Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Governor sues the Speaker of the House

Gov. Blagojevich didn't like the fact that Speaker Michael J. Madigan wouldn't hold special sessions on the time and date that the governor had set in his proclamations. This news was covered a lot around the state yesterday, check out this roundup yesterday from The Capitol Fax Blog and the roundup today.

I guess the governor saw his vision going up in flames at this moment whether it's the GRT or his Illinois Care program he's trying anything to get his way. Anything other than seemingly playing nice or perhaps fine tuning his plan or perhaps really work and make friends with members of the legislature. I don't know there are many ways of doing this task.

Anyway, I saw this piece about the situation involving the Blagojevich lawsuit from the Airbags section of Gaper's Block. It's pretty good with heavy references to video game characters. Of course since I'm not very family with those games, I'm gonna have to take their word for it.

And also this was linked in today's Capitol Fax Blog roundup about the governor's lawsuit the Sun-Times put out an editorial...
Blagojevich sued Madigan last week because Madigan didn't convene special sessions when the governor ordered him to and then started to ignore the sessions entirely. We might agree that Madigan was being irresponsible -- if the governor wasn't abusing his power to call the meetings. They should be used in the case of genuine emergencies, when the Legislature isn't already in session. They shouldn't be used for showboating, or to harass lawmakers, or as a replacement for working with legislative leaders.

That's what Blagojevich has used them for. He's called 16 special sessions on this or that issue so far this year, one less than 2004, when he also was engaged in a battle with lawmakers over the budget. He accounts for nearly half of the 67 special sessions called by governors since the state's 1970 Constitution was adopted.

That constitution gives him the authority to call for the special meetings to discuss a specific topic, but it doesn't clearly say the governor may set the date and time. It would probably be a good thing to settle that issue. But that will do nothing to settle the underlying problem -- that Blagojevich was ordering lawmakers to show up when there was nothing for them to do, often on weekends. For instance, he called a special session to address CTA funding on August 13. He offered no bill of his own, but he did threaten to veto the only realistic proposal on the table, an increase in the regional mass transit sales tax.
Oh and let's go back to the Gaper's Block post here...
But Madigan's dismissive attitude, and the accompanying rage felt by much of the legislature towards Blagojevich, isn't because they care that Madigan doesn't like the governor — it's because many of them have been given their own, personalized reasons to dislike the his behavior. Blagojevich has plenty of good ideas — certainly, a comprehensive plan to insure every single Illinoisan is great. Just discussing such a plan makes Blagojevich better than 90 percent of U.S. governors. But press releases don't make policy, negotiation makes policy. Blagojevich has ended up in these fights not only because he refuses to obey, but because he provokes legislators whom he perceives as being "his" legislators rather than "the people's" legislators.
Of course, Illinoisans, like the crowd in the background of Ken's stage in Street Fighter II: Turbo, just throw up their hands and watch the spectacle of a governor suing a house speaker of the same party — in fact, the chairman of that party — with a "boys will be boys" type attitude. Perhaps the politicians in their bickering have reduced it to that, but I can't help get the feeling that the general failure to talk about the budget crisis as being about practical problems facing government, fundamental problems with how we fund our priorities, and what those priorities are, makes people disinterested and disillusioned.
Another Capitol Fax Blog item involves some polling. The vacationing Rich Miller gets us up to speed on what Illinoisians think. Not only that he concludes that Illinoisians know what's going on at the moment...
1 - How do you rate the way that George W. Bush is performing his role as President? Excellent, good, fair, or poor?

15% Excellent
17% Good

14% Fair
53% Poor

1% Not Sure

* BUSH TOTALS: 32% good or excellent… 67% fair or poor…

2 - How do you rate the way that Rod Blagojevich is performing his role as Governor? Excellent, good, fair, or poor?

5% Excellent
17% Good

25% Fair
53% Poor

1% Not Sure

* BLAGOJEVICH TOTALS: 22% good or excellent… 78% fair or poor…
11 - Who is most to blame for the government’s budget stalemate—Governor Rod Blagojevich, the state legislature, special interest groups, or voters?

53% Blagojevich

19% State Legislature

20% Special Interest Groups

2% Voters

7% Not Sure

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