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Friday, Jun 15, 2007

* There’s always at least one big blowup during overtime session, and yesterday probably qualifies as the first. I told you about it on these two posts yesterday afternoon, but here are a couple of mainstream media reports, starting with the Tribune

The electricity meeting dominated the statehouse activity on Thursday and kept Jones and Madigan away from a meeting Gov. Rod Blagojevich had called with Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan over how best to renew a property tax relief plan. Jones and Madigan, both Chicago Democrats, have passed different versions of a plan.

The governor halted the meeting after the two legislative leaders sent deputies instead, leading to the latest round of personal rancor that has marked interactions between the governor and his fellow Democrats since they pushed the legislative session into overtime.

Madigan sent Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) to the meeting. Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said “it appears to be a sexist thing” that the governor would not recognize Currie as Madigan’s proxy.

Deputy Gov. Sheila Nix vigorously disputed Brown’s assertion, saying “there was nothing sexist about” the governor’s decision. She called Brown’s remarks a “smoke screen” for Madigan’s absence.

Currie called Blagojevich’s actions “very bizarre behavior.”

* Sun-Times

The governor “was like a child,” said Rep. Kevin Joyce (D-Chicago), who was at the meeting and said Blagojevich went on a “tirade” about not having all four legislative leaders present.

Another Democrat there went so far as to contact the Legislature’s research arm to learn about the rules of impeaching a governor, though later maintained there is no plan to initiate impeachment proceedings against Blagojevich. […]

“In response to the speaker’s spokesman’s comments, we think they are inappropriate and not based in fact,” Blagojevich spokeswoman Rebecca Rausch said.

The governor’s Senate floor leader, Sen. Carol Ronen (D-Chicago), said Brown’s statement about the governor went over the top considering Madigan is chairman of the state Democratic Party.

“As speaker of the House and as chairman of the party, [Madigan] is responsible for what his spokesperson is saying,” she said. “Mr. Madigan should denounce what [Brown] said. He should say he doesn’t agree with him. The speaker is not acting in good faith if he’s letting his spokesperson throw gasoline on everything.”

That statement was fully authorized, by the way.

* And Rep. John Fritchey, who was at the meeting, had several choice words for the guv in his own blog post…

We were seated around the Governor’s office, with Watson and Cross seated at the conference table, and three remaining seats for the President, Speaker and Governor. The Governor came in about 20 minutes late, briefly shook hands with a number of us, took his seat, and then it started.

Not the meeting, the farce.

He said that he was prepared to start as soon as Madigan and Jones got there. Majority Leader Currie stated that he may be late or not coming at all due to another commitment, but that she was authorized to act in his stead. The Governor then went on a weird diatribe that this was a leaders’ meeting and that he would not take part until all of the leaders were there.

I very politely suggested to the Governor that Rep. Currie had been the point person in the House on the discussions, that we had a large number of legislators who had been involved on the issue in the room, the Assessor was present and as such, I ‘didn’t see the harm in beginning the conversation prior to the arrival of Jones and/or Madigan.’

The Governor’s response was that he ‘didn’t see the harm in waiting’. He stood up and told the assembled group that he was going to go to his other office to do work and that we could wait around or that they would call us when the meeting was going to start.

He turned to leave the room less than five minutes after he had walked in.

If there was a soundtrack for that moment, it would have been that of 20 legislators being simultaneously slapped in the face.

[Emphasis added.]

What some commenters here misunderstood yesterday was that Wednesday’s leaders meeting was held without Senate President Emil Jones, so the governor’s refusal to meet yesterday was inexcusable. There’s a method behind the guv’s madness (at least, they think so), but that’s for subscribers on Monday (there was no Capitol Fax this morning because, apparently, getting home by 8:30 makes me ill).

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Levois - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:08 am:

    Hmm, impeachment a lot of people saw indictments. This might cause some predictions to come to the fore, eh?

  2. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:09 am:

    I can’t believe that the Speaker is allowed to get away with this stuff. He is the leader of the democratic party in the state, yet he goes out of his way to undermine the democratic governor every chance he gets. He has not acted like a democrat since blago has been elected.

    And for those of you who want to say that the governor is acting like a child, I remind you of how the Speaker and Chairman of the dem party acted when Alexi ran for treasurer against Madigan’s wishes. Talk about a baby — he even allowed his pettiness spill over onto Senator Obama.

    Our Speaker needs to stop the game playing and make up his mind. If he wants to laed the democratic party, he needs to BE a democrat. Otherwise, he should go to the other side of the aisle and let us get some work done for the people.

  3. - team america, world police - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:13 am:

    So what ARE the rules for impeachment? That’d make a fun Fall. I can’t handle months more of Obama v. Hillary without some distriction.

  4. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:15 am:

    Impeach? For what? What crime has been committed? Rich, do you have an opinion on all of this impeachment talk?

  5. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:21 am:

    Anon, to paraphrase what Congressman Jerry Ford said in the 1960s, “We don’t need a reason, we just need the votes.”

    That being said, there’s no way that happens here now. No way.

  6. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:21 am:

    Check out Article IV, Section 14 of the Illinois Constitution.

    The procedural rules are pretty straightforward, the grounds are conveniently ambiguous.

