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Beyond hubris and shouting: Claude Walker

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Claude Walker deserved better.


Smart moves are often born of hubris, and end up being dumb for that reason.

What a word.


One of my all-time favorite drops in radio came from the late Harold Washington. It was hilarious when the former Chicago mayor launched into a good string of definitions of hubris.

When Steve and Garry defined cutting edge in Chicago radio, they often used the drop.

Gov. Quinn might want to remember that drop, pull out that clip or look it up.

On Wednesday, Rich Miller's ``The Capitol Fax'' had a very curious post that for a few hours the IDNR had hired what in essence was a canoe czar, somebody to coordinate water trails and such.

If the state was flowing in money, that might be OK. Though paddling in Illinois is a fringe activity.

We're not flowing in money. We're just a year away from the IDNR asking sportsmen and women to carry the added burden of increased license fees.

Walker, a guy who worked for Quinn for a couple decades, was to get the $85,000-a-year job.

Frankly, that's idiotic at this time.

The very definition of hubris.

But, here's my problem.

In the long run, I think Walker would have been a wonderful addition to the IDNR. He's a sharp, hard-working guy who is well-connected to Quinn.

He could have been very useful for Illinois outdoors.

But not in that role. Walker is worthy of a bigger platform than paddling at the IDNR.

Even so, you simply can't set up a position like canoe czar in these times. Instead, they should have put him into a real vacate slot, and there's quite a few vacancies at the IDNR.

There's a level of this that bothers me, and I can't quite pull my thoughts together to lay it out right.

But let me try.

At some point, we have to get far beyond the snap judgment when dealing with how our government operates.

The easy snap judgment in this case is that it's wrong to put Walker into a created position to push paddling sports in Illinois.

People see that $85,000 a year salary and go blind. The reality is that I suspect Walker would have been worth multiple times that in channeling money to the IDNR.

I spent a couple days trying to figure out how to say that, and that's the best I can do.

The IDNR lost the chance to have a good, connected guy.

BTW, Click here for what I think is the full quote from Washington on hubris. I cannot find an audio link.

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Motto - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 10:08 pm:

Why are you getting after Claude who hasn’t worked for Quinn in 10 years when SIMONE MCNEIL is his “chief of operations” with a fat salary and she and her husband, Don McNeil, give TONS of campaign cash to Pat Quinn NOW?

When is someone going to do a story on the conflict of interest called SIMONE MCNEIL who has had a fat job — and sits on ETHICS BOARDS as Quinn’s rep (isn’t that a laugh) — for Quinn’s entire political career?

Would she have that job but for her husband’s and her contributions to the campaign? Isn’t that a conflict? It’s like the Blago kickbacks: I give you a job and you give me campaign donations.

I can't comment on Claude Walker one way or the other since I can't recall his name coming up before. But if there is going to be a canoe czar for the IDNR, does it really make sense to put anyone other then Gary Mechanic in that position?
Where canoes go, the wading fisherman goes. What better way to get Illinois to abide by federal stream access laws than to have canoes traveling down the rivers, streams and creeks that they have every right to travel down.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on April 16, 2010 10:58 AM.

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