Good old Governor Quinn how many of his buddies got the final pay out?

January 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

Media Fails to Cover Quinn’s $24 Million Spending Spree on His Way Out
Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:41 AM PST
Now ex-Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Ill.) sure was busy during his last days in office, as incoming Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-Ill.) is finding out. Not only did Quinn skip the official “handing over of keys” to Rauner during the inauguration to file 102 executive appointments from his administration and campaign staff on Monday morning, but turns out he also went on a $24 million spending spree on his way out of Springfield as well.
What few Illinois media outlets that bothered to report it, such as WGN-TV, covered it this way:
Governor Pat Quinn announced Saturday his plans for $26 million in investments for 75 park projects across Illinois.

The investments aim to help communities acquire land for parks and “recreational opportunities.”

According to a statement released Saturday, a program called Open Space Land Acquisition and Development will provide $24 million to support 75 projects in 28 counties throughout Illinois, while an additional $2 million will come from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Umm, $24 million from the state coffers for parks and recreation is an “investment?” Correct us if we’re wrong, but Illinois is already cash-strapped with $167 billion in unfunded pension debt and retiree healthcare liabilities along with $6.4 billion in unpaid bills and a $2 billion shortfall from the last General Assembly’s approved six-month budget.
Yet that never seems to stop Springfield from doling out millions of taxpayer dollars as if it were free candy.
Indeed, for all the focus and attention the media gives on the tax side of the budget equation (or tax hikes, to be more specific), the media rarely pays any attention to Springfield’s reckless spending habits; including lawmakers voting themselves a pay raise, lavish renovations for the state capitol, and tens of millions of dollars in pork.
Rauner is the first leader in years attempting to get this porous spending back under control by freezing all non-essential spending and reviewing all state agency contracts as his first official act as governor.
Yet the media fails to keep a watchful eye on how Springfield is spending taxpayer dollars. The closest accurate report you’ll find on Quinn’s final $24 million spending spree comes from the Illinois Policy Institute’s Brian Costin, who even provides an itemized list of where every dollar of that $24 million is going – including for bathhouses, toddler pools and disc golf.
Perhaps Quinn was indeed trying to “stick it to Rauner,” as the Chicago Sun-Times speculated:
Pat Quinn spent his final hours in the governor’s office pushing through a series of political “booby traps” for his successor, including signing an order requiring governors to release income tax details, naming more than 100 people to boards and commissions and lifting the minimum wage for state contract workers.

All the while, Quinn punted on the most significant matter before him – medical marijuana – infuriating members of his own party, patients awaiting the substance as well as business people.

“I think unfortunately, he has exhibited rank bitterness in his endeavors. I don’t think he’s left in a graceful and classy manner,” said state Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove).

“There’s a bunch of booby traps he left behind, leading to one reasonable conclusion: he was trying to stick it to Rauner on the way out.”
Either way, the media could do a better job of reporting exactly where our taxpayer dollars are being spent, when they’re being spent.
We’ll continue monitoring the coverage.
John Jay


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