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*** UPDATED x1 *** Edgar: “The voters blew it”

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010

* The AP interviewed former Gov. Jim Edgar about Rod Blagojevich today. Here’s a brief excerpt

Q: (W)hy do you think Blagojevich was twice elected governor(in 2002 and 2006)?

A: “The first time, it was a vote against George Ryan. He was going to change, reform government. I can understand voters, after one person fails, they were going to turn to the other party.”

“The second time, I don’t think there is any good reason. The voters blew it. The media actually did a pretty good job of documenting Blagojevich’s ethical shortcomings.”

*** UPDATE - 5:07 pm *** The jury has left for the day without announcing a verdict.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


69 Comments
  1. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 4:49 pm:

    Edgar blew it.

    To the millions of Illinoisans who never met Rod Blagojevich, but voted for him, you are not to blame. In every political system, we depend upon those who DO know him, endorsed him, spent time working with him in the General Assembly, in Congress, Chicago and when he showed up, in Springfield. As voters, we depend upon a political party who supported him, nominated him, spent $50 million to elect him twice, and backed him up every single day he was in Office, until doing so threatened their own jobs.

    Although many pundits and commentators are coy about this, they suggest that we are fools. These self-appointed experts claim that Blagojevich’s elections confirm this. Instead of investigating why voters supported Blagojevich, (as nearly all of them did as well), they group these voters together, then question how these voters could be so gullible. After supporting Blagojevich for six years, they now wish to blame voters for electing Blagojevich. If we were discussing a consumer product, we would indict the manufacturer, right? Why are these people accusing voters of wanting a bad governor, or of being too stupid to discern between 2002’s and 2006’s gubernatorial candidates?

    Blagojevich should have been prevented by the very people who knew him and his record, from being elected. If Blagojevich’s Democratic supporters didn’t know him personally, they knew people who knew him. Blagojevich was tested in elected office and his repeated failures and issues were known to those whose jobs it is to depend upon decent Democrats in office. After his years in Springfield and in Washington, how could Rod Blagojevich have appear to be gubernatorial material to these people? The blame for Rod Blagojevich goes to a Party whose duty to Illinoisans is to present to us their best people as a gubernatorial candidate. Yet today, they wish to claim we are Rod’s fools? If they think the folks who never met Rod were fools for voting for him, then what are they saying about those who actually know him?

    Every two years we see incredible effort to prevent honest folks from appearing on our ballots using every means possible. We know that even after winning a nomination, the Party will throw you off the ballot if they do not like you. We know that the Illinois Democratic Party can keep one of us off their ballots even if we support the Party 100%. Consequentially, we know that they could have told Rod Blagojevich to take a long hike off a short pier when he showed up begging for their support. Instead, they made him Governor - twice. They failed – not us.

    When voters are blamed for bad governors, those who really are to blame escape to nominate and support Kerners, Walkers, Ryans and Blagojevichs. Had enough?


  2. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 4:52 pm:

    ===Why are these people accusing voters of wanting a bad governor, or of being too stupid to discern between 2002’s and 2006’s gubernatorial candidates?===

    They had more than enough information about Blagojevich by 2006, yet they still voted for him. They are to blame. Period. This is still a democracy.


  3. - Gunner the Runner - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 4:53 pm:

    As usual, Edgar is right.


  4. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 4:54 pm:

    The other factor in 2006 was JBT.

    Let’s face it — she’s not exactly Paul Simon. I never felt that she would be any different from Blago when it came to ethics. It is not that she ever did anything wrong, as much as she never stood up while those around her (notably George Ryan) were doing things wrong.


  5. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 4:58 pm:

    Voters did not vote for Ryan’s replacement expecting another crook. Blagojevich got the benefit of millions of doubts because not only are we a democracy, but we also don’t convict on rumors.

    Illinoisans got played. The players are still playing and are now fingerpointing at us for being the fools they now claim they are not.


