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Rauner claims Arduin contract will “save us billions”

Monday, Feb 9, 2015 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Gov. Bruce Rauner was asked about our Friday story regarding the $30,000 per month contract awarded to his CFO Donna Arduin’s consulting firm

Arduin has been contracted to “provide advice to the governor” on how to deal with Illinois’ pending fiscal challenges.

For that, she — or more specifically, her consulting firm — will be paid $120,000 for four months of work. Rauner justified Arduin’s contract during a Sunday stop in Bloomington.

“Because she’s the best in America,” Rauner said when asked by a reporter how he can justify that expense. “She’s a brilliant lady who’s done financial turnarounds at a number of states. She’s the smartest state government budget person in America that I was able to find and she’s well worth it, because she’s going to save us billions.”

The contract’s signing comes as Rauner has called salaries of highway maintenance workers, prison barbers and other state employees “unsustainable.”

* The contract included an attachment that explains why it was sole sourced. This is the section entitled “Business Rationale”

* Related…

* Youth organizations among first to feel Rauner’s austerity plan


  1. - PMcP - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:32 pm:

    Real quick: Is the contract in addition to her state salary as CFO? If so, then this is truly a form of double-dipping that is the anti-thesis of what could be considered ’shaking up Springfield.’

    Alternatively, if this is a contract as to her compensation as CFO, then I’m not particularly opposed to it here.

  2. - Gooner - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:37 pm:

    The real issue here is why Gov. Rauner feels it is necessary to go outside state government.

    As the documents indicate, this is the first time.

    It is also great to see that compatible parts were a factor in the decision to grant the contract.

    PMcP raised a point that I was confused about also, and none of the new stories seem to clarify. Is she gone after four months? Is this in addition to a full time gig, or is this consulting project the full deal?

  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:38 pm:

    ===”…She’s the smartest state government budget person in America that I was able to find and she’s well worth it, because she’s going to save us billions.”===

    Ya got a slide to show those savings?

    Ya got dem slides showin’ all kinds o’ things…

    While she’s at it, can she show the exact personnel budget for all your Executive Office hires, including the First Lady and the new hires for the LG?

    This is Rauner in his most absolute;

    Others do something - Bad! Corrupt! Crony! Pay to Play!!

    Rauner, in his personal AND professional life, hypocrisy;

    Baloney! I answered that! I’m different! I donated millions! Look at my distraction! Where is that kitty?!

    Don’t tell me he’s different. Arduin and the hires, including the IPI hires say otherwise.

  4. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:38 pm:

    So far, there are no records of her being hired or paid.

  5. - AC - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:39 pm:

    That’s a fine example of an ideal sole source justification for state agency employees to follow. Doubt CMS would approve one like that from the rank and file though. Even if it were approved OIG would be on that faster than you can say ethics test.

  6. - Cassiopeia - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:40 pm:

    The state needs to try something different. Quinn’s budget directors were financial idiots who only dug the hole deeper.

    Let’s give her the chance to show if Rauner’s decision was a sound one.

  7. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:40 pm:

    ==She’s the smartest state government budget person in America that I was able to find==

    Really? Where else did you look? What were the budgets of Florida, California, and Kansas like after she left? Last I checked, Kansas is a disaster and California voters had to approve a big tax increase. Perhaps the current California budget person is better…

  8. - Roadiepig - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:40 pm:

    One would think that he would want someone who actually had a track record of success. From many of the examples posted here last week, failure is a much more common outcome of letting her “turn things around” for you.

    “She’s going to save us billions”. Will if be for the good of the citizens of the state of Illinois, or was Rauner referring to his fellow multi-millionaires when he used the word “us”?

  9. - Steamer - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:41 pm:

    We’re we not already paying for her brilliance? Why do I feel like it’s going to continuously rain for the next 4 years?

  10. - ZC - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:42 pm:

    “She’s the smartest state government budget person in America that I was able to find.”


  11. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:43 pm:

    ==Where is that kitty?!==

    Don’t worry, they’re looking for the best kitty in the country. When they find it, they will go with a sole-source, no-bid contract, and it will be paid what its worth in order to bring it over from the private sector. (And, it will not be forced to join Kitties’ Local 206.)

  12. - ArchPundit - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:46 pm:

    “The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget is giving notice of its intent to enter into a sole economically feasible source contract with Arduin Associates, Inc. to provide consulting services for continued implementation and necessary adjustment of the State’s 2015 budget to assist in preparing the State’s 2016 budget.”

    In procurement speak this is “Because I want to…”

  13. - Skeptic - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:47 pm:

    “One would think that he would want someone who actually had a track record of success.” Remember who’s Governor.

  14. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:48 pm:

    “She’s the smartest state government budget person in America”

    Oh, hey, yeah, umm, you’re pretty good too Tim.

  15. - Wordslinger - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:50 pm:

    I’m confused — is she not going to be on the state payroll?

