Media slams Mendoza for reneging on pay promise
Several Illinois publications have taken Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza to task recently for backpedaling on a pledge to pay elected officials’ salaries only after fulfilling commitments to others owed money by the state.
“Mendoza's commitment to pay-them-last is bullhorn loud but razor thin,” the Daily Herald said. “In fact, it sounds like the paychecks are already going out.”
The newspaper said Mendoza evidently took advantage of the inherent flexibility in a Cook County judge’s decision to allow herself “discretion” in disbursements. It said instead of seeking an appeal as she promised, she “instantly caved.”
The Chicago Tribune argued that it’s up to voters to end the type of political gamesmanship that allows Mendoza to issue approximately $8.6 million in back pay to the officials.
“It's maddening but not surprising,” the Tribune said. “In Illinois, clout wins. Politicians win. Rank-and-file citizens are at the back of the line. Yet voters keep sending the same pols back to Springfield.”
Even a downstate newspaper, the Belleville News-Democrat, labeled Mendoza part of House Speaker Mike Madigan’s "camp." It described the group as being deaf to its constituents and all too focused on money for itself.
“They not only undid the old Republican comptroller action to make state lawmakers and elected officials wait in line with everyone else owed $12.6 billion by our deadbeat state, they got a Chicago judge to order they be bumped to the head of the line,” the newspaper said.