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This just in… Governor asks for meetings *** Updated x7 ***

Monday, Jun 4, 2007

From a press release…

[Audio is now located in “Update 4″]

Deputy Governor Sheila Nix stood with other top gubernatorial staff today to announce next steps the Blagojevich Administration will take to work with the General Assembly and leaders in order to reach a budget by the end of the state’s fiscal year, June 30th. The Governor wants to avoid relying on last minute budget negotiations, such as those that took place in the end of May that resulted in no budget bills reaching his desk by the end of session.

To help move the process forward, the Governor will call for meetings with all four legislative leaders at the start of each week, with additional meetings throughout the week as needed. He will also call for meetings with all caucuses at the end of each week and regular meetings with the budgeteers. He has already called for a leaders meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, June 5.

“The Governor and his top staff want to be helpful over the next few weeks to keep the dialogue going. We will all be assembled here, as we have been throughout session, to assist legislators and leaders in any way we can. It’s our hope that by beginning the month of June with an aggressive schedule, the General Assembly can avoid dealing with tough budget choices too late in the process. We don’t want a repeat of what happened at the end of May,” said Dep. Gov. Nix.

Nix said that the Governor and top staff responsible for the budget, health care, capital and education will be on hand throughout the month of June to help legislators and leaders address any questions and issues in these key policy areas.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Rep. John Fritchey posted this graphic and the following over at Illinoize

This overtime was avoidable.

The Governor attempted to lead by edict, with a plan that was doomed from the start no less. I can count on one hand, with fingers left over, the number of colleagues that feel that they have a positive working relationship with the man. It didn’t have to be that way.

And style aside, he is attempting to foist an $8 billion dollar increase upon the Legislature, and the people of the State, to support programs that many experts feel are substantively unworkable.

Here is a math equation for future Governors to remember:

Bad funding plan + Unproven massive fiscal expenditure + alienated legislators + Complete unwillingness to compromise = Overtime

*** UPDATE 2 *** I haven’t checked yet to see what the hotel situation is, but I imagine it might be tough to get a hotel room tonight or tomorrow…

As many as 4,000 high-end performance machines are expected to roll into the Illinois State Fairgrounds on Tuesday as part of the Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour, a seven-day, seven-city tour that is one of the largest of its kind.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Blogger Dan Curry makes this observation about Nix’s announcement…

After more than four years in office, there’s an exciting announcement from Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich: He’s going to keep a regular work schedule, just like the other 49 chief executives.

Curry also posts this suddenly relevant ad from the 2002 campaign…

*** UPDATE 4 *** Audio from Deputy Gov. Sheila Nix’s press conference…

Make sure to listen to the end of the audio. It sounds like Ray Long of the Trib is getting mighty impatient.

*** UPDATE 5 *** A brief AP story is now up…

Let’s get to work. That’s the message today from Governor Rod Blagojevich’s office. […]

The governor’s office says frequent negotiations now can prevent another deadlock at the end of June.

But Blagojevich didn’t attend the news conference announcing this proposal. And his aides would not answer questions about the governor’s heated argument last week with a state senator.

*** UPDATE 6 *** I’ve been meaning to link to this for days, but considering Nix’s press conference it seems a good fit here. Eric Zorn’s Gov. Nocommentevich

*** UPDATE 7 *** Fritchey has another post up about the Nix presser, and it’s quite something. “Is Rodacity a Word?”

Do NOT make the mistake that I made of listening to the Sheila Nix press conference, posted at Capitol Fax. Unless of course, you will feel encouraged by the Governor’s position that we ‘really need to get to work’ and that we can’t ‘just engage in 3 day workweeks’ as the Speaker has proposed.

Does the Governor’s office really think that it is smart and/or productive to continue to antagonize the very people that he claims to want to work with? And especially on the issue of how much time we spend working in Springfield of all things?!

He ends with this cryptic passage…

All I know is that none of my constituents have been calling complaining about seeing me jogging in the neighborhood in the middle of the day. (Although I could definitely use the exercise.)


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Roger - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 1:12 pm:

    Great idea…too bad it’s four months too late.

  2. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 1:15 pm:

    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, Roger.

  3. - anon - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 1:18 pm:

    There must be a mistake. Sheila Nix cannot possibly have written this release. It not at all mean spirited. So unlike her.

  4. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 1:18 pm:

    if she made this announcement back in april, the guv would have saved face. too late, sheila. too late. your guy has already bottomed out.

  5. - one of the 35 - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 1:23 pm:

    “We will all be assembled here, as we have been throughout session, to assist legislators and leaders in any way we can.” Don’t make me laugh!

  6. - Siyotanka - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 1:24 pm:

    So…does this mean he will be flying back and forth from Chi-town everyday…??

  7. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 1:29 pm:

    “The Governor and his top staff want to be helpful over the next few weeks to keep the dialogue going. We will all be assembled here…”

    Note that the antecedent of the pronoun “We” is “his top staff”. Lovely sentence construction, Shiela!

    Still, the tone of this statement marks a quantum leap by the Governor, albeit belated.

  8. - S. Illinois - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 1:31 pm:

    Ummm…shouldn’t the GOVERNOR be the one making this announcement and leading the charge towards organized discussion of a budget…not his staff? Oh yeah, he would have been asked federal investigation questions had he actually been present to speak for himself.

  9. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 1:40 pm:

    i think after the jacobs debacle, grt debacle, fed investigations, etc., they’re trying to show a “softer” side. perhaps opening up the door to a ‘zero growth’ budget.

