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Granberg has questions to answer

January 22, 2009 at 01:23 PM

“Outrageous appointment”

The Belleville News Democrat did not pull any punches with its recent editorial about Kurt Granberg’s appointment to serve as director of the Department of Natural Resources.

The Belleville editorial said:

“Most people were outraged when disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed Roland Burris as U.S. senator. Well, the now impeached governor has named retired state Rep. Kurt Granberg, D- Carlyle, to the $133,273-a-year job as director of the Department of Natural Resources, which is just as outrageous.

The job has had an acting director—St. Clair County politician Sam Flood—since December 2005. Suddenly Blagojevich has to fill the spot permanently with one of his few remaining supporters.

It’s disappointing that Granberg would accept this appointment. His former colleagues just voted 114-1 to impeach Blagojevich. Obviously Granberg cares more about looking out for himself than public opinion.”

Click here to read the rest of the editorial.




The Department of Natural Resources has a new director.

One of his top priorities is starting a golf trail in southern Illinois. What golf has to do with natural resources is a logical question.

Kurt Granberg said he plans to answer that question and many more. Granberg was appointed DNR director late last Friday. The long-time state representative from Carlyle moved into his DNR office Thursday after attending President Obama’s inauguration.

Granberg was no surprise. He had been touted as the next DNR director for more than a year and bought a house in Springfield last summer. The timing of the appointment was a surprise given Gov. Blagojevich’s current situation.

Or maybe it wasn’t a surprise. Granberg — a staunch Blagojevich ally with 21 years in the House of Representatives — resigned his seat hours before the impeachment vote. Such loyalty brings rewards in Illinois, deserved or not.

By taking a $133,000 per year position, Granberg earns a hefty raise from the $85,903 he earned as a legislator. More importantly, he could also ensure his state pension is based on that higher salary by serving even a short term at DNR.

But Granberg bristled at the notion his appointment is tainted.

“I was supposed to be appointed more than a year ago,” Granberg said. “So I’m not going to address that. There are too many serious issues to be addressed at DNR. It’s been a tough year for DNR.”

No question there. But is Granberg the best person to address those issues? Will the Senate confirm his appointment? And why a golf trail?

Granberg said the Abraham Lincoln Golf Trail would be modeled after a similar trail in Alabama. He said state lodges would benefit from the tourism. “We’re essentially ready to go with this,” Granberg said.

In a year of preparing to run the DNR, that’s the best Granberg came up with. Any wonder conservation types are gnashing their teeth?

Any wonder the Belleville News-Democrat called Granberg’s appointment “outrageous” in an editorial.

Any wonder many expect Granberg’s reign will be short.

When Kevin McDermott of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch asked Granberg about working for Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, Granberg laughed and said, “Pat and I don’t get along.”

By Wednesday Granberg had changed his tune. While conceding he and Quinn have been at odds, Granberg said he can work with the lieutenant governor. “I think we’ve both matured over the years and hopefully (Quinn) would come in with an open mind and I will come in with an open mind,” Granberg said.

But if Blagojevich is removed from office, Granberg might want to put that Springfield house on the market based on Quinn’s official statement: “We have had a long line of professional politicians in the DNR and the agency needs someone with a natural resources background. Someone who understands hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, birdwatching and a good steward of natural resources.”

Granberg said he measures up to many of those qualifications.

“I’m going to be an unabashed advocate of the DNR,” said Granberg, whose term is set to run through January of 2011. “From my knowledge of the legislative process I think I can be an asset to DNR. I know how to get things done.”

An occasional hunter who grew up fishing in Clinton County, Granberg said his first priority is to meet with conservation groups.

“I’m not an expert, but I’m smart enough to know I’m not an expert,” Granberg said.

In regards to reopening closed parks, Granberg needs more time for evaluation. “I think we have to go park by park and look at usage, revenue and quality. If a park is not being used very much, that may not be a priority.”

Granberg said he is also aware of problems regarding sweeps of dedicated funds that could jeopardize $16 million in federal money.

Granberg is also aware that many are critical of his lacking background in natural resources. He even mentioned the perception he is a “political hack.”

“I understand people are frustrated. People in my district are worried and frustrated,” he said. “But I think they’ll be reassured after I’ve had a chance to talk to them.”

UNIQUE HUNTS: As hunting seasons end, stalking predators gains in popularity. Three unique contests this weekend are proof of that.

On Saturday the Central Outdoors Coyote Classic starts at 6 a.m. at Bridson’s Taxidermy north of Elmwood. Check-in is from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Cost is $50 per team. Visit

Then Sunday Al’s Sporting Goods of Galesburg and Grizzly’s Wholesale hold their 20th annual Predator Thon. Hunters start at 5 a.m. at Al’s or in Middle Grove and are due back at Al’s at 1 p.m. (1:30 p.m. for Middle Grove participants). Trophies are awarded for top two-man and four-man teams. Cost is $7.50 per hunter. Call (309) 342-7776.

