Vallas Tapped As Running Mate For Illinois Governor, Says He Will Not Leave School District “In A Lurch”

Vallas on horse
Vallas riding out of town, back to Illinois.

Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas, who ran for governor of Illinois about 10 years ago, will be a candidate for lieutenant governor, according to this Friday announcement from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn:

Governor Pat Quinn today named Paul Vallas as his running mate in the 2014 election. A longtime reformer and nationally renowned fiscal and education expert, Vallas will serve as the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor.

“I’ve known Paul Vallas for 30 years and he’s never been shy about fighting for education, reform and opportunities for working people,” Governor Quinn said. “We have made great progress these last few years, but serious challenges remain and our mission is not yet accomplished. Paul is an independent problem solver with a proven record of reform. He will be a strong Lt. Governor for the common good.”

“I am honored to join forces with the strongest reform governor in the country,” Paul Vallas said. “Since taking the oath of office, Governor Pat Quinn has rescued the state of Illinois from the verge of fiscal and ethical disaster following decades of bipartisan corruption. This governor has been getting big things done since he got here. Unlike his predecessors, Governor Quinn tackled the hard issues and has made the right decisions to get Illinois back on track.

“Together we will fight every day for working families and deliver the reform and change that Illinois deserves,” said Vallas.

Nationally known for his success in improving some of America’s most troubled school systems, Paul Vallas enters the campaign following nearly two years of service in Connecticut’s largest city as Superintendent of the Bridgeport Public Schools. During his tenure, he eliminated a $12 million dollar budget deficit without closing a single school or laying off a single teacher. He instituted major reforms, modernized the curriculum and put laptops and Smart boards in every high school classroom.

In a statement Friday afternoon, Vallas announced the decision as an “unexpected and extraordinary opportunity … I am completely aware that the new board, elected just this week by Bridgeport voters to guide the system in coming years, has a desire to work with a superintendent of its own choosing … I will not leave the district suddenly or in a lurch, but will work with the new board as it searches for a new superintendent, set a timetable and ensure that it is fully equipped to build on the progress the district has made during the past two years.”

Read the full text of Vallas’ statement here.

Statement from Mayor Bill Finch:

“There’s no question that substantial improvements to our school system have been made while Paul Vallas has been at the helm. With my office and the Board of Education leadership working together we have made great strides–high school seniors have access to college course work; we’ve opened five new schools and effectively doubled the number of high schools in one year; we’ve balanced two school budgets, and we’ve provided every high school student with a laptop computer. This is a very wonderful opportunity for Paul, and I wish him luck as he joins Pat Quinn’s ticket as the candidate for lieutenant governor in his home state of Illinois.”



  1. Not exactly a surprise. I wonder if he is going to continue running his for-profit education consulting business on the side 🙂
    Bridgeport’s gain is the Land of Lincoln’s headache now!

  2. The new Board of Education’s first agenda item (after electing a new Chair) is to request of Vallas a letter of resignation.
    None of this per diem pay scale. He has officially chosen a new career path and it is time for the Bridgeport BOE to implement a succession plan.
    We cannot wait any longer for him to decide what he wants to do. We cannot let him sit in the superintendent’s office blocking an implementation plan.
    We need a full-time acting superintendent and we need to begin a national search. We cannot start a search only to find out a year from now if he is not elected, he is not resigning and we wasted the money on the search.
    And even more so, we will not have the best candidates apply if he is still in office hedging his own bets.
    It’s time to say goodbye, Mr. Vallas.

  3. I hate saying I told you so, but …
    Wait a minute, I love saying I told you so.
    Go back through the archives Lennie and you will see I was consistent in stating the legal expenses for Mr. Vallas’ challenge should be paid with either BOE money or city funds.
    Now you know why.
    So the question becomes does the city bill him back for the funds wasted on this lawsuit?
    Can the city ask the CT Supreme Court to withdraw the lawsuit since it was very much a single-person claim?

  4. *** Since being here in Bpt along with all the fuss that has come with Vallas, other than rumors and opinions I still don’t know what positive or negative results have come from his time on the job. And will he be the one in the end to say, “you can take this job and shove it ’cause I ain’t working here no more!” *** ONLY FACTS NEEDED ***

    1. Here are a few facts, he “balanced” the budget by gutting special education and removing electives from the high school curriculum. He’s been arrogant and pompous towards the parents of this district. He has a plan to shut the Parent Center (its name is already changed on the BOE website).

      We definitely need his resignation letter. There is already a challenge to his residency in Illinois. Remember, on the stand and under oath he stated he was a resident of Bridgeport CT during his trial. The good citizens of Bridgeport will do well to rid ourselves of this elitist. How long before he goes? “Time will tell.”

  5. The new BOE made me do it? Baloney! Had the endorsed slate won and the status quo remained in place, Vallas would have passed on the opportunity to be the Lt. Gov of Illinois. Who would be so dumb as to believe that? My advice to Paul Vallas: Be very carefully on whom you attack or blame here. Did you know the WFP is a registered party in Illinois? I’m sure Gov. Quinn would like the support of WFP.

  6. Agreed, Joel. This has had to have been in the works for months. Explains why Vallas was becoming increasingly ballsy the last few months. Let’s just hope the BOE can find a good, quality, qualified Superintendent who is from the region (has roots here and won’t pick up and leave on a whim for a “better” gig).

