Ending The Cycle of Corruption in Ilinois
It’s time to eliminate the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, the top Illinois Senate Republican budget negotiator said today.
State Senator Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) said Governor Quinn’s maneuvering to install a former spokeswoman to lead the sports authority is just the latest example of why it is time to eliminate the agency.
“This agency has become an embarrassment and nothing more than a patronage plum,” Murphy said. “Let’s be clear, it has no responsibilities for the day-to-day operation of either Cellular Field or Solider Field. It’s just a conduit for the public financing of the facilities. There are any number of existing entities that could do this without requiring a $176,000 director to oversee five employees.”
Murphy said Governor Quinn’s last minute firing of a board member, so that the Governor would get to install his former spokeswoman as head of the Authority is just one reason why the agency should be eliminated.
“The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority has for too long been prone to abuse. For years, board members used their positions to score tickets and perks. The board spent millions on a questionable restaurant deal. The authority’s marketing director resigned after trading White Sox tickets for Lollapalooza passes. The list goes on and on.” Murphy said, adding, “This executive director position has been vacant for well over a year and it hasn’t had any effect at all on either Cellular Field or Soldier Field.”
Illinois is facing tough choices in its budget and Murphy said he doesn’t expect the choices to get easier in the coming year.
“At a time when Illinois must make difficult decisions about healthcare for the poor and retirement funding for teachers and other public employees, it is simply wrong to retain a superfluous entity like the Sports Facilities Authority,” Murphy said.
Murphy added, “The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority does not ‘run’ either Cellular Field or Soldier Field. That is the responsibility of the Bears and White Sox. We can eliminate this agency and, frankly, no one will notice.”
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