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Daley: Blagojevich claim is “cuckoo” *** UPDATED x3 *** AG Madigan: Wait could “invite” lawsuit *** More calls for Obama to step in *** Guv says he’s not cuckoo ***

Monday, Sep 15, 2008

* I’ve said before and I’ll repeat it again that I strongly believe Gov. Blagojevich is right that the CTA’s claims about the cause of its current budget deficit are bogus. But, this is just too funny to pass up

Mayor Richard Daley said Monday that Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s claim the mayor and the CTA are misleading the public about transit funding problems is “cuckoo.”

Daley quickly followed up his one-word response by saying he was “not getting into an argument” with Blagojevich.

“He’s arguing with everybody in America,” Daley said of the governor.

Well, not quite everybody, even though it seems like it sometimes.

Have at it.

*** UPDATE 1 *** The Sun-Times has the crowd react

The crowd of educators Daley was addressing broke into loud laughter.

*** UPDATE 2 *** A group of legislators and most statewides (sans Jesse White, who was preoccupied, and Gov. Blagojevich) held a press conference today about the perennially stalled ethics bill

At a Chicago press conference, state Attorney General Lisa Madigan called on Senate President Emil Jones Jr. to reverse course and call the Senate back into session within the next few days, rather than waiting until after the November elections, as Mr. Jones has said he’s inclined to do. […]

Waiting quite likely will invite a lawsuit over whether the legislation has been unduly delayed, Ms. Madigan said, and the courts could reject any bill as improperly approved.

“There is a risk of that,” said Ms. Madigan, flanked by a bipartisan gathering of Democratic and Republican political leaders. The only way to avoid that risk is for the Senate to meet soon, she added. “The (proposed) law is in jeopardy and we know why.”

Also, reporters wanted to know if the press conference attendees thought Barack Obama might be of help. The Republicans were eager to reply

[Sen. Kirk Dillard] suggested that what would really move Mr. Jones to fast action would be a call from his favorite protégé: Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. Mr. Obama’s campaign had no response.


But he won’t. Still, it’s a good idea.

If John McCain would just insert one sentence into a speech about this topic, it would be front-page headlines all over Illinois.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Blagojevich: I’m not cuckoo

“Look, I have a great deal of respect for Mayor Daley, I don’t think I’m cuckoo, but I will tell you what drives me crazy and what drives me crazy is the CTA blaming years of mismanagement on senior citizens taking the bus for free,” Blagojevich told reporters after meeting with state Sen. James Meeks (D-Chicago) to discuss school funding.

“I just think again blaming the seniors and blaming a good thing like that for the mismanagement of the CTA to lay a foundation for a fare increase is unfortunate,” Blagojevich said. “And I don’t consider myself cuckoo but that kind of stuff drives me crazy.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - VivaLFuego - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 1:14 pm:

    Has the CTA/Mayor’s Office ever actually put out a release claiming that the free rides for seniors is the sole cause of budget problems? I feel like they’ve always said “free rides for seniors, lower than expected tax revenues, and higher than expected fuel costs.”

    The latter two are out of the control of any of the actors involved here - and the implication is that perhaps CTA could have weathered the storm in its budget were it only those two. The free rides for seniors was a deliberate (and importantly, avoidable) action by Blago that pushed a precarious budget position over the edge.

    Just extrapolating, here, but it’s pretty clear that this is a gray area of semantics rather than one side being “bogus” and the other side being righteous.

  2. - VivaLFuego - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 1:15 pm:

    (Of course, both Blago and Daley are bogus.)

  3. - trafficmatt - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 1:20 pm:

    Looks like another rounds of hugs is in order.

    Where is Dr. Phil when you need him?

  4. - A Citizen - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 1:30 pm:

    Rich, it occurs to me that your Blog is missing a cartoon strip. How about starting a serial strip entitled “Governor Cuckoo” ? Probably could get national syndication.

  5. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 1:42 pm:

    I used to have a great cartoonist back in the day, but then he got busy with his law practice.

