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Question of the day

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007

* The governor, you most certainly already know, has proposed a one-month budget, while the four tops would rather have a one-year budget…

Blagojevich said the deadline shouldn’t be an issue. He wants lawmakers to approve another one-month budget so the state can continue to pay its bills. […]

Legislative leaders say they’re not interested in another stopgap spending plan for the state.

The governor had previously said that he opposed another one-month budget because they were Republican budgets in disguise.

Question: What do you think his game is here?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OneManBlog - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:01 am:

    To wear them down so he can get what he is looking for.

  2. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:06 am:

    Chaos works for Blagojevich politically. He does not want a budget. As long as he is screwed, he wants company. A one month budget works in his favor.

    Right now, the cards are stacked against him and in Madigan’s favor. So time would be on Blagojevich’s side. Unexpected events could assist the Governor and away from Madigan.

    If an annual budget is passed now, Blagojevich ends up the biggest loser, and he would like to avoid that.

  3. - Anon - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:06 am:

    He wants health care for the people of Illinois. I dont think its a secret, nor is it some sort of sinister political plot. He has been upfront about it since the beginning of session.

  4. - macbeth - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:08 am:

    His game? That’s an odd question. Everybody knows what his “game” is — it’s his beloved health insurance. He’ll stop at nothing to get it.

    But his game play is a different matter. His play is scattered. He has no strategy. He does not understand politics. Does not understand compromise. Does not understand friendship. And clearly lacks the smarts to lead. (I can’t be the only one to feel that Blagojevich is not a thinker. You can see it in his eyes — the vacancy that he mistakes for tenacity.)

    Blagojevich is one of the most transparently arrogant, selfish, narcissistic politicians out there. He’s like the used-car salesman of politicians. He gives real politicians — the hard workers — a bad name.

    Blagojevich reminds me of Newt Gingrich — a shrill moralist with an weirdly uninspired, vaugely insipid morality.

  5. - one of the 35 - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:11 am:

    Spin. It doesn’t matter what he said last week; it’s how he can spin what he blurts out today.

  6. - Crimefighter - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:19 am:

    His game…self-preservation and deflection of blame to parties that have no responsibility for it.

  7. - Just Because - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:19 am:

    I agree 100% with the macbeth post. The gov really doesnt have a clue nor can he manage.

  8. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:20 am:

    If he’s playing chicken, he’s playing the game with a 1976 Pinto. I think the game here is who can act like the biggest baby and get what he wants. Of course, that’s not what government and democracy should be about, but that’s the way it is in Illinois. At least Madigan, Cross and Watson are being realistic and came to the correct conclusion that years of unchecked growth, combined with no real long-term plans and a budget-busting health care initiative that would nearly bankrupt us, is a path we cannot follow.

  9. - shermans ghost - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:22 am:

    An illustration of the “Peter Principal”.

  10. - JW - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:25 am:

    I don’t know what his “game” is however the four legislative leaders need to continue meeting and drafting a budget the General Assembly can pass and give to the gov. Blago has had enough time to negotiate a budget and has failed.

  11. - ids - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:31 am:

    Fitzgerald will not indict him as long as state government is in flux. So he keeps things fluxed up.

  12. - driver - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:34 am:

    What “Team Sleep” said….What can a little voter like me do to have some small influence, go to the site and sign it, and I did.

  13. - anon - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:34 am:

    The kids aren’t finished with their swim lessons yet.

  14. - Bill - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:36 am:

    The governor has been, if nothing else, consistent. He wants a health insurance plan. He wants more funding for education. He wants to alleviate the ever growing pension debt. He has compromised on the scope of the health plan. He has compromised on his opposition to gaming. He has compromised on the sale of state assets. One thing he will never compromise on is his pledge to the citizens of Illinois to not raise their sales and income taxes.
    Unlike some in the GA who continually flip flop,i.e. “I want a no growth budget, now I want a slow growth budget, ok now I want an income tax increase and anything else as long as there is no health insurance plan…”, Governor Blagojevich is going to stick to principles. If there is a sales tax and income tax increase it will have to pass with a veto proof majority over the Governor’s objections.
    This can be done but it won’t be easy and will have to include the Governor’s priorities whether thay invite him to “leaders” meetings or not.This is a zero sum game and the governor is going “all in”.

