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More shorts - UPDATED

Thursday, Aug 31, 2006

[Updated and bumped up because of some interesting new content.]

· There may not be any blogging tomorrow because of the holiday. So while I’m waiting on the guv’s campaign to e-mail me its response to Rauschenberger’s piece, I figured I’d clean out my inbox.

· Senate President Jones has doubts that JBT can pass her casino idea.

A top Democrat from Chicago says it’d be difficult to get enough votes in the Illinois Legislature for a possible casino in the city.

State Treasurer and Republican gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar Topinka has proposed a plan to license a casino in Chicago to generate billions of dollars for Illinois.

State Senate President Emil Jones says some legislators from downstate won’t take kindly to that idea.

“It’s very difficult because you got several areas that want it, you know. So, it’d be very difficult. Very difficult,” he says.

· A southern Illinois school official was put on the hot spot this week and may have said more than he intended.

Despite invitations and despite being in the same town, Gov. Rod Blagojevich declined to visit Carterville High School Wednesday to see firsthand the conditions of the worse-for-wear facility desperately awaiting the passage of a capital bill. […]

The governor said he is well aware of the problems Carterville and many other construction-starved school districts are experiencing. However, he said the issue should be brought up instead with the Republicans, who would not extend the necessary votes to bond the capital bill projects during the spring legislative session.

I think the governor has been very plain as to where he stands,” [Carterville District 5 Superintendent Tim Bleyer] said. “We can’t get leadership to get Republicans and Democrats to work together to do what’s best for the state and what’s best for the kids.”

· AFSCME scored a big win this week when it forced an employer to give up the ghost.

Striking drug-abuse counselors at a LaSalle County prison agreed Tuesday to return to work after the private company that employs them decided to sever its ties with the state.

State officials will replace Gateway Foundation, which provides substance-abuse treatment programs at Sheridan Correctional Center, with a new company by the time Gateway’s contract expires Dec. 31.

About 40 of 53 counselors at Sheridan, which is devoted to treating drug-abusing offenders, walked off the job June 6 after failing to reach a contract agreement with Gateway. The non-profit Chicago operation continued to offer programs at Sheridan with management employees.

· And the governor’s campaign is making some bold statements about law-breaking by the Topinka campaign.

Topinka failed to meet the basic requirements of current campaign finance law on a report she filed last month which was loaded with violations in every section of the report. One month has passed and Topinka’s campaign has yet to amend her report to fix multiple violations of election law. Some of the violations include hiding payroll expenses for the month of June, and failing to find critical information on over 80 donors and improperly reporting of expenditures such as payments made directly to Judy Baar Topinka, in violation of rules for expenditure of that type.

· UPDATE: The Illinois Green Party will be on the ballot. From a Rich Whitney press release:

This morning, the State Board of Elections voted unanimously to certify the Green Party state slate to appear on the November ballot. The people of the State of Illinois will now have a third, and better, choice of candidates for all state constitutional offices. […]

Whatever one may think about me or my proposals, I think that we have at least established that I am a serious candidate for governor. We have demonstrated this by making the monumental effort to get on the ballot and beating back the petition challenge. We have also demonstrated this by providing voters with detailed proposals and position statements on all of the major issues facing the people of this state. The voters deserve to hear the points of view of all ballot-qualified candidates in the debates. […]

At least one sponsor of an upcoming debate, the Illinois Radio Network, has informed me that, as of now, I am not being invited to participate in a debate scheduled for October 2nd. However, they also informed me that their position could change if the other two candidates agree to include me in that debate. Unfortunately, we cannot seem to get a straight answer from the Blagojevich campaign regarding whether I should be included in
future debates. When asked by reporters, Mr. Blagojevich has repeatedly dodged the question. On the other hand, at least one Blagojevich spokesperson has stated that the decision is up to the debate sponsors. So if a sponsor tells us it’s up to the other candidates and one other candidate tells us it’s up to the sponsors, I hope you can appreciate that this creates quite a dilemma for us.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 11:23 am:

    Peace at Sheridan is long-overdue good news for the Governor.

  2. - Bill - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 12:55 pm:

    It is about time. Good riddance.

  3. - Bill - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 12:56 pm:

    And take all of your scabs with you!

  4. - Bubs - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 1:32 pm:

    Just can no longer see a good reason why Whitney is not participating in debates, other than the sponsors are Democrats. I thought this was democracy?

    Oooops! I forgot. This is Illinois.

  5. - The Red Horseshoe - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 1:57 pm:

    As for the Blagojevich accusations, if there is anything to that the press would be all over it. Those allegations are a feeble attempt to distract voters from their own problems. Nice try but no one is buying it.

