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Rauner administration pushes back hard on Munger pay story

Friday, Mar 10, 2017

* Oh, man did this ever appear to be a bad thing at first blush

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s new deputy governor is scheduled to receive half of her pay out of an employee health care account that is more than $4 billion behind on its bills due to the state’s budget crisis, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. […]

Munger, Rauner’s hand-picked choice to fill a vacancy in the comptroller’s office in 2015, landed the position with her political ally after losing a special election. Premiums from state employees feed the group health insurance account. The other fund, administered by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, is money collected from overpayments due to fraud or error. It’s used to pay costs under the federal-state Medicaid program.

Munger did not return a message left by the AP at her office. Catherine Kelly, spokeswoman for Rauner, noted that Munger has not yet received a paycheck in her new job.

“When she is paid, it will not impact state employee health insurance payments or service providers,” Kelly said but declined to elaborate.

* And then came this update

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration had arranged to pay a new deputy governor out of an employee health care account that is more than $4 billion behind on its bills due to the state’s budget crisis, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

After the AP reported Thursday that half of Leslie Munger’s $138,000 salary was scheduled to come from a pool of insurance premiums, a spokeswoman for the governor said an agency “mistakenly” designated the wrong fund and that Munger’s pay would come from elsewhere.

* Except the governor’s office flatly denies that they made the change on Thursday after the AP’s report came out. From the administration…

The AP on Thursday published an inaccurate story after altering a long-standing journalistic practice of accepting information on background - background information that directly contradicted the story presented to the administration on Wednesday.

This resulted in the AP rewriting their original story in order to give a somewhat accurate version to readers.

We discovered an error in the contract of Deputy Governor Munger that would have paid her out of an incorrect fund. This was told to the Associated Press - including the specific name of the fund - on Wednesday. They were also told on Wednesday that the other fund is strictly administrative and not used for paying providers.

What’s curious is that despite knowing the facts (be it on background or whatever) they still chose to first write an incorrect story.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

59 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:21 am:

    “What’s curious is that despite knowing the facts (be it on background or whatever) they still chose to first write an incorrect story.”

    Thant is if you believe the Rauner people?


  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:23 am:

    The Rauner Administration:

    Trolling Illinois with a Wingman?

    Oh boy.

    Not good at first blush at all.


  3. - Cindy Lou - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:23 am:

    So who do we blame for writing a contract with such an ‘oops’ in it?


  4. - jibba - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:24 am:

    Indeed, what is still not “bad” about this?

    Rauner’s spokeswoman, Catherine Kelly, told the AP Wednesday that Munger had not yet been paid and that her salary would “not impact state employee health insurance payments or service providers.” She declined to elaborate Wednesday, and the office didn’t provide more details on Munger’s salary until Thursday evening, after the AP published its story

    Sounds like the Rauner admin has a different story than AP. Guess who I believe?


  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:25 am:

    Yeah, “mistakes happen” after you get caught.

    Wasnt Munger’s pay supposed to come from the “vacant spot” of the former COO/Parade Coordinator? How was she paid?

    Munger’s alleged job is “long-term budgeting.” If the Rauner crew can say that with a straight face, they can say anything,


  6. - West Wing - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:26 am:

    Looks like more of the same cat and mouse game between Mendoza and Munger… Mendoza’s office can leak salary and contract info to reporters and may have had a hand in this one as well … one of the few perks of the Comptroller’s Office


  7. - Arsenal - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:28 am:

    These are he same kind of budgetary shell-games he railed against in the ‘14 campaign.

    Springfield shook up Rauner.


  8. - OurMagician - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:29 am:

    Doesn’t matter what fund she’s paid out of. Her job is not necessary in the current of Illinois government and her main qualification for it is that she’s a FOB as she never won for it or the House race she ran for.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:31 am:

    If the Rauner Administration corrected the error, how long was the error, according why was there a need to correct it?

    Is the question now “How did Munger get to place for payment and why was she moved thereafter?”

    Also, I thought Munger didn’t “need a job”. That’s what she said, wasn’t it? How deliciously ironic that Munger is in line to get paid, when she doesn’t need a job, but was comfortable, as her Chief of Staff said, in “reassessing” state legislator pay.

    If Munger doesn’t need a job…


  10. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:32 am:

    I’m inclined to never believe anything from the Rauner administration.

    But the reporter, John O’Connor, should respond.

    It’s entirely possible that the governor’s office is technically true, that they informed the reporter prior to the story being published, but also true that they only made the change after a reporter asked about it.


  11. - nstate funds - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:32 am:

    She makes 5x more than I do. As far as her pay not jeopardizing physicians being paid — they are not. My dentist is receiving payment for work done 2 years ago.


  12. - Rabid - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:34 am:

    If it’s fake news release your communications that will vindicate you


  13. - oldman - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    I have no doubt it was intentional, but they broke the 11th commandment; Thou shall not get caught.


  14. - Lynn S. - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    Nope, the AP did its job, and reported the pay source as written in the Munger contract.

    A peasant dared to challenge the oligarch and his wingman.

