Sneed hears the 2005 Chrysler that State Comptroller Susana Mendoza dumped in favor of a $32,000 Ford Explorer may have had 104,000 miles on it, but a top source claims it was in impeccable condition and not in need of expensive repairs, despite Mendoza’s claims.
“It was spotless inside, detailed all the time — and in mint condition,” the source added.
A friend of mine who once worked for the comptroller said he’d ridden in that car and agreed with the above characterization, “except for a slight Marlboro musk.”
Days after the Bruce Rauner-funded Republican Party attacked State Comptroller Susana Mendoza for buying an Illinois-made used car for appropriate state government use, the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association slammed Rauner for his hypocrisy after failing to pass a state budget, spending 54K dollars on a luxury SUV from funds earmarked for State Troopers, and ignoring the outrageous fiscal mismanagement of Donald Trump.
“Rauner should end his petty political games and get to work passing a state budget to help Illinois families,” said President Doug House of the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association. “It’s especially rich that he breathlessly attacked Comptroller Mendoza for purchasing a used vehicle for pool use when he bought a brand new $54,000 SUV for his own use out of funds earmarked for State Troopers,” said House.
Pictures of the SUV parked outside the Thompson Center are included in this release. Also included are purchasing and voucher records detailing the vehicle’s intent and use.
Funds for the luxury SUV for Gov. Rauner’s use came from a fund that is supposed to pay for the Illinois State Police. The starting salary for a State trooper is $57,000 – about the cost of the Governor’s sweet new ride.
House continued to blast the Rauner-funded Republican Party for its hypocrisy on fiscal matters.
“Where was the Republican outrage when Governor Rauner hired Donna Arduin, a $30,000 a month budget consultant that couldn’t pass a budget? What about giving his “wingman” Leslie Munger a new job as Deputy Governor that pays $135,000? And hiring her whole patronage army of nearly 30 people at a cost to taxpayers of $1.8 million? How about Donald Trump’s weekly golf trips to Florida – an amount spent on his family in just one month that President Obama spent over an entire year?
“The Republican Party lead by Bruce Rauner is bankrupt of credibility when it comes to fiscal matters,” said House.
Finally, House defended Comptroller Mendoza’s service to Illinois to fix the mess she inherited.
“In her short time in office, Comptroller Mendoza has been working tirelessly to prioritize payments to the needy and to minimize the impact of Governor Rauner’s inability to do his job and submit a balanced budget. His failure to propose a balanced budget has led to a $12.4 billion backlog for state taxpayers,” said House.
I’m told the pic they provided isn’t even the right car, but the purchasing order is here. As you can see, the purchase was made on behalf of the Illinois State Police’s Executive Protection Unit for “increased mobility for secure transport of public officials.” So, yeah, it’s a fund “earmarked for State Troopers,” but protecting executives is part of their job.
I’ve asked the State Police if the governor’s office was involved in the purchasing decision, but haven’t heard back yet.
*** UPDATE *** From the ISP…
The ISP continuously reviews the status of its Fleet, and makes purchases based upon vehicle conditions, mileage and usage. The ISP’s Statewide Fleet Section Supervisor or one of his staff works with the fleet coordinators for each work unit to ensure we have the correct specifications for a vehicle purchase when we order a vehicle for ISP work units. The ISP Fleet Section did not discuss this vehicle purchase with the Governor’s Office.