Wednesday, July 17, 2013

ILL-inois: Two Democratic patronage stories in one day reveal the rot

The political rot in Illinois is endemic. Two stories from yesterday reveal the extent of one party rule in the Prairie State.

First, from the Chicago Tribune:
Shortly before Metra CEO Alex Clifford's patronage complaints against House Speaker Michael Madigan pushed the agency into severance negotiations, Madigan asked Gov. Pat Quinn's administration to hire the supporter at the heart of Clifford's allegation.

The Quinn administration — which has sharply criticized Metra's handling of Clifford's departure — granted the speaker's request for Patrick Ward, a labor relations specialist and longtime foot soldier in Madigan's political army. Officials said Ward now is working in a newly tailored Chicago-based job that took over the duties of a state worker whose job had been based in Winnebago County [80 miles from Chicago].

The state revealed that Ward was the only person interviewed for the $70,000-a-year job.

The Quinn administration said the governor did not know about the hiring until Friday.
And is it any wonder that I refer to Quinn as hapless? Madigan, by the way, is the chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party.

Now from the Chicago Sun-Times:
County taxpayers will likely be on the hook for the $529,000 expected to be paid to 11 employees who were fired for unlawful political reasons by Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios after he took office in 2010.

A federally appointed county monitor assigned to sift through alleged violations of the Shakman Decree, which bans political hiring and firing for certain positions, decided the claims by the 11 former employees were legitimate and has recommended the Cook County Board approve the payment.

The board meets for its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday, and is expected to vote on the claims.

Commissioner Peter Silvestri, a Republican from Elmwood Park, said he sees no way around approving the payment, but he doesn't like it. "The funds could be used for public safety or public health," he said. "But failure to [approve the claims] would probably put us back in federal court, the options are not real great."
Berrios is also the chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party--the Machine. Last year the Sun-Times reported that the Boss had 15 members of his family on various government payrolls.

This is how ILL-inois is run.

Why would any sensible business choose to locate here?

Related post:

Cook County Dem Party boss has 15 members of his family on gov't payroll

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