She was out walking her dog when she got the call.
It was a surprise summons.
“It was three weeks ago when my cell went off walking Daisy, and I hesitated to answer because there was no called ID,” said former Republican State Comptroller Leslie Munger — who was appointed a special deputy governor Friday by Gov. Bruce Rauner, who asked for her help in climbing out of the budget morass.
“I hadn’t talked to him since the election, so I was surprised,” said Munger, who lost a contentious race last year to Dem spitfire Susana Mendoza after being appointed to the office by Rauner in 2015 after the death of State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.
“I asked for time to think.”
On Friday, Rauner announced Munger’s voice would be added to the budget battle, specifically dealing with people in need of social services.
“There is a lot of blame to go around,” said Munger in an exclusive interview with Sneed.
“This battle to pay our bills has gone on for decades . . . but we have to find a solution and get legislators to show up at the table to find a solution and get it done!”
Follow @sneedlingsMunger, who made headlines with her unsuccessful pitch for a “no budget, no pay” plan for legislators if they failed to pass a budget, still backs that premise.
“It’s a violation of our Constitution if the legislators don’t do their job, and they shouldn’t be paid until they do it,” she said.
“But my great passion in life isn’t just for balanced budgets; it’s to help people in need, for the human-service agencies that are bearing the brunt of this budget torture.
“I’ve been a 20-year volunteer for disabled adults, and I want to be a voice expediting the money human service agencies and non-profits require to help people really in need.
“I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth as was suggested by my successor [Mendoza], but it wasn’t plastic either,” she said.
“But I worked. I always worked. Doing clothing alterations and baby-sitting, working in a factory and as a waitress. My dad died when I was 16. I worked full-time to pay for grad school. I spent my entire life in Illinois. I love this state.”
“By the way, because of the budget impasse, I just got my state paycheck from last June,” said Munger, who put paychecks for elected officials in line with the state’s bills because she believed “it was wrong for people who are elected to serve be prioritized before human services needs are met.”
Will Munger make a difference?
J.B. and Hillary . . .
Quote ’em: In the wake of news Hillary Rodham Clinton, a Methodist, will publish a book of personal essays based on hundreds of quotations she’s been collecting for years, J.B. Pritzker — a probable gubernatorial candidate who is this/close to Clinton — provided us with a favorite quote she often uses.
“She used it most often in 2016,” Pritzker said.
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” — Methodist founder John Wesley.
“I love this quote,” Pritzker said.
“It’s a big reason Hillary became a public servant. And even though I’m Jewish, it’s still the quote I would choose to describe why I would run.”
Trump’s wall . . .
Who said the Trumpster’s Twitter isn’t trickling down to the kids?
Check out the birthday card 10-year-old Teddy M. gave his 10-year-old school chum last week.
Sneedlings . . .
I spy: Republican political consultant Mary Matalin spotted at Gibsons on Rush on Thursday night with her Democratic political consultant hubby, James Carville. . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Gavin DeGraw, 40; Oscar De La Hoya, 44, and Alice Cooper, 69. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Cristiano Ronaldo, 32; Bobby Brown, 48, and Hank Aaron, 83.