    NO crime has to have been committed. Although it would make things easier.

  7. - Milorad - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:21 am:

    How about impeaching him for ghost payrolling? He rarely works for his pay check.

  8. - Policy Wonk - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:23 am:

    Impeachment certainly seems like overreaching, but perhaps the charge could be neglect of the responsibilities of Governor. I try to give the Governor the benefit of the doubt, however his actions get more and more goofy each day.

    So what if the majority leader appeared on behalf of the speaker - it’s not like they’re doing any actual budget negotiations.

    I thought they would pass some sort of interim budget, but now I wouldn’t be surprised if they just shut everything down for a few days. What does the Governor care if child support payments, human service provide payments, etc. are delayed? All he and Filan seem to care about is themselves.

  9. - El Salsa - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:24 am:

    Steve Brown is finally using it. I have never been so flabbergasted at ones comments. I am no fan of the Governor (even though I am a Dem), but at least his spokespeople respond with intelligent/substantive remarks. It seems Mr Brown has reverted back to school yard insults that past month. One petty, uneducated comment after another. Its shows me that Madigan and his staff may be feeling the pressure.

  10. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:29 am:

    Policy Wonk, in response to your thoughtless comment, may I remind you why we are in this overtime in the first place? We are here precicely because the governor and filan care about people get child support checks, human seervice payments, etc… These are exactly the issues that this governor has fought for since being elected. If there is a person who doesnt care about these things, it is clearly the Speaker. He is the one who passed a budget that will not fund these areas and will actually force cuts.

    If you want to insult the governor, at least choose sopmething with some merit.

  11. - BlogFreeSpringfield - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:34 am:

    I am no fan of the Governor (even though I am a Dem), but at least his spokespeople respond with intelligent/substantive remarks.

    Unless I’m reading things wrong, I would have to think that Steve Brown’s “sexist” comment was made sarcastically. Most of you will recall that the governor’s spokespeople played the sexist card when the media questioned Patty Blagojevich’s business dealings. My interpretation is that Brown was just throwing it back at them. If he was in fact serious, then I agree it was a stupid comment, just as it was stupid when the governor’s spokesperson said it.

  12. - Cassandra - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:45 am:

    I find Carol Ronen appalling because she is so joined at the hip with Blago that she has virtually no credibility. Very weird.

    Having said that, and being a former manager mayself, I think the guv was correct here, assuming he did not know ahead of time that the other leaders would not be there and had not agreed earlier to let them send replacements.

    Any CEO (and Blago is CEO of our state, courtesy of our votes) who allows other major players to send in substitues without warning is unlikely to be successful for very long. It’s a classic power play, justified or not. He shouldn’t put up with it.

    Also, it sounds like on Wednesday Sen Jones had a legit excuse (last minute illness) and I believe Blago stayed for that meeting.

    And this comment from someone who absolutely detests Blago, I might add.

  13. - game plan - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:47 am:

    oh come on, these are games. The gov has no clout. Jones and Madigan have to come to terms. Jones needs to realize this gov will never back up Jone’s ideas or desires. Never. What’s the ‘ol addage “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me” and here’s your sign….

  14. - Buck Turgidson - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:52 am:

    8:30 AM?

  15. - Leigh - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:55 am:

    Perhaps what the Gov. discovered yesterday is that he is insignificant and the state joke. I think given his behavior and lack of leadership, and the cloud of (alleged and indicted) illegal activity that surround him is reason enough to impeach. The real leaders meeting yesterday was held with the utilities and guess who didn’t get invited.

  16. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:56 am:

    Did any of you READ the articles linked to? Your excuses for our Governor make little sense after doing so, do they?

    First off, Jones and Madigan were doing something very important and the Governor wasn’t included although he was in town at the moment and in the same building. What they were doing was more important than this “leader’s meeting”.

    The Governor decided not to reach out and go into either Jones’ or Madigan’s office to find out where they were. Had he done this very simple thing, he would have found himself being a governor during an important meeting. Instead he focused on his own desires and holed up in his office the entire time.

    The “leader’s meeting” that the Governor did attend had more than enough decision makers there to get work done. Instead of working with the MAJORITY LEADER of this own party, he focused on himself and found the other 23 decision makers not up to his level of political power, so he walked away. No work done.

    Listen. What seems to be happening is the Governor isn’t governing. Madigan and Jones are calling the shots, just like they usually do, and even when Blagojevich is around, he isn’t needed. Even when he does attend a meeting with vital decision makers on vital issues, Blagojevich isn’t doing his job if he feels he doesn’t have the right audience.

    How can he expect to stay relevant when he either pulls himself out of important meetings, or isn’t invited to them? How can he expect to be a relevant when he will not lead?

    Blagojevich blew it a dozen ways yesterday. Instead of finding out where Madigan or Jones was, he pouted. Instead of leading an important meeting, he pouted. Instead of assuming that whatever Jones or Madigan were up to wasn’t as important as meeting with HIM, he pouted.

    He ended up doing no work, and looking like a fool, didn’t he?

    And that is how these articles linked into this posting sound, don’t they?

