on a youthful indiscretion. He shoulda known better. A lot better.

    There’s Willie’s Col. Jessup quote of the day. You’re damn right I ordered the code red before the election.

    Bet that beehive’s in a little bit of disarray at the moment.


  73. - Adam Smith - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    This could, just possibly, break the plane of the goal line for Rauner. If, and only if, the press covers it at all, and he can get an ad up in 24 hours.


  74. - DuPage Bard - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    Interesting that the Il House GOP twitter account just posted that Rep Adam Brown touts landing fertilizer plant in Tuscola.
    Apparently not all the GOP is upset with money being thrown around. Seems Rep Brown is willing to tweet about it and the House GOP is retweeting.


  75. - Keyser Soze - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:15 pm:

    So, what’s new?


  76. - DuPage Bard - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    via the caucus blog

    http://www.thecaucusblog.com/2014/10/tuscola-lands-14-billion-fertilizer.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IllinoisHouseRepublicanCaucusBlog+%28Illinois+House+Republican+Caucus+Blog%29


  77. - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    This reminds of the late, great Hizzoner Richard J Daley, who, when he was questioned in a press conference about his doling out fat no bid insurance business to his son’s insurance agency, replied, “What good Father wouldn’t help out his children?” to the laughter of the press.

    He may have sent the city on the path to ruin and turned corruption into an art form, but you have to give the guy props for chutzpah.

    Of course, you have to be untouchable to make light of these things. Daley was, this turkey isn’t.


  78. - Capt. Von Trapp - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:18 pm:

    You can bet the farm on these two facts.
    1. Quinn is for sure trailing in the polls much more then they are saying. He would never have the gall or stupidity to do this otherwise.
    2. It might not be a great big difference maker but this very well could hurt big time with independents .


  79. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:20 pm:

    Word - I love ya and respect ya, but just because that’s they way it’s been and the way it currently is doesn’t make it right.

    I don’t care if bonding pays for this stuff. Someone has to repay the debt. And who gets paid first?! Our debtors.


  80. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:22 pm:

    The Cronus thing was passed by the ILGA more than a year ago and has been in the works for a long time. Don’t know about the others, but this was totally legit.


  81. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:24 pm:

    Dream on Smith.

    It has no legs.

    Wanna know why?

    It is Amazon and Tuscola.

    If you can’t put a black face on it, your chances of going viral are slim.

    What, we are going to demonize Amazon Moms now?


  82. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    You are accusing Quinn of trying to buy votes of white farmers and suburban soccer moms.

    Do you see the problem??


  83. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    YDD…

    From Mother Jones…

    http://www.motherjones.com/rights-stuff/2011/09/amazon-warehouse-heat-shipping


  84. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    ===You are accusing Quinn of trying to buy votes of white farmers and suburban soccer moms.===

    Poppycock.

    It’s about getting good job news into the headlines before election day. And state employee Roeder admitted it.

    Don’t change the subject.


  85. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    By Wordslinger’s logic, there’s no problem with a politician not using funds in the most efficient manner to get jobs, so long as they get SOME (if fewer) job but timed well for their election.

    Unemployed people not living comfortably in the suburbs might have a problem with that. Would they prefer Quinn not be so brazen about it? I dunno - even when you know that you’re being disrespected by those in office, sometimes you’d just assume not have it smashed in your face.


  86. - Mason born - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    YDD

    –You are accusing Quinn of trying to buy votes of white farmers and suburban soccer moms.–

    By utilizing the State Coffers at the same time he is openly stating the fiscal situation is dire and we must have the tax increase. See the problem there?

    It could have legs whether Rauners team is competent enough to make it work? Questionable.


  87. - MrJM - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    An tin-eared rookie mistake by a communications veteran.

    Inexplicable.

    – MrJM


  88. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    Optics are at play here.

    I seem to remember a lot of people raising a stink about the Mercantile Exchange tax break. And I definitely remember the national furor over the bank bailout and auto “takeover”.

    The general public does not like corporate welfare - especially when they are told that vendors are waiting months for reimbursement, school administrators are being told to wait for construction funding and college tuition goes up because college officials claim the state will not uphold their end of the bargain. And then this magically happens.


  89. - Monostat - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:42 pm:

    All of this is just trivia. The jobs story will shine through, but it is too late. Rauner has this one wrapped up. Urban D’s are stayin’ home.


  90. - walker - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:43 pm:

    Hard to leverage this quickly without bringing immediately back to public attention the Amazon and Cronus jobs coming to Illinois. Tricky message.

    If the NRI program had actually produced a lot of good results, that timing would have been tricky to criticize too.

    Probably a toss-up politically, at this point.


  91. - america - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    Not sure why this is controversial. Texas and Arizona are kings at lulling jobs to their states by offering direct taxpayer cash assistance. Don’t we want to be more like Texas???


  92. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    ===There’s Willie’s Col. Jessup quote of the day. You’re damn right I ordered the code red before the election.

