Illinois Lottery control board chairman steps down after 'disgusting remark' on Twitter
Illinois Lottery Control Board Chairman J. Blair Garber has stepped down after coming under fire for remarks he left on Twitter referring to East St. Louis as "the s**thole of the universe.”
His resignation was announced after Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) demanded that Gov. Bruce Rauner immediately show Garber the door.
“It's a disgusting remark,” Ives, running against Rauner in the Republican gubernatorial primary, said in a press release. “Those kinds of statements from a person in a position of service to the State of Illinois cannot be tolerated. There are a lot of families and a lot of communities struggling in Illinois because of terrible public policy choices made by ruling-class politicians in both parties, including Gov. Rauner. The people suffering under the rule of craven, career politicians don't deserve to be ridiculed.”
Garber, who also serves as Evanston Township GOP chief, was appointed to the board by Rauner and is seen as one of his political allies. His comments about East Louis were first reported by the State Journal-Register.
“Rauner will have to decide if his loyalties lie with people supporting him politically or the people he was selected to serve,” Ives added.
Rauner also recently came under fire over the way the state selected a new outside management firm for the lottery. The Chicago Tribune reported Nancy Kimme, a super-lobbyist with close ties to Rauner, had undue influence in the process. Kimme’s link to Rauner goes back to her serving on his transition team.
Over Rauner’s time in office, the Tribune adds Kimme has racked up at least $17 billion in state contracts partly based on their close ties.
“Rather than shaking up Springfield and turning around Illinois, Gov. Rauner has allowed Springfield insiders, who can barely contain their contempt for the state, to shake down Illinois families while he turned away from the fight,” Ives added in the release.