Godless in Chicago

Governor's Office Responds to Sherman Regarding Pork Bill

Pat Quinn.jpg

One way to determine whether a public official is serious about good government, constitutional government and clean government is who that public official hires to be on his staff.

In the case of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, his commitment to good government can be defined by one appointment:  Jay Stewart.

Jay Stewart is the former Executive Director and a former staff attorney of the Better Government Association, a Chicago institution and the premier good-government organization in the entire world.

When a citizen calls the Office of the Governor regarding a very questionable government practice, like the proposed expenditures in the Pork Bill that I've been reporting on ( Illinois General Assembly Donates Your Tax Dollars to Their Favorite Churches and Rep. Franks Explains How Pork Bill Got Approved ), and your phone call is returned by the Governor's Special Assistant Jay Stewart, you just gotta believe that the Governor is serious about doing the right thing.

At least, you know that the Governor is taking into consideration concerns about good government, or Jay Stewart wouldn't be there.

Gov. Quinn has got to be under intense pressure from countless competing interests on what to do regarding a wide variety of issues.  It's good to know that doing the right thing is one of them.

So, here's what Jay told me:

Jay said that he understood, very well, the merits of my concerns.  He directed me to put the nature of my concerns in writing and send it to the Governor, with a copy to him.

The important part was that he said that I did not need to list each and every one of the hundreds of line items that are obviously unconstitutional.  The governor's office would easily be able to figure that out, as long as I explained why I felt that these types of items were improper.

Jay also said that I should list two or three line items as examples of the expenditures that I was challenging.

I'll make sure that you can see a copy of my letter to Quinn and Stewart in another post, later this month, probably later this week.

Meanwhile, I spoke, today, with State Representative Lou Lang (D-16, Skokie) about the Pork Bill.  A report on that conversation will be forthcoming in this blog, later this week.



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carlosestebanqueso said:

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I hope you send two copies of two different letters. One that lists two or three examples and the other that lists all the examples you feel, as a citizen of this state, are unconstitutional. I suggest two copies in the event they claim they never receive any of the letters. These politicians did their little dance when they impeached Blagojevich, but the griddle is always cooking pork regardless how dirty or clean the chef. What happened to questioning line items that are added to these bills?

Rob Sherman said:


Your suggestion is excellent, but flawed. As a long-time, professional social activist, I've found that the best way to be most effective is to contact the party with whom I have a dispute, come to an agreement on how to proceed to get the matter resolved and then abide by that agreement. Then, if that agreement proves ineffective, there is always the court option.

Jay Stewart and I agreed on a procedure. If I were to then unilaterally defy the agreement by sending two copies, as you suggest, it would only serve to antagonize, as a betrayal, and destroy the spirit of cooperation and trust.

I'm going to send one letter, just as we agreed. If that doesn't solve the problem, if Pat Quinn doesn't veto all of the unconstitutional parts or if the General Assembly overrides his veto, then I go to court under the provisions of Sections 735 ILCS 5/11-301 and 11-303 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, which allows citizens to obtain an injunction to enjoin the expenditures of public funds by state government. You can view a copy of those laws at the following URL:


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