  7. *** I’m not sure but I believe Vallas was not picked as Supt. by the usual BOE means. In other words there was no nationwide search made or advertized for the Bpt Supt. position or candidates interviewed. Which if I’m right means Vallas was picked by nepotism means by either a friend, family member or political favor to someone, maybe even by hearsay. Ideas and planning were in place to abort the standing dysfunctional BOE with replacements by Mayor Finch with the blessings of the Governor, State of CT Education Dept. and of course with Vallas on board later. Since then very little progress has been seen in the school system and nothing but political infighting on the BOE and teachers union with each other, supporters of Vallas, anti-Vallas people and Vallas himself! Now, it seems like it’s not going to matter either way ’cause Vallas is off to Illinos to run for Lt. Gov. and you can be sure he’ll want his remaining money due under the latest school contract! Another taxpayer debacle to be decided in court, no doubt. So who will get the last laugh in the end in the Bpt school education debacle that continues to be on a record scale from 1 to 10 in the nation, with 10 being the top score, a number “2”! *** MAYBE IT’S TIME TO GO, NO? ***

    1. Mojo, I think you are 100% right when you said, “I believe Vallas was not picked as Supt. by the usual BOE means. In other words there was no nationwide search made or advertized for the Bpt Supt. position or candidates interviewed. Which if I’m right means Vallas was picked by nepotism means by either a friend, family member or political favor to someone, maybe even by hearsay. Ideas and planning were in place to abort the standing dysfunctional BOE with replacements by Mayor Finch with the blessings of the Governor, State of CT Education Dept. and of course with Vallas on board later.” The selection was not done by anybody in Bridgeport, this was a much bigger decision that was planned and carried out by outsiders from other states.

      I must say retired judge Carmen Lopez has been on top of Paul Vallas from his first day here and it was her hard fight against the decision to bring Vallas and to fight Mayor Finch’s attempt to take away the voting rights of voters here in Bridgeport for them to vote for who should serve on the BOE, thank you Carmen Lopez.

  8. The city got exactly what it deserved with Vallas, and that is screwed.
    To the state people who insisted he be hired I say screw you.
    To the BOE in effect when he was hired I say screw you.
    To Bill Finch I say Fluck You.
    To Paul Vallas don’t let the door hit you in the ass as you leave Bridgeport. You did squat while you were here. Fluck you too.

    1. Another Mulligan for Vallas?
      June 29th 2013 CTPOST:

      Now school’s out for summer–and for Vallas.

      In a decision expected to rock the city’s education system, a Superior Court judge Friday ordered Vallas removed from his job.

      “This could be disastrous for our education system,” said Thomas Mulligan, a city Board of Education member and local lawyer. “If Superintendent Vallas is unable to continue serving, this will mean Bridgeport will have gone through four superintendents in a three-year period–John Ramos, Vallas, the interim superintendent who replaces Vallas and a permanent superintendent.”

  9. So now that the Mayors privatization boy has flown the cuckoo’s nest, and he should be running as a Republican, will the new BOE separate the city side from the BOE and get the Mayor’s hands off the BOE’s money?
    Damn, did Vallas cost the city some big-time cash in legal bills.

  10. Breaking News:
    The elect Bridgeport Board of Education members held a private emergency meeting. The group met at midnight in the Charter Arms building in a section that is believed to be haunted. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss adding a mandatory curriculum for every student in the district. Sources tell me the new BOE will mandate every student in the district participate and pass a new dance before passing to the next grade. The dance is called the “Lurch” dance. Here’s a video of the dance:

    1. Am I missing something here? I don’t get the attempt at humor if that’s what is intended. And could you possibly be referring to Remington Arms which is believed to be haunted?

      1. Your concern is noted. Remington Arms, Charter Arms, Ray will correct it when he has the time. You did get my attempt at humor. To prove this, I’ll point out that it was your first guess of what my intention was. Talking about “Arms.” Who died and made you ‘Sergeant of Arms’ to go around OIB questioning posters’ intentions?

        [Ed: Correct what? Although it’s now in Shelton, Charter Arms was originally in Bridgeport when it was founded in 1964. Maybe their original home being haunted is what prompted their first move to Stamford.]

        1. You are definitely on a different level than the rest of the posters on here. You question (and insult) other posters’ comments, so don’t whine when someone questions yours. I didn’t get your attempt at humor–so what? Get over yourself.

  11. It seems the governor of Illinois is dropping his current running mate and choosing Paul Vallas instead. Bridgeport’s new BOE has a mighty task ahead of them. The more new curriculum they keep the better Mayor Finch looks.

    1. The problem with the curriculum is the over-testing. Some facets of the curriculum are good, Singapore math is kind of the world standard, so our kids should have that. However our kids don’t always read a full novel, just the passage required to answer questions on a test. Abstract thought along with comprehension builds great minds. Our children should not get any less than what generations before them got. The rich and powerful’s children get art, music and other opportunities for their personal development, our kids deserve the same.

      1. Squeaky, would you indicate the “right or correct amount of testing?” Over testing has been part of the hypercritical mantra critical of Vallas’ plans and work. Since he will not be present for much longer, perhaps you will enlighten us as to the right amount of testing, including the purpose of each type of testing, their frequency of same, the use of results, etc.? We might have a “professional” discussion to inform the entire community for the months ahead. (By the way do you know what “testing” was part of the public school system process under Ramos and Salcedo?)

        In a posting above you talk about Vallas financial “budget balancing.” You did not indicate he has brought more funds into the City from State sources, funds that were available to previous administrations. That is a fact. You did not indicate what the professional association had in mind to deal with the budget deficit two years ago and the likelihood of school closings, teacher layoffs, etc. What were they proposing then? What are they proposing now as contract negotiations are ongoing?
        Vallas introduced the concept of “quality instructional time” to me. What do Bridgeport educators have to say about the seemingly large amount of days off through sickness, injury and personal days compared to many other school districts, and what can be done to increase the “instructional time” in this regard?
        Who are the rich and powerful whom you reference getting art, music and other opportunities? Other cities or towns with significant differences or Bridgeport families? Instead of pure advocacy, do you have some ideas on any inefficiencies currently, and how to eliminate them to provide more dollars for the causes you care about?

        As a believer in “Squeaky,” where is your complaint about Mayor Finch’s disregard of the school system “minimum budget requirement?” If that $3.2 Million is not funded in addition to the funds provided by the City in last year’s budget, will the State look to provide consequences for the system? Has that topic been discussed by the current BOE? Have you and others brought this to the attention of the City Council? Why not? Time will tell.

