Thursday, August 04, 2005

John Fritchey and Speaker Madigan put the CTA back in its place

Check out this discussion at Capitol Fax (with a new, very cool look -- nice job Rich) on the CTA deciding that they didn't want to comply with a state audit (!!!) after the state ponied up $54 million or so. Rep. John Fritchey, one of the state's 'most substantive legislators, filed a resolution (read it here) directing the Auditor General to audit the CTA after the CTA basically lied to all the North Side electeds about keeping all Brown Line stations open during reconstruction (they won't stay open). And when the CTA bureaucrats pushed back, Speaker Madigan announced that he'll be sponsoring legislation to divert the CTA money to pay for the audit. And that would be enough to get the CTA to back down.

What is up with Frank Kruesi? I guess when you've got the moxie to kill an airport -- an airport! -- under cover of darkness just because you think it's the right thing to do, you resist the idea of an audit checking up on your decisions. But guess what? Too freakin bad.

The reality is that we're going to have to convince a skeptical public to accept a higher tax or fee in the next 6-18 months (the sooner the better) to pay for the state's matching funds in order to get at all those billions of projects that Congress just passed. If we don't raise a tax or fee, we don't get the federal dollars. And if the CTA acts like an arrogant, out-of-touch agency, then Joe Naperville likely doesn't want to pay an extra penny per gallon gasoline tax in order to finance all these projects because some small fraction of it is going to 'those wasteful Chicago hacks.' And that poisons the whole region.

We can't tolerate this kind of B.S. It's hard to raise revenues, and resistance to state audits from Chicago governments makes it much, much harder.

I think this is the time for Chicago legislators to come down hard on the CTA and push for structural improvements in transparency and efficiency. Because if the Chicago legislators can't convince their colleagues in the General Assembly that *they* are ensuring there will not be waste in the CTA, who will?

10 comments:

respectful said...

How about ensuring there's no patronage at the CTA? Does anyone think Krusi will end the patronage tradition?? Where's Shakman when you need him???

Anonymous said...

how does security work on the CTA?

chicago might need better or more security or innovative security, especially at very busy stations (switching stations, etc) or during busy times of day.

Anonymous said...

you don't know what the f' you are talking about.

Kenny said...

Oh the courage of an anonymous comment saying DJW doesnt know what he is talking about. Grow some balls and state your name or shut the f up!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rich Miller said...

Thanks for the nice words.

Dan Johnson-Weinberger said...

I guess we'll just take your word for it, Anonymous. And read the blog: I'm not a state employee (at all) and what I write in this blog are my own thoughts, not Senator Sandoval's or President Jones'.

Dan Johnson-Weinberger said...

Actually, I'm deleting your comment.

Anonymous said...

A blog discussion on the CTA looks like it will be good for consumers (eg, people that use the CTA on a daily basis and pay taxes to the state of IL). People discuss stocks they own all the time.

Dan is not profiting from his blog. he has know advertisements on it. he is not trying to sell stuff to people on the blog.

Sandoval should be praised for promoting free speech and discussion of ideas. This will improve the CTA, Chicago and the state of IL. Smart corporations are embracing blogging and not suppressing and firing people. it is an on-line, interactive suggestion box. People and individuals may need some "coaching" on how to use it (eg, don't be too nasty via "anonymous" comments, you may not really be anonymous, etc). Nevertheless, blogging may make america and chicago better.

if you have a list of specific things Dan said on the CTA that are not true, or you have a list of things to defend the CTA, please provide this. Quantified stuff would be nice.

otherwise, please try to avoid personally attacking Dan. he has a lot of friends - conservatives and liberals.

Dan Johnson-Weinberger said...

Thanks everyone -- I'm just going to delete any more personal comments. I need a Comment Posse like Rich Miller of other people who will search for offensive comments and just get rid of them.