  10. - game plan - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 1:40 pm:

    1. stop being a baby Gov. 2. the sand box is big enough for both sides. 3. learn to get along with others 4. COMPROMISE for cryin out loud — Now what should it be - 1. gambling expansion for CDB dollars for those already promised but not delivered and NEW ones out there that are ready to go, 2. If there’s new revenue help out higher ed. It’s so sad to see that U of I had to hold a huge fund raising event for infrastructure. 3. Regular ed, sit tight for expansion and work with the Burham report to get the acountability in place - also consider income tax as everyone gets to take that off on their 1040’s 4. fund mandates 5. need to pay the pensions - stop doing this crazyness and make a move toward 401 K - what’s wrong with you all? 6. along that line, over turn the sub contracting bill - you’re taking away management rights of school boards. 7. and along those lines, REMOVE the end of career bonus’s that boost up the salries of retiring teachers and administrators - because it hurts the pension in payouts because the salary is inflated by 24% at the end of the career. No one in the world gets that and its horrible that the general assembly didn’t have the you know what to stop it.

  11. - OneManBlog - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 1:42 pm:

    Better late than never.

  12. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 1:44 pm:

    Then again, OneMan, better never late.

  13. - OneManBlog - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 1:48 pm:


  14. - Number 8 - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 1:50 pm:

    Rich, you’ve made a point in the past of saying that the Speaker had a good amount to do with the overtime as well. Aside from the governor’s mistaken approaches, at least he had his proposal out there for all to see in April shortly after his state of the state. Why didnt the Speaker have a counter proposal? Why did he wait until the bitter end to poll his members (by the way, when has this ever happened before) and then return the governors phone calls to set up meetings.

    Rich, why are you so willing in this post to completely let the Speaker off of the hook for this overtime?

  15. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 1:52 pm:

    Number 8, I didn’t let anyone off the hook. It just wasn’t mentioned. Ask Fritchey about that. He wrote the story.

  16. - Cassandra - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 2:04 pm:

    The idea seems to be to find ways to work together to hold us up for more billions.
    More billions always includes a nice cut for involved pols—on top of the raises they just voted for themselves.

    Let’s hope the Republicans can control themselves and keep reminding everybody that natural revenue growth will bring in about a billion dollars this year. Legislators and the guv may see that as chump change but the fact is that each of the clamoring bureaucracies and supporting unions could do quite a lot with a share of the billion. We owe it to ourselves to have them try.

  17. - Number 8 - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 2:06 pm:

    My apologies — I thought that commentary below the picture came from you. I wont bother asking Representative Fritchey yhe question — I think I know how he feels about the situation.

  18. - jwscott72 - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 2:07 pm:

    I have a couch and plenty of floor space for air mattresses if they’re so inclined. I’ll even cut the a break since they aren’t getting their per diem this week. :)

  19. - Captain America - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 2:07 pm:

    The new strategy seems like an intelligent and rational process that shoud have taken place starting in 2003. It could be the blueprint for the future. I’ve never liked the the budgeting and appropriation process where almostt everyhthing was decided by the governor and the four tops at the last minute behind closed doors, after they play chicken for an extended period of time.

    Fritchey’s succinct formula hits the nail on the head, except that Madigan and Jones played a sifnificant role in the whole fiasco too!

  20. - Rep. John Fritchey - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 2:17 pm:

    Number 8,

    I already made my thoughts on the Governor’s handling of this abundantly clear. Your question about the Speaker however, is a very valid one.

    For all of the criticism that he has taken in the past about his monolithic approach of governance, I can say that in my tenure, the House Democratic caucus has never been as engaged in crafting a budget as we were this session. Every aspect? Nope. The overall framework of revenues and expenditures? Yes.

    We passed a budget that is more restrained than most any would have predicted, yet met the needs of the state.

    The Governor challenged Madigan to come up with a plan. He not only came up with one, he passed it. To date, nobody else can say the same.

  21. - Papa Legba - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 2:17 pm:

    Hot Rod magazine, eh? Does the Guv think its a publication about him?

  22. - anon - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 2:21 pm:

    Hot Rod Power Tour? Make that 4,001. i’m so in.

  23. Pingback Reverse Spin » Governor announces regular work schedule - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 2:22 pm:

    […] After more than four years in office, there’s an exciting announcement from Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich: He’s going to keep a regular work schedule, just like the other 49 chief executives. […]

  24. - Senator from Naboo - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 2:22 pm:

    Madigan did not just sit on his hands this whole time, you know; he was working under the radar, and waiting for the Governor to step up and do what the Executive Branch is supposed to do. He made his views plenty clear from week to week on which elements he felt he could support or pass and which he could not, and he did it in a much more low-key and non-confrontational way than the Hot Rod Show. All the cues were there in advance for the governor to pick up on, except he was off in his own dreamworld. The House is the only one of thie triumvirate to have anything like a reasonable plan out right now. At least it’s a basis for discussion.

    I find the present situation is similar to my school days when we had to do team projects and the day before it’s time to present in class, you find out one of the team has blown off his portion of the assignment for the past month, or brought next to nothing, and you and the rest of the team then have to pull something together to hand in as best as you can to get the group a decent grade. The slacker then later gets a blanket party for his trouble.

    After their boss eventually goes to jail, Nix and Rausch will be looking for other work. I suggest they will have the best resumes for running a day-care center EVER.

