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Governor Hockey Puck

Friday, Nov 30, 2007

* The governor’s decision to skip the House floor debate on the mass transit bailout plan in favor of attending a Blackhawks game sure looks like it has “legs”. The SJ-R editorializes today

As these and many other initiatives blew up in Blagojevich’s face, the governor withdrew more and more. He calls special sessions without showing up. He attends hockey games in Chicago while important votes are taken in Springfield. And, according to Flannery, he spends much of his “work” time at home. He is not connected to the process — and that is untenable. But why?

We are not trying to be flippant when we say this — the governor appears afraid. But you can’t govern scared. And if you can’t govern, you should not be governor.

I don’t think he’s afraid. I just think he prefers the bunker. In the bunker, you can’t hear anybody scream at you.

* Blagojevich tried to explain his attendance, but nobody really bought it…

The governor said he had been invited to the first home game under new Blackhawks president John McDonough and that he chose to attend as a favor to McDonough, “an act to help him as a friend.”

Blagojevich wouldn’t say if he would consider reimbursing the state Treasury for the $5,800 it cost to use a state plane to shuttle him from Springfield to Chicago and back again to watch a sporting event on a day he ordered lawmakers to be in Springfield.

He was ridiculed in the House, where Rep. Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein) brought a hockey stick to the House floor to make a point.

“If he’s truly up there working on commerce, that’s one thing. But this is him going to a hockey game to enjoy himself at the expense of the people of the state of Illinois. You can’t get any more plain than that,” said Sullivan, who called on the governor to cut a check to the taxpayers for his airfare.

* The Republicans picked up on it, as did just about everyone else at the Statehouse…

Politically embarrassing visual evidence of Blagojevich watching the Blackhawks at the United Center dominated conversation Thursday in the Statehouse, where lawmakers were perplexed by the governor’s lack of support for a solution he publicly endorsed.

“Perhaps a stint in the penalty box would be appropriate,” said Rep. Bill Black (R-Danville).

Senate Republican leader Frank Watson of Greenville, who is working with the governor on a multibillion-dollar public-works program, said Blagojevich’s absence is a failure of leadership that hurts the state.

“The governor has a way of governing that baffles me,” Watson said.

* Speaking of the Republicans, the Illinois Republican Party has announced a new contest: “Governor for a day”. From a press release…

In light of the recent expose on the carefree lifestyle led by Governor Rod Blagojevich, the Illinois Republican Party is conducting a special drawing across the state to make one lucky Illinoisan Governor for a Day.

“While we can’t give you a $155,000 taxpayer funded paycheck to do nothing, we will attempt to come close by giving you what we believe one day in the life of Rod Blagojevich might be like,” said ILGOP Spokesperson Lance Trover.

The winner of Governor for a Day will begin the day at the hour of their choice. From then, they will be ushered to a salon for a haircut and massage. Following their time at the salon they will be treated to a first-class lunch which will be followed by a tour of the City of Chicago including visits to the Sears Tower and other Chicago landmarks. Ensuring they are treated just like our current governor, the winners will end their day by attending a Chicago Blackhawk’s game.

“While it is clear this sort of lifestyle is normal for Rod Blagojevich on any given day, it’s far from normal for the average Illinoisan,” added Trover. “Hopefully this day will give one hardworking Illinoisan the opportunity to live like the Governor they help fund with their hard earned tax dollars.”

The special drawing will kick off at noon on Friday, November 30, in front of the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago and the Illinois Capitol in Springfield. ILGOP staff will be present handing out free drawing tickets at both locations.

To ensure all Illinoisans have a shot at being Governor for a Day, anyone can email their name and contact information to and they will be assigned a specific number for Wednesday’s drawing. One entry per person.

The winning number will be announced on at noon on Wednesday, December 5, 2007.

Best of luck to all entrants. And just remember: being Governor of Illinois is not hard work, as long as you don’t show up.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Governor for a day - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 10:01 am:

    Just pay me (Blago’s salary) and I’ll stay home.

  2. - beavis - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 10:01 am:

    (reposted from morning shorts comments)


    In today’s fax you mentioned that Blago didn’t want to break his promise to the Blackhawks.

    Perhaps he didn’t want to break plans with one of his top sponsors either. Clearly seen in the footage from the game is the person sitting next to Blago on the other side. Multi-multi-millionaire Bruce Liimatainen the CEO of Finkl Steel.


    “huh huh, he said testicular”
    - beavis

  3. - What planet is he from again? - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 10:05 am:

    I wonder if that includes airfare to/from Chicago?