  6. - Northside Blogger - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 1:58 pm:

    Daley shouldn’t be let off the hook for the mismanagement of the CTA’s finances by saying lets blame Blago because everyone else does.

  7. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 2:00 pm:

    ===Daley shouldn’t be let off the hook for the mismanagement of the CTA’s finances by saying lets blame Blago because everyone else does. ===

    I fully agree. But it’s still funny.

  8. - VanillaMan - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 2:03 pm:

    ==“He’s arguing with everybody in America.”==

    When a politician hears voters say this about them it means that their “reformer” image has soured. You cannot be a lone reformer and succeed. Daley is right, Blagojevich has charged at too many windmills. Sancho Panza has been picked up by Fitzgerald and turning state’s evidence against Blagojevich.

    Blagojevich could have been a reformer. He was elected to reform. He could have shown us an attempt to reform. It is too late for him to play Don Quixote after being exposed over the past seven years as America’s Most Unpopular Governor.

  9. - 2ConfusedCrew - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 2:34 pm:

    Sociopath or CuckCoo….let’s see if the BoyToys deny he is cuckoo

  10. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 2:40 pm:

    Funny as heck. Also a nice diversion from:

    -the “incomplete” CPS scores on the ISATs. (go read the Sun-Times article.)

    -the unfortunate news that da Mare’s hand-picked CTA chair is jobless after the implosion of Lehman Brothers.

    -community concerns over CPD officers being issued M4 automatic rifles on a “fill the target” basis without regard to assignment, service record, or even such basic considerations as safe storage being adequately addressed. (AA hopes JFed didn’t pay for all those fancy uniforms out of his own pocket.)

  11. - Levois - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 3:34 pm:

    I wish I knew what to say. This isn’t good if two Democratic leaders in the state are literally at each others’ throats. This governor has to take a swing at everybody.

  12. - 2ConfusedCrew - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 3:45 pm:

    It is fine if one Illinois leader is not falling for Blagoof’s nonsense.

    We need more folks like the Mayor and Madigan to stand up, block this bewildering behaviour.

    I think the public understands and recognizes that who is siding with who on this and other issues.

  13. - 2ConfusedCrew - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 4:06 pm:

    And what line would WhackyJack add?
    How about ” OMG, market down 500+ points. Everyone’s pensions, IRAs, 401k’s are shelled. Taxpayers are shelling out billions to bail out shady bankers….no money for health care, transportation, etc. …Sooner or later someone will remember the ’80s S&L scandal, the Keating 5, Lincoln S&L. Someone might include I am not really a change guy…..could we get another storm?”s

  14. - Independent - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 5:31 pm:

    I agree with Daley that Blago is cuckoo. However Daley should have made visiting the flooded areas of Albany Park a higher priority than taking a victory lap at a press conference. Daley should have postponed it or let Arne Duncan handle it.

    I don’t think Daley has visited Albany Park at all unless the Trib and Sun-Times have not yet posted news of it. Now that Daley’s back from yet another overseas vacation it would be nice to see him show some solidarity with flood victims and let them know he’s on top of cleanup efforts.

  15. - 2ConfusedCuckoooCrew - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 5:39 pm:

    Wonder if the SOS will assign a PA # to the ethics bill after The President stages his too late, after the deadline post election vote?
    No numbbee, no lawee
    Sorry could not stop mysellh

  16. - Amy - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 6:25 pm:

    is Daley finally back in Illinois? people with flooded basements and living rooms want to know.

  17. - Disgusted - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 6:36 pm:

    Talk about a bunch of bad seeds. Not a gentleman in the bunch. With each election across the board, they seem to be getting more inept, more prideful and greedier. A pox on all their houses.

  18. - The firm of Curiouser and curiouser - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 6:40 pm:

    So, stupid question: can’t Blago call for a special session and get the senate down here to vote it up or down? Would be a great way to show the people “hey, I’m FOR ethics form, even when its not my idea”. Emil is going to look bad either way, but it would help Rod, if just a little, with the public perception he is corrupt as unrefrigerated milk.

