Friday, December 19, 2014

Quinn wasting $50K on special legislative session only Dem pols want

Last week, Illinois comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, a suburban Chicago Republican, died suddenly of a stroke. She won reelection by defeating Gov. Pat Quinn's hand-picked lieutenant governor, Sheila Simon.

Quinn, a Chicago Democrat and two-time running mate of jailbird Rod Blagojevich, uses his alleged frugality as part of his own branding. In his only non-negative TV ad used during his failed reelection attempt, Quinn was seen cutting the grass at his Northwest Side home with a manual mower. Until it was found to be a defunct program, Quinn used to wave his membership card from the Super 8 VIP club as "proof "of his thriftiness.

Yesterday the lame duck, who presides over a public pensions system that is underfunded by $100 billion, called for a special session of the General Assembly that will cost taxpayers $50,000. Illinois is also burdened by $4 billion in unpaid bills. In that light, sure, $50,000 isn't a lot of money, but $50K here and $50K there, and soon we're at $4 billion.

Topinka's passing exposed a hole in the state constitution--she would not be sworn in until next month, but legal experts concur that Quinn's successor, Governor-elect Bruce Rauner, has the power to appoint a comptroller for a full four year term. Quinn's special session has only one purpose--change state law so the Republican will only be able to appoint a comptroller for two years, then in 2016 there will be special election for the remaining two years. All things being equal, in a presidential election year a Democrat will have a better shot winning that race.

The only Illinoisans who care about this issue are Democratic political insiders and public officials interested in running for comptroller.

Quinn is a partisan hack and a fraud. Good riddance to bad trash.