February 22, 2005

Brunsvold gets his wings clipped.

This issue appeared some time ago, but I'd forgotten about it.
Seems our old rep Brunsvold, in the midst of implementing draconian cuts in the Illinois DNR he heads, was at the same time flying around on state aircraft almost as much as the governor, including flights to hunting trips in South Dakota and Marion. He often took helicopter trips to and from the Q.C.s at taxpayer expense as well as flying his wife.
Good work if you can get it, but you gotta make it stick.

More sordid details here and here.

17 Comments:

At 2/22/2005 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a minor incident, but proves once again that this Governor won't stand by any of his cabinet members when the heat is on. He abandoned Brunsvold, who spent a whopping $7,000 in taxpayer dollars out of a $53 billion budget. This Governor has loyalty to one person -- himself. What a shame.

 
At 2/22/2005 2:13 PM, Anonymous Ben Dover said...

I don't really see how even the $7000 that you seem to think is so measley should somehow be defended.

The state is in a crisis with radical cuts being made all through the budget, and Brunsvold is flying around like this?

At the very least is proves that's he's got poor judgement, and apparently thinks that the government is there to serve him.
And even if you hold the cynical opinion that $7000 of taxpayer money is nothing to bother with, the fact remains that appearances matter, and to have him doing this while his own department's budget is being slashed to the bone, and DNR staff are being tossed out wholesale, really doesn't look too bright.
What was he thinking? I think we know, and it should be disciplined.

And how's this for a radical concept. Government officials stand up for the CITIZENS of the state when the heat is on, rather than defending foolish cronies.
But evidently you feel it should be the other way around.

 
At 2/22/2005 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Dope" had better do his homework, before hurling insulting charges at public officials. What former Rep. Brunsvold did was 100% within the law and within the state travel guidelines for a cabinet member. He broke no law and broke no ethics law.

Befoe "DOPE" calls things like this "corruption" he or she should check out the facts first.

What Brunsvold is guilty of is poor judgment, yes, and for that he should apologize.

But he violated no ethics or travel guidelines in the state of Illinois. He is also guilty of embarrassing this Governor, and once you do that you are toast.

 
At 2/22/2005 5:58 PM, Blogger Dissenter said...

I have reviewed the comments posted thus far, and I have some measure of respectful disagreement with all of them.

I absolutey do not agree with the implicit proposition that a theft is somehow less of a theft if it represents just $7,000.00 out of a $53 billion budget. Whether I am impoverished or affluent, when you steal one dollar from me, you are a thief. It is a gravely worrisome argument, indeed, to assert that it is okay to steal a little here and a little there, when doing so involves only a very small fraction of the pot from which it is stolen. It is precisely that mentality that begets corruption. A thief is a thief is a thief.

That being said, I carefully reviewed the articles linked in the main piece. If true, they do not necessarily support the proposition that Brunsvold stole anything, or acted in a corrupt manner. At worst, they merely suggest that Brunsvold exercised a lesser degree of frugality than that which he should have observed. We should demand frugality from our public officials, and it is not unjust to criticize Brunsvold for a less than efficient use of taxayer dollars. But to call his conduct "corrupt," I suggest, sorely misuses the term.

 
At 2/22/2005 6:49 PM, Anonymous Petroleum V. Nasby said...

Interesting... at no point did the Dope say that Brunsvold was personally corrupt, per se, yet I can see where readers might infer that.

There's "I didn't break any laws" corrupt, and then there's indicted, criminal corrupt. This I feel was the former.

I wonders how the posters views would change were this a Republican official who was brought to light. Somehow I don't think the corrupt label would be so upsetting.

That said, I suppose "corrupt" may be too strong a word for Brunsvold in this instance. I'm searching for a better one. What would describe a pretty blatant disregard for conserving public fund? What might describe a short of excessive hubris and sense of entitlement? Or maybe just not caring and thinking he'd never be called on it. Or maybe, as the other commenter has suggested, he figured Blago would never turn on him. Ooops.
Perhaps irresponibile is the word I'm looking for.

 
At 2/22/2005 6:59 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

The Dope did his homework. While I never said Brunsvold was personally corrupt, you seem to say I did.
Nonetheless, this sort of abuse of public funds is at least in the same zip code as corrupt. It's stupidity that indicates a basic disregard for stewardship of public funds at a very cash strapped period in the State.

I don't think Brunsvold should be hung by his thumbs, by no means. I think it's appropriate that he pay back what he has already and that's the end of it. Brunsvold shouldn't be sacked or anything of the sort. I'm sure he can continue to do an adequate job at DNR.

But it's sad to see some who think Blago should have bailed him out or stuck up for him somehow on this. You do a dumb thing and get caught, you pay.