    Lets stop spinning the Currie/Brown/sexist comments and step back - two vital meetings were held yesterday in Springfield and Blagojevich was too emotional to attend either and do his job. Instead, everyone else worked around him. You cannot expect to be relevant and have events like this occur. More days like this one and Blagojevich might as well spend his time jogging and playing with children.

  17. - OneManBlog - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:58 am:


    CEO’s can fire subordinates the governor can’t fire the leaders. It’s a very different power model.

  18. - El Salsa - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:00 am:

    If it was indeed Steve Browns “joke” to throw the sexist thing back in Blago’s face, it was not a well thought out response and well…petty, like I mentioned. 99% of the public does not remember this comment (although I did after your post).

    Spokespeople are supposed to be educated and level headed. Either Brown or Madigan through his spokesperson are losing their cool.

  19. - Huh? - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:01 am:

    Anon - Apparently you have forgotten the GRT. Governot’s insistance that it was his way or the highway on GRT has lead to the overtime session.

    Governot sprang the GRT on the State without laying the ground work for the plan. Nor was there any sense of compromise when the GA said that GRT was DOA. Furthermore, once the House voted 107 to 0, governot kept insisting that the plan was still alive.

    The House has passed a budget. Don’t blame the Speaker for this overtime session.

    On a side note did anybody see the legal ad in the SunTimes for $50,000,000 in Build Illinois Bonds? According to the ad, these are sales tax revenue bonds. Does anybody know what the money is to be spent on?

  20. - So Ill - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:02 am:

    Cassandra, I’d agree with you except for three things:

    1) The Governor DID know that there would be others in the meeting. He’s the one who suggested bringing more rank-and-file lawmakers in. Granted, he expected the leaders to be there too, but it shouldn’t exactly have shocked him that he might be talking with someone not named Jones or Madigan.

    2) The Governor can’t be bothered to show up on time…yet the legislative leaders have waited for him.

    3) The Gov handled it very, very improperly. He knew where they were. All he had to say was, “While the budget is the most important thing on the agenda, it sounds as though Speaker Madigan and President Jones are on the verge of a breakthrough in rate relief talks, also a significant problem facing the residents of Illinois. So while I wish I’d had advanced warning, and I don’t want this to happen again, I can only hope that negotiations are going well. Today’s meeting is cancelled.”

    He could also have held the meeting ANYWAY, then made a big deal about how everyone needs to work together, that there are a variety of issues, etc.

    Instead, he had a tantrum. That is inexcusable.

  21. - Northside Bunker - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:03 am:

    Is there any talk about “impeachment” in the capitol?

  22. - Archie - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:06 am:

    Rich, there’s gotta be a way to make Blago’s pit bull indentify themselves when they blog–these “anons” are a joke. The Governor needs to be impeached for no other reason than ARROGANCE!! I hope MJM sweeps the joke of the Capitol w/him.

  23. - jwscott72 - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:06 am:


    SECTION 14. IMPEACHMENT (after the text)

    Impeachment proceedings are extremely rare in Illinois. Apparently only one judge has been impeached by the House in the state’s entire history (in 1833); the Senate did not convict. Due to the rarity of impeachment, neither house of the General Assembly has permanent rules to govern it. However, a House Special Investigative Committee in 1997 adopted 20 rules to govern impeachment procedures for then-Chief Justice James Heiple of the Illinois Supreme Court,which likely would be consulted if future impeachment proceedings are contemplated.

    In a 1969 case decided under the 1870 Constitution, the Illinois Supreme Court held
    that a legislative investigation of alleged improprieties by some members of the Illinois Supreme Court was unauthorized. This section overruled that case, making it clear that the
    House of Representatives may conduct investigations that might lead to impeachment of
    executive or judicial officers, in addition to its authority actually to impeach such officers.

    No rules means anything can happen.

  24. - Huh? - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:07 am:

    VM said “… Instead of working with the MAJORITY LEADER of this own party, he focused on himself and found the other 23 decision makers not up to his level of political power, so he walked away. No work done. …”

    I like that line about “not up to his level of political power.” What exactly is governot’s level of political power?

    When the car has stalled on the side of the road and gas gauge is on or below “E” that means that the car has run out of gas. Governot ran out of gas with his “testicular virility” remark.

  25. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:10 am:

    Enough with the impeachment stuff, please. It just makes you look silly. Move along.

  26. - Name/Nickname/Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:13 am:

    By all accounts; Governor Broken Record continues to bring up GRT *every day* they have a ‘leadership’ meeting. This thing was sent to the glue factory weeks ago and the ONLY person in Illinois who can’t get a grip is Blago. The governor is ski-balling towards irrelevancy.

    I suspect eventually enough Senators are going to get together to advance the House budget right over the top of Blago and his parrot Jones. If they can somehow manage to do it with a veto-proof majority (with enough Republicans) Blago and Jones come off looking like the biggest failures to ever hold state office.

    I also saw on here last night that the governor is threating to eliminate 1000 corrections and food service positions. Good luck with that. Prisons are so short staffed now that everyone works huge amounts of mandatory overtime; so much in fact that it would be very difficult or impossible to legally force them to work more. Take your chicken little antics elsewhere Rod.

