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Thursday, August 18

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Special Election IL05 Wed Feb 11 2009

IL05 Candidates on Mayor's Transparency

A few days ago I wrote a piece about the Mayor refusing to make public his "shovel-ready" projects that would be kick-started by the federal stimulus/recovery/whatever bill that is passing this week.

I sent emails to the leading candidates in the Fifth Congressional District race to get their take on the Mayor's lack of transparency. Here's what I got back.

Tom Geoghegan

Whether it's the bank bailout or the stimulus package, Chicagoans have a right to know where their tax dollars are being spent. The Mayor must release where the stimulus money is going, just as the Fed and Treasury must tell us where the bank bailout money has been going.

Charlie Wheelan

As for Mayor Daley, I don't blame him for not making the projects public BEFORE the money is allocated. It would set off a round of political battles that might ultimately be irrelevant. Obviously once the money is actually allocated by the federal government, the process for selecting projects should be transparent. Or, if projects have already been selected, those criteria should be made public. It's not a terrible thing if the city already has a list of projects. Many jurisdictions are being criticized for NOT having done such planning. Indeed, this is why there are so few "shovel ready" projects around the country.

(Wheelan also provided his take on the stimulus plan in general, which was interesting enough to merit its own post.)

Rep. John Fritchey

I received a message from Rep. Fritchey's campaign noting that transparency is one of Fritchey's most important issues, but I did not receive a statement from the candidate himself.

Rep. Sara Feigenholtz

Rep. Feigenholtz did not respond at all, but she held a press conference today discussing this very matter -- prompted by my question, perhaps? (No.)

(via Progress Illinois, which you should be reading every day, right after you've read Mechanics)

Commissioner Mike Quigley

I did not receive a reply from Commissioner Quigley's campaign, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the email never reached them, so chalk that up to me.

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