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Work on schools is in good hands

Updated: May 18, 2013 6:33AM

I read with interest your Monday editorial concerning what you characterize as the mayor’s risky move in having the Public Building Commission oversee $230 million of construction work to be performed in Chicago’s public schools. Your editorial indicates that you would feel much more comfortable if Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson “was minding the store” but, as noted, he cannot because the mayor has refused to extend Ferguson’s jurisdiction to the PBC. You failed to point out that the Office of the Inspector General for the Chicago Board of Education has jurisdiction to investigate allegations of waste, fraud and financial mismanagement involving school projects managed or handled by the Public Building Commission. The CPS Office of Inspector General has a long track record of independence from the school board and a proven history of investigating the highest levels of CPS and the board. Rest assured, the schools’ OIG will investigate allegations involving CPS projects managed by the PBC with our customary thoroughness and diligence.

James M. Sullivan, inspector general,

Chicago Board of Education

Cowardice on gun laws

Will of the people? According to Republican pollster Frank Luntz, 74 percent of National Rifle Association members and 87 percent of non-NRA members support background checks for the sale of all guns. More recent polls reflect that a large majority of Americans support this most basic, commonsense proposal to reduce the incidence of guns getting into the hands of criminals, terrorists and the mentally ill. So why is it that 31 senators (including two Democrats) tried to block even a debate on the issue — and even more senators and House members of both parties will vote against it — when the overwhelming majority of their constituents favor the measure? The obvious answer is that they are worried about getting “primaried” by the NRA in the next election cycle. What is disheartening is how we, the American electorate, have been lulled into accepting such a low bar for those we choose to “represent” our interest. Where is the outrage about having our voices taken away? I, for one, will never forget the congressional cowards who chose to provide cover for the NRA instead of standing with the Newtown families to do what everyone knows is right. Kudos to Sen. Mark Kirk for illustrating some rare courage by ignoring the political calculus and standing up in support of this reasonable legislation.

Dan Shannon, La Grange

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