  4. - OneMan - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 10:06 am:

    I would like to think a freind would understand it if I couldn’t make it to the game beacause I had a state to run or some arms to twist on transit.

  5. - No CO2 - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 10:11 am:

    The Governor signed the midwest greenhouse gas reduction pact on Nov. 15th. A roundtrip flight to see a hockey game uses roughly 600 gallons of aviation fuel, which in turn produces 11,000 pounds of carbon (18.355 lbs/gallon). The Governor can offset his hockey carbon footprint for $64.95 from

    The carbon footprint of a transit meltdown is exponentially larger.

    Note: One could travel 28,000 miles on a commercial airline and have the same carbon footprint.

  6. - Ghost - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 10:11 am:

    Didn’t Blago say yesterday that he went to the game as part of official State buisness? Now he says it was to aid a friend?

    As I commented yesterday to Bill, the gov’s lack of support for his own solution cries out as poor leadership. A hockey game seems appropriate, as out governor lives the life of Shakespear’s Puck.

  7. - Do as I say, not as I do - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 10:29 am:

    Just throw the Illinois state ethics exam out, immediately. It’s not worth the paper or memory it’s written on.

  8. - Nobody Cares - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 10:38 am:

    But really, who is going to care? Rod’s use of taxpayer money for personal use is a spit in the desert compared to the wasted days and wasted nights amassed by his colossally corrupt administration - directors, managers (they manage to stay out of sight, probably at home just like Rod), the chauffer/stud service guy who is now a do-nothing at IDOT, veterans jobs given to hangers-on wives who of course are do-nothings as well.

    Nobody cares and Rod knows it.

  9. - Levois - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 10:47 am:

    Calling the governor a hockey puck is an insult to hockey pucks!

  10. - jerry 101 - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 10:49 am:

    Would the ILGOoP be upset if a democrat won their little contest…cuz I’m thinking of running over to the Thompson center…

  11. - Wacker Drive - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 10:55 am:

    Jerry 101-
    Even a democrat would be a vast improvement from Blago.

  12. - blagoman - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 11:19 am:

    Well heck the Cubs were not in town. What do you expect the Guv to do on a Thursday night?

  13. - Dan, a voter - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 11:35 am:

    blagoman - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 11:19 am:

    Well heck the Cubs were not in town. What do you expect the Guv to do on a Thursday night?
    I hate to expect to much, but would it be out of the question for the alleged Governor to DO HIS JOB? If I remember correctly one of his many campaign lies was about how “hard he works” not plays.

  14. - MOON - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 12:10 pm:

    Where’s Bill when Blago needs him?

  15. - Ghost - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 12:15 pm:

    MOON school house rocks I think sums it up…

    “Boy: Gee, Bill, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage….”

    Bill: Yeah, I’m one of the lucky ones. Most bills never even get this far. I hope they decide to report on me favorably, otherwise I may die.”

  16. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 12:24 pm:

    Give Bill a break. He can’t be on his game every day.

    Oops. I said “game.”

  17. - A Citizen - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 12:32 pm:

    There is an old saying that a Grand Jury can indict a Ham Sandwich. That’s Noth’n. In Illinois they can elect a Hockey Puck Governor!

  18. - Political Observer - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 12:53 pm:

    This is too easy to write about but the poingant part of the Gov’s response in the interview was to immediately comment that it was a good game and to recite the score. This only shows the disdain he has for public concern; he gives a flippant answer to a serious question.
    He took an oath to support the Constitution and then ignores totally the balance of power systems in it when he does not get the legislative or JCAR approvals he seeks. Even when there are 177 votes against his proposals, he says he will do things his way regardless.
    Unfortunately a recent reader letter to the editor of the Springfield paper noted correctly that we do NOT need a Constitutional change for recall because we blew our chance on this exactly 12 months ago by re-electing him by a large margin that only feeds an already bloated ego.
    ‘Nuff said….

  19. - Gregg - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 12:54 pm:

    Blago will have plenty of time to play “Hockey” with his cell mate “Bubba” Why are the Feds not going after this clown????

  20. - DC - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 1:18 pm:

    I noticed that there haven’t been any bills for the next session “pre-filed” yet. Anyone want to bet that one of the first bills will be “An Act in Relation to the Office of the Governor”? Seems like a good bill for Fritchey-Franks. That would certainly attract the attention of Joe Handley and maybe even the Governor himself, provided he can access the IL GAs website from his home office.

  21. - Dan, a voter - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 1:18 pm:

    - Gregg - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 12:54 pm:
    Blago will have plenty of time to play “Hockey” with his cell mate “Bubba” Why are the Feds not going after this clown????

