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Durbin on Blagojevich

Thursday, Nov 30, 2006

Bernie Schoenburg interviewed US Sen. Dick Durbin this week. You should really go read the whole thing, but here’s an excerpt.

“I really believe that the governor could have handled his relationship with downstate a lot better in his first term,” Durbin said. “I hope he’s learned. People downstate, all of us, want to believe that we’re not taken for granted, and that our elected officials care about us. I think there were a couple of things that the governor did along the way which bothered people in central Illinois and downstate, and I hope, in his next term, he takes that to heart.”

Asked for specifics, Durbin noted the “big issue” developed out of the way the governor handled the Executive Mansion.

Durbin said he would never second-guess a family decision, such as the governor wanting to allow his children to continue going to school in Chicago.

“But I think he could have handled his presence downstate and his use of the mansion in a different way and had a more positive relationship with Springfield and downstate Illinois,” Durbin said.

I’ve posted this link before, but more of the interview can be found here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Wumpus - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 8:39 am:

    HE won, nice of you to come out with these issues now, Pol Pot Durbin

  2. - Bill - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 9:00 am:

    Where the governor lives is an “issue” only for people with very small minds and a limited perspective, like you. I love Durbin but if that’s the only “issue” he can come up with than “downstate” deserves to be ignored. Check out the totals for Madison, Franklin, etc. These are about as far downstate as you can get and they went for Rod,big. This “downstate” stuff is a republican myth. People “downstate” love Rod. Check out Perry County.
    The Governor will continue to represent all of the citizens of our fine state. Where he lives is irrelevant. Would you rather he lie about where he lives like Thompson and Edgar?

  3. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 9:40 am:

    When Rod was elected, he was elected to reform the state. He decided to use Springfield and downstate Illinois as a symbol of corruption by refusing to live in the mansion. Dan Walker sold the governor’s limosine, Rod makes it a point not to live in the mansion - similar PR stunts by two men who understood image, but not being governor.

    Downstate is suitably miffed. As Blagojevich clings to Rezko, Kelly and other friends in Chicago, he moons the rest of the state. Blagojevich fell in love with the perks of celebrity in Chi-town, and his posse of SUVs and men-in-black, sending us his bills for helicopter flights and his other fantasies.

    Believe it or not, Downstaters are not stupid. If they are feeling insulted, it is because they are being insulted. Blagojevich has made it no secret that he is governor of Chicago, not Illinois, and he considers anything outside Chicagoland to be a backwater. It sounds like Bill agrees with the governor - no surprise there, is it?

  4. - HUMPS - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 9:55 am:

    I fully agree with the above writer. In Macon County, 4 years ago Rod just did carry the county. This time he lost Macon County and several of the counties in central Illinois. Why? Because the voters around here feel he is not a Gov. for the all of Illinois, just North of I 80. I would like to see him living in Springfield but that is not the real issue. I am just flat disappointed in his performance, over all. I am also very concerned when the other foot will come down from Mr. Fitzgerald.

  5. - Animous - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 10:05 am:

    I think the “not-living-in-the-mansion” thing is probably an oversimplification of an even bigger issue, and bigger problem: Uninvolvement in the “State Capital” process.

    Other Chicago-area governors chose to live “up north” away from the capital, but when it was time to work with the legislature, other constitutional offices, and deal with serious issues facing the state they actually stayed in Springfield for more than half a day at a time to get the work done.

    I believe what downstaters are truly upset about is the governor’s unwillingness to “roll up his sleaves and get his hands dirty” and put in an honest day (or month) of work to address some of the most serious problems facing this state in the last 30 years. Downstaters are generally more appreciative of effort and “work” than they are with how “pretty” or slick a person is on TV.

    Like it or not, Springfield is the state capital, and I somehow suspect Blago knew that. In the two years of running for office in ‘02, and especially in the primary, downstate elected him based on his willingness to show up south of I-80. If we knew then what we know now, he would have never made it out of the ‘02 Primary (and he knows it). THAT is why he carried, what, all of 3 counties downstate???

  6. - Levois - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 10:14 am:

    A lot of people are upset that he refuses to stay in Springfield. That’s not the main issue with me. Staying in the governor’s mansion is relatively minor compared to his shortcomings as governor.

  7. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 10:20 am:

    Back to Durbin.
    He is a downstater. Downstaters hate Blagojevich. So, when he runs in two years, Durbin will need to explain why he supports a then-indicted governor who has had no support from his home town for over six years. Durbin is looking increasingly foreign to his old friends as he schleps between DC and Chicago.

    Durbin’s base credibility as a likeable guy comes from Sangamon county and the roots he established there. If he does not tend to this positive image, he will look less like a Paul Simon for the 21st Century, and more like a Paul Simon for the 20th Century. His freshness date will expire.

    Finally, Bill - apologize. Saying that 80% of Sangamon county voters are small minded or whatever it is you claim they are is insulting. Claiming that downstaters disgust with Blagojevich is a Republican myth is an untruth, and you know as well as anyone that it is not a myth. Your boy Blagojevich has been a ham-handed clod when he deals with experienced professionals who see through his paper-thin fables. One of the reasons he stays away from Springfield is because they see him for who he really is - an indictable fraud. Apologize to all these fine citizens being led by the nose by your Pied Piper of Pandering!

  8. - Bill - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 11:00 am:

    I guess you are the self-appointed Bill-rebuttal guy today. I didn’t bring up Sangamon County, you did…and the vote against Rod was closer to 70% not 80%…and my guess is that most of those were Repub state workers, lobbyists, etc. who resent the Governor’s efforts to require a full days work for a full days pay, and who has ended business as usual which means that your”experienced professionals” no longer have the influence that they once did. I can see why they resent the Governor. Rod has rocked their world. It is out with the old and in with the new and apparently the voters liked what they saw and voted to return the Governor to office for another four years.
    The Governor has promised to make state gov’t work for the people not the other way around. This upsets the former influence peddlers and repub shills. Too bad… just continue to whine about poor “downstate” and wait for the indictments that will never come.

  9. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 11:39 am:

    Truthfully I don’t see the big deal about living in the mansion. Now if “downstaters” have a problem with his governance of their areas, maybe the economy, jobs, etc. then I could see complaints, although the rural economy (and not all of Central and Southern IL is rural) is not particularly healthy anywhere. I’m unconvinced that the general public really cares which days Rod shows up to speak with the Leg and how many closed sessions he has with them. That is information the average person really doesn’t know or even care to know.

    Where the gov lives? That’s just getting rankled over a minor loss of pride.

  10. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 11:46 am:

    “…and my guess is that most of those were Repub state workers, lobbyists, etc. who resent the Governor’s efforts to require a full days work for a full days pay, and who has ended business as usual which means that your”experienced professionals” no longer have the influence that they once did.”

    Thats not only nasty, it is also a run-on sentence, Bill.

    Your last posting was nothing more than lame justification for your small minded limited perspective of downstate voters. Your comic book sketches of Sangamon voters would be too crass for even Daily Kos readers.

    Do you hate 51% of Illinois voters who didn’t follow you to the Land of Rod? Or do you consider them all small minded rubes with narrow perspectives too?

    My point is simple. If you believe in Democracy, you accept it’s results. You don’t insult the voters. Considering how your side swept the elections, the least you can do is not be a sore winner. What Durbin is doing is mending fences that Blagojevich broke. It is a fact. A majority of Illinois voters didn’t want your boy re-elected for numerous reasons. You should respect their views. Durbin is.

  11. - Joannie - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 11:55 am:

    Thanks Vanilla Man, I could not have said it better. Bill seems to carry more bitterness than is normal from someone for the winning party. Perhaps he secretly scared by the this win.

  12. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 12:03 pm:

    I don’t think “Bill” is bitter. I think he thoroughly enjoys punching y’all’s buttons. And from the responses to his posts, he seems to do it well.

  13. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 12:15 pm:

    I like Bill.
    I think when he posted his response originally, what we saw was a posting from someone still on a “high” over the election results. And rightfully so, by the way. As I have said before, I was wrong about these elections, and Bill was right. So I salute him.

    But a constant problem is the smugness I read and hear from Democrats. They seem so sure of themselves and have read so much into the midterm they are making me sick. Sure, I have been wrong over the past year - but I haven’t been wrong since 1980. This was a six-year midterm election. There were no surprises. Weller, Shimkus, and other GOP officials in office will not be forced to weather another 2006. If they survived this month, they will go on to survive a whole lot more. The Democrats have a smaller majority in Congress with their “win” than Republicans had going into November. Claiming voters saw the light and embraced the Democrats forever and ever is a dream only Bill seems capable of believing.

    When Blagojevich joins Walker and Kerner in the Democratic governor’s Hall of Shame, there will be an opportunity for the GOP - but not if they continue to run candidates more suitable for Indiana or Utah, than Illinois.

  14. - Bill - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 12:41 pm:

    Thank You, Mr. Miller,
    I’m not bitter and I don’t hate “downstaters” or even republicans or anyon else. I just like to have some fun when things are slow in the office. It is really fun to rub it in after reading years of hateful attacks on Rod, Emil, Madigan and other dems.
    Times have changed and moderate Repubs are no longer acceptable to their own party, let alone democrats. The people were and still are ready for change as we squander our country’s resources fighting unwinnable foriegn wars.
    Maybe Rod isn’t the best spokesman for the progressive agenda but he beat the alternative. We should all work together to improve the quality of life for all citizens (even republicans and even if they don’t realize it).