  25. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 2:23 pm:

    Number 8 - its not the Speaker’s constitutional responsibility to present a counter-budget to the Governor’s. This year, however the Speaker did to his credit and it passed. With past administrations, the Speaker worked with Ryan, Edgar & Thompson and didn’t have to re-draft a budget. Blago threw together his GRT proposal at the last minute, which was the basis for the FY08 budget. There was no consensus building. No outreach or buy-in from legislators, community groups, business leaders, et.all. It was my way or the highway. And after a 107-0 vote on the resolution, the House chose to show the Guv the highway. Should the Speaker share some of the blame for the OT session? Absolutely. But most of it lies with Blago. He has failed to lead.

  26. - The 'Broken Heart' of Rogers Park - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 2:27 pm:

    I’d much rather watch the Monster Trucks over the Power Hot Rods. Plus, the announcer is soo much cooler.


  27. - Little Egypt - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 2:34 pm:

    I’ll be at the Hot Rod Power Tour. You’ll find me and spouse in a sweet little ride that’s a ‘32 Ford truck. The hotels/motels would be wise to honor the reservations from the car people - not the legislators.

  28. - Manw/ThePlan - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 2:45 pm:

    Great press briefing
    Straight-on answers
    Tee Hee. They waited till the end to ask about WIU

    And they think I’ll be in that cow patch 5 days a week.

  29. - vodka lemonade in summer - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 3:05 pm:

    Rod’s not here, but we should get to work, everyone knows where we stand, but were willing to have meetings even though we won’t shrink the healthcare plan and we’ll only agree to fund it 2 ways… We should work more than 3 days a week yet the Governor has never been here 3 days in a week. Wonderful…
    Oh, and why would Madigan sit down with a guy who won’t really negotiate? Plan C starts now….

  30. - Cuts Like Knife - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 3:08 pm:

    What is Corruptovich so busy doing that he has to send Sheila Nix?
    My guess is, he’s plotting with his lawyers.

  31. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 3:13 pm:

    What we are seeing is a governor who belatedly saw how the smoldering wreckage of last week played out over the weekend. What he is now doing is pretending to be a compromiser, flexible, hard working, available - everything to counter the negative publicity he created last week.

    We should not be here. There was no reason to get to this point. Pretending he cares doesn’t ring true after his months of tirades against anyone who questioned him.

    My recommendation is to ignor him and do what we need to do to get the work done. He should not get any credit for anything after May 31st. Blagojevich is like the captain of the Titanic saying that at least some of the lifeboats floated.

  32. - Manw/ThePlan - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 3:15 pm:

    Great Audio
    Tee Hee. Sorry to correct Curry.
    No one noticed that WE did not say WE would work five days. Just that House should work five days. The Senate has no schedule posted, but they are busy splitting up the Jacobs loot.
    I’m not back from Miami yet

  33. - South Sider - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 3:36 pm:

    The five-word answer to why Rod missed his own press conference: Hot “Rod” Magazine Power Tour.
    You know he thinks he’s hot; he probably also thinks they’re all coming to honor him.

    Good lord.

  34. - PalosParkBob - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 3:38 pm:

    What happens if a new budget is not approved by the end of the fiscal year June 30? Does the legislature go with “continuing resolutions” to fund operations, or is there some obscure parliamentary procedure that allows the Guv, or some other constitutional officer, to make spending decisions?

    I assume that taxes could always be collected, but making expenditures would be the problem.

    Has this situation ever happened under our current constitution?

    I feel like we taxpayers are in lion’s den with three “beasts” fighting over who’ll rip us to shreds.

    Our only hope is that the “beasts” knock themselves off and give us a chance to escape without being taxed to death.

  35. - the Other Anonymous - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 3:39 pm:

    I’m with some of the other posters: this is pretty slippery language with no commitment by the Governor to spend even a day in Springfield.

    As long as the Governor stays in Chicago things won’t change. If he really wants to cooperate, he should announce that he’s staying at the Governor’s mansion until there’s a budget.

    The mansion is sure a hell of a lot more comfortable than the facilities at Oxford, WI. [/snark]

  36. - Anon - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 3:39 pm:

    I have searched the Illinois Constitution and Illinois Statutes, and find no reference to a “deputy governor.” Do you mean to report on an “Assistant to the Governor?”

  37. - OneManBlog - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 3:42 pm:

    The last 30 seconds is classic….

  38. - A Citizen - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 4:11 pm:

    I predict the gov drops the health care for all scheme and shifts over to the self serving FREE legal services for all plan. For him to be announcing a call to work now is just laughable. That anyone notices anymore is amazing.

  39. - Little Egypt - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 4:29 pm:

    Excerpts from the Nix press conference:

    “He asked all 4 leaders to attend a leaders meeting tomorrow…He intends to begin every week with a leaders meeting…and to start every week with a leaders meeting and at the end of every week make our administration available to meeting with any of the caucuses that have questions, need more information on numbers, need to see their concerns and hear our concerns…In addition, the Governor wants to make all our senior staff available to members to answer their questions and provide information…I’m joined today by the Director of Health Care and Family Services, Barry Marrow, COO of the state, John Filan, and our Budget Director Ginger Ostro…They are available at any time…The General Assembly does need to begin to start passing elements of a budget that the governor can sign…The General Assembly needs to take action, not just engage in a 3-day work week…It doesn’t look like we do a 5-day work week until the end of June…We want to make our staff available…The Governor has been in Springfield every week…offered to work with the Democratic leaders…We were meeting with the Democratic leaders, both house and senate…Senate President Emil Jones and the Governor met every week starting March 7….Speaker Madigan was not available until just last week…The Governor has expressed a willingness to compromise and be flexible…There’s lots of room for movement…He’s been willing to compromise…Nothing is held hostage…We need to see some action though…We just can’t have a 3-day work week with no progress…The Governor is extremely disappointed that Senator Jacobs chose to vote against providing health care for working families in Illinois.