  22. - Who Knows? - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 1:19 pm:

    “…he chose to attend as a favor to McDonough, “an act to help him as a friend.”

    I’m betting that McDonough really doesn’t NEED the gov’s “an act to help him as a friend.”

    Maybe though, McDonough could reciprocate and teach the gov how to lead and how to govern as “an act to help him as a friend.”

  23. - Princeville - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 1:26 pm:

    I kinda liked when it was said that promoting the Blackhawks was part of the governor’s duties. But then that fell apart for me when I realized that if promotion was the goal, then why was it announced all day on the news that Blago would be attending to help support/promote?

  24. - Captain America - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 1:26 pm:

    The juxtaposition of the Flannery expose with the mass transit-hockey game incident did real political damage to the Governor. Even an apathetic, uninformed public undersatnds that the Governor’s personal prioirties are seriously misplaced.

  25. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 1:26 pm:

    Who paid for the flight back to Chicago so he could attend the hockey game? The Blackhawks?

  26. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 1:29 pm:


  27. - DC - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 1:36 pm:

    Thus the “official” nature of the trip. It’s another example of how, by itself it’s not that big a deal, but collectively shows an alarming pattern of incompetence, poor judgement, lack of prioritization and a lack of commitment to do something of substance with the General Assembly. He had the transit issue right where he needed it. He could have (and should have) been on the House floor ensuring the bill passed (regardless of what you think of the bill). Had he done that, he could have salvaged the remaining 36 months of his term. What he did, by going to the hockey game, was essentially relegate his office as irrelevant for the next 3 years. It’s astonishing to witness this train wreck but at least it makes life interesting and economically rewarding for Rich :-)

  28. - Anonymoose - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 1:39 pm:

    Eddie Sullivan was being interviewed on Channel 2 for its follow up piece yesterday and Hack Franks walked by and playfully lowered his shoulder into Sullivan so he got knocked out of the picture. For two guys who like to get press by bashing Blago for his lack of gravitas, it sure made them both look like a couple of frat boys.

  29. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 1:44 pm:

    Who paid for the seat at the Blackhawks game that the governor sat in?

  30. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 1:47 pm:

    Good question.

  31. - Slugo - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 2:01 pm:

    In your fax this morning Rich you talked about the Governor’s nack for recalling tons of sports minutiae. Makes me think he might be an idiot savant…..but without the savant part.

  32. - The Curmudgeon - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 2:01 pm:

    OK, I’m persuaded that the hockey story has caused Blago damage — I thought at first that he’d skated by again.

  33. - Anonymous - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 2:03 pm:

    This is pretty funny. Dan Curry of Reverse Spin is asking who’s Rod on a conference call with before dawn ? This stuff from the Governors people just gets more and more stupid every day.

  34. - Princeville - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 2:05 pm:

    The Suntimes makes it sound like it was a guest pass type ticket, he was invited as a guest of John McDonough. Maybe Mr McDonough would like to pay the taxpayers back for the air fare as part of the invitation. But then I suppose that would not be fair to ask, I’m sure the gentleman didn’t know when the invitation was issued that Blago should have been doing more important state business, and even if he did, it’s not his fault Blago took him up on the offer.

  35. - Little Egypt - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 2:31 pm:

    Not only would I like to know who paid for the Blackhawks ticket but how do we find out if, how much money, and when John McDonough has contributed to Elvis’ campaign? It’s hard to believe Elvis would have gone to that game and been as visible to the press had there not been some big bucks waiting in the wings for his campaign war chest. The promise of money would definitely make one act like such a fool. And we all know how much Blago likes money.

    I don’t believe for a minute that Blago is in the bunker because he doesn’t want to hear the screaming. He’s definitely hiding from a whole lot of issues and people. One can only hope that with his newly developed case of agoraphobia, he won’t be over it until well beyond the next election.

  36. - WARDOG - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 2:34 pm:

    Rod Blagojevich’s first term can be catagorized as “disappointing”, but so far his second term is “Howdy Doodyism at its highest”. All who voted him in for a second term should be proud of themselves and there has been a big increase in the sales of Tylenol PM. God help us if there should be a third term. “IN OMNIA PARATUS”.

  37. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 2:47 pm:

    All I could think after watching the Ch 2 report and listening to the Gov defend his jaunt to the Hawks game was that he has no clue about what the job requires.

    There is a reason why lobbyists and others go to Springfield to meet with legislators face-to-face.