  15. - Cassandra - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 1:08 pm:

    Another example of why Durbin needs to be replaced.

    He’s terrified of Daley, terrified of Blago.

    So, if a little criticism is needed to please the downstate voters, well, how about that fluffball issue about not living in the Mansion.

    This is the 21st century, where you can hook up on a videoconference from anywhere. Who cares where he lives. The where he lives issue is beyond not serious in terms of the quality of government in this state.

  16. - So Blue Democrat - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 2:13 pm:


    Is the Governor going to sign the supplemental bill that authorizes the 15% pay increases? If he does, it will be very interesting to determine how he justifies it.

  17. - So Blue Democrat - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 2:19 pm:


    Additionally, I find it interesting that you find ample time to spend time on this blog during your office hours. You obviously work in politics in some manner. You are the first to complain about lazy state workers. If you worked for me, I would terminate your position since you seem to have plenty of free time.

  18. - He Makes Ryan look like a saint - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 2:25 pm:

    If it was a republican governor, Durban would have blasted him for the things that has been alleged.

  19. - (618) Democrat - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 2:30 pm:

    Hey VanillaMan, Their are lots of us from downstate who think that the Governor is doing a great job. You need to look at the map of Illinois and see what counties the Governor won.
    The bottom line is Republicans lost everything because of clueless small thinkers like you who are always throwing the word hate around.

    Keep up the good work VannillaMan.

  20. - Little Egypt - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 2:38 pm:

    Hey Bill, WUZZZUP? Shame on all of you for firing on Bill. He is just spreading the good news of Santa Rod before Christmas. Right Bill? Y’all have a happy holiday. I’m enjoying our new granddog and praying little Little Egypt leaves Baghdad on Feb. 8 with all limbs and senses intact. Bill I wish you would put forth the same effort towards ending the war as you do in praising Elvis. Our men/women would all be home by now.

  21. - Bill - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 2:49 pm:

    So Blue,
    Fortunately, I don’t work for you. We all do what we do to try to eke out a living. Rest assured that I do not receive a state paycheck nor would I ever except a state job lower than cabinet level. I have never complained about “lazy state workers”. I do complain about state workers who constantly blog during working hours and beyond about how bad their new bosses are and how good the “geniuses” who used to be their bosses were. To the winners go the spoils. Get used to it.
    As far as the governor’s action on signing bills, that is quite a bit beyond my sphere of influence at this point.

  22. - Bill - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 2:55 pm:

    Hey Little e,
    If there was anything that I could do to end the war I would immediately do it. I think replacing some of the entrenched Republican Senators and Reps is probably a good start. Bush will go soon and I expect President Obama will immediately call for an end to hostilities and we will leave with our dignity intact.My best to you and your family.
    Happy Holidays.

  23. - anit-Bill - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 3:10 pm:

    Bill - joking or not, you repulse me with your posts.

  24. - So Blue Democrat - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 3:14 pm:


    Since you promote a “full days work for a full days pay” (as you quoted above, I just believe you should also give this to your employer instead blogging on his or her dime. I do not need to “get used to it” since I know the Governor will eventually go to jail just like Ryan will. You speak also of the “spoils”-this is another example of your corrupt thinking.

  25. - So Blue Democrat - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 3:22 pm:

    What a dream world you live in regarding a cabinet level position; however, you may be a prime example of the incompetent appointments made by this administration. I view this administration very similar to the Bush administration. You think you are above the law.

    I would not appoint you for any position except perhaps picking up the dog poop in the local park (of course only with law enforement watching your every move).

  26. - Bill - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 3:37 pm:

    So blue,
    I am my employer and I am very pleased with my work. You, on the other hand, must be on break or taking a vacation day, or a personal day or a sick day or any other of the mysterious days that state workers get off with pay.

  27. - So Blue Democrat - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 3:59 pm:


    I obviously upset you. I am so so so sorry.

  28. - So Blue Democrat - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 4:05 pm:


    You assume I am a state employee since I do not support the incompetence of your guy’s administration. I am a taxpayer in a small rural county. I just believe in fair play (you obviously do not). I do not understand why you worry so much about state employees with your comments about breaks, vacation days, etc. You appear to have plenty of free time. You must be one of the lobbyists that also live on the taxpayer’s dime.

  29. - Bill - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 4:13 pm:

    Yes,I have plenty of time, no I am not upset. You seem to be taking all of this way to personally. Relax, take a deep breadth. It will all be ok. I just wish that you would take the “Dem” out of your nickname.

  30. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 4:20 pm:

    “The bottom line is Republicans lost everything because of clueless small thinkers like you who are always throwing the word hate around.”

