* A few months after Comptroller Susana Mendoza took office, the Illinois Republican Party dispatched a tracker to follow her around Springfield. Click here if you don’t remember it. That unprecedented move is necessary context to yesterday’s Sun-Times editorial board meeting…
But it was a question on whether or not the job of comptroller is a political one — and the tough financial choices that come with being comptroller — that set off the most spirited debate between Senger and Mendoza.
Senger argued that Mendoza often made the office too political by lobbing criticisms at Rauner. There have been some real concerns about turning that office into a politicized office versus keeping it independent, the Naperville Republican said.
“There’s no question that it’s been taken to a level it hasn’t been taken before, and you don’t see Treasurer [Mike] Frerichs or Secretary of State Jesse White do the same thing that you were doing,” Senger said, addressing Mendoza.
“If you’re trying to go out to say ‘I’m being transparent, I’ve got good information for you to share’ you do your 9-to-5 job, but then after your 9-to-5 you’re totally politics on everything, people are going to start thinking ‘hey, are these numbers political?’”
Mendoza argued she felt her approach was necessary when looking at the state’s finances and after meeting with people who were “on the verge of being disconnected from their life-saving medical services.”
Does Mendoza sometimes go over the top? Heck yes, she does. Should she tone some of it down? Yep. But politics ain’t beanbag.
…Adding… Abdon Pallasch sent along this Mendoza quote that didn’t make it into the story…
“The unanimous vote totals on my legislation show how bipartisan I am and I’ve been about as hard on Rauner as I was on Blago and neither of their parties had anything to do with it. I just don’t suffer lying governors no matter what their parties are.”