-By Warner Todd Huston
In just one more example of the thousands of examples of political graft in Illinois, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that being a board member of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board is one giant no-show, do-nothing pay off to friends, family, and allies of Illinois’ Democrats. Members make up to $100,000 a year to do practically nothing on this useless board and we, the people, are paying through the nose for it all.
Members of this board have a grueling yearly schedule, indeed. They meet once a month. Well, “meet” is relative as rules allow them to just phone it in… literally… as members constantly “attend” the meetings by listening in over the phone. So, yes, they are paid up to $100,000 a year to make a phone call once a month.
Even so, maybe you’d think that their actual duties are time consuming aside from that big once a month meeting? Not according to the Post-Dispatch. You see, the board also has full time, paid staffers that assemble all the reports and then make the recommendations for the board members to vote on. When the members “meet” they usually just rubber stamp the work of the paid staffers. So the taxpayers are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a year so that a few politically connected pals and family members of the legislators can rubber stamp the well paid staffer’s findings.
And who are some of these board members? One is the wife of a state senator. One is a Springfield lobbyist. Another is the ex-legislative aid of a member of the legislature. Yet another used to work for the governor. Politically connected one and all.
It gets worse. There are 321 other boards like this in Illinois. All causing the state to spend millions upon millions a year for no-show jobs given to political pals of the members of the general assembly.
Senator Sean Duffy of Barrington (R, 26th District) has been raising the alarm against these wasteful boards filled with payoffs to politician’s friends.
“It’s just another way for the politically connected to make money from the taxpayers,” says Duffy. “They’re rubber stamps. Some of them are duplicative. It’s the cushiest job in government, and I can’t figure out what they do.”
This whole system is just indicative of the corrupt Illinois political culture we’ve been saddled with for decades and decades.
Duffy has made no friends with his focus on these corrupt bargains. The members of both corrupt parties have been mad at him over his focus.
“When I started talking about this, people told me, off the record, ‘This is what the majority party does, gives spouses and supporters these positions,’_” Duffy said last week. “I’m getting flack from all sides. It makes everyone uncomfortable when I stand up and point this stuff out.”
This is why Illinois ranks in the bottom in nearly every category in the country. The most corrupt state in the union.