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Illinois ‘Hot-Dog Seasoning Emergency’ Leads to No-Bid Contract

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A stock photo of a Chicago-style hot-dog.

A stock photo of a Chicago-style hot-dog.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KMOX) - Some hungry prisoners and a very precise hot-dog recipe have underscored a big problem in Illinois government.

That’s according to Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, a Republican, after the Illinois Department of Corrections declared a “hot-dog seasoning emergency” because the prison in Menard ran out of the ingredients needed to create proper Chicago-style hot-dogs to feed inmates.

A contract for hot-dog spices had previously expired and a new one had not yet been put in place, leaving prison officials with no way to purchase the ingredients.

The result was a $15,000 no-bid contract to end the dilemma and keep the hot-dog line moving.

During a campaign stop in Edwardsville yesterday, Topinka said ending the no-bid contract process for anything that is not a minor purchase is a top priority.

“It will be much better for the public, for you, the press, and everybody else because it will open the door to what’s going on in Springfield which will guarantee that there’s not going to be bad stuff going on because there will be too many eyes,” she told reporters.

Critics of Gov. Pat Quinn claim the hot-dog dilemma is simply one of the latest and more obvious examples of the $135 million in no-bid emergency purchases his administration has approved in the last fiscal year.

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