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Oh, bloody hell *** Updated x2 ***

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

House Speaker Michael Madigan walked out of the leaders meeting after about an hour and fifteen minutes this afternoon.

Madigan said he was able to ask some questions but didn’t necessarily get any answers.

But here’s the kicker. Madigan said his caucus would meet about today’s events tomorrow sometime.

Tomorrow would be Wednesday, the day before scheduled adjournment. Oy. Long summer ahead.

Meanwhile, the smoking exemption for casinos zoomed out of Senate Exec today.

More in tomorrow’s Capitol Fax

UPDATE: At 4:45 pm, the governor walked into Madigan’s office. The guv wouldn’t say why, but presumably it was to jump start the budget talks.

UPDATE 2: The guv left after about a half an hour. He didn’t report any progress but said it was a good meeting.

He all but sprinted to the elevators near Sen. Jones’ office, avoiding questions from the press. Paul and I snagged him for a couple of minutes, though and we’ll have some audio tomorrow.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Bill - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 4:39 pm:

    How much longer do we let this guy play obstructionist? Doesn’t anyone in the House have the grapes to stop this nonsense?

  2. - Commonsense in Illinois - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 4:43 pm:

    Seems to me that the Speaker may be the only adult in this parade.

  3. - washmyhands - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 4:46 pm:

    Mr. Speaker wants to run out the clock, then the blame would fall on Republican votes needed to pass a tax increase to keep the state running?

  4. - NRA Endowment Member - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 4:47 pm:

    Bill -

    Is ‘this guy’ Madigan or Blago? It seems to me that the obstruction cuts both ways. Blago drew his line in the sand and refuses to negotiate (thus obstructing the process) and Madigan won’t proceed with anything that the House won’t pass (a more realistic approach but still arguably obstruction). Which are you taking exception to?

  5. - Reddbyrd - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 4:52 pm:

    Rich is just joking, GRod is headed for the airport

  6. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 4:56 pm:

    Reddbyrd, it may look like a joke, but he’s in there.

  7. - NRA Endowment Member - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 4:57 pm:

    I don’t think the Republicans are going to get the blame for this one regardless of the Governor’s spin machine. If this goes to extra session the Dems are going to look hopelessly inept when they had months to close and all the power in the world. No amount of spin covers GRod’s humiliation at having to go hat in hand to the GOP and accept a maintenance budget.

  8. - leigh - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 4:59 pm:

    Perhaps Madigan walked out because he got the “I am not going to compromise because I am an idiot speech” from someone else in the room.

  9. - Bill - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 4:59 pm:

    Don’t shoot! I was referring to the Speaker. The Governor has moved significantly from his original proposal and has made some serious compromises. So has Jones. All we get from the Speaker’s office are smart alec remarks from Steve Brown.

  10. - Ellinoyed - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:05 pm:

    Bill, please explain the “serious compromises” the governor has made thus far.

  11. - leigh - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:07 pm:

    Does Madigan want the Republicans in the game so there is equal blame to go around should a tax increase come out of this session?

  12. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:08 pm:

    Madigan is running the clock to 0. He’s dragging his feet the entire way, dragging all of us into overtime session. It’s unfortunate that he’s pulling this move when so much could have been done on behalf of the people of this state.

  13. - leigh - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:11 pm:

    As a republican I would love to see the dem’s pass an increase before Thursday. It will help us considerably in the next election cycle. They raise your taxes, protect their special interests in the electric rates at taxpayer expense and oh yeah, did nothing to help when gas became so incredibly expensive. Everyone will vote republican next time around!

  14. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:11 pm:

    I think the most significant aspect of the above story is that the guv finally located MJM’s office.

  15. - NRA Endowment Member - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:12 pm:

    Bill -

    Don’t worry - I left my guns in the safe.

    I propose to you that Jones’ compromise IS Blago’s (and vice versa). The problem as I see it is that no one bothered to explain to Blago that the real power in this state is Madigan. Blago needs Madigan but the reverse is not true. This was little more than a four month test of wills that is about to come to an ugly conclusion with Blago backing down completely.

    As a very conservative Republican I don’t particularly like the Speaker and I certainly don’t like this governor. I also didn’t like the last one, either. Personal feelings aside, ANY budget has to go through Madigan. It was true when the Dems were in the minority and it is doubly true now. The governor can’t pull enough votes away from Madigan at this point and I guarantee NO Republican will support or trust him now. Jones is not the issue; he will do just about anything Blago commands.

