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Back and forth

Thursday, Aug 31, 2006

The personalilty conflicts will always lead the stories.

The two Chicago-area candidates for governor took turns Wednesday wooing farmers’ votes in a sea of central Illinois corn, touting competing energy plans that would replace oil with ethanol and chiding each other for ignoring rural communities. […]

The governor’s new, $1.2 billion energy plan, featured this week in campaign commercials throughout the southern half of the state, would put ethanol-based fuel in all Illinois gas stations in 10 years.

“I have nothing against oil . . . , (but) if we want a lasting solution, it has to come from the heartland of America,” he said.

Minutes after Blagojevich left the event, Topinka took the stage to accuse him of being a late convert. She noted she came out with an ethanol-based energy plan several weeks ago, “and 10 days later, the governor presented almost the same idea and immediately began running television advertisements.”

But there is a legitimate policy difference here, too, that mostly gets pushed down to the bottom, as it was in this piece.

“I believe that if we’re successful in November, that we’ll get some sort of bonding program to do this sort of thing as well as build the schools and the road projects that are critical to our state and our infrastructure,” said Blagojevich, who also toured construction sites at Illinois State University during his visit Wednesday to Central Illinois.

Topinka, however, scoffed at any idea of borrowing more money. She said Illinois has special-use funds generated by agriculture-related business to build ethanol plants but the governor raided those funds.

“I’m going to use renewable energy dollars to build new renewable energy projects. I’m not going to raid those funds,” she said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

9 Comments
  1. - Farmer Brown - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 7:30 am:

    Well, well, well. Blago is suddenly interested in farmers. Give me a break!

    He and his hacks from Cal. and N.Y. have completely ignored the farmers for the last four years.(other than when they tried to tax them to death with the seed, feed, and fertilizer tax)

    They have completely desimated the Dept of Ag’s budget as well as DNR’s. Never funded AGRIFirst, wiped out CFAR’s funding and raided the road funds. If renewable fuels and infrastructure were so high on his list - where has he been for the last four years??? Thats right, taking care of his friends in Chicago.


  2. - Squideshi - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 8:36 am:

    They have the full opening statements of both Blagojevich and Topinka available on their website. Supporters of Rich Whitney, the Green Party’s candidate for Illinois Governor, are asking the public to contact John Hawkins and ask him to make a similar statement from Rich Whitney also available on the website.


  3. - zatoichi - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 8:42 am:

    Rod is suddenly the farmer’s friend and working hard to help. Please. Where was he 2-3 years ago as funding was being removed from agricultural line items.

    But what is Pee Wee’s word of the day? “Bonding”. As in “we’ll get some sort of bonding program to do this sort of thing as well as build the schools and the road projects that are critical to our state and our infrastructure”. Ah, well said? Yes, let’s get more bonding and go deeper in debt. It is not a credit card, a loan, or a gift. It’s a bond. The point that it has to be paid for (later) with real money and interest just sorta slips away real easy.


  4. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 9:01 am:

    This line of baloney sounds familiar, but it’s already been shot down:

    Topinka unveiled her energy plan last week, with ethanol production as its centerpiece, and criticized the governor for waiting four years to address the issue.

    “The governor had his chance to lead and failed miserably,” she said.

    In actuality, Blagojevich helped create the state’s first program to build ethanol and biodiesel facilities in Illinois. He also signed legislation that eliminated sales tax on E85.

    Additionally, Illinois has at least seven ethanol plants, and at least two dozen more are being planned. There is one soy biodiesel plant in operation, Julie Toohill, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Soybean Association, said.

    Where does that come from? A Blagojevich press release? Some hack talking points?

    No, it comes from an editorial in the highly liberal, rabidly pro-Blagojevich Southern Illinoisan, a paper not generally known for understanding the needs of farmers.

    This was in an email that Blagojevich sent to all his supporters, but they already know she has no idea what she’s talking about.


  5. - sam - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 9:27 am:

    Good tactic by Judy - steal the idea, get out on it first, and call your opponent the copy cat.

    She knew the gov’s people were working on an energy plan for months, meeting and working out the details with different ag, energy and business groups around the state. There was a lot of chatter about it.

    She catches wind of the plan - and that it has something to do with ethanol - and throws her own ethanol plan out there in front. She then can call the gov a copy cat, and say he is late to the party.

    It’s pure gamesmanship. Maybe her first smart move.


  6. - Squideshi - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 10:01 am:

    Um, excuse me, but didn’t Rich Whitney have the first sustainable energy policy? Who’s stealing from who?


  7. - just watching - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 10:06 am:

    Sam the Topinka policy teams (including ag and energy) have also been working for months. Blago had four years to take some type of leadership role on the issue and has done nothing but let competing states sneak ahead of Illinois as the leader in the ethanol revolution. your attempt to redeem him is tiresome.


  8. - DOWNSTATE - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 10:29 am:

    For all the bloggers here several plants are being built and no help from the gov.


  9. - Bill - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 4:18 pm:

    Topinka policy teams…..
    Give me a break!


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