  12. The election is conquered territory. The new battlefields are the City Council, which now has a touch of red, and the upcoming BOE meetings, where hilarity will meet leadership and I hope nobody gets hurt.

  13. Somewhere in Black Rock sits the retired, activist judge who recently challenged Paul Vallas in court and won. She now enjoys an empty victory because even though she got a court-sanctioned decree, she now finds herself awaiting and presiding over a moot court.
    It’s a fast world we live in. Best wishes to Mr. Vallas–especially in the upcoming Illinois gubernatorial election.

    1. If Godiva could make such a good point, I could say chocolate is good for your eyes. The “activist judge” hasn’t won yet. When the Supremes sing, we will hear who won. Some would say, “Best of wishes to Gov. Quinn.”

  14. What Paul Vallas means when he says he won’t leave the board in a lurch is he plans on taking his sweet time to get out of here. Maybe he will stay until the end of the school year. Maybe he will wait until a new super is in place. Who knows, maybe he has figured out based on his contract he can serve as both the lieutenant governor AND B’port superintendent of schools. Kind of what Finch wanted to pull. Peas in a pod and all that crap.

      1. Is that how he completed his course for superintendent?
        Skyping? If over-the-phone education was good enough for Bridgeport then, Vallas must be thinking it should good enough for running the schools!

  15. Honestly, the miserable negativity on this blog is outrageous. Pat Quinn has been in office for some time. If he thought bringing Vallas home to Illinois would damage his brand, would he do it? He wants to win an election and apparently he believes Paul Vallas will have a huge positive and political impact. Maybe Illinois’ gain is Bridgeport’s loss. Maybe the teachers will be happier without Vallas. Maybe half of the teachers as well as the Union need to go. Maybe we will be sorry Vallas left on his own and didn’t wait to be kicked out. It seems to me bringing in Vallas will be remembered by many as not only a controversial figure but a man who went against the current to create change the current teaching staff did not want. Bridgeport needs a powerful superintendent. Good luck! I will remain hopeful and wish Pat Quinn in Illinois the best of luck with his new running mate. I wonder if any of Bridgeport’s controversy will be even newsworthy in Chicago. Doubt it.

    1. Steven,
      With all due respect, having read your saccharine soapbox posts here for months, I wonder if perhaps your latest self-assessment would be more to the point if it were just, “I have no idea.”

      1. Not at all, Pete. I THINK MY POST was quite clear. But will clarify further. YOU MAY ENJOY OBSCENE AND HATEFUL POSTS. I HAPPEN TO BE A FAN OF PAT QUIN IN ILLINOIS. IF HE CHOSE VALLAS HE MUST BELIEVE HE WILL HELP HIM WIN AND APPARENTLY HE HAS A POSITIVE APPROVAL RATING AND HISTORY THERE. Did you understand that Pete? With all due respect. It seems to me you are all now upset Vallas will land on his feet. Or was your problem I believe the teachers union needs to go as well as some of the grossly incompetent teachers who stay on forever contributing nothing to the success of our students.

        1. Steven,
          I think Paul Vallas did do some positive things, including making the BOE budget available on the BOE site and updating the BOE web site. It would be commendable if the Mayor could do the same for the city’s budget.

          As you may know, B’port public schools face a $3.3 million budget hole right now. There’s much work to be done.

          In my humble opinion, what happens in Illinois politics … is a curiosity here … but of virtually no concern to the school children of Bridgeport.

          Dave Walker (who commented below … today) is right: Professional politicians don’t select running mates who they think (at the time of selection) will harm their chances. Just ask John McCain. 🙂

          From the CT Post, May 7, 2013:

          A state law passed last year requires the city to meet minimum requirements on school funding, even as the majority of education money comes from the state. For Bridgeport, that means an additional $3.3 million of city money. It might be a good law or a bad law, but that’s not the issue. If the state finds the city in violation of the minimum budget requirement, there are serious financial penalties.

          The city is negotiating ways to get around the $3.3 million in school funding, possibly by considering in-kind expenses taken on by the city. That may work. But by all appearances, the city was caught unawares on this issue.

          LENNIE: ANYONE KNOW HOW THAT “negotiating ways … around” is going?

          1. Pete, there is no way of knowing who (the BOE or the City of Bridgeport) will end up with the $3 million deficit. There is the possibility of both the BOE and the City of Bridgeport ending up with a shared deficit. The State BOE may give the city credit for some of the in-kind expenses but not all of it like Bill Finch and the City Council have bet on. Keep in mind for fiscal year 2015 on the BOE side, the City may have to come up with more money to cover the minimum budget requirement.

            Whatever negotiation is taking place, I’m sure it won’t cover or be applicable to future MBR. Here’s the window to future fights between Bill Finch and the BOE. The fights will be over money.

          2. The City was not caught unawares on this issue. They were informed of the $3.2 Million responsibility, obligation, duty, cost-sharing, or whatever words you wish to describe this as late as March 15, 2013, at least two weeks before the Mayor produced the 2013-14 budget for public view.

            The Mayor is good at negotiating but under the circumstances both Walker and Vallas are much more experienced in governmental finance. So it remains to be seen where a full and complete answer rests. The “Vallas plan” has made assumptions about funding going forward. It will be interesting to see whether successors and their policy bosses (the new BOE) can come up to speed quickly.

            Bob Walsh, your jubilance is noted regarding Chicago travel. But my tickets for Thanksgiving week to Chicago are to visit my son and his family who left Fairfield in June at his employer’s request. (Frankly I have no idea what Steve A has planned.)