  6. - Vole - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 4:59 pm:

    As one who has voted almost exclusively democratic, I voted for Topinka. I blew it.

    Thanks Edgar. Your party did not blow it by not offering us a better candidate. The system of campaigning with 30 second sound bites (What was she thinking?) did not blow it by offering total nonsense to the voters. The campaign finance system that permitted Blago to amass a fortune in ill gained funds did not blow it. The local TV news stations (downstate anyway) which perform abysmally in their campaign coverage did not blow it. The democratic party officials did not blow it by tolerating the clown Blago. The legislature did not impeaching this clown earlier.

    Edgar, surely you did not blow it. Pick the convenient low hanging fruit, the voters. Edgar, bite me.


  7. - Honest Abe - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:00 pm:

    It is a trifle galling to be singled out as stupid voters for electing Blagojevich twice while some of the same politically astute reporters who are mocking the electorate were working for newspapers that endorsed Blagojevich.

    Topinka was not the best alternative candidate. The Green Party candidate (Whitney) received many protest votes from people who could not stand Blagojevich or Topinka.


  8. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:01 pm:

    HA, reporters have very little if any input into endorsements. I had zero input into the 2006 Sun-Times endorsement, for instance. And in many cases, publishers make the calls on the big races, not the editors.


  9. - Will County Woman - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:03 pm:

    I agree with VM to some extent. The mass support from the illinois democratic party, for the good of the party of course, no doubt helped to shield blago from the attacks. the dems and their foot soldiers got the vote out and money for him, so they (the illinois dems) are just as bad as he was/is.

    it was very telling during the il. senate vote to remove blago from office how all those dems (with the exception of those who had always been critical of blago, yeah all two of them) all of sudden found religion.

    after blago was arrested on dec. 9, 2008 il dems were coming out of the woodwork talking about how bad he was from the start, all the while overlooking the fact in their scathing critiques that they helped him into office and helped to get him re-elected.

    but the feigned outrage and indignation during the senate vote to remove him was way-over-the-top and too much. it was at that point i had no real use for il dems.


  10. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:03 pm:

    Also, we have this little thing called voting. It’s done by voters. Voting picks winners. Not blaming voters is insanity.


  11. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:08 pm:

    Jim Edgar, Jim Edgar, Jim Edgar. Where have I heard that name?
    Oh yeah. Wasn’t he the guy that shortchanged the state’s pension funds putting IL on the path directly to our current condition?
    Jim’s right. The voters do screw up. Two times come to mind, Jim.


  12. - D.P. Gumby - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:08 pm:

    Edgar continues to be an ____. If you remember he dithered and dithered about whether he would run while Judy dithered and dithered and said she wouldn’t run and wished Edgar would run and then only ran because Edgar didn’t. Then she ran a lousy campaign against an excellent one run by Blago. Where was Edgar either running or recruiting a stronger candidate? Where was he in putting the arm on contributors to bolster Judy’s treasury to match or at least compete w/ Blago’s pot o’freakin gold? Yeah, the voters’ blew it cuz they were not presented w/ a compelling alternative.


  13. - Amalia - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:11 pm:

    dear uncle jim:

    to quote others….”bite me.” if you had offered someone
    other than the insuferable, ethically challenged Judy B. Topinka,
    perhaps you would have a point. but you did not. you
    opened a big old can ‘o The Prairie combine and served
    us her. no thanks.

    now go brush your hair.


  14. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:12 pm:

    Before we start blaming millions of people who never met Blagojevich but voted for him, why aren’t we asking those who DO know Blagojevich and helped get him into office exactly what criteria they used?

    It is ridiculous to blame everyone when millions depend upon political leadership and valued their endorsements.

    Blaming voters is like blaming the victims of a plane crash caused by managerial mismanagement, instead of the management that put the drunken incompetant in the cockpit.

    What good is our current political system when it refuses to acknowledge it’s own failure, but instead tells every citizen in Illinois it is their fault? How can we ever get better government in Illinois if we continue to allow this kind of BS?

