Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Governor paying staff out of own pocket almost seems like a bribe

We have a new governor, and several high-ranking members of J.B. Pritzker’s staff will wind up being paid significantly more money than their predecessors did.

PRITZKER: New governor offers to pay double
One of the benefits of having a governor who has significant financial wealth.

IT SEEMS HE wants to pay some 20 of his staffers about double the amounts of money that the state payroll calls for.

It means that the staffers will receive their state salary – along with another check from East Jackson Street LLC. Which is a private company that is amongst Pritzker’s business interests and one that Pritzker supposedly controls completely.

All of which creates questions about ethical and moral issues – is it proper for an outside entity to be paying government employees anything? Even if it would seem it’s the newly-inaugurated governor himself who is coughing up the cash for the extra salary payments!

I can’t help but question it because one of the basic principles of government employment is that one is doing such work out of a sense of public service. And also to gain significant experience.

SERIOUSLY, WITH THE exception of Michael Madigan himself, nobody is meant to hang around the Illinois state payroll for a significant length of time.

Those people are gaining a certain level of experience and making contacts so that eventually, they will be able to gain significant compensation within the private sector.

This almost seems like Pritzker wants to buy a certain level of experience that the state payroll usually wouldn’t be capable of accommodating. Either that, or he’s expecting to buy a certain level of loyalty toward himself – rather than to the entity of Illinois State Government that is supposed to be the focus of such a job. 
Govt. attitudes changed since old days
There’s a reason that government employment is often semi-jokingly described as “the people’s business.” Government staffers are supposed to be doing their work  for the betterment of the public at-large.

UNLESS YOU’RE OF the mentality that thinks the Age of Trump our federal government now operates under is somehow proper. Then, you think the public at-large is a batch of chumps because they’d rely on government to fulfill certain responsibilities toward them.

So are we creating an ethical mess in which certain government employees – not all, I should say – will have the appearance of gaining financial bonuses?

Would it be little better than some private company with special interests on select issues suddenly offering up salary supplements to ensure that the actual government staffers act on their behalf – rather than that of the public.

Actually, if you describe the extra salary in such a manner, it almost sounds more like a bribe. Does Pritzker literally have to offer “pay offs” to get his people (who are supposed to be extra loyal to him) in order to get them to work?

NO MATTER HOW one chooses to think of it, such salary supplements sound kind of fishy. Also problematic because they wouldn’t be lasting. Are we literally going to have a fluctuating government payroll – based off who is in charge?

TRUMP: He'd love to buy cooperative govt.
Are voters going to have to contemplate who can afford to pay their workers the best when they decide whom to cast a ballot for? With the idea being that anybody who can’t afford to toss in some extra money for salary is too much of a chump to run for public office?

I’m sure that now-former Gov. Bruce Rauner wishes he had been able to buy a more supplicant staff to work during his four years as governor, Then again, what he really wanted was a more supplicant Legislature – which is something the voters never gave him.

So what should we think of the Pritzker years; will they turn into an era in which the governor has to use his wealth to buy his political influence? Or will it turn out to be a period in which the usual factors that split Democrats into different factions wind up making our state government as ornery as they always have been?


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