Also Sunday, Presley’s Outdoors has a Crow-a-Thon from sunrise to 3 p.m. Cost is $20. Call (309) 697-1193.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Buffoon, political hack, and imbecile are to soft of words to describe Granberg. Name him head of the tourism bureau if he wants a golf trail, or better yet head of corrections since him and Blago should be there together. Why would a fool think that golfers with $1500 clubs would want to golf on crappy courses and stay in a state park. One can only logically wonder what part of the DNR would be siphoned off to fund a golf trail. Will this night mare ever end.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/22 at 01:41 PM

?From my knowledge of the legislative process I think I can be an asset to DNR. I know how to get things done.?  That statement sums up the way in which Illinois Politics are carried out in general with no voter consent and the usual ambiguous game plan from the beginning.  Sad that the concept of progress and achievement in IL politics are laden in filthy dollars and favors.  They (politians, the advocates) must think we (IL residents, the plebes) are very stupid and naive.  The public trust has been broken by our leadership for far too long.  This stinks of Blago wrapped in bologna (mostly pork).

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/22 at 03:08 PM

All the more reason to vote for anybody who will cut our taxes. I find it funny how people give their money to the government and expect it to be spent wisely. It aint EVER gonna happen.  Vote for a real conservative.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/22 at 05:00 PM

Famous last words “I know how to get things done”
Staunch Blago ally. Any ally of our soon to be imprisoned Gov. I can assure you all is no ally of Illinois hunters and outdoorsmen. Granberg, Illinoisn’s are fed up with junk politicians, you better pray you get it right, because if you don’t I’m sure you’ll be run out of dodge with your tail between your shakn legs!! Thats if you even get voted through…..

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/22 at 05:10 PM

The last time I checked golf courses DESTROYED habitat!!  I thought the DNR was established to help PRESERVE & CREATE habitat, NOT DESTROY IT!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/22 at 05:18 PM

you’v got to be kidding me…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/22 at 05:22 PM

“Granberg said his first priority is to meet with conservation groups”.

In my experience with the liberal language that usually means he’ll meet with tree huggers,anti-hunters and eviromental whackos….

or just about anyone that can help with his “Golf Trail”...

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/22 at 06:15 PM

If Granberg is serious about being a strong advocate
for the IDNR, and he, indeed, “bristled at the notion his appointment is tainted, “then why doesn’t Mr. Granberg forgo his $133,000 per year salary to prove to the citizens of Illinois that he is taking the position as Director of the Department of Natural Resources solely to perform a public service to the citizens of Illinois.  What better way to show that his appointment is not tainted by the stench of “pay to play” politics as usual in Springfield. The $85,903 he earned as a legislator should ensure his standard of living at its current level, and after all, even President Obama mentioned in his speech the other day, that public service is a priviledge not to be taken lightly.  Let him prove his sincerety to “serve” the sportsmen and sportswomen of Illinois by not letting dollar signs get in the way of public service.  Let him show his detractors that he did take the job merely to ensure his state pension is based on that higher salary by serving even a short term at DNR and retiring to obscurity…$40,000/yr richer, thanks to his good friend Rod Blagojevich.
Let him serve as Director at his current rate of pay or not at all.

Until the IDNR shows me that they have the money and wherewithall to maintain the existing horse trails, hiking trails, bicycle trails, and keep those Parks open, I’ll be d*mned if I could support a “golf trail.”

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/22 at 07:49 PM

We need a CONSERVATION COMMISSION in Illinois and NOT a “DNR”! We need something to protect wildlife and hunting and fishing and trapping etc. for all the “spoortsmen” of Illinois!

Golf Course ???? Give me a break….golf is for those that “Can’t hunt or fish”!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/22 at 08:03 PM

So, you can take a wild swing at the viability of a “golf trail,” whatever that is, but you have to study the viability of long-standing state parks on a case-by-case basis? wtf

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/22 at 09:10 PM

“I’m not an expert, but I’m smart enough to know I’m not an expert”  or maybe “I’m not a very smart man Jenny”  Way to go Forest, you idiot!

Typical Illinois BS politics!  If Quinn fires this guy then why does he still get the money?  If Blago appointed him while being impeached shouldn’t he be removed as well? 

This guy looks like a real honest man, kinda like a used car salesman.  He obviously has no clue because building golf courses means destroying thousands of trees, and hundreds of acres of habitat.  Where do the animals go once you bulldoze their habitat?  What happens to all the native plants you push into a pile to bring in “acceptable” trees for you and your plad pants wearing butt buddies?  How about all the wasted time and money for a project that is sure to fail?  Want to build a golf course?  How about you and Blago steal some more money from the DNR and build you a little put-put in the Lincoln Library parking lot.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/23 at 08:25 AM


Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/23 at 08:38 AM

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