  6. - Scoop - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 2:05 pm:

    Does anyone else find it odd that Emil is commenting on whether or not Gov. Topinka has the votes for her plan???

  7. - Cook Dem - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 2:16 pm:

    Red Horseshoe, I’m no expert in campaign finance law, but from reading this it seems almost certain they’ve broken the law repeatedly:

  8. - Cook Dem - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 2:31 pm:

    Sorry, link didn’t come through.

  9. - Wumpus - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 4:24 pm:

    Good for Rich Witney and the people of IL. A win for democracy.

  10. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 4:47 pm:

    When it comes to breaking campaign laws, Blagojevich knows what he is talking about.

    The Greens will have a bigger impact on this race than the experts are predicting at this time. It is quite possible that Whitney will do a Nader.

  11. - Squideshi - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 4:58 pm:

    I think I heard the explanation before–Blagojevich will debate anyone who isn’t a better candidate than he is. On a serious note, it really does make you wonder what Cluck-o-vich is so afraid that Whitney will bring up in a debate.

    Maybe Rod and Judy have some kind of secret debate contract, where they agree not to debate certain issues, similar to what the Democrats and Republicans have for presidential debates!

    “Some people justify excluding from debates candidates not from the major parties in order to prevent ‘cacophony.’ But a high decibel level can betoken democratic vigor.” -George Will

  12. - Squideshi - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 5:14 pm:

    I just saw VanillaMan’s comment.

    If by “do a Nader” you mean is energize new voters, who would not otherwise vote, and who would certainly not vote for Blagojevich, then I sincerely hope that will “do a Nader.”

    Speaking of Nader, he and his former running mate must pay more than $80,000 in expenses for the lawsuit that challenged their nominating papers and kept them off the 2004 ballot, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in a recent decision. There was an implication of “fraud and deception” in their petition drive, the court said in its ruling.

    Does that mean that the Democrats should pay back Illinois taxpayers for all the time that State Board of Elections staff spent going over an obviously frivilous objection? I mean, here we have more than a dozen election judges, working full-time consistently for several weeks to go over an objection without merit and made in bad faith. They objected to signatures that the Greens had already crossed out and in some cases line 11 on sheets with only 10 lines! What about paying back each and every Green who had to sit one-on-one with a Democrat and election judge to go over all the signatures, only to proove that the Greens had collected thousands more signatures than required? These people had to take more than a week off work and spend the workday at the State Board of elections.

  13. - Concerned Voter - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 7:17 pm:

    Talking about law breaking and/or ethics, is it just me, or does the latest commercial that blago’s camp is running seem odd or doctored? I’m talking about the one where Pres. Bush is making a speech, the video appears to be slowed down, It appears that JBT is sitting down on the stage to his right (our left on the screen). The words on the screen talk about her being against preschool, kids health care, vets care, etc. Then all of a sudden she jumps up out of her chair and flashes a smile/grin, while waving her hands, all while the President appears to be talking. It just has the feel of two different pieces of video being superimposed together.

  14. - M.V. - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 9:17 pm:

    I agree with bubs…there is absolutely no excuse to exclude Whitney.

  15. - M.V. - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 9:59 pm:

    I agree with Bubs…no good reason not to allow Whitney to debate

  16. - Tom - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 10:45 pm:

    Concerned Voter, I think Rod’s never ending barrage of negative ads will backfire. He was barely out of the primaries when he put his negative ads out during every freaking commercial break. This Bush/Topinka phony ad reeks of desperation. Too many negative ads from Gov. BlowDry will make voters think he is covering his own glaring faults, which he is. I don’t care much for Topinka, but I’ll vote for her.

  17. - Springfield Resident - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 10:50 pm:

    Yeah, the ad is doctored. Plus his new “Energy Plan” ad must have been put together by his “think tank.” While he is busy blabbing about promoting ethanol, blago is walking in a field of soybeans. Pardon me, but isn’t ethanol derived from corn?

  18. - Cat - Friday, Sep 1, 06 @ 7:27 am:

    SR - The corn is taller than the Gov at this time of year, stands up straighter and might be mistaken for what comes out of Blago’s mouth - not a good comparison, hence the soybeans!

  19. - In the Sticks - Friday, Sep 1, 06 @ 8:54 am:

    His group probably didn’t know they were soybeans. How about that long sleeved purple shirt? Do you know any real farmers who would wear something like that out in the field? You would think they could borrow a polo with some appropriate seed company logo.

  20. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 1, 06 @ 11:12 am:

    Nope, not doctored. That’s what she did at the event.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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