  16. - annon. - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:13 pm:

    i don’t think the gop is going to be blamed for this. if they’re smart they’ll sit back, watch & take careful notes. can you say higher taxes

  17. - Fake Bill - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:13 pm:


    Do you go to sleep with a Rod-Is-God Doll everynight? How can you constantly defend his actions. He has failed miserably at every high profile thing he has tried. Remember the I-Save-RX? Or how about the Flu Shots debacle? Maybe the Non-Violent Video Game snafu? Lets not forget that he and the Illinois State Police are preventing identity theft in Illinois as well. If Rod-Is-God had a clue, he would drop the push for the All Illinois Covered (can’t pay bills now anyway) and let Obama take that torch. The State is heading down a slippery slope and it’s people like you that perpetuate the myth all is well.

  18. - Gregor - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:22 pm:

    The Illinois dems are like the idiot that won millions in lottery money, and frittered it all away in just a year. I’m ashamed of them all, and I know I don’t trust the Republicans based on history with them. I feel like abandoning both major parties and heading over to the patchoulli-scented dorm room where Squid’s independents hang out.

  19. - Papa Legba - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:26 pm:


    Your apologies and excuses for Blagozo are as thin as rice paper. Are we the ones who are stupid and not able to see that only Rod, and only Rod, has the brains and ideas to lead this state?

    I don’t think so!

  20. - Papa Legba - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:29 pm:


    Are you sure Rod sprinted and wasn’t thrown out of the office and down the hall?

  21. - nino brown - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:30 pm:

    he went to madigan. it is all part of the show. they both want it to continue. then they can really start ‘fund raising’/shaking down everyone.

    and bill,
    you are funny. keep us laughing.

  22. - Whew! - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:34 pm:

    Who’s compromises? Oh yea Bill, like the little gem tucked within the 218-page gambling bill is a controversial provision that could allow the clout-heavy group to recoup $32.8 million lost on the Emerald deal and have an ownership stake in one of four new casinos proposed for Chicago and the suburbs.
    The failed Emerald Casino could get bailed out of their multimillion-dollar, bad investment under a massive gambling expansion backed by Gov. Blagojevich and Senate President Emil Jones.
    Maybe the indictments are coming.

  23. - fed up - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:36 pm:

    Whats Blago doing in Sprinfield or did you mean Madigans Chicago office

  24. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:39 pm:

    The new gambling bill is a good one Chicago State gets more taxpayer money for cruises and bar bills good job Emil Jones. I bet hes got some relatives working there to.

  25. - Maybe there was fire - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:47 pm:

    Milo said it was a good meeting.
    Milo all but sprinted to the elevators.
    Milo avoided questions.
    Doesn’t sound like a good meeting to me. If so it Milo would have spoken.

  26. - Bill - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:54 pm:

    Rod is probably in a hurry to get home to the Windy City. Bed check is at 10pm.
    Thanks for the history lesson. I prefer to remember the minimum wage workers who got a little boost in wages because of the governor’s initiative, the 3-and 4-year olds who were able to attend pre-school this year and the thousends of children who now have health insurance, thanks to the governor. I remember the millions of dollars paid back into the pension funds and the millions in increased funding to k-12 students, more than any gov in history.
    If we have to go to overtime, let’s go. If we get a maintainance budget it won’t be Rod or Emil’s fault. They tried. They worked. They compromised.
    I feel like joining you over at Squid’s dorm.
    Rod and his people do have the brains and ideas to run this state and make it even greater. It is a shame that they are being sabotaged by a member of their own party who puts political and personal feelings above the people of this state.

  27. - Scott Eyre's Fastball... - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 6:14 pm:


    Your comments make me gasp like Santo as I get launched into the seats.

    1) You are correct about Presch. For All and min wage increases being good things. But they are small potatoes copared to what the Gov has promised.

    2) What millions to the pension system? Last I remember we forewent 2 years of payments. Also - the school funding numbers might be the largest but only in terms of dollars, no inflation accounted for, which is typical Blago-spin on his own accomplishments.

    3) The last comment to Pops probably describes how every House member feels about your guy.

  28. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 6:24 pm:

    Bill -


    When Madigan and Cross propose a $200M expansion of gambling to fund capital projects like school construction and Emil Blagojevich responds with a $4,500M expansion of gambling to fund Illinois Covered - a program that even Senate Democrats have rejected - that’s not compromise. That’s deafness.

    I had no doubt from the very beginning that Emil Blagojevich was hoping to manufacture a budget crisis in hopes of pushing through gambling expansion. Reports are that Blagojevich has been talking to Mayor Daley for a month now about gambling expansion, and Emil has been wanting a boat in the south suburbs for years.