  15. - Cogswell - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:53 am:

    I think Blago can’t stop thinking about things in terms of election campaigns, with an emphasis on press pops and no emphasis on sit-down horse-trading, as if he somehow expects the general populace to march over to a polling place somewhere and push a button that says: “Give Blagojevich what he wants”. It just doesn’t work like that. It may take years to get enough public pressure put on legislators that way. To get legislators on board, you need the carrot of jobs and money (contracts, grants, capital projects) or the stick of witholding those from a guy’s district, and funding his opposition. By binding up the budget process the way he has, he’s cut himself off to an extent from his best negotiating tools, abdicating most of his dealmaking power to Jones and Madigan. Rod can’t really be the initator at this point, he’s got few powers he can still employ, all he’s left himself is the power to obstruct, and that only as long as it takes to work up a veto override.

    He did it to himself.

  16. - anon - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:55 am:

    I guess the governor was also pretty consistent in calling special session 7 days a week without fail until a budget is passed. Oh and he was also pretty consistent in opposing multiple one month budjets. If nothing else , the governor has been consistent in not backing up his words with actions.

  17. - Concerned Citizen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:56 am:

    Bil, Bill, Bill. Blago has no idea what’s going on. It’s the guys in the back room who are spinning this “game.” Blago looks like a deer in front of a car’s headlights — a blank stare with no concept of how this process should have worked. The best thing his staff can do is tell him to go to Washington Park and take a long run…then come back when he is told to.

  18. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:58 am:

    Hang in there, Bill. This too shall pass.

  19. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:59 am:

    Yes, Blagojevich has been consistent, Bill. Stubbornly consistent. Uncompromisingly consistent. Claiming he is consistent is probably the best spin one can make in his favor.

    But the bottom line is that he has been uncompromisingly, stubbornly consistently WRONG. He is all alone out there as he goes “all in”. As you posted, “This is a zero sum game…” - you are also WRONG. This is not a zero sum game. It is not a game at all.

    A governor who thinks as Blagojevich does clearly shows the huge disaster that awaits those of you who want to empower government to rule more of our lives. Instead of demonizing businesses, try opening your eyes and see the demon that sits at every politician’s desk and ask yourself why anyone would be willing to empower them instead of yourself.

    The more we depend on govenment to decide our lives, the worst our lives become when they do what all politicians do - play games. Hate profits and businesses all you want, but your way leaves us with no choice as an arrogant, bullying, governor smothers us with his foul lack of ethics and understanding.

  20. - Bill - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:03 am:

    If you don’t think that this is a game you are even more naive that I thought. Too much Fox news,dude!

  21. - Emilatitagain - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:04 am:

    I thought blago thought he was a Republican…he as likened himself to Regan in the past. HA this man is out of control he can’t stick by anything he says!

  22. - Shallow Pharnyx - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:08 am:

    His game is that of a spoiled rotten, manipulative 3 year old that is set on getting his own way, no matter what the consequences.

  23. - Southern Right - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:17 am:

    Mr. Madigan knows when and how a budget is getting passed. He has for months. He is just toying with the Governor for sport. Bill you are right it is a game and the old men are the masters.

  24. - Bill - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:25 am:

    Southern Right,
    For once, we agree! Chess anyone?

  25. - Siyotanka - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:27 am:

    Could it be…He wants Mr. Obama to become Pres. Obama…hook his coattail to the new Prez…go off to Washington as the “Great Reformer/Healthcare Champion” from the same state as the Prez. “We can make a formidable team”…concept…Uh!

  26. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:39 am:

    I prefer checkers. King me!

  27. - Patriot - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:41 am:

    Those of you who attack the person making the argument rather than attacking the argument are only proving that your argument is weak.

  28. - Captain America - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:44 am:


    Several thoughts:

    I repeat myself, but as Shakespeare said “consistency is the hobgoblin of samll minds.”

    In contemporay vernacular, John Frichey said it best, referring to the mass transit funding issue (When Rods Collide):

    “Philosophical mandates must yield to practical realities.”

    Can’t find my Bartlett’s: Whoever said:
    ” The road to’heck’ is paved to good intentions.”

    Or as Kenny Rogers sang:
    “You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away”… and fight the good fight another day.

    The cards the governor is holding look pretty bad. I don’t play poker, but the Governor’s poltical cards could be characterized as a “dead man’s hand.”

  29. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:51 am:

    He has clear goals:

    1) Have cake
    2) Eat it too
    3) Hope someone at the next table magically pays for the cake.

    Why is that so difficult to understand?

  30. - Captain America - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:04 pm:

    By calling for another temporary one month budget the Governor is clearly playing the “escape the blame game” for potential shutdown.

    At this point in the overtime session, it is entirely clear that the Governor’s “executive filibuster” strategy is entirely responsible for the current budget impasse.

    According to the Chicago Tribune, yesterday Comptroller Dan Hynes described the nine week budget impasse as “ludicrous, frustrating, perplexing, embarassing, and inexplicable.” Truer words were never spoken! Mayor Daley should also be reading the riot act,behind the scenes,if not publicly.