    From a reporter “Is that all you’ve got…Where is the Governor?”

    A few observations: #1 Am I the only one who thinks this all sounded like Tony Snow in the White House Press Room? #2 read between the lines folks. Sheila at no time said the Governor would be in Springfield - just that he “intends” to begin every week with a leaders meeting. That intent does not mean it will be accomplished. #3, nothing is held hostage. Note she did not deny that things ARE held hostage - just that nothing is held hostage (at the moment).

    Blago and staff are better slick talkers than Bill Clinton ever thought about being. I’d even bet that Blago has a new definition of the work “is”. God help us.

  40. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 4:35 pm:

    Whoever said that “this session was going to be a train wreck in slow motion” was being much too optimistic, and way too kind.

  41. - Team Sleep - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 4:36 pm:

    Yeah, I’ve got a futon, an extra bed and digital cable. Maybe I should rent out a couple of rooms for $20 and let them play with my dog and PS2 if they get bored.

    I just don’t understand his senior staff have waited this long to - well, technically - start negotiations. The senior staff treats the rest of the governor’s staff like dirt and keep them out of the loop. I wonder what on earth all of the top dogs have been doing for five months, especially with all of the initiatives being pushed by Blago. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot about Patrick Fitzgerald camping out in the governor’s office…

  42. - Crimefighter - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 4:42 pm:

    Anyone wanna make predictions on how long you think the overtime session will last? I’m gonna predict July 15th.

  43. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 4:43 pm:

    Team Sleep, it’s not hard to figure. It’s called being clueless about running government…

  44. - Team Sleep - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 4:56 pm:

    Anon, I agree. Jim Ryan ran the attorney general’s office for 8 years, and JBT ran the treasurer’s office for 12 years. Both were competent administrators who knew how to run an efficient, successful and goal-driven offices. Blago, on the other hand, was perceived to be a do-nothing backbencher in Congress. Those offices are usually run by Congressman who either don’t care or don’t hire a staff that is willing to do what it takes to make an office work.

    I don’t care what visions a candidate has. If one’s competency is in question, it makes no sense to elect that person.

    I remember watching the Blago-Ryan debates and thinking, “You’ve got to be kidding me! This guy is the Dem nominee for governor?” He could barely DEBATE, which is a basic tenant of government.

  45. - Sunset over Illinois - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 4:58 pm:

    I smell indictments, I mean come on already. They’ve been getting the cartoon channel in Springfield for some time now.
    Rod would be perfectly at home.

  46. - A Citizen - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 5:16 pm:

    The House and Senate should pass the MM budget, let the gov veto it and override his veto. Game Over !! Come on guys “Gitt’r Done !!!”

  47. - Anon - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 5:19 pm:

    Free the CMS 2

  48. - Dr. Papa Legba - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 5:26 pm:

    I am just wondering. Can a sitting Guv be removed for mental heath reasons?

    The guy was always a touch goofy, but he has become more unhinged than a screen door in a Kansas tornado these past few months.

  49. - A Citizen - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 5:41 pm:

    Well, we certainly can call for his resignation. For the good of the State and its citizens. I would hope he would have the test. viril. to do this right thing. At least it should be presented to him.

  50. - demgrrl - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 6:00 pm:

    folks sure suffer from shortterm memory loss. the governor laid out his budget in march, he asked the dem leaders to meet immediately, and while prez jones was available to meet every week with him, madigan was apparently booked for the next two months. he went before the committee of the whole, the entire house dem caucus and met with dozens of legislators throughout the session. his position has been the same since day one, but has said that he’s willing to compromise on how we pay for the budget.

    so, it’s hard to swallow the uninformed comments about is not being engaged in the process.

    I find it amusing that anyone would give kudos to madigan who was in a mad rush to piece together a budget in less than 48 hours that doesn’t meet the basic needs of the state, unless you’re fritchey who got 2.3 million from the road fund for a project in his district.

  51. - A Citizen - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 6:08 pm:

    drmgrrl - you are right, if we want a three ring circus, gov is the guy. But if we want a rational budget MM has gotten one passed. I believe gov’s went down to defeat 107 to ZIP.

  52. - Long Time Reader; First Time Poster - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 6:18 pm:

    Rich, can we have a QOTD that asks whether or not your readers think that either A) there will be a compromise between the Governor and the General Assembly, or B) the General Assembly will just ignore the Governor and pass a budget that he vetos, and then the G.A. immediately overrides.

  53. - demgrrl - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 6:19 pm:

    a citizen,

    a rational budget? what’s rational about maintaining the status quo on pensions as annual contributions climb further into the billions or ignoring the growth in nearly every health care and human services program? it’s irresponsible and would hurt people and increase the unpaid bills that the administration has taken pains to reduce.

    uninformed, flippant comments may make for good blogging, but it just shows how uninformed you are.

  54. - Rep. John Fritchey - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 6:22 pm:


    Glad to see your paying attention. Now get your facts right.

