SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Jones sez assault weapons ban a no-go

Monday, Feb 27, 2006

Senate President Emil Jones just said that he didn’t bekieve the assault weapons ban would pass the Senate this year. More in the Fax tomorrow

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      

Question of the day

Monday, Feb 27, 2006

We’re three weeks and a day away from election day. Handicap the big races. Governor, lt. governor, treasurer, Congress (6th Dem and 8th GOP).

UPDATE: New Rasmussen poll shows Topinka every Republican dropping.

The governor has nonetheless gained ground since our last poll, when he did not reach even 40% support in a match-up with the strongest Republican candidate, State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka.

Blagojevich now leads Topinka 42% to 36%. He leads businessman Jim Oberweis 49% to 37%, leads businessman Ron Gidwitz 47% to 33%, and leads State Senator Bill Brady 47% to 29%.

Though the governor is faring better, too many voters are leery of him for political comfort. Only 37% view him favorably, while an outsized 53% view him unfavorably. As for the job Blagojevich is doing, only 38% approve; 59% disapprove. […]

Topinka, currently seen as the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, is viewed favorably by only 37%. Forty-one percent (41%) view her unfavorably–an 11-point jump since our last survey. That may be the result of sniping from the other Republicans.

About the same percentage, 36%, view Oberweis favorably, with 37% viewing him unfavorably and 28% not sure. Gidwitz and Brady are thus far known by even fewer voters.

Thanks to a commenter for the link.

UPDATE: It appears that Oberweis and Gidwitz also dropped. This is from last month’s poll [this month’s results in brackets]:

Blagojevich is tied with Ron Gidwitz at 40% [47-33]. The Governor holds a very slight lead over Jim Oberweis, 43% to 39%. [49-37]

They didn’t poll Brady last month.

Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

- Posted by Rich Miller   88 Comments      

Guv defends himself, administration

Monday, Feb 27, 2006

A telling moment in the Trib interview:

On one hand, the governor said he doesn’t believe voters perceive his administration as suffering from ethical lapses. On the other hand, Blagojevich acknowledged a need to avoid negative perceptions of favoritism when he instructed his budget director in 2003 to not give any of the state’s $10 billion pension bond business to a firm that had retained a close friend.

He said he knew John Wyma, a close adviser and his former congressional chief of staff, was representing Lehman Bros. in the sale.

“The last thing I wanted was anybody close to me even remotely near something like that. And so, the only thing I told [John] Filan, our budget director … was, `Pick the best company, but if it’s Wyma’s firm or anybody close to me, we don’t want them,’” Blagojevich said.

“I think I acted beyond what I’m supposed to do because I just knew that that was a situation [in which] I didn’t want the folks close to me to be involved in that,” the governor said.

Asked why he didn’t require that the same hands-off policy apply to all aspects of his administration, Blagojevich said it was “a free country.”

Wyma wasn’t the only person banned from that bond work. It was so high profile that the governor was rightly scared to death that something like involvement by his pals would truly hurt his administration. Everyone was made happy with subsequent deals, however. Very, very happy.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      

More Tollway troubles

Monday, Feb 27, 2006

The Sun-Times alleges more pay to play at the Tollway.

A company whose owners donated heavily to Gov. Blagojevich has seen a $150,000 state contract to package and deliver tollway I-Passes to Jewel-Osco stores balloon into a $7 million deal despite not being the lowest bidder.

Originally hired in 2003 for a six-month job involving just 25,000 I-Pass transponders, IGOR the Watchdog Corp. has since helped place the wallet-sized devices in more than 1.1 million cars and trucks through sales at Jewel.

The tollway twice extended IGOR’s contract without rebidding it and significantly upped its dollar value on five separate occasions. All this was perfectly legal and absolutely necessary, tollway officials say.

“The changes in the IGOR contract are directly tied to the unprecedented growth of the I-Pass program,” said Joelle McGinnis, spokeswoman for the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. “Since retail sales and the addition of more I-Pass-only lanes were unprecedented efforts, the tollway had no way to gauge how much the demand for transponders would increase.”

And then there’s this brick story that refuses to die.

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Judy Baar Topinka on Sunday alleged that politics and campaign donations to Gov. Rod Blagojevich played a role in the state’s decision to use bricks to build expressway sound walls.

