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Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Enter your password to view comments      

Question of the day

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006

Assuming that the statewide advisory referendum against gay marriage makes it onto the ballot (perhaps a big assumption, but stay with me anyway), how will you vote? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller   53 Comments      


Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006

The Tribune finally gets around to reporting a story that it held last week.

Some supporters of Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich last week embarked on a last-ditch effort to try to help Stufflebeam by soliciting people to pass petitions for his Constitution Party. The move was viewed as an effort to try to take away votes from Blagojevich’s main challenger, Republican state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka.

“I heard that some people were doing that,” Blagojevich said of efforts to help Stufflebeam. He said that last week he `instructed my campaign that our people should play no role in that and that we should discourage our people from having anything to do with it.”

Those “supporters” were reportedly state employees who were ordered to the Springfield headquarters to pick up petitions.

Meanwhile, Stufflebeam, as expected, came up way short.

Among the third-party candidates to file with the State Board of Elections was Randy Stufflebeam of Belleville and his Constitution Party. Stufflebeam, a conservative candidate for governor, filed only 4,300 signatures, far below the 25,000 needed to appear on the ballot.

“We sucked wind,” Stufflebeam said. “As long as we’re under the radar and somebody doesn’t challenge us, we’ll have ballot access.”

I wouldn’t bet on that.

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      

Politics and the state

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006

Governor Blagojevich claims he has walled off politics from the state. He wouldn’t even take a political question at the Statehouse during the final week of spring session. He also says fundraising has nothing to do with government operations.

So, I can’t help but wonder why the governor’s chief of staff accompanied Blagojevich to a Washington, DC fundraiser this week. On the governor’s other arm was John Wyma, who has parlayed his 2002 campaign work into a big bucks lobbying career, despite the fact that he is rarely in Springfield.

Meanwhile, the AP has discovered that a qualified pilot who is also a veteran wasn’t even called for a job interview for an opening to fly state planes. Instead, the job went to a congressman’s son-in-law after the governor’s office contacted CMS.

CMS spokesman Justin DeJong said there are sometimes gaps between the time a job applicant’s test is graded and the time it is officially entered into the pool of candidates. He said information must be manually entered into what he called an “antiquated system.”

“Unfortunately there was a lag time between when this gentleman got a grade and when the information was entered into the system,” DeJong said.

The pilot who did get the job, Brian Keen, screwed up his paperwork and wasn’t initially rated as qualified until, apparently, after the guv’s office intervened.

Keen got the job because he was the most qualified military veteran living in the state who was on the list of applicants, DeJong said.

Um, right.

Famed test pilot Chuck Yeager was also on the list, but he was not rated as qualified, DeJong said.

“He flies too fast,” DeJong explained.

OK, I made up that last part.

The pilot who wasn’t hired is a relative of a Topinka ally, so this isn’t as cut and dried as it looks, but these administration explanations are getting weaker by the day.

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      

Morning shorts

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006

· My most sincere condolences: “Alexis Giannoulias, founder and chairman of Chicago-based Broadway Bank, died suddenly while traveling in his native Greece over the weekend. Mr. Giannoulias, 69, suffered an apparent heart attack, according to a spokesman for his son, Alexi Giannoulias, who is the Democratic nominee for state treasurer.”

· Krol thinks Bill Scheurer would’ve received 1 or 2 percent, citing his anti-war beliefs. I think his union backing could have bumped him up substantially higher and cost Bean the election. But it appears to be a moot point now.

· Editorial: Way above average in clout stats

· “Chief Illiniwek likely has not danced his last dance at University of Illinois home football games and could perform at basketball games this winter because the school’s board of trustees has not settled on a solution to the long-simmering debate.”

· More Illinois children are living in poverty, but fewer newborns and young children are dying, according to a national study that rates how well states are caring for their youngest residents.

· James “Pate” Philip State Park is no longer on the endangered species list — at least for this year.

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      

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