    The road improvement funding was actually appropriated in LAST year’s budget. This year’s budget simply reappropriates it directly to the City because the Administration had been waffling on the money. It’s simply a matter of shoring up what I am sure was a sincere commitment.

    And last I checked, there were over 60 other House members who approved the budget presented by the House Dems.

    And while we’re on facts, you say that the Governor’s position has been the same since day one, but has said that he’s willing to compromise on how we pay for the budget’.

    Why don’t you go back and review the transcripts of the Committee of the Whole and from his repeated statements that ‘nothing else was on the table’. If my proposal got rejected 107-0, I’d be willing to compromise too.

    In fact, I would have been willing weeks ago in order to get a budget that had a better chance of meeting Democratic priorities as opposed to the one which we will wind up with. That’s what you do when you are a D governor with a D Senate and a D House. In theory at least.

    Listen, I hope we wind up with a better budget, I truly do. I just don’t see it happening. Unless you believe that it’s healthy for a state to increase reliance on gaming or new taxes, a view that I don’t share.

  55. - Huh? - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 6:34 pm:

    I had to write a letter for a client and address it to POA today. The polite way to address a letter to a governor is “The Honorable XXXXX, Governor”

    I about choked when I had to write “The Honorable Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor”. He is anything but honorable.

  56. - A Citizen - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 6:34 pm:

    Hey drmgrrl! They’re both your guys. I just happen to agree with the reality based MM rather than the delusional reality denying temper tantrum guy. You want a budget, work with not against MM and you’ll get it. Otherwise I’d be preparing for state govt. shutdown. Wake up your guy, wave some smelling salts under his nose and see if he can engage. Otherwise just get out of the way, it’s time for mature adults to get this work done. Just pass MM’s budget in the Senate, let gov veto, and override. Job Done. Gov is either very close to or already is irrelevant.

  57. - potomac fever - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 6:45 pm:

    Ms. Sheila Nix, Deputy Govenor (and I agree with a previous poster that title is wrong, since Nix wasn’t on the November ballot) veiled threat about shutting down government, well the last time some made that threat in DC it was Newt Gingrich and yes the government did shut down–Clinton played slap and tickle with Monica in the Oval Office–and just look where that got us. Impeachment proceedings, investigations, Gingrich leaving the Speakers post. But perhaps Rod doesn’t recall all of that, since he spent such little time in D.C.
    Stop the Madness don’t let the Illinois go down that road, (not that could drive on it anymore), and please Ms. Nix don’t insult the citizens intelligence. Either Govern or GET OUT…

  58. - not fooled here - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 6:49 pm:

    Nix’s press conf was repulsive.

    Doesn’t she know that the flight records will reveal that the Gov in fact WAS NOT in Springfield every week since the budget address.

    Also I hope that the reporters don’t start accepting the fact that “I eat seven penny nails for breakfast” Sheila Nix will now be handling the Gov’s press conf’s. If they do they will get exactly what they deserve - NOTHING.

    If she does it again they should protest and not attend another one unless King Rod shows up.

  59. - Gene Parmesan - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 7:02 pm:

    demgrrl I wish Rod had “informed” us of this enormous tax increase and spending plan when he was running all those commercials last fall.

  60. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 7:22 pm:

    So typical Rod. Hiding behind the skirts. What a loser wimp.

  61. - Gregor Samsa - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 7:30 pm:

    Madigan’s version of a budget will pass the Senate with a few tweaks to make Jones play along. Jones, in a self-created weakened position due to hinky hiring and raises for relatives and blow-back from his scandalous behavior on electrical rates, will finally break ranks with Rod rather than go over the waterfalls with him.

    Rod as usual will declare “L’État, c’est moi”, and veto the passed budget, expecting everybody to capitulate on his demands or he’ll shut down the government. With no immediate election in sight, which is the only thing that gives super-campaigner Rod power, The GA will just laugh. The veto will be overridden, and Rod will become even more of a national joke as he marginalizes himself out of job, a broken man, hiding out behind the skirts of his wife, kids, and press aides in his Chicago house until the man from “da “G” ” shows up for the coup de grace.

    More or less.

    Will the republicans be able to capitalize on this for a major comeback? I think everybody is too wounded by it all-around for a clear-cut turn-over, I expect instead that the state in the long view will balkanize itself into geo-political fiefdoms allied by mutual goals/needs and not necessarily by party line affiliations. Which, arguably, has been the case all along. Still, the new regionalism may help to break the death-grip of the Senate President and House Speaker positions over their members and reform the chambers into a shifting mix of alliances depending on the issues.

  62. - Where's Bill? - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 7:43 pm:

    Did Bill die? Is he on vacation? Can the Governor send the state police to do a well being check on his favorite blogger?

  63. - Aquanet+ - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 7:47 pm:

    Where the heck was Milo today? What was so inportant that he couldn’t address the press today? Was he busy proclaiming another so-called “Proclamation Day” here in the land of enchantment?

  64. - Bill - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 7:49 pm:

    In fact, the Governor is doing what he promised to do during the campaign…hold the line on income tax and sales tax. He has compromised on his opposition to gaming in order to fund increases in ed funding that he and Sen. Jones advocate.He still advocates leasing or selling the lottery to address the pension issue.If a tax (sales opr income) increase is imposed it will be over his veto. The voters will decide whether that is the right direction to take in ‘08 when the House will have to stand for re-election…
    and Honorable John,
    While we have agreed on most issues, I am really disappointed that you have decided to join in the piling on Rod. I know it can be fun but at this point I wish you, your colleagues, especially the Speaker, the Senate, the Governor and President Jones would remember that you are all supposedly Democrats. We sent you all to Springfield to make Illinois a model for the other states in the nation in terms of education funding reform, health care, public safety, and transportation. You all are making us a laughing stock and embarrassed to be democrats.
    I get the feeling that when the Brown line shuts down or they start charging $7 a ride your constituents will have a lot more to call you about than when Rod jogs around the neighborhood.

