Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Opinion: Gov. Quinn Delays Emergency Repairs to Executive Mansion

Karma is a leaky roof.

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    www.state.il.us
    The Executive Mansion has served as the official residence of Illinois' Governors and their families since Gov. Joel Matteson took up residence there in 1855.

    The Illinois Governor's mansion is in bad shape, but Pat Quinn says he's postponing pricey repairs in an apparent move to save face this election year.

    "This was kind of a tough winter, and we lost some shingles," the 44-year-old mansion's curator, Dave Bourland, tells Springfield's State-Journal Register. "We’re starting to get leaks in the bedrooms. We had to move the furniture until we could get the damage repaired. That stuff is irreplaceable, so I wasn’t comfortable with it being there."

    "The water’s coming through the ceiling," he says. "So there’s plaster falling down. That’s why I’ve got some plastic on the floor and some buckets there. It’s one of those things that came upon us pretty quick.”

    As a result, Bourland closed off the third floor of the stately home to visiting tourists. Quinn's section of the house managed to escape water damage, he adds, noting there was a request to the Capital Development Board for cash to fix the roof.

    But Quinn representative Dave Blanchette confirms those tweaks will be delayed "for the present time. It is not an ideal situation."

    It's also one that could cost the embattled Democratic governor political points in his increasingly brutal showdown with Republican rival Bruce Rauner.

    The Illinois House's $38 billion spending plan for the 2015 state budget includes wording that could possibly curb Quinn from butting in to renovations at the Capitol building. In 2013, he pulled the plug on repairs there amid complaints over the nearly $700,000 price tag to spruce up copper doors in the west wing.

    Karma is a leaky rooftop.