I had a little about this in this morning’s Capitol Fax, but here is a much longer story.
For the second time in as many days, a white south suburban mayor has called on Gov. Rod Blagojevich to lease 4,200 acres of land to build the long-discussed third airport in the region.
Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld said in a written statement that Blagojevichâ€™s backing of the airport is â€œthe single most important act the governor can do to support the Southland.â€
â€œThe South Suburbs have been the stepchild of Illinois for too long,â€ Hofeld said. â€œAs a region, we are told to be patient, that our time will come. Well, weâ€™re tired of waiting.â€
Hofeldâ€™s announcement comes on the heels of a fiery statement by Country Club Hills Mayor Dwight Welch, who blasted Blagojevich for playing â€œracial politicsâ€ over the airport
And here’s another one.
Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson said supporters of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s Peotone airport plan must be getting desperate.
Halvorson, D-Crete, was reacting Wednesday to news stories on Country Club Hills Mayor Dwight Welch’s statement that Gov. Rod Blagojevich was using “racial politics” in the proposed Peotone airport debate.
Blagojevich is refusing to partner with predominantly black southern Cook County towns that back Jackson, D-Chicago, and he’s trying to appease the mostly white Will County communities, Welch said in published reports.
“It has absolutely nothing to do with race,” Halvorson said from Springfield. “It never has. What a shame they have decided to play the race card. I’m offended by that.”
Halvorson said she is continuing to try to get a development district bill passed in the Legislature that would protect the communities closest to the airport site, which is completely located in eastern Will County.
The Senate has already passed the bill and it’s waiting for a vote in the House. Halvorson said the Legislature’s session could be extended past the current April 7 adjournment date, which would make a vote on the bill more likely.
Read the whole thing. Pretty intense. You can see Mayor Welch’s full press release here.