    Apparently, Emil Blagojevich has forgotten than the Illinois House fairly recently rejected gambling expansion. In fact, House Bill 1920 completely REPEALED the Riverboat Gaming Act, and passed the House with 67 votes less than two years ago. It was a clear message then from Madigan to the gambling folks that they shouldn’t expect a big gambling bill any time soon. Not after all of the crap Attorney General Lisa Madigan had to put up with from the Emerald Casino folks.

    Absent a major investment in education and property tax relief, gambling expansion is DOA in the House and will never get off the ground in the Senate, and even then I give it only 50-50 odds.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Rod Blagojevich will break every single campaign promise he’s made, except his promise not to raise taxes, and then budget forces will dictate that he break that one too. Anybody keeping count?

    FOOTNOTE I don’t hold Emil Jones at fault for the $40M windfall in his gambling bill. If memory serves, that same windfall was in the previous version of the bill, and my bet is that they used that measure as the foundation for drafting this one. Still, if was an oversight on staff’s part, it is a costly one.

  29. - RJW - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 6:35 pm:


    The Gov’s idea of compromise is much like President Bush’s idea - I’ll compromise as long as I get my way. Last I checked my dictionary, that wasn’t the definition of compromise. Everybody, INCLUDING the Governor, will be to blame if they don’t get done by Thursday.

  30. - RJW - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 6:40 pm:

    On another note, I just read this story where Sen. Meeks says that if Chicago doesn’t get enough money for education this year, it’s because of racism.

    Good - now we have another thing to debate.

  31. - fed up - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 6:46 pm:

    Well its about time someone threw out the race card I knew Meeks was good for something.

  32. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 6:52 pm:

    I can’t beleive this, but I agree with NRA Endowment member…let’s put the blame where it dutifully belongs…MILORAD…the Governor consults with no one but his yes men (and women) before announcing the 7 Billion GRT…he doesn’t even query Richie Daley with his Olympic plans already announced…think Richie is going to screw over the business community now when he needs them to build the public private partnership that will required to pull off 2016?

    Madigan has always ruled the legislative roost…besides, he is looking out for the next Governor who may possibly be his daughter…

    The Dems in the legislature are not responsible for this mess…they’re pawns in a egomanical game…ANOTHER OVERTIME ROD!! Yahoo, nothing like Springfield in July… ENJOY!!

  33. - NRA Endowment Member - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 6:54 pm:

    This soap opera just gets better and better. I can’t believe that Meeks pulled the racism card….is he actually casting a fellow Democrat as a racist? The meltdown is almost complete; all that’s left is the mea culpa from the governor and the victory party in the Speaker’s office when he puts together a veto-proof compromise with Cross.

    Note to Daley - CTA isn’t even on the radar for this year…if you wanted the funding you should have went to Madigan in the first place instead of accepting a promise from Blago that he (once again) can’t deliver. Time to start cutting back services. Better yet - if you want CTA funded, figure out how to do it without downstate tax money.

  34. - Fed up - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 6:57 pm:

    Hey bill I was wondering what you think of Blago using a million taxpayer dollars for a leagal defense of his videogame bill or the money he is wasting on fighting freedom of information requests into feds looking into corruption in his administration. Were the tollway signs saying Rod Blago worth $15,000 each how about the bill the taxpayers get for his state airline use (living in chicago working in springfield sometimes) contracts going to campaign contributors his babysitter getting on a state commision his wifes recent real estate windfalls from contributors and holders of state contracts.and much more. Blago is a younger better speaking George Ryan but Ryan was well liked by the GA. Blagos universal health care plan is just like Ryans death row ploy get good press to help with the future trial

  35. - A Citizen - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 7:24 pm:

    So, Meeks thinks Emil’s a racist? Wow. TILT, Game Over. Betcha ole Meeks wishes he’d left his hat in the ring instead of making a “deal” w/blago. Live and learn.

  36. - Decatur Dave - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 7:30 pm:

    Isn’t it funny that we have Bill and one or two other people defending the Governor, and almost everyone else taking the other side? I think Rich runs a pretty even-handed forum here, but they don’t seem to be lining up to defend Blago. Does that say something or not?

  37. - A Citizen - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 7:33 pm:

    You know the difference between a governor and God is? God doesn’t think he’s a governor!