    We have people who failed us and have to this day sat silently, claimed they were fooled, pretend to be shocked, or now - blame everyone who depended upon them for depending upon them.

    Rubbish!


  15. - lakeview - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:12 pm:

    I’m with Honest Abe. I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Topinka, so I went with the devil I knew. She had plenty of baggage, too: George Ryan, George Bush, the bizarre Jack Ryan/Alan Keyes situation. I had no faith that she would be an improvement.


  16. - Vole - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:13 pm:

    Rich, I’d agree if the voters had perfect information and the electoral system was functioning well. But the system is broken, broken badly and many voters had minimal information that was easily manipulated by partisans. You can’t blame the voters for participating in a system so screwed and skewed that people like Blago end up being elected. Or if you do, you are going to have to use better arguments than what you offer here.


  17. - Anonymous ZZZ - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:13 pm:

    I agree that the blame lies at the feet of the voters. Vanilla Man,people have a responsibility to do a little research into the candidates that are vying to represent them. I’m tired of people complaining about their elected officials when they make no effort to find out anything about the candidates. I mean, it’s not like they have to pore over House and Senate journals and spend hours looking at roll calls to get voting histories and whatnot. A simple Google search will bring up tons of articles, editorials, etc., and any voter who won’t do at least that much is just plain lazy and irresponsible.

    So many people bristle that the candidates “treat voters like they’re stupid.” But, frankly, I think a lot of the voters ARE stupid and deserve that label.


  18. - Vole - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:23 pm:

    Blago was popular with many voters in 2006 because of his efforts to provide health care benefits. That Blago and the legislature did not provide a means to pay for those increased benefits was lost on many voters. The bennies simply trumped the unfunded costs in the minds of many voters. If I had to blame anything on voters it would be specifically to this population. But, I would not lump all the voters together and say they blew it. That is not justified and it is irritating and condescending.


  19. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:24 pm:

    I voted for Rod twice, in the primary and again in the general in 2002. I regret the primary vote and always will.

    But I voted for Eisendrath/Whitney in 2006. So don’t lay that guilt trip on me.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:25 pm:

    Just a thought ….

    It seems ever since Little Jim walked away in a teary speech about health, family, et al., he has not missed a chance to “critically” critique candidates, office holders, voters … anyone who was “down”, all the while promoting his favorites, and at the same time … keeping an arm’s length if that choice were to tank …

    Edgar is with you … until he can blame you that you blew it …

    Sound about right? Am I missing something?


  21. - Luke - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:35 pm:

    Voters knew quite well that Blagojevich was “Public Official A”. It just doesn’t bother corruption tolerant Illinois voters. You can’t have corrupt politicians without sleazy voters. Indiana and Wisconsin haven’t had large scale corruption in the last 50 years, voters in those states will not tolerate it. Lastly, we don’t need Jim Edgar(Republican- Tony Rezko) lecturing anyone.


  22. - shake and bake - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:38 pm:

    Talk about picking bones? I’d rather hear Edgar pontificate about his association with MSI and/or Cellini?


  23. - View from the Cheap Seats - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:40 pm:

    It would be nice for Edgar to maybe say that all his “I might run/considering running” wasn’t helpful either during the Blago years.


  24. - Ghost of John Brown - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:42 pm:

    Edgar is right on one aspect, that the voters blew it.

    He is wrong in his assessment that the press did a good job. I remember Bill Cameron from WLS mercilously making fun of Jim Ryan the first time around. J. Ryan made a comment (paraphrasing) “If the next Governor does was is necessary to set our State on the right path, he won’t be re-elected in four years”. Cameron gave him grief about it “he isn’t even elected yet and he’s worried about four years from now”. It was a childish comment on Cameron’s part and it typified much of the main stream press. If you are a glib, slick politician - you get a pass. If you a little bit wonkish and tell the voters the truth, you get crucified.

