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Because… Pritzker!

Thursday, Jun 24, 2021

* Press release…

U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement on President Biden’s Gun Crime Prevention Strategy:

“Too many Chicagoans endure the daily stress and fear of gunfire, and too many Monday mornings start with devastating news headlines of the weekend’s toll of shootings in our streets and neighborhoods. This violence is heartbreaking, traumatic, and impacting innocent families and children. Addressing the gun violence epidemic will take community-based efforts and stricter enforcement of gun laws. I agree with President Biden’s approach.

“I’ve asked Governor Pritzker to use American Rescue Plan funds to support targeted violence intervention efforts. The Senate Judiciary Committee will also continue to examine proposals to reduce the unacceptably high levels of shootings, and work to confirm the President’s nominee to lead ATF and enforce the gun laws on the books.

“Senseless violence, and the trauma it leaves behind, fuels the cycle of gun crime in our cities. Congress has to invest in community-based prevention efforts and pass common sense bills that help our cities heal, get illegal guns off the streets, and keep our kids and grandkids safe.”

On Tuesday, Durbin, along with U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), sent a letter to Illinois Governor JB Pritzker urging him to consider a few key principles to help guide the State’s use of approximately $125 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan for violence prevention and youth employment programs.

The letter is here.

* Durbin’s press release was a bit puzzling to me because I told subscribers about the governor’s plans for spending that very money several days ago. It’s already in the state budget. So, I asked Pritzker’s spokesperson Jordan Abudayyeh for a comment on the Durbin release…

We did this.

Um, Senator, maybe pick up the phone before doing that again?

* Meanwhile, from the Kankakee Daily Journal

[Kankakee] County administrator Anita Speckman reported 20 vacancies at Tuesday’s county board executive committee meeting at the county administration building. She said it’s an unheard of problem for the county. That list has been whittled down to nine after the county recently published an ad in the Daily Journal about the openings.

Todd Sirois, board vice chairman, blamed the lack of applicants on the state’s extension of unemployment benefits.

“It would be nice if [Gov. JB Pritzker] would rescind the extra unemployment benefit that is probably causing people not to seek employment because they can make more money by not working than they can by working,” Sirois said. […]

Speckman said her department does salary studies before a job is posted. The $30,000 salary for the grant writer was at the low end for someone with minimal experience.

$30K? Yeah, it’s definitely the governor’s fault.

* On to the Edgar County Watchdogs

Shelby County Sheriff Don Koonce has submitted his resignation letter to the Shelby County Board Chairman with an effective date of June 25, 2021.

    “Please allow this letter to serve as my official notification that I will be retiring and resigning my Office as Sheriff of Shelby County on June 25, 2021. This decision was not an easy one for me to make, but reaffirmed by the imminent change in police reform. It is my hope that Illinois legislators dive deep into this reform, and make sweeping changes. The safety of the public is at risk.”

Koonce cites police reform as his reaffirmation to retire, however, Koonce faced a criminal investigation by the Illinois State Police regarding illegal gun sales and alleged payroll fraud. That investigation was completed and turned over to the Attorney General for a charging decision in December of 2020.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

22 Comments
  1. - Mockery - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 2:24 pm:

    Im guessing the person who suggested this letter also suggested the strategy for taking over DPI.


  2. - SWIL_Voter - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 2:28 pm:

    $30,000 for a grant writer? Double the offer and you’ll get some good early career applicants


  3. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 2:32 pm:

    - minimal experience. -

    Except for a bachelors degree, of course, that likely cost at least 3 times that annual salary. The wages people expect workers to live on are appalling.


  4. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 2:34 pm:

    “It would be nice if [Gov. JB Pritzker] would rescind the extra unemployment benefit”

    The workers who lost jobs during the pandemic should take every extra dollar of unemployment they can get their hands on. They’re going to be economic martyrs while the richest corporations and individuals get gigantic Trump tax cut handouts? Not in this state.


  5. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 2:48 pm:

    ==Durbin’s press release was a bit puzzling to me==

    Not puzzling. The easiest ask is for something that is already going to happen.


