Beth Purvis is scheduled to appear at a House hearing this morning.
At 11PM Thursday morning Beth Purvis is scheduled to appear before an Illinois House Appropriations Committee hearing.
Purvis is Governor Private Equity’s education advisor.
However the Sun-Times stepped out of character and did some journalism, filed a FOIA request, and discovered Purvis was paid her $250,000-a-year salary out of Department of Human Services funds.
The Department of Human Services was the target of the governor’s Good Friday Massacre.
He cut aid to Autistic children on Autism Awareness Day.
I was reminded of this the other day when a reporter from WBEZ was interviewing me at our Beach Blanket Sit-In at Humboldt Park Beach.
“Do you see the issue of closing the beach as a metaphor for the tale of two cities policies of the mayor?” she asked.
“Of course,” I replied. “But it not only a metaphor. It’s not just symbolism. Neighborhood kids will actually lose a place they need for the summer. It’s a metaphor. But it is also a real hurt on kids.”
When the governor took money away from programs that helped people with autism and handed it to Beth Purvis, it was symbolic.
It was a metaphor that kicked people with Autism in the butt.
And also bad optics.
The Republicans were embarrassed. But silent.
The Democrats saw an opening.
Although it took the Sun-Times to find out about the out-sourcing of Purvis’ salary. Purvis is a charter school huckster, so taking money from the common good and handing it over to those with selfish interests is nothing new to her.
It is doubtful that she even sees anything wrong with this.
Yet this all went right by the Democrats until the Sun-Times story broke.
Records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times under the Freedom of Information Act show that one of the highest-paid state employees hired under Rauner isn’t making a dent in the governor’s office budget.
In March, Rauner tapped Beth Purvis, a former charter school director, as his education secretary at an annual salary of $250,000.
At the time it was the highest-paid position in the governor’s cabinet.
But her contract, signed March 13, indicates that she’s being paid out of the Department of Human Services, even as it indicates she will “report directly to the governor’s chief of staff or designee.”
Three weeks after Purvis’ contract was signed, the governor’s office announced that the Department of Human Services was strapped for cash, and sliced $26 million in services including for autism, epilepsy and burials for the indigent. The cuts, later known as “the Good Friday Massacre,” caused some programs to completely shut down. The cuts caused a furor, prompting House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, to call a public hearing on why it happened after Democrats said they believed a budget deal with the governor protected such services.
The Department of Human Services in its mission statement says it aims to serve “those who are striving to move from welfare to work and economic independence, and others who face multiple challenges to self-sufficiency.”
We can watch and see if Governor Private Equity shows up.
I doubt he will.
CTU President Karen Lewis called the governor a sociopath when she appeared at the Hideout the other night.
It is hard to argue with that.