  27. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:15 am:

    Huh, are you implying that Madigan doesnt have complete control of his house dems? The 107-0 vote against the GRT is like Saddam saying that Iaq is more democratic than the U.S. because he received 100% of his country’s vote. There is no democracy in the house? There are a few of independent thinkers, but, for the most part, house dems are terrified of the Speaker and vote the way he tells them to vote.

    He even got them to vote for a budget that will force cuts in programs important to their very own constituents. The Speaker is the reason we are in overtime. He decided the day after the recent election that this was his chosen course. Make no mistakes, my friend.

  28. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:19 am:

    By the way, Rich, what’s going on in Springfield today?

  29. - Macbeth - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:20 am:

    So, what’s the deal — is Blagojevich still planning to run for president?

    What’s this guy’s goal anyway? A third term?

  30. - Name/Nickname/Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:24 am:

    The overtime session is a result of the combination of Blago stunning lack of knowledge about how the legislature works, Jones lack of any vertebrae, and Madigan’s overwhelming wish to teach Rod a lesson about who REALLY runs this state. Blago is an extremely slow pupil but in the end he is going to learn the same thing others before have….you don’t cross Madigan. He is a master of the political arena; Blago is a pathetic, whining rank amateur who is in completely over his head. Mark my words; sooner or later (most likely later since Blago can’t seem to accept reality) Madigan will break him to his way of thinking and the governor will have to either back down or be run over politically.

  31. - Cassandra - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:24 am:

    One Man

    So…I’m Ms. CEO getting ready to do a big deal with two other big compnies and they send the tag team to the meeting with me?.

    I wouldn’t put up with it. Neither would any CEO I’ve heard of.

    Blago is right in this instance (much as I hate to say it).

  32. - Policy Wonk - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:26 am:

    To Anon 10:29

    I would agree with you, that on some level, the Governor does have an interest in the policies he is promoting.

    However, I know and have worked with both of these guys, and I can tell you that Filan could care less if public assistance payments aren’t made, and all the Governor truly cares about is his image.

    If you think otherwise, that’s fine. Go back to work - Governor’s Office staff shouldn’t be blogging on state time.

  33. - Former GOP staffer - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:26 am:

    “There are a few of independent thinkers, but, for the most part, house dems are terrified of the Speaker and vote the way he tells them to vote.”

    Regardless if this is true or not, I would recommend using a better example than the GRT resolution just for the fact that whe Blago realized the resolution was dead, he told the memembers of the House that supported GRT, like Hoffman, to vote no on the resolution to try and spin the impending defeat. Bad example.

  34. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:34 am:

    Former GOPer, how about the example of the budget Madigan passed out of the house to show that his members vote the way he tells them to, regardless of what it means to their constituents. His budget is out of balance and will cause cuts of $1billion to programs important to the members. Yet they still vote for it? I dont understand.

  35. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:42 am:

    Cassandra, your analogy was way off the mark . The meeting in question wasn’t about cutting a “big deal.” It was about holding a dog and pony show. They weren’t ever gonna cut any sort of deal at that confab.

    The meeting which actually cut a “big deal” - electric rate relief - was run by Madigan and Jones. Blagojevich was not present for that one.

    And, again, Blagojevich had no problem holding a leaders meeting on Wednesday even though Jones was absent.

    His behavior is indefensible here.

  36. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:45 am:

    Rich, it was a scheduled leaders meeting, nonetheless. Why would the Speaker ask for this meeting time, then intentionally schedule a meeting on rates at the exact same time. By sending his stand in, he set the governor up. This is not adult behavior.

  37. - Former GOP staffer - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:45 am:

    For all I know you are right about the budget, or you’re wrong… I really don’t know and I can’t speak to it. But saying GRT was 0-107 because of Madigan is really short-sighted and a convienent way of spinning an issue that was DOA.

  38. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:46 am:

    Anon, as I pointed out on the blog yesterday, Watson asked for the 10:30 meeting and Jones scheduled the utility talks.

    You have no case.

  39. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:47 am:

    Also, if anyone was being set up, it was Madigan. More on Monday.

  40. - OneManBlog - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 12:15 pm:


    Again it isn’t the same, it like when I have a meeting with my kids vs. my local party organization.

    I might be able to make life a little difficult for the members of the local party org, I can make it really difficult for my kids.

    I can’t ground pct. committeemen.

  41. - Real reason Rod blew off the meeting - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 12:28 pm:

    …no TV cameras there.

    Steve Brown would not keep his job long if he didn’t always say exactly what Madigan told him to say, or would have said himself. The joke about the “sexist neanderthal comment” was apparent to all familiar with the previous ridiculous statement from Rod and his press staff regarding inquiries into his wife’s biz dealings. That could have been Steve ad-libbing his own opinion but if Madigan disagreed, a correction/clarification would have been issued and Steve would have had to eat it.

    The fact remains, the obdurate, intractable, solipsistic and rebarbative attitude of Rod and his PR people has done nothing but escalate the problems this session. From their perspective, they have been trying to generate public pressure on their adversaries using any means at hand, but their arguments have been weak, the threats unsubstantiated and ill-conceived.

