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Blagojevich goes way over the top *** Updated x1 ***

Friday, Oct 12, 2007

* This has to be the weirdest, most bizarre threat that Gov. Blagojevich has ever issued…

Gov. Rod Blagojevich is threatening to lay off 1,800 of the state’s roughly 2,000 Illinois State Police troopers in January unless lawmakers approve key budget legislation soon.

“We simply can’t pay some of our bills,” Blagojevich spokesman Justin DeJong said Thursday.

The administration, which has been battling with lawmakers over the state budget for 10 months, didn’t deny that the move could have a devastating effect on the state’s crime fighting force. […]

Although lawmakers have approved a budget, separate legislation that gives the administration the authority to funnel it to specific programs has been held up as a bargaining chip over other issues, including a massive expansion of gambling that would pay for a $13 billion statewide construction spending program.

As the article notes, this is simply a “pressure” tactic on House Speaker Michael Madigan, the governor’s nemesis. But the threat is so ludicrous and would be so disastrous that nobody believes the governor is crazy enough to do it - although he has done some seriously crazy things in the past.

* More budget-related stories, compiled by Paul…

* Blagojevich aide’s conflict of interest revealed

* Senate votes to keep governor’s budget cuts

* Senate restores some of budget cuts by governor

* Senate Democrats motion to override Blagojevich’s cuts

* CTA to unveil next round of cuts today

* Pace meetings detail deep service cuts


*** UPDATE *** From Justin DeJong…

Hey Rich,

Wanted to make sure you knew the full story on the ISP situation in Lee News - because we aren’t threatening anyone, just laying out the facts - despite how headline reads.

The Illinois State Police depend upon BIMP legislation to pay a significant number of their front line officers (out of the Road Fund, which has taken place since 1984), and there has not been legislative action, despite this being the last day of veto session. Without this legislation, we simply can’t pay some of our bills - including salaries for state troopers. Layoffs are the last thing we’d want to happen and that’s why it’s imperative that legislators take action to pass these bills. New funding for schools and providers for those with developmental disabilities is also in jeopardy and the Illinois House needs to pass the BIMP bills so they can receive the money they are entitled to in the budget passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor.

ISP currently has funding for officers until January 1. If the BIMP is not passed by December 1 - only 6 weeks from now - ISP will need to issue layoff notices to approximately 1,800 of their officers. While funding levels were established in the budget passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor - we need the secondary legislation known as a Budget Implementation Act (BIMP) to make sure funds are transferred and available to make payments.

Hope this is helpful

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - schroedk - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 9:32 am:

    Oh…my….God. This “governor” has gone waaayyyy past embarrassing for this state.

    This threat of mass lay-offs of the State Police force shows one of two things:

    1) He doesn’t understand the tenet of “you only make threats that you can keep, otherwise, they’re ineffective threats”

    2) If he truly intends to keep to this threat, it pretty much adds to the continually mounting evidence that Blago has “gone over to the dark side” mentally.

    Or….maybe he’s just so cunning that he’s acting like this on purpose to 1) deflect attention away from his indictable legal issues, and/or 2) set up an insanity defense when the legal hammer comes down.

  2. - GettingJonesed - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 9:34 am:

    Could it be time for Mr/ I.M. NotInSane to reappear?
    What a mess!
    Now schools will get less money and
    state police are on the hot seat
    Perhaps some should reconsider which budget they wish to back
    Hard to believe these guys had not thought this all out before jumping on the BlunderBoy banwagon

  3. - Levois - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 9:38 am:

    Why does he think it’s even appropriate to play with the livelihoods of 1800 officers? This goes beyond cold and imagine the backlash if he goes thru with it. The backlash from the citizens and I suppose the fired state troopers.

  4. - Mr. W.T. Rush - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 9:45 am:

    Perhaps the SpinSisters BoyToy should reflect
    on the budget agreement that all four leaders agreed to back — through the veto override phase if necessary, determine if any leader has dropped the ball and ring that person up with a reminder.
    Mean time, ISP ought to spend their money real slooowwwwwwww!

  5. - News=Flash - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 9:47 am:

    All that matters is BLAGOJEVICH!

  6. - He makes Ryan Look like a Saint - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 9:57 am:

    Rich do the Gov Staffers not read the papers or study State History??? Kolaz’s company getting over 1 mil worth of state contracts? Does anyone remember MSI, Fawell and G.F.Ryan? They are firing people for minor things but the big guys are getting away with funneling 1 Million Dollars to their own companies? What was Kolaz score on the Ethic’s Test?

  7. - GoBearsss - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 10:03 am:

    Have no fear Governor, I don’t think the House will wait that long to pass a BIMP. Their local school superintendents won’t let them.

