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Question of the day

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005

I’m going to be pretty busy today. A speech this morning, session this afternoon, TV appearance later and maybe a radio interview on top of all that. Blogging will be light, but I’ll try to get some posts up later. (Message to the Comment Posse: please watch the comments closely today - I deleted a couple of bad ones last night.)

The question today is, do you think that yesterday’s CMS audit will have any real impact on the state’s political world? Why or why not?

Have fun.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

40 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 5:47 am:

    Yes, but only if Lisa Madigan finds something there. And only if she actually follows up and gets indictments and convictions, instead of going for the cheap publicity route. If the A.G. is serious, heads will roll, reform may actually happen, and the streets of Springfield will run red with Blago’s political blood.


  2. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 7:34 am:

    I don’t think so….it is apparent by the comments being made by the parties involved at CMS that they are not taking this audit seriously. They should, CMS has done nothing but screw this state up more than it ever was. Nothing is getting done these days because of CMS’ involvement in absolutely everything. They have not saved agencies money…trust me, if anything they have cost them more money. Things take 10 times longer now to get done and it is not like things were getting done quickly in the past. Lisa Madigan needs to take a good hard look at these clowns because something has gotta give here.


  3. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 8:01 am:

    Lots of bad editorials coming that can be used in ads against Rod.

    Many more stories, too.


  4. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 8:02 am:

    Here, here’s stupidity: “We’re not going to do business-as-usual; we’re going to do business-as-usual better.”

    I hate cliche’s, but “pride goeth before the fall” has resonance.


  5. - LARRY MULHOLLAND - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 8:09 am:

    It should have Tremendous impact!

    CMS is state government now as a result of reform renewal initiatives.

    Everything he has campaigned on, nearly his entire platform- Ethics, efficency, consolodation, corrupt employees, mismanagemnet is now blown up in his face. HIS reform and renewal campaign is completely BOGUS!

    THIS IS ROD BLAGO”S ENRON SCANDAL

    He has been teLling US investors (tax payers) that he his saving money “improving state government’ “saving $8 for every one dollar spent”. Now we find out that it is not true….. TOTALLY MISLEADING US!


  6. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 8:14 am:

    Thefact that Mr. Rumman resigned shortly after his audit response to the OAG should tell you something. I’ve read some of the report, there are some pretty serious findings in there.

    Rumman’s story is that he told Rod he’d only put in two years, but he left without a job lined up. I think that speaks volumes.


  7. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 8:39 am:

    The CMS audit will have impact, but since the problems are so technical, unless someone is able to put a face on the findings, they’ll likely be relagated to oblivion. That said, the administration had better be looking at other major state agencies — DCEO, IDOT, DHS — for similar problems that would snowball the effect of this situation. The CMS audit alone may not have enough legs itself to bring down an entire administration, “yes, mistakes were made”, but if similar audits at other major agencies reveal the same types of mismanagement or malfeasence the Republicans can start measuring for curtins.


  8. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 8:41 am:

    I guess this audit kind of takes away the making state government more efficient and saving taxpayer dollars campaign commercials for re-election in 2008.

    Maybe he could just not run for r-election and campaign for vice president since he appears so much better to the national media and party anyway?


  9. - ILPundit - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 8:43 am:

    Yes, it will have political impact, and it will be large.

    This audit is a opposition researcher’s wet dream. It will take weeks to tease all the bad PR stories out of this audit.

    Not to mention the impact of the Franks and Mautino hearings mentioned in today’s news stories.

    Or the fact that CMS is going to be a huge political issue during the legislative endgame.

    Corruption, mismanagement, incompetence, and lies, all in one easy story.

    Yeah, there’s going to be an impact.


  10. - Shelbyville - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 9:12 am:

    I dunno - Edgar’s CMS scandal was pretty big and most people don’t recall it, now. But then Edgar had good people around him and he had a positive feel with down state.

    George Ryan’s problems didn’t occur while he was in the Gov’s office. His was due to a staffer run afoul with greed during the SOS term.

    Truth be told, it is more how the people around the gov. react then the governor himself. Blago needs a Sat. massacre to clean up his own staff - top to bottom. He needs to say “I am sorry. These guys are gone. Long time, loyal state employees are in.”


  11. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 9:40 am:

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.


  12. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 9:42 am:

    Edgar’s CMS scandal was big enough to force him not to run for re-election and keep him out of the U.S. Senate race, and it only involved one contractor and one employee. For what, about $7 million?