    Bet that beehive’s in a little bit of disarray at the moment.===

    Not in the slightest.

    I’m not voting for Quinn either. The messaging and thoughts out of the Press Shop from the campaign to the governmental bill down to;

    “And I stopped legislators’ pay…”

    They are Dopes with this, saying this, and even more ignorant with this quote today.


  93. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    I don’t blame Roeder. I blame a communications department that provides no guidance or guidelines.

    Being an effective government spokesperson is not actually intuitive — you need to learn (preferably not the hard way) that whenever somebody mentions an election, you refer them to the campaign office. Boom. End of story.

    It’s not an issue of “telling the truth.” It’s an issue of knowing where your paycheck comes from. And when you work for the State, your paycheck comes from the residents of Illinois — no matter who they vote for, or even if they vote.

    Are the people of Illinois paying you to comment on the election? No, they are not. They are paying you to let them know what the State is doing with their money. That’s your job. Period.

    I’m guessing nobody ever had this conversation with Roeder. He’s fairly new in his job, and he’s trying to show that he’s a team player. But the best way to do that is to stay within the four corners of your job description.

    And yeah — there is some passive-aggressive fun to be had in patiently repeating, “I’m sorry, we don’t comment on electoral politics at this office. You’ll have to call the campaign. I’m sure that number can be found online.”


  94. - Lunchbox - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    Agreed, walker, it’s too late for this to have any effect on the race. “Ketchup gate” received more attention than this.


  95. - anon - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    Well, it is up on Facebook now. Likely cutting the TV ad right now!


  96. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    That’s one of those nails on the chalkboard mistakes.

    As far as the money goes, I would have loved to see the response if those jobs had not come to Illinois. He would have been berated for losing business opportunities. So, he’s pretty well screwed no matter what he does there. So why not do a full court press to land those jobs?


  97. - shockjock - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    Quinn hired a well-qualified reporter (not a political hack) as a PIO. That’s a good thing. He told the truth as EVERYONE on the knows it. He shouldn’t be ostracized for telling the truth. Honestly I think it’s refreshing. This was something that was obviously in the works for a long time so why not get it done now for maximum benefit for all?

    A hack would have been more politically savvy but ultimately thats what happens when hire the most qualified people.


  98. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    And, as Rich has pointed out, Rauner continues to back himself into a corner if he is elected. I hope he has no intention of EVER handing out any money. EVER.


  99. - Rahm'sMiddleFinger - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:56 pm:

    I stand corrected. What a total moron.


  100. - DuPage Bard - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 3:57 pm:

    People are tuned out to the noise by now on TV. Everyone wants these two to stop talking in between their shows and the Bear game. The only people it will matter to is the undecided. If they haven’t decided based on all the ads by now then this won’t move them. The NRI thing played out way too long, lasting all summer then two days of blah. This will be the same deal.

    No members of the GOP truly believes that giving incentives to create jobs is a bad thing, hence the GOP Caucus blog pushing the Tuscola deal.
    Per Representative Brown I believe state aid was a critical factor. “I think we had to have some skin in the game.”
    So GOP you mad at the deal or mad it makes PQ look good? Because from the cheap seats it looks like your mad at the timing but love the deal?


  101. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:00 pm:

    Team Sleep, that’s my point. I’m against these corporate welfare deals, always. Would have been three months ago,would have been three months from now.

    Amazon is going to do what they want. They don’t need a bake sale. But they’ll take a little something to let a politician announce “creating jobs” on his terms.

    Roeder copping to something everyone knew already might be news, but the outrage is the corporate welfare programs themselves.

    And whoever the next governor is will continue to use those millions as a personal p.r. machine without any real accoutantability.


  102. - Judgment Day - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    This might have ‘legs’, only maybe not in a political forum. Amazon reported earning last week, and the news was not good. Amazon stock hit the skids and really got hammered.

    Investors and stockholders want Amazon earnings, and they want them off the business. Not by financial manipulation. And now this. It may be tiny money - well, really tiny, in this case. But it’s an indicator to some fairly nervous investors out there of how Amazon is operating (more emphasis on one time ‘financial engineering’ then real market earnings). And right now Amazon doesn’t need grief - they got plenty.

    It’s always about the money.


  103. - MrJM - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    “Urban D’s are stayin’ home.”

    “An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof.” — Marcello Truzzi (1935–2003), founding co-chairman of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP).


  104. - not applicable - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:11 pm:

    “He Gone”!


  105. - Rahm'sMiddleFinger - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:17 pm:

    Well done Soccermom, well done.


  106. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:20 pm:

    Word - and that’s why I hope SB 2 is pushed through during veto session or lame duck session. DCEO needs gutted. I’m not surprised that SB 2 has been in the Assignments Committee since right before Labor Day 2013.


  107. - 662dem - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:20 pm:

    Of course Rauner would never do something like that. Give me a break. The republican are upset because it goes against the narrative they want people to believe about Illinois. The gov just announced 1100 new jobs and significant investment, anyone with good political sense would do the same thing.