    Topinka was horrible in 2006. Then again, Slick Rod had about as much money as Bill Gates to spend on the election, so he was able to paint her as crazy with relentless ads.


  25. - Wondering... - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:49 pm:

    I certainly wouldn’t say it is “as usual”… but Edgar is certainly right. Now about that Cellini relationship…


  26. - Louis Howe - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 5:51 pm:

    The Republican Party ruled state government hiring and contracting for 28 years. State jobs were sold to republican contributors (read Rutan verdict)and contractors lined up at fund-raisers to get on the acceptable bidders list. All this was during Edgar’s terms as secretary of state and governor. Blago’s worst crime was the billions wasted because of his incompetence. His political shakedowns came right out of the GOP playbook.


  27. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 6:01 pm:

    Are there really such partisan animals so devoted to the Democrat Party of Illinois that they will not acknowledge their culpability in Rod Blagojevich and will blame anybody else (Topinka, Republicans, the Man in the Moon, etc.)?

    Jim Edgar is not a saint, but he is dead on. If the voters couldn’t be bothered to read about Public Official A and instead take their direction from 30-second sound bites, then they should shoulder the responsibility and blame.

    Maybe they just trusted Pat Quinn when he said the he believe that Blago was ethical.


  28. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 6:06 pm:

    This is what happens when you are presented with lousy choices from both parties, you end up with a lousy governor, and it looks like that’s what we have again.


  29. - Leroy - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 6:12 pm:

    Well *this* voter isn’t going to make the same mistake twice, Mr. Edgar.

    Now how many days until I go in and pull the lever for Pat Quinn or Bill Brady?


  30. - L.S. - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 6:12 pm:

    This from the guy who dangled his name out there just long enough to block JBT from getting significant money together? Kinda lame.


  31. - Don't Worry, Be Happy - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 6:12 pm:

    I used to have a lot of respect for Edgar. However it’s become clear that the reputation he build as the fiscal savior of Illinois was only because he created the pension ramp up that has brought us to insolvency. Not only did he kick the can down the road, he has spent 20 years touting it. He created the example that it’s OK for Illinois politicians to avoid balancing the budget.

    I think he’s lost the right to criticize from the sidelines. Arguably he has done more damage to this State than Blago did.


  32. - Road Dog - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 6:30 pm:

    To Mr. Howe, you are correct republicans sold jobs to politicall buddies when they were in office, the major difference that they sold jobs to people that could actually DO the jobs! That is not the case with the Blago/Quinn bunch of incompetent hacks but in major policy positions in agencies. Just look around, anybody who has been in state government very long can see the wheels clearly started coming off after 2003.


  33. - KeepSmiling - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 6:33 pm:

    Jim Edgar tees me off with his lofty distance from it all. Illinois voters get the same old crappy candidates again and again. Plus a few wing nuts. The democratic system is so broken - $$ and party help is what puts people in office, not the public’s expectations regarding service in the capacity of the office sought, or effectiveness in the previous office held. Witness the same ineffective officeholders running to retain or seek higher office now.

    I have erroneously expected the Parties to foster and support candidates to lead and represent the future of America. All we get are candidates to ensure status quo. I’m done thinking that there is hope in this false ship.

    C’mon Rich. Start a new Illinois Party with Bill. Make it a big tent; bring in VanMan too.


  34. - Dooley Dudright - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 7:08 pm:

    I’m with VMan on this one.

    If memory serves — the co-chairs of Blagojevich’s 2006 re-election campaign were none other than Messrs. M.J. Madigan and R.M. Daley.

    They saw to it that Eisendrath got stuffed in the primary. And they thought they could be Blago’s puppeteers.

    They were, of course, wrong. (Not that they would ever admit that, mind you.)

    And Edgar? Ugh. His revisionist history and self-aggrandizement are a bit much.

    Yo, Jim: do the initials “MSI” mean anything to you? Like you were hoping we’d all forget?


