Journalist in Residence
I took my wife, Joan, out to see “Lincoln” in the theater Saturday night.
Joan, who is the least political person I know, thoroughly enjoyed it.
I did, as well.
The theme of the movie is President Abraham Lincoln pushing a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery through a lame duck congress by doling out patronage jobs to defeated congressmen who otherwise would oppose abolition.
I couldn’t help but think of the last lame duck session of the Illinois General Assembly when our income taxes were jacked up 67 percent.
Good things just kept happening to lame duck lawmakers who voted for the tax hike backed by Democratic leaders.
Many got jobs working in the Quinn administration. Here are a few:
- Former state Rep. Bob Flider is now director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The job pays $133,273.
- Former state Rep. Careen Gordon was first nominated for the state parole board, but after state senators said they would not confirm her, the Quinn administration found a spot for her as a lawyer handling real estate licensing. The job pays $84,000.
- Former state Rep. Mike Smith snagged a job with the Education Labor Relations Board. It pays $93,926.
In fact, of the 12 lame duck legislators who voted for the tax increase last year, at least six ended up with state jobs.
Some folks are quite qualified for the jobs they have. But still, the deal looks as crooked as a dog’s hind leg – and twice as dirty.
Lincoln, at least, had a noble cause.
By the way, did I mention that next week another lame duck session begins?