State Treasurer Topinka said the Illinois Toll Highway Authority’s decision to switch from concrete to brick sound barriers came after the local bricklayers union donated $20,000 to Blagojevich’s campaign.

“How can the governor continue to sell Illinois … in exchange for campaign contributions and not expect to get caught?” Topinka said in a written statement.

But a Blagojevich campaign spokesman said the contributions have nothing to do with the decisions made about the materials used in the tollway system.

And this.

The state’s top Republicans are calling for an investigation into a recent tollway decision to start making sound walls with brick instead of cheaper precast concrete.

Several state lawmakers Thursday asked Attorney General Lisa Madigan to see if the change in tollway policy has anything to do with a $20,000 contribution from the bricklayers union to the campaign fund of Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

“They believe there is a process here that should have been done,” said Patty Schuh, spokeswoman for Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson.

And this.

So the bricklayers win.

Two years ago, a tollway reform bill stalled in the General Assembly, due in part to a requirement that sound barriers along the tollway be made of brick instead of cheaper, precast concrete.

“Graft!” tollway reformers shouted.

“Wasteful!” penny-pinchers cried.

“Sham!” watchdog groups clamored.

But in 2006, everyone apparently came to their senses. Brick is good.

According to tollway officials, brick won’t cost that much more than concrete, and more people will be put to work — mostly bricklayers — which is good for the state. Besides, brick is prettier.

Long live brick!

“It’s favors for insiders, and this time it’s the bricklayers,” said lieutenant governor candidate Joe Birkett who dubbed it “pay to lay.”

Meanwhile, the tollway is requiring towns along the planned Interstate 355 extension from Bolingbrook to New Lenox to contribute at least $20 million of local taxpayer money toward interchanges near their towns.

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      

Tribune editorial, translated

Monday, Feb 27, 2006

First, the editorial:

Many Democrats yearned for a choice in the March 21 primary for governor. They deserved a credible alternative to Blagojevich–at least they deserved to hear the governor have to explain himself.

So when Edwin Eisendrath announced his candidacy Dec. 18, he engendered great hope. He seemed to have the smarts, the gumption and the public resume to provide a worthy, if long-shot, challenge.

So what’s Eisendrath been doing for the last 10 weeks? Not much.

Blagojevich’s $15.5 million campaign juggernaut has been rumbling down the road, and so far Eisendrath has served no greater purpose than that of a speed bump.

He and the governor met Friday with the Tribune editorial board. Eisendrath was asked where, precisely, to find his campaign. He replied: “Certainly a lot of it is [on the] Internet, which is kind of hard to see and feel. But that’s it. It’s not a big, traditional parade, rah-rah campaign.”

No kidding. Not only are the parade floats missing, so is the waving candidate.

Now, the translation:

“We really don’t want to endorse Rod, but EE is giving us no choice because he’s such a mope. And we’re flippin’ angry about this. Edwin, get in the game or get out!”

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      

Morning shorts

Monday, Feb 27, 2006

· Bernie takes another whack at the governor’s credibility, such as it is.

· Finke backs up other reporter’s claim that the guv was at least 20 minutes late to his own campaign announcement.

· Here’s a headline you don’t see every day: Syverson says governor’s plan gives Rockford area too much.

· Reporter follows Glenn Poshard around Springfield. Kinda cute.

· Health care reform in Illinois discussed.

· DNA tracking criticized.

· Medicaid crunching nursing homes.

· Has pay to play invaded one of my favorite public TV shows? Say it ain’t so!

· Delusional? Probably. And that might be kind.

· If the governor isn’t careful, he’s gonna get tied at the hip to Louis Farrakhan. Not good.

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      

* Happy Thanksgiving!
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Five unanswered questions
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day
* Caption contest!
* Crossing the line
* Moody's warns Illinois
* The Credit Union Difference
* *** UPDATED x1 - Franks responds *** Uh-oh
* Then and now
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Google Play Cyber Weekend deals offer savings on apps, media, and more
* [Deal] Mattel’s View-Master discounted by Amazon, Walmart, and Target
* Huawei Mate 8 images leaked, ready in full metal design
* Griffin Review: The Guide Cable Management Set Will Keep Your Desk Organized
* HTC Preview program invites users to test advance software, hardware projects
* Deals teased by Google as Black Friday looms
* Ruffle lets you send “anonymous” pictures to random people on your device

* White Sox program provides kids real chance
* Johnson solid candidate for White Sox rotation
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal
* White Sox sign C Alex Avila for 1 year, $2.5 million
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Gov. Rauner grants clemency to 10, denies 200 -.....
* Rauner, Legislature: Not enough talk or action .....
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attac.....
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attac.....
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attac.....
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attac.....
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attac.....
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attac.....
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attac.....
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attac.....

* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield police chief bemoans body-cam 'burden'
* Illinois makes tax break deals with 3 companies
* Most Illinois metro jobless rates fall but many lose jobs
* EXCHANGE: Fire training buildings adapt to versatile needs
* Amtrak ramps up service, offers tips for holiday travel
* Bishop Hill Museum acquires early painting by folk artist
* State treasurer to hold online auction of unclaimed property
* Man gets 16 years for sexually assaulting a woman he knew
* U of Illinois group looking for chancellor led by professor

* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield jobless rate falls again, to 5.1 percent
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing
* Bryce Benton circulating petitions to challenge Sen. Sam McCann in GOP primary
* Executive Mansion roof repairs nearing completion
* Candidates begin filing petitions for March primary election
* Benton circulating petitions to challenge McCann in GOP primary
* Rauner administration says House Democrats holding local aid hostage

* Review: Sociale in the South Loop
* Her Barbie was a lawyer. Now she defends victims' rights
* Meet the guy making money off your food scraps
* United, Delta bet on long oil slump
* United offers pilots 13% raise

* Black leaders call for Supt. McCarthy to resign
* Viktor Tikhonov embraces off-ice role as Artemi Panarin’s guide
* Ex-Hawks winger Ben Smith working his way back from a concussion
* FOP posts notice on raising bail for officer charged with murder
* Brian Bliss remains employed by Fire
* Black Caucus renews calls for McCarthy’s ouster
* Reasons Blackhawks fans should be thankfull
* Mitchell: “Hideous” video tells an even more hideous story
* Marchers protest CPD handling of Laquan McDonald’s murder
* Mihalopoulos: Laquan McDonald video could define state’s attorney’s race

* CPS reverses course on special education cuts, will spend more
* Man charged with home invasion after woman reported taken from Oak Park house
* In final weeks, Laquan McDonald tried to turn around troubled life
* Asian carp barrier nearly done at northeast Indiana wetland
* Boy, 3, in critical condition after struck by vehicle on South Side
* Chicago Public Schools offers lesson plan for Laquan McDonald discussion
* Crystal Lake man, 18, killed kitten over fight about bong: prosecutor
* Police: Elgin man bit off family member's finger
* Charges dropped against protest leader accused of striking a cop during Loop march
* Former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle, now ex-wife finalize divorce

* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield jobless rate falls again, to 5.1 percent
* Michael Gerson: The Trump effect, still 'understated'
* Catherine Rampell: For millennials, first comes love — then what?
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Kathleen Parker: Crazy is as crazy does
* Bryce Benton circulating petitions to challenge Sen. Sam McCann in GOP primary

* Asmussen's Huddle Up: Michigan State feeling good
* PODCAST: Celestina Savonius-Wroth, U of I Library
* Ex-Rockets: Relish experience
* Arcola's Hutton takes care of business
* Updated: Danville teen killed, 3 hurt, in Indiana crash
* The Health Reporter Is In: Nov. 25, 2015
* Danville teen killed, 3 hurt, in Indiana crash
* Man pulled from parked car, robbed in Urbana
* 11-25-15 Dr. Tom Ramage, President of @ParklandCollege
* 11-25-15 Penny for Your Thoughts

* Invigorated Schaub readies for first start with Ravens
* Redskins could play twice in London next season
* Browns didn't discuss cutting Johnny Manziel before benching
* Atletico beats Galatasaray 2-0, advances in Champions League
* Court revives Oregon suit over 'phantom recall' of Motrin

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Nebraska ethanol producers name former Dur......

* Kirk co-authors Government Transformation ......

* Random thoughts.
* Prosecutors drop charges against Malcolm London.
* Lawless: The Obama Administration’s Unprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law
* Thanksgiving by the numbers
* IAR offices closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving holiday
* Charter expansion. Where is the IEA?
* Courtenay School Clothing & Toy Drive Underway
* Jail killer cops. Not Poets. #FreeMalcolmLondon
* Jay Michael's Cancer Journey, Part V
* Heartland to help two charities in December

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller