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The Southern asks: “Where’s Gov. Rauner on Cairo housing crisis?”

Thursday, Nov 9, 2017

* 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

* More

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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:06 pm:

    …or could have kept one airplane.

  2. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:12 pm:

    It’s too far. It’s too poor. They’re solid Democrats. They might ask questions. And, the Governor does not want his Carhartt to get dirty.

  3. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:13 pm:

    I forgot one: “Because Madigan…”

  4. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:17 pm:

    Unless there are pyramids involved, there will be no “Governor Visits Cairo” headline

  5. - Annonin' - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:21 pm:

    Maybr we can drop some FOI request on GovJunk and mumbo jumbo to see if there are any emails, notes, smoke signals on the topic
    Guesin’ the answer is nope.

    BTW GovJunk has been wandering around southern IL a number of time. Cairo isn’t that far away when you going 110 mph.

    What will happen next GovJunk turns up in Paradise Papers? Investor in Black Wolf Consulting?

  6. - A Jack - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:22 pm:

    Regardless of how far it is, he could have drove there faster than his plane flight to Israel. I suppose it’s a matter of priorities for him.

  7. - Juice - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:24 pm:

    Dude was in Carbondale in August for the eclipse.

  8. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:25 pm:

    – the Illinois Policy Institute’s reign of tragicomic error –

    That crew couldn’t find their collective tukkus with both hands. I’m sure dealing with the issues of Cairo were well-beyond their skill set.

    Still, the governor can actually do his job and make this a priority, if he chooses. No one can stop him if he wants to do his job.

    Powerful word, “if.”

  9. - G'Kar - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:25 pm:

    I think the short answer is simple–Rauner doesn’t care.

  10. - Chicagonk - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    There is no easy answer to the Cairo situation. If there are no jobs in an area and a lack of affordable housing, at some point the best solution is to encourage and help people move to better areas. HUD is getting beat up for doing something that needs to be done.

  11. - Chicagonk - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:31 pm:

    And Cairo sure gets a lot of attention for a town of 2,500 people.

  12. - Anon221 - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:31 pm:

    Rauner has his own definitions of distance. And, he seems to be severely allergic to anything involving working with the Federal side of the government. Rauner claiming to be “tethered” is also laughable to say the least. Cairo isn’t Hog Rock. Cairo deserves as much respect and attention as Rauner (finally) paid to the flooding in northern Illinois earlier this year in applying for Federal assistance.

  13. - cdog - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:32 pm:

    What’s Diana, the liberal Democrat, who obviously is inspiring a lot of the Gov’s day to day attitudes, think about this?

    Be sure to watch for one of her email addresses in the FOI requests. /s

    Aside from the joking, have there been any criminal charges filed against these evil-doers? If not, how does society have any faith in justice?

    Rauner, from his dusty bully pulpit, could at least shine the light on the need for a prosecutor.

    (That mess is obviously criminal and in my quick internet search could find no hint of charges pending against the racket that was running that place.)

  14. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:34 pm:

    Rauner doesn’t care. But to be fair, the guy who most recently cut the rug out from under Cairo was Pat Quinn. Cairo had a series of grants to clean up the town and develop the port project. It was going great. Quinn’s folks had publicly promised they would provide another of these state grants with federal money. Said so at a public meeting with 200 people. And then Quinn pulled the plug and repurposed the money to a place with more political opportunities. So while I hold Rauner very responsible for his failures, it started with Quinn.

  15. - Anon221 - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:36 pm:

    Chicago Cynic- That should be all the more reason for Rauner to get actively involved since he ran on a “Quinn Failed” platform. I agree, Rauner doesn’t care, but he’s in charge now, not Quinn.

  16. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:36 pm:

    And yes, this line at the end of the story is priceless in response to Patty Shuh saying Cairo was too far to go.

    “Since April, when HUD announced the relocation decision, Rauner has traveled on trade and research missions to China, Japan and Israel and announced his 2018 re-election plans.”

  17. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:36 pm:

    –And Cairo sure gets a lot of attention for a town of 2,500 people.–

    Yeah, the poor people of Cairo just dominate the discussion statewide.

  18. - illini - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:37 pm:

    Thank you Rich for picking up on this story. I hope everyone will read the entire article before commenting.

    Southern Illinois is largely ignored by politicians of both parties, but we do vote and are as involved and concerned about our state as those who live in Chicago and the Collar Counties. This is a particularly complicated, and sad, situation that has been ongoing for many years, but no one at the Governors level seems to be concerned.

  19. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    No argument that Rauner’s in charge Anon. Just pointing out that the guy who really screwed the town most recently was Pat “man of the people” Quinn. Rauner’s acts have been sins of omission. Quinn’s were actual deception and lying and political opportunism. Both men have failed this community and it’s despicable.

  20. - Montrose - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:42 pm:

    Dude. You are a venture capitalist from a very affluent village in far northern Illinois. Everyone in Cairo assumes you don’t care about them. It’s on you to prove them you are wrong. All you have done is double down on their - and many others - assumptions about you.

  21. - Shemp - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:43 pm:

    ===- Chicagonk - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:31 pm:
    And Cairo sure gets a lot of attention for a town of 2,500 people. ===

    I kinda thought the same, and I am one to say downstate doesn’t get enough attention. It’s just that there are poor communities of 2,000 within Rockford, Decatur, Danville, Rock Island, Carbondale and numerous other areas that are equally deserving and weren’t subjected to the local housing corruption that Cairo brought on itself.

  22. - Texas Red - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:45 pm:

    This went from a county problem to a fed one when the Alexander County Housing Authority was forced to cede control to HUD. Lot’s of blame here …” former ACHA managers and board members, according to records and as previously reported by The Southern Illinoisan, spent lavishly on themselves with taxpayer funds intended to benefit housing residents”. Another example of the rampant corruption in this state. Rauner showing up would be symbolic at best

  23. - Huh? - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:48 pm:

    1.4% doesn’t care, he can’t see it from his house and it isn’t a topic of conversation on the Winnetka wine circuit

  24. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:54 pm:

    A) He doesn’t care.
    2) He doesn’t know what he is doing in this job.
    iii) Remember Lake County flooding? took him a while to help out there.

  25. - cdog - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 12:58 pm:

    This is why some folks feel that have to kneel during the National Anthem. (which I don’t agree with)

    There is a great need for justice in this case.

    Silence condones wrong-doing.

    The under-privileged, minority, and marginalized people of this community deserve to see the justice system work properly.

  26. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 1:08 pm:

    I fully support kneeling at the national anthem. It’s a song. Why anyone cares is beyond me. I never sing the song or take a hat off or get out of my seat. Patriotism is for the weak of mind.

  27. - Saluki - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 1:18 pm:

    “Patriotism is for the weak of mind.”

    I will happily be “weak of mind” if that’s the case.

  28. - Demoralized - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 1:20 pm:

    ==Rauner showing up would be symbolic at best==

    That’s not an excuse. Sometimes symbolism is part of the job. Showing up shows you care.

  29. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 1:21 pm:

    “I will happily be “weak of mind” if that’s the case.”

    This is why america is doomed with the likes of Trump.

  30. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 1:23 pm:

    ==…the local housing corruption that Cairo brought on itself.==

    Please do some research before commenting. The folks in charge of the ACHA were not the folks living in these projects. There appears to be a disturbing racial component to this debacle.

  31. - Ron - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 1:29 pm:

    Cairo is like 70% african american. What is the racial component?

  32. - Saluki - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 1:44 pm:

    “America is doomed”

    Anonymous, I hope that your day gets better and that you can find a way to have a more positive outlook.

  33. - Blago's Hare - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 1:47 pm:

    Three words - Trash Can Plane

  34. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 1:47 pm:

    It would be a good photo-op.

  35. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 1:52 pm:

    I have a serious problem with empty gestures masquerading as patriotism.

  36. - SOIL M - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 1:53 pm:

    Rauner not going to Cairo during the time that all of this has been going on is more incompetence than not caring. He doesnt care either, dont get me wrong but if he was competent this whole issue would have played right to him. There is no better example in this State of the corruption between the Democratic Party and Government Unions. And yes in this case the Laborers are a Government Union in that they represent Alexander County Employees including those at ACHA. There is no better example anywhere of using Union money to pay for votes, Democrats to use their position of power to pay off political workers using government funds, and the corruption and conditions that those things bring. If Rauner had jumped on this at the beginning he could not have pushed this to his advantage. Maybe even get a State Police investigation into the corruption, now that the brother of the man who designed this scam is no longer a Deputy Director at ISP. But Rauner didnt. He avoided it. Not only does he not care, he is also incompetent. If he had wanted to show Progressivism under a microscope then he would have focused it on Cairo, but he disnt want that either.

  37. - Ron - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 1:58 pm:

    Who is the Mayor of Cairo, what’s he doing?

  38. - Crispycritter - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 2:00 pm:

    Isn’t hwy 13 between Marion and Carbondale the southern state line?

  39. - illini - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 2:06 pm:

    @Crispycritter - yeah, many think that those counties South of that line do not exist or are not a part of our State.

  40. - kibbit - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 2:20 pm:

    Southern, 1 - Rauner, 0

    Schuh is gonna have to learn quickly that unlike Radogno, there are a lot of things the Governor’s office does that can’t be defended.

    Note for example that Radogno, whom I recall as being pretty busy, made it to Cairo.

  41. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 2:39 pm:

    ==Cairo is like 70% african american. What is the racial component? ==

    Alexander County is 65% white. The manager of the ACHA was white. He did not take care of the housing, he did take care of himself.

  42. - RNUG - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 3:08 pm:

    Gee … Cairo is only a nice Saturday bike ride away. Perfect fall trip down the river.

  43. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 9, 17 @ 4:35 pm:

    Governor Rauner has positions with which I disagree and has done things I believe are bad for the state, and so I desire for him to lose the election and this particular day’s story does not move the needle either way.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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