I’m not sure this is believable.
The governor insisted he is not considering the tollway-leasing idea as a way of keeping state Sen. James Meeks, a Chicago independent, from making a run for governor.
Meeks, who is also the pastor of Chicago’s 22,000-member Salem Baptist Church, continues to eye a bid, saying he is disappointed Blagojevich is not putting more money into schools and social programs. Meeks has said he wants a pledge from the governor to devote billions more to education during a second term, although Blagojevich has again taken a pledge not to raise the income or sales taxes.
Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, the Republican candidate for governor, said the state needs to be careful about leasing the toll highway system.
“If we are selling it to keep Sen. Meeks out of an election, if that’s indeed the reason it would be done, that would be probably the most awful, opportunistic reason for doing something like that,” Topinka said. “You can always look and see if there is some merit to any of this, but it seems the reasoning behind this is purely political, and ultimately the state would be without an asset.”