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Reform and Renewal keeps marching ahead *** Updated x1 ***

Thursday, Sep 28, 2006

I’m sure this has nothing to do with electoral politics at all.

The administration of Gov. Rod Blagojevich this month issued contracts to video and still photographers that could combine to cost the state $945,000 for the year beginning Oct. 1.

The contracts are split among eight businesses that were among 15 bidders for the work. The largest of the contracts is for up to $250,000 with Video Replay of Chicago - a company that already has been called out many times to tape the governor at public events. […]

The vendors, with their maximum yearly contract amounts, include: Video Replay of Chicago, $250,000; Tillis & Tillis of Chicago, $175,000; Plus One AV of Frankfort, $200,000; Imaginatics Inc. of Springfield, $175,000; Karen Hoyt Photography of Chicago, $75,000; Powell Photography of Chicago, $25,000; Squires Photography of Springfield, $25,000; and Heidi Brill of Chicago, $20,000. […]

News reporters control their own video. If they take it from the state without letting the public know its origin, they become just another part of the governor’s public relations network.


*** UPDATE *** Lee Newspapers also had a story today on this subject.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Lovie's Leather - Thursday, Sep 28, 06 @ 8:35 am:

    This is a riot. If the media covers this, like they covered the $1500 check thing, he is done. Average people are really beginning to see what this governor is up to, and they don’t like it. After George Ryan, It appears Blago’s philosophy became… “If they hate once, they’ll despise it twice.” Hey, Rod, when everybody starts paying attention, that would be the time to stop using state money for politics.

  2. - Wumpus - Thursday, Sep 28, 06 @ 8:35 am:

    Did Pravda place a bid? It only seems fitting.

  3. - the Other Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 28, 06 @ 8:39 am:

    The question I had after reading Bernie Schoenburg’s comment is: would raw video footage be subject to FOIA? Even if the videographer does the editing, one would assume that state employees are somehow involved in editorial control. Some record of this activity subject to FOIA should exist.

    Of course, this would require television news services to do a fair amount of work to find precious moments like those in the $1500 check news availability. But one would think that’s avaliable.

  4. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Sep 28, 06 @ 8:59 am:

    What a stupid waste of money. We live in the 21st century people! Like we need a bunch of official videographers and photographers during the age of You Tube.

    These people are nothing more than 20th Century versions of portrait painters for His Royal Highness. Everyone knows that crap is fake!

  5. - Shelbyville - Thursday, Sep 28, 06 @ 9:16 am:

    Is this in addition to the state photographers already on board? And why can’t those folks and their office do video? It isn’t brain surgery. Just give them an Apple computer.

    The state’s video producers used to be located at SIU School of Medicine. Has that changed?

  6. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 28, 06 @ 9:50 am:

    Gee, what is NEWSCHANNEL 20 gonna use for material, especially on weekends?

  7. - Anonymous Too - Thursday, Sep 28, 06 @ 11:55 am:

    The Other Anonymous is right. Raw footage should be available under FOIA. It also should be turned over to the Illinois State Archives for posterity.

    What used to be sent out by the state was raw footage of news conferences, announces, etc., which was handy for stations not located in Springfield or Chicago. Television stations then had to edit out what they wanted for their own stories.

  8. - Anonymous tree - Thursday, Sep 28, 06 @ 1:32 pm:

    Regarding SIU, I knew some of them and they used to have a video department called biomedical communications or something, which mostly did in-house medical video work but, since it was a part of the state government system, could also do projects for other state agencies, and they did, on occasion. Stuff like Public Service message commercials for IDOT. Biomed was downsized years ago and most of the people from there left to form a private company on the West Side of town, and they were bidders for some of this freelance work.

    ISBE had a very nice studio and served the whole state’s educational video needs internally until very recently, when they were phased out and their work was added to what they do at the Information Services. Those guys are like a cross between C-SPAN and what The Illinois Channel does. Illinois Channel just re-runs things Info Services shot, unedited.

    I have seen the state guys doing some non-governor things for other state agencies and officials, but these contractors likely will only be covering governor appearances, if you keep a tally of where they go (almost all Chicago). Seems like the campaign should be paying for that, not taxpayers.

  9. - EMG - Thursday, Sep 28, 06 @ 1:35 pm:

    The comment from “Shelbyville” of today’s date has the Educational Media Group at SIU School of Medicine - who does do contract video work for the stetewide Illinois Public Broadcasting Council’s program titled Illinois Lawmakers - confused with the video production unit under the Governor - the Illinois Information Service (IIS.) In our case, video editing really IS brain surgery.

  10. - Shelbyville - Thursday, Sep 28, 06 @ 4:57 pm:

    State May Foot Million Dollar Bill For Blagojevich Photography/Videotaping

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The state could pay nearly $1 million next year for photographs and videotapes of events held by Gov. Rod Blagojevich and other officials, even though a state office already provides that service

    credit: WBBM

  11. - state worker #1 - Thursday, Sep 28, 06 @ 7:39 pm:

    I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that 5 out of the 8 vendors are from Chicago. Hum…..

  12. - Kelly Smith Died for your sins - Thursday, Sep 28, 06 @ 8:26 pm:

    Maybe these new video vendors can shoot the next Blagojevich family birthday party.

    If the FBI isn’t already doing it from an unmarked van with a telephoto lens or something.

  13. - Gregor - Thursday, Sep 28, 06 @ 8:41 pm:

    They are not Video Vendors, they are Personal Paparazzi. How do you look up the winning bidders to see if they made campaign contributions? Is there a web site?

  14. - Martha Mitchell - Thursday, Sep 28, 06 @ 11:08 pm:

    Anonymous Tree: If the voters knew the total amount of state funds used by this governor to promote himself for re-election, they would all stroke out. It’s in the millions, folks, millions.

    State workers are having to drop what their normal jobs are and take care of the latest demands from the twits at the governor’s office. They have such an egotistical attitude towards themselves and their “mission” to get this fool re-elected that it takes over every part of state government.

    The legislators who overturned the law that forbid politicians names and pictures on state owned materials should be horse-whipped for it. Blago has used it to his advantage brilliantly. It’s a new idea a day, always just a heartbeat away from being illegal. Remember folks - millions and millions - when you go to cast your ballot.

  15. - Licensed in Illinois - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 12:04 am:

    I received my license renewal yesterday - about one month earlier than usual, and only a month after the full color postcard from the Governor. The Governor’s name did not appear in the material for license renewal, but there was a mighty nice promotion for ISaveRx at the bottom of the page.

  16. - Nostradamus - Friday, Sep 29, 06 @ 12:17 am:

    “Little Rod” needs to have a Mickey Mouse hat on.
    Wasn’t he one of the original Mouseketeers? Maybe
    Disney Studios will send a film crew to show how
    a “Little Mouseketeer” grew up to be a “Big Mickey
    Mouse Governor”. He already has a fan club, Bill,
    YDD,Hicks,Redb.,etc….a whole bunch of Mickey
    Mices. I recommend Bill as pres.. Just think, BMMG
    aka LRRB, this means Big Mickey Mouse Governor aka
    Let’s Rail Road Blagojevich. Oops that means LittleRod R. Blagojevich or maybe both!!!! All these pics might save the Feds time and money. They won’t have to take mug shots when he goes to the”Big House”. No not the “Out House”, he’s already in there, next step (or stop) the “Big House”. I think that their theme song should be the record recording by Napoleon and Hot Legs “They’re Coming To Take Me Away”

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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