    It’s not doomsday, but I’m revising my Rod Odds from 60-40 to 55-45.

    This story made about 20 papers in Illinois today. Editorials will follow, as will the Franks hearings I predicted, and no one is buying CMS’s cover story for why they audited the Auditor.

    “Arrogant incompentence” summed it up well. Is the right word “muxie”?


  13. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 9:59 am:

    And for the best print coverage so far on this story, I give the award to Dave McKinney and Chris Fusco at the Chicago Sun-Times.

    The little breakdown of the four agencies with political ties to the Gov who were part of the serendipitous mismanagement is where this story is going.


  14. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 10:12 am:

    This is bad. Really bad. Is it the last nail in coffin? No, but bad for sure.

    Shelbyville said that G Rod needs to clean house. I agree, if he does that - and quick - it will help. But, he probably won’t.

    Back a couple of years ago, all us Democrats were determined to have our Governor. We knew about patronage and we thought we deserved a few jobs since the GOP had locked us out for 20+ years.

    But man, if any of us had any idea of the scale to which the insider Chicago rich were gonna rape the taxpayers so they could wipe with money - we would have voted for Jim “Mr. Excitement” Ryan.

    It’s pretty clear this administration is gonna be in trouble for the old re-elect. They’ve all shown not just an immaturity, but a clear, consistent and unwavering arrogance. Seems to me that CMS is pretty much run by the GOMB Budget Shop, which is run by a shell game dealer and his ‘consultant’ friends. All the while, the rest of the boys seems to think that ‘You can do what you want, the P.R. Team will fix it later.”

    Seems that ‘consultants’ are worse scam artists than I thought.

    The Speaker and the Sen. President need to come out swinging pretty darned soon or a few Dems might lose their seats in the legislature. Points to Mautino & Franks - not my favorite team, but smart nonetheless.


  15. - the Other Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 10:13 am:

    I made this point in a comment to another post, but this is where Blagojevich and his gang may regret taking their core supporters for granted.

    I think the story will have legs, although the electronic (radio and tee-vee) media reports this morning did not show much comprehension of the audit. It’s a difficult story, I’ll admit, but once a media consultant gets a hold on it and turns it into a 30-second spot, it will be devastating. Since the defense of the agency is even more convoluted than the charge, I think it will play.

    Blago’s not dead yet, but the chances of him ending this year with a positive enough image to withstand a negative campaign is very slim.


  16. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 10:21 am:

    This story is going to become an ongoing festering sore for Team Rod: every time the governor attends a public press event, he’s going to get peppered with more queries from reporters about the various dimensions of this scandal and what he’s going to do about it, what he knew, what he didn’t know, why didn’t he know, is he lying or stupid, etc. S.O.P. This stuff will keep Doogie, Andy, and the rest of the Chicago media wolves feasting for weeks if they play it right. May IS a sweeps month, you know.

    Team Rod will HATE this, because this narcissistic administration lives to bask in the glow of positive PR, to the point that they make up things to take public credit for (example, take existing programs from previous admins, give them a new name, then act like they just invented it).

    Look for them to make agency directors beard for Rod at press events for the next couple of weeks, and a media carpet bombing of of pre-taped Media Releases on various “milk and cookies” subjects to deflect attention. Rod will make public appearances only at things where no formal press Q&A will be scheduled, rubber chicken dinners and the like. They will say the reason he’s ducking the media is he’s hunkering down to work out the budget and those Ethics reforms that were going to “rock our world”…. yeah, that’s the ticket…

    The A.G. angle will be “handled” by Rod’s people hinting Speaker Madigan is having his daughter do his dirty work. I think the Speaker would say he doesn’t need any help, Blago’s people are “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight” In more ways than one.

    For democrats, this administration is amazingly Nixonian. Maybe Rod will take a quick trip to China until this blows over? Or Western Illinois at least, might be some pretty 10k runs out that way…

    They say the fish rots from the head down, and that’s what’s happened at CMS: the top tiers of it need to be scaped off and replaced by folks who are about doing the job first and campaigning for the Governor second.


  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 10:26 am:

    I’m not sure how damaging this is, since what folks in Springfield consider earth-shattering rarely ends up to be the case with normal working, taxpaying Illiniosans.

    Springfield hyperventillates about every little issue.

    On the the hand, this audit seriously undermines the Governor’s ability to claim cost savings and better management, etc.

    If he’s an effective CEO, he would take this audit and then take his top-level staff to the woodshed. And when he returns from the woodshed, several top-level staff should be announcing their resignation.

