Please let me clearly state for the record that not all political patronage hires are a bad thing. In fact, I was once a semi-patronage hire and it generally worked out pretty well for the County Clerk’s office. C’mon! I can’t possibly suck at everything.
Furthermore, during the course of my favorite radio show interview with the great Bill Daley, he explained that hiring people you know can do the job is actually a boon to the taxpayer and not nearly a boondoggle.
As you may have noticed, I rarely write about Kane County Republican patronage hires because those fine folks tend to measure up. Ah! But the Dem hires are such blatantly bad crony hires that I could devote my entire journalist life to covering them.
In that very vein, let’s look at two of their most recent patronage ploys:
My fondest wish is that our infamous failed state rep candidate would spare us and simply fade into the woodwork, but that clearly ain’t gonna happen case because she’s now the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office newest “pre-arrest coordinator.”
My first problem with this horrific hire is that nobody – not even the KCSAO prosecutor I spoke with – could tell me exactly what a “pre-arrest coordinator” actually is. And apparently State’s Attorney Mosser doesn’t know either because she refused to respond to an email seeking that very information.
Then there’s the matter of Paschke’s qualifications, or the lack of them. Before she ran for office, she was a doula (a home birth assistant) a teacher, and a secretary for the Geneva Library Foundation. They’re all the noblest of professions, but how do any of them translate into successfully tackling the minefield known as the criminal justice system?
And being the “coordinator” no less!
It would seem that Paschke’s getting 55 grand plus the County’s Cadillac benefits package for the privilege of learning on the job. Oh! And she’s an hourly and not salaried employee which makes overtime pay a real possibility.
But the worst part of all this is Paschke is an openly ultra-progressive liberal who clearly isn’t right for the job.
Please don’t get me wrong, one of the reasons I signed on to be Mosser’s campaign manager is the previous Republican administration’s failure to apply any kind discretion. And a charge ‘em and let the judge sort ‘em dynamic sucks. Thus, I have no problem with a little more KCSAO liberalism.
But there’s liberalism and then there’s Martha Paschke!
To wit, she recently put post on social media happily bragging that she was the proud mother of a male, female, and non-binary child. Or as she put it, “Now I have one of each!”
I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine broadcasting my minor children’s sexuality in an effort to gain more progressive street cred. In fact, I think it’s downright creepy and it clearly indicates she’s not the right person to work in any State’s Attorney’s office.
I’m sure you recall our infamous former Elgin Township Supervisor! He’s the one who:
- Spent more time away from the office than in it
- Took ten weeks of official vacation in just twelve weeks
- Worked on the Noland judicial campaign during company time
- Took a $350 a month “travel” stipend during the plague when there was no travel
- Refused to distribute senior citizen assistance funds
- Refused to distribute utility assistance funds
Given that amazing track record, any rational individual would conclude that Ramirez has become political poison.
Because Kane County Chairman Corinne Pierog just hired him to market her pointless reapportionment town hall meetings. So much for her pre-election integrity pledge!
First, the sum total of Ramirez’ marketing skills would fit into a thimble. And second, these townhall meeting are nothing but a feel-good political ploy that do absolutely nothing but waste time and taxpayer dollars.
For reference purposes, political redistricting, or reapportionment, occurs at every governmental level after every 10-year census. Put more simply, it gives the Party in power free reign to go about their gerrymandering best. But County government is completely different.
The reapportionment rules are far more strict at this level, and even if they weren’t, most Illinois counties are politically homogenous. Kane County may be one of the exceptions, but that’s mitigated by the fact that almost all of the Democrats are in 2.5 places – Aurora, Elgin, and a large part of Carpentersville.
So, there’s absolutely no need to waste at least ten grand on what will assuredly turn out to be a foregone conclusion. Granted, that’s a very small percentage of a $250 million budget, but it’s the Democratic thought that counts.
Ramirez may be an independent contractor in this case, but I guarantee you this is just the precursor to a permanent hire. At least Paschke can actually get a job in the private sector.
So, there you have it. As I suspected from the get-go, Ms. Pierog’s promise to be “independent” and “beyond transparent” didn’t make it past the six month mark. And State’s Attorney Mosser is even worse than her predecessor in this regard, because she promised to be better.
And I’m sure this is only the beginning for both of them! As always, I’ll be more than happy to keep you posted.