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This just in… Versace campaign shakeup *** CFL announces endorsements *** Guv raids wrong funds *** Daley gives thumbs up to “deal,” says gaming can wait ***

Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007

* 10:25 am - From what I gather this morning, Versace didn’t have a replacement lined up when Pearson left, so this is a bit odd

Congressional candidate Dick Versace and his campaign manager parted ways Monday.

The decision was mutual and amicable, Versace said. His former campaign manager, Alex Pearson, said he’s worked on numerous campaigns on the local, state and federal level, but declined to officially elaborate on his reasons for the abrupt departure.

* 10:44 am - If I were you, I’d watch CBS 2 tonight tomorrow night (long weekend and Wednesday session start has messed up my time awareness). That is all.

*** UPDATE *** Here’s a teaser. Watch the full report Wednesday at 10 pm.

* 10:48 am - Wyoming is now backing Illinois’ FutureGen bid

Gov. Dave Freudenthal has endorsed Illinois’ bid for a project that aims to refine coal gasification and other “clean” technologies for coal.

Freudenthal indicated his support for Illinois on the FutureGen project because officials there have agreed to share research and other information regarding clean coal technologies.

The administration appears to be doing a pretty good job at lining up support from other states. Rare show of competence?

* 10:54 am - From a press release

Lawyers for Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, will appear before a three-Judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals this morning at 9 a.m. to urge that a lower court ruling that Illinois begin producing “Choose Life” specialty license plates be overturned. The argument will take place in the appellate courtroom on the 27th floor of the Dirksen Federal Building at 219 South Dearborn Street – the corner of Adams and Dearborn Streets – in downtown Chicago. Each side will argue for twenty minutes before three appellate Judges, whose identities are never disclosed until the morning of the oral argument.

* 11:55 am - The Chicago Federation of Labor released its endorsement list today. I didn’t include the judge list, but Anne Burke was endorsed for Supreme Court. Dean T. Maragos, Kathleen Therese Meany and Cynthia Santos (the wife of Rep. Rich Bradley) got the nod for MWRD. Joe Berrios and Larry Rogers, Jr. were endorsed for the Board of Review.

The CFL endorsed Tom Allen for State’s Attorney, “because of his long record of fighting on behalf of working families as a Public Defender, attorney in private practice, and member of the Chicago City Council where he has served since 1993.”

Here are the rest…

* Dorothy Brown - Clerk of the Circuit Court
* Eugene “Gene” Moore - Cook County Recorder of Deeds

* Bob Fioretti – 2nd Ward Committeeman
* Pat Dowell – 3rd Ward Committeeman
* Sandi Jackson – 7th Ward Committeeman
* Toni L. Foulkes – 15th Ward Committeeman
* JoAnn Thompson – 16th Ward Committeeman
* Willie B. Cochran – 20th Ward Committeeman
* Sharon Denise Dixon – 24th Ward Committeeman
* John A. Fritchey – 32nd Ward Committeeman
* John Corrigan – 42nd Ward Committeeman
* Patrick J. Levar – 45th Ward Committeeman

*** 1:37 pm *** I heard the AP folks were working on this yesterday. Apparently, the governor is taking money from at least two different bond series than he said he would…

State records show that Governor Rod Blagojevich propped up Chicago mass transit systems with money intended for other purposes.

The Chicago Transit Authority and its suburban counterpart were about to run out of money earlier this month when Blagojevich gave them $27 million while lawmakers try to reach a permanent solution.

Aides at the time said the grant was coming from money set aside for railroad and rapid transit systems. But Blagojevich took $22 million from money reserved for bricks-and-mortar construction, highways and energy projects.

The story goes on to say that the governor’s office won’t respond to inquiries about the apparently illegal skim. Huh. Imagine that.

What he’s done here is raided cash from bond funds that have nothing to do with public transportation. This won’t exactly help his cause with Downstate legislators who are already worried about the prospect of using GRF money for his proposed transit bailout.

*** UPDATE *** The AP has added to its original brief…

The $27 million technically is from a bond fund set up for mass transit and aviation projects. But only $4.6 million was in that account to start.

The day he announced the stopgap, Blagojevich transferred $10.2 million in bond money reserved for coal development and alternative energy projects, $7.4 million for highway construction and $4.8 million for general building projects.

*** 1:51 pm *** Daley’s endorsement of the transit “deal” means more pressure will now be exerted on Gov. Blagojevich to release his five House Democratic votes tomorrow, and on Senate President Emil Jones, who is facing stiff opposition in his caucus to doing any transit deal before a capital bill is finalized…

Following Madigan’s lead, [Mayor] Daley today endorsed a plan by Gov. Blagojevich and Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) to redirect at least $385 million a year in state sales taxes on fuel to mass transit. The mayor said he’s optimistic the plan will pass both legislative houses at Wednesday’s special session.