    It’s more important to make sure the wealthy Munger family maintain their income, than to pay health insurance premiums for AFSCAMMY employees./s

    I hope the AP keeps up the good work. My concern is how many folks will bother to read the articles.


  15. - Bothanspy - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:37 am:

    I would like an answer to Wordslinger’s question. It quantifies the Pips and truthiness of the GOV


  16. - Bothanspy - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:38 am:

    Pips = oops


  17. - A Jack - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:38 am:

    How about providing a copy of the dated, revised contract?

    Also, phone records of when A.P. was contacted?


  18. - 47th Ward - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:38 am:

    ===Except the governor’s office flatly denies that they made the change on Thursday after the AP’s report came out.===

    Correct. They made the change on Wednesday when the AP called. Lol.


  19. - don the legend - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    Madigan and the Governor’s agencies he controls.


  20. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    Boy, what a choice. Do you believe a questionable main-stream media source or a questionable Rauner source?

    Anyone with government experience knows that off-shoring (as the SJ-R described it) or ghost employee (past usage) parking of Governor’s Office employees in various state agencies is common practice. But other adminstrations did a better job of hiding it.

    Regardless of the true facts in this case, the tale of paying Munger with money from employee health insurance premiums is just too apt. Expect to hear about this for some time.


  21. - swIFT taylor - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:41 am:

    what. is. her. job?


  22. - Iron Duke - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:41 am:

    We discovered an error in the contract of Deputy Governor Munger that would have paid her out of an incorrect fund. This was told to the Associated Press - including the specific name of the fund - on Wednesday. They were also told on Wednesday that the other fund is strictly administrative and not used for paying providers.

    The Governors statement says the exact opposite, they told the AP


  23. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:41 am:

    Rauner’s bad week continues …


  24. - SAP - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:41 am:

    Rauner’s shop is starting to sound an awful lot like Donald “Blame the Press” Trump.


  25. - Rabid - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:42 am:

    You took a chance with someone avocado green with envy


  26. - DuPage - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:42 am:

    Hmmm. So state workers pay into the fund, the medical providers DON’T get paid, and the money is used as a kind of slush-fund to pay a political appointee. Rauner said he would balance the budget by eliminating waste, fraud, and corruption. He is governor, she was comptroller, yet they made this “mistake” with the funding source? The same high levels of competence and integrity we have come to know and expect of both of them!/s


  27. - Ok - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:44 am:

    Why isn’t the Rauner staff and Munger working on a merit based system and the same terms of employment that they want AFSCME to work under? I mean Mungers pay should be reduced to the avg starting pay of a state employee and she should be working under merit pay with he same health insurance Rauner wants state employees to pay.
    should should be reduced to thevavg


  28. - AlfondoGonz - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:47 am:

    Wherever it comes from, I’m sure Leslie is earnin’ every penny /s


  29. - So tired of political hacks - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:51 am:

    The story isn’t just where Mungers pay is coming from. The gov. office has 80 people being paid from diff. funds, all while wasting taxpayer$ to sue Mendoza for wanting state employees to be paid from a fund that was designated to pay them?
    Let’s not forget the gov. gave his people 25-30% pay increases more than Quinn and claimed his office salaries would be lower.

    Do your job!


  30. - Try-4-Truth - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:53 am:

    The Governor is starting to lose the PR war. The speaker is not even mentioned in the process any longer. I think the superstars need to pivot and try something new.


  31. - Sir Reel - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:54 am:

    Yeah. Right. Sure. Whatever.


  32. - Inspector Gadget - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:55 am:

    I’m surprised that it’s 9:55 and Mendoza hasn’t had a press release or conference concerning this yet!!!


  33. - Foster brooks - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    Rauner’s bad week continues …
    When has he ever had a good week? His only accomplishment is raising your electric rates


  34. - Swift - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    For someone who distanced themselves from Trump, this seems to be the first step down the road to “fake news” claims on a regular basis.

    Alternatively, the administration doesn’t know about past tense, present tense, and future tense: “is scheduled” (the AP indicates this will happen in the future), “had arranged” (indicating the arrangement has changed), so AP stories are entirely correct a jive with the GO statement, and error occurred and the wrong fund was designated for a future paycheck, but it has been changed. Where is the harm unless your implying some media bias?

    Also, ==a spokeswoman for the governor said an agency “mistakenly” designated the wrong fund ==: “an agency”, meaning the governor’s office is not paying Munger as a deputy governor? The wrong fund was a HFS fund, but is HFS paying her? Why not IDOT, DNR, or any agency that isn’t a social service provider? We’re 2 years in to this administration and they can’t figure out that paying political folks from social service agencies doesn’t look the greatest.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 10:02 am:

    Keep in mind the following;

    Munger is tasked the following in her job… long term budgeting when Munger never had a single state budget to work with as Comptroller. Munger is also tasked in assisting Social Services with monies from the state for services, and as Conptroller, Munger decided who needed funding first, a triage situation created by… you guessed it… no budget.

    Now tack in this “error” where she was to get… yep… paid… when Munger, as she told everyone… needs no job… from a fund designated to pay half of the money, she doesn’t need, for a job Munger doesn’t need, to pay employee health care.

