FOX Chicago Sunday Reporter’s Notebook: Kelly Kraft - Dallas News |

FOX Chicago Sunday Reporter’s Notebook: Kelly Kraft's qualifications

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

What is going on between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn?

Two of the biggest names in Illinois politics are going at it, and not just behind closed doors or in each others offices - during news conferences and the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune headlines.

They're lacing up the gloves and talking a bunch of smack.

The governor is trying to fill a state position, and he's accusing the mayor of trying to block it.

Blocking, sabotage and a possible back room deal - those are just some of the words and phrases Quinn used to describe Emanuel.

"She's honest, she's strong, she happens to be a woman," Quinn said, "and we're not going to let anybody run her over."

Governor Quinn said Mayor Emanuel is against his pick for the agency that runs U.S> Cellular Field. They could oversee a possible renovation at Wrigley Field funded by tax dollars.

"If there's going to be investment in that, it's got to be done with open eyes where the public knows exactly what's going on," Quinn said. "I frankly am very skeptical of using any public money to repair a private sports stadium."

Kelly Kraft, a former television reporter for FOX Chicago News, is the governor's Communications Chief. Quinn said if you add that experience to her knowledge of marketing and some finance, Kraft is more than qualified to handle the post.

The governor said Emanuel is blocking the pick only to use his leverage.

"Not true. This is all about protecting the taxpayers," Emanuel said. "I want to remind people, it's not about personalities, it's not about differences. It's about a view, about the Illinois Sports Authority, the taxpayers of the city of Chicago are on the hook."

Governor Quinn said the mayor's associates are bad-mouthing Kelly Kraft because she filed for bankruptcy in 2009. To that, the mayor said most of the Sports Facility Authority members have expertise in financial management and bond, something Emanuel said Kraft does not have.

Emanuel said he has nothing personal against craft, but he just wants the right person for the job - and he's calling for a national search.

"If it's not managed properly, who pays the bill?" Emanuel asked. "Taxpayers of the city of Chicago."

"Funny, he didn't say that last spring," Quinn said. "He called me up and wanted a certain person appointed."

Quinn told FOX Chicago News that of course a number of resumes have already been submitted to his office for the position, which pays about $175,000 a year.

The governor said none of them so far are as qualified as Kelly Kraft.

We're told that the Sports Facility Authority Board will meet again at the early part of November.

Some Chicagoans said the feud really boils down to casinos and the state's pension problems.

To me, this just sounds like "wait for the next episode" - the two sides are now taking a commercial break.

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