  35. - Vole - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 7:16 pm:

    “Are there really such partisan animals so devoted to the Democrat Party of Illinois that they will not acknowledge their culpability in Rod Blagojevich and will blame anybody else (Topinka, Republicans, the Man in the Moon, etc.)?”

    Read the comments again. Dems and Republicans share equally in creating the political environment for a Blago to be selected. A toxic environment evolved in IL. Rod filled the niche. The whole damned system is at fault.


  36. - Sueann - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 7:38 pm:

    I know a lot of people that voted for him the second time because of the PreK for all program as well as a lot of other assorted entitlements. Thats how it is in Illinois. People sell their votes just to get their tax dollars back. Its amazzzzzzzing


  37. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 7:59 pm:

    What a pompous A****

    He should feel very lucky that he is out of office since the kind of dealmaking that RB is accused of culd be attached to his term of office.

    Other than the hobbyists or apperachiks of the parties, most people simply look at the wrapper the candidate weaves for himself/herself and votes in a way to make he voter feel good about themselves.

    Since the media generally has a bias it is no surprise that a doofus like RB won twice.


  38. - Newsclown - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 8:02 pm:

    Oh, for the days when it was a huge scandal that state troopers were mowing the lawn at a governor’s vacation cabin…


  39. - If The Shoe Fits - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 8:07 pm:

    Jim Edgar, let’s see…. Here’s a guy who hid his two goofy nephews at the Illinois Tollway for a few years. They’d wander into the office around 10 AM in the morning, go the tollway cafeteria have a big breakfast then disappear for the rest of the day. Sometimes they’d bring their dog in and hide it under their desks, one was found sleeping in an office closet.
    But hey, they got good raises, that’s what counts!


  40. - Bookworm - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 8:34 pm:

    The reasons Blago got elected twice are pretty simple. The first time around, no one knew much about him, the GOP had been in power for 26 years, and voting for a change didn’t seem like a bad idea. I think the voters can be forgiven for 2002.

    2006 was a different matter. By that time it was becoming obvious that Blago was pretty crooked as well. However, he had gazillions of dollars to spend on campaign commercials that made JBT appear to be equally crooked. So voters threw up their hands and decided to stick with the devil they knew (and who promised not to raise their taxes).

    Even so, more people voted AGAINST Blago than for him — but those who voted against him split their votes between JBT and Whitney, which allowed Blago to win with a mere plurality (NOT majority) of the vote.

    That being said, if Madigan and R.M. Daley and Co. had wanted to dump Blago badly enough in 2006 they could have done it. Daley Sr. did it to Walker in 1976. Yes, the Dems ended up losing the general but they were up against Jim Thompson, a much stronger candidate than JBT ever was.


  41. - The End Is Near - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 9:18 pm:

    “They had more than enough information about Blagojevich by 2006, yet they still voted for him. They are to blame. Period. This is still a democracy.”

    Rich, I agree with you that the voters deserve the blame for Blago in 2006. Do you feel the same about Scott Lee Cohen’s primary win in February 2010, or do you think there is some shared responsibility (e.g., party leaders, media, etc.) for that one?


  42. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 9:24 pm:

    Edgar is absolutely right. There was plenty of smoke in 2006.

    Why is it so hard for people to take responsibility? VMan, WCW and the like are the new victim class. They’re little lambs led astray.

    For the record, my dance card reads Vallas, Blago (a vote against Jim Ryan for the Cruz case), Eisendrath and Whitney.


  43. - El Conquistador - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 9:31 pm:

    Yes Jim, the voters blew it. But you blew it too! You sucked all of the energy and all of the money out of the air for the potential Republican candidates in 2006 while you hemmed and hawed about running. Then you convinced Ray LaHood that you were indeed running and chased him out of the race just as he was ready to announce. JBT didn’t have the fire in the belly or the cash, but she was the only one left standing holding the bag for the party. Yes, Jim Edgar, the voters of Illinois need to take a long, hard look in the mirror, but so do you. It’s time you also own up to your responsibility.


