Saturday, October 13, 2012

EXTRA: Gubernatorial delusions?

Tough talk from the governor? Or just evidence that his grasp of political reality is less than solid these days?
QUINN: Still a Kraft-backer

I couldn’t help but be amused to hear Gov. Pat Quinn on Saturday make a brief statement about the political future of Kelly Kraft. She’s the former television reporter-turned-state employee whom Quinn wants to have serve as executive director of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority.

THAT’S THE AGENCY that runs U.S. Cellular Field, helped to pay for renovations at Soldier Field and could have a hand in any future Wrigley Field remodeling/reconstruction.

The agency consists of appointees by the Illinois governor and Chicago mayor, and Quinn wants his person (who most recently was a spokeswoman for the governor’s budget director) in charge.

Yet Mayor Rahm Emanuel doesn’t want her. He claims to want someone of a solid economics and financial background (and apparently, deciphering the financial claims of political people for public consumption – like a reporter-type person often does – isn’t good enough for him).

The two have been quarrelling over this, and there doesn’t seem to be any wriggle room.

YET QUINN , WHILE appearing at a state workshop in suburban South Holland to help people avoid foreclosure, said he still expects to see the concept of “Executive Director Kelly Kraft” at some point.

“She’s a qualified person,” Quinn said. “She will be confirmed soon.”

Yet Quinn, by his own admission, hasn’t talked any more recently with Emanuel about the issue than the sports authority meeting held Monday when nothing was done with regards to Kraft’s appointment.
EMANUEL: Wants another accountant-type

So what Quinn is basing his verbal snippets on (he wouldn’t elaborate) is something I don’t know.

NOT THAT IT is impacting the agency all that much. The position has been open since the spring of 2011, with that spat having no end in sight. The state’s maintenance of U.S. Cellular Field for use by the Chicago White Sox doesn’t seem to be suffering.

Then again, this issue probably does get resolved when the two sides come to agreement on the prospects of a Chicago casino, what the city ought to do to help the state resolve pension funding problems, and a whole host of issues that might appear unrelated to us – but are all intertwined in the jumbled mess who we think of as our local government officials.


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