Here’s the traditional Chicago-style hot dog recipe:
1 all-beef hot dog
1 poppy seed hot dog bun
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon sweet green pickle relish
1 tablespoon chopped onion
4 tomato wedges
1 dill pickle spear
2 sport peppers
1 dash celery salt
Sounds good, doesn’t it? But if someone skipped the celery salt or added ketchup I wouldn’t declare a hot dog seasoning emergency. Only a government agency would do something like that.
The Illinois Department of Corrections declared a “hot dog seasoning emergency” when the department ran out of seasoning at the Menard Correctional Center meat shop. They resorted to an emergency $15,000, no-bid contract to restock their supply to end the crisis.
This isn’t an isolated incident. For the fiscal year that ended June 30, Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration approved more than $135 million in no-bid, emergency purchases. The practice has continued into the current fiscal year, with Illinois Medicaid officials awarding no-bid ObamaCare contracts that could be valued as high as $190 million.
These aren’t real emergencies. This is mismanagement and failure to plan ahead. Mismanagement shouldn’t be used as an excuse for government to give out emergency, no-bid contracts that skirt the regular competitive bidding rules.
Real emergencies are natural disasters, such as tornadoes, snow storms and flooding.
Officials need to “hold the ketchup” on emergency no-bid contracting abuse in Illinois. No-bid contracting rules need to be changed so the state can never again skirt contracting rules.
Say yes to Chicago-style hot dogs, but no to the Chicago-style politics of unnecessary no-bid emergency contracts.