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Box is safe

Friday, Jan 27, 2006

Looks like new ICC Chairman-designate Charles Box is safe for now.

Last September, Blagojevich hinted that he would fire any commissioner who approved the auctions. In letters to them, he wrote that he would consider any such approval “either a serious neglect of duty or gross incompetence by the ICC.”

Marty Cohen, Blagojevich’s new consumer aide, said the governor is disappointed with Box.

“He believes that the Commerce Commission is going beyond its authority by ordering the auction,” Cohen said.

But he said the governor’s comment about neglect and incompetence “was not explicitly made as a threat. We just don’t feel it would be productive to remove commissioners.”

That’s quite a turnaround, if you ask me.

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      


Memories

Friday, Jan 27, 2006

I had forgotten that Jim Oberweis implied in 2004 that Alan Keyes was “a god.”

GOPer Jim Oberweis likened Keyes to a “god” when Keyes officially announced his entrance into the Senate race over the weekend. “I was asked in the last week or so what I think it would be like to run against a god …” Oberweis said. “Why don’t you ask [Democratic Senate candidate Barack] Obama, ’cause he’s gonna find out.'’

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      


Warning

Friday, Jan 27, 2006

Everybody just needs to calm down on the rumor mill about this story. I’ve heard way too many rumors and from what I can tell, most of them aren’t true. Local talk radio was pretty egregious yesterday. The SJ-R publishes the same admonition today:

Aside from six people charged last year, no one has been arrested or indicted in connection with the wider probe. There is no indication whether those being questioned are suspected of using or dealing in cocaine or whether they’re merely being asked about the activities of others.

Rumors about people said to be involved ran rampant in legal and political circles Thursday. However, many of the names being bandied about apparently are incorrect.

I just wanted to warn you that all comments related to this subject will be deleted. Please, don’t even try. Let this take its course. We’ll all know soon enough.

In the meantime, relax and take a deep breath… but not through your nose.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Oh, please

Friday, Jan 27, 2006

You gotta be kidding me.

Alan Keyes’ calamitous U.S. Senate bid in 2004 became a focal point Thursday in the Republican race for lieutenant governor when two of the contenders argued over who was more responsible for importing the Maryland conservative.

During a forum before the Tribune’s editorial board, Steve Rauschenberger, one of the contenders for lieutenant governor, said GOP governor candidate Judy Baar Topinka was to blame for Keyes’ candidacy because she was head of the state Republican Party at the time. But Topinka’s running mate, Joseph Birkett, noted Rauschenberger was one of the first to push Keyes’ name as a candidate. […]

But Birkett, DuPage County’s state’s attorney, said Rauschenberger was instrumental in suggesting Keyes to his good friend and state central committee member, state Sen. Dave Syverson of Rockford. Rauschenberger later employed top Keyes’ campaign staff members for his now discarded bid for governor.

“To blame Judy for all the problems of the party is just unfair. It’s just unfair, Steve,” Birkett said. “And she is not to blame for Alan Keyes or a lot of the other problems with this party.”

Later, Rauschenberger attempted to distance himself from Keyes, saying he only suggested his name but had no involvement in the campaign. He acknowledged, however, that he donated $500 to Keyes’ campaign and publicly supported him.

This isn’t the first time that Rauschenberger has tried to put some distance between himself and the 27 percent solution.

Here is one from December.

You’d think he’d give up on this subject by now.

Shortly after Keyes was recruited by conservatives, the Tribune wrote:

Keyes’ entered the race only within the last few days as state Sen. Dave Syverson of Rockford and state Sen. Steve Rauschenberger of Elgin pushed for Keyes’ nomination.

And then there’s this question that George Stephanopoulos asked Keyes during ABC’s This Week program.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Here’s how one of the state senators who came to you described it. He said, “We”–the Republicans, and it’s State Senator Stephen Rauschenberger. He said, “We needed to find another Harvard-educated African American who had some experience on the national political scene. We need that because the Democrats have made an icon out of Barack Obama, and the only way to fight back is to find your own icon–and that is not an easy thing to do.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   40 Comments      


Question of the day

Friday, Jan 27, 2006

It’s Friday, so let’s do something offbeat again.

Forget the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only team to go undefeated in the Super Bowl age. And the 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers, who won the Super Bowl that season and then captured three more.

The Illinois General Assembly unanimously decided Thursday to designate the 1985 Chicago Bears the greatest football team of all time. The resolution also calls for November 2005 to be named 1985 Chicago Bears Championship month.

“It’s a real honor,” ‘85 Bears tight end Tim Wrightman told the Sun-Times by phone. “I’m glad we didn’t have to play anybody for it, though.”

Under Coach Mike Ditka, the ‘85 Bears shut out two playoff opponents before beating New England 46-10 in the Super Bowl. Thursday marked the 20th anniversary of that Super Bowl win.

Were the ‘85 Bears really the greatest football team ever?

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      


House chair for sale

Friday, Jan 27, 2006

Somebody in Kankakee County is selling a “retired” chair from the Illinois House of Representatives on eBay.

Check out this description:

This chair was retired from the State of Illinois House of Representatives in Springfield Illinois around 1977. It was acquired from its last occupant in the House. There is a leather State of Illinois seal attached to the back. The chair holds many secrets from that era as it was used by state representatives from Kankakee County, including Nobel Prize Nominee, and former Illinois Governor, George Ryan.

The seller didn’t mention that Ryan is on trial right now, but that may be understandable. Although I’m sure the feds would like to bring the chair in for questioning since it “holds many secrets.”

Starting bid is a cool $1,000.

(Hat tip to my eBay-addicted father.)

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      


Early morning shorts

Friday, Jan 27, 2006

A new labor agreement allows some SEIU members two days off every year to lobby Springfield for more state money.

A blast e-mail from Jim Oberweis yesterday quoted the Capitol Fax about his debate performance but used an ellipsis to skip over the word “wacko.” Hey, I meant it in a good way.

Democratic treasurer candidate Alexi Giannoulias wants a compliance audit of Bright Start, but says he doesn’t actually know of any problems.

Edwin Eisendrath still can’t convince Rod Blagojevich to debate him. But Esquared says he won’t dispatch the usual guy dressed in a chicken suit to follow the governor around (that guy already works for somebody else).

Cook County could double the tax on cigarettes, to $2 a pack, and some don’t like it.

Hiram Wurf muses about the netroots.

The strange saga of the $20 million high-speed train to (almost) nowhere gets even weirder.

A township assessor may be too much in love with property tax caps. (I have bad memories about the word “assessor.” I lost the county spelling bee after I misspelled that word in 6th Grade because, believe it or not, I was too embarassed to spell a-s-s, so I left off an “s”.)

Proviso craziness.

Did Mancow refer to Governor Blagojevich as “Charles Manson“?

Some reasons why Democratic governors in “red” states and Republican governors in “blue” states appear to be thriving.

- Posted by Rich Miller   2 Comments      


Durbin approval jumps

Friday, Jan 27, 2006

I’m not sure what he did, but US Sen. Dick Durbin’s job approval rating is now at the highest it’s been since SurveyUSA began its montly tracker last May.

52 percent approve of Sen. Durbin’s job performance (a 6-point jump since last month) and 34 percent disapprove (down from 39 percent last month). He shot way up among seniors (11 points) and males (13 points).

Sen. Barack Obama’s approval, according to SurveyUSA is 72 percent, while 20 percent disapprove.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      


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