The following is a letter from a dear friend who chooses to remain anonymous. She tells about the State of Illinois Building as a symbol of its government today.
(Yes, many states are suffering under the same situation.)
The two name calling gubernatorial candidates refuse to address the actual workings of the government. Gov. Pat “Quinnochio” Quinn (D) and “Bruce the Billionaire” Rauner (R), who keeps his money in the Cayman Islands rather than pay his own taxes, are not about to make any positive moves to repair the state or the State of Illinois Building.
They are both devoted to cutting public services and the pensions of greedy teachers and other public employees which will have little if any positive economic impact on the state’s massive debt problem. At the same time, they both promise to cut taxes for corporations and the mega-wealthy.
The James R. Thompson Center (JRTC) in Chicago, where I worked for 21+ years, has always been a disgrace, in that it was built without regard to how it was to be used by various state agencies (hearings and other work were routinely interrupted by noon time loud entertainment in the lower level), without regard to easy maintenance or security (elevator parts came from a German company, which became defunct early on). Another political deal, aptly named after Big Jim.
My memories of it include the large barrels put out after a heavy rain to catch leaking water, a lack of security in this office building (a few state employees were accosted, one struck, by members of the homeless public in the atrium or lower level food court), human feces on the floor in the food court, the fact that it has been the internal “jumping off” point on the top floor for several individuals who decided to end their lives in a dramatic way. Ever hear the sound of a head cracking on the hard basement floor?
I am so glad to be away from that depressing, dirty place, its infested building where the washrooms were so dirty that one Director ordered that the bathrooms be cleaned twice daily.
It is a vivid symbol of all that is wrong with Illinois government.
Greg Hinz in “Quinn, Rauner unite on one thing: silence over condition of Thompson Center” in Crain’s Chicago Business gives further details about a major infestation of bedbugs, rotted carpeting held together with duct tape, rotted ceilings and walls, etc.
The State of Illinois is being bled to death; teacher pensions have nothing to do with it, nor do public schools or teacher unions.
[My Note: The State of Illinois Building, built in 1985, was renamed the James R. Thompson Center in 1993 after the still living today (78 year old) ex-Gov. James Thompson (R) who was never jailed and whose law firm and lobbying business still thrive. His law firm defended, free of charge, ex-Gov. George Ryan (R), who was jailed on all 18 counts of racketeering, fraud, etc, while Ryan was Secretary of State under Gov. Thompson (R).]