            By the way Bob, what is your substitute plan carved out this past year by those opposing anything and everything Vallas has done? Cat got your tongue? Hope all of the detractors get used to dealing with the reality of current planning and effort rather than the lathered opposition to events that do not come to pass because they were not part of the Vallas plan. Cough up the hairballs, all of them, first. Engage your minds and we will look forward to the public presentation of Plan B. Anyone other than me curious about this? Time will tell.

  16. Tell us Steve, the top ten accomplishments of Governor Quinn that have led to this attraction to him. Are you thinking of Pat Quinn as a vice presidential candidate in three years???

    1. I do not see Quinn as a V.P. candidate. I’d like Clinton to run with someone like Cory Booker. I’d like to see her run against Christie as the only possible Republican candidate with a strong female with a brain unlike Bachmann and Palin.

      1. Quinn’s accomplishments, other than supporting and signing into law this week marriage equality as the 15th state followed by Hawaii yesterday as the 16th. Quinn’s major accomplishments can be found all over the internet starting with the employee recovery act and others with the department of Labor. He is a likeable candidate and must believe Vallas can help and I am certain he is not as reviled in Illinois as he is here. I know Rahm Emanuel supports him and that is good enough for me.

  17. Steve–mind you this is just my opinion, but Rahm Emanuel is very impressive and would be a far better choice of a running mate than Vallas. I don’t know anything about Quinn, but I’m not sure Vallas will be a complementary running mate. I think he has too much baggage and the opponents won’t hesitate to expound on it.

    1. Godiva, I couldn’t agree with you more. I think Rahm is happy running Chicago and would not be happy as second fiddle as an alpha male. I am neither a fan nor foe of Vallas. I do respect him and his apparent talent and accomplishments. In the end the majority of teachers got what they wanted. Controversy over. Quinn apparently needs Vallas. That speaks volumes to me. Enough said on that.

        1. The same can be said for Bridgeport Mayors, right? Maybe Pablo is is seeking kindred spirits? Can’t fault a guy for seeking his soul (cell?) mates, can we?

  18. It is quite simple, actually. Paul Vallas understands he has little chance of succeeding in Bridgeport. The level of animosity is palpable. Furthermore, Vallas’ support base within city government is weakened by the successes of the reform movement, which appears likely to continue. Returning to Illinois is a smart personal move for him. I’m not surprised he threw in the towel at the first sign Bridgeport reformists are gaining support from the voters. I am surprised at Steven Auerbach and John Marshall Lee. Well, maybe I’m not so surprised.

    1. Stone,
      You own up to the emotion, ‘surprise,’ relative to Paul Vallas accepting offer to become Lt. Gov. on the Quinn ticket. And then you apply your mind by indicating this “is a smart personal move for him.”
      Then you appear emotional again, suffering surprise but apply no obvious mental powers of explanation. What have Steve and I done that links us together on your radar screen? Why is it surprising? What insight provides a possible explanation for “maybe I’m not so surprised.” Having a conversation with yourself? Time will tell.

  19. This is directed at Ron Mackey. Don’t think for a minute Governor Quinn is cut from the same cloth as his predecessors. It is no coincidence Quinn and Emanuel are in the specific roles they have. Emanuel has effectively distanced the Dailey machine from local city day-to-day operations as has Quinn removed the remnants of the Thompson influence from statewide operations. Mr. Mackey, from the tone and content of your contributions herein, you might benefit by refraining from discussing issues for which you appear to have no basis of understanding. A polite way of suggesting you don’t know what you are talking about.

    1. Stone Barrington, please tell us about the past Governors of Illinois who have gone to jail. I said, Being the Governor of Illinois is no big deal, tell me why it’s a big deal seeing as you don’t understand humor?

    2. Stone Barrington, for the record seeing as you don’t know what you are talking about.

      Since the 1970s, Illinois has had 8 governors. Four of these governors have gone to prison on charges related to corruption.

      1. Otto Kerner
      Term: 1961-1968; Party: Democrat

      2. Dan Walker
      Term: 1973-1977 Party: Democrat

      3. George Ryan
      Term: 1999-2003 Party: Republican

      4. Rod Blagojevich
      Term: 2003-2009 Party: Democrat

  20. Carol Felsenthal
    On politics

    Why Paul Vallas’ Brother Headed Democrats for Bill Brady in 2010

    Dean Vallas thought Quinn lacked “the political skills to navigate around a Mike Madigan.”
    Published Friday at 3:00 p.m

    The news Friday morning that Pat Quinn had tapped Paul Vallas–former CPS CEO–to be his running mate, was a shocker to me. And not because the lieutenant governor’s job is one that nobody (including its current occupant, Sheila Simon) wants, but because the person politically closest to Paul Vallas is his younger brother Dean, 57. And Dean, in 2010, headed Democrats for Brady.

    What popped immediately into my mind was a telephone conversation I had with Dean in September 2010 in which he confirmed a tip I had received that yes, in that year’s gubernatorial race between Democrat Pat Quinn and Republican Bill Brady, Dean Vallas was supporting Brady.

    Should Brady win the Republican primary, he will, once again take on incumbent Pat Quinn.

    I described Dean, a resident of Palos Park, as “the ringleader” that year in recruiting Democrats to support Brady, who is not only a Republican but a conservative Republican. Dean told me that he had signed on to back Brady before the Republican primary, and that his title was Cook County finance co-chairman.

    Dean joked that friends were calling him to ask, “‘What are you, Karl Rove?’ … Good Friends didn’t wan to talk to me.”

    Dean repeatedly described his roots in the Democratic Party as lifelong and deep: 95 percent of the money he has contributed to politicians went to Democrats. “I have supported Democratic candidates most of my life.”

    But the 2010 gubernatorial race was different, Dean–a retired owner of restaurants and a food service company–argued.

    The very future of the state depended on businessman Brady vanquishing lifelong politician Quinn. Vallas was lavish in his praise of Brady, calling him “completely independent,” a man who “has been in business [a family home construction company] for his whole life, has had to meet a payroll–knows what it’s like not to sleep on Friday night because you can’t make the Saturday payroll.”