  65. - Dissapointed - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 7:55 pm:

    Potomac, not defending the gov here, but MJM’s budget was no great work of art, nor did it require a great deal of thought to craft. Its pretty easy to cut and paste from the 07 budget and toss in a few extra dollars for your favorite agencies.

    Unless there is real leadership on the big issues, we as a state are going to continue to fall behind our competitors. Issues such as educational funding, health care and economic development cannot be addressed via press release, nor can they be addequately addressed by legislative leaders who are too concerned with maintaining their own private legislative fiefdoms. This state is crying out for real leadership — leadership that is willing to debate ideas and examine, with open minds, how the State operates in order to address the real world concerns that residents from Galena to Cairo and all points in between face every day. What we need is leadership that will bring people together to identify ways in which we can improve the efficiency and efficacy of how the State delivers the many vital services it provides and then will lead the charge to implement the changes required. And, importantly will identify objective criteria by which the success of policy recommendations is judged. Its not easy in a political environment where all sides are quick to conclude that any misstep is a fatal flaw. But, doing the right thing in the face of difficult times is a hallmark of strong leadership. People aren’t asking for perfection, but they are asking for real effort in addressing real problems that affect them every day. On this measure, I am afraid to say that our current leadership has failed us. So to have rank and file Democrats who haven’t risen up to challenge established institutions.

  66. - Ulysses - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 7:56 pm:

    That pretty weak Bill. Nothing is ever Rod’s fault, Rod’s the laughing stock and an embarrassment to not only his own party but to all of Illinois.
    More like a “Model of Corruption”.

  67. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 8:00 pm:

    You gotta wonder if they are smoking that wacky weed or drinking the koolaid in the Governors office. To have the nerve to criticize someone else’s work ethics ? You just can’t make this stuff up. Think about it people these nuts are running this state.

  68. - demgrrl - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 8:17 pm:

    rep fritchey,

    spin your district funds however you’d like. It’s not a criticism on my part, just an observation.

    What’s most intriguing about dems like you is that you’re supposed to be in the party that believes in helping people and making their lives better. I think providing health care to the uninsured fits that bill pretty well. But, you seem more interested in criticizing the governor, as you so often do, rather than acknowledge every independent piece of data that says health care costs are crippling small businesses and working people who can’t afford the most basic care, and when they get sick find themselves filing bankruptcy because they can’t afford to pay their bills.

    So, why not work with the gov and other dems to find a way to get people the care they need? You say that you don’t want to raise taxes (I assume on the big corps that don’t pay any income taxes), so are you willing to accept the alternatives? Let more people get sick? Let more small businesses drop their health care plans? Let the uninsured rolls grow, which will make our health care premiums go up even further?

    I give the gov kudos for having the political courage to propose a plan like illinois covered. Criticizing him is easy because it’s springfield’s favorite sport and makes those who do so more popular with the pundits and insiders.

    Maybe it’s time for dem legislators to ask themselves what’s more important — helping people or criticizing their governor?

    I don’t have anything against you representative, and I know you’ve done some good things in the years you’re held the gov’s former seat, but I’m troubled how someone like yourself, with your record, can’t embrace the gov’s plan to expand health care to the uninsured of this state.

  69. - Rep. John Fritchey - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 8:18 pm:


    I sincerely appreciate the tone of your comments, and I actually agree with you to an extent. But I don’t think that I’ve joined in the piling on; to the contrary, I am simply holding my ground when the Governor tries to turn the Legislature, including his Democratic allies, into straw men to be pilloried in furtherance of his objectives.

    That is the biggest obstacle to achieving Democratic priorities. It should be about ideals and constituencies, not grandstanding.

    Good to see you weigh in though, seriously :)

  70. - Rep. John Fritchey - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 8:31 pm:


    People ranging from legislators who have spent a lot of time on the health care issue, to the Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, headed by Dr. Quentin Young, have expressed serious reservations, NOT about the goal, but about the execution of the Governor’s proposal.

    Of course I want good health care for everybody, not only as a Democrat, but as a compassionate human being. It’s the right thing to do.

    But I also do not believe in simply raising taxes and throwing money at issues in the belief that more money means better results. Not in health care, not in education, not in mass transit.

    Any other type of thinking by Democrats will simply result in wasted spending…and fewer Democrats.

    And while we may disagree on some of this, I appreciate your tone as well. On these types of topics, and during this time of year, it’s easy for people to get carried away.

    Okay, I think I’ve spent enough time blogging tonight. I have to pack :)

  71. - A Citizen - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 8:32 pm:

    drmgrrl. it’s time to stop campaigning and govern! If guv won’t, or can’t, then Madagin and the Republicans will. They have already started and guv has just had Nix give a campaign speech . . . on his behalf. Gov’s folks seem to be piling on with snarky comments like “time to get to work” and five day workweeks. Give all this crappy rhetoric a rest - it just further alienates an already hermit governor.

