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The [Friday] Papers

"While criticizing state spending and state worker salaries as too high, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is paying top members of his administration significantly more than their predecessors in Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's administration, a review by The Associated Press has found.

"An AP review of state payroll records found nine of ten top administrative posts paying more under Rauner, who took office earlier this month. On an annual basis, those Rauner staffers will make more than the equivalent Quinn staffers by nearly 36 percent, or roughly $380,000."

This is good. Let's keep going.

Among those receiving more is Rauner's deputy governor, Olin "Trey" Childress III, a former chief operating officer for the state of Georgia, who is making $198,000 a year, a 24 percent increase over Quinn's deputy governor's $150,000 salary.

Rauner is paying his chief of staff and former deputy campaign manager Mike Zolnierowicz $180,000 per year, a 38 percent increase over his predecessor's salary under Quinn, according to state records. Zolnierowicz is a former deputy chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk.

Rauner's general counsel, Jason Barclay, a partner at Indiana law firm Barnes and Thornburg, is being paid $186,300. His salary is 53 percent higher than Quinn's general counsel, who was paid $135,000 annually.

Rauner said last week that he will "pay what we need to bring in talented people." But he also stressed a theme of "shared sacrifice" during his inaugural address Jan. 12. He has issued an executive order halting all "non-essential spending" and announced he'll be taking a salary of $1 per year. Quinn made $179,400 last year.

Rauner suggested last week at a presentation at the University of Chicago that high state salaries had served to increase the state's unpaid debt.

As I tweeted a few days ago:

But this is my favorite part:

In response to AP questions, Rauner's spokesman Lance Trover wrote Thursday in a one-sentence e-mail that the governor's overall payroll is "currently less than under Gov. Pat Quinn." But he did not provide specifics, and he did not answer specific questions about the salaries of individual staff members.

Why is that my favorite part? Because of this:

Trover, a former Kirk communications director and senior adviser to Rauner's campaign, is making $132,000 annually. His predecessor earned $86,004.

I guess you gotta pay more to get communications guys to say less.

Click through to see similar staffers getting way more than their Quinn counterparts.


Rauner is totally using a private equity blueprint so far - bust unions, reduce worker pay, strip the entity of its assets, and reward the temporary management team. In this case, though, the entity is a state. You can't shut it down or sell it off.

And the entity's customers are citizens. They can't simply get the services they need elsewhere.


Will the Democratic majorities in the General Assembly go along with any of Rauner's plans, including "right to work" zones, an expanded sales tax and slashing social service budgets even further than Pat Quinn did? Or will the Dems simply override the governor and manage the state themselves? That is the key question of the hour.

The Danny Davis Show
This is from November, but I spotted the headline on Capitol Fax and clicked through.

Just a few days after filing 47,000 signatures to run for mayor of Chicago, businessman/philanthropist Dr. Willie Wilson held a strategy meeting at the Chicago Baptist Institute International where Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-7th) and others pledged their full support for his candidacy.

Saying he initially supported Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) then Cook County Comm. Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, whom he has known since activist Rudy Lozano was killed, who was his "next guy," Rep. Davis announced his firm support for Dr. Wilson's campaign. "I'm here because of Willie Wilson. If somebody else" were running, Davis said he probably wouldn't be there.

"To me, politics is as serious as cancer," Davis told more than 200 black ministers. "It's the lifeblood of a people. I don't play with it. I don't play about it. I don't shuck and jive in terms of what my positions are and why they are."

I'd say a lot of shuck and jivin' is going on.

Trust Fund Kid
"Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday touted his accomplishments - and outlined his second-term agenda - for rebuilding Chicago's crumbling infrastructure without ever mentioning the Infrastructure Trust he once described as pivotal to that effort," Fran Spielman reports for the Sun-Times.

Then Fran publishes the press release of projects we are led to believe would never have happened if not for Rahm, even though most of them started before he took office and/or are rudimentary upgrades that any and every mayor would and has overseen.

And then there's this:

"Emanuel closed by arguing that it is 'not an accident' that, since he embarked on his stepped-up plan to modernize roads, mass transit and airports, Chicago is the No. 1 city for families to return to live and the No. 1 city for corporation relocations and direct foreign investment."


"Honey, did you hear? Rahm modernized the roads. Let's move the family back to Chicago."

And this:

"If we go back to the past of not investing in our infrastructure, Chicago will go back in time."

When in the past did the city not invest in infrastructure? I mean, it's never enough, but really. During Daley's 22 years?


Of course, Rahm is doing a bit of political positioning there, which Spielman is happy to oblige. See, he's moving Chicago forward. Electing one of his challengers would be going back - to that mythical time when nobody around here bothered to build a bridge or pave a road. If you want to go back to the dark Daley years, aided and abetted by none other than Rahm Emanuel, vote for Fioretti or Garcia. If you want to move forward at light speed beyond the dark Daley years, aided and abetted by none other than Rahm Emanuel, vote Rahm Emanuel.


I seem to recall the media, including Spielman, going along quite easily with the Infrastructure Trust. Once again, those who raised questions about it were right. Like always. And no one is held accountable and proper credit isn't given. To wit:

- The [Infrastructure Trust] Papers (Or, Smells Like Teen Parking Meters).

- Infrastructure Critics Have A New Villain, And His Name Is Joe "Proco" Moreno.

- 11 More Things About Rahm's Bank.

For more of the day-to-day coverage of the time when Rahm's new bank was the only thing that would save Chicago from ruin and had to be passed immediately to prevent ever-looming Detroitness from befalling our city overnight, put "Infrastructure Trust" into our search bar and laugh your head off.


Of course, the Trust hasn't failed the way some of us thought it would - it's been such a flop you can't even call it a boondoggle, having totally failed to deliver public assets to private investors at huge profits as promised. So far it's a bunch of nothing. And to think Bill Clinton came in to tout it. And all that national coverage . . . and without any follow-up. Where are the "what went wrong" stories?


Beachwood Photo Booth
20th Century Schizoid Man.

A Victory On Government Spying
DOJ legal opinions about a controversial section of the Patriot Act to be disclosed.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Candy Hearts, William Beckett, Robbie Fulks, Alicia Walter, Extreme, Seether, and Belly Music.


* Chicago Shooting Deaths Are Up . . . Or Down.

* Beyoncé Course At UIC Not A Fluff Class.






The Beachwood Tip Line: Infrastructure you can trust.


Posted on January 30, 2015

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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