COLLEEN CALLAHAN, director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, has taken on another role — as a member of the Democratic State Central Committee.
Democratic county chairs from the 18th Congressional District last month unanimously picked Callahan to take the place of SHIRLEY McCOMBS of Petersburg, who died in October at age 81.
The Democratic committee includes one man and one woman from each of the state’s 18 congressional districts. The man elected to represent the 18th is BILL HOULIHAN of Springfield, and he told Sangamon County Democrats at a recent meeting that Callahan will be a “great partner.” He noted she is a cousin of U.S. Rep. CHERI BUSTOS, D-Moline, and niece of Bustos’ late father, GENE CALLAHAN of Springfield.
Colleen Callahan, 68, lives near Kickapoo, and in 2008 was the Democratic candidate for Congress in the 18th. She lost that year to then-state Rep. AARON SCHOCK. […]
“I am happy to step up to the plate as it relates to communicating the issues,” she said of her new party post.
I dunno about this. IDNR has been known as a patronage dumping ground. So, a director who is also a state Democratic Party official who has to run for election could become a problem.
…Adding… For those defending this in comments, let’s go back to 2016…
A bipartisan pair of state senators are introducing legislation that would ban directors of state agencies and other high-level gubernatorial appointees from using their “official authority or influence” to sway elections.
Announcing the proposal Wednesday at Statehouse news conference, Sens. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, and Sam McCann, R-Plainview, touted it as an important expansion of the state’s ethics laws.
Manar said the measure will close “a gaping hole” in existing law and is similar to restrictions at the federal level and in other states.
“I’m of the opinion that agency directors should not spend their time campaigning,” he said. “They should spend their time managing the agencies that they have been entrusted to run and to manage when the Senate confirmed their appointments.”
…Adding… Sen. Manar just told me “My position hasn’t changed” regarding his 2016 legislation.
…Adding… A commenter makes an excellent point…
Every time a grievance is filed, someone might claim that whatever slight they experienced was because the director is a dem party official who dislikes them because they voted republican in the past
I’m told the governor’s office was not informed of this. I can’t believe they’re going to allow this to stand.