Suburban Political Recount

Suburban Political Recount

The twists and turns of ethics reform

Posted by JP on Thu, 09/18/2008 - 15:11

First the news:
Gov. Rod Blagojevich has ordered a special session of the General Assembly for 1 p.m. Monday to address "real ethics reform."

From there it gets confusing:
Lawmakers teamed up this spring to come up with a plan that focused primarily on banning business with state contracts from helping finance the campaigns of the officials who award those contracts.
The governor has time and again lined his campaign warchest with donations from those doing business with the state.
It's generally referred to as pay-to-play.
Back when a coalition of lawmakers announced this deal, they said they were unified and if the governor dared veto or change the deal, they'd quickly override his move.
Well, that happened.

Buehrle shutout by Blagojevich

Posted by JP on Wed, 09/17/2008 - 11:42

UPDATE:Asked in an email about the Buehrle oversight, a Blagojevich spokesman said the governor sent Buehrle a personal letter and proclaimed White Sox day after the World Series.

I'm sure that'll satisfy Sox fans' notion of fairness

A reader going by SoxFan83 asked a very good question this morning.

“So when was Buehrle day last April?”

On Sunday, Cubs’ ace Carlos Zambrano threw a no-hitter and Gov. Rod Blagojevich responded by declaring Tuesday “Carlos Zambrano Day” in Illinois.

Last year, Mark Buehrle tossed a no-hitter for the White Sox.
The response from the administration?

(cue the chirping crickets)

Looks like Blagojevich threw a shutout right back at Buehrle.

It's official: Happy Carlos Zambrano Day

Posted by JP on Tue, 09/16/2008 - 16:39

Is Ted Lilly hour coming next?

Your tax dollars at work:

WHEREAS,      on Sunday September 14, at Miller Park
                      in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos
                      Zambrano threw a no-hitter for a 5-0 win over the
                      Houston Astros; and

                      WHEREAS,      with this accomplishment, Zambrano
                      became the first Chicago Cub pitcher since Milt
                      Pappas in 1972 to throw a no-hitter; and

                      WHEREAS,      this was also the first neutral-site
                      no-hitter in baseball history. The teams were playing
                      in Milwaukee instead of Houston because of Hurricane

Question of the day: Child abandonment. How old is too old?

Posted by JP on Tue, 09/16/2008 - 15:17

For years Illinois has had a law that allows parents of newborns to legally abandon a child, no questions asked, at certain locations, such as hospitals and fire stations. To avoid any charges, the parent must give up the child within 72 hours of birth.

The law was passed in response to horrific instances of unwanted newborns being found dead in garbage dumpsters. In recent years, state lawmakers expanded the places where a newborn could be “abandoned” and did away with the provision that would have sunset the law last year.

Every state now has some kind of so-called “safe haven” law permitting legal abandonment.

Which brings us to Nebraska, the last state to do so.

Tina Fey glasses

Posted by JP on Mon, 09/15/2008 - 09:32

In case you were doing something else Saturday night ...

Who said it?

Posted by JP on Fri, 09/12/2008 - 16:40

"I am distrurbed by the number of single issue voters we have in our party.
"I would just point out that we need to win all the offices this year -- the presidential, the U.S. Senate and majorities in the General Assembly.
"My fear is, that those Republicans may cause the defeat of more Republicans than those they have targeted."
"Illinois needs a Republican senator who represents mainstream values.
"And Illinois most assuredly needs Republicans in control of the state Senate and House.
"It is our duty and obligation to present our vision for Illinois and America clearly and without apologies."

So, you might be guessing GOP chairman Andy McKenna at Republican Day at the State Fair or perhaps House Republican leader Tom Cross at the GOP convention.

Jones won't be rushed

Posted by JP on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 18:11

Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr., a Chicago Democrat, informed Senate members that they will not be back in session until Nov. 12, refusing to call any immediate special session to consider restoring budget cuts or ethics legislation -- both of which the House approved just a day ago.

By the time the Senate convenes, two dozen state parks and historic sites will have closed and more than 300 state employees will have been laid off. Plus, numerous social service agencies are cutting staff and programs as state cuts trickle down to those who actually do the treatment and counseling on the state's behalf. An Elgin alcohol abuse and drug treatment center announced it would cut five staff and remove two beds from its programs because of the state cuts.

House lottery vote like CPR on a cat

Posted by JP on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 07:26

I was prepared to write an analytical piece about the Illinois House OKing a lottery lease deal that could finance construction spending.

But it appears AP assigned a Massachusetts reporter to do the story …
(just substitute lottery deal for cat, House Dems for firefighter and so on)

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. -- A lucky cat owes one of its nine lives to a firefighter who revived it with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Al Machado rescued the cat from a burning apartment Tuesday, telling The Standard Times of New Bedford that he saw immediately that it needed air.

Machado began performing mouth to mouth on the animal as he carried it outside.

How suburban lawmakers voted on lottery lease

Posted by JP on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 17:59

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois House voted 75-38 to approve exploring leasing the Illinois Lottery for years to come in exchange for billions of dollars upfront, money that would finance construction spending, possibly as much as $25 billion once federal and local dollars are added in.
But the proposal only dealt with the lottery lease, not how any money would be spent. That had critics claiming the move was merely done to provide political cover for Democrats who’d blocked previous construction spending plans.
Here’s how lawmakers representing the Daily Herald’s readership area voted:

House members voting “yes”
Mark H. Beaubien Jr., Barrington Hills Republican
Franco Coladipietro, Bloomingdale Republican
Fred Crespo, Hoffman Estates Democrat

Does Obama want to teach your kindergartner about sex?

Posted by Joseph Ryan on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 17:18

It isn't the first time and won't be the last, but 'maverick' John McCain has ripped a headline right out of Alan Keyes' 2004 Senate race play book.

A recent ad to hit the tube - most likely not in the uncontested Chicago area - slams Obama for voting to have kindergartners receive sex ed.

Keyes made the same slam back in 2004.

Here is the background...

The legislation in question was a state Senate measure from 2003 that aimed to update Illinois' sex education standards with "medically accurate" information. At one point, the legislation included a provision to allow students from kindergarten through fifth grade to be added to the middle and high school students receiving sex education.