Thursday, November 19, 2009

Andrzejewski "I'd Sell Official Illinois Luxury Aircraft"

Republican candidate for Illinois governor Adam Andrzejewski says that an ABC-Channel 7 (Chicago) report shows that the Illinois state budget priorities are "upside down." In response to Channel 7 investigative reporter Chuck Goudie's report on Wednesday evening (Nov. 18) about the cost of operating the state fleet of 16 aircraft, Andrzejewski says he would sell the $22 million air fleet, with the only exceptions being the two helicopters and certain planes used by the Illinois State Police. Andrzejewski re-emphasized his plan to "open up the books" in Springfield and conduct a forensic audit of the state's expenses. He pointed out that Channel 7's report indicated that state employees are using the planes regularly at a cost of $3,000 per hour totaling $4 million per year. "Real reform can only be the result of new people with new ideas in Springfield," Andrzejewski stated. "While the state wasn't paying social service providers, which in turn, forced them to lay off staff and cost the state jobs, these planes were flying," he said. "Illinois is in a budget crisis, and our state leadership is needlessly spending tax payer dollars. Billions of unnecessary spending will be uncovered by a forensic audit of expenses." Andrzejewski also made reference to a recent article in the Peoria Journal Star in which Governor Quinn was asked about the budget gap for fiscal year 2010, which puts it among the worst three states in the nation. That dismal ranking came from The Pew Center on the States report, which cites Illinois for a lack of fiscal discipline and failure to balance the state budget. Gov. Quinn's response was "I think we've done pretty well. We've stabilized the budget." However, Andrzejewski points out that the waste culprits are not only on the Democratic side. He recalled a conversation he had with senior GOP leaders at the United Republican Fund Anniversary Gala at the Hilton Chicago Hotel. "I mentioned to those at my table that I thought we should stop using the fleet so excessively, and sell the planes. To my dismay, the leaders at my table were firmly resistant to the idea." As governor, part of Andrzejewski's plan for reform would be a top-down transparency mandate by executive order to open up the books in Springfield. His second executive order would be a forensic top-to-bottom audit of state spending. He estimates that the savings of such measures could be $3-$5 billion. Conservative Caps, Shirt and more! Leave a Comment - Chicago News Bench RSS Feed Visit us on Twitter!