    I shouldn’t have said that downstaters hate the governor. Polls indicated that the vast majority merely loath him. Some people believe that the word “hate” is a dirty word. Excuse me for expressing a belief and using such a strong word. Strong words are for strong people only, so I didn’t mean to offend any of you Care Bears.

  31. - So Blue Democrat - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 4:21 pm:


    You obviously are still upset. I am a life-long liberal Democrat that believes in good and clean government. Of the two of us, I am the true Democrat. You are just a party hack.

  32. - Bill - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 4:28 pm:

    So Blue,
    You are kinda cute when you are angry. Anyway,I have to stop now,Im repulsing anit-bill.

  33. - So Blue Democrat - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 4:36 pm:


    Go and have a stiff drink. You have worked so hard today.

  34. - Bill - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 4:46 pm:

    So Blue,
    Excellent idea and I think Ill give myself a day off with pay tommorrow. You have a nice weekend.

  35. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 5:15 pm:

    Have one for me, wouldya, Bill?

  36. - (618) Democrat - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 6:01 pm:

    Bill, You gotta love it when Republicans like So Blue and VM set around all day and whine making themselves misrable.

    The bottom line is we, Democrats , won and they lost. Big Time!

    Grand Slam Baby!! Score four more years for the good guys.

  37. - Cassandra - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 6:08 pm:

    Before the election, I did think Bill was a JBT plant.

    I was wrong, apparently.

    Not totally sure, though.

  38. - So Blue Democrat - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 6:34 pm:

    (618) Democrat,

    You do not even have a clue that some Democrats do admire the Governor. Lisa was smart enough to distance herself from him, and even Durbin is starting to do so also. Since Durbin has done it after the election, I have lost some respect for him.

  39. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Friday, Dec 1, 06 @ 1:48 am:

    Bill and Company,

    Keep up the good work !

    We all had to endure months and months and months of name calling, insults and absolutely genius insight and predictions from the likes of
    Vanilla Man, Grand Old Partisan and the rest of IL GOP losers, so lets go back and remind ourselves what these loud mouths had to say:

    The Topinka Express was building steam ! The polls aren’t accurate ! The polls are distorted, twisted, biased ! The polls are wrong ! Sure, Judy didn’t get 40% in her own primary. Thats a fact. And, sure, she doesn’t always stay on message. And her campaign doesn’t stay on message. (When Judy revealed her long-sought-after economic plan for the state that was the keystone of her candidacy, we probably shouldn’t have spent the day asking if Filan took paid leave to offer the Governor’s response. In hindsight, sure, we should’ve just stayed positive and talked about Judy. But, hey, it was FILAN ! We HATE that guy !)

    Judy and Joe are going to win it ! Just watch ! Catching fire ! I saw them in my town today - they rocked ! And the Governor got booed at a parade ! Oh yeah, its over for Governor [insert funny variation on the Governor’s ethnic name her] !

    Rod is running ads in MAY ! He’s scared ! He’s stupid ! He’ll run out of money ! And then Judy will pounce !

    And the ads ! So negative ! People will never vote for the Governor with all those negative ads ! “What was she thinking ?” What does THAT mean ?! No, voters are turned off by negative ads. They won’t vote for the Governor.

    Fitz will indict the Governor in April ! No, sorry, June. Wait, I meant August. Hold up, my mistake - September. Seriously - October. He’ll indict the Governor in late October.

    Stu Levine was indicted ! Stu will name the Gov at his sentencing ! Wait a minute - sorry, I meant Tony Rezko ! That’s it. Game over. Rezko’s indictment will clinch it !

    Hold up, my bad - the $1500 check will do it ! Woo hoo - that cinches it - JBT has it in the bag now ! Yeah, that gift to his daughter from the Governor’s lifelong friend just kills him ! Game, set, match.

    Scratch that, scratch that - the key is RICH WHITNEY ! Yeah, the Green Party ! Whitney will get 15% - no, 20% ! And THEN Judy and Joe just sweep in and - BOOM - back to the Good Old Pilfering days of the GOP ! We all get our old jobs back ! We all get our old contracts back !

    Yep, that’s how Judy Barr Topinka gets elected: Filan doesn’t submit the proper leave forms, the Governor’s daugher gets a huge birtday gift, the Governor and his family live in Chicago and Rich Whitney runs. Simple as that.

    Oh, and the U.S. Attorney indicts the Governor too.

    Thanks for the fun and memorable posts, guys. You’ve been wrong at every opportunity, and its been a blast reading your foaming-at-the-mouth rants.

    As for Bill and everyone else who corrects and/or challenges you - have at it. As shown above, your predictions and insights were wrong in every case and your candidates lost in every case. (Rich: next slow news day, it might be fun to reprint folks’ pre-election final predictions.)

    Bill, keep the faith.

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