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*** UPDATED x1 - “Terminated” by Pritzker administration *** Staff shakeup continues at ALPLM

Friday, Sep 20, 2019

* Staff memo from Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Chief of Staff Melissa Coultas…

Please be aware that Alan Lowe is no longer in the service of the State of Illinois. I will remain in close contact with the Governor’s Office until a new Executive Director is identified. In the interim, all issues that would normally go to Alan will be handled by Toby Trimmer, Dave Kelm and me.

I’m told he was walked out of the building by a deputy governor.

Lowe came to Illinois from the George W. Bush Presidential Library Museum a few years ago.

Trimmer and Coultas were both hired just last month, so there’s not much institutional knowledge at the top. Kelm, the general counsel, was hired last year during the Rauner administration. He’s worked for Jim Edgar and House GOP Leader Jim Durkin.

I’ve been promised a response from the governor’s office.

…Adding… After checking around, the highlighted text below from this August Bruce Rushton story appears to be at least some of what’s going on today

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum again has gotten cozy with conservative talk show personality Glenn Beck.

Mercury One, a Texas nonprofit founded by Beck, boasts on its website that the ALPLM was a partner in a recent weeklong exhibit on slavery at the institution in Irving. Other partners included the African American Museum of Dallas, the Dallas Historical Society and Frontiers of Flight Museum.

It’s not clear what artifacts, if any, the ALPLM might have loaned. Last year, the museum sent the Gettysburg Address and other artifacts to Mercury One for display with less planning and fewer safeguards than had been employed in past instances when the copy of Lincoln’s famous speech, valued at $20 million, left the building.

*** UPDATE *** From the governor’s office…

The administration terminated Mr. Lowe’s employment today. We cannot comment further on personnel matters. We look forward to working with the team of museum professionals, historians and librarians at the ALPLM to ensure that the institution is meeting its high standards.

…Adding… From WBEZ earlier today

A possible auction of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia displayed at Illinois’ presidential museum in Springfield is being put off due to an apparent uptick in fundraising, according to the private foundation that owns the artifacts.
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Last year’s threatened fire sale by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation shocked the history world. Facing an October deadline, the group was about to sell off some coveted historical artifacts because it was having trouble paying off a $9.7 million loan balance left from the original purchase of the items.

A spokesman for the foundation, which purchases Lincoln artifacts for the presidential museum, attributed the change of heart to a less dour financial picture than what the group foresaw last year.

“I am pleased that our fundraising is going very well,” Nick Kalm, a vice chairman of the foundation’s board, told WBEZ in a statement.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

14 Comments
  1. - @misterjayem - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 2:00 pm:

    A house divided against itself, etc.

    – MrJM


  2. - Seeking Context - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    Do we think this has anything to do with his outspokenness against the Foundation?


  3. - ILPundit - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 2:04 pm:

    Foundation wins.


  4. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 2:11 pm:

    Because planning and safeguards are clearly “old hat” to the Foundation.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 2:13 pm:

    “When escorted out, Mr. Lowe was asked, ‘here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?’… “


  6. - wow - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 2:23 pm:

    The Govs office would be wise to keep Kelm around. His institutional knowledge and expertise leaving would be a loss for the museum.


  7. - don the legend - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 2:49 pm:

    Of all the Presidential Museums, one would think the Museum bearing the name of one of the most famous people that has ever lived would not be run and managed like an episode of the Keystone Kops.

    I hope JB uses his money and clout to straighten this mess out put this facility in the good standing it so deserves.


  8. - LakeCo - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 2:57 pm:

    Word on the street was that he wasn’t much of an administrator and likely won’t be missed.
    Did anyone ever hear where Nadine O’Leary wound up?


  9. - Ignore it - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 3:00 pm:

    Just keep sweeping that history right under the rug. Won’t be long til JB outlaws anything Lincoln because it took him so long to win the Civil War.


  10. - I just can't.... - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 3:12 pm:

    …imagine politics and the foundation situation has anything to do with the firing.

    I mean that foundation situation got sorted out, right? How much did they owe?


  11. - Career Politician 2.0 - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    =* Staff memo from Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Chief of Staff Melissa Coultas…=

    Is she married to Manar’s former campaign manager? And didn’t she previously worked at OEIG?


  12. - Original Rambler - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 4:02 pm:

    Do I have this correct that he was allowing Lincoln artifacts to be lent to Glenn Beck without proper safeguards? Well heck yeah he’s got to go. Of all people he should know better.

    And I believe Coultas was with the OEIG previously.


  13. - Open T - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 4:30 pm:

    He definitely honked off Sen. Manar who carried the Gov’s legislation for the museum. Guess who didn’t support it?


  14. - Ginhouse Tommy - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 4:42 pm:

    Got a flyer in the mail today asking if I wanted to contribute to ALPLM foundation.


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