    Most important, Dean said, was that Brady was not part of “the old guard” (Mike Madigan, et al.) who have “made a mess of the state.” He gave Quinn his due as “a real good man” but one who lacked “the political skills to navigate around a Mike Madigan.”

    When I asked Dean, who is known to be exceedingly close to his brother and his top political confidante, if Paul would be following suit, he said no. “I wouldn’t even ask him,” citing as his reason that Paul’s then work “formulating a plan to build public schools in Haiti and consulting for the schools in New Orleans requires him to maintain ties to pols of both stripes, including Louisiana’s Republican governor, Bobby Jindal, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

    In the wake of Brady’s loss to Quinn, Dean Vallas told me, “I’ve never worked that hard for a Republican candidate,” but added that his work was not so much “anti-Quinn as pro-Brady.” He said that had Brady eked out a victory he would have “fully engaged the legislature” and “basically you would have had a democracy back in Springfield.”

    Think what a gift Quinn has given to the Brady campaign! I can imagine the campaign commercials as I write.

    A call to Dean Vallas was not returned by post time.

    Some further info on the Vallas brothers:

    Paul Vallas has run not only CPS but also the public schools in Philadelphia, New Orleans and Bridgeport, Connecticut.

    Paul Vallas had considered running as a Republican for Cook County Board President in 2010.

    Both Vallas brothers had supported Gery Chico in his losing race for mayor. Chico told me in October 2010 that he and Paul Vallas had worked closely in the ’90s when Chico was Daley’s chief of staff and Vallas was budget director and, again, when Vallas was running the public schools here and Chico was president of the school board.

    Chico added that he, unlike Dean, was supporting Democrat Pat Quinn over Republican Bill Brady.

    Paul Vallas was hobbled in his race against Blago in the 2002 Democratic primary for governor by his fear of flying.

    Dean told me in 2010 that his brother had largely overcome that fear and flies four to five times a week and flew 50 times in the summer of 2010 to Haiti. “But I couldn’t get him to fly to Effingham [in 2002].” Vallas lost the race to Blago by 25,669 votes, attributed to his lackluster numbers downstate where his fear of flying prevented him from campaigning vigorously.

  21. The Lt. Governor (LG) position can be a very important one if the Governor employs a partnership approach and delegates responsibility and authority for selected areas or initiatives. In most states, the LG is also the President of the state Senate. Don’t kid yourself, Governors don’t pick LGs who they believe will hurt their election or re-election chances.

        1. Mustang Sally, Dave Walker doesn’t owe me “jack,” but since you want to know, he chose to answer something I said and he reply back and I asked him about his answer. Now what is your problem?

          1. Dave Walker, you are so transparent, you want people to beg you to please run for Lieutenant Governor on the Republican party ticket, but Foley has other plans.

          2. Dave Walker, in fact you would bring nothing to a Republican candidate for governor, nobody knows you, you have no voting base except those in Black Rock, you are no Chris Shays even if you live in his old home, but you could bring money in from your conservative business friends from across the country. Please run, run Dave, run.

    1. David Walker, you are on the money here .Apparently, the local loathing of Vallas clouds the judgement of many. Perhaps it is also clouded by anti-Finch individuals. Bottom line, Vallas is moving on. Bridgeport may have lost, but we move forward and hope we can attract a solid candidate who will be able to implement a plan the teachers will not balk at. This is not the first and will not be the last time Bridgeport has run a Superintendent out of town. Every time we pay a huge price in benefits. Just imagine that money going toward education. We have had three superintendents in a handful of years. Ramos, Salcedo and Vallas. How about looking at some local talent? I have met some really wonderful principals over the past few years. Maybe the talent and commitment is under our noses. Certainly, there must be a few who have been doing success planning and educating themselves waiting for this moment.

    2. Dave Walker, you said:
      Dave Walker // Nov 10, 2013 at 7:43 am
      The Lt. Governor (LG) position can be a very important one if the Governor employs a partnership approach and delegates responsibility and authority for selected areas or initiatives. In most states, the LG is also the President of the state Senate. Don’t kid yourself, Governors don’t pick LGs who they believe will hurt their election or re-election chances.

      I ask you this:
      Ron Mackey // Nov 10, 2013 at 7:59 am
      Dave Walker, so is that the reason why you will run for Lieutenant Governor on the Republican Party ticket?

      Dave Walker, would you please answer my question, thank you.

  22. *** All this blog chatter about Illinois in general has nothing to do with the Bpt BOE and school system. For all those who wanted Vallas gone, well it seems he has his bus ticket and is just waiting to get the rest of his money before he leaves for the windy city state! Neither Vallas nor whoever comes after will be able to turn around the Bpt education system that is run by politics and the teachers union along with the ingrained sense of many people not really caring in the end. As the tides get higher year after year, the sense of shoveling shit against the tides gets stronger and stronger thus leaving the overall masses mentally exhausted and in disarray. ***

  23. *** Let’s talk about something else, like FEMA’s attempt to recoup as much money as possible due to storm “Sandy!” How you may wonder, by blanket mapping parts of districts that never had flood issues into “FEMA FLOOD ZONES” thus requiring you as a home or business owner to get “Flood Insurance” whether you want to or not! Add that on to the year’s property tax increases and upcoming property re-value and you have “FOR SALE” by the masses in Bpt! ***

          1. Ah, Torres. Had a few more, too! Many, many thanks! There were a few folks who deserved to win and did not, though. For them I am very sorry.

    1. I have a question: What has Vallas done or not done to/for the Bridgeport School system that has not been good for the schools and the children? And what he he done or not done that has made everyone dislike him so much (aside from him coming on board via the mayor)?

