Suburban Political Recount

Suburban Political Recount

First up ... ethics reform

Posted by JP on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 15:59
The 118-member Illinois House just voted 110-0 to reject the governor's changes to ethics legislation and reinstate the provisions as they were initially and overwhelmingly approved by the House and Senate. Basically the plan prohibits companies with state contracts from donating to those who award the contracts. Blagojevich's campaign has pocketed gobs from firms doing business with the state. Blagojevich decided to tack on numerous provisions including barring people with some -- but not all -- other government jobs from serving in the General Assembly. (They already cannot legally collect a paycheck from their outside government jobs while in Springfield).

Glossing over the great lipstick debate of '08

Posted by JP on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 14:56
Both the Obama and McCain campaigns have promised to focus on “the issues” that matter and change the partisan rancor and rhetoric that has marred the national political scene. And fresh off telling us on national TV about their messages of hope, change, renewed focus on what really matters and whatnot, we get treated to a raging debate on … LIPSTICK You could likely power a small community with the energy required to compose and then transmit the numerous emails I’ve received from campaigns and partisan interest groups on the topic. It’s sexist. No it’s not. He said it first about Hillary. So what, that was out of context. Gender cards. Race cards. Blah, blah, blah-blah-blah. A bit of advice from the Farm: Stop it!

The plan ...

Posted by JP on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 12:48

It appears the House is positioning itself to restore hundreds of millions of dollars in project and program funding cut by Gov. Rod Blagojevich to balance the budget. Cuts and closings of state parks, historic sites and jobs at DCFS and the Department of Human Services would be reversed.
However, it also appears at this point that the House will restore for more spending than it will come up with money to support. A quick glance of the "uncuts" found more than $655 $880 million restored. But a run through of the money in the special state accounts the House would tap came up with less than half that amount.

Stay tuned to see what happens. The House is about to go to committees to start discussing all this and then return to the floor for expected votes this afternoon.

Maybe on the 139th try ...

Posted by JP on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 09:15

OK, the House is in session today and the agenda includes a lottery lease deal that would finance state construction, ethics legislation and tapping special state accounts to balance the budget.

Ummm ... is it September or January, 2008 or 2004?

As the joke goes: How many Illinois lawmakers does it take to change a light bulb?
Punch line: Change?

"Do it again" seems like a good theme song for the day.

Former suburban man gets new job

Posted by JP on Tue, 09/09/2008 - 14:31

Congratulations to former reporting colleague Aaron Chambers, who managed a soft landing after the Rockford newspaper closed its Capitol bureau a few weeks ago. A news release arrived in my inbox this afternoon.

Serafin & Associates Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Aaron Chambers , a longtime Statehouse legislative and political correspondent, as a senior account executive.

Is Quinn the governor's speech writer?

Posted by JP on Mon, 09/08/2008 - 17:13

Who said this?
“Doubledipping is a gigantic waste of taxpayer money and it’s a state scandal that doubledippers should be permittd to hog precious tax dollars in this age of budget cutbacks.”

If you said Gov. Rod Blagojevich, you’d be wrong.

That quote came from Pat Quinn in the late 1970s when, as spokesman for The Coalition for Political Honesty, he claimed lawmakers who held Chicago and Cook County jobs were blocking ethics reform and, later, tax reform. He claimed the “double dippers” were voting with their personal political interests rather than their constituents interests.

Friday farming: Playing your requests ...

Posted by JP on Fri, 09/05/2008 - 18:02

Next week, state lawmakers return to the Capitol.
OK, only half of the General Assembly. The Senate's not coming back.
Anyway, it's our first chance to see if Mike and Rod's "Denver hug" holds.

Until then ...

Updated: Heart pulls plug on GOP anthem

Posted by JP on Thu, 09/04/2008 - 22:21

UPDATE: So much for the GOP convention anthem has this update:
Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart said Thursday night that Universal Music Publishing and Sony BMG have sent a cease and desist notice to the McCain-Palin campaign over their use of 'Barracuda.'
"We have asked the Republican campaign publicly not to use our music. We
hope our wishes will be honored," the group said in a statement that said they "condemn" the use of the song at the Republican convention.

Shout out to Scott Troehler for the tip.

And if the real thing don't do the trick
You better make up something quick

Illinois GOP's media bait-and-switch (UPDATED: miscommunication, resolution?)

Posted by JP on Thu, 09/04/2008 - 17:37

UPDATE: An Illinois Republican Party spokesman called to find out what happened with the Daily Herald reporters at the Cross/Watson/AT&T reception. He's checking into the situation and what can be done. Having been to several of these convention events, I'm guessing there was miscommunication between the people handling the door, the hosts, the honorees and so on.

Last week in Denver, Gov. Rod Blagojevich threw a private reception for Tammy Duckworth that essentially turned into a trial run for her convention speech the following night. Although the event was hosted by Friends of Blagojevich (his campaign fund) and the governor is known for being a bit reclusive from time to time, reporters were allowed in.
No fuss, no muss.

From Illinois, short and simple

Posted by dlb on Thu, 09/04/2008 - 12:22
When it comes to convention roll calls, some state delegation spokespeople try to stretch their moment on national TV to literally 15 minutes of fame (or obnoxiousness) with a stemwinding speech on everything that's ever happened in their state. Not Jim Durkin, of Western Springs, who had the honor for Illinois Wednesday. The sum total of his remarks: "Madam secretary, I am James Durkin, state representative and chair of the Illinois delegation. The great state of Illinois, the land of Abraham Lincoln, the birthplace of a man named Ronald Reagan, proudly casts its 70 votes for the only proven and tested reformer in this contest: my friend, the next president of the United States, John McCain."