    The Governor has to lay responsibility for this somewhere, and that’s likely where it belongs.

    And this, again, points out why the Gov blundered when he didn’t hire more seasoned Spfld and IL gov’t types.


  18. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 10:42 am:

    I agree that someone will have to take the the blame……so to CMS employees, watch out! Here comes that bus that Dick Mell talked about..


  19. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 10:44 am:

    I guess I’ll post…

    Seems there’s a lot of experts out there. Here’s my expertise…

    Isn’t it time for the Governor to stay on message through actions and not just words.

    People want principle. They want to see proof that business is changing as usual. I’m afraid they won’t believe it from these guys anymore.

    Note to Tusk and the boys: Countless troopers on detail with a guy who thinks he might be Elvis reincarnated, illegally raiding special funds, a mansion that collects dust, a vaccine program that cost millions and failed in embarrassment…now this? Stay on message and REFORM BUSINESS AS USUAL LIKE YOU ALL SAID YOU WOULD!

    Politics is about addition. And the republicans are adding scores of people every day.

    This is gonna hurt real bad because people are convinced that you lied and mislead them - and it seems you’re continuing to do so.

    It’s time to make some decisions that make good improvements to Illinois and it’s residents - you know, the TAXPAYERS and the BUSINESS OWNERS and those SINGLE MOMS and those SCHOOL CHILDREN and all of those other people you all claim are usually overlooked. What are all of you people doing to make this state a better place?

    You’ve lost the editorial pages. That was about your last hope.

    Better hope the GOP runs some real scumbags next year.

    There’s an impact that’s coming from this for sure Rich. And it ain’t good for a lot of Democrats.


  20. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 10:46 am:

    It’s not the audit itself, it’s the roadmap and the narrative it gives to the Lege, the Press and the AG.

    The audit will die as a story, but it’ll spawn a thousand stories, none of which will be complimentary.

    Then again, there is one way it stays alive, Campbell and the brain trust keep attacking the auditor and there will be a push back from the Lege–that’ll be entertaining if the administration is too stupid to continue the claim that there are no problems.


  21. - Vanilla World - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 11:10 am:

    Yes, this audit will pay dividends to all those who have been insulted, abused, accused and defamed by Mr. Holier-than-thou in the governor’s office.

    But His Blagojeness will start throwing as many people under the buses as soon as possible in order to save himself.

    Expect to start hearing that the drunken sailors are back, that the Soviet bureaucracy has taken control of CMS, that business as usual will end, blah, blah, blah, as Mr. Blow-Dry blows his PR nonsense at Illinois voters.

    Jeez, how much longer do we have to wait for election day?


  22. - Vanilla World - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 11:12 am:

    “It ain’t bragging if you can do it”, is a wonderful quote from Jackie Gleason to remember.

    Well, since 2003, we’ve been hearing all the bragging. And the insults toward veteran state workers. And the accusation that legislators are drunken sailors. And the really REALLY bad jokes. And the comments about how even with an 18 on his SAT he still became governor. And how this or that state agency is like a Soviet bureaucracy. And how Springfield is full of snakes and insiders. And how he is a Cubs fan. And a White Sox fan. And a Cardinals fan. And an Illini fan. And how he has saved Illinois millions on millions of dollars. And how he is not going to allow business as usual.

    Nothing but brags. And insults. And hot air. Nothing but attitude.

    The audit proves it. We’ve all been wasting our time with this Chicago pol’s son-in-law playing governor.

    NEXT!


  23. - NumbersGuy - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 11:27 am:

    My unequivocal opinion..it depends.

    Depends on how serious AG Madigan pursues these issues.

    Depends on how far the media digs into a complicated and hard to write story, how many ed boards pick it up, and how many new story threads develop.

    Depends on the GA reaction, starting with the Legislative Audit Commission, which could order General Holland to put CMS on an annual audit schedule until they think things are straightened out. That could put next year’s report on the street, oh, right around primary time if things moved along well.

    Depends on the Blago team reaction. If they could for once show some sign of contrition, maybe this can pass. I won’t bet on that.

    No expert, just a realist.


  24. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 11:31 am:

    The CMS audit has one benefit for Blago…it deflected attention away from the Sun Times stories this week regarding his mob connected buddy from the old neighborhood who landed a six figure job with IDOT and was just arrested this month for DUI (not his first) and assaulting an officer. I’m sure there are plenty more like this guy on the payroll.


