Quinn Payback Appointment? Jennifer Burke Added To Illinois Pollution Control Board

Quinn Payback Appointment? Jennifer Burke Added To Illinois Pollution Control Board

For a man who has built himself up as being a one-man crusader for political reform and slamming the corrupt Business As Usual Politics of a sitting governor, Pat "the Former Reformer" Quinn sure has enjoyed the spoils of occupying the Governors Mansion. Then again, anyone who likes to watch the eyes of politicians, or liars in general, could see that this was a man who himself didn't believe a single word he was saying. And if you don't believe me then just watch the next time he speaks and see his eyes constantly dart around to see if someone actually picked up on that little fib he just slipped in there. It is like the old saying goes - the eyes just don't lie! The Huckster, though, has earned the nickname I have bestowed upon him because he is every bit the shifty politician as the brethren he was trying to out before becoming the fat cat himself.

After Pat Quinn became Governor, he immediately went on a campaign to lock in the necessary votes he needed to get the State Legislature to pass the largest Income Tax Increase in state history. At the same time he kept drilling taxpayers that the State was in such dire financial straits that he desperately needed that tax increase to pay the bills and fund education - as well as a host of other things essential for the well-being of all Illinoisans. As we know, the State Legislature eventually gave him that tax increase in a very questionable 13th hour voting session. Too bad, though, that everything the Huckster told us was a lie because life hasn't gotten better and the programs he was going to save were not only slashed but our financial situation and debt obligations have worsened under his watch.

So what did Pat Quinn need all that money for really? Well, it is pretty obvious to me that given the lack of any improvement that the money was needed to keep the political machine's business-as-usual and pay-to-play culture humming right along! And Quinn punctuates that point on a regular basis as he keeps adding to both the current, and future burdens, of Illinois taxpayers with his never-ending political payback appointments.

You could say that the first indication of Quinn's insincerity was the appointment of Careen Gordon after she agreed to change her firm "NO Vote" to a "Yes." Naturally, ethics and morals always hit the skids when someone is in need of a job. And that was exactly what Gordon needed since her constituency had decided that they had tired of her and voted her out. But defeated politicians are like rodents in Illinois, you could shoo them out of the house but it is just a matter of time before they are back inside wreaking havoc. Careen Gordon of course isn't the only has been to land back on the public payroll as Quinn's appointment of a thrice defeated Dan Seals would attest to. One thing is for sure, the Huckster loves his power to appoint political cronies so much that he has all but abandoned his political promise of bringing transparency to state government that desperately needs it!

Then again, Pat Quinn has always been the Party Loyalist. We really shouldn't have expected anything more than what he was - which is the typical Chicago Machine Democrat. Unfortunately that also meant that he must spread around the spoils if he is to expect future support from the party's power elite. And there are many political elite families that fall into that category here in Illinois. However, one family that is important to Quinn's political future are the Burke's.

As in Edward M Burke, the 14th Ward Kingpin and his Illinois Supreme Court Justice wife Anne! Coincidentally, the Burke's have also been one of Pat Quinn's major campaign contributors and staunchest political allies. It now seems that the Burke-Quinn relationship has finally payed-off in spades for Jennifer Burke, 41, who was appointed to the Illinois Pollution Control Board on Wednesday. That position will pay her a cool $117,043 per year on top of the $99,948 per year she bags as the City of Chicago Assistant Corporation Counsel Supervisor.

Now if I didn't know any better, it would seem that the $200,000 loan that Friends of Edward M. Burke fronted the "former reformer" during his gubernatorial campaign has been all but been squared with that little move. But we should watch for any "future considerations" since the Burkes also donated an additional $52,000 since Justice Anne Burke swore Quinn in shortly after Rod "I Won't Play Along" Blagojevich was removed from office.

In addition to Jennifer Burke's appointment on Wednesday, the Huckster also saw fit to appoint Jennifer Parrack to the Prisoner Review Board at $85,886. That was the position that Careen Gordon had to abandon after her chances of Senate confirmation vaporized due to that Tax Vote. But don't fret, because if you remember the Huckster was still able to place Gordon in a separate agency position that didn't require any Senate confirmation.

I guess the thing that galls me the most is that most of these political appointments, especially to some of the obscure ones, could be done without and eliminated. Exactly how many double-dippers does our system need to support? And if the Governor says we need them, well make it a $1 per year as Rahm Emanuel is doing with some. We forget, many of these appointments are already taking in a salary somewhere else in government or they are on a pension with benefits. Why can't that money be put into essential programs or for summer job programs for those who really need it? Why does education, public health or infrastructure have to take the fall while the politically connected rake in even more from an over-burdened tax base? Dammit - Enough is Enough!

So, the next time someone tries to tell you that the state is dire financial straits make sure that you call your state representatives and ask them exactly what that means okay? I mean is it really about paying the state's long past due bills, supporting education, small business retention and/or job creation or is it about the ever expanding political machine's feeding trough? And why is Governor Quinn offering tax offsets to Big Business concerns that don't add any new jobs or their fair share of property taxes into the State Treasury? I am sure that Jennifer Burke, and the host of other political appointments made by Quinn, will be living high off the hog when they begin tapping into their multiple pension funds. Pension Funds which will of course be funded by taxpayers later when yet another dire financial situation rears its ugly head.

