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Gov. Pat Quinn anti-violence program criticized, appears politically-motivated

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on the hot seat again
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on the hot seat again

Gov. Pat Quinn began an anti-violence program in the final months of his 2010 gubernatorial campaign, and a new report finds that the program did not track spending and had other major concerns. Additionally, the governor is being accused of rushing the program through in the fimal months before his last election to gain votes in Chicago, according to a Chicago Tribune report on Tuesday.

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The state audit with the information regarding the poorly-managed Quinn program cost taxpayers an incredible $55 million. Auditor General William Holland who filed the report on Tuesday said the program was very quickly implemented. He also said that the program did not target some of the highest-crime neighborhoods in Chicago as it should have done.

The costly program failed to target the worst crime areas in Chicago by not using an objective process to select the neighborhoods and community organizations that should have received funds. Instead, the process only relied on recommendations from Chicago aldermen and community organizers – who, naturally, would have self-interest in their own neighborhoods and organizations.

Furthermore, Quinn’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative did not keep sufficient track of how the incredibly huge amount money, in the state which is financially broke, was spent on the program. Finally, the report says that the organizations that received some of the $55 million of taxpayers’ money didn't even satisfy the requirements of their huge amounts of grant money.

State Republican politicians are jumping on this story in an effort to inform voters– before the upcoming primaries and major election in Illinois – about the report which accuses Quinn of rushing the program through, as an alleged-politically-motivated program to win him an election four years ago.

Naturally, all eyes are on what moves – possibly politically-motivated moves – Quinn makes just before the election of 2014, especially the moves which involve Illinois taxpayers’ money.

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