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Question of the day

Thursday, Dec 22, 2005

Continuing our theme this week, what do you think was the most positive development of 2006 2005? The most negative?

Please keep your responses Illinois-centric. Thanks.

(Oops. It was late and I wrote the wrong year. I was wondering why the comments seemed so off-kilter.)

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - nsa leaker - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 4:44 am:

    This will be seen as positive for some, negative for others: The completion of investigations and indictments of political figures of both parties by an independent federal prosecutor in Chicago. If our politics is to be renewed then the deadwood needs to be cleared occasionally, and the pay to play system which infects both parties is beaten back, at least for a short time. I’m not a big fan of Peter Fitzgerald, but I think his appointment of another Fitzgerald to office of Chicago U.S. Attorney was one of the best legacies left our state by a U.S. Senator.

    Yet these investigations also tarnishe our state, and obviously they upset those who have profited by “how things are done in Illinois” as it is described by those close to the incumbent governor (and have subsequently been indicted) and by Gov. Ryan (also indicted and now convicted).

  2. - SouthernILRepub - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 7:00 am:

    Positive - Blago is unseated, hopefully leading to more sound fiscal policy

    Negative - Whomever the Republican nominee is, the IL Republican Party fractures even further

  3. - Paul Simon Museum Guy - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 7:18 am:

    Most positive: Tired of indicted public officials, Illinois voters revolt and elect Patrick “Untouchable” Fitzgerald in a massive write-in campaign.
    Most negative: Tired of incessant carping between candidates during the primary and general election season, citizens tune out and the fringes of both parties choose our next leader.

  4. - Shallow Pharnyx - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 7:38 am:

    Positive- FY2005 Budget passed with little fanfare and without special sessions. Kids Care (if it can be funded).

    Negative- Pension raid; not restructuring the way our schools are funded and all of the ongoing investigations.

  5. - LAC - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 8:22 am:

    Good Morning Rich and Merry Christmas!!

    I know this is off subject but could you please post Chuck Goudie’s follow-up story (ABC Channel 7-Chicago, December 20, 2005)on the governors security guards? I can’t believe ISP Director Larry Trent’s comments!! Unbelievable!!

  6. - Ed Murnane - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 8:29 am:

    Most postive: the change in the judicial system in Southern Illinois following the election of Lloyd Karmeier to the Illinois Supreme Court. The fact that judges like Philip Kardis and George Moran are retiring from the Madison County courts because of the changes is significant. Judge Lloyd Cueto in St. Clair County won’t subject himself to a retention campaign because he knows there’s a new atmosphere in St. Clair.

    Democrat judges are not necessarily going to be replaced by Republican judges, but judges who belonged to the “old” establishment are going to be replaced by new, and hopefully fairer, judges.

  7. - So-Called "Austin Mayor" - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 8:57 am:

    Positive 2005 — Governor Blagojevich’s All Kids. If this program works as advertised, i.e. making comprehensive health insurance available to every uninsured child at rates their parents can afford, it will change the future of Illinois in a huge way.
    Thanks Rod.

    Negative 2005 — Governor Blagojevich’s All Kids. This should have been an untainted positive, but if history is any guide, this program will turn out to be another empty, underfunded P.R. stunt with little or no positive impact on the state’s children. Hard to get very excited about it without feeling like a fool.
    Thanks Rod.

  8. - Pat Hickey - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 9:01 am:

    The poistive development of 2005 was the twenty minutes it took a jury to toss the charges brought on by the Cook County Jail thugs; the geniuses at U. of C. Law; the Tribune ‘investigative’ team; and the blue ribbon panel of ex-bagmen. Most delightful was Mike Sheahan’s assessment of the Chicago Tribune’s work in the matter.

    The worst development is the continuingly sad saga of the Cook County Board President’s friends. I think that John stroger is a fine, fine man, but he seems surrounded by the most inept and larsonous bums: the ever unpeeling story of Ms Shirley Glover will give readers months of haws and giggles at John Stoger’s expense. That is too bad for a man so personally honorable and kind. Mr. Stroger use chums for what they are worth - throw them to the sharks.