      1. It would appear Ron does not like Vallas because he is a Republican. For the rest of the Vallas haters, it is all about the money. The teachers do not like him for fear he will bring teacher pay and benefits in line with the economy and industry. He also spoke of reforming tenure and increasing teacher responsibility for student success. For the most part, holding their feet to the fire.
        **Note the teachers union backed the WFP. Now, the WFP runs the BOE. The BOE picks the Super. The super picks principals, asst. principals and negotiates teacher contracts. Principals are responsible for supervising and disciplining teachers. Teachers pay dues to support the teachers union. {refringere} If you cut out the middle part of my story you shrink it down to: teachers negotiate both sides of their own contract and supervise themselves.
        Some BOE contractors fear their BOE contract monopolies coming to an end. Most cronies and lackeys feared losing their gigs. Vallas cleared out 925 Main St. and all those people had to go back to work. You could guess they were mad about that. Some random people just want the government to run everything and distrust the big business ‘devil.’ They feared the ‘privatization’ Vallas might bring. Everyone knows private schools are nowhere as good as public ones. Some people just fear change of any kind. The devil you know is better than the one you don’t.

  24. Quinn Picks Republican Running Mate
    by John Laesch, posted on Saturday, November 9th, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Who will you vote for on Nov. 5, 2014 if you are given the choice between voting for a Republican (pick one) and a Republican (Paul Vallas)? Yep, Pat Quinn picked a Republican as his running mate, further alienating working people, minorities and women from the Democratic Party.

    Four years ago, Vallas told host Jeff Berkowitz on the Public Affairs cable TV show that he’s now a Republican.

    VALLAS: “I would take a Republican primary ballot.”
    BERKOWITZ: “Do you think of yourself as a Republican?”
    VALLAS: “I’m more of a Republican than a Democrat.”
    BERKOWITZ: “If you run again for office you’d be running as a Republican?”
    VALLAS: “I would, yes, yes.”

    It gets better

    For the next two weeks expect to see the Governor’s staff and the patronage army running around the state gathering signatures for Quinn-Vallas, and by next Halloween we can expect to see something really scary. Two grey-haired, white males (Quinn-Vallas) running around the state of Illinois pointing their finger at two other white males (the likely Republican ticket) saying, “they are really, really, really bad! Vote for me instead.” Because it is a campaign year, you might hear Quinn replace, “I don’t care if you don’t get Social Security, you will lose part of your pension” with, “I want to raise the minimum wage.” For the record, I support an increase in wages, and oppose the pension cuts.

    I don’t think Quinn-Vallas at the top of the Democratic ticket is strong enough in 2014. Quinn may have only eked out a victory in 2010 because he had a strong female, Sheila Simon, on the ticket. Quinn won’t have the legendary Simon name to buoy his chances in 2014.

    Winning Matters

    Even if you don’t care about the issues and you are one of those Democrats who only cares about winning elections for the sake of winning, you ought to be scratching your head right now. On November 7th, David Ormsby hinted that Quinn might select a minority female as his running mate. Others in political circles have been talking about State Senator Kwamee Raul for awhile now, but Ormsby suggested two others on the list.

    Meanwhile, Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough’s name has surfaced and that of State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora)

    “Yarbrough has made it to the list,” says the committeeman. “Chapa LaVia, too.”

    Selecting a qualified, minority female running mate seems like a sane, politically savvy decision. But instead, Quinn went with a middle-aged white guy who creates controversy, has a poor performance record, pulled a Republican ballot in 2010 and even said he is a Republican. Expect the Democratic patronage machine to sweep that little fact under the carpet, but African American leaders seem less forgiving right now. From the Chicago Tribune:

    “Ald. Carrie Austin, 34th, said she was disappointed and suggested she might not be as motivated when it comes to marshalling the troops in her ward come election time.

    “We should have had some sort of forewarning that this was another individual on the short list,” Austin said.

    “But to say nothing?”

    “I’m upset with my governor now, yes I am,” she said. “How did they get off the short list. … He’s got to tell us why he wrote them off his short list. … On his short list, you had a state senator, you has a former state representative (Ald. Will Burns, 4th), you had our city treasurer, all African Americans. You had qualified African Americans on your short list.”

    “I can speak for 34, and it ain’t lookin’ good,” she said of the potential support from her ward organization.

    Maybe Quinn’s electoral strategy is to borrow and “squeezy” some money out of the depleted state budget for projects in these wards?

    And, in 2014, Issues Matter

    Less than a week ago voters rejected Paul Vallas and everything he stands for. Last Tuesday, the voters of Connecticut rejected Michelle Rhee/Paul Vallas “reforms” that forward corporate-run government. Click on this link to hear what the Working Families Party had to say about voters effectively kicking Vallas out. Here’s my favorite quote:

    Lindsay Farrell, executive director of the Connecticut Working Families Party, whose party members have wanted to oust Vallas, said in a statement: “It’s not surprising Vallas is leaving town. His brand of corporate reform turned out to be toxic, and the voters have rejected him. But the last thing he deserves is a promotion.”

    And in New York, voters elected a populist Democrat who stood with the middle class and public employees when they voted in the first Democratic mayor in 20 years, Mayor-Elect Bill De Blasio. Not only did De Blasio run on a platform focused on education reform that reversed the Rhee/Vallas/Rahm/Duncan education privatization schemes, he won the election handily!

    On the issue of education reform, Pat Quinn’s choice of Vallas goes against the tide of voters who are, through elections, getting rid of the corporate education privatizers.

    The Vallas choice reminds me of President Bush picking his running mate, Dick Cheney. The rich people who run the country wanted Dick Cheney as Vice President to do the heavy thinking for President Bush. And, the rich people who back Reboot Illinois have seen the Vallas choice as one they can live with. If Quinn wins, they win. If Quinn Loses because this is a bad political move, they still win. It makes you wonder who suggested to Pat Quinn that Paul Vallas would be a good running mate. I’m guessing it was the rich people who trade on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (Illinois’ version of Wall Street).