    So is he outsourcing the budget? Does that mean there’s no need for a head of GOMB? Or is he going to put someone redundant in that gig?

  16. - markg8 - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:50 pm:

    I did a little googling and I can’t say I’m impressed with her track record. Her plans weren’t just rejected in California but in places like Oklahoma and Sarasota FL too.

    Let that sink in for a minute, the state that regularly elects Jim Inhofe by wide margins found her too ideologically driven for them.

  17. - Mad Brown - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:50 pm:

    About Kansas…

  18. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:00 pm:

    ==- Cassiopeia - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 1:40 pm:==

    Right, and we should hire Jeff Skilling as ethics adviser. Her record is one of abject failure.

  19. - Bill White - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:03 pm:

    As Tonto said to the Lone Ranger, “What do you mean by ‘us’”

  20. - Wensicia - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:04 pm:

    “She’s the smartest state government budget person in America that I was able to find.”

    Based on what evidence? Rauner’s ability to judge “the smartest state government budget person” is in question here. His own lack of experience is showing, again.

  21. - ChiTown Seven - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:06 pm:

    Rauner and Arduin are both TONE DEAF. His action and her past work don’t bode well for his efforts at developing and winning support for a budget.

  22. - Mouthy - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:08 pm:

    Sure would like to read through that paper contract.

  23. - Amalia - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:08 pm:

    Kansas is a disaster financially. quite troubling that we are going down the Arduin road.

  24. - From the 'Dale to HP - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:13 pm:

    Outrageous claim.

  25. - SAP - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:18 pm:

    So the contact was announced 4 days after it was awarded and 2 weeks before the expiration of the notice. No wonder there were zero unsuccessful bidders.

  26. - Archiesmom - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    I want to hire the folks Jerry Brown brought on to fix her mess in CA. They gored a lot of oxen, but everyone agreed to share the considerable pain, and that state turned around faster than I would have believed possible. They still have a way to go, but it’s headed in the right direction.

  27. - Just saying... - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    This is Obama like. So out of touch with real people it’s disgusting!

    Hypocrisy - is a person who engages in the same behaviors he condemns others for.

    That’s all..for now

  28. - Qui Tam - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:24 pm:

    This is a good move for Rauner to ingratiate himself with the National GOP clown car crowd. This could also be good for Arduin’s firm since they may just be able to recycle the generic ideological report submitted in other states (with few hours expended for the $120k payment).
    Illinois is the only loser in this given the likelihood of incurring cost with no benefit and risks of implementating of half-baked recommendations.
    I wonder if there is a way for other CMS registered management consulting vendors to protest this(?)

  29. - zatoichi - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:27 pm:

    Saving billions implies at least $2 billion. Tax decrease and pension/debt costs will hit $5B. Has she shown any real success in her last several projects? If her purpose is to show how bad cuts have to be, isn’t she just redressing what Quinn’s recommended and not-recommended budget options were?

  30. - Bibe - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:36 pm:

    If this is how closely he plans to follow the procurement laws when he wants to give contracts to his friends he will have a hard time keeping himself out of jail.

  31. - From the 'Dale to HP - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:36 pm:

    If Arduin’s so good, why doesn’t her firm cost more?

  32. - Norseman - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:40 pm:

    Interesting! We have a consulting firm serving as “Chief Financial Officer” until June. Nice way to avoid headcount and salary comparisons.

  33. - Former Merit Comp Slave - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:44 pm:

    This is ridiculous. I would have done it for $10,000 a month and I have a heck of a better budget track record than her. I can balance my check book

  34. - Fr. Murphy - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:50 pm:

    A better use of Illinois’s “billions” would be to trade Rauner for Jerry Brown.

  35. - Norseman - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:55 pm:

    P.S. Rauner demands accountability from all state workers and contractors so I’m sure he’s going to be eager to show off Arduin’s work product.

  36. - Mike Aughen - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 2:59 pm:

    Candidates ran for office promising that they were the one and only qualified to legislate the state’s budget…yet now will outsource their responsibilities to a paid consultant which drains the state’s funding. Go figure!

  37. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 3:05 pm:

    Hard to imagine after where California was a few years go but CA is running a $2 billion surplus this year. Thanks is going to the Brown administration for undoing everything Arduin to put in place.

    Now that Arduin has “fixed” Kansas, Brownback is forced to raise taxes and undo her mess.

    See a pattern here, Bruce?

  38. - Thinking - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 3:11 pm:

    This doesn’t comport with requirement that sole source contracts be posted 14 days in advance of contracting. Plus there has to be an opportunity for a public hearing to challenge it.

  39. - AnalystRet - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 3:12 pm:

    Let’s speculate about the Consultant’s plans: Emergency Budget Authority; Across-the-Board % cuts; Hiring freeze; Travel Freeze; Pay Scale Reform/Freeze; Tier 2 Pensions for All existing and new hires; Cuts in Middle Management; and Some service taxes for Education. That will be $120K please.