  44. - Anon III - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 9:50 pm:

    Mr. Edgar’s implication in blaming the voters for RB’s two elections is that Illinois voters are somehow incapable of participating competently in a democratic representative system of government. That would make Illinois voters different from citizens of other states, like Minnesota, or Kansas, or Kentucky – just to pick some names out of the hat. I don’t think so. Illinoisans are pretty much like other Americans. If the others can manage a representative democracy, we can too.

    I would fault the Illinois system of government, specifically, the constitution and system of electoral laws that lock in a corrupt political class. I agree that it was the political class and their fund raising that enabled RB.

    I recall that Mr. Edgar was the leading opponent of a Constitutional Convention to change that system. His phony reason was that the convention would be controlled by the politicians in Springfield. He said, “We don’t need a new Constitution to change the direction of state government, we just need to change the politicians in charge of it.” How ironic that he now says that Illinois voters are incompetent to do that.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IWSt4BfRu0


  45. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 9:57 pm:

    Voters are imperfect people. Politicians are imperfect people. The members of the media are imperfect people. Sometimes, a confluence of events and errors result in disastrous results. Happens all the time.

    Who’s to blame? Nobody and everybody. Imperfect people make imperfect systems.

    We spend hours on this blog debating imperfect systems created by this imperfect system.

    The only thing that can combat most of the ills we debate is information.

    Voters believe that the media is biased. For proof, look no further than the polling results for how the voters feel about the media. So if the members of the media care about the system, they should do everything in their power to report the news as unbiasedly as possible and remember the line between reporting and opinion. Voters now also have the benefit of instant communication on the internet, so there is much more available information than even in 2008.

    Look at those same polls. Politicians rank below the media in voter trust. Politicians are considered (and sometimes actually) corrupt. Let’s remove campaign donation limits and have instant disclosure of donations on an easily accessible web site. Perhaps our politicians would spend less time pandering for nickel and dime donations and spend more time legislating. Let the voters decide who influences the politician, the media can help here.

    Voters don’t trust government. A morass of regulations, bureaucracy, red tape and the good old runaround inhibit voters from interacting with their government. Transparency and openness of all of our public sector institutions is a must.

    The bottom line is everyone has to share the blame. Lazy voters who don’t demand answers and don’t hold the elected officials accountable, lazy media who blur the line between opinion and fact to the point where their credibility is questioned by the very people who have given them extraordinary 1st Amendment rights so they can serve the public weal, lazy politicians who hide their actions from their constituents so they can feather their own nests, and an overburdensome bureaucracy that rolls like a square stone wheel and acts just as dense.

    But remember this, sometimes the system works correctly. I’d argue that it does most of the time. In 230 short years this nation has gone from one in chaos to the most open and free society and best influence on the civilization in history.


  46. - Smitty Irving - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 10:07 pm:

    How sad is it that because he doesn’t drink, smoke, or cheat on Brenda, Edgar is regarded as a saint.

    MSI anyone? One botched federal prosecution from Janis Cellini and Michael Belletire being in the docket.
    http://www.lib.niu.edu/2000/ii000936.html

    Don’t Worry, Be Happy - absolutely right about the pension ramp up!

    2006 - anyone remember the National Democratic tidal wave? Blago outspend “Dances With Ryan”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/15/us/politics/15blagojevich.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&bl&ei=5087&en=b47302a032bc52ff&ex=1229490000
    who was tarred, fairly or not, with the GOP Old Guard - and he couldn’t even get 50%? My feeling is had it been just a Democratic / GOP race, and NOT the 6th year of a GOP Presidency, Blago would have lost - $27 million or not.


  47. - Objective Dem - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 10:08 pm:

    I also forgot that Edgar was the one who criticized Dawn Clark Netch’s campaign for reforming income tax and property tax until after he won the election. But I think Edgar thinks that is just politics and doesn’t understand how it damages the political fabric.


