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Blagojevich sues Madigan

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007

* Special sessions: A job or a joke?

By refusing to meet at the time set by the governor, the lawsuit says, “in theory, Madigan would possess the unilateral authority to wait 10 years, if he so chooses, to convene a special session proclaimed by the governor for tomorrow.” It says a ruling from the court is imperative because “the governor intends to call additional special sessions in the near future to address significant issues facing the state. . .”

* State power struggle spills into third branch

In the lawsuit, which was filed by Blagojevich’s general counsel William Quinlan, the governor asks for a court order compelling Madigan to convene a special session with enough members present to vote on legislation on any date or time specified by the governor. Blagojevich also asks the court to order Madigan to follow the governor’s special session proclamations in the future.

Though Madigan has not challenged the governor’s authority to convene a special session, he has said the governor cannot compel attendance on any specific date or time.

In the lawsuit, Blagojevich claims he does have that authority, pointing to a state law that says the governor shall file any proclamations for a special session with the secretary of state, who “shall take whatever reasonable steps necessary to notify members of the General Assembly of the date and time of the special session.”

* Blagojevich sues Madigan

The House and the Senate did not conduct any substantial business during the 16 special sessions Blagojevich ordered this summer.

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown derided Blagojevich for exploiting the purpose of the original intent of special sessions: to deal with emergencies. Brown noted that the House had met every day — although not necessarily at the specific time — that Blagojevich had ordered.

“He’s making a farce of the special session process,” Brown said.

* Illinois governor sues over special sessions

The schism between the two and the showdown over the special sessions had an oddly unifying effect as Democrats and Republicans in the House lined up against the governor.

Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, a 12-year veteran of the Legislature, said there’s little disagreement even among his fellow Republicans about which of the two Democratic leaders is at fault in the conflict.

“I’ve been called into special session by (former Gov. Jim) Edgar, I’ve been called in by (former Gov.) George Ryan. And we always knew we were there for a real reason,” said Bost. “It wasn’t about personality issues.”

But with Blagojevich, “there was no need for any of these special sessions,” Bost said.

* Blago sues over special session fiasco

* Governor sues the Speaker

* Bethany Jaegar: Blago sues

* Rep. Fritchey: On the governor’s latest move

* Editorial: Blagojevich making a joke of government

- Posted by Paul Richardson   Comments Off      

Blago & Budget

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007

* New poll shows Blagojevich popularity dropping

* Michael Sneed: Tibdit on Blago

A Judy win? The election of Operating Engineers Local 150 chief Bill Dugan over Joe Ward is being seen as a loss for Gov. Blagojevich, who pushed Ward for the job as payback to Dugan and his local for strongly supporting former Illinois Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka in her gubernatorial bid.

* Opinion: Claim of ‘record investment’ in schools is hollow

llinois leaders boast that this budget is a win-win for schools, a “record investment” in education. However, the only winners under this budget are those same leaders who will take credit for improving school funding without taking real action to fix our broken school-funding system or strengthen state-supported services vital to the well-being of children and families.

As my grandmother would say: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This budget ignores the core problems plaguing Illinois schools, such as the too-heavy dependence on local property taxes, the disparity in resources available to rich and poor communities, the chronic funding shortfalls in districts across the state, denying many children access to a great education. This budget avoids any attempt to repair Illinois’ inadequate and unfair revenue system, leaving us unable to meet the basic needs of children and families.

* Eric Zorn: Even pork can get too greasy for the Governor

* Budget paring puts squeeze on care groups

- Posted by Paul Richardson   Comments Off      

Local Elections

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007

* Flores won’t seek Gutierrez seat, Cardenas still might

Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) and Cook County Commissioner Robert Maldonado withdrew immediately, and Ald. George Cardenas (12th) remains in play just in case Gutierrez changes course again.

“These decisions are made with deliberation,” said Flores, adding that Gutierrez didn’t persuade him. “I did this of my own accord. He’s my friend.”

* Grawley steps down as chief judge, eyes run for Congress

That doesn’t mean Grawey, 58, will leave the bench. Rather, he said he will remain a circuit judge but shed the responsibilities of the chief judge, which are largely administrative.

Grawey said the move would allow a transitional period if he did ultimately decide to run for the spot now held by U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria, who is retiring from the 18th Congressional District in January 2009. Under state law, Grawey would have to resign his judgeship if he did run.

* Waukegan attorney enters race for judge

- Posted by Paul Richardson   Comments Off      

Morning Shorts

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007

* BP gets break on soot limits

* Chicago dumps WiFi plan

* Law bans harassing by debt collectors

* CTA Tattler: CTA funding wrap up

* City colleges may train for casinos

No sooner had Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), owner of Ann Sather’s Restaurants, suggested that City Colleges branch out into casino training than Watson embraced the idea.

“A lot of people think of casino jobs as just being the person who deals the cards or runs the roulette table. That’s a small portion of casino jobs. A larger part is wait staff and support staff,” Watson said.

“Moving from where we kick off our hospitality program to actually training front-of-the-house casino employees is an easy step for us. When and if Chicago is approved for casinos, City Colleges stands ready to provide capacity and quality training for front-of-the-house casino jobs — all of it, including dealers.”

* Alderman Reilly to school: Share new field

- Posted by Paul Richardson   Comments Off      

* This just in... $12 million contribution to Leader Durkin, $2 million to Munger
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