As for The Huckster? Well the beat just goes on and on....

Then again, Joe "Da Family Man" Berrios has a pretty good gig too!

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  • I think you were the first to point out that she was a double dipper. You have also pointed out that there are too many boards.

    Most of the comments on the Tribune board were that Quinn is going to join his two predecessors in Terre Haute, but I figure he knows that someone has a wiretap. Maybe that's why his eyes are so shifty.

    The real issue is his, and a few others' claim that so and so "is a capable attorney, and shouldn't be discriminated against" on the basis that her father is the head ward heeler and her mother is a Supreme Court Judge.* Horse hockey. My response is that it only proves that the only persons considered are those whose last name (or middle name after marriage) are Burke, Daley, and Madigan. The feds would hit any private industry that hired solely on that basis with a Title VII suit. If these people were so capable, they would be working in the private sector instead of double dipping the state.

    *Toddler used to say something similar.

  • In reply to jack:

    The Tribune alluded to it in separate paragraphs, now why they refrain from calling an ace an ace -I don't know? But yeah, she is a double-dipper if (when) confirmed. And we have much to much of that - yet people stay blind, unengaged and only show the slightest anger just as the election nears - thus no momentum. Why people put up with it I haven't a clue but mark my words it gets worse before it gets better and no one is more to blame than the people themselves.

    Quinn was just on that new show Windy City Live (on ABC that took Oprah's slot) - he comes on stage - applause -- he says he is committed to jobs and education - more applause! Do you think the audience doesn't Have a clue? Oh yeah! But you see the problem? They weren't smart enough to know he has picked their pockets. Go figure - but looks like the blind leading the blinder. That to me tells me what is wrong with voters because by all rights he should have been booed off the stage and/or called out for all the things he has slashed and taken away from them.

    As for your last paragraph - yeah you are right on target.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    As far as voters wising up to pandering a state into bankruptcy, it took New York 16 years to figure out King Mario I, and finally vote him out. Illinois voters are not even close to being that smart.

    As far as Windy City Live, maybe you should ask Chicago Now's Jenny Milk to ask her husband about that audience. At least Oprah's held out for a new Pontiac.

    But saying "jobs and education" is apparently enough, without doing anything about them, especially for voters who say such stuff as "I couldn't vote for Brady because he would have forced me to carry my baby to term." They don't say that, but mean that, notwithstanding that Quinn has done such things as running a con game on the "transit fare freeze." One such person said "well if Brady was too incompetent to run a winning campaign," to which I replied that I assume that based on that logic, you voted for Kirk over Giannoulias, and Rutherford over Kelly, but I know that you didn't.

  • In reply to jack:

    Well, you got me to laugh out loud Jack. Thanks.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Personally, I didn't think that the Panderer Mario I and the exchange with the Quinn voter were that funny, maybe tragic.

    Now, if Geoff Peterson were the governor and said "Balls" all the time, that would be funny. However. like Quinn, he seems to be a programmed puppet of another.

    So,we get back to the original point.

  • In reply to jack:

    I should have clarified what made me laugh - it was the Windy City Live / Oprah comment as I was really trying to envision that. But yes you are right, it resembles a Greek Tragedy. Sorry there was no offense intended on the meat of your comment.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    None taken.

    The Tribune this afternoon indicates that she will have to quit her other job. However, the comment board, as of about 4:30 was pretty unanimous about Quinn being a liar, but I don't know if that means anything.

    But with regard to WCL, I guess Jenny will be interested in it staying on long enough to keep her husband employed.

  • In reply to jack:

    Last point first; yes I would agree with that. In so much as that she will have to quit - it doesn't diminish the fact that she will have multiple pensions. Interesting though, I also believe that hadn't there been an uproar the chance of "having to quit" probably wouldn't have been "thunk of" even if required (although I have to admit I don't know what the rules are for her current position). As we know, though, there are many, many officials holding down multiple positions simultaneously and all without shame. I can even recall an alderman from the South Side also being on another municipality's payroll for two positions? That of course all the while still serving as a Chicago Alderman.

    p.s. the unanimous consensus of Quinn being a liar is good news - hopefully they are all of legal age to vote the next time, LOL

  • "p.s. the unanimous consensus..."

    Of course, if the Tribune comment boards reflected election preferences, Illinois would have been a red state years ago. Just ask Earnest in Evanston, who is under another name now.

  • In reply to jack:

    I can't disagree there. However, have you sensed a shift in their ideological position as I have? Perhaps it is just a perception, but I think they lost their Blood Red slant a very long time ago.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    I think it will take screwing them where it hurts, something like $5.00* base bus fares, or Link Cards suddenly being dishonored. Apparently the income tax hike was not sufficient in that regard.** And by that calculus, another Burke getting another job is peripheral.

    *If you want a laugh, go to Tuesday's CTA Tattler on "Claypool working feverishly..." on where I said it was ironic that Claypool has become the CTA's Stroger.

    Of course, even if that happens, the Dem. voters will say that all would have been o.k. if the CTA had more funding.

    **Even though the sales tax hike put the heat on Stroger, Suffredin, who provided the needed 9th vote, wasn't affected.

  • In reply to jack:

    Never thought of it from that point but yes that would spark immediate anger. I can see the rationale since most with a Link Card don't pay income tax anyhow. I'll check out Tattler, your synopsis sounds good.

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