SPRINGFIELD, IL – Citing a need for a proper, unrestricted vetting and the unwillingness by the Democrat Senate Majority to allow a confirmation hearing on Dr. David Gill’s credentials to become the Assistant Director of the Department of Public Health, State Sen. Darin LaHood (R-Peoria) is raising a red flag. LaHood was joined by Senators Sam McCann, Kyle McCarter and Chapin Rose to ask for additional scrutiny by the public.
“This is a blatant attempt by the majority party to hide a controversial appointee from the taxpayers. We have serious questions about the timing of Dr. Gill’s appointment. More importantly, today is the last scheduled meeting of the Senate Executive Appointments Committee so he will be in place until at least the fall before a public-legislative vetting,” said LaHood. “This appointment seems to be nothing more than a political payoff to keep a guy off the ballot, who is considered extreme by members of his own political party. During the 2012 election cycle, the Democratic establishment backed another candidate.”
The four Senators at the press event noted that this is not the first failed Congressional candidate nominated by Governor Pat Quinn. Former candidates Dan Seals, Julie Hamos and Alexi Giannoulias have all been seated at various agencies and commissions. Four-time failed candidate, Dr. David Gill is just the latest in a line of questionable Quinn appointees.
Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) also joined in the opposition. “Last September, Dr. Gill made statewide news as he publicly endorsed physician-assisted suicide, which led to his firing from St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington. Dr. Gill’s extreme views, while protected under the freedom of speech, are not considered ‘mainstream,’” said McCarter.
On April 27, Dr. Gill made an announcement that it was his intention to seek the 13th Congressional District during the upcoming 2014 election cycle. One week later, Dr Gill was named by Governor Pat Quinn to a $127,000 per year appointed post. A short time later, after the Gill announcement, another potential Congressional candidate made her announcement. As a member of the Senate’s Executive Appointments Committee, State Sen. Sam McCann (R-Carlinville) was able to speak to the timing of the appointment and the lack of a proper public vetting of the doctor.
"The Illinois Constitution gives the Illinois Senate the duty to advise and consent on the Governor's major appointments," said McCann. "It is wrong for Governor Quinn to subvert the legislative process to sneak through a controversial political appointment without Senate approval."
Illinoisans are extremely familiar with Governor Quinn’s “shell game” of swapping out appointees or appointing failed politicians to high-level cabinet positions. Department of Professional Regulation Director Manuel Flores was previously the Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission. Flores was scheduled to appear before a Senate panel and before his appearance was conveniently swapped out and moved to another agency.
"This is one of those appointments that do not pass the ‘smell test.’ Quite frankly, this particular appointment stinks," State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) concluded. “It is clear that there is an attempt by someone in the legislative majority to block the Senate’s duty to confirm high-level, gubernatorial appointees.”