    In Springfield, you can sometimes make a promise and break it with little lasting damage afterwards, it’s expected from politicians, but they forgot a lesson Rod should have learned in the schoolyard: you must NEVER make a threat you can’t or won’t back up, or you lose tremendous credibility. A perfect example are the recent veiled threats from Nix, speaking on the governor’s behalf, about which critical services to the neediest, most deserving constituencies will immediately suffer cuts if Madigan’s compromise budget is adopted instead of his GRT budget. So, they have no better budget plans, but they already have a “hit list” of popular funds to cut and blame on the Speaker. And they think that’s playing hardball. And that nobody knows this is at best a bluff. Like that gem about the football uniforms; that’s Mensa-level strategic thinking there.

    I’ve got news for them: as the executive branch, the Governor is the one who will get tagged with making those politically damaging choices of cuts, not the Speaker. Madigan’s probably saying to himself right now: “Oh please, Sheila, please don’t throw me into that briar patch!!!”

    And this is how they are doing everything on the second floor these days. Their inexperience and lack of insight into the process, combined with the over-arching egoism and aggression, coupled with a complete lack of diplomacy, that prevents them from taking wiser counsel, leads to a string of blown opportunities, bad moves, stupid, damaging comments that generate ill will. And the empty threats are the capper.

    And this is why everything they touch turns into a mess. They are not redeemable; they don’t see that they are the problem and not the solution. They cannot be reformed or renewed out of this. It’s a fundamental deficit in their world view and personalities. That’s why they have to go, or be further marginalized.

    You don’t let children run with scissors if you’re a responsible adult.

    The dems are going to lose the state for another 20 years or more if Rod remains and continues this way. Will lose the gains made in advancing progressive legislation. Will lose jobs, revenue, and national status and infuence. Heck of a job you’re doin’ Rod. Heck of a job.

  42. - Captain America - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 12:52 pm:

    The elctricity rate summit was very important - resolution of this issue seems like a prerequiate to passing a budget. Given these circumstances, I think it was entirely appropriate for Madigan to desigante Senator Currie. I agree with Senator Currie’s conclusion that the Governor’s behavior was bizarre. The Governor’s plotical image took another big hit.

    Teh Governot appears to be suffering from a bad case of megalomania. Although I am still hoping for a better budget oputcome than the Madigan maintenance level budget for the sake of the citiznes of Illinois, it’s hard to be optimistic when one of the key players seems so out of touch with political reality.

    I don’t think BLago’s’ apparent plan to eventually try to demonize Madigan and make Madigan the scapegoat for the budget fiasco is going to work.

  43. - Truth - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 1:03 pm:

    It happens all the time at the end of session folks. Multiple meetings going on at multiple times. People have to choose which one is most important at the time. Since Madigan has consistently said the utility issue must be resolved before the budget can move, he is going to choose to attend an important utility meeting.

    He made the right decision, and it looks like they may finally have some resolution. If he went to the meaningless meeting in the Governor’s office, it would have been a bad choice.

  44. - College Kid - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 1:29 pm:

    Wouldn’t now be the perfect time for the Gov to wear the “Blagojevich Sucks” T-shirt he received from the UIUC College Republicans. After all, he promised to wear it on one of his jogs.

  45. - El Salsa - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 1:45 pm:

    If Madigan had complete and utter control over the House dems, then over 20 of them would not have been absent on Thursday. Members are starting to get angry and the speaker’s games. They are missing time with their families, vacations, and other plans that have been planned for a long time. The longer we go, the more pressure on Madigan. Why cant they all just get along!

  46. - Belle - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 2:01 pm:

    Does the gov know people can die from the heat? He better get his whiny butt in the meeting with the real leaders who know what must be dealt with before a budget can get done. He wanted to be governor, he should start acting like one.

  47. - Disappointed Citizen - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 2:06 pm:


    I really can’t feel sorry for the legislators.

    They volunteer for the job

    They know or should know their responsibilities and constitutional mandates

    The ol political cry - time away from family, vacations, etc. is no excuse for not doing the job. In private life, if they did their “job” like they all are doing in Springfield, they would be joining the unemployment line.

  48. - Huh? - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 2:07 pm:

    Anon - Where is Bill when we need him. At least we have a name to a blind accolate. To blame the overtime antics on the Speaker is to deny they truth that governot has spent less time in Springfield than just about any other politician.

    Furhter more, with governot failing to recongize that the GRT is dead and his continued insistance that it is the only way to fund the state, he has contributed to the continued budget delay.

    Again, the House passed a budget.

  49. - A Citizen - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 2:07 pm:

    I imagine a budget continuing resolution at FY07 levels would keep things running, but it should have a strict limit of twelve months, say July 1 thru June 30.

  50. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 2:14 pm:

    Huh, the Speaker’s budget is bunk, he’s admitted it, and its time that you admit it as well. As for the amount of time the gov spends in springfield, its irrelevant. He proposed his budget and his policy initiatives in his state of the budget/state of the state. Once he does that, its up to the GA to get the work done. I dont see why you feel that the gov needs to be in springfield every day. Is it so that he can do the work of the legislators?

