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Morning Shorts

Monday, Jan 29, 2007

* Praised by Blagojevich, criticized by others, IDOT chief resigns

* Mark Brown: More internal documents from the Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

* Carol Marin: Give and you shall receive

* Editorial: Governor must explain lottery sale

* High paying political jobs vs. ones that matter: “Strausberg has a cushy new office and is paid $110,000 a year to be Cook County’s communications director, although she hasn’t been doing that job for weeks.”

* Tribune Editorial: For once, they have to say “No!”

* Rivals claim forgery, Solis denies it

* Civic Federation supports Stroger with reservations

* $6 million grant to boost minorities in trades

* Editorial: Tax hike? You’ve got to be kidding Commissioner Sims

* County cuts could mean less drug-war money… and that’s a good thing

* McQueary: Blagojevich, “Gotcha, Mr. Speaker”

* Fighting predatory lending requires a citywide focus:

Initially, supporters of the bill sought to create a statewide database that would be used to identify fraudulent lenders and mortgage brokers. That is still a good idea. This is not a battle that can be fought in a handful of neighborhoods without the people living in those neighborhoods being victimized by our good intentions.

- Posted by Paul Richardson        

  1. - Gregor - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 7:26 am:

    My guess is it is this abrupt because Martin is testifying. If he wasn’t, Blago would have made a way bigger show of throwing him under the bus than he did, saying he was saddened and disappointed, etc etc etc.

    We’ve been waiting all weekend for the Blago apologists like Bill and Wyndy to ’splain to us what happened and why it’s really a good thing.

  2. - Question - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 7:30 am:

    Is the governor’s babysitter on this commission that’s going to hear the testimony regarding the CMS personnel managers and the emails from the office of intergoivernmental Affairs?

  3. - The 'Broken Heart' of Rogers Park - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 7:37 am:

    Nice news round-up Paul, one stop news-shopping.

  4. - Finally! - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 8:24 am:

    Crediting Tim Martin and for a sharp decline in traffic fatalities. Oh boy, that’s a good one!
    Maybe the escalating prices of gasoline and diesel fuel, individuals driving less or maybe safer vehicles could be a reason. Blago could of credited all the I.D.O.T. workers who do the real work. Martin couldn’t hold a candle to his predecessors. He did more to damage this fine agency than to improve it.
    There was absolute jubilation when this news was announced.

  5. - Cassandra - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 8:38 am:

    Is this the IDOT who managed the Dan Ryan reconstruction to the tune of HALF A BILLION dollars over budget…I believe the job came in at $975 million when it was budgeted at 500 million. Every single penny comes from us, the Illinois taxpayer.

    One is forced to conclude, however, that all Illinnois citizens must be doing remarkably well financially, given the complete lack of taxpayer outrage over this and other nuggets such 7 percent raises for state employees under Blago,
    lavish state legislator raises, the huge raises, up to 30 percent, given to Todd Stroger’s exec staff, and backpedaling by some Cook County commissioners on the issue of a property tax hike to ensure that none of the 27,000 patronage porkers who work for County government get laid off.

    The lack of outrage suggests that Illinois citizens don’t care if their taxes are raised or not, raising questions about whether Blago’s various help the poor social programs are really needed. They can likely afford their own health insurance if they want it.

    Or the collective IQ is REALLY low and the smart folks are establishing their primary residence in another state.

  6. - Paul Richardson - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 8:45 am:

    Thanks Broken Heart…

    undeserved praise, but I’ll take it

  7. - Bears - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 9:28 am:

    There is one thing that has caused the fatalities to decline in Illinois and it is nothing that any individual or group did it was the signing of the Primary Seat Belt law period,martin and his guys can take credit but it was this law and not one iota to do with anything they have done period, everyone that works there knows it and he does too.

  8. - ug! - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 10:17 am:

    Seat Belt laws are only part of it. Cars are much much safer these days due to airbags, anti-lock brakes, etc.

  9. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 11:03 am:

    To the deleted “Satin” - Deal with it and get over yourself. My blog, my rules.

  10. - Anon. - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 12:23 pm:

    Someone needs to look at the decline in fatality records for 2006. This administration still has a problem with numbers. Not all the statistics are in for 2006. Sometimes it takes a coroner 2-3 months to send in a fatality. Jumped the gun to make someone look good is what a suspect. The seat belt law is the reason for decline. But again, the numbers are wrong so we really don’t know.

  11. - Randall Sherman - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 6:58 pm:

    I took part in today’s Cook County Board budget hearing, and what I heard from that toadie from the Civic Federation nearly made me throw up. I said to myself, “This guy is almost as detactched from reality as President Bush.”

    In fairness to the speaker from the Civic Federation, I must note for the record that unlike myself, he did not spend a couple of years working in the Cook County Jury Commissioners’ office sitting at a desk behind a young Todd Stroger. Thus, perhaps I should be more giving to him and his fellow Civic Federation members, none ofwhom spend any time with those poor unfortunates who must depend on the services that Cook County government provides (such as health care to the poor and to those locked up at County Jail, or those involved in our court system).

    Meantime, in the real world, the commissioners heard from over 100 witnesses who bashed the short-sighted and ill-conceived budget cuts put forth by Toddler. I was one of them.

    I spoke out on the plan to eliminate the 14 Hearing Officers who have been working their butts off for years in the Child Abuse and Neglect Section of Juvenile Court. This is similar to a plan several years ago that was before the General Assembly to replace these Hearing Officers with Associate Judges.

    I noted that while Cook County would only have to pay $500 of each Judge’s salary (the state would have to fork over the rest), every new Judge would be needing a Baliff, Court clerk and Court Coordinator, all of whom would have their salaries come out of the county budget. I then noted that every new jusidical calendar created to handled this shifted workload would also require its share of Assistant State’s Attorneys, Assistant Public Defenders and attorneys from the Public Guardian’s office, all of whom would have to be paid out of the county budget. My testimony also noted that additional court calendars would require construction of new facilities for the judges (for security purposes), which was a major reason why the previous attempt to oust the Hearing Officers fell apart.

    So in other words, the elimination of the Hearing Officers (who have worked hard to eliminate the backlog of cases in the system and have helped bring permanent solutions to thousands of minors’ placements) would end up costing Cook County money, rather than saving money.

    But what I learned today while awaiting my turn to speak (I gave my remarks nearly three hours into the hearing) was that the example of the Hearing Officers was hardly unique. Speaker after speaker spoke out citing programs that have been effective and have saved money over alternatives. But since these programs do not have the political clout required for approval in Toddler’s mind, they are on the chopping block, even as he gives new jobs and raises to political hacks and relatives.

    I’ll close by noting that Toddler has apparently broken the state record for the fastest total alienation of your political base, previously held by Gov. Blagojevich. However, that is of no consolation to the rank-and-file county employees whose jobs are being whacked for having done a good job, or to the people they serve in Cook County.

    Secretary/Treasurer, Illinois Committee for Honest Government

  12. - Phil - Wednesday, Jan 31, 07 @ 12:13 am:

    Go Randy Go
    You the Man
    so is the Coalition for Honest Government
    but aren’t you worried about your job?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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