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No business for monkeys

Illinois Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner on Thursday asked the outgoing administration to freeze state hiring, appointments and job reclassifications. To paraphrase, he said there’s no indication of monkey business, but based on past experience it is wise to ask our lame-chimp administration to refrain.

Of course the governor’s office would not commit. Why give up their last shred of power for the good of the state?

The state’s media reported those two points as well as Rauner’s characterization of the state’s finances as “horrible.” What was not widely reported, but we found especially interesting, was an exchange between Rauner and a reporter near the end of his press conference.

“Our goal here is to assemble the most talented team of individuals who’ve ever turned around a state government. That’s my No. 1 priority today. We have cast a broad net. We want very talented executives. In fact, I want to spread the word among your readers and viewers: We are looking for everyone in Illinois who’s willing to be a public servant and serve, who is talented, has high integrity and has expertise in pensions, in corrections, in juvenile justice, in health care, in Medicaid.”

A reporter then interrupted Rauner to ask why these talented individuals should come work for a state when they might not get one of those pensions that is driving the state’s fiscal crisis.

We loved Rauner’s response: “Public servants serve as a way to give back in our community and make a difference.”

Did you hear that, Springfield? Public service, not self service.

Why did Rauner say he wanted to be governor? To serve the people of Illinois.

So we expect him to surround himself with those interested in serving — not in hiring their kids to sleep on the job, or in retiring fat and sassy, or in getting two ex-girlfriends well-paying state jobs. The voters’ message, boiled down, was that we’re done watching the chimps throw excrement. Time to teach them to roller skate.

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