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Morning shorts

Monday, Sep 25, 2006

* Overtime payout shows understaffing in prisons

* “The Southern Illinois debate committee is no longer trying to facilitate a debate between Gov. Rod Blagojevich and challenger Judy Baar Topinka; however both campaigns have promised to continue negotiating a possible date to stage one in Southern Illinois.”

* Bennett: This debate needs to happen in Southern Illinois

* Steinberg: Maybe the good government phantasm is over. People vote their race, they vote their pocketbook, they vote for the guy with the best television commercial. We don’t seem to care about a little corruption or even a lot of corruption. We see that business is replete with back-scratching and assume government will be the same. Nobody seemed surprised that Henry Ford’s great-grandson, Bill Ford, was running the company, and not doing it well. Maybe the problem is that we journalists are taking our morality — like our fashion sense — from an out-of-date playbook. Maybe we make too big a deal out of this kind of thing.

* Washington: Are you wondering why Rod Blagojevich is riding high in the polls even as the federal investigations pile up? On Thursday 2,000 ladies lunched at the Hyatt Regency for the Chicago Foundation for Women’s annual benefit, and Blago was front and center. The governor made a big splash by doubling down on the foundation’s new anti-violence initiative. He made the surprise announcement that he was adding another million to a $1 million state grant spearheaded by state Sen. Carol Ronen. The money will support efforts to fight human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, the sex trade and other forms of violence against women. The room went nuts.

* Madigan subpoenas hospital records

* Governor candidates tell how to improve area’s transportation. Gov. Blagojevich’s response. Treasurer Topinka’s response.

* “On the surface, Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich would seem to own the health-care issue as he runs for re-election.”

* Zorn: Where’s the old Pat Quinn?

* “Carterville High School is expected to receive within the next two weeks approximately $500,000 of the $1.9 million in funding promised earlier this month by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.”

* Campaigns provide valuable internships

- Posted by Rich Miller        


22 Comments
  1. - Wumpus - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 9:03 am:

    Wow, Rod comes up w/another $1mil. Why would I want an internship with a campaign when I can get one for $45000 w/the state…Oh, I have to be 45 years old to get one of those state internships..nevermind.


  2. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 9:15 am:

    Not surprising Rich quoted Steinberg paraphrasing Rich.

    I find it sanctimonious for Rich and Steinberg to tut-tut the public for failing to muster outrage about corruption in state government.

    We have a completely immoral, corrupt, dishonest president and the media plays along. The media is not just an enabler, but an active ally to the Bush administration in selling its lies.

    And the local media want the readers to take them more seriously.

    Yeah, whatever. When you guys start holding the national media accountable then you might have the moral authority to wag your fingers at the public.

    But until you show some indignation about the big corruption, quit feeling self-righteous about Blagojevich.


  3. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 9:22 am:

    Women’s Foundation –Just another exaample of the corrupt budget process of the General Assembly which permits Blago Dollarseed to throw our money around. Evidently the Gov thinks he can buy the influential women’s group for $2M. Shame on him. Shame on them — they should have held out for more.


  4. - Truthful James - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 9:24 am:

    The prior Anonymous remark was from me. Sorry about that.


  5. - zatoichi - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 9:42 am:

    I have an open invite for the Gov. If he is giving out $1M, we will set up a meeting (time and date his choice)with local press available. Topic is negotiable. Disabled, parks, education, roads, safety, etc. all work. Loud screams and grateful statements guaranteed.


  6. - BBishere2 - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 11:38 am:

    Nothing like using State of Illinois taxpayer’s dollars for campaigning! I’ll see your double and raise you another half million. Let’s see your ethics test score gov!


  7. - cermak_rd - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 11:54 am:

    BBishere2,

    So you’re against the state funding initiatives to end or reduce violence against women? That’s what the money is going for. I know that you feel it is (and to some degree it might be) pandering to a group, but it’s not like he’s funding a gigantic block party or anything. This issue is real and the funding is appreciated.


  8. - Walking Wounded - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 12:10 pm:

    As much as anyone wants to believe the governor is helping the anti violence group by STATING he’s giving an extra million to their cause. Has the payment been made yet? Where’s the check? Ooops…..I said “check”.


  9. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 12:25 pm:

    I usually disagree with Zorn, but his article was money. Pat Quinn has sold out.


  10. - Cassandra - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 12:46 pm:

    JBT apparent failure to lead in the women’s vote must be a staffing failure. Apparently, whoever is managing women’s issues on her staff is incompetent or didn’t have the right connections.

    JBT herself is a major role model for women in government, and she came up in the early years when it wasn’t that easy. Not only has she been a successful politician but she has logged considerable time in the finance side of government at a time when many women still get shunted over to human services, personnel or child welfare. She successfully raised a son who is himself successful. In other words, women raising daughters today should wish for equivalent careers for their daughters.

    The fact that she is behind in the women’s vote is clearly a marketing failure on the part of her campaign.


  11. - Concerned - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 3:32 pm:

    The incumbent is in a much better position to woo specific groups having the power to throw around state money to whomever he can impress that day. Don’t get me wrong, as a woman, I believe this funding is very important, but where was it in the last four years? The timing is just too convenient.


  12. - Cat - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 6:03 pm:

    The Governor’s Transportation Plan? He has destroyed DOT to the point where they are contracting out the planning for the state’s Long Range Transportation Plan! Paid cronies deciding where the Road Fund is spent? What is he thinking?


  13. - Tessa - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 6:03 pm:

    Gosh, is that another million he just threw out to help somewhere coming from the budgets of the agencies he just whacked 2% from across the board? Don’t bash me because the mill is for an anti-violence program to aid women.

