Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pat Quinn, just like all the rest

Illinois Governor proves to be no different than predecessors

With the signing of the State of Illinois' $31 billion "Illinois Jobs Now" bill Wednesday, Gov. Pat Quinn just rewound the clock on a project for which time should have long ago run out. The bill steers another $110.5 million toward the third airport project.

Billed as a jobs creator, that money will go toward buying the remainder of the land the state has been unable to obtain from folks who have vowed to fight to keep their land, homes, and farms -- unwilling sellers. How does that create jobs?

The only possible explanation for throwing good money after bad for a forty-year old project void of forward progress, is that Quinn is continuing similar practices of his predecessors -- jobs for favorite supporters: lawyers who will try to push eminent domain on innocent families; consultants who will to try to hide the project's lack of need; public relations specialists who will explore every angle in an effort to paint a rosy picture of the project; and of course investors who also contribute to public officials' campaigns for promise of a piece of the action when an airport is built, if it ever is. Perhaps some of those professionals are part of the 10.3 percent of Illinois' unemployed.

Many believed Pat Quinn would be different than his predecessors -- one who is serving time in a federal penetentiary and another who awaits his day in court. It looks like nothing has changed except the names.