  9. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 9:03 am:

    The most negative? The Republican party shows that it refuses to unite and remains fractured. The mass resignations of Springfield senators certainly doesn’t help and proven GOP vote getters in the Senate are being pressured to resign.

    The last second scramble for GOP contenders for statewide offices give the appearance of continuing chaos.

    “Topinkajevich” wisecracks and other such nonsense just shows that the far right wing of the GOP would rather continue losing elections and griping about it.

    This year will go down as “opportunities blown” instead of gained for the GOP.

    The most positive? Real reform is being enforced through the efforts of Federal Prosecutors. The bad apples are slowly being weeded out. The “old ways” of doing things are biting those who practice it (Blagojevich and others).

    Louis G. Atsaves

  10. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 9:15 am:

    Positive: Illinois economy rebounds slightly, State unexpectedly rakes in gas tax dough, offsetting huge state deficit.

    Negative: Today’s Census figures show Illinois to be the slowest growing state in comparison to it’s neighbors. No population growth - no future. Governor creates further budgetary nightmare by promising AllKids boondoggle. Illinois further slides into blue state economic miasma, joining NY, MA, RI, and MI as economic has-beens.

  11. - Common Sense in Illinois - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 9:20 am:

    Positive Side — Passage of the SFY 06 budget without sticking business with additional tax and fee increases, addressing health care for children, and for the Governor, avoiding any indictments of administration officials, including himself.

    Negative side — mortgaging the state pension systems to create “new revenue” for more unchecked spending, creating a helath care system without a funding stream (new or sustained) or clear standards of just who is covered for what services, and for the administration, having four agencies, and soon a fifth (administration of IDES is 100 percent federally funded, so hellooo USDOL investigators) under some form of state or federal (both) investigation.

    Just some starters…

  12. - Cassandra - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 9:27 am:

    Positive: the federal probes of the Blago administration and of the disintegrating DCFS, where several high level executives had to be moved out of their positions. They are still feeding at the taxpayer trough, but maybe not too much longer. And the probes demonstrate that somebody is representing the taxpayers in trying to hold back government corruption.

    Negative: the combination of Allkids, the pension grab, cheap housing for illegals and other populist Blago programs—our taxes in 2007 are going to go up up up, as we struggle to pay our mortgages and save for our retirements and our kids’ college education. Money, our money, is the big negative for Illinois taxpayers this year.

  13. - North of I-80 - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 10:02 am:

    Negative: Budget deal; Raiding IL pension fund even though IL is the 49th [or 50th depending on which measurement] ranked state in under-funding
    Positive: Federal investigations going.

  14. - Ben - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 11:39 am:

    Positives: The indicted GOPs and upcoming indictment of the Dems. Changes is good soemtimes, too bad it had to come this way.

    Negative:The unfunded AllKids. Lots of expectations for the program but the lack of reimbursements increases to hospitals, MD and dentists will strain the system more than it is now.

    We know what is important to Gov Blago, the press releases on the # of eligibles for AllKids, not how many actually can get care.

    P.S. AllKids is not an insurance program for all kids. It is simply the Medicaid program wrapped up with a new christmas or election year bow. Since when does everyone what to go on Medicaid?

  15. - Conjunction Junction - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 12:38 pm:

    Prediction/guess: An NTSB investigation into the recent train crossing accidents will show the crossings were slated for safety upgrades during George’s term using Illinois F.I.R.S.T. money, but that money was held back by the Blagojevich administration amid claims it was porkbarrel spending in a time of fiscal crisis, and the upgrades were never done.

  16. - Black Libertarian - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 2:02 pm:

    Positive - White Sox

    Negative - Cubs

  17. - Smitty Irving - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 2:40 pm:

    Positive - Patrick Fitzgerald - need I say anything else?

    Negative - Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier (R-Insurance Industry) - for his decision in the State Farm case saying that auto insurance policies are not similar, so people who buy auto insurance cannot sue in Class Action Status.

