Lame-duck lawmaker who provided crucial vote on Illinois tax bill given state job by Governor

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Within days of leaving office, having supplied the swing vote to pass Gov. Pat Quinn’s controversial income tax bill, former state Rep. Careen Gordon was appointed to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.

The 67 percent income tax increase, sponsored by Quinn and pushed through the Democrat-controlled legislature, passed the House with 60 votes, the bare minimum needed. The bill was passed at 1:00 a.m. the morning that Gordon’s replacement was sworn in.

Commenting to the Chicago Tribune, Quinn’s spokesperson Annie Thompson said, “It doesn’t have anything to do with what she did at the end of her term in the General Assembly.”

She added that the appointment was a coincidence and she was selected because she is a lawyer and has previous experience as an assistant county prosecutor and state assistant attorney general.

Gordon claims that she approached the governor about the position, after losing the Nov. election to Republican Sue Rezin.  She said they talked about the tax bill, but she did not feel pressured to vote for it.

She also spoke with him again about the bill in December, at a meeting with other Democrats at the governor’s mansion.

Gordon said she didn’t think about whether her crucial vote might affect her chances of getting the $86,000 part-time appointment. “I don’t think that way,” she said. “I never allowed anyone to hold anything over my head like this.”

Chicago Tribune

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