ENDORSEMENT: Re-elect Susana Mendoza for Illinois comptroller

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ENDORSEMENT: Re-elect Susana Mendoza for Illinois comptroller

Chicago Tribune Endorsement Susana A Mendoza

Chicago Tribune | Editorial Board —

In the race for comptroller, incumbent Susana Mendoza is challenged by Republican Darlene Senger and Libertarian Claire Ball.

In 2016, Democrat Mendoza, a former Chicago city clerk and state representative, defeated Comptroller Leslie Munger, who had been appointed to the position in 2014 by Gov. Bruce Rauner after the death of Judy Baar Topinka a month after the 2014 election. On day one of her new job, Mendoza found an $11 billion (and climbing) pile of unpaid bills waiting on her desk.

With the state’s budget impasse in full swing, Mendoza grabbed her bullhorn and launched an impassioned effort to reset the bill-paying priorities for a state in crisis. In a flash, she became one of the governor’s most vocal critics. We like her gusto.

We asked Mendoza about rumors of a potential Chicago mayoral run. She demurred, but she also wouldn’t pledge to stay in her state job for a full four years if she wins. Even if the comptroller job proves a steppingstone for Mendoza, though, she has plunged into the state’s finances with impressive fervor. She pushed Rauner to borrow $6 billion to start paying down the state’s massive backlog of unpaid bills. She advocated for the Debt Transparency Act, which requires state agencies to file monthly reports on unpaid bills, and successfully lobbied lawmakers to override Rauner’s veto of the bill. She also fought for passage of two other laws aimed at improving the bill-paying process — one authorizing the treasurer to use special funds to accelerate vendor payments (and avoid late fees) and one that requires increased disclosure from certain financial institutions working with the state.

These three new laws are helping Illinois rebuild its standing with creditors, even as credit agencies such as Moody’s note that it will take far more than this legislation to correct the state’s financial mess.

Mendoza’s often harsh words about Rauner, a Republican, can give make her look partisan. She did pledge to us that, as comptroller, she would critique a Democratic governor just as rigorously.

During our endorsement session, both Senger and Ball — a studious accountant making her second run for the office — failed to keep up with Mendoza on nearly every issue surrounding the comptroller’s race. Mendoza is endorsed.

View the article: Tribune Editorial Board. (2018, October 12). Endorsement: Re-elect Susana Mendoza for comptroller and Mike Frerichs for treasurer. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from www.chicagotribune.com.

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