    You have no idea how happy you should be that he isnt in spr every day. Legislators would be bilking him (and the taxpayers) every time their vote was “needed.” Let the sausage get mader without the gov in town. When he comes, and he needs to get the job done, it is a sign that the leaders in the GA couldnt do it. And its when the deals get expensive.

  51. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 2:22 pm:

    Anon, I’m completely for that. If I had my druthers, Madigan and Jones would sit down like they did yesterday with the utility stuff and cut the governor completely out of the process, since he doesn’t seem capable right now of moving anything forward. He acts like he’s irrelevant, so he should be made irrelevant.

  52. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 2:47 pm:

    Rich, you make my point. If Madigan and Jones were able to sit down and get something “moved forward,” we wouldnt be in overtime. Now, we know where Jones stood on the issues, but we never knew where Madigan stood. Therefore, since the governor cant go into each chamber, call, and vote for legislation, I would say that it was Madigan who has caused us to be where we are today — as you call it, “overtime in hell.”

    And I would disagree with your contention that the governor acts irrelevant. He made a very bold proposal this session and took it to the people. Now legislators may not like that approach, but he is the people’s governor, not a part of the springfield machine. Only people in springfield think that way. And to those saying that he has created this overtime by his sticking to the GRT, this thing isnt over yet.

    “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

  53. - Milorad - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 2:51 pm:

    So Anon, what your saying is that the proccess is that Blago sets out his budget in the State of the State and the State Assembly should approve it?

  54. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 2:56 pm:

    Anon, that post was so full of propaganda that I won’t even bother responding.

  55. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 2:58 pm:

    No, what I’m saying is that if the Speaker has an alternative to propose, he should do so before May 30th! Its not that difficult. The surveys of his caucus that he bagan in late May were pure BS and I’m surprised that Rich let him paly that off as displaying leadership. It was BS gamesmanship.

    Ive never contended that the govs proposal should be immediately approved. However, as they say, if you have a better idea, lets hear it.

  56. - Bluefish - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 3:07 pm:

    Yes, Anon, Blago did make some “bold proposals” for this session. And if the state was running a large surplus, I think more people would be in favor of them. But the reality is that we are not (unlike most other states) and his scheme involved the largest tax increase in Illinois history. As a lifelong Dem, I’m glad to see Madigan standing up to this proposed trip into taking on more and expensive obligations without having the solid revenues to support them. And please don’t accuse me of being against healthcare for the needy or education…I’m all for using any natural increases in revenues for them. But the reality is we don’t have the money to spend and increasing taxes will not attract and grow the business environment we need to support a sustainable economy.

  57. - Truth - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 3:16 pm:

    If Roddo ran his campaign on the gross tax and healthcare plan, it would all be law by now. He did not. Rod’s fault.

    If Roddo didn’t regularly bash the General Assembly, he’d have the relationships to get it done. He doesn’t. Rod’s fault.

    If Roddo lived in the masion, he’d be in Springfield all the time, ready to work and meet at any time. He doesn’t. Rod’s fault.

    He’s the Governor. He runs the show, or doesn’t.
    Overtime is Rod’s fault. Nobody else’s.

  58. - Values Matter - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 3:18 pm:

    I guess Mike Jacobs had it right. These tantrums by the Governor have got to stop for the sake of our party’s governing abilities.

  59. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 3:18 pm:

    You are absolutely entitled to your opinion. The governor’s proposal would have required a large tax increase on corporations. It was bold because it was politically dangerous. It was bold because it was extensive in its coverage of the issues that need attention. You can accuse the gov of a lot of things, but you cant accuse him of not taking a huge political risk in order to try to help people.

    Madigan has been around for a long time. This whole pension mess that everybody loves to pin on the gov. Education underfunding. Inadequate health care coverage. All of these governmental deficiencies belong to him.

    What exactly does he stand for?

  60. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 3:25 pm:

    Aside from being the “political mastermind” that everybody loves to call him on this blog. Being political is not something to necessarily be proud of. The greatest people in the history of politics are those who took bold positions to address societal injustices.

    Thats what the gov has tried to do.

  61. - Amazing Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 3:26 pm:

    Anon, You have an amazing talent of making a cheap Chinese imitation silk purse out of Rod’s sows ear. He really should give you a raise.

  62. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 3:31 pm:

    Its not a talent — its what a lot of people truly believe.

  63. - Capitalist Pig - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 3:34 pm:

    Don’t admit that Anon, it makes you sound more gullible than you can possibly be!

  64. - Truth - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 3:38 pm:

    “It’s what a lot of people truly believe”

    Are those the people whose representatives voted 107-0 against Rod’s program to solve our societal injustices?

  65. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 3:38 pm:

    That vote meant nothing. Pure theatre.

  66. - Truth - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 3:40 pm:

    Cuckoo. Cuckoo.

  67. - It's pile on Anon day - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 3:55 pm:

    Quoting (and parsing) RebeccAnnon:

    “The governor’s proposal would have required a large tax increase on corporations….

