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This just in…

Saturday, Jul 7, 2007

* 2:24 pm - Let’s start a new thread, shall we? That other one is getting long. The governor, legislative leaders and about 40 or so rank and file state legislators are still meeting on the 2nd floor of the governor’s mansion.

House Speaker Michael Madigan informed reporters a few minutes ago that he has twice told Gov. Rod Blagojevich to stop calling him a Republican.

“Knock it off,” Madigan claimed to have said. Madigan made his comments as he exited the building, but he said he would be back later today for the rest of the meeting.

Gov. Blagojevich came down briefly to see if reporters wanted anything to eat or even a tour of the mansion. He didn’t answer many questions, but he said he would be more forthcoming after the meeting ends.

One of the questions the governor dodged was about Rep. Mike Bost’s suggestion that the House look at the impeachment option.

Blagojevich also didn’t answer a question about Rep. Joe Lyons’ comments to several reporters earlier today. Lyons (D-Chicago) reportedly called Blagojevich a “madman” and said the governor was “insane” while the House debate raged this morning.

* 2:46 pm - A large number of legislators, mostly Republicans, just walked out of the leaders meeting. Both House GOP Leader Tom Cross and Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson talked to the press afterwards and basically called today’s discussions a total waste of time.

The group broke for lunch and then the governor wanted to talk about pension funding, which is when the exodus reportedly began. Some legislators, like Rep. Bill Black, were upset that the governor was making available a pension expert this afternoon whom he had refused to provide to the House this morning. Others were just tired of the exercise.

The governor and a much smaller group of legislators remain on the 2nd floor of the mansion. Senate President Emil Jones has already left (out a side door, away from reporters) and Speaker Madigan left earlier.

* 3:13 pm - The governor will apparently be taking Madigan to court over the Speaker’s refusal to call special sessions at the date and time specified in the guv’s official special session proclamations. It just gets weirder and weirder by the minute around here. More later.

* 4:53 pm - Audio files

* Gov. Blagojevich didn’t say much to reporters, said he had to return to the meeting, promised to come back and talk to reporters, then didn’t. Surprise, surprise…

* Speaker Madigan. This is where Madigan talks about his “Knock it off” comment to Gov. Blagojevich…

* GOP leaders Cross and Watson. Harsh rhetoric about the guv…

* The governor’s lawyer talks about a possible lawsuit against Speaker Madigan for convening special session four hours before the governor called the meeting…

* The governor’s spokespersons deal with the press at the very end of the day…

* 4:57 pm - Here are the Constitutional and statutory provisions cited by the governor’s lawyer in the audio above with a bit of commentary at the end from the guv’s office…

Constitutional Provision- Article IV, section 5(b):
“(b) The Governor may convene the General Assembly or the Senate alone in special session by a proclamation stating the purpose of the session; and only business encompassed by such purpose, together with any impeachments or confirmation of appointments shall be transacted. Special sessions of the General Assembly may also be convened by joint proclamation of the presiding officers of both houses, issued as provided by law.”

Special Session Statute- 25 ILCS 15/3:
“Sec. 3. Nothing in this Act affects the power of the Governor under Article IV, Section 5 of the Constitution of Illinois (1970) to call a special session. The Governor, when calling a special session, shall file the proclamation calling the session with the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall take whatever reasonable steps necessary to notify the members of the General Assembly of the date and time of the special session.”

NOTE- Sections 1 and 2 of the Special Session Act set forth the procedures for the General Assembly to follow when calling a special session.

Section 3 simply states that the Special Session Act’s provisions dealing with how the General Assembly may call a special session do not affect the Governor’s power to call one under the Constitution, that the Governor shall file a proclamation with the Secretary of State, and that the Secretarty of State shall notify the legislators of the date and time of the special session.

* 5:27 pm - As promised hours ago, here’s Rep. Lou Lang’s House floor speech, wherein the Skokie Democrat excoriates Gov. Blagojevich…



* 5:43 pm -
The Sun-Times has a story up on its website…

Illinois’ budget stalemate threatened to explode today into a full-blown constitutional crisis as Gov. Blagojevich contemplated legal action against House Speaker Michael Madigan over whether the governor can set the time for lawmakers to meet on the budget. […]

“We believe the statute and constitution are clear. Speaker Madigan, during his tenure, has answered governors’ calls for special sessions at specific times. What he did is unprecedented,” Blagojevich spokeswoman Rebecca Rausch said. “We think they’re challenging the Constitution. We believe the Constitution is clear.” […]

“Where is he? Why doesn’t he talk with us? I do not believe that he is fulfilling his obligations in his job. I believe that maybe we ought to look into what it will take, and if there are any violations, and do that check, to see if he is to the point that impeachment proceedings could start,” Bost said. […]

There did not appear to be unanimity among Republicans as the GOP’s floor leader, Black, urged his caucus to stop discussing the subject on the House floor.

The governor’s office declined comment on the impeachment question, and Madigan’s office said the speaker had no interest in pursuing the matter.


* 5:57 pm -
The AP

On Friday, Blagojevich said his fellow Chicago Democrat is acting like “a right-wing Republican” because he wants a limited-growth budget.

At a meeting Saturday between Blagojevich and lawmakers over the budget impasse, Madigan said he told Blagojevich “Knock it off. Let’s get serious about crafting a budget.”