  40. - Fight Fair - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 3:17 pm:

    Judging by all the righteous anger here, maybe we should have an election so the people of Illinois can declare whether they want to keep a governor who’ll keep doing what he does, or fire that guy and hire a governor who’ll do things very differently even if he upsets the vested interests.

  41. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 3:26 pm:

    - Fight Fair -

    So…what are you saying?

    Arduin’s firm is worth $30K a month? Arduin will “save us billions”? Rauner is not showing hypocrisy is deed and works?

    I’m confused…righteously.

  42. - Huh??? - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 3:27 pm:

    Rauner is doing what Rauner does when someone disagrees….double down. I’m not sure he’s doubling down on the right horse.

  43. - Skeptic - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 3:32 pm:

    Fight Fair: “Different” does not have to include “hypocritical” or “border-line unethical or illegal.”

  44. - Summerwind - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 3:34 pm:

    Wonder whether the heart of the difficulty is Rauner thinking voters embraced his economic vision, as compared to rejecting Quinn’s performance.

  45. - Del Clinkton - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 3:37 pm:

    @fight fair:

    Bruce spent $36 a voter to tell us just how corrupt Illinois is. Then goes and does the same old thing.


  46. - walker - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 3:37 pm:

    Interested to see if she actually comes up with anything that will work, and isn’t just rehashed ideology.

    Rauner got elected to “fix” a big problem from a businessman’s perspective. He sees this organizational challenge as a like a failing business. He set apart a “restructure” team, and hired the best consultant with experience in the field to lead it and to give him advice. looks like standard business change management to me.

    We got what we voted for. Hopefully he understands, as Arduin might not, that running a government operation is in many ways unlike a business. He also has more rational and aware members of his team, who might be a counterbalance to Arduin’s shortcomings.

    Always hopeful.

  47. - anon - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 4:02 pm:

    If she proposes to slash $billions from core state services, I would hope the Democrats would act like Democrats and refuse to deprive poor people of health care, day care, and so on.

  48. - Tough Guy - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 4:10 pm:

    According to the Illinois Procurement Code a hearing must be held before a sole source contract can be entered into. The Ethics Commission is required to hold the hearing and make a determination on whether the request is justified. An emergency procurement can be made without prior approval but is only valid for 90 days. I think a review by staff of the Procurement Policy Board would be prudent in this case.

  49. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 5:24 pm:

    She will save billions outsourceing expired contracts

  50. - Mama - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 5:34 pm:

    ==“She’s the smartest state government budget person in America that I was able to find.”== How would Rauner know who is the best since he has never worked on a government budget before? Rauner appears to be anti-Illinois. I guess everyone living in IL are a bunch of dumb-asses. Her contract states only one person applied for this job. It appears this is a no- bid contract. This doesn’t smell right.

  51. - Not the smartest - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 6:06 pm:

    Why hire her? I can tell you what she will propose, cut pension totally, cut social program to the bone and further and but taxes. Where’s my bonus for saving the state money as prescribed by the new governor.

  52. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 7:30 pm:

    Rauner has created a lightning rod. She will attract the bolts from opponents. If she diverts the lightning, that is good. If she burns up, he can drop her and switch tactics.

  53. - Rauner Wronger - Monday, Feb 9, 15 @ 9:15 pm:

    WOW! It use to be “Same Circus . . different clowns!” Now it’s not the same circus anymore . . . it just got bigger!

    It went from a three ring to a five ring . . or is that FIRE RING

  54. - Late to the Party - Tuesday, Feb 10, 15 @ 7:15 am:

    My memory says that state agencies are limited to $20 or $25,000 limit on sole source/no bid contracts.

    Maybe this is more of “what’s good for you isn’t the same as what is good for me.”

  55. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 10, 15 @ 7:52 am:


    You can sole source whatever you want so long as nobody objects. Nobody objected. PPB didn’t object. Nobody filed an appeal. It’s done.

  56. - For Clarification - Tuesday, Feb 10, 15 @ 8:52 am:

    Section 1-30 of the Illinois Procurement Code exempts the Office of the Governor as a constitutional officer. They are only required to procure their needs in a manner substantially in accordance with the requirements of this code. That would rule out review by the CPO or the PPB. Whether or not they followed the substantially followed the retirements of the code is a different conversation.

  57. - yellow dog - Tuesday, Feb 10, 15 @ 7:53 pm:

    Arduin is a major investor in a firm that builds and runs private prisons. Spend some time checking out the double and triple dipping Geo did in the Blackwater River facility. BWR is staffed by non union employees with little training and poor benefits. Now Der Rauner has unilaterally decided scabs can enjoy the benefits of Illinois’ long union tradition without contributing to the cost of representation. To defend this illegal act he has hired Dan Webb, a mob lawyer

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