    It is not too late to change your mind, Pat

    One of Quinn’s not so redeeming qualities could become his only redemption move–Pat Quinn tends to flip-flop and change his mind a lot. Pat, it’s time to quickly correct this mistake and find yourself a new running mate–a minority, a female, or, a dogcatcher from Podunk, IL who doesn’t hate the middle class.

    And, if you can’t stomach the above two ideas and you simply need a middle-aged white guy reformer, how about Andy Shaw? If you need help with the budget, give Ralph Martire a call. Hopefully Shaw and Martire are not offended by these suggestions …

  25. Just a side note … has anyone noticed yahooy has been missing for the past couple of weeks? I must admit I miss his insults. More importantly, I am curious if she or he is okay. I thought he/she may have been on an extended vacation but his absence has been noticed … does anybody know him? Is he okay and just bored with the blog? Lennie? Ray?

  26. Hey Gang–what is going on here??? With all the problems in the Park City who gives a sh#$ about Quinn, Clinton and Illinois? Let’s get to the point in question. Get Vallas the hell out of the City ASAP.

  27. Opinion: Bridgeport Tenure Shows Vallas May Be Failing Upward in Illinois
    Part 1: Paul Vallas Arrives in Bridgeport, Ct.
    By Mark W. Anderson
    Monday, Nov 11, 2013 | Updated 4:34 PM CST

    To hear education reformers nationwide tell it, Paul Vallas is a superstar.

    Talk to some folks in Bridgeport, CT., however, and a different picture emerges. While he was only there for a couple of years, Vallas’ role as school superintendent in Connecticut’s biggest city was marked by controversy and chaos, including a stinging electoral rebuke engineered by a coalition of teachers, parents, local activists and a little known political party.

    Vallas is stepping down as Bridgeport Public Schools Superintendent to become Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s running mate in the 2014 election. He became superintendent of Bridgeport’s schools in January, 2012.

    By any measure, Vallas’ tenure as superintendent of a mostly poor and troubled school system was rocky at best–and more likely an outright failure at worst. During his tenure, controversy erupted over the illegality of no-bid contracts, continued poor student performance and charges he shut out parents and teachers from important decisions. As well, questions over his qualifications, whether he should have used school district money to pay his legal fees and the propriety of accepting high-paying outside work angered many and led to efforts to remove him from office.

    The story of how Vallas arrived in Bridgeport is complicated, but the shortened version looks like this.

    In 2011, Democratic mayor Bill Finch helped engineer a state takeover of Bridgeport schools, saying it was the only way the district could be improved. At the time, many in and out of Bridgeport felt the move was intended to pave the way for privatization of the district’s schools, along with a more test-oriented, standardized approach to learning many national education reformers seek.

    In 2012, however, the state Supreme Court overturned the takeover. Later that year, Finch again attempted to gain control over the Bridgeport Board of Education through a referendum authorizing a board appointed by the mayor and not elected, only to have the measure defeated.

    Into this story walked two opposing forces: “superstar” reformer Paul Vallas and the Working Families Party. The Party got there first, electing two members to the city’s Board of Ed in 2009. Months of intense battle followed, in which Finch, newly elected Democratic governor Daniel Malloy and lobbyists for a Greenwich billionaire sought to marginalize the new members and control the city’s school system any way they could.

    Part of that strategy involved finding an ally to become superintendent. In 2011, the state’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, recruited Vallas to become Bridgeport’s $229,000 part-time, acting superintendent of schools, following his stints leading districts in Chicago, New Orleans and Philadelphia. At the time, Vallas made some bold predictions about his abilities and likelihood for success, telling the Wall Street Journal:

    “My plan is to be done within a year, and to have the budget balanced, to have the academic plan embraced and supported, and to have the next generation of leaders ready to drive the system forward,” he said.

    But here’s where things, believe it or not, start to get interesting. Instead of considering the matter closed and accepting the new administration, Vallas’ arrival only seemed to fire up opposition and determination even further among some teachers, parents and activists to what they saw as heavy-handed tactics to wrest the school system away from local control.

    By the time Gov. Quinn tapped Vallas on Friday to be his running mate, his tenure in Bridgeport was seen by many as a disaster, not only for his own reputation but for the larger, nationwide school reform movement as well.

    How Paul Vallas went from being seen as the savior of a troubled district to “a case study about the arrogance and abuse of power” who saw his tenure marked by controversy, saw voters elect even more of his opponents to the school board, failed to deliver on his promise and was in danger of being thrown out of office, is a story worth telling in full.

    Source: www

  28. Ron,
    You don’t know me and you don’t have any credible experience or expertise on state or federal politics. You also don’t have as much expertise on local politics as you claim. You said Torres would lose, no Republicans would win in Bridgeport, and CW4BB would not have a real impact. You were wrong on all three counts. That’s called a strikeout. You also seem to be a lot of talk and not much real action.

    1. It didn’t matter to me who won that vote in the 130th district, I said Torres would have no power or influence on voting on the council. I’ve said the only district in Bridgeport Republican could win is in Black Rock, and for CW4BB real impact, well I’ve read NOTHING from any candidate outside of Black Rock who has said, wow CW4BB was a big help or thanks to CW4BB, but you are a dreamer.

      But nothing changes here, Dave Walker, in fact you would bring nothing to a Republican candidate for governor, nobody knows you, you have no voting base except those in Black Rock, you are no Chris Shays even if you live in his old home, but you could bring money in from your conservative business friends from across the country. Please run, run Dave, run.

      1. Ron,
        This is my last comment to you on this matter. You have no credible experience or expertise on state political issues, especially in connection with Republican politics. Therefore, your opinion on such matters is worth what people will pay you for it–Nothing! You should focus your comments on things you know something about in order to protect your credibility. By the way, you were zero for three on the local political issues I mentioned on my last email. Don’t forget, your past digital comments are captured forever.

