Gov. Bruce Rauner loves Springfield so much that he wants to give us a “free” park next to the governor’s mansion on unwanted, vacant land that the city bought from the state for $1.5 million in 2014. Shrewd, as Burgess Meredith told Sylvester Stallone in the classic movie Rocky, when the fighter agreed to have a meatpacking plant’s name plastered on his back in exchange for a free robe. “I believe very strongly in the city of Springfield,” the governor told the State Journal-Register this week, extolling the virtues of a park with fake streams running through it that would rival the National Mall in Washington, D.C. “I’m willing to put personal money of my own into beautifying downtown.”  If the governor is so keen on aesthetics, he should send a crew to clean up the graffiti that’s on a historic downtown building that houses the shuttered Lincoln-Herndon Law office and is owned by the state and overseen by the state Department of Natural Resources, not that there’s much overseeing to do, given that the building, with renovations promised, closed the same year that the state dumped the Y block on the city for seven figures (like we say, shrewd -- the city now is considering paying the state $20,000 a year so that the building can be reopened as a visitors center). The graffiti paint’s been up for a month or so. We’re working on it, says Justin Blandford, DNR’s superintendent of state historic sites in Springfield. The brick, he explains, was sandblasted years ago and so lacks a coating present on more ordinary materials that allows for use of common graffiti-removing techniques. “I feel very comfortable we’ll have it taken down in a couple of weeks,” Blandford said.

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