Hizzoner also appeared to back Speaker Madigan’s refusal to hurry up a deal on the gaming bill, which will provide cash for the capital plan…

But, the mayor said a casino deal that has eluded the General Assembly for more than a decade cannot be pulled together during a special session.

“It’s very complicated - especially when you go into the casino issue. It’s very, very complicated,” he said.

* 2:48 pm - Funny, touching tribute to the late John Drury [Another one is here]…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - DeepFriedOnAStick - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 11:08 am:

    My money says a rare show of competence is unlikely. More likely is that Wyoming recognized that an Illinois plant would be in its economic interest.

  2. - curious - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 11:09 am:

    Rich, Should we CBS 2 at 6p or 10p? Why?

  3. - Ghost - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 11:11 am:

    I do not know who is behind getting us all of the futuregen support, but they deserve some big recognition and a promotion :)

    it appears they have been leaving this person alone to work and not letting the gov interfere

  4. - Levois - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 11:11 am:

    I was never aware that there were anything resembling pro-abortion plates. If that’s true then there should be “pro-life” plates. It’s only fair. I wonder why Jesse White insists that there must be special legislation to approve the “choose life” plates. It’s unfortunate that such a proposal can’t even get out of committee and that our state’s top official have to be a party to a court case.

  5. - fedup dem - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 11:42 am:

    A change in campaign managers for Versace isn’t that critical at this point in time, since he has no primary opposition. As long as he has his organization lined up by the time of the February 5 Primary (so that he can begin the nine-month general election campaign smoothly and effectively), he should be in good shape.

  6. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 11:58 am:

    Unfair tease on the chennel 2 news thing, Rich. If you cant give anything more than that, you should give nothing at all.

  7. - DumberThanYouThink - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 12:34 pm:

    Yeah Rich what are the going to say we aree foing now…playing Wiffle ball all day with Fumbles and Wymaramabama?
    What’s a guy supposed to do? sit around and listen to Giggles and the SpinSisters or take all those calls for the real estate company?
    Besides no one watches the news anyomore anyway, they like Dancing With the Stars. Wanna see my Tango w/Tessa?

  8. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 12:37 pm:

    Don’t give up on the gov. He is trying to mess up the bid. In August, he cut the State Geological Survey fairly deeply with his veto pen. The Geological Survey is the key agency in the science behind the bid and the gov cut their equipment budget by 90% as well as a couple of staff positions.

  9. - Levois - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 1:01 pm:

    That’s a short endorsement list.

  10. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 1:05 pm:

    The Tom Allen endorsement is no surprise. He and his family have been very involved in organized labor (family members are organizers/officers) so it looks like an obvious choice. It will be tough replacing Devine, but Allen should do a great job.

  11. - nobody sent - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 1:09 pm:

    there’s actually a versace campaign to shake up? Is that like rearranging your home office?

  12. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 1:10 pm:

    The other endorsement that stands out is Sandi Jackson. It looks like a replay of the spring, with Sandi and the Beavers family.
    Is there anybody left who supports Beavers?
    I’m just curious as to who the CFL will endorse in 3+ years when Sandi or her husband takes on Daley. Either Jackson would be a big step up from the current mayor.

  13. - phocion - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 1:28 pm:

    Guess I’m out of step, but I thought Corrigan was stepping aside for Ald. Reilly for the 42nd ward committeeman spot.

  14. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 1:30 pm:

    Yep, you’re out of step.

  15. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 1:38 pm:

    Actually, it was the opposite. John was always the first choice of all involved for that position.
    By the way, does any elected official have higher approval in Chicago than Reilly? I don’t think any polls are out there, but from the talk in the ward, he’s far more popular now than even when he was elected. What a way to start off a career. Everyone I talk to think he’s the best thing that has happened to 42 in 37 years.

  16. - beavis - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 1:39 pm:

    John Corrigan is nothing short of a Superstar, (ala Mary Katharine Gallagher) - watch out for that guy!

  17. - Levois - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 2:05 pm:

    I saw a column that said Beavers could lose his Commissioner’s seat that he got nominated for during that whole ordeal with Todd Stroger. I had no idea Beavers’ stock is so far down right now. Is it because of the whole Stroger thing?

  18. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 2:12 pm:

    That was my column. It may be partly because of Stroger, but it’s mostly because of himself.

  19. - Ghost - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 2:21 pm:

    Blago slips Daley a tax increase as a not well veiled offer to get his support. Madigan blames Daley for being part of the problem that has led CTA RTA to its current problem. Daley supports Madigan in a bailout that divorces itself from a capital plan. Blago wants the bailout and capital plan combined. Seems like Blago’s clout has reached an all time low where he can get garner support even with an incentive to Daley; and Daley tosses in on the side of his criticiser.