    Too bad for the Governor, but Senate President Emil Jones isn’t playing the Governor’s game anymore.

  31. - Bird Man - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:09 pm:

    Indeed, Blago is going “all in.” The trouble is, except for his campaign fund (that he gets to keep), he’s betting with insufficient funds. If he wins this hand, Illinois loses for generations to come.

    His game is HIS perceived legacy. No more, no less. He’s Mr. Spock in reverse; The needs of the one outweighs the needs of the few or the many.

    I’m sickenned by the arrogance.

  32. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:09 pm:

    it was Emerson, and correctly it is “foolish consistency”

  33. - Bluefish - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:09 pm:

    His “game” is to avoid being put into the inescapable corner of having the General Assembly pass a full year budget that includes what will be perceived as modest and unavoidable increases in the sales and income taxes to pay for education, mass transit and a capital program (but little or nothing for his healthcare plan) then being forced to veto it, thus “leading” the State into shutdown. He knows, especially if the editorial boards statewide come out as supportive of the GA budget, that he will wear the collar for the shutdown. Plus, Madigan will basically come out and say it is now Blago’s job to craft a budget that can pass both chambers (while the shutdown clock is ticking VERY loudly and getting lots of national attention) while no one, not even Emil, lifts a finger to help him. As pressure mounts, he’ll come begging for the GA to override his veto. Then his career is finished.

    A one-month budget avoids all this and allows him to maintain his current fantasy that he will win and receive the adoration of the people.

  34. - capitol view - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:42 pm:

    there also is the perspective of Madigan seeking to distance the unions from the governor. The unions are his primary pollitical machine; he is flipping positions in statewide facilities to union jobs as much as possible, and posting the openings in union halls rather than giving the patronage to downstate Democratic chairmen.

    Let the union workers be upset. It is obvious that the budget delay has been caused by the Governor’s early and often insistence on his own original revenues and spending priorities, and now I wonder if part if the current delay is the General Assembly working to structure a budget in a manner that the Governor cannot undermine after it is passed. But the Governor is the cause for the delays, both the early ones and the current one.

  35. - Garp - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 1:23 pm:

    I don’t see what is so hard about overriding this governors veto-Just pass a budget and override the veto. Madigan is indeed playing games.

  36. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 1:54 pm:

    Garp, overriding a veto is always more difficult than passing a bill with a three-fifths majority. The governor will have a hard rollcall in hand (unlike before the original vote) and just has to find one member to pick off with a special project or whatever and the bill is dead.

  37. - Little Egypt - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 2:13 pm:

    “What do you think his game is here?”

    Simple: He wants to come to the fair. He wants to be in the parade and holler “insurance for all.” He’s already been programmed for the walk & talk and by golly, he wants to come.

  38. - Garp - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 2:37 pm:



  39. - Fan of the Game - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 3:00 pm:

    Vanilla Man is correct. The governor is simply buying time because a budget passed right now would NOT include a health care provision. He wants that provision, so all he can do is buy time.

    Governor Blagojevich reminds me of the protagonist in Ralph Ellison’s short story “The King of the Bingo Game.” He won’t let go of the controls because as long as the wheel is spinning, he has the hope of winning.

  40. - Belle - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 3:50 pm:

    A cross between who has the biggest, which he lost, and his ever popular ‘I’m a crusader, a fighter against the powers that be for the poor little people!’ theme. You can’t win at that when you create more poor little people.

  41. - Captain America - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 3:56 pm:


    Thanks for setting me straight on my quotes.

  42. - The Conservative - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 3:59 pm:

    This really should be not hard to figure out. Budget for the funds the State has, do not add additional programs until we can afford them. Why is this so hard. Ther needs to be common sense restored to our Government. Stop thinking Taxes are the answer to everything. Perhaps the Government should take its own advice and save for a rainy day.

  43. - Anon - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 4:14 pm:

    How’s this for non-partisan.

  44. - Fan of the Game - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 4:20 pm:

    What does “Kos” mean? I’ve never understood it.

  45. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 4:49 pm:

    Rich, the Governor is pitching a one-month budget now because he knows that if an 11 month budget passes, he’s not going to be involved in crafting it and he’s unlikely to get what he wants.

    The Governor’s game is a delay of game so he can get back in it.

    Yes, if an 11 month budget passes, the governor could veto it. But I think he’d find himself in a tough situation then. He’s going to get the blame for a government shutdown. He’s going to have a hard time explaining to voters why. And yes, the Gov will have a hard rollcall to work, to try to prevent an override, but once Emil and Madigan reach a deal, they’ll assuredly be able to put as many additional votes on as the Gov can peel off.

