* Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, both of our US Senators, US Rep. Mike Bost, all local legislators, four current or former Democratic gubernatorial candidates and former Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno have all visited Cairo in recent months…
Meanwhile, one prominent Illinois political leader has not visited Cairo since HUD announced in April its decision to relocate about 400 people from two derelict public housing complexes that have been deemed beyond repair: Gov. Bruce Rauner
It’s also been difficult for The Southern to get much detailed information about what Rauner’s administration is doing alongside the federal government to assist public housing residents and the city through this housing crisis, or to address the related health and economic issues facing southernmost Illinois. A shortage of affordable housing in Cairo and access to basic amenities and jobs means most residents are relocating to other communities, generally in excess of an hour away. […]
“The governor’s office has been actively involved in the discussions about Cairo but there very clearly is federal action that has to take place. We need information,” [Patty Schuh] said. “We don’t feel like we’re getting the full story yet.”
Asked about the comments from the governor’s office, HUD spokesman Jereon Brown said HUD stands ready to work with any public officials in Illinois to provide whatever information is needed. He offered to reach out to the governor’s office directly.
In a follow-up interview, Schuh said that wasn’t necessary because during a “task force” meeting on Cairo in July, which a representative of the governor’s office attended, it was decided that the federal delegation would handle the communication with HUD so as not to duplicate efforts or create confusion.
Therefore, Schuh said that the governor’s office has not directly reached out to HUD, and isn’t requesting HUD reach out to Rauner’s office to provide the information they are seeking. Rather, she said, Rauner’s office has been working through Bost’s office to seek the information.
I think what happened here is that there were people in the governor’s office who were actively involved in the situation, and then those people were either fired or quit in the first wave of the Great Summer Staff Purge of 2017. And then all activity basically stopped under the Illinois Policy Institute’s reign of tragicomic error and the governor’s new team is likely still figuring things out.
Anyway, go read the rest, particularly the end. Ouch. Keep in mind when reading it that Springfield is 217 miles from Rauner’s home town of Winnetka and it’s 237 miles from Springfield to Cairo. Maybe he shouldn’t have shut down the state’s fleet of airplanes.