  38. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 2:54 pm:

    From Bethany Jaeger at Illinois Issues discussing special sessions: “The governor’s office says at least they’re in the same building and more likely to meet. “They’ve made little noticeable progress over the past several weeks when they were not in session,” said Abby Ottenhoff, Blagojevich’s spokeswoman, in an e-mail. “When they are in session, they are at least talking and working toward a solution.””

    The legislators seem to get along and they have some plans, they don’t need to meet with each other. The problem is ROD! Rod’s not there! Rod’s not likely to meet anybody when he’s sitting at home or going to a Hawks game. I continue to be amazed at the constant stream of hypocritical quotes from the Gov’s office.

  39. - Garp - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 3:24 pm:

    When I heard about this incident I thought, who are his advisors? Someone like a his Chief of Staff or PR person has to step in and say “Bad move Rod. They are doing a story about how you don’t work hard and stay in Chicago and sluff off and to fly in to see a hockey game on the tax payers dime on the day you call a special session because of no money for transportation is stupid.”

    Then I watched the clip and their is his Chief of Staff yucking it up along with him. No wonder Daley let that Harris guy go. This is truly the height of arrogance or stupidity. I am not sure which.

  40. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 3:25 pm:

    It’s not his advisors. The problem is him.

    Also, did you notice that Wyma was there too?

  41. - DC - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 3:25 pm:

    Somewhere in southern Illinois right now, Mike Lawrence is shaking his head in abject disbelief at the lack of credibility from the Governor’s press folks. I know Rebecca Rausch was destined for a Pulitzer Prize at WICS, but she and others have become victims of their own talking points. At least when Mike Lawrence was press secretary, people took his word as the truth. I think the Governor would be better served by not even having press people. All they do is deny, defer and deflect, issue no comments, and accuse journalists of being sleazy. That’s a great way to get your message to the masses.

  42. - Reggie Dunlap - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 3:34 pm:

    The word everyone is looking for is simply “TEFLON”.
    Nothing will or ever stick to “his supreme highness” Blagojevich.
    He does whatever wants whenever he wants, end of story.

  43. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 3:35 pm:

    Teflon is incorrect. He’s at 27 percent in the polls. Everything sticks to him now.

  44. - Reggie Dunlap - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 3:38 pm:

    27% is good day according to Rod. To bad it wasn’t that mystical number 23%..

  45. - DC - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 3:39 pm:

    Governor Charmin!

  46. - Reggie Dunlap - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 3:42 pm:

    Rod looks like the guy who threw the bottle at one of the Hanson Bros. in Slapshot.

  47. - Bookworm - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 3:45 pm:

    If the lucky winner really wants to experience a day in the life of Blago, he or she should spend it in the company of 1) pharmacists and real estate developers with lots of money, 2) clueless twenty-something advisers, 3) Dick Gephardt or some other has-been politician out shilling for universal healthcare, 4) an entourage of state troopers, 5) an Elvis impersonators luncheon or 6) all of the above. Of course, that wouldn’t be much of a prize, would it?

  48. - A Citizen - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 3:51 pm:

    In the absence of Bill to advise me I am going to fall back on the true test of when we can believe guv has turned over a new leaf. To wit: He’ll appear with a Flat top haircut or shave his head and appear as a baldy. Barring that I think he’ll continue over and over in the same M.O. like a loop tape. Surely Rich, you can airbrush a flat top or conehead look (or both) and give us all hope?

  49. - Mr. Wizard - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 3:58 pm:

    Speaking of the health care plan, there is a letter today in the SJ-R suggesting the Treasurer cannot legally write checks to pay for Blago’s “expanded” program. Shouldn’t that be a Comptroller issue?

  50. - Political Observer - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 4:03 pm:

    Rich, you wrote:
    Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 3:35 pm:

    Teflon is incorrect. He’s at 27 percent in the polls. Everything sticks to him now.

    I have to disagree. If stuff is sticking to him that is only the perception of the press and political junkies like us who read you site. No offense cause I think this place is great, but the masses of voters and other citizens do nothing.
    As long as he is not indicted, I believe that the Gov will do as he d— well pleases without regard to public opinion or the law.
    So, stick or not, there seem to be no consequences. We paid for his flight to attend a game in seats none of us could buy. What is sticking?

  51. - DC - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 4:06 pm:

    A Day in the Life:

    6 a.m. — conference call with someone (imagine the character Frank Shirley from Christmas Vacation - “Get me somebody, anybody — and get me somebody while I’m waiting!”)

    6:20-7am — ESPN SportsCenter

    7am -7:20 — spend time with kids

    7:20 - 8am — ESPN SportsCenter

    8am - 8:20 — call JRTC and Springfield office, tell them to cancel all appointments for today, I’m too busy governing to meet with people.