I'm no Blago fan, but why should he be criticized for not bailing Brunsvold out? He gave Brunsvold this post and Brunsvold got caught doing this. I guess I haven't done my homework on why his boss should defend it.

 
At 2/22/2005 8:58 PM, Blogger Dissenter said...

"Guess he forgot that the glory days of unexamined corruption are over," Dope says of Brunvold in his main posting. Then, when challenged on it in the comments, Dope says, "While I never said Brunsvold was personally corrupt, you seem to say I did." Dope, you must confess that you at least IMPLIED that the guy is "corrupt." If you want a blog in which your every word is not so carefully scrutinized, perhaps you should start a Blog entitled "Britney Spears Gossip." Then you could call upon us to post the latest gossip about Britney Spears and her latest beau. Though I suspect that somewhere amidst such gossip, the blogger so far known as "Anonymous" would find a way of blaming Britney's troubles on Blagojevich.

In all seriousness, it seems that Dope and I are fairly closely aligned in our opinions thus far, and I absolutely love this blog site. The level of intellectual discourse here is thus far wonderful. Keep up the great work, Dope! And keep us posted on the latest Britney gossip.

 
At 2/22/2005 8:58 PM, Blogger Dissenter said...

"Guess he forgot that the glory days of unexamined corruption are over," Dope says of Brunvold in his main posting. Then, when challenged on it in the comments, Dope says, "While I never said Brunsvold was personally corrupt, you seem to say I did." Dope, you must confess that you at least IMPLIED that the guy is "corrupt." If you want a blog in which your every word is not so carefully scrutinized, perhaps you should start a Blog entitled "Britney Spears Gossip." Then you could call upon us to post the latest gossip about Britney Spears and her latest beau. Though I suspect that somewhere amidst such gossip, the blogger so far known as "Anonymous" would find a way of blaming Britney's troubles on Blagojevich.

In all seriousness, it seems that Dope and I are fairly closely aligned in our opinions thus far, and I absolutely love this blog site. The level of intellectual discourse here is thus far wonderful. Keep up the great work, Dope! And keep us posted on the latest Britney gossip.

 
At 2/22/2005 9:23 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

The last thing I heard about Brittany is that she's dumping whoever she's with at the moment and running off with you Whiteside, you dog.

 
At 2/22/2005 9:33 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Though I intend to stick to facts, and I will not report things that I know are false. I'm not a strictly objective reporter here though. I'm sure I'll make mistakes, and expect to be called on them. But my opinions remain my own. This isn't a commercial news organization. This isn't the newspaper. It COSTS me money and time to do this. And I don't have the time and resources commercial news outlets do.
(that's why I hope for help from readers sending me items)
So I'm going to call them as I see them and let the chips fall where they may. But you're welcome to yell foul if you feel it's justified, and I'm more than willing to be corrected if any facts are in error.

 
At 2/22/2005 11:21 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

The Dope has done a bit more digging on this story, and feels he must amend his views.

While it still remains that Brunsvold showed a lack of sensitivity as to how this all might look were it brought to light, and certainly guilty of something that really looked bad in light of the budget crunch, I've learned a little more since I first posted.
I think I understand those who are pissed at Blago now. I hadn't read anything about Blago's response to this matter, and the Gov sure tried to make a mountain out of a molehill.
It appears to me that, as if Blago was in mortal fear that there was some sort of scandal that might attach to him from this, he or his staff completely overreacted and in their hypocritical effort to distance themselves from Brunsvold, while at the same time trying to burnish Blago's refromer/white knight persona, they really threw Brunsvold to the wolves.
This is pretty scummy, to say the least, and I understand how those posting above feel burned and angry.
Blago should have tut-tutted about it, called for Brunsvold to repay the costs, which Brunsvold did quickly, and just let it go.
It appears that's not what happened, and in light of that, I have more sympathy for Brunsvold now than I had before I became aware of "the rest of the story", as Paul Harvey might say.
So it was reasonable for the poster above to urge me to do my homework.
I stand corrected.

 
At 2/22/2005 11:31 PM, Anonymous blue state said...

Dope, it takes a good man to admit a shortcoming. You have done so.
Good job.

 
At 2/23/2005 12:32 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

"shortcomings"??!!

The Dope admits to no such thing! --grin-

I simply readjusted my assessment in light of further information.

(All you political hacks out there, how's THAT for spin??)

 
At 2/24/2005 2:00 PM, Anonymous Teddy B. said...

Leave this good man alone, you hooligans!

 
At 2/24/2005 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But what if he's a WOMAN?

 
At 2/24/2005 6:15 PM, Anonymous teddy b. said...

i was talking about my dad joel

 
At 2/28/2005 11:41 PM, Anonymous Porter M said...

Ted,

What's up?

 

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