MISTER TRANSPARENCY? OOF!
Gov. Bruce Rauner is a huge advocate of transparency in government. Just ask him. The gov who keeps losing Freedom of Information Act cases – IT prevailed after the governor balked at releasing his appointment calendar; the Springfield Business Journal, our sister publication, recently won a ruling from the attorney general’s office after the governor’s office failed to even acknowledge requests for emails – said, back when he was a candidate, that his administration would be the most transparent in the entire nation. A classic case of that was then, this is now. Queried by reporters last week about the fiscal effect of his plan for funding education, Rauner went Sgt. Schultz during a recent press conference, deflecting and refusing to answer questions about whether there has been an analysis showing which school districts might win and which might lose. Then he doubled down, first posting a table on the governor’s website showing just how much each district would gain (at the expense of Chicago schools) that was out there for anyone to see, then snatching it away by requiring a password to view the numbers. Smarter people than Rauner, however, preserved the table before it went behind a password wall (Springfield schools, according to the governor, would gain $673,000 if legislators agree to his plan). What does Rauner think he’s gaining by hiding numbers that show how public money would be spent? He should take a cue from his new chief of staff, Kristina Rasmussen, who urged colleagues to be honest in a memo penned shortly after she got the job last month: “Mutual respect paired with radical candor will make this an even greater place to work.” Amen.