    (that would have passed thru everyone else, but he refused to ever admit that because he’s the “blame the bad smell on the dog” kind of guy. Fudging the numbers or loosely interpreting the facts in a certain way is his style)

    … It was bold because it was politically dangerous…

    (It was not bold, it was hiding behind a shapeless, facelesss. anonymous “big corporation” bogeyman. Had he started mentioning names like Boeing, Walmart, Motorola, Allstate, Abbot labs, etc. and detailing how much more he was going to sock them for, you could call it BOLD and politically dangerous. Blago is all about setting up strawmen to show how he is knocking them down “for you the little guy” - wether it’s a member of his own party, or a politcal rival, or anyone that gets in his way. Viscious video games, deadly diet supplements, moneygrubbing medicine manufacturers, prescription-prohibiting pharmacists. Alliterating Aphorisms, you name it, he makes it into a Big Deal so he can bravely beat it.)

    … coverage of the issues that need attention. You can accuse the gov of a lot of things, but you can’t accuse him of not taking a huge political risk in order to try to help people.”

    (I can and I do. His pandering to “the little guy” schtick is the most transparent of ploys, when his entire background and support base comes from very deep pockets. Rod’s mistake was thinking the campaign victories paid for with big bucks contributions translates to some kind of force he can wield once he was in office.)

  68. - anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 3:55 pm:

    “The greatest people in the history of politics are those who took bold positions to address societal injustices.” If you’re implying that Rod belongs among the greatest people in the history of politics….well WOW

  69. - A Citizen - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:00 pm:

    Only someone as delusional as Rod would do that.

  70. - It's pile on Anon day - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:01 pm:

    I’m not sure she even understands junior high civics, from that discussion about how the legislative and executive branches function. But you know, like Tusk used to say; “Rod’s not a process kind of guy”.

  71. - NimROD - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:02 pm:

    “Only someone as delusional as Rod would do that.”

    Paging Bill/Demgrrl.

  72. - Former GOP staffer - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:05 pm:

    If the vote meant nothing, how about the 61 sponsors on HR344? Is that meaningless also?

  73. - Lorraine B. - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:09 pm:

    Has anybody stepped back to consider that the Guv may truly be sociopathic? His behavior is becoming textbook. I’m serious.

  74. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:10 pm:

    Its a pile — what you call “pandering to the little guy schtick,” I call being a good democrat. I suppose FDR was pandering to the little guy with the new deal. Or maybe LBJ was pandering to the little guy with the Great Society. Your pecimissim is a big part of the problem. Its the reason that so many of the problems we have today have gone on unattended for so long. You take on the people who advocate for the little guy, who try to affect positive change, and diminish their actions as political puffery.

    Its a shame that you, and the likes of you, have gotten away with this for so long.

  75. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:11 pm:

    Anon, the difference is that LBJ and FDR got it done.

  76. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:14 pm:

    Former GOP staffer, does anybody know what HR344 is (I do by the way)? The answer is nobody other than insiders know what it is so it is meaningless. Was the debate generated by the introduction of the GRT meaningless? I would argue that it was quite meaningful.

  77. - A Citizen - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:14 pm:

    - NimROD - Bill and drmgrrl better hurry, Rich may shut this sucker down for the weekend and the comment “Only someone as delusional as Rod would do that.” will stand unchallenged. They’ll just stew all weekend. Maybe I should offer their rebuttal and save them the angst . . . .naaaww! :)

  78. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:19 pm:

    Rich, dont you think that timing had a lot to do with their success, and with Rod’s failure? The New Deal was essential because the country was suffering unthinkable unemployment, not to mention the dustbowl for the farmers. The Great Society came at a time where Civil Rights could no longer be ignored. These were ideas that times necessitated.

    The gov’s proposals were right, just as these two examples were right. However, maybe the time wasnt right, although there was a time where it seemed people were ready for it.

  79. - Cogito - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:22 pm:

    Anon and Cassandra have a different version of how things are supposed to work than I.

    The General Assembly does not work for the Governor. The legislative leaders are not his employees who must figure out how to get him out of the corner he painted himself in to or spring to his every defense. It is a co-equal branch intended to get things done, sure, but also intended to act as a check and balance on the Executive.

    As the old saying goes, “the Executive proposes, the Legislative disposes”. At the point that it was clear that the legislature wasn’t going for his plan, the Governor should have worked to propose something that they could agree to. But instead it was “my way or the highway”. He has even publicly turned the responsibility of presenting a budget over to the Speaker, allowing the Speaker to say that he has done just that. Some of you folks might not like the budget the Speaker proposes, but he has now presented one, and that was NOT his responsibility.

    I don’t care if the Governor is the titular head of his party or not, he has to govern jointly with the Assembly. If he is not willing or able to do that, he can’t govern at all. Politics is a game of addition, not subtration, and the Governor seems to want to go out of his way to alienate those who might find common cause with him.

    Looking at the bigger picture, this is a real problem. This guy has to try to govern for several more years. My crystal ball says that his future is murky.

  80. - Former GOP staffer - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:22 pm:

    I don’t ever recall saying that the debate over GRT was meaningless. But you can’t have it both ways… to say a vote was meaningless because it was all theatre, but then turn around and say the debate on GRT was meaningful, well which is it?

    And to say that 61 members of the House have gone on record as saying they will not support a gross reciepts tax is far from meaningless. Especially when at this point, rod would have to have every member of the house that is not a sponsor on the legislation, plus 14 of the sponsors to pass a budget with GRT.