  48. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 10:37 pm:

    Sure the voters blew it, but so did the Republican Party who couldn’t come up with a better candidate than JBT. We had two LOUSY candidates and we had to pick one. We held our nose and picked Rod.

    Now we have a choice between two lousy candidates for governor and two lousy candidates for US Senate. Hmmm, do I see a pattern here. Could it be that our political system itself is fundamentally broken as it continues to churn out the worst candidates year after year?


  49. - just sayin' - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 10:38 pm:

    I love when Mr. MSI offers up advice.

    It was the GOP who blew it in offering up Topinka. Rerun that race today and Blago would probably win by more. Topinka makes Blago look sane.


  50. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 10:44 pm:

    just sayin’ was sayin’,

    “It was the GOP who blew it in offering up Topinka. Rerun that race today and Blago would probably win by more. Topinka makes Blago look sane.”

    Yup. And it was the Democrats that renominated Rod. Trying to blame the GOP for the state having to endure Rod’s second term is a bit of a stretch, doncha think?


  51. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 11:13 pm:

    And Cincinnatus, I return to my point. The system is broken. We could have had Vallas, but we got Rod. We could have had Hoffman, but we got Giannoulias. We could have had Hynes, but we got Quinn (ok, that’s less obvious). At least on the D side, when we have good options, we choose the bad one. It’s mind-boggling.


  52. - 22skidoo - Tuesday, Aug 10, 10 @ 11:14 pm:

    Edgar’sright. The voters blew it. “Topinka makes Blago look sane”? Seriously? NOBODY makes Blago look sane, unless you are playing a partisan “our guy’s screw-ups are the other party’s fault” game.


  53. - Heartless Libertarian - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 12:55 am:

    Finally… somebody said it… I’ll second El Conquistador. But I have to agree with the premise that everybody should have known about Rod Blagojevich. Yes, he had a ton of money to spend on commercials. But let’s not forget, so did Ron Gidwitz, and JBT managed to beat him substantially. And if anyone ever actually paid attention to what Blago said, it was different every other day. He is a rotten sociopath that managed to play the electorate because we all hated George Bush.


  54. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 5:18 am:

    Wow. I mean wow.

    There’s an old axiom in American politics that you should never blame the people for anything. Most of you just showed why.

    What a crock.

    The refusal by people to accept responsibility for their own actions is always disgusting. Using the logic from so many commenters here, maybe Blagojevich shouldn’t be held accountable for his actions, either.

    Voters are entrusted with a sacred duty, and Edgar is right that they blew it. Blaming others for the voters’ mistake is really quite undemocratic, and elitist to the core.


  55. - T.J. - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 5:53 am:

    That still doesn’t explain why Edgar, twelve years out of office, is in the news nearly every day just to say, “I told you so,” regardless of the issue at hand.


  56. - flabergasted - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 6:51 am:

    yeah Edgar’s right-the voters blew it. They elected him twice too.


  57. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 6:51 am:

    In the news nearly every day? I haven’t seen him quoted in months.


  58. - Vole - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 7:38 am:

    “Blaming others for the voters’ mistake is really quite undemocratic, and elitist to the core.”

    Your argument is the elitist one. Blame the voters that voted for Blago. But stop blaming all the voters. Very annoying and one dimensional Rich.


  59. - Aldyth - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 7:57 am:

    Our choices in the last election were worse and worser. Are the voters going to get blamed by Edgar for selecting minimally competent Quinn or unbelievably regressive Brady in November?

    The Democrats and the news media did a lousy job of screening Scott Lee Cohen, didn’t they? The Republicans did such a fine job of putting up qualified candidates that we have a guy who needs a note from his mother that says he’s allowed to be Lt. Governor. If Brady is elected, he’ll use his Lt. Governor as a gofer.