  20. - phocion - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 2:28 pm:

    Nice, Rich. And, Beavis, please…Corrigan a “superstar?” Maybe in the world of machine hackdom. Reilly’s really The Class of 42. Not smart for Brendan to let the Committeeman out of his grasp, though.

  21. - MOON - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 2:28 pm:


    I do not recall Madigan being critical of Daley. Can you refresh my memory about this?

  22. - Ghost - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 2:45 pm:

    MOON scroll down to the “Transit Roundup” blog for today. I suppose it would be more accurate to say madigans spokesmen Brown was critical of Daley.

  23. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 2:50 pm:

    Wrong Brown, Ghost. That’s not Steve Brown’s column, it’s Mark Brown’s column.

  24. - MOON - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 2:53 pm:


    The Brown you are referring to is Mark Brown, a reporter for the Sun-Times, unrelated to Madigan.

    Steve Brown, Madigan’s spoke person made no reference to Daley!

  25. - Ghost - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 2:55 pm:

    Doh! my bad

  26. - Ghost - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 2:56 pm:

    Well this of course makes more sense…I wondered why Madigan would be critical of Daley at this moment in time….

  27. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 2:56 pm:


  28. - Doodles - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 2:57 pm:

    If the $27 million bail-out really used bond funds for operating expenses, then that’s a no-no. Could come back to haunt the State if any auditors notice (doyathink?) or the bond rating agencies notice (headline: Illinois’ bond rating drops to junk bond status).

  29. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 3:00 pm:

    Once again, an erroneous assumption presented as fact on transit.

    The state bond money replaced federal bond money, which was what was actually spent on operations. The feds approved the use of federal bond money for operations.

  30. - Fredbyrd - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 3:02 pm:

    Credit for lining up states to support Illinois in its FutureGen efforts should probably go to K Street mega lobbyists Cassidy & Associates. DCEO hired the firm and recently extended the contract. Your tax dollars at work/play.

  31. - beavis - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 3:07 pm:

    Thanks for the John Drury clips Rich, he was a great anchor and a really nice person. You know they are sad over at Ch. 7 when even Sarah Schulte starts to cry on the air.

    It was also good to see Joel Daly in that clip, why did they make him wear a fat suit?

  32. - beavis - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 3:10 pm:

    Phocion - it was sarcasm. Mary Katharine Gallagher is a superstar only in her own mind who gets a buzz from sniffing her own B.O.

    That’s the reference. Thanks for making me explain it, lot less funnier now. I even gave you the link.

  33. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 3:14 pm:

    “…Blagojevich transferred $10.2 million in bond money reserved for coal development and alternative energy projects…”

    Good news about the FutureGen bid is followed by news of the Gov. backing over it. Don’t count us in yet.

  34. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 3:26 pm:

    Good point, P.

  35. - phocion - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 3:55 pm:

    Sorry Beavis for my knee jerk reaction. It still IS funny.

  36. - 312 - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 4:06 pm:

    I saw the Channel 2 promo last night and nearly fell off my chair - ‘getting paid $155k a year’ - ‘doesn’t show up for work’ - and flashy, gotcha graphics that even made ME pay attention. It was like the campaign ad that the opposition WISHES they could do,

    Its not telling us insiders something new — but Joe + JoAnn voter are going to be in for a surprise… That’s if they even watch the news!

  37. - Steve Brown - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 4:37 pm:

    All us Brown’s sound alike.

  38. - GoBearsss - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 4:55 pm:

    Charming mudslingers? I see it.

  39. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 4:58 pm:

    lol. Now, now.

  40. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 5:03 pm:

    Mud is a much maligned substance. And to be able to sling it without getting any on the self is, well, just artistry, and to be admired.

  41. - DumberThanYouThink - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 5:21 pm:

    The fund I tapped for the RTA giveaway also has the money we hav not spent on Peotone. Hope no one notices.

  42. - JonShibleyFan - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 5:23 pm:

    “By the way, does any elected official have higher approval in Chicago than Reilly?”

    Hmmm…I seem to recall one other guy…a bit obscure…already holds one office, but I think he might be pursuing another.

    Gosh, can’t remember his name. Barry? Brock? Last name something with an O, I think…

    It should come to me soon enough.

  43. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 5:40 pm:

    Does anyone know who is running the Oprah for VP campaign? Is Obama’s organization working on it? Just curious.

  44. - GoBearsss - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 5:42 pm:

    Oprah for VP would be kinda fun:

    “You get healthcare! You get healthcare! You get healthcare!”

  45. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 5:47 pm:

    “And a car to get there” - To your Healthcare! Wow, this may sprout wings.