  8. - Leroy - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 10:09 am:

    Blagojevich should have taken a page from the Chicago play book and started throwing around the word “doomsday”, as in “a State Police Doomsday”.

    That way, he could capitalize on all the fearmongering the CTA is spending its time and resources marketing.

  9. - Just Maybe.... - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 10:12 am:

    …. the gov. ought to finally strap up his ‘testicular virility’ and start LEADING HIS administration for the good of Illinois CITIZENS for a change. When is enough, enough and time for a change?

  10. - steve schnorf - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 10:13 am:

    DeJong is absolutely technically correct on this. Once they spend their non-road-fund money, they won’t be able to make payroll, and lay-offs require notice. I’m sure most of us doubt it will really come to this.

  11. - VanillaMan - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 10:18 am:

    Hey Justin,

    Wanted to make sure you knew the full story on the ISP situation - because if your boss isn’t threatening anyone, just laying out the facts - he is going about it as unprofessionally as he possibly could. Your boss should consider trying being a governor, instead of an idiot.

    The Illinois State Police currently depends upon BIMP legislation to pay a significant number of their front line officers (out of the Road Fund, which has taken place since 1984), and there has not been legislative action, despite this being the last day of veto session. Without this legislation, we simply can’t pay some of our bills - including salaries for state troopers. Layoffs are not even considerable, nor should they even be mentioned. The last thing we’d want to happen is to claim that we cannot afford the Illinois State Police. The issue isn’t BIMP, it is a governor continuing a political tactic of rhetorical abuse and empty threats when he should be governing. He has had five years so far to learn his job, hasn’t he? ISP currently has funding for officers until January 1. If the BIMP is not passed by December 1 - only 6 weeks from now - ISP will need to find new revenue sources through the Governor and the General Assembly. While funding levels were established in the budget passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor - we need either the secondary legislation known as a Budget Implementation Act (BIMP) to make sure funds are transferred and available to make payments, or other revenue sources. But as long as we have a governor who is unable to reach out to his own party members within the General Assembly, he should consider other tactics to establish common goals that ensure Illinois continues to provide for it’s security.

    Hope this is helpful! :)

  12. - VanillaMan - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 10:22 am:

    The above uses the new Glenn Poshard standards now being used by SIU!

  13. - VanillaMan - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 10:23 am:

    Sorry about the “idiot” comment - I should have written something more like, “toothless bully”.

  14. - Cassandra - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 10:23 am:

    I suspect Blago is doing politics as usual, not going bonkers. Among governors nationally it seems to have become the fashion to threaten government shutdowns…or shutdowns of parts of government.
    Ever-gullible state residents seem to fall for it too.

    Next door in Michigan, Jennifer Granholm just did one of those government shutdown numbers in order to get a sales tax implemented…it worked, despite Michigan’s obvious economic woes.

    There is nothing new under the sun and that certainly applies to our Blago’s political tactics. Not a shred of originality.

  15. - Mr. W.T. Rush - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 10:36 am:

    Pass the BIMP now with the Blaggo budget cuts and school lose all kinds of money. Doubt the House will be interested in that
    Perhaps ISP could switch to skate boards?

  16. - Southern Right - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 10:44 am:

    This is typical of our Governor. The ammount of revenue generated by our Illinois State Ticket Writing Police could fund a small army. Obviously, his mouth is moving and stupid ideas are spewed out. So whether he is serious or not, it is to the point where SILENCE IS GOLDEN. He needs to stop embarrassing the residents of Illinois by making ignorant statements.

  17. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 10:46 am:

    The only troopers that will survive an ISP layoff are the troopers in charge of his “football.”

  18. - In the Land of Silos and Cows - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 10:52 am:

    Rich, the real question that needs to be asked is … Which of the 200 troopers left on the state payroll has to guard/carry the hairbrush? That is the question that should be on everyone’s lips.

  19. - ANON 10:51 - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 10:53 am:

    The Modern Mailing story is a hoot.
    Bauman gets all concerned about a vendor after letting Stu Levine run wild for years
    Talk about LOL
    Of course Bauman did find his ethics manual when the FBI banged on the door.

  20. - No Joke - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 11:23 am:

    Is it possible our Gov. is in need of rehab? I don’t mean this to be snide, hateful, or whatever, but progressively his actions are more and more bizarre. That’s not to say he doesn’t have a host of colleagues that may be in line as well…..

  21. - Squideshi - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 11:31 am:

    A few terms that come to mind:

    Mututally Assured Destruction (MAD)
    Dr. Strangelove

  22. - Ghost - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 12:13 pm:

    if they lay off ISP officer, then the trucks can speed up with the cars, after all, who is going to stop them.