    Don’t bash me because we’re coming up on an election and I’m pointing out blatant abuse on his part of his position and the fact that there isn’t money in the budget for the stuff he’s doing. Agencies are cutting funding and cutting money because they’ve been mandated to by the Gov’s office. Yep, he’s one swell guy.

    Women love him because he smiles at them and says what he thinks they want to hear. When it comes to taking care of business, someone else has to worry about how to take care of it. He’s busy wooing another crowd.


  14. - schroedk - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 6:05 pm:

    I don’t know what sickens me more; that Blago goes around the state “spontaneously” doling out millions of dollars to “help people”, or that people receiving the promised money are buying into his act. People, this is our tax money that he’s using to bolster himself! Nobody’s necessarily arguing against the money or where it’s going, it’s the manner in which he’s using OUR tax dollars to make himself look like a philanthropist. There are only two possibilities with this money. Either he’s truly elevating himself above the general assembly (and the state constitution) and really and truly “spontaneously” promising money that is not in the budget, or it really was in the budget and already designated for these causes and he’s lying about the spontaneity part. As someone said already, if the money was already there, stop falling for the governor’s act and demand that the money be released without the act.

    I could do the same thing with my kids. Let them think that there won’t be any Christmas presents this year, and then “spontaneously” find a bunch of presents for them. My 2 1/2 year old might fall for it. I would look like an awesome dad, wouldn’t I?


  15. - cermak_rd - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 6:08 pm:

    Tessa,

    And yet I’m not seeing the state fall apart. Granted I use very few state services. I suppose I only really use the state police and the roads with any real frequency. My last trip to the SOS office was so pleasant I called the comment # to praise them (in early summer due to having lost my DL).

    If these cuts are hurting people why hasn’t anyone done the legwork to find some victims and publicize it?


  16. - Tessa - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 6:15 pm:

    The people I serve can’t speak up for themselves, and the politicians don’t care much because they can’t contribute money to the political campaigns. So money gets taken away, funding disappears, beds get closed, staffing gets cut or not filled.

    The stories are there. They just aren’t publicized. It’s hard to do your best every day when you’re told you’ll lose staff unless you get your overtime down, but you can’t get your overtime down unless you have adequete staff to support the people you serve. And I don’t serve “easy” people. And I won’t leave because I love what I do. Silly me.


  17. - What, What, What Happened????? - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 8:03 pm:

    To Cermak-rd: For your information the SOS is under the direction of Jesse White, not Governor Blagojevich. This is a totally different constitutional office. Slow down and take a breath, get your facts straight before dogging a hard working front liner like Tessa. It might give you even earn you a little street cred on this blog if you get the facts straight.


  18. - Max Maxwell - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 9:52 pm:

    Blago is wiping the floor with the state constitution. The General Assembly approporiates funds that are administered by the Governor’s agencies. The Governor does not have the authority to pull a million dollars out of his pocket at every campaign stop. Next to the pension fund situation, this is his most infuriating bamboozle…


  19. - Front Row Seat - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 10:43 pm:

    To: cermak_rd - Tessa just scratched the surface. Many things are falling apart fast, particularly in the area of Public Safety, and we are just incredibly lucky that there has not been a tragedy yet as a result. If Blago was treating the State Police properly do you think their union would have failed to endorse him? The Gov made a big press splash about how he was buying them new vehicles; ask any Trooper how inadequate the amount provided was compared to the amount needed, or about the reliability of their radio system. The IDPH Division of Emergency Medical Services has created a crisis; volunteer ambulance services all over the state are reducing services or shutting down, and there was a statewide meeting last month to discuss the potential issuance of a formal declaration of “No Confidence” in the Director of Public Health by the state’s EMS providers. Blago’s first nominee for State Fire Marshal was so bad that he couldn’t even gain approval from a legislature controlled by the Gov’s own Democratic party, and while the second one got confirmed he eventually quit. Three years, three Directors - that really helps an agency operate. The state Emergency Management agency seems to be pretty much missing in action, which may be just as well. They have been almost completely repopulated with politically connected “Interns” hired by the Gov’s office, and their Director appears clueless. Finally, everyone better pray for no snow this year, because IDOT’s equipment is so old and dilapidated that the District Engineers wonder openly if they can put enough of it on the road at any given moment to do the job. No new trucks under Blago and Secretary Martin, but plenty of money for the Gov to buy votes with “goodness of his heart” gifts all over the state.

    God help us all if this weakened system is ever really put to the test.


  20. - cermak_rd - Monday, Sep 25, 06 @ 10:44 pm:

    I know the SOS office is under Jesse. I simply mentioned it as one of the few offices under the state that I’ve dealt with.

    And I wasn’t trying to criticize Tessa. I just want to know the details. If people are really being hurt, I’d like to know.


  21. - Angie - Tuesday, Sep 26, 06 @ 11:04 am:

    On JBT not having as much of the women’s vote, that’s because Rod is always prancing around with the pretty hair and nice suits, talking all smooth to the ladies. Between two generally pro-choice candidates, I think a lot of Dem women just plain prefer sticking on the Dem side rather than support a moderate Republican, even if the moderate GOP-er is a female. Which is really too bad, by the way, because JBT is more pro-business, which would greatly help kick Illinois job growth into higher gear. Rod just taxes the hell out of Illinois businesses. Like that’s going to create more incentive for them to add jobs, right? Very sad.


  22. - Sick Of It All - Wednesday, Sep 27, 06 @ 2:28 am:

    Let’s not forget the mess he has made of DNR, EPA, DCFS, DOC and DHS. DNR is understaffed, but Ascaridis gets a job. EPA is headed up by someone who spends his work hours campaigning for Blago with his staff all over the state. DCFS , DOC and DHS are dangerously understaffed. This state is broken and it can’t get up!


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