  72. - Bill - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 8:47 pm:

    A Citizen,
    Why is the offer to work with legislators a campaign speech? If anyone can forge a compromise and get something done it is Deputy Governor Nix and her team. Yes, Madigan and the Republicans will have some input. So will the Governor and President Jones. I am still holding out hope for ed funding reform, health care ( maybe a scaled down pilot program or an expansion of Allkids and Allparents), transportation, property tax relief, and a capitol bill to get Repubs on board. All of this is still possible.
    Drive safely, John! A Citizen,
    Why is the offer to work with legislators a campaign speech? If anyone can forge a compromise and get something done it is Deputy Governor Nix and her team. Yes, Madigan and the Republicans will have some input. So will the Governor and President Jones. I am still holding out hope for ed funding reform, health care ( maybe a scaled down pilot program or an expansion of Allkids and Allparents), transportation, property tax relief, and a capitol bill to get Repubs on board. All of this is still possible.
    Drive safely, John!

  73. - Semisonic - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 8:47 pm:

Open all the doors and let Blagojevich into our world.
Over-time, health care and a pony free for every boy and every 
One last call for budget deals, so finish your whiskey or 
You don’t have to vote with Rod unless your re-election you fear.

I know who I want to take Rod’s job,
    I know who I want to take Rod’s job,
I know who I want to take the job
Take Rod home

  74. - A Citizen - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 9:07 pm:

    Bill, why after all of these years is it necessary to “make an offer to work with” people an effective governor should have been working with all along? That’s not governing, it’s campaign rhetoric and targets image and PR. I believe the governor is actually clueless . . . and that is almost impossible to imagine, but all indications are there. Nix is not the gov any more than de Grazia was. The gov needs to be visible and publicly available - not just in scripted events. Leaders should be visible on the “battlefield” in front of their army, not sending surrogates in from a very safe distance of, say 200 miles.

  75. - muon - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 9:10 pm:

    Bill and others go though a list of projects of interest: education, health care, transportation, etc. A careful look at the work on these issues this session reveals that the language included not just new funding, or even reformed funding. They also include language to reform how that money is expended.

  76. - Bookworm - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 9:24 pm:

    Suggesting a QOTD: list of books to read on Blago’s summer vacation.
    Hopefully, Dale Carnegie is on there.

    Wikipedia has these helpful suggestions for Rod from Dale’s book:

    The book has four major sections. The core principles of each section are listed below.

    Fundamental Techniques in Handling People:
    “Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.”
    “Give people a feeling of importance; praise the good parts of them.”
    “Get the other person to want to do what you want them to by arousing their desires.”

    Six Ways to Make People Like You:
    “Become genuinely interested in other people.”
    “Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
    “Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.”
    “Talk in the terms of the other man’s interest.”
    “Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.”

    Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking:
    “Avoid arguments.”
    “Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never tell someone they are wrong.”
    “If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.”
    “Begin in a friendly way.”
    “Start with questions the other person will answer yes to.
    “Let the other person do the talking.”
    “Let the other person feel the idea is his/hers.”
    “Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.”
    “Sympathize with the other person.”
    “Appeal to noble motives.”
    “Dramatize your ideas.”
    “Throw down a challenge.”
    Nine Ways to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment:
    “Begin with praise and honest appreciation.”
    “Call attention to other people’s mistakes indirectly.”
    “Talk about your own mistakes first.”
    “Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.”
    “Let the other person save face.”
    “Praise every improvement.”
    “Give them a fine reputation to live up to.”
    “Encourage them by making their faults seem easy to correct.”
    “Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.”

  77. - Little Egypt - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 9:24 pm:

    Demgrl, I understand that the Democratic party is one that wants to help people. I understand that the GOP wants to help the rich get richer. Doesn’t there come a time though when the Democrats realize THERE IS NO MONEY to carry out their programs; i.e. prescription programs, insurance for all. If my family finances were in the condition this State is, I would have to pay down some of my debt before I could buy new furniture, car, house, have a savings account, put children in college. So why is this principle so foreign to government? Why can’t we take a time out (a couple of years) and pay down the pension debt, give more to education, fix our infrastructure? I understand the desire to help the uninsured - I really do. This is on the wish list of all 50 states AND the Federal government. However, it is going to be an extremely expensive program that no one can come up with a dollar amount that it will cost. In my younger years, I took a gamble and had no health insurance in order to pay my auto insurance. There should be realistic priorities. This state does not have an endless source of money, nor can the legislature keep going back to the public well (taxes) to pay for new programs when we have a hugely mounting debt of other programs. I don’t care what Rod campaigned for or against, I don’t care if he waffles now for or against a particular program. What I care about is that our children, our future leaders, are not being treated properly by underfunding education. Uninsured kids have a better chance of succeeding than do uneducated kids. Can we not get our priorities in order? Insurance will come, I have no doubt about that.

  78. - Tessa - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 9:45 pm:

    Wow. I’m almost speechless by this whole thing. I was gone for two weeks and didn’t expect to come home to a final budget, but I certainly didn’t expect this mess.

    Take the whole health care for everyone off the table and get down to a doable budget for the state. Education, transportation and a workable budget to provide necessary services across the state. Meet daily until it’s done.

    I have to go to work every day to do my job. So should they. Oh wait, I was hired to do my job, not elected. That must be the difference. I get mandated almost daily to do my job, too. Buck up people. Un-freaking real. Do what your constituents HIRED you to do.

  79. - Papa Legba - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 9:50 pm:

    I for one would like to see the dollars spent vs. the number of people helped by Rod’s previous attempts at Socialized health care. There are quite a few of those programs out there now.

