The investigation into the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, a 2010 anti-violence program suspected of being a political slush fund for the governor, continues. It so happens the gubernatorial election is within a month of the hearing. State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington), co-chairman of the Legislative Audit Commission, reminds us the votes to launch the panel’s investigation were overwhelming and bipartisan.
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The program allegedly allocated money inappropriately – based on political expedience, not on need; and for people to march in parades, for example. Still, how can you pretend any of this is not political? “Politics is politics,” says Barickman. “There are groups supporting Gov. Quinn, opposing Quinn, opposing (Republican candidate Bruce) Rauner. There are so many of those that are merely, to me, distractions that we can’t let ourselves be distracted by.”
Barickman says he would like to tune out the noise, but he will not ask the campaigns or parties to stop the noise.