  19. - ...after Labor Day - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 6:46 pm:

    I wonder if McCain will mention this situation.

    He really has nothing to lose and lots to gain.

  20. - pro - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 7:14 pm:

    Gov doesn’t need to call them back. The executive order will make it law january 1st regardless of what they do.

    And it will apply to all the legislators, too. How hard will they challenge the EO to keep their cash?

  21. - Ghost - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 7:21 pm:

    It is unfrotunate that Blago has so sullied his own name that when he is making valid points he has difficulty getting others to listen.

    SOmewhere along the way the CTA became chicken little and Daley, well he has always been the scrupulously challenged fox.

  22. - Levois - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 8:14 pm:

    Does the governor not realize that this isn’t about senior riding the trains for free, but about the fact that his mandate is largely unfunded and it’s not helping the situation of the transit agencies? Is the governor that dense?

  23. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 8:35 pm:

    If Blago was a cuckoo, he could fly between his Chicago and Springfield nests AND check flooding without Con Air.

  24. - Levois - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 8:38 pm:

    I got an idea for a QOTD, what (TV, Movie, etc. ) character would you compare the governor to? I hope that hasn’t been done already. lol

  25. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 8:52 pm:

    lol. If I’m not mistaken–and I know this is a technicality (lol), Daley didn’t say that BLAGO himself is cuckoo.

    Blago seems to believe that Daley said HE is cuckoo. lol

  26. - A Citizen - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 9:44 pm:

    Which is more important ? That guv doesn’t think he is cuckoo or that the rest of the known universe thinks he’s CUCKOO ?

  27. - Team Sleep - Monday, Sep 15, 08 @ 10:03 pm:

    Yeah, because it would be nice for one of our U.S. Senators to actually to try to help straighten out the current mess. As far as I can tell, neither of our illustrious senators has done anything to quell the problem.

    And to anyone who wants to rebut my assertion, Durbin and Obama are elected statewide and are looked to lead us. By not attempting to at least help alleviate the problem, what does that also say about the current state in D.C.?

    Of course Obama can run on a “change” mantle. Both candidates will be different than Bush - Obama especially so.

    The only problem with Obama getting involved in the Illinois quagmire is that voters are cynical and fleeting enough they might not care what Obama accomplishes back home.

  28. - Ghost - Tuesday, Sep 16, 08 @ 12:25 am:

    The Gov just misunderstood daley, he was just saying the Gov likes coco puffs

  29. - Undercover - Tuesday, Sep 16, 08 @ 7:21 am:

    I have to admit that Rod’s response to Daley is pretty good, from a communications perspective.

    But I’m with Hizzonor on this one. CUCKOO.

  30. - BigDog - Tuesday, Sep 16, 08 @ 8:31 am:

    So Blago thinks that he gets off the hook on this issue because he contends that the CTA has been mismanaged for years? Being that the CTA is the largest public transit agency in the state, and he has been our governor for the last 6+ years, isn’t this somewhat of a self-indictment? Why no push in over 6 years from the highest elected official in our state to do anything about the enormous problems at an agency that impacts literally hundreds of thousands of the voters that [perhaps regrettably in hindsight] put him in office??

  31. - BandCamp - Tuesday, Sep 16, 08 @ 8:39 am:

    I’m not a cuckoo, but I get crazy.

    He’s a cuckoo.

    And quit with the soundbites already. Everyone knows it isn’t the seniors riding for free that has caused all this trouble. But it sounds good for him to say it.


  32. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Sep 16, 08 @ 8:48 am:

    Why in the world would he issue a denial? This is right out of LBJ’s playbook.

    That being said, and while the free for seniors is a bad idea, the Gov. is of course right on the merits. But that doesn’t matter, because our dumb as a rock gov. is going to debate whether or not he’s cuckoo.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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