  6. - NIU Grad - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 2:54 pm:

    Another effort to appear influential in both DC and Springfield by Sen. Durbin.

    I’m sure his visit to the State House a few weeks ago helped critical pieces of legislation move. /s


  7. - Rabid - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 2:56 pm:

    Durbin just can’t help himself


  8. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 3:16 pm:

    Waz next Sen. Durbin blamin’ Sen Duckworth or gasp the guy from Joliet Catholic for somethin’ Yikes.
    And “targeted violence intervention “funding like “weatherization” money who gets that cheese?


  9. - thechampaignlife - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 3:48 pm:

    Speaking of criminal investigations of elected officials, the Edgar County Watchdogs also have the ISP report for Rep. Ammons’ alleged theft. Pages 37-40 with the interview of Ammons do her no favors.


  10. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 3:49 pm:

    ==Waz next Sen. Durbin blamin’ Sen Duckworth or gasp the guy from Joliet Catholic for somethin’ ==

    Maybe for the many football playoff defeats that SHG experienced from Joliet Catholic over the years?


  11. - Responsa - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 4:11 pm:

    Durbin is playing to the national audience these days. He does not appear to be very connected with his fellow pols with respect to what’s going on here in Illinois as the referenced derp “letter” suggests.


  12. - Early Illinoisan - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 4:12 pm:

    == $30,000 for a grant writer? Double the offer and you’ll get some good early career applicants==

    When the grant gets funded, then you get the real job.


  13. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 4:14 pm:

    I wonder what quality of grant writer you’d get for $14.42 an hour.

    “Could you please get the draft copy of that grant proposal to me by 5?”

    “Sir, this is a Wendy’s.”


  14. - Mama - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 4:14 pm:

    ““It would be nice if [Gov. JB Pritzker] would rescind the extra unemployment benefit that is probably causing people not to seek employment because they can make more money by not working than they can by working,” Sirois said. […]”

    Unemployment pays a living wage. Maybe it is time businesses and the government to start paying a living wage too. Poor people want to continue to be able to pay their bills.


  15. - Early Illinoisan - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 4:15 pm:

    …or “temporary” real job at least.


  16. - Early Illinoisan - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 4:27 pm:

    “Grant writer” is barely above a summer intern. Sometimes one in the same. If the grant is funded then you usually get one of the staff positions described in the grant application at a much better salary. You get some good experience, for three years or so, at a much better rate of pay. Develop relationships and hopefully a good reputation at the institution or agency that is the home for the project and lo and behold you have begun an actual career.
    Signed: a former grant writer who happily took the job for $12k a year


  17. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 4:30 pm:

    ===a former grant writer who happily took the job===

    Times change.


  18. - Bob Meter - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 4:52 pm:

    An on the job felony conviction won’t save your pension, sheriff.


  19. - All this - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 5:08 pm:

    “and I think we’re training people to be reliant on the government instead of going out and doing their own thing.”

    Speaking of training, how about training people to do the job, Mr. Todd Sirois, instead of throwing out the applications that aren’t “relevant.”


  20. - Frank talks - Thursday, Jun 24, 21 @ 8:33 pm:

    Maybe Durbin could’ve called about DPI Chair and asked JB’s people if they thought the FEC rules for Robin Kelly would be a problem?
    Communicating with others is your friend Senator


  21. - Sox 59 - Friday, Jun 25, 21 @ 6:36 am:

    Durbin doesn’t represent illinois. He has a national agenda. Not an illinois agenda. Have we forgotten when he blasted the US military on the Senate floor and Mayor Daley picked up the phone? Beefed at Durbin and then Durbin went back to the Senate floor and basically apologized? What about his cringe worthy bad joke about Lincoln being shot during the dedication of the library with President Bush seated just feet away from him? If Al Salvi doesn’t wet the bed years ago Durbin would have been a footnote in Illinois political history.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 25, 21 @ 7:02 am:

    === If Al Salvi doesn’t … Durbin would have been a footnote in Illinois political history.===

    Al Salvi is the footnote.

    Salvi lost by a whopping 15 points.


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