    The Gov comment seems hollow. Didn’t he previously take the position on the govt shut down that the treasurer could pay state workers regardless of a budget or a bimp??? why would that position of the gov not hold true for ISP troopers as well??

  23. - Budget Watcher - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 12:29 pm:

    The layoff threat seems pretty hollow as the Governor insisted in July that an appropriations bill wasn’t necessary to pay state employees. Why now, would the absence of a BIMP bill necessitate massive layoffs? Technically, both bills are necessary in order to use the Road Fund, so why should the Governor use dissimilar reasoning now than he did in July?

  24. - Sick Of It! - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 12:41 pm:

    Just remember, in July it was Blago that would look bad if state employees didnt get paid. Now that he can say its all the speakers fault the troopers have to get those layoff notices.

  25. - Lula May - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 12:49 pm:

    Oh good. Now I can do 100mph on the toll with no ticket. Love it. Keep going Blago.

  26. - Angry Chicagoan - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 12:50 pm:

    You know what, He makes Ryan Look Like a Saint?

    He really does!

  27. - Captain America - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 12:59 pm:

    The Governor wanted to shut State government down, has promised to veto the Hamos bill, despite the absence of any viable alternative, and now is threatening to lay off most of our state troopers. It’s certainly all very counterintuitive. What is he thinking??

  28. - MOON - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 1:00 pm:

    Mr. Jones …A deal is a deal. Quit trying to out manuver the speaker. You made the promise to overide the gov. veto, now do it. You an Blago are a disgrace!

  29. - steve schnorf - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 1:00 pm:

    BW, I think that’s a stretch, but you could be right.

  30. - GoBearsss - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 1:38 pm:

    BW -

    I think your reasoning doesn’t really wash - Blago’s reasoning in July was that the State had a lot of money he could spend it on. That isn’t the case if they run out of money.

    But, if the revenue is coming in at a higher pace then, yes, he could apply the same reasoning to keep them there.

  31. - Budget Watcher - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 2:36 pm:


    Actually, what the Governor was saying earlier in the overtime was that the absence of an appropriations bill should not stop the Comptroller from issuing paychecks to state employees. Now he’s saying that mass layoffs to an agency responsible for the State’s public safety will result if there’s no BIMP, a proposed bill that, in essence, includes language that activates the Road Fund personal services appropriations.

    The main difference was that in July and August he didn’t like the appropriations bill that the House had passed, so his stance was that appropriations weren’t necessary. Now he has an acceptable budget (with vetoes intact) that has appropriations he can’t use until he gets a BIMP. So his stance on the legality of spending without appropriations has changed. And it’s pretty obvious he’s changing arguments for political effect, and the threat is so over-the-top as to be absurd.

  32. - The Mad Hatter - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 3:09 pm:

    The Illinois State Police? Off with their heads!

  33. - Good Citizens - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 3:09 pm:

    Justin and Boss, The people of IL are sick of your tatics. You were elected to be a leader not the laughing stock that you’ve made yourself.
    Justin, you’re a well spoken and written young man. Do yourself a favor and find something more worthwhile to do with your life. Arn’t you getting tired of all this rabble?

  34. - Lainer - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 3:29 pm:

    Some of the comments on the original Pantagraph article are pretty over the top too… makes me grateful for moderation :) Does anyone really take this threat seriously?

  35. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 3:33 pm:

    ===Some of the comments on the original Pantagraph article are pretty over the top too===

    I just went to look. Wow.

  36. - Lainer - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 4:03 pm:

    It’s the second most commented story on their website. As for the #1 most commented story… read those comments at your own risk. Seriously, though, that’s one reason I enjoy reading this blog. Even the most ignorant, sarcastic and uninformed commenters on this site (I’ll leave it up to you to decide who they are) are geniuses and saints compared to many of the commenters that show up on non-moderated or poorly moderated sites such as the Pantagraph and Peoria Journal Star.

  37. - The Mad Hatter - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 4:13 pm:

    I’m trying to type this while wiping the tears from my eyes from laughing so hard at the Pantagraph’s commenters. OMG! The inmates truly are running the asylum.

  38. - Lainer - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 4:33 pm:

    Speaking of bizarre threats… now the gov is actually threatening a December special session!? Add another nickname to the list: Governor Grinch.

  39. - missing the picture - Friday, Oct 12, 07 @ 6:41 pm:

    so which time was the Governor wrong? That means the speaker was wrong the other correct?

  40. - State police Sgt - Saturday, Oct 13, 07 @ 6:23 pm:

    When Blago lays off the troopers, none of his security detail has enough senority to stay on the job. IDIOT

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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