    Maybe people are wondering why Blago had no support for his GRT. Could it be that he has never kept his word in the past and has screwed over numerous legislators? Could it be that if the legislators gave Rod $7 billion he just might spend most of it foolishly, as he has done with vast amounts of public money in the past?


    Other than hold the line on sales and income taxes, just what has Rod done to make this state better over the past 5 years?


    It is a shame that heath care is not affordable for many people. It is actually disgusting that we can’t have a system in the country that would cover these people. My question to you is what exactly is Rod proposing with his massive tax increase that may make Socialized medical care work in Illinois?

    We already can’t pay medical providers and we can’t even handle the debt and deficit problems the state has now.

    A great deal of this state’s government is so completely dysfunctional at the moment, that no matter how much money is thrown at just the CURRENT problems, they wouldn’t be fixed.

    Before Illinois embarks upon massive spending sprees, we need to clean up our existing mess, or we will sink further into the abyss.

    The current administration has done little to prove they are up to the task of fixing anything. This is with having 5 years to prove themselves.

    Does anyone on this blog think that shuffling money from credit card to credit card solves their household budget issues?

    That is essentially what has been happening in this state for the past 5 years.

  80. - Truth - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 10:01 pm:

    Scary incompetence. Scary.

  81. - Fed up - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 10:11 pm:

    I cant wait until Pat quinn takes over. I never thought I would say that but its true. Come take away the elvis clown Mr. Fitzgerald.

  82. - A Citizen - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 10:17 pm:

    Waiting for Fitz to solve the problem seems pointless at this time! Madagin and Emil and their respective memberships will now have to rise to the circumstances and demonstrate collective leadership. Pass the budget and if necessary, override the veto. Just get the people’s business accomplished. It is time for this circus to end.

  83. - Disgusted - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 10:24 pm:

    I have a question for Rep. Fritchey, that maybe he’ll answer tomorrow. Why, when they know people will go crazy over it, did the legislators vote themselves a raise, when the people doing the work of the state have gone without a raise for almost 5 years? Isn’t that like kicking them when they’re down and thumbing your nose at the voters and taxpayers of the state? And to attach it to the bills which provides money for war survivors families, veterans, etc., was just plain dispicable. How do you explain this very nasty behavior?

  84. - A Citizen - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 10:24 pm:

    I suppose we could view the budget issue as a sideshow and the administration as a circus? However, the same conclusion applies, it is time for them to end!

  85. - demgrrl - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 10:41 pm:

    rep fritchey,

    my last comment for the night as well.

    regarding the execution of the illinois covered, I think the fact that a few dozen statewide and national health care organizations have embraced the plan speaks volumes about its validity. Dr. Young is solely interested in a single payer plan, so it’s not entirely surprising that he doesn’t embrace illinois covered in its entirety. Also, if you look at the administration’s management of the state’s medicaid programs you’ll find that the system is in far better shape today — even after adding more than 500,000 working men and women and children to state funded health care plans. Look at the comptroller’s most recent annual audit and you’ll find that the medicaid debt dropped by half a billion dollars. That occurred because hfs is doing an efficient job of running those programs. The state already serves nearly 2.5 million people, so adding more than 1 million over the next few years should not be that challenging.

    Little Egypt,

    education and health care go hand and hand. it’s time that we stopped treating them as if one were more important than the other. Kids who can’t read the blackboard or hear their teacher will be at a severe disadvantage with other students that do have health care. Besides, all uninsured kids do have acccess to health care under the gov’s All Kids plan. It’s the uninsured adults — more than two thirds are working people — who are in need of care. There’s no reason why sick people should wait to get the health care they need if we can find a way to pay for it. The gov proposed a way to do so, and if that can’t be supported by the general assembly than they should go back to the drawing board. The state can fund both education and healh care if members of the general assembly have the will to do so. I hope they do.

  86. - A Citizen - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 10:57 pm:

    drmgrrl = but what about the taxpayers? They weren’t allowed to see this train wreck coming during the campaign - they would have voted the pretender OUT!

  87. - Little Egypt - Monday, Jun 4, 07 @ 11:02 pm:

    Demgrl, “There’s no reason why sick people should wait to get the health care they need if we can find a way to pay for it.” My point exactly - WE CAN’T PAY FOR IT!

  88. - Leigh - Tuesday, Jun 5, 07 @ 6:10 am:

    I find it humerous that so many of the “democrats” here talk about how they are the party that cares about people. The democrats hold both houses and every state office, if they cared about “the people” then why all the back biting and ego driven tirades? Tell me which of these clowns cares enough about “the people” make a budget that works. And don’t talk to me about universal healthcare for all while basically calling all business owners godless heathens. Business owners are people to and shouldn’t be demonized because someones piggy bank is empty.

  89. - Lula May - Tuesday, Jun 5, 07 @ 7:37 am:

    After the meeting with Senator Jacobs what would make this administration think anyone would want to sit done with them ? Most logical people would not set themselves up to have the f-bomb thrown at them.
    No thanks Rod save that abuse for the people closest to you.

  90. - Fed up - Tuesday, Jun 5, 07 @ 7:41 am:

    comrade demgrl maybe we could give everyone a nice house in the suburbs. the freash air would be healthier and a larger home could include state provided library and highspeed internet. Maybe the state could buy everyone a nic new car one that is safe so the if there is an accident people will be healtier and if mom and dad arent worried about house or car payments there will e more time to help the kids with homework and cook healthy meals.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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