Friday, January 15, 2010

Sen. Heather Steans Lied on Her Resume

Heather Steans has been caught in yet another lie, this time about her past work experience, a lie that she has told multiple times. Steans is the Illinois State Senator from the 7th District, Chicago. Her opponent in the Feb. 2, 2010 primary election, Democrat Jim Madigan, is accusing her with lying and cited examples in a January 14 press release.

Chicago News Bench has confirmed the Madigan claims as accurate. (Click on images to enlarge.)

Also See: Heather Steans Lies About Hubby's Blago Connections

Let's begin this story with a story what-if: Imagine that you are an employer seeking someone to manage an important division of your large corporation. You interview a woman named "Heather", whose resume says "for 4 years I served as the Director of Corporate Mail Operations for Company X." Impressed, and you hire Heather. Two years go by, and Heather's job performance is only ho-hum.

Then the bomb drops: You discover that Heather was never in charge of Company X's corporate-wide mail operations. In fact she was merely clerk in a mailroom at one of Company X's offices, and she only managed that mailroom for a few months. What would you do?

IL State Senator Heather Steans
IL State Sen. Heather Steans
You'd fire her, that's what, and give her ten minutes to clean out her desk. Now, suppose that "Heather" is actually IL State Sen. Heather Steans (7th District, Chicago). 

Steans lied about her job experience, and she wants you to renew her contract. The voters and taxpayers (that's you) are her employer you know, and she lying to them about her past experience. She's done it multiple times.

In a campaign flyer that she put out this week, Steans claims that "As the former Wisconsin state budget director, she helped balance the budget by cutting waste while protecting vital services." Sounds nice, but it's a lie by means of gross exaggeration.

The Madigan campaign points in a January 14 press release that Steans is lying about her "budget director" gig in Wisconsin. They included scans of the Steans flyer with their press release and pointed out that Steans was never the "state budget director." (See the full press release here as a pdf. )

In fact, says the Madigan press release, "the title of Budget Director did not exist in that department,” and “Her questionnaire for the Sun-Times endorsement contains another fabrication. Steans claims that ‘for 4 years I served as Budget Director for the Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations’.” (See the questionnaire here.)

Chicago News Bench looked it up and, sure enough, the Madigan people got it right. What we found was that Steans was listed as “director” of “Budget, Bureau of” within the now-defunct Wisconsin Dept. of Industry, Labor and Human Relations (DILHR). That listing was found in the Wisconsin Blue Book 1993-1994. According to the Madigan campaign, Steans only served in that minor position for eight months “until her departure on Feb 2, 1994, but the title of Budget Director did not exist in that department.”

As pointed out above, DILHR never had a “budget director” for the entire department. Steans, however, says she was that director. As also pointed out, she was merely the director of a small portion of DILHR, but instead of saying that she was “Director of the Bureau of Budget,” Steans knowingly misleads by calling herself the former “Budget Director, for the Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor & Human Relations.”

The “budget director” lie did not start with this week’s Steans campaign flyer. Steans has been lying about this for years. Here’s a sampling of what we found: At the Illinois Senate Democrats web site, the Senator Heather Steans Bio page says that “Senator Steans is a former .... Budget Director for the Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor & Human Relations.” 

Over at the Project Vote site, we see that she was the “Budget Director, Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations.” 

In a January 23, 2008 interview with the Windy City Times, writer Amy Wooten quoted Steans as saying, “I was the strategic planner and budget director … for the Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations.” [Ellipses in original quote.] Again, her exaggeration makes it sound like she was in charge of the strategy and budget for the whole of DILHR.

In a November 15, 2007 article in the Chicago Reader, Ben Joravsky wrote that “According to Steans” she “worked as director of economic development for the Civic Committee and held the post of budget director for Wisconsin's Department of Industry, Labor, and Human Relations.”

At the Women’s Institute for Leadership web site, she’s listed with other board members. Her little bio sketch says that she’s a “former budget director, WI Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations.”

Vote-IL.org includes “Budget Director, Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations” as part of her “profession [sic] and work experience outside politics.”

The list of places where the lie is repeated goes on and on, and you can see it yourself at a Google web search for “Heather Steans AND budget director”.

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