    Here’s the difficulty of the Gov’s position:

    Gov: “I vetoed the budget because I don’t think lawmakers should leave springfield without addressing the 1.4 million Illinoisans who lack health care coverage.”

    Reporters: “What about the 2 million people in nursing homes, on Medicaid, and who depend on FamilyCare and KidCare whose coverage you just shut off?”

    Blagojevich: “Oops.”

    More likely, the Gov will veto any and all legislative “pork” he can find. My advice to lawmakers, put your “pork” in programs like education and fire trucks that will be politically poisonous for the Governor to touch.

  46. - Aaron Slick from Pumpkin Creek - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:26 pm:

    The “what if” theory regarding the Governor’s gamesmanship may become a reality : What if the Republicans finally say “we have had enough” and they suddenly decide not to go along with another one month extension of the budget? Their Democrat colleagues may be okay with being made to play the role of the fool by the governor but what if the Republican legislators say “let the crap fall and stick where it will so the governor is shown to the voters to be the type of self-serving politician that he really is.” This may be another possibility that becomes a reality.

  47. - Springfield Watcher - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:31 pm:

    I believe his agenda is two fold:

    First, he wants national attention regarding his health care initiative and there is no way to get it until he shuts down the government. Why does he want it, so he will be notice by Hillary for the national ticket as a VP or Secretary of HHS.

    Second, if 2008 does not work out for him he is already running for 2010 by attacking a Madigan I can already see the ad for 2010. “I held the line against those Madigan’s and did not give in what were they thinking”.

  48. - Don't Forget... - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:38 pm:

    I really don’t think he has game plan for this game. It seems to me that he has just been reacting to situations as they arrise.

  49. - Make them hurt - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:48 pm:

    He probably thinking how did I get in this mess and how do I get out. Just because the four tops are meeting does not mean too much. The Senate does not need Watson to pass a super majority but the house does. If I were Tom Cross I would sit back and say “ Well you guys control all offices and figure out what to send to hot Rod that he will sign. If he Veto it don’t look for Republicans in the house to bail you out. Payback for the last four is a real B—- especially in politics. Stick to you guns Tom keep Blago there all summer if need be.

  50. - Cat - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:52 pm:

    I thought his ‘plan’ was to delay his upcoming deposition on the Corrections lawsuit (no deposition while legislature is in session - negotiated by JRT), and to focus attention away from the many subpoenas, investigations, and that some of the ‘fired/laid-off’ employees are in negotiations to get jobs, back pay, legal fees, etc.

  51. - annon - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 6:29 pm:

    Just pass the damn thing !

  52. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 6:40 pm:


    Kos is just part of the guys name, Markos. This is going to be a huge national happening for the left in our town. Sorry I’ll miss it.

  53. - dis-connected - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 8:47 pm:

    If hes trying to mimick Mass.he should first READ the Romney bill for healthcare its all-in not just for those that cant afford it, insurance is based on the well to supplement the ill..please Blago read the history of Lloyds of London!

  54. - Little Egypt - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 8:52 pm:

    I was posting tongue-in-cheek when I said Blago wanted to come to the fair. Actually, I don’t think the guy is smart enough to have a game plan. I believe he has people on his staff who are giving him varying kinds of advice, none of which is good. But I don’t believe Blago has a plan other than to get a budget that includes his health care plan, no matter how watered down it is. I still believe that if this had not gone to SS and was just stuck in OT, we would have had a budget by now because the meals, bed, dry cleaning, gas, etc. would have been on the legislators dime - not the taxpayers. If Blago thought he would earn brownie points by going the route of SS, thus giving the lawmakers expenses, it ain’t workin’. As for gaining any national attention out of this mess, at this point I don’t believe there could be a positive spin put on this. Hillary, Obama, and the rest of the Dem candidates have their hands full just trying to stay in the race. Plus, Blago would never take a national political position because he would have to be away from home too much. He’s already drawn that line in the sand himself.

  55. - dis-connected - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 9:13 pm:

    Dont kid yourself about his IQ Jill St. Johns IQ 162..go figure, Blago has tried and failed to prove hes a “fiscal Democrat”. He has no choice but to put on the Fred Astaires and dance baby dance! My $100 is on the Speaker

  56. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Aug 1, 07 @ 12:17 am:

    The only way he can stay relevant in the process is to drag out this process as long as possible. Madigan & Jones, pass a 12 month budget and render the governor as useless as the Queen of England

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* IDOT Debuts Winter Weather Driving Tips Video
* Pot Dangerous? Mother's Testimony Says Yes [video]
* Happy Thanksgiving
* It seems like it’s everywhere, that video of the final moments of Laquan’s life
* Laquan McDonald.
* Sixteen shots. The story that broke the silence.

* 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

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