        1. Dave Walker, you will bring no voting base to a Republican ticket because nobody knows you outside of Black Rock. The voters of Connecticut have not read any of your wonderful best-selling books and that doesn’t cause people to vote for you. You have no constituents, you have never run for anything, you have never won anything now you have been given a lot of things you have no history so voters will turn out in big numbers to vote for you. You couldn’t get many votes in the City you live in outside of Black Rock. Republican politics is different, Ted Cruz, the “Tea Party,” voter suppression, yes Republican politics is different. Do you really think you are that popular and well-liked by the voters, have you done any polling to sample to see where you stand with voters, are you the type of person who can attract voters or is your personality so combative you cause voters to turn away from you? Like I said, you could bring money in from your conservative business friends from across the country and that is Republican politics. Run Dave, run.

  29. Geez, Ron M. Do you think maybe you were a tad harsh on Mr. Walker? He is a smart man and knows where his party stands. Chris Shays is pretty much history and I do not believe Dave Walker is looking to model himself after him. It is one thing to be a staunch Democrat and believe in its ideology, but to rip Walker’s resume apart as though he were not a respected and accomplished individual is just plain cruel and unnecessary. Both parties can contribute to the well-being of the city, state and country. If I were the mayor, Governor or President I would tap into the talent of men like a David Walker. Whether he runs for office or chooses to be a local activist is irrelevant. The point is he is not an ignorant individual with ultra-bizarre points of view. You guys need to be a little more open to sharing of ideas. I personally would not vote for a Republican until they acknowledge their party is living in the dark ages. I would, however, listen to their point of view before I totally dismissed them.

    1. Steven Auerbach, you make some good points, but let me say this. Thirty years ago a young City Councilman named Chris Caruso made statements that pissed me off some. I wrote a letter to the editor in the Post challenging his comments. One time in The New Colony restaurant on Main St. Chris saw me there and stopped and said to me he read what I had said about him but I had misunderstood his position and at some point he would like to talk to me about it. Well we did talk and over the years I became a Caruso supporter because he knew how to take my attack in such a way he made it easy for us to talk. When I was on the DTC in the early 1990s Chris knew how I liked to question things including the new DTC chairman Mario Testa, Chris pulled my coat about a lot of things. The point I’m making is Chris chose to explain and to try to win me over to his position, it didn’t always happen but he was honest with me.

      Chris Caruso was not my Councilman or later not my State Rep. but if I had questions or needed information Chris always provided what I was looking for. Bridgeport has not seen another politician like him who didn’t need the DTC to get elected and did the door-to-door of going to the voters and listening to them.

      Steve, Dave Walker needs to learn how not to fight back when he is challenged and say, “you don’t know me.” With that attitude who would want to know him?

      1. Ron,
        With all due respect, you regularly make insulting and false statements regarding me and others on this blog. Why would I or anyone want to get to know someone better who does that on a recurring basis? You need to look at yourself in the mirror. You are obviously an angry and bitter person. I don’t know why and I truly hope you become more constructive and fact-based in the future. If you do, I would be happy to get to know you better. All the best, Dave.

  30. I am impressed a man of David Walker’s impeccable credentials is taking an interest in the reformation of Bridgeport; a city mired in corrupt and ignorant political practices for decades. I am familiar with his record of accomplishment in the federal sector and truly believe his experience in fiscal management is necessary if Bridgeport hopes attain its now-lost prestige.

    Mr. Walker. It is abundantly clear to me Ron Mackey makes no useful contributions to these sonorous debates. In my opinion, such is beyond his demonstrated capacities. Your frequent attempts to mollify his thoughtless harangues only weakens your influences. May I suggest you ignore the man? You and several others worthy of note can make a difference. Do little to harm your quest.

    1. Stone B., I get you. If you are anything like your handle, you are an outspoken communist sympathizer. Like my favorite Alex Crossm I get you. I think David Walker and Ron Mackey can take care of their business without your negative input on Ron Mackey. He has been a fixture on this blog for a log time. He stands by what he says and ultimately I believe he admits when wrong. I do not agree with all of Ron M.’s political beliefs nor do I support all his candidates. RON MACKEY IS HOWEVER AN INTELLIGENT AND ARTICULATE individual who does add to the flavor of this blog. His opinions are worth listening to and to dismiss the likes of Ron Mackey is an affront to all on this blog who appreciate heated badinage.

    2. Kudos to Ron Mackey. He has a brand of commentary he can call his own. He leaves an impression on readers. Even those who dismiss him find it hard to ignore his wise, colorful and insightful remarks. His one drawback is an inability to sit on the fence but that’s what makes him a mainstay on this blog.

    3. Stone,
      Thanks for your kind comments and suggestion. If I ever do decide to run for elected office I will not have time to engage in blog activity, especially with people who don’t have their facts straight and engage in personal attacks versus constructive comments.

  31. For those who find the polarizing commentary entertaining, I am sure it’s a real hoot. For the rest of us, the diatribes get old, especially when they are monopolizing the comment strings and are not enhancing the exchange of ideas in any meaningful way.

  32. I must say I find it strange people gladly will use this blog to gain support for their viewpoints and to themselves known on OIB, to support candidates and then criticize others because of their position, yet they don’t want others to criticize them on their viewpoints and position.

    The game of politics is not played that way. This week’s Times magazine November 18, 2013, on the cover there is a silhouette of Republican New Jersey, Chris Christie and the article talks about “potential” presidential candidates and it talks about the campaign with Republicans will be long and ugly with attacks and Christie talking about screaming mudblood and about his weight. That is what “potential” candidates have to deal with not this, get their facts straight and engage in personal attacks versus constructive comments. “If you can’t run with the big dogs, you’d better stay on the porch.”

    1. Ron,
      Fact-based criticism and constructive dialogue is fully appropriate. It’s also fair to challenge someone and even be aggressive if it’s based on facts rather than unfounded assertions.


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