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Monday, Jan 31, 2005

The Rockford Register-Star’s Aaron Chambers sits down with the governor’s commerce director, Jack Lavin.

The interview is transcribed online, Q&A style, a practice that has been used by more and more of this state’s newspapers in the past year or so. It began when House Speaker Madigan decreed last year that he would only allow himself to be interviewed if it was reprinted verbatum, and then everyone else asked for the same treatment.

Imagine that. Mike Madigan, of all people, helping to reshape news coverage for the better. Kinda weirds me out.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 31, 05 @ 8:08 am:

    I think Lavin is one of the few real “stars” of the administration. He’s well liked and seems to know what he’s doing.

  2. - Phocion - Monday, Jan 31, 05 @ 8:18 am:

    Jack is truly a star. I’m glad he didn’t take on Iris Martinez in 2002. This is a much better showcase for his talents. Maybe he should be getting groomed to be the next Mayor of Chicago.

  3. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 31, 05 @ 6:04 pm:

    Yeah…Lavin for Mayor…Good Luck with that one

  4. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 31, 05 @ 10:34 pm:

    Anything that comes out of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is specifically designed to make the Gov. look good on his promises. Working in that department, I have found it to be inefficient, incompetent and generally useless for business development. Compared to how it was operated by previous director’s, albeit bloated, this current operation is a joke. There are at least four layers of bureaucracy to crawl through, oops still bloat, in order to fund a grant request for a small business expansion/retention project. I had one project that took 56 weeks to get approved and funded. To top it off the funding was available and sitting in a dedicated fund. Experience is indicating to me that Lavin is just doing a Clinton. He is sitting on his hands while the economy improves. Plus he talks a good game as indicated by his aborted run for the senate. One more thing. If you want to talk about pedigree, check out where Lavin came from. His sponser is a big donor to Blagojevich’s war chest and a member of the Gov’s kitchen cabinet.

  5. - Phocion - Tuesday, Feb 1, 05 @ 7:32 am:

    So Lavin has Rezko as a sponsor. So did Blagojevich - and he didn’t do so bad. Jack is a decent guy with a great young family. He backed out of the Martinez run in a deal, no doubt. But so what? Is he Chicago Mayor material? Time will tell - the establishment is already fishing for a replacement for the current Hizzoner when the time comes.

    Jack is smart and ambitious. He’s Irish and Catholic. He’s got wealthy and connected supporters. He’s burnishing his pro-business credential while maintaining progressive values. His resume is pretty dynamite.

    He’s not a lawyer, so judge, states attorney, or attorney general are not options for his political future. But he is a financial and management whiz. If not Mayo then maybe Lavin will run for Topinka’s seat, or Hynes’s in case Dan gets the bug again.

  6. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 1, 05 @ 1:02 pm:

    I first met Jack Lavin during a stop in the Quad Cities just weeks into the new administration. He impressed the QC-area economic development officials of both parties with his prompt attention to the area, his progressive ideas for economic development and his serious focus on the big issues. From Rockford to Rock Island and throughout every region of the state, Mr. Lavin is impressing folks with his economic development focus and record.

    I don’t know who else is looking, but Jack Lavin could be a serious contender for State Treasurer in 2006.

  7. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 1, 05 @ 4:47 pm:

    A Democrat with a resume of job-creation is positioned favorably for statewide office, should Jack Lavin be pointed in that direction. I would rather have him stay on board with this administratino. He’s one of the best of this group.

  8. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 1, 05 @ 7:19 pm:

    A question for Phocion. How many jobs have been created by DCEO? You can bray about the jobs created by DC in Rockford, but don’t all the automakers retool for new models? A great deal of the time there is an accompanying technology upgrade for the new production line, plus DC isn’t about to abandon one of their newest plants in the US. Before Daimler purchased Chrysler, Chrysler made crap vehicles. That’s why the Government had to save them. The DC deal was another typical state deal. Toss credits and cash and say “look what we did”. Boeing and Motorola are a couple that pop to mind when you see these big deals. As for having a big bucks sponsor, I thought it was an interesting coincidence that Lavin would get the job when he wasn’t even on the radar for that post. To be less subtle, hasn’t there been media reports that big buck donations = plum state jobs?

  9. - Phocion - Tuesday, Feb 1, 05 @ 7:59 pm:

    Hey, Anon, I never bray. You can ask how many jobs were created by DCEO, etc. And that’s a legit question on the campaign trail. I’m just saying that Jack has a great looking resume to run for a big office. In fact, I’m going to go into Jack Lavin some more on my blog.

    I like Jack Lavin personally, and I think we need decent guys like him in public office. Seems from the other posts that I’m not the only one who sees the potential. Jack Lavin has a real shot at statewide, Cook County, or City of Chicago elective office. So, Rich, what do you think?

  10. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 1, 05 @ 8:09 pm:

    What’s up with second anonymous on 1/31/04? Must be dealing with different agency than I know. Having observed economic development in IL for decades, anonymous sounds like a disgruntled Edgar-era DCCA Republican. Blagojevich and Lavin’s approach recognizes IL’s diversity as a strength and plays to regional strengths, at a time when budgets are stretched and accountability is required. Blagojevich and Lavin deserve praise during tough times.

  11. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 1, 05 @ 8:12 pm:

    Hey, sorry about that… last comments meant for third anonymous on 1/31.

  12. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 1, 05 @ 8:49 pm:

    Third anonymous here.

    Praise for… Helping Blagojevich make grandious annoucements that play well with the audience on hand? Praise for not coming through with promised dollars for projects and leaving them half finished and bankrupted? BTW, I have been around since the Thompson era, I came in on my own - no help, and I only am here to help the people of the State of Illinois. Perhaps you missed my mention that I had a project that took 56 WEEKS to get funded. A project that would bring jobs to Illinois, or send them away depending on our actions. I am just saying I want to see proof of DCEO action. You know, facts, numbers. I am there daily and see little. Little companies leaving the state. Enough empty suits spouting hot air and not following up. Have you seen the regional plans? They look great, sound great, but will never get implemented. Libertarian is my ticket, and there is no need to get personal.

  13. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 2, 05 @ 1:47 pm:

    A libertarian with a state job? LINO!

  14. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 2, 05 @ 4:13 pm:

    Jack and the gov have done an amazing job with what they have to work with. Do we need to revisit the budget crisis?

    Definitely a character building scenario for Jack’s future…

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