    Oh. Boy.

    I’m glad they cleared this all up…


  36. - Rabid - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    She is an investment he paid almost as much for her as he did for schools


  37. - Huh? - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    Where is the outrage that the half of the wingman’s salary was to be paid from an account funded by health insurance premiums?

    If the AP hadn’t reported the story, money would have been diverted from the account to pay a political hack.


  38. - Arsenal - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    == when Munger never had a single state budget to work with as Comptroller==

    One of the things that make me wonder why Rauner is so enamored with her. She must have been super impressive for Gidwitz or something, ’cause her public career is middling at best.


  39. - Arsenal - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    ==Where is the outrage==

    Um, all over? It only broke last night, but I see no shortage of angry takes on it.


  40. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    == Where is the outrage that the half of the wingman’s salary was to be paid from an account funded by health insurance premiums? ==

    I feel this story has legs; it’s the kind of thing that resonates. Expect AFSCME to use it, both in contract talks (if they were to resume) and as yet another ULP claim.

    Major unforced error …


  41. - Jocko - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 10:25 am:

    It sounds like mistakes were made by both sides or, more likely, staff at AP were worried that Bruce (and his millions) would make their lives difficult.

    Never mind the fact that Leslie (and Beth) have phony jobs to justify their receiving a state check.


  42. - thoughts matter - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    So where is she now being paid from and what is the justification for paying her from that or those funds?


  43. - Henry Francis - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    There are plenty of similar land mines this administration has carelessly left laying around. It’s only a netter of time before they start blowing up.


  44. - Flynn's mom - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 10:51 am:

    Does anyone know what Munger actually does on a day to day basis?


  45. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 10:53 am:

    Jocko, what “mistake on both sides” was made by the AP? Please elaborate.


  46. - A Jack - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 11:01 am:

    Rauner should change his narrative to say state employees need to continue to be paid so that they continue to pay heath insurance premiums so that Rauner can continue to pay his cronies out of the premiums.


  47. - Nobody Sent - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    Shakin’ up Springfield sure seems a lot like business as usual.
    Unfortunately, our system is so broken and rigged in favor of big money and the status quo, we will never get an honest person elected.


  48. - Anon - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    Did the Governor make the change before or after being contacted about the matter by the AP?


  49. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 11:27 am:

    == Shakin’ up Springfield sure seems a lot like business as usual. ==

    What a lot of people decry as patronage is considered a normal business practice in some parts of the private sector. Illinois elected a sort-of businessman, so the citizens should not be surprised that private business insider practices are happening.

    On that same note, Rauner has to feel frustrated that he can’t just order something done, like he did as a CEO, and have it happen. His actions clearly show he did not, and may still not, understand the limitations on a Governor’s power.


  50. - Roman - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    The fact of the matter is she was put on that fund — that’s the news.


  51. - Mouthy - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    It was a mistake to get caught..


  52. - Alt Facts - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 12:56 pm:

    So what is Rauner’s excuse for being caught in another loop of disingenuity this week, i.e., calling for cuts but not authorizing his agency heads to suggest cuts.
    He is the victim, always will be the victim.
    Unfortunately, this stuff means nothing to the fine folks listening on WBEZ.


  53. - Free Set of Steak Knives - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 1:44 pm:

    === What’s curious is that despite knowing the facts (be it on background or whatever) they still chose to first write an incorrect story. ===

    This is a press office erecting a neon sign pointing out their own incompetence.


  54. - kitty - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 1:55 pm:

    Using Medicaid related overpayment recoupments to fund 1/2 of Mrs. Munger’s salary represents a poor opportunity cost relative to leveraging them for a 50 percent Title XIX Medicaid match, especially with so many providers waiting for payment. Its also possible that using overpayment funds processed by HFS employees to fund a non-Medicaid related purpose violates Federal Medicaid rules.


  55. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 2:43 pm:

    == Its also possible that using overpayment funds processed by HFS employees to fund a non-Medicaid related purpose violates Federal Medicaid rules. ==

    Should be interesting the next time the Feds do an audit. Based on my experience with Federal audits, most likely, the State will be required to refund that amount to the Feds.


  56. - Carhartt Union Negotiating Team - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 3:27 pm:

    == Does anyone know what Munger actually does on a day to day basis? ==

    According to a twitter post, on Monday she was campaigning for a smarmy looking white suburban kid who is running for school board. I’m not passionate enough to look it up again, but he claims to be “the youngest candidate for school board in Illinois.” So. Was. Aaron. Schock.

    Anyway, to answer your question, seems she’s keeping a strong weekly political schedule.


  57. - Handle Bar Mustache - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 3:43 pm:

    If Leslie Munger has any decency she will resign.


  58. - blue dog dem - Friday, Mar 10, 17 @ 3:53 pm:

    Handle. Good call!


  59. - Chanda Beyda - Thursday, Mar 30, 17 @ 1:14 am:

    I got this web site from my pal who informed me concerning this site and now this time I am browsing this web page and reading very informative posts here.|


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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