  38. - Ilrino - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 8:00 pm:

    Once we get past all the finger-pointing, what’s the end game here? What does MJM want and does he really want Tom Cross in on the deal? Even if he/they push through a no-tax increase budget with $1.2B more spending than this year, what happens in the Senate? Do the SGOPers join some Chicago and downstate Dems to approve that budget, leaving the black and Hispanic caucus with nothing?

    If you accept that the Speaker is two steps ahead of mere mortals, what’s on the horizon?

  39. - A Citizen - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 8:41 pm:

    The Speaker wants Lisa Madagin to be Illinois’ first Lady Governor. The bigger the Blago disaster the better for the next election for guv. In the meantime Emil and the gov are looking greedy and inept.

  40. - NIEVA - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 9:11 pm:

    Rod was headed for the ballpark at Marion!! He was going down there to let Southern Illinois how much he cares about us. When the budget is signed we will all have health care,guns won’t be needed because we will all have that chicken in every pot and all we will need to hunt is the money to pay the taxes it will take to feed this insanity!!!

  41. - Napoleon has left the building - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 9:32 pm:

    YDD, your memory is correct. I actually think that Emil had Chicago State getting money from the Emerald boat too.

    Rich, great coverage this week. The audio clips have been very nice too.

  42. - Michelle Flahertry - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 10:02 pm:

    All I know is young Paul is dreamy and I hope I get to hold his recorder next time there’s a press ganger.

  43. - 'Lainer - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 10:10 pm:

    I guess you were right about Blago really relishing a good fight. When you first posted that, back during the GRT road show bus trip, I pictured this “Dead Zone”-like scene of you shaking the gov’s hand and having a psychic vision of him someday becoming president and pushing the nuclear button…

  44. - A Citizen - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 10:16 pm:

    Wow!, Paul - That must be some recorder, what brand/model is it?

  45. - Gregor - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 10:46 pm:

    “Milo said it was a good meeting.
    Milo all but sprinted to the elevators.
    Milo avoided questions.
    Doesn’t sound like a good meeting to me. If so it Milo would have spoken.”

    It was a “good meeting” like the GRT vote was a “successful effort”.

  46. - So Ill - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 11:03 pm:

    For the record, the Gov didn’t go to Marion.

    Alexi was there, though, and appeared to have a lot of fun (as did the other 6,000+ in attendance).

  47. - He Who Helps Themselves - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 11:11 pm:

    Governor Blagojevich and his blind posse have sabotaged everything from within. They (Rezko, Levine, Kelly, Cellini, Monk, Wyma, Scofield, Daly and Petrovic to name a few) have put their personal agenda of greed above the people of the State of Illinois. All compliments of Governor Blagojevich. All this corruption and greed will go down in history as the biggest fleecing of any state ever.

  48. - Common Good - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 11:30 pm:

    Mike Madigan and Tom Cross, the people of Illinois are proud of you. Stick to your guns!

  49. - hardcorelimitedgovtrepublican - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 11:31 pm:

    There’s no need for a tax increase, only a need to restrain spending. I’m soooo offended by Blago’s big government programs. It’s not the government’s job to take care of everyone unless in a socialist/communist state, which we are not supposed to be. I’m for limited government, both on fiscal issues and social issues (so consistent even if it doesn’t mesh with party line). We don’t need government provided health insurance. It’s an unreasonable extravagance.

  50. - A Citizen - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 11:53 pm:

    Okay, you guys are worrying me. What happens if Cross and Madagin hold sway and taxes etc. don’t increase? Blago goes down in flames, his cronies go to the breadline, Patti . . . never mind. WHAT will we have to gripe about? All will be right with the world. Damn.

  51. - Cassandra - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 2:33 am:

    The Madigans should be getting very very nervous about Alexi, who seems to have avoided any major missteps to date. And he’s young and cute too. Twenty years younger than the rapidly aging (politically and biologically) Blago.

    When will the Friends of Alexi be up and running for contributions?

  52. - Captain America - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 6:13 am:

    It appears to be a genuine fiscal debacle. Madigan does seem determined to destroy Blago politically rather than relying on Fitzgerald to do so. I am not impressed with the leadership of any of the top three Democrats this session. At least Madigan appears competent even if you don’t agree with his political agenda.

  53. - dan l - Wednesday, May 30, 07 @ 7:52 am:

    Exclusive transcript of the meeting

    Rod: I need to see Mr. Madigan please.
    Secretary: He says he’s not seeing visitors right now.
    Rod: But I’m the governor.
    Secretary: I’ll call him and find out if he’ll see you.
    –3 minutes later–
    Secretary: I’m sorry, Mr. Madigan says he’s quite busy right now.

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