  81. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:25 pm:

    Excuses, excuses. All he’s doing now is playing pimpy little games.

  82. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:27 pm:

    Every dem member of the 61 would vote for the GRT if MJM told them to. This is a farce.

  83. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:29 pm:

    Cogito, how do you factor into the equation the fact that the Speaker of the House is also the Chairman of the State Democratic Party? Can you honestly tell me that dem house members dont do what he says out of fear that he will take political revenge out on them during the next election cycle?

    Why isnt anybody talking about this? Unbelievable!

  84. - demgrrl - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:31 pm:

    You go, anon!

    All the blago haters have nothing new to say (as usual) regardless of the post and topic. It’s always rod’s fault no matter who the real obstructionists are in this process. They allow their bllind hate for the governor get in the way of supporting good public policy.

    And rich, I wholly, toally disagree with you on how you’re characterizing the governor’s reaction to yesterday’s no-show. Not only did emil have a legitimate good personal reason to not attend wed’s meeting, but also he gave everyone advance notice. Again, a leaders meeting is a meeting for the leaders, even if there are other staff and guests in attendance. Yesterday was no dog and pony show. It was a legit meeting to help address outstanding questions the speaker has about houlihan’s bill — and who better to answer them than Houlihan himself.

  85. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:31 pm:

    “Pimpy little games?” Rich, I thought you saved your best stuff for your Sun Times column. Thats a zinger. Are you on the boat with a cold one already?

  86. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:32 pm:

    Welcome Demgrrl. It was getting lonely here today.

  87. - Cogito - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:36 pm:

    First, I would assume that the public didn’t elect RB Governor to be the head of his party but to govern. And I would expect that the D caucus chose the Speaker to represent their interests and their chamber.

    It looks to me like the Speaker is doing a better job of meeting his responsibilities at this point than the Governor. And, for what its worth, I don’t have a dog in any Speaker/Governor fight.

    I just think that it is absurd to think that the leaders have to back the Governor’s every play and shift with his whim simply because they are all Democrats.

    He has to GOVERN, and as indicated by the comments of others above, I think he has made himself a non-factor this year and maybe the next three.

  88. - demgrrl - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:38 pm:


    Yes, I’ve been there.

    You raise an excellent point about madigan being the chair of the dem party. Let’s face it — we don’t have a state dem party any more. At least when gary lapaille ran it they were visible and took an active role on the campaign trail, helped dems push policy and attack the gop as needed. Now it’s a joke. Dems should be outraged and ask for a new leader.

  89. - Anon - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 4:41 pm:

    I remember people saying the same things about the gov after the 2004 overtime. People always underestimate him, and it works to his favor. As I’ve said before, this session isnt over yet. I’ve seen him win time and time again, and my guess is that he will be in a much strnger position when this is all said and done than you think.

  90. - demgrrl - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 5:06 pm:

    Yes, let’s not forget that for all the criticism the governor takes, he’s been able to get the far majority of all the healthcare and education dollars he’s proposed year after year. He should not be underestimated.

  91. - Macbeth - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 5:45 pm:

    Anon –

    In a stronger position to do what?

    Again, I ask — and no one answered: what’s Blagojevich’s goal in all of this?

    A third term? A run for president?

    Nearly everyone I talk to calls him a “twerp.” I agree — but apparently many people don’t. He was voted in office a second time.

    So what’s his goal after the budget is settled and his term (again) winds down?

  92. - ev il - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 10:54 pm:

    THe only one that should be replaced by his member is Jones. Madigan may rule with a iron fist, but he at LEAST talks to his members and trys to fins out what the PEOPLE they represent want.

    Jones cans people in the senate that dont agree with what he/blago wants….

    Very sad…

    Whatever happened to WE, THE PEOPLE……

  93. - Cicada - Friday, Jun 15, 07 @ 11:22 pm:

    We need a new Governor…period.

  94. - fiscalconservative - Saturday, Jun 16, 07 @ 12:44 am:

    Hey demgrrl, I’ve yet to see Rod offer anything that is good public policy. He’s a big government tax & spend liberal and that is not good public policy. My hatred of Rod is a combined hatred for the policies that he proposes because I don’t believe that government should be doing things like providing health insurance with tax dollars and hatred of him as a person. But if a different person, like Obama who I do respect & like as a person, proposed the same things, I would still oppose them though I wouldn’t hate the person proposing them. This stalemate is about increasing government spending, which is totally unnecessary.

  95. - game plan - Saturday, Jun 16, 07 @ 7:37 am:

    Suffice it to say who’s a leader here and who is not, the only two that actually moved something along on Thursday were Madigan and Jones. Unfortunately Cross and Watson are pawns in the Gov’s pathetic charades along with all the others who were in the room. Anyone in their right mind would listen to Barbara Curry. She runs the floor. Rewrite the consitution for recall. I thought the repulicans had problems with the neo-cons and moderates, but the Dems make that look like a tea party.

  96. - anon - Monday, Jun 18, 07 @ 12:10 am:

    Can this governor be any worse? I think Tod Stroger could beat him next time. Any comments???

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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