Edited by Jennifer Davis
Shifts at the Top
Mark Boozell is Gov. Jim Edgar's
new chief of staff, replacing Eugene
Reineke who left last month for a
public relations position in the
private sector. Boozell, director of
the Department of Insurance since
1995, also recently served as Edgar's
point man on education reform. He
first worked for Edgar in the secretary of state's office as a legislative
liaison in 1983.
Cindy Huebner is Democratic
Senate Minority Leader Emit
Jones' new press secretary. She
replaces David Rudd, who left for a
public relations job with Motorola.
Huebner, who was most recently
assistant director of the Senate
Democrats communication and
research staff, has been with the
Senate Democrats since 1984.
Mike Stokke, who recently left as
Republican House Minority Leader
Lee Daniels' chief of staff, has
joined the staff of Republican U.S.
Rep. Dennis Hastert of Yorkville.
Stokke is now Hastert's deputy chief
of staff and will run the Batavia and
Washington, D.C., offices. He
replaces Phillip Kaim, who is leaving
to enter a seminary. "I've known
Denny since he was in the Illinois
House," says Stokke. "Now that he's
chief deputy whip of the U.S.
House, I hope to help him."
Dianna Durham-McLoud is now
special assistant to Department of
Public Aid Director Joan Walters. She
will focus on federal child support
issues and coordinating child support
policy with Illinois' Department of
Human Services. Robert Lyons takes
her place as administrator of the division of child support enforcement.
There have been other changes at Public Aid since late last year. George
Rompot is now the agency's chief
information officer, a newly created
position to advise the director on
information systems and technology.
He was with the governor's office in a
similar role. Matt Magalis is now chief
of state government affairs. Patrick
Baikauskas will focus on federal legislative affairs for Public Aid.
Allen Grosboll was named Edgar's
deputy chief of staff. Grosboll,
who has overseen the governor's initiatives on education, the environment
and natural resources, was deputy
secretary of state under Edgar.
Robert H. Newtson is Secretary
of State George Ryan's new chiefs
of staff, replacing Scott Fawell.
He left to run Ryan's gubernatorial
campaign. Newtson was director
of the securities department.
Glen Bower, another longtime Ryan
associate, was tapped to run Ryan's
"One of his major contributors stole $7 million from the
state. That was during his watch. I thought he'd be more
concerned about those types of things in the executive
Illinois Supreme Court Justice Moses Harrison II in the Chicago Sun-Times shortly after
Gov. Jim Edgar's State of the State speech. He was responding to Edgar's call for reform of
the Illinois Courts Commission, which disciplines judges.
U.S. District Judge Charles P.
Korcoras ruled Illinois' "late-term" or
"partial-birth" abortion ban unconstitutional, saying it was too vague and could
possibly lead to a chilling effect on other
Nevertheless, the battle over the ban
has heated up contests in several Republican legislative primaries. "Moderate"
House Republicans who voted against the
ban face serious challenges from so-called
Meanwhile, at press time, Republican
Attorney General Jim Ryan had not
made a decision on whether to appeal the
decision or ask for another hearing on
Rep. Santiago replaced
Elba Rodriguez, a former social
services administrator, replaced Democratic state Rep. Miguel Santiago of
Chicago. He resigned his post in response
to a federal ghost payrolling probe.
The former assistant House majority
leader was indicted this past summer.
He pleaded not guilty.
First woman chosen
Circuit Judge Jeanne Scott, the first
female judge in Sangamon County, could
also be the first female federal judge for
central Illinois. Scott, who has been on
the bench for almost 20 years, has been
chosen by U.S. Sens. Carol Moseley-
Braun and Richard Durbin to replace
U.S. District Judge Richard Mills, who
moved to senior status. Scott will have to
be nominated by President Bill Clinton
and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Off the list for now
Former Democratic state Rep. Joseph
Kotlarz can't practice law in Illinois for
three years, the Illinois Supreme Court
ruled. Kotlarz' name was "stricken from
the record" of Illinois lawyers, which is
not the same as being disbarred. If the
court had disbarred him, he would have
to wait five years to petition for reinstatement. Kotlarz and former state tollway
chief Robert Hickman were found guilty
last year of theft in a State Toll Highway
Authority land deal. They were both
sentenced in November.