  46. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 6:58 pm:

    You are right. That Obama guy (who used to represent parts of 42 — what it is it with people with ties to 42?) is pretty popular.
    So maybe Reilly is second most popular. Still, not bad for a guy most people never heard of a year ago.

  47. - Levois - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 7:04 pm:

    LOL!!! It’s too bad that I won’t be in the Chi (a hip nickname for Chicago for those who aren’t hip) to watch that report on TV. Hopefully the reliable World Wide Web will come to the rescue!

  48. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 7:06 pm:

    I’m gonna ask for a live feed.

  49. - GoBearsss - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 8:17 pm:

    Rich - don’t you think it will be a little awkward to run that story while broadcasting live from Springfield where “Governor Blagojevich just announced that his CTA compromise plan passed the House”?

    Though, I am sure Flannery can swing a nice transition - he is pretty talented.

  50. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 8:30 pm:

    I meant a live feed of the story’s broadcast for the blog.

  51. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 8:31 pm:

    And the guv better make sure Huffman and Cross and their crews actually vote for this bill, or there will be no story about passing anything tomorrow. Not sure they are yet.

  52. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 8:37 pm:

    I’m still not clear on what will be reported on that CBS story.

    Are they claiming that a fire on the West Side is preventing people from doing their $155,000 per year jobs?

    Or are they not showing up for work because of an auto accident?

    Or is it because they were too worried about suburban POs with missing spouses?

    I just can’t believe that CBS will run a story that doesn’t mention a fire, a car accident, or a missing spouse.

  53. - hmmmm - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 9:50 pm:

    Rich, I think GoBears meant that Flannery will probably be reporting live from the capitol tomorrow, so he might have an awkward transition from his Gov just got something done piece, to his Gov must sit on the couch all day because he didn’t grant me an interview piece. At least, if they get people to vote on it and actually decide to accomplish something.

    Flannery’s story may have been relevant last year during the campaign when the Gov worked out of his campaign office all year, but I don’t know if the Gov’s behavior still fits the mold Flannery seems to want to say.

    I can tell you first-hand that I see that black suburban pulled up at the thompson center almost every day. I think his troubles this year must have made him self-conscious about his past habits. And we know he was in springfield all summer, though we have suffered mightily because of it.

  54. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 10:15 pm:

    hmmmm, I don’t think you have a close personal relationship with the truuuuth. Ever hear about the old cop trick of parking an empty squad car in the median or other places to induce people to slow down? Sure would be easy to do with a Suburban. Oh, and BTW, 3 other protectees really work in the Thompson Center and could have been transported there in that vehicle.

    “in Springfield all summer?” I guess if you consider up and backs via Super King Air “in Springfield.”

    Bring it on, Flannery. I love your work.

  55. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Nov 27, 07 @ 10:22 pm:

    I just wonder how many look alikes elvis, uh I mean guv, really has???

  56. - John - Wednesday, Nov 28, 07 @ 12:20 am:

    look alikes? sending an empty car to sit somewhere to make it look like he is at the office?

    Talk about not having a close personal relationship with the truth…

    I hope you don’t buy any of that bull you are spreading. But if you do, I know where you can get tin-foil by the yard, too.

  57. - Bill - Wednesday, Nov 28, 07 @ 5:53 am:

    The governor balances the tremendous responsibilities of being the state’s chief executive with his family responsibilities. He works long hours. His location at any given time is irrelevant as long as he continues to do the people’s business. My guess is that he works a lot more hours per week than Flannery who spends most of his time during the middle of the day at Starbucks reading the Capitol Fax blog and ripping off material from Rich. If its OK for Flannery to “work” from home, why is he slamming Blagojevich. Just another useless hatchet job by Mike. His lawsuit against Weller’s goon must not be going well. Maybe Mike should move his family to Springfield so he can really do his job for a change.

  58. - DumberThanYouThink - Wednesday, Nov 28, 07 @ 7:52 am:

    There is actually no evidence that I really do anything —from home, office, Campaign HQ, the real estate shop, etc. Mostly I go for the run, play Wiffle ball, and give Fumbles the OK wink when he asks giving something else to Wymabamarama.
    Hope Flannery doesn’t wear that tie!

  59. - Bill - Wednesday, Nov 28, 07 @ 7:59 am:

    You really are dumber than I thought. Your production this session pretty much sums up your relevance.

  60. - Bill - Wednesday, Nov 28, 07 @ 8:00 am:

    But that’s ok. Just blame Rod like everyone else does.

  61. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Nov 28, 07 @ 8:54 am:

    When Flannery goes on my payroll, I will start commenting on his production and his work habits.
    Blago’s on my payroll now. As such, his “effort” matters to me.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* 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.
* Thomas Francis McGuire interviewed on NTNM
* Random thoughts.

* 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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