Monday, December 03, 2007

Blagojevich pits North vs. South in Illinois

This was a great column by Carol Marin. A frequent topic of discussion on this blog especially since maybe 2006 gubernatorial election last year was about our Governor. I've stated before that I thought he could be a smooth operator with the voters and I would suspect he tapped into what the voters want. He did that only to do what he wants to do then turn around and say he's doing the people's work.

There are so many angles people could attack his 5 year tenure in office. We saw a piece about his work habits last week, people can call him a sociopath who doesn't mind changing his mind at the last minute (or I should say his word is untrustworthy), some people might even say his heart isn't in the job (that's where the laziness comes in), and now here's another angle. Well it's nothing new, it seems the Governor has a tendency to create conflict. It could be a distraction or it could just as easily be a means to make himself look good. A trait most politicians have and even then as least they might get something accomplished.

Still take a look at Marin's column and I really liked the last part...

But something snapped among the rank and file last week in Springfield. They were finally fed up with being furniture, tired of being sat on by a governor and four leaders who hate one another too much to get anything done. They were fed up. Not just Republicans from Downstate but Democrats, too.

And so Wednesday night, despite the urging of the governor, Speaker Michael Madigan and Minority Leader Tom Cross, despite the valiant efforts of Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston) to craft a compromise, rank and file members dug in and said no. Not until Downstate got a little respect.

"We've been lied to and bamboozled," Black said. "We don't all wear overalls."

Though there's always been tension between Chicago and Downstate, it's been a lot worse since Blago arrived. It hasn't helped that he spends as much time as possible away from the capital.

But when the governor had the nerve to jet off on our dime Wednesday for a Blackhawks game in Chicago, leaving behind a Legislature he had ordered into session that was working until 9 that night on a state crisis of epic proportions, well, lawmakers were livid.

"It's galvanized Downstate Democrats and Republicans like nothing in my memory," Black said.

And Chicago area lawmakers, too, some of whom were reportedly meeting without their leaders in small groups Thursday.

Could the inmates be taking over the asylum?

We can only hope.
Uh-oh I don't know if the governor understands that what he's been doing is very problematic. If the voters weren't upset enough to say that they were threw, they may be there now. Who knows Blagojevich could have turned this state red and not just with anger, but Republican. Well assuming that the Republicans can take advantage but look here's the real point.

The members of the legislature are even fed up. It's great to see that the geographic divide in Illinois at least for this moment isn't a problem. That even Chicago area and downstate legislators are getting together and say enough. They're not just pointing that governor although he is most certainly the catalyst but also the other legislative leaders as Marin mentions Speaker Madigan and House minority leader Tom Cross both Democrat and Republican respectively.

Oh before I get on to the next thing, the transit bailout from last month was mentioned here...

Lawmakers were already spitting mad when they pulled into town Wednesday morning. It was the 17th time Blagojevich had dragged them into special session to find a long-term funding solution for the mass transit crisis that threatens to shut down the buses and trains of the CTA, RTA, Metra and Pace.

But that morning, newspapers from one end of the state to the other carried a wire story that made legislators' blood boil. The Associated Press' John O'Connor reported that the governor had hoodwinked them again. That Blago's most recent emergency $27 million Band-Aid for the hemorrhaging urban and suburban transit systems wasn't what he claimed it to be. That some of the cash he miraculously came up with last month for the CTA was money he quietly diverted from desperately needed statewide road and building projects.

The AP got its story despite stonewalling from the Blagojevich administration, which "ignored repeated requests from the Associated Press over the past three weeks for more details about the source of the money and what projects have been set aside."
And there's a good chance the CTA might be close to another Doomsday set for January and he might be thinking he can get some more money from somewhere. That is going to be very difficult to sustain!

You want some more stories about the governor and what he's been up to. Check out the Capitol Fax blog.

EDIT: I tagged this post for RECALL, this maybe a good reason to call for this provision to be placed in the state constitution if nothing else. And you can check out other recall stories as well.

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