Suburban Political Recount
Catching up around the Capitol
Suburban lawmaker’s DUI trial set for next month.
The Springfield paper has the update.
An untrue rumor fueled by a gossip column about an election that’s more than two years away. You could fill a daily newspaper with untrue Jack Franks’ for governor tales.
First the demise of the $34 billion construction plan, now this.
There’s been no shortage of speculation about Gov. Rod Blagojevich's possible pick to serve out Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate term if the Chicago Democrat wins the White House.
But let’s take it a step further.
One of the names often mentioned as a relief senator is state Comptroller Dan Hynes, who lost to Obama back in the 2004 Democratic senate primary.
Here’s your state government lesson. Under this scenario not only would Blagojevich get to appoint the fill-in senator, but a new comptroller as well.
The Illinois Constitution gives the governor the authority to appoint new executive branch members if there's a vacancy. Article V, Section 7 says the following:
You may have noticed in my bio information a mention of making coffee runs for D.C. editors. That was as an intern for the Chicago Tribune's Washington bureau back in the fall of 1992. It was a tremendous experience made possible by Terry Michael via the Washington Center for Politics and Journalism.
This evening, the following arrived in my email in-box from Terry. It's a tribute to the recently deceased Tim Russert written by Michelle Jaconi, a former Washington Center intern who did her D.C. tour of duty with Meet the Press in 1998 and was hired onto the show's staff afterward.
Here's how Jaconi will remember Russert.
State Auditor General Bill Holland released several audits on Thursday including a rather voluminous one on the Illinois Department of Human Services filled with things auditors don't like.
The department opened its own bank accounts and, whoops, forgot to tell state officials.
The department didn't have adequate procedures for disposing of confidential information.
The department didn't keep adequate records on its vehicles.
But the one that stood out -- especially since the department has problems getting rid of confidential information -- was that taxpayers spent thousands on 39 "high capacity shredders" and, a year later, 22 of them had not been installed let alone put to use.
I’d already filed my story when the governor’s office got back to me with a fresh comment. It should make the paper but here’s what Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff – who once worked for Madigan – had to say about the impeachment memo.
“The divisive and under-handed tactics exposed in Memogate only weaken public trust. Speaker Madigan owes it to families who are struggling through this economic slowdown to do everything possible to create jobs and stimulate the economy. He should join the governor and other three leaders in supporting a $34 billion statewide infrastructure and jobs plan.
Madigan spokesman Steve Brown also got back to me Wednesday night. Here’s a selection of his comments.
A tourist family was coming into the Capitol this afternoon as I walked by and I caught this exchange as the family cleared the metal detectors.
Tourist: Are lawmakers in session today?
Guard: No. They finished their spring session recently.
Tourist: So they got everything wrapped up?
Guard: Ummm … for now.
Check’s in the mail?
House Speaker Michael Madigan’s allies have started raising fears of a government shutdown if the governor doesn’t do something with the budget before the start of the next fiscal year on July 1. That’d be the more than $2 billion out-of-whack budget lawmakers recently approved.