34 / March 1998 Illinois Issues
Penny Severns Remembered
In an age when courage is often
in short supply in public life, state
Sen. Penny Severns had plenty to
spare. The Decatur Democrat died at
home in her sleep early February 21,
four years after discovering she had
breast cancer and little more than a
week after losing her fight to run for
secretary of state. She was 46.
In 1994, Severns won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant
governor. After being diagnosed with
cancer, she continued to campaign
hard for her party's ticket in the general election while undergoing chemotherapy. She and governor candidate
Dawn dark Netsch lost that historic
two-woman race. "She was a fighter
who stood up for what had to be
done," Netsch said. "More than that.
It was important to have a woman with
progressive views from central Illinois.
It affirms that those views are widely
shared." Last November, two weeks
after announcing her bid for secretary
of state, Severns underwent surgery to
remove another tumor. "She breathed
politics morning, noon and night," said
state Sen. Vince Demuzio, who stood
by Severns' side throughout her personal and political ordeals. Former
state Senate President Phil Rock called
her the "genuine article. She truly cared
about what she was doing and the
people she served."
Severns had decided not to appeal a
State Board of Elections ruling last
month that removed her name from the
primary ballot. The board found her
nominating petitions 251 signatures
shy of the required 5,000. That
decision narrowed the Democratic
secretary of state race to two: Cook
County Recorder of Deeds Jesse
White and Orland Park Police Chief
Tim McCarthy, who challenged
Severns' petitions. McCarthy, backed
by House Speaker Michael Madigan,
could benefit from a two-way race.
But White could pick up disaffected
Severns graduated from Southern
Illinois University in 1974 with a
degree in political science. She was
elected in 1983 to the Decatur City
Council by the largest number of
votes in Decatur's history. Six years
later, she went to the state Senate,
where she became a budget expert. "I
always thought she was going to be
coming back to the Senate," Demuzio
said. "I lost one of my best friends."
John Rowe is the new chairman, president and chief executive officer of Commonwealth Edison Co. and parent
Unicorn Corp. Rowe, who was president and CEO of New
England Electric System (NEES), starts March 16. He
replaces Unicorn Chairman and CEO James J. O'Connor,
who is retiring, and ComEd and Unicorn President Samuel
K. Skinner, who announced plans to leave. Scott Gordon is
the new chairman of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He
replaces Jack Sandner, who is assuming the role of
special policy advisor. Ray Long, a longtime Statehouse
reporter, is now with the Chicago Tribune's Capitol bureau.
He has been running AP's Capitol bureau for the past year.
He has covered the Statehouse for The Alton Telegraph and
the Peoria Journal Star, and City Hall for the Chicago
Sun-Times. James Merriner, former political writer for the
Sun-Times, will cover the legislative session for the AP.
Martin E. Marty, arguably one of the nation's foremost religion scholars, is
retiring this month from the University of Chicago on the heels of a very busy
year. Then again, no one expects less from this very busy man. Over the years, he's
found time to write some 50 books and receive 56 honorary degrees. He first
joined the University of Chicago in 1963 after a decade as a Lutheran pastor.
Retirement will afford Marty time to concentrate on his newest project: director of
the Public Religion Project. This Chicago-based group will work internationally
to focus and interpret "the forces of faith within a pluralistic society."
A new cardinal
Archbishop of Chicago Francis E. George is now Cardinal George. Pope John
Paul II bestowed the honored title at a ceremony in Rome. George named Mary
Hallan associate chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Hallan, a lawyer, is the
first woman — and the first nonclerical member — to hold the position in the
diocese's 150-year history.
Kustra finds work
Lt. Gov. Bob Kustra has been named president of Eastern Kentucky University
in Richmond, Ky. He begins the job this summer. He was one of four finalists.
Since Gov. Jim Edgar announced plans last summer not to seek re-election, many
of his Cabinet members have been scanning the want ads.
Who will take us out to the ball
game? Legendary Chicago Cubs
broadcaster Harry Caray has died.
He was born in 1914. After collapsing during a Valentine's Day dinner
with his wife, Caray spent four
days in a coma. He never regained
Chicago lost another music giant
last month. Margaret Hillis,
founder and director of the Chicago
Symphony Chorus for nearly 40
years, died February 4. She was 76.
Under her directorship, the chorus
won nine Grammy awards and
joined the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra on several tours, both
here and abroad.
Illinois Issues March 1998 / 35