  25. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 12:15 pm:

    This will become a problem for Blago, especially if the off-beat (transportation, education) writers start finding ways to include this thing in their stories.

    (We can’t get a new road built to save our lives here in the suburbs. Maybe that’s because CMS took $17 million from IDOT and didn’t deliver on the promised savings.)

    The only question is whether it becomes a problem in the general or during a primary fight. Frankly, it is better for the Dems if they deal with this sooner rather than later.
    Still, it is more of a problem for Blago in a primary than in the general. Remember, the Ryan trial starts this fall.

    And so much for Blago keeping his head down. He has a 2 p.m. media availability in D.C. to discuss “efforts to secure the Rare Isotope Accelerator project.”
    I’m sure that’s what everybody will want to talk about.


  26. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 1:10 pm:

    I don’t believe it will have a real impact in the next Governors election in November of 2006.


  27. - DazedGovernor - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 1:44 pm:

    When picked to bits and put into campaign sound bites, it could very well bury Blagozo. One question. Does Mell get to retract his retraction since this audit seems to validate some of his claims? Just wondering.


  28. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 3:27 pm:

    For this to be major it has to get to the point where criminal charges are filed. I think that this will also encourage more investigative reporters to look into the inner workings of the Gov’s office and that crack inspector general. The press have deep respect for Holland. The more CMS fights it the longer the story runs… and not in Rod’s favor. I would bet the next audit will get put on the front burner. MSI had a fall guy and they immediately started damage control and they didn’t fight it. Mike Lawrence kept Edgar at a safe distance. We’ll see how smart the wonder boy from New York really is.
    There’s more to come….


  29. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 4:45 pm:

    In reference to the 4/27 comment ” . . . if similar audits at other major agencies reveal the same types of mismanagement or malfeasence the Republicans can start measuring for curtins,” what I’ve heard from IDOT’ers is that it’s going on there too, big time.


  30. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 5:12 pm:

    Looks like the fun is starting …AP just published quote from Blago

    WASHINGTON, DC (AP) _ Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (bluh-GOY’-uh-vich) is defending a state agency accused of mismanagement and carelessness with taxpayers’ money.

    Speaking to reporters in Washington, he said the Department of Central Management Services has cut government spending by hundreds of (m) millions of dollars. Blagojevich says C-M-S is being criticized because it — quote — ‘’ruffled some feathers.'’


  31. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 5:55 pm:

    Anonymous 4/27/05, Republicans can start measuring for curtins.

    Predicting that a Republican or Democrat for that matter will win an election in Illinois that is eighteen months away and you don’t even know who the candidates are or what the issues will be.

    Give me a break. That is the same Republican mentality that brought Alan Keys to Illinois.


  32. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 9:13 pm:

    The CMSAudit will probably be the last straw for Blago and his administration, unless he can throw the budget guy and the operations guy under that bus. The people around him have virtually destroyed his credability, if he had any to start with. Is he really that stupid or maybe he just doesn’t about anyone but himself, A real message in this could be, “Be nice to my daddy!!”


  33. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 9:27 pm:

    ABC News reports: “The governor says the dispute is like a heavyweight fight between accountants”

    It’s the Match in the Patch!

    Holland might take the first few rounds against Palookavich, but look for Blaco to turn to Wilhelm, Rumman, and others to score the knock-out punch in the later rounds.

    Holland is going to need a Sherron Watkins to emerge before round 8.

    While McKinney and Fusco provided an excellent piece of journalism today, there is no visceral connection to this scandal (no logo of a “hired truck” that connects with regular folks).

    The next Blago spin move will be to play the Jeff Skilling/Ken Lay/Bernie Ebbers/John Rigas card: This accounting stuff is really, really complex, and the people of Illinois want a governor that can lead, not count beans.

    I’d bet $1,000 that this BS about $600 million can be traced to a single “vision” document from Bearing Point or Accenture that lays out a set of unrealistic assumptions that might theoretically lead to $600 million in savings:

    “First, we sell the State of Illinois building.”

    “Second, we sell the naming rights to all State-owned facilities., e.g. the Tony Rezko Emissions Center”

    “Third, we make all of our vendors provide for their projected savings up front in cash”

    “Fourth, we give all of the K-12 teachers in the State of Illinois voicemail” (am I the only one who remembers that Blago suggestion”

    Final verdict: Without more masterful journalism and inside sources, this stuff evaporates.

    Best quote of the day: (Frank Watson, I think) “This isn’t business as usual–it’s worse.”


