Suburban Political Recount

Suburban Political Recount

Hey look, it's the governor

Posted by JP on Sat, 09/27/2008 - 14:18
Sitting down to eat a late lunch, flippin' channels and there's Gov. Blagojevich. He's appearing on WGN on a panel of Tribune sportswriters and a couple former Cub players assigned the task of compiling the best all-Chicago baseball team of all time. Upon his introduction, the governor said it's great to be with all the sportswriters. "It's the only part of the newspaper I read."

Inside McPartlin's departure from the tollway

Posted by Joseph Ryan on Thu, 09/25/2008 - 20:03
Tollway board member Ronald Materick of Oak Brook left the tollway without much public fanfare more than a year ago. Materick was an outspoken board member, which is of course an oxymoron. Sure some tollway board members will criticize off the record or make measured statements against something blatantly questionable, like those massive Gov. Rod Blagojevich signs across the tollway. But Materick would actually go through the tollway's laundry list of contracts every month and when he saw something that didn't smell right to him, he would say it - right there in the board meeting in front of the press.

Yesterday's 'monumental' ethics reform today's chopped liver

Posted by JP on Thu, 09/25/2008 - 07:16

Apparently the governor's no longer impressed with that "monumental" and "revolutionary" reform package he signed during his first year in office.

In fact, he no longer seems to acknowledge it. Consider these two news releases. (I highlighted some of the good parts)

First up …

December 9, 2003
Blagojevich signs monumental ethics reforms into law
Comprehensive package meets goals laid-out in Governor’s spring veto; Gives Illinois real, meaningful ethics reform for the first time

Republican refund, aka, making the media happy

Posted by JP on Wed, 09/24/2008 - 15:42

A few weeks back you may recall me whining about Daily Herald reporters getting turned away from a GOP convention event even though the Republican Party had charged the paper a delegate activity fee of $600 per person.
The reception was in honor of Republican legislative leaders Tom Cross and Frank Watson and was hosted by AT&T, which explains why there might have been some miscommunication about letting the media in.
Anyway, in all fairness, there needs to be an update.
After hearing of the incident, an Illinois Republican Party spokesman called to find out what happened, agreed we should have been let in and then agreed to refund the Daily Herald a portion of the activity fee.

No disrespect Mr. President, but timing is everything ...

Posted by JP on Wed, 09/24/2008 - 14:46
President Bush is scheduled to address the nation tonight in a primetime TV speech likely to hit screens around 8 p.m. And my qustions for this and all similar event is: why then? Oh, I know the answer. Millions of households tuned into their TVs. But I'd much rather hear the economic bad news in the middle of the day. Primetime means rounding up the kids, baths, reading, bed time. No offense, but after that routine I've had enough reality for the day and could use a little escape.

Do you trust polls?

Posted by Joseph Ryan on Tue, 09/23/2008 - 11:01
Over the next several weeks, we will be flooded with campaign-funded polls. Mostly, we will ignore them. And today we see the reason why. Congressional candidate Debbie Halvorson released a poll today showing her up by 8 percentage points in her bid to turn the red 11th District in the south suburbs blue. But wait ... her opponent, construction giant Martin Ozinga, put out a poll saying he is down by only 2 percentage points. Of course, if these campaigns got poll results that weren't too flattering, we wouldn't be hearing about them. That is one clear reason we always must view them skeptically. Not only are they used to influence the media, they are also used to convince donors to cough up cash and national organizations to pitch in foot soliders and ads.

Got $28,500 to see Obama?

Posted by Joseph Ryan on Mon, 09/22/2008 - 16:42
Obama is stopping in Chicago tonight for a set of fundraisers, one of which is being thrown by his hoops buddy, Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. The quick stop to fill up on greenbacks comes after Obama held a rally in swing state Wisconsin to unveil a plan to reform the "greed and excesses" of Washington. The Giannoulias event is also being hosted by "Greek Americans for Obama" at the Powerhouse Restaurant and Bar in downtown Chicago. It has a $28,500 entrance fee. The second event at Chicago's Standard Club is reportedly cheaper at $1,500. Don't be fooled by the high totals Obama is raking in. Illinois junior senator seems to really need the cash.

Getting specialer by the minute

Posted by JP on Mon, 09/22/2008 - 10:44

This just in ...
From a news release from the governor's office ...

Governor Blagojevich Calls Special Session to Help Children with Autism Access Healthcare Coverage

Special Session marks the Governor’s Third Attempt since Spring Session to Provide Healthcare Options for Children with Autism

CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich called a second special session of the General Assembly for today to discuss and act on a bill to expand health insurance coverage for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Thousands of children in Illinois have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and families often have to cover the cost of treatment for children with autism using personal funds because their insurance won't cover it.

Capitol tragedy recalled

Posted by JP on Fri, 09/19/2008 - 11:35

With all the political and personality battles going on at the Capitol, it’s often easy to lose perspective. On Saturday, it’ll have been four years since an unarmed guard was gunned down at the building’s North entrance for no reason.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A man suspected of fatally shooting an unarmed guard at the state Capitol was arrested Tuesday morning after he knocked on doors in a residential neighborhood and asked for a ride to the police station, authorities said.
Police had been searching for Derek W. Potts since Monday afternoon, when they allege he marched into the state Capitol and shot 51-year-old William Wozniak in the chest, then stowed his gun in his car trunk and drove away.

Question and answer time with the gov's spokesman

Posted by JP on Thu, 09/18/2008 - 17:28
I sent Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero some questions about the timing of the governor's special sesson orders for Monday and got a voice mail back with answers. Q: Does this means the Senate President and governor aren't working together? A: "I don't know what that means." Q: What does the governor want to be acted upon? Is it Hoffman's HB6699? (When the House overrode the governor's ethics changes, his chief ally -- Collinsville Democrat Jay Hoffman -- took them and filed new legislation) A: yes Q: That's still on first reading in the House. Constitutionally, that plan would need three days in the House and another three in the Senate. So, is the governor going to call daily special sessions until it's approved?