As readers know, I love to try to figure out what politicians do what they do
Governor-elect Bruce Rauner has picked Lake County’s Leslie Munger to replace Judy Baar Topinka as State Comptroller.
Munger ran a very good State Rep. race against Democrat incumbent Carol Sente.
She lost by only 1,349 votes.
Munger’s resume (see below) shows that she would be a competent State Comptroller.
What intrigues me is the emphasis in the press release on merging the State Comptroller’s and State Treasurer’s Offices.
Munger proposes to work to put a Constitutional Amendment on the 2016 ballot.
That would be entirely up to the Democratic Party-controlled General Assembly. Governor’s play no official role.
The Democrats this month may require a special election to finish the final two years of Topinka’s term.
Rauner, of course, assumes that Munger will have a four-year term.
If the term turns out to be for two years, would Munger use her higher profile to run against Sente again?
If the latter, Rauner would be one step closer to getting rid of House Speaker Mike Madigan’s veto-proof majority.
Here is the press release:
Governor-elect Bruce Rauner Announces Leslie Munger as Comptroller Selection
-Both Call for Merging Comptroller and Treasurer Offices-
Governor-elect Bruce Rauner announced today that he will appoint Leslie Geissler Munger of Lincolnshire to fill the vacancy in the Comptroller’s office that will occur on Monday, January 12.
Both also strongly endorsed “Judy’s Amendment,” which would merge the Comptroller’s and Treasurer’s offices, an idea long advocated for by Judy Baar Topinka.
“I am deeply honored to become Illinois’ next Comptroller and humbly look forward to serving all the people of Illinois,” Munger said.
“I’ll be a guardian of their money and a watchdog for Illinois’ finances. Our state is in terrible financial shape, and I’ll do everything I can to help turn things around.”
“I’m not interested in a political career; only on doing what is best for the state we all love and want to make great again,” Munger added.
“With that in mind, I will relentlessly advocate that the General Assembly put a Constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot to merge the Comptroller’s office with the Treasurer’s office.
“That’s what Judy wanted, and the people deserve the opportunity to vote on it. I would look forward to helping eliminate the very office to which I was appointed.”
A career businesswoman with an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and an M.B.A. from Northwestern, Munger made her first run for state office last year, falling short of defeating an incumbent state representative by just 1,349 votes in the Democrat-leaning 59th district. A full bio is below.
“No one can ever replace Judy Baar Topinkia, but Leslie is the perfect candidate to continue building on Judy’s legacy,” Gov.-elect Rauner said.
“Leslie has always been laser focused on fiscal and economic issues, and as Comptroller, she will do everything within her power to help fix our state’s broken finances.”
“A first step towards delivering greater efficiency and reform for Illinois taxpayers is to merge the offices of Comptroller and Treasurer,” Rauner continued.
“That is something that Leslie and I both support and believe should be the legislature’s focus in the days and weeks ahead. Rather than a special election for a short-term appointment, next year’s ballot should include a Constitutional amendment to merge the offices.
“That would be a long-term answer that will result in greater value for taxpayers.
“It would pass, and when it does, Leslie would be able to immediately begin work on winding down and merging the offices. That’s the right path to take and in the best interest of Illinoisans.”
About Leslie Munger
Age: 58 (9/5/1956)
Family: Married to John Munger, two sons – Tom and Andy
- University of Illinois, BS (1978)
- Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, MBA (1982)
- Helene Curtis/Unilever – 1984-2001: Category Director, responsible for the $800 million U.S. Hair Care business
- Procter and Gamble – 1982-1984: Assistant Brand Manager
- McKinsey & Company – 1978-1982: Manager of Recruiting
Community Service & Honors:
- Lincolnshire Citizen of the Year, 2004
- The Riverside Foundation, serving developmentally disabled adults
Riverside Foundation Auxiliary Volunteer of the Year, 2013
- Current Volunteer; Past Director and Women’s Board President
Vernon Township Republicans, Precinct Committeeman and past Vice Chairman
- Lake County Republican Federation Board of Governors
- University of Illinois Student Affairs Advisory Council
- Past President and Board Member, School District 103 Learning Fund Foundation
- Past President, Lincolnshire Village Club
- Former Cub Scout Den Leader, Stevenson Football Parent Volunteer, University of Illinois Sigma Chi Mom’s Club President
Electoral History: Republican Candidate for State House (59th District). Lost to incumbent Carol Sente by 1,349 votes. Munger has also served as a Republican precinct committeewoman. Husband is vice chairman of Lake County Republicans.
Issue Positions (See her State Rep. web site.)
Why She Ran For General Assembly: “I’m a lifelong Illinoisan, a businesswoman, community leader, and most importantly, a mom.
“Like many of you, I am concerned by what is happening to our state.
“Many of us have friends, neighbors or family members who have left Illinois or who are thinking about leaving, either for a new job, to avoid the high taxes, or simply for better opportunities.
“The bad state of Illinois’ economy really hit home for us… when our son, Tom, graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and found that his best job opportunities were out of state.
“Tom is now living in Texas.
“I never dreamed we would be moving our son 1200 miles away from his Illinois home to start his career.
“The poor fiscal policies put in place by those leading our state for the past decade… are driving businesses and jobs out of our state, splitting up our families and exporting our children.
“I am running for office to change this.
“I am a Springfield outsider; not a career politician.
“I will refuse a state-paid pension and will work tirelessly to bring businesses and jobs back to our state. It’s time for new leadership in Illinois.” (http://votemunger.com/about-leslie/)
Pension Reform: Opposed Quinn’s pension bill. Supports moving state employees to 401(k)’s. (http://votemunger.com/pension-reform/; Leslie Munger, Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Questionnaire)
Taxes: Supported rolling back income tax rate to 3.75%. Opposes a graduated income tax. (Leslie Munger, Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Questionnaire)
Consolidating Comptroller and Treasurer: “I would reduce duplication within state agencies by eliminating the office of Lieutenant Governor and combining the State Comptroller and Treasurer’s offices.” (Leslie Munger, Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Questionnaire)
Local Government Consolidation: “Illinois should move toward consolidation of various levels of government such as mosquito abatement districts, redundant townships and the 900+ overlapping Illinois school districts to provide taxpayer relief and more efficient services. What worked decades ago isn’t necessarily the most economic and productive structure today. As in business, I would recommend we commission an independent study, analyze the results, and develop and gain agreement to a plan to restructure our local government units. Then, subject to Illinois law, we would either vote on it or send it to the voters to be decided in a referendum.” (Leslie Munger, Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Questionnaire)
Term Limits: “I support term limits for government officials and legislative leaders as outlined by the citizen-initiated term limits amendment… I feel the amendment should have been placed on the General Election ballot for the voters of Illinois to decide.” (Leslie Munger, Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Questionnaire)
Women’s Issues: “I believe in freedom and that it is not the role of government to interfere with a woman’s personal health choice.” (Press Release, Citizens for Leslie Munger, 10/31/14)
Endorsed for State Representative in 2014 by Chicago Tribune: “Munger is a poised and whip-smart challenger… She is endorsed.” (Editorial, “Endorsements for the Illinois House,” Chicago Tribune, 10/23/14)
Endorsed for State Representative in 2014 by Daily Herald: “Munger, a community volunteer and former marketing executive making her first run for office, opposes extending Illinois’ 2011 income tax increase, opposes Senate Bill 16 that would cost many suburban schools state funding, and supports moving state employees’ future retirement benefits to a 401(k)-style plan. She has the ideas and the character to make an effective legislator. We endorse Munger.” (Editorial, “Endorsement: Munger in House Dist. 59,” Daily Herald, 10/11/14)