  34. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 9:54 pm:

    Don’t know that this audit makes good campaign commercials for the GOP, but it certainly can’t be good for the guv to have all of his future CMS saved $xxx million dollars quotes followed with “but a report by the auditor gen. could not find any saved money”

    In fact, I would say that’s kind of really bad for his budget negotiating position, which is already really really weak.

    June should be interesting.


  35. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 10:51 pm:

    And to think that today us paeons were told the time had come for OUR annual ethics quiz. Did the CMS upper echelon cross their fingers behind their backs when they took it the first time? The blame for the CMS fiasco will be massaged and diverted and buck-passed until it reaches the 8th page of Illinois newspapers and all but forgotten. Rich Mell is a lot like Martha Mitchell during the Nixon era - Martha was right and so is Mell.


  36. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 27, 05 @ 11:36 pm:

    “In fact, I would say that’s kind of really bad for his budget negotiating position, which is already really really weak.”

    With only 1 month before the budget goes into OT session, this major distraction will have the critics tearing apart the budget line by line.

    Our agency’s next fiscal year program was supposed to be released last week. It’s embargoed now, even though it has already been printed up and waiting to go. Wonder if this audit, and the knowledge that the insiders had of it, has any relation to this?


  37. - Tom Joad - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 4:50 pm:

    Anonymous…I find the statement “They have not saved agencies money–trust me….” pretty absurd. How can anyone log on as anonymous and say “trust me.” Trust you ? Put your name to the comment if you want everyone to think you have insider knowledge.


  38. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 28, 05 @ 4:55 pm:

    It depends on how other issues are resolved, like CTA transit, the next budget, whether he can hold to his no taxes promise. If he brings in the budget, including saving the CTA as is, or most of it, and doesn’t raise (income)taxes, the audit will be forgotten.

    In terms of 06 governor’s race,
    so much depends on who the opponent is. Somebody who is
    engaging and articulate could weave
    the negative audits, the mob boyhood pal, the misuse of state contracts, shady campaign contributions, the failure to live in Springfield, the IDOT administrator/drunken driver, etc etc into a devastating
    picture. But it’s not at all clear that the Republicans have someone engaging and articulate and there is no Independent on the horizon.


  39. - Anonymous - Saturday, Apr 30, 05 @ 10:03 am:

    The IDOT administrator/drunk driver……IDOT’s motor pool records should be audited along with their hiring practices and contracts. Rumor has it that several administrator’s motor pool records are being deleted.


  40. - squirrel man - Friday, Jul 28, 06 @ 5:03 pm:

    It is AMAZING that the people in this state of Il. spell the Govs. nane wrong. IT SHOULD BE BLABOVICH! When he was running for the office things were going to change. They did he had everything HID UNDER THE RUG!!!!!!!!!!


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* Dried scallops the key ingredient in chef C.J. Jacobson's 'Mediterranean XO sauce' [VIDEO]
* Weed Week: Get in the mood for 4/20 with these photos by Chicagoans dedicated to legal weed
* Asynchronous Discussions, Group Projects Still Dominate in Online Courses
* Red state teacher revolt rolls on to AZ.
* Why EdTech hasn’t solved education’s problems
* Roving robot lets UCI student attend classes virtually while on bed rest
* What is the future of online learning in higher education?
* Apple Introduces Apple Teacher For Teachers To be Inspired, Build Skills And More
* Too toxic.


* IEMA Highlights Role of Volunteers in Disasters
* Governor Rauner activates State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield
* February Flooding Information
* IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
* Governor issues state disaster proclamation for flooding in Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion Counties

  
* Samsung Galaxy S9 (dual SIM) going for $660 in US
* Apple’s recycling robot disassembles 200 iPhones an hour
* The future of SMS - RCS messaging - to be called "Chat", Android is all in
* North Korea’s freeze on nuclear testing isn’t a victory — it’s negotiation
* Deleting your Facebook account won’t keep it from tracking you
* OnePlus 6 Avengers Edition rumors, LG V40 rumors & more – Pocketnow Daily
* AT&T launches its “5G” to more markets

* Farquhar faints in dugout, taken to hospital
* Rodon drops in, still hopeful for late-May return
* White Sox Minor League Update: April 20, 2018
* Farquhar faints in dugout, taken to hospital
* Shields, White Sox stumble vs. Astros in opener
* Astros romp in 10-0 laugher
* Farquhar faints in dugout, taken to hospital


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