Sun-Times, SJR Reports: Rauner’s Disgraced “Budget Guru” May Continue Six-Figure, Taxpayer-Funded Salary
CHICAGO – Despite the Rauner administration’s inability to find the cash to finance court-ordered services for people with disabilities and child care for working parents, the Sun-Times and State Journal-Register are reporting that Bruce Rauner inexplicably is considering re-upping the contract of a so-called “budget guru” who has been paid an estimated $165,000 in taxpayer dollars for eight months of work.
Reports yesterday initially suggested Donna Arduin – a lavishly-paid Republican operative who has left a trail of economic destruction in California, Florida and Michigan – was leaving Illinois with no budget in place, and the state mired in the greatest budget crisis in its history. Despite that record of failure, Rauner’s spokesperson heaped praise on the outgoing Arduin, who Rauner has affectionately referred to as a “superstar” in the past.
Arduin’s contract, reduced to a paltry $15,000-per-month after public outcry, was set to expire at the end of the month. But it now appears she’s actually going to be rewarded for producing a failed budget document that drew bipartisan outcry for its historic cuts to education, infrastructure and social services—while leading a budget strategy, predicated on Rauner’s rigid anti-union demands, that has perpetuated the current impasse.
“The fact that Bruce Rauner is even considering renewing the $15,000-per-month contract of his disgraced pet budget adviser – while cutting vital services for people who make only $15,000 in an entire year – shows the unrestrained hubris and utter incompetence of this administration,” said James Muhammad, an SEIU Healthcare Illinois vice president.
“It’s time for Bruce Rauner to account for every penny taxpayers have wasted on this failed ideologue who appears to have managed to both deepen our budget crisis at the same time as harming women, children, working families and people with disabilities.”