    Both parties, the media, and the voters own the blame for Blago. When people are given a choice between someone who is ethically questionable and another who is portrayed as incompetent, who do you choose.

    I suspect that third parties will do better this year, if for no other reason than voter backlash against the two major parties.


  60. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 8:20 am:

    There’s another old axiom, you get the government that you deserve. People want everything right away, but they don’t want to pay for it. Hence, the debt.


  61. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 8:24 am:

    Blaming voters for the people in office is like blaming water for sinking ships. Blagojevich didn’t suddenly appear and charm enough voters to win twice. He got lots of help. He got lots of endorsements. He got coverage. He got lots and lots and lots and lots of money.

    Yeah - eventually voters would have figured out how to sink him. But not sinking doesn’t make either a candidate, nor a boat sea-worthy. We are talking about our state’s highest elected office and it seems that those who know Blagojevich, helped Blagojevich and funded Blagojevich, are making claims that we are the ones who failed?

    So, we are not to believe nominations? They are worthless? So, we are not to believe political parties? They are worthless and unaccountable for the people they nominate?

    Stop jacking with us. When you blame “everyone”, nothing gets done. Stop it. Those people who supported this steaming pile of stupid right up to giving him the keys to the Governor’s Office, are the ones who helped him set us up. To blame the voters is ridiculous and unrealistic. It also calls into question our entire democratic system.

    We depend upon undependable people who have some kind of nerve to tell us that they know how to run Illinois governments, but when they fail, fingerpoint at anything and everything, anyone and everyone in order not to take responsibility for their poor judgements and stupidity.

    Voters knew by 2006? If you think voters knew what the insiders and political players, opinion makers, newsmakers and government leaders knew as well, and stayed silent about during the 2006 campaign, then you are not really thinking about who is really accountable.


  62. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 8:27 am:

    ===is like blaming water for sinking ships===

    Water has no brain. Don’t be such a patronizing elitist.


  63. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 8:41 am:

    - To blame the voters is ridiculous and unrealistic. It also calls into question our entire democratic system. -

    More Otter defense from Vman. I’m not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!


  64. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 8:54 am:

    LOL, SMT, I love the Otter defense.

    “Gentleman, the question isn’t whether millions of voters chose Blago in 2006 when they knew he was a rotten apple. They did (wink).”


  65. - KeepSmiling - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 9:21 am:

    I find it patronizing when politicians refer to “the Voters” and “the People” as if the wise politicians are somehow outside of these disdainful little classes of Illinoisans.

    Less than half of the voters voted for Blago in 2006. There were only 3.5 million votes for Governor in the 2006 election. And yes, if the the 381,943 who voted for alternative candidates had voted for JBT, she would have won. http://www.uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?year=2006&fips=17&f=0&off=5&elect=0

    So are we supposed to blame the people who didn’t vote for JBT? Blago’s commercials made her look like a wacko. The Republican Party was tripping all over itself leading up to the primaries, then provided far too little support for their candidate to help get her message out and combat the negative ads.


  66. - KeepSmiling - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 9:26 am:

    Would have won the popular vote. Sorry about that.


  67. - Vole - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 10:26 am:

    “Don’t be such a patronizing elitist.”

    As a member of the political class, for Edgar to blame the voters and not put equal or more blame on the political class is pure elitism. The political class created the niche for Blago and facilitated his rise to power. For you, Rich, to agree with Edgar and not to acknowledge our arguments as holding some validity is very one sided and elitist. Or like many politicians, including Quinn, can you not back down and admit that we have a valid point?


  68. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 10:27 am:

    You have a partial point. But voters will never learn from their mistakes if they can’t and won’t own up to them. Period.


  69. - NRA associate - Wednesday, Aug 11, 10 @ 7:24 pm:

    Don’t blame me…I voted republican. LOL I could never figure out how Blago got elected twice. Maybe the Chicago “dead”, Acorn, or just plain STUPID.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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