  18. - Link master - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 3:43 pm:

    Dan Proft sinks another campaign. Will anybody want to hire this loser again? I know Rauschenberger won’t!

  19. - Chicago - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 5:03 pm:

    Looking back at the scandals throughout the year of several State Departments is definitely a negative. While foster children programs are being cut in our Department (DCFS) thousands upon thousands of dollars were wasted by the likes of its Deputy Director. All that could be said that it was an “unethical act”. Does the Governor agree that stealing from the neediest kids in the county to be only an unethical act? Let the voters never forget that the Governor said, “no one close to me would every do anything unethical or illegal”. Remember his words on Election Day.

  20. - Aunt Glabby - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 5:12 pm:

    Further raiding our grossly underfunded pension funds, which are THE ticking time bomb which will make it impossible for any Governor to do anything.

  21. - Jenny Kustra - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 6:57 pm:

    Stroger plays a fool, but be very careful. Beneath his bumbling exterior is a manipulative guy without a moral compass.

  22. - 6 Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 7:25 pm:

    Vanilla Man 9:15: The census figures can be interpreted a number of different ways. Of the states in IL’s population range, only Florida shows larger growth. OH, MI, and PA are pretty anemic compared to IL. I was shocked to see New York state’s population projection dropping from 04 to 05.

    OTOH, if we look at the breakdowns which are not yet available (but looking at the last few years’ trends), I expect to see a large fraction of IL’s growth being a net gain in international migration to IL offsetting a net loss in internal migration from IL (to other states, mostly in the Sun Belt). The states that are real growth magnets trend positive in both internal and international migration. Bottom line here is that many native Illinoisans are leaving.

    Another megatrend within IL is that Cook County is hemorrhaging people (#1 county in the US in projected annual population loss) while the south and western suburbs are gaining everything that Cook loses and more (Kane, Kendall and Will in particular). DuPage, and to a lesser extent Lake, are stabilizing because of availability of developable land and rising home prices. And the rest of IL is stagnant or slowly losing, with a few growth spots such as Bloomington/Normal and the greater Rockford area.

    Do these trends affect the politics of the state? You betcha. Even as a blue state, the purple suburbs are emerging as the new power broker, and in the future we may be referring to the power of Will County dems in the same regard as the DuPage County GOP of the ’80’s and ’90’s. And the GOP power base is now in Kendall and Kane as its influence is somewhat waning in DuPage.

    Back to the question at hand: Positive IL development of 2005 - the White Sox win the WS. Negative IL development of 2005 - the state moves aimlessly under a cloud of corruption and incompetence that envelopes both parties, with few bright spots in either.

  23. - Beowulf - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 8:13 pm:

    Positive Change–Patrick “The Tenacious Pitbull” Fitzgerald closing his eyes and wading into the Illinois muck in order to clean it up
    Negative–The minimal sentences that those indicted and convicted receive. “Wanted–Ethically challenged individuals. Huge financial rewards offered with likelihood of getting caught minimal. For those rare few that are, 6-12 month all expenses paid stay in a college dormitory setting. Persons with integrity need not apply.” See GOP Combine or Chicago Machine if interested

  24. - FredNietch - Friday, Dec 23, 05 @ 3:56 am:

    The most positive development of 2005 has been the debunking of the Hispanic Democratic Organization.

    It makes sense that in an era in which the Latino minority is becoming the majority, amongst the population of marginalized identities, that it now should be made obvious that this project was never aimed at TRUE Latino political empowerment. HDO was always already a scheme to perpetuate the political machine that begot it- i.e. the Daley system.

    I cannot imagine that any HDO-backed legislators will remain after the March Primary. Garza is motivated and ambitious enough to unseat Sandoval. Munoz will be challenged by a recognized name like Frias and by a new unencumbered name like Torres.

    And Eddie Acevedo WILL lose to the enterprising young newcomer Francisco Rodriguez. I met Rodriguez at fundraiser and he is impressive.

    So, thank God for the repudiation of HDO in 2005.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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