  108. - Responsa - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    ==It’s not an issue of “telling the truth.” It’s an issue of knowing where your paycheck comes from. And when you work for the State, your paycheck comes from the residents of Illinois — no matter who they vote for, or even if they vote.

    Are the people of Illinois paying you to comment on the election? No, they are not. They are paying you to let them know what the State is doing with their money. That’s your job. Period.==

    Thank you Soccermom for saying this so succinctly and forcefully. Many people on this thread this afternoon who know better are conveniently forgetting or even worse, furiously spinning this basic fact. Again, thank you.


  109. - econ prof - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    Couldn’t have said it any better Soccermom.


  110. - Going nuclear - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:23 pm:

    =He doled out money… again… right before an election…again…=

    Please……There have been plenty of news reports, particularly in the agricultural community, about the competition between Illinois and Iowa for the Cronus fertilizer plant. The two states have been engaged in a bidding war for over a year now.

    In fact, the plant received a draft construction permit from state environmental officials in May to help expedite the siting process. The Urbana and Champaign Sanitary District plans to send treated wastewater to the plant for use in its processes. And those “free-market” Republican legislators Chapin Rose and Adam Brown have been working closely with the Quinn administration to snag the plant.

    Yes, the DCEO spokesman screwed up, but rumors started circulating in July that Illinois was the likely winner. I’m sure political officials in both Illinois and Iowa were pushing for an announcement before Election Day. Bring on the photo-op with the “big check.”

    I don’t care much for these kinds of corporate subsidies. But they won’t go away unless the politicians and economic development officials in all 50 states agree. Good luck with that.


  111. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:27 pm:

    - Soccermom -, Right back at you.

    Perfect.

    The default to the campaign is the simplest, but if the Comm. Crew never instructed…

    Thanks for your comment, - Soccermom -.


  112. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:27 pm:

    The election is Tuesday… Going Nuclear… This was bad… Again. As great of a guy or unprepared he was or was not.. He stuck it in our faces… There is a reason why Rich used the word doofus at the top of the article… We all are at times, this is his day..


  113. - PoolGuy - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:28 pm:

    if Amazon stops selling ketchup can we all just get along?


  114. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:35 pm:

    Soccermom’s comment reminded me of a flack who used to work in the attorney generals office for Neil Hartigan named Jerry Owen.

    He didn’t talk about anything but politics and elections. If you asked him about something going on in the office, he may or may not get back to you. But he always had plenty of quotes on politics, lol.


  115. - BarbaricYalp - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:40 pm:

    OW, Your not voting for Quinn? Who you voting for then? Putin? Say it ain’t so.


  116. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:40 pm:

    Team Sleep, if there’s a bill to gut DCEO, it better pass with a veto-proof majority, because I can’t imagine a governor who would sign it.

    It’s a very nice personal p.r. machine, always has been used as such.


  117. - shockjock - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:43 pm:

    Reality check for the Rauner spinmeisters: Your guy killed seniors and threatened families according to the current TV ads. Meanwhile Quinn (via his PIO) told the truth and used his role as Governor to create over a thousand jobs just before the election.

    Yeah sounds like a winning hand in the ad war to me!


  118. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 4:45 pm:

    - Norseman - knows I am writing in myself…

    But if I weren’t writing in myself, I am leaving it blank;

    Undervote. Let them find their own pluses. The undervote hurts them both with my specific vote.


  119. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 5:00 pm:

    Rich:

    The very first comments were comparisons to NRI.

    Which, was an allegation of votebuying and misuse of state funds.

    A charge that Rauner spokesperson reiterates.

    All I am saying is that it is unlikely to stick because a votebuying story doesn’t have much legs unless there is actually a party to complete the transaction.

    Who’s mug shot do you put next to Quinn’s in the paper? The CEO of Amazon?

    YDD: “I was asked if I was trying to get the news out before the election and without thinking I said OF COURSE, because I personally feel like whenever you’ve got good news you want to get it out as soon as possible. I wish it had been in July, personally. Illinois is making a comeback, and it is my
    Job to get that story out there, and I don’t see anything wrong with that.”


  120. - Norseman - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 5:55 pm:

    To one and all, the Oswego Willy for Governor write-in campaign is rolling on. Print the button off an old blog post ( https://capitolfax.com/2013/07/30/question-of-the-day-1640/ ) and proudly wear it and share copies with friends. The parties have given us unacceptable candidates so we need to take things into our own hands.


  121. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 6:05 pm:

    - Norseman -,

    It’s time. Let’s finish strong.


  122. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 8:39 pm:

    Norseman, thanks for posting that thread. Good times.


  123. - Jack Handy - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 9:06 pm:

    This won’t have legs until the 2018 election.


  124. - Just Me - Wednesday, Oct 29, 14 @ 9:10 pm:

    I thought we agreed a few weeks ago that the line of separation between Quinn’s political and government staffs was very clear. Did someone play “Red-rover, red-rover, send David right over”?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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