First how about some Daily Herald where I ripped off the headline...
The state's top lawmakers and Gov. Rod Blagojevich are still trying to agree on a gambling expansion that would pay for a statewide construction program and pave the way for a mass-transit bailout. Many lawmakers don't want to approve mass transit aid until a deal is reached on a capital program. Three of the four legislative leaders met with the governor in his Chicago office Monday morning. The state's top two Republicans then left to meet with Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, who skipped the meeting because of a scheduling conflict. Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff says the plan is for legislative leaders to meet again today and then head back to Springfield next week to vote on capital and transit.Then again another story where a state senator, who ran for
State Senator Dan Rutherford predicts lawmakers won't be called back into special session before a scheduled session in January. House Speaker Michael Madigan dismissed a second special session last week when it was clear legislation would not emerge that could win lawmaker's support. Downstate lawmakers, including Dan Brady and Bill Mitchell, voted no on a transit bill for Chicago because there was no money for construction projects.
Oh and editorial about the governor finally and his role in the transit situation. In a knock towards the fact that Blagojevich attended a Blackhawks game rather than stay down in Springfield for a "rigged" vote in Springfield, the governor was referred to as Gov. Zamboni.
The Blackhawks were skating against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and who could blame Gov. Zamboni for being there? It's an exciting time to be a hockey fan in these parts. A long, tortuous spell of fielding some simply awful teams has apparently ended for the Hawks. Young players like 19-year-olds Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have ignited the dormant club. And a new team president, John McDonough, hopes to create a buzz around town about the Hawks much the way he made the Cubs one of the city's top tourist attractions.
He's already connected with Gov. Zamboni. A photo in Monday's SouthtownStar accompanying a column by Rich Miller shows Gov. Zamboni with a child-like golly-gee-whiz look on his face as he hangs on every word McDonough is saying.
Our guess is they weren't talking much about mass transit ... or downstate road and bridge projects ... or pension reform ... or Tony Rezko.
But in the back of his mind, Gov. Zamboni was probably ruminating, "And to think, I could be in Springfield right now, locking horns with legislative leaders and trying to solve the problems of the people who twice elected me governor of the nation's fifth most populated state."
Actually, if Gov. Zamboni had taken a closer look at the Hawks, who, by the way, won 5-1 that night, he might have learned a little about teamwork. On their roster, the Hawks have players from the United States, Canada, Sweden, Russia, Finland and the Czech Republic - and they're succeeding. They're winning; they're putting fans in the seats.
Down in Springfield, the people in charge aren't as diverse. They're all Democrats from Chicago, and yet there is no teamwork. This was supposed to have been a golden age of legislative accomplishment, with the major players all from the same team. But they can barely stand to be in the same room with each other, let alone work toward a common goal. State government these days resembles what the Blackhawks used to look like not so long ago: pathetic, ineffectual, uninspiring.