    8:25-8:30: Leave voicemail for campaign office to call me immediately.

    8:30 - call campaign office back again - leave 2nd message

    8:30 -9am — ESPN SportsCenter

    9am — talk with campaign hq - get fundraising schedule and other worthless briefing materials

    9:20 - 10 — ESPN

    10am -12Noon — Run 10K and then listen to Elvis station on Sirius Satellite

    12noon -1:30 — get driver to take me to favorite place for lunch; make sure receipt is sent included on travel voucher.

    1:30-1:40 — (private break)

    1:40 - 2:50 — shower and get hair styled

    2:50-3PM — talk with Chief of Staff to find out how bad Springfield people are whining today

    3PM -3:15 — find out what tonight’s major media story will be then email funny comeback ideas to deputy governors.

    3:15 - 4PM — ESPN SportsCenter

    4PM - 5PM — Nap from exhaustion of “governing”

    5PM — get dressed for big fundraiser

    5:30 — get to taxpayer funded airplane with new, super cool leather upholstering and fly away

    8pm — take stage to thank everyone for their support and promise to end business as usual

    8:30pm — call Mike Madigan’s cell phone and then hang up when he answers, giggling incessantly to traveling staff

    8:35pm — call Emil and tell him what he just did to Madigan.

    8:45 — Call Daley, disguise voice, and ask if he has Jim Beam in a Bottle?

    8:50 - fly back to bunker

    9:30 — tuck kids into bed and struggle to read latest Sponge Bob book

    10pm - 10:50 — ESPN SportsCenter

    10:50 — call Madigan one more time just for kicks

    11pm — look into mirror, sings ‘I’m pretty’ to himself before going to bed.

  52. - OneMan - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 4:07 pm:

    Your a basically right but the Hawks game is gong to make a heck of a TV commercial….

  53. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Nov 30, 07 @ 4:11 pm:

    It will be interesting to look at his fundraising numbers in January.

  54. - Shelbyville - Saturday, Dec 1, 07 @ 7:14 am:

    Since he isn’t Governor Teflon, perhas he can be Governor Velcro.

  55. - anon56 - Monday, Dec 3, 07 @ 7:27 am:

    luv dc’s post!!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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    * Bernard Schoenburg: An added loss for workers at Illinois State Museum
    * Statehouse Insider: We have a problem. Is anyone there?
    * Statehouse Insider: We have a problem. Is anyone there?
    * Jim Bordeaux-White: Help give lung cancer patients hope for a cure
    * Charles Krauthammer: Obama's Syria debacle
    * Gov. Rauner: Illinois budget standoff 'could go on for a while'
    * State revenues down by nearly $1 billion in first quarter

    * Brothers who bore arms
    * N-G Top 10: Area football (Oct. 4)
    * Sunday Conversation: Cliff Hastings
    * Saturday highlights: Rajic sets pool records
    * Illini legends, lists and lore: 1915 football season
    * UI roundup: Volleyball ousted in five sets
    * Football pick em week six – Iowa
    * Tate: Rough start, miracle finish for Illini
    * Plays of the Game - Nebraska
    * In the grand scheme of things ... Illinois should keep Cubit

    * Now it gets interesting: Cubs still alive to host WC playoff
    * Report: Des Plaines shrine rector removed from ministry for 'inappropriate relationship'
    * Sharp, Oduya come home
    * 'True fan' of 80+ years just misses Cubs' playoff season
    * South Alabama holds on to 24-18 win over Troy

    * House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
    * Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
    * The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
    * Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
    * Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
    * CBD Oil, and politics
    * Simon considering state Senate bid
    * Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
    * Shutdown? State may not notice
    * Rep. Bob Dold

    * Durbin cites health benefits in push to ra......

    * PHIL POTEMPA: A special year for fall tour......
    * Senator Kirk Statement on the Dedication o......

    * Meet Uptown's "Gangsters and Ghosts" On October 29th
    * You’re Invited – Illinois REbarcamp Powered by YPN!
    * Next 10 general admission registrants for Vertex 15 Conference get extras
    * Chicago chapter of NAREB collaborates to serve consumers
    * 6 things you need to remember about TRID before Oct. 3
    * Watch for Illinois REALTOR® story about Kinney scholarships
    * NAR honors Goodwin and four other Good Neighbor winners
    * Morning Minute: Signs show housing is shifting to a buyer’s market
    * Two Illinois REALTORS® to be honored with SRES Outstanding Service Award
    * New book offers REALTOR® safety tips for discount

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