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Dunkin speaks

Friday, Sep 4, 2015

[Comments are now open on this post.]

* Paris Schutz caught up to Rep. Ken Dunkin by phone

“For [Speaker Madigan] to throw me under the bus like that is foul,” Dunkin told Chicago Tonight over the phone. “I guess they took for granted that I was going to be there. I told them emphatically that I was going out of town. They knew damn well I was going to be gone.”

Dunkin confirms that he was in New York for both work and personal reasons: he first attended a work conference and then a funeral for the friend of his wife. He says he told the speaker and his staff that he was upset the bill wasn’t called a week earlier, and he sacrificed personal and family time to be at the statehouse then, and that he supported the bill at that time. But Dunkin says that his support for the bill eroded when he started asking more questions.

“This is such an unprecedented move by any union under any governor in this state’s history. I wanted to see what they were talking about,” Dunkin says. “I wanted to see the union’s position and where they were in negotiations in writing. I asked AFSCME for information on what specifically they were negotiating and they said, ‘We don’t typically share that information.’ I also asked the governor’s office and had to squeeze information out of them.” […]

When asked if Gov. Rauner did anything to persuade Dunkin to miss the vote or if he offered any sort of benefit in return, Dunkin said, “Hell no.” But Dunkin admits that the governor made the case that AFSCME had a poor record on hiring and protecting the jobs of minorities in state agencies. He says AFSCME flatly rejected that claim but offered him no evidence to the contrary. […]

“The speaker made this a super issue,” Dunkin said. “I don’t want to be a part of his political manipulations. I don’t know what he was thinking when he called the bill knowing he didn’t have 71 votes. He knew I wasn’t 100 percent on board anyway. I’m not in the pocket of Mike Madigan. I don’t work for Mike Madigan, I work with him. I don’t work for the governor. You can print that.”

“There are 47 other bodies that [Madigan] has worked with equally if not longer,” Dunkin said. “But I’m the cause of his self-manufactured defeat? Meantime, on Wednesday eight people were killed in Chicago. The schools are $480 million short. And this is the most salient thing we can talk about in Springfield? This bill meant nothing to the average person.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Politix - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 8:31 am:

    Well, at least he was gracious about it.

  2. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 8:36 am:

    “On Wednesday eight people were killed in Chicago. The schools are $480 million short. And this is the most salient thing we can talk about in Springfield?”

    It’s not as if Dunkin skipped Springfield to address those “salient things”. He was in New York. On vacation.

    – MrJM

  3. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 8:37 am:

    Does he have anything to say about CCAP?

  4. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 8:38 am:

    But you still chose to be gone during one of the most controversial times.
    DO YOUR JOB… I’m not in your district, but you can be assured that you would NEVER get my vote.

  5. - Excessively Rabid - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 8:39 am:

    ==he sacrificed personal and family time to be at the statehouse then==

    If it’s such a sacrifice to do the job, you shouldn’t run for it. Yes, the overtime session is tiresome for all concerned, but still.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 8:39 am:

    “Speaker Madigan and the legislators he controls… “

  7. - A guy - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 8:46 am:

    He’s got some chutzpah, you gotta give him that. I would guess he’s not the only guy feeling this way. Wonder if we’ll ever know?

  8. - Bob - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 8:49 am:

    I would like to know who paid for his travel. This was an NCSL event so state funds may be used but would have to be authorized by leadership.

  9. - Mason born - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 8:56 am:

    Wow is that fifth paragraph cut and paste from a BVR mailer?

  10. - cez - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 9:00 am:

    Dunkin states the Guv’ told him AFSCME has a poor record hiring and retaining minority employees? ?!..How are we supposed to stomach this “stuff”..coming out out of Dunkin’s mouth?..with a chaser of gullibility? Incredible.

  11. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 9:01 am:

    The governor trolling with the race card got a bite

  12. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 9:10 am:

    A lot of questions come to mind here:

    Rep. Dunkin told Steve Cochran on WGN Radio this morning that he emphatically told “Madigan’s Chief of Staff” he would not be present and had a “prearranged trip” to New York. So did Madigan have Republican to replace him? And explain Rep. Drury’s “pro-union” “no” vote (explaining AFSCME shouldn’t be giving up their right to strike while AFSCME desperately wanted that veto to be overridden)?

    While many are bemoaning the “loss of independence” of Republican House members under Rauner, where is the bemoaning of the decades “loss of independence” of Democratic House members?

    So, did that AFSCME bill (and the others) go down in flames because Rep. Dunkin decided he needed to work for the people who elected him (WGN Radio this morning) and thus decided not to show up to represent them? (???) Or should he have shown up to vote “no” or “present?” And then vote on the other override attempts?

  13. - Saddened - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 9:12 am:

    You know….this is Illinois. Nothing is ever really as it seems. Everything is orchestrated for somebody’s benifit or somebody’s detriment. Madigan is no dummy. He knew. The real questions are “why” and “for whom”.

  14. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 9:16 am:

    Glad he spoke out. Am I gullible to believe Dunkin over Madigan?

  15. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 9:21 am:

    But I wish he would have been asked about missing the child care cut vote. Could he not have flown back to Springfield, voted to override the childcare cut, and voted present on the labor bill?

  16. - DuPage Bard - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 9:25 am:

    Time to get over it. He wasn’t there, people can be mad and be bitter but at the end of the day what’s done is done. At this point I really hope AFSCME has come up with an offer that they can work with on the Governor.

  17. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 9:26 am:

    – Dunkin speaks–

    Can’t say you weren’t warned.

  18. - CrazyHorse - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 9:40 am:

    When asked if Gov. Rauner did anything to persuade Dunkin to miss the vote or if he offered any sort of benefit in return, Dunkin said, “Hell no.” But Dunkin admits that the governor made the case that AFSCME had a poor record on hiring and protecting the jobs of minorities in state agencies. He says AFSCME flatly rejected that claim but offered him no evidence to the contrary.[…]

    Bruce made the case? LOL. I never knew Bruce was spearheading the effort to hire and protect minorities. Was that the 82nd issue on his Turnaround Agenda?

  19. - DuPont Money - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 9:42 am:

    Dunkin is working for Bruce. Maybe Bruce will back his congressional run if Danny Davis steps down????

  20. - AlabamaShake - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 9:43 am:

    **Am I gullible to believe Dunkin over Madigan?**


  21. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 9:44 am:

    If Dunkin had this principled opposition to the bill and wxplanation for his absence why did his staff not communicate this information to reporters asking about him before the vote?

  22. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 9:48 am:

    Danny Davis announced he’s running over the weekend.

  23. - Union Man - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 9:51 am:

    Yep, schools are $480M short, 8 killed in Chicago. I bet the Rep is glad he was in New York. He’s supposed to give up personal time to be a public servant; he didn’t do that, regardless of how he might have voted.

  24. - Mama - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 10:02 am:

    If Dunkin was working for the private sector & pulled a no show for an very important meeting, he would be out of a job.

  25. - Augie - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 10:05 am:

    Those bills meant a great deal to this average person.

  26. - Mama - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 10:14 am:

    “But Dunkin admits that the governor made the case that AFSCME had a poor record on hiring and protecting the jobs of minorities in state agencies.” Hmm… This doesn’t pass the smell test. When did AFSCME start hiring state workers? The governor’s office hires staff for state agencies under him.

  27. - TD - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 10:15 am:

    If you believe Dunkin, then I have a bridge to sell you. Dunkin and Maze and Rauner…follow the relationships. Isn’t Maze on the board of the Rauner Family YMCA?

  28. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 10:26 am:

    “Dunkin admits that the governor made the case that AFSCME had a poor record on hiring and protecting the jobs of minorities in state agencies. He says AFSCME flatly rejected that claim but offered him no evidence to the contrary.”

    AFSCME does not hire for state agencies. As to the assertion that AFSMCE has a “poor record” “protecting the jobs of minorities in state agencies”. Please provide evidence.

    If AFSMCE is the racist organization that Dunkin has insinuated, is Dunkin going to return the $17000 of contributions AFSCME has given him over the years?

  29. - sal-says - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 10:32 am:

    It’s part of the job, being there when there are other things to do. Don’t want to do the job? Quit. Same goes for every ‘Present’ legislator. Pick a side & vote; or quit. It’s the job voters picked you to do.

  30. - John - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 10:32 am:

    Dunkin could had voted any way he wanted to on SB 1229. Dunkin missed too many other votes that was important. Maze and Ken Dunkin always talking about “What’s in it for Black People” SB 570 would had help many black people. If SB 570 passed many African Americans would have child care for their children so they can go to work.

  31. - John - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 10:35 am:

    If AFSMCE so racist then why do you keep taking their donations? #give the racists back their money.

  32. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 10:50 am:

    Wonder who’s going to be taking over Dunkin’s committee positions?

  33. - Downstate - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 11:15 am:

    If Dunkin keeps his committee position, doesn’t that say everything about Madigan’s position on all of this?

  34. - Almost the Weekend - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 11:16 am:

    Let’s keep blaming Dunkin even though several Republican legislators have a larger AFSCME constituency compared to Dunkin. AFSCME is not majority Democrat union. Keep giving the Republican legislators who have prisons and other large public sector union workers a free pass. For the past thirteen years they have been able to have it both ways. Refuse any tax increase and talk about supporting public sector unions. If AFSCME continues to focus on Dunkin then they are missing the point.

  35. - LizPhairTax - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 11:39 am:

    Time for vote by skype!

  36. - relocated - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    Regardless of how he would have voted or how it turned out, he was elected to be there to represent his district for a key vote. I’m not so naive as to believe you will have 100% attendance every session day, but this was no ordinary session day.

  37. - Albany Park Patriot - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 12:11 pm:

    “Schutz,” not “Schultz.”

  38. - Ghost - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 12:40 pm:

    I am not overly sympathetic. critical budget problems and crucial votes….. Priority should be to do the job elected for, not the time off to make marry. But ultimately it his constituents who decide if they are happy. Its why we have elections

  39. - pool boy - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:00 pm:

    This is history. Learn from it and move on.

  40. - Shanks - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 1:15 pm:

    Ken Dunkun, you are a fool… Rep. Esther Golar made it from Chicago, from a hospital in very bad health, and you are trying to make excuses…wow

  41. - Rollo Tamasi - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 2:46 pm:

    Take a picture of the three democrats for the milk carton. They will be missing in a couple of years.

    I’m only mad at the “present vote” gutless.

    Will Bruce fund their primary races if Labor and/or Madigan support opponents in their races.

  42. - concern1 - Tuesday, Sep 8, 15 @ 3:43 pm:

    I agree …voting “present” is a gutless way of sticking your head in the sand… the legislative work you were elected to do or quit…pretty simple

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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