A spokeswoman says Blagojevich’s comments are not personal but describe Madigan’s budgetary policy. The governor wants to expand the budget by billions of dollars to provide more health care and education.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

108 Comments
  1. - Randall Sherman - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 2:36 pm:

    It sounds more and more like the governor is hell-bent on placing a political noos around his own neck. Keep us informed!


  2. - Randall Sherman - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 2:37 pm:

    It sounds more and more like the Governor is hell-bent on placing a political noose around his own neck. Please keep us informed!


  3. - Illini - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 2:42 pm:

    so the senate has adjourned…


  4. - tom - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 2:47 pm:

    The Senate adjourned until Tuesday. Will Rod call them back?


  5. - Bill - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 2:50 pm:

    Mike told Rod to “knock it off”! Can this get any more hillarious?


  6. - Squideshi - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:01 pm:

    Why aren’t reporters being allowed into the meeting? It does sound like they are gathered for the purpose of discussing public business. This type of secrecy should be put under the spotlight by the media.

    Section 1.02 of the Illinois Open Meetings Act indicates that “all…executive…bodies of the State” are public bodies; and defines a meeting as follows:

    “Any gathering, whether in person or by video or audio conference, telephone call, electronic means (such as, without limitation, electronic mail, electronic chat, and instant messaging), or other means of contemporaneous interactive communication, of a majority of a quorum of the members of a public body held for the purpose of discussing public business.”

    Does Blagojevich represent “a majority of a quorum of the members of” the Executive branch? If not, who are the other members needed in order to constitute a quorum for the Executive?

    Incidentally, Blagojevich is only poisoning the well with his ad hominem attacks on Madigan. It is for reasons exactly such as this that Blagojevich can’t build consensus and we’re in the mess that we’re in right now–he’s not a leader.


  7. - Anonymous - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:03 pm:

    oh my….this is why a reality show should be based at the state capitol! This is such great stuff!!


  8. - the Other Anonymous - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:07 pm:

    So the meeting at the Governor’s Mansion was still going on at 2PM? According to Blago, shouldn’t the House and Senate have been in special session at that time?

    This is truly the silliest abuse of the Governor’s power to call special sessions. This is the kind of thing that happens in transitional democracies like Albania, not in the US.


  9. - Anon - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:07 pm:

    The Senate will back Sunday at 4:00 PM.


  10. - Cal Skinner - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:08 pm:

    Who is going to give the tour of the mansion?


  11. - Bill - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:10 pm:

    Rich,
    Think of all the gas you are saving by not being out on the boat today.


  12. - Professionals needed - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:11 pm:

    Maybe it is time to ask for the help of GASB on pension reform.


  13. - Rich Miller - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:18 pm:

    Oh, thanks, Bill. Thanks SO MUCH for reminding me about my boat while I’m stuck here. Greatly appreciated. lol


  14. - Bill - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:21 pm:

    :)


  15. - speakerthis - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:22 pm:

    Is it possible that this is all choreographed? That it’s all planned out and this is the lenghts they will go to so as to allow for no political backlash on certain pols for raising the income tax. If not, doesn’t this bother voters? Don’t they get tired if this? Embarrassed?


  16. - So ill - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:22 pm:

    So, does lisa have to represent rod against her father, or does she get to recuse herself on this one?


  17. - Bill - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:25 pm:

    Mike should sue Rod for calling him a Republican.


  18. - Napoleon has left the building - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:28 pm:

    Rich - kudos to you and the excellent coverage, again. SHould put this in a subscriber section.


  19. - Bill - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:28 pm:

    circa 2001…
    “…and I promise that when I am Governor there will be no more business as usual…”
    Promises made, promises kept!


  20. - Bill - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:30 pm:

    circa 2004
    “…You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The best is yet to come…”
    Promises made, promises kept!


  21. - msmms - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:30 pm:

    Rich, could you just please stop covering this circus? I mean, isn’t there a softball game or something less embarrasing to cover? If you’re there, then the rest of the media is there, and this Jerry Springer show is going out across the country! What must people be thinking about good ol’ Illinois right now?


  22. - silentk - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:31 pm:

    Ooooh (sic)… and a court trial to boot, on the next installation of “As Springfield Turns.”

    My wife wants to know who’s running Illinois while all of this is going on?


  23. - shermans ghost - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:32 pm:

    Sounds like Rod is auditioning for the part of the Captain in a remake of the Caine Mutiny.
    Remember the strawberries ?
    Sounds like the same kind of wacko.


  24. - Six Degrees of Separation - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:32 pm:

    It’s not business as usual.

    It’s Business, Unusual.


  25. - Little Egypt - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:38 pm:

    Cal, it won’t be Rod giving tours. He doesn’t know his way to the front door of the mansion.

    So. Ill. - Rod lets Lisa represent him, then not, then he does. He doesn’t want her when it comes to the subpoenas but my guess is he will want her when it comes to this latest circus act, just so he can one up Daddy Mike. This isn’t going to work - already too much contradiction on orders and directives and breaking his own rules. No consistency - end of case.


  26. - Save a horse, Ride a Harley - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:43 pm:

    Emil “at the trough” Jones is the key. From what I hear the mutiny is ready to take place if he stays connected at the hip with Baloneyvich. Sen. Meeks why oh why did you listen to the little boy who can’t tell the truth…


  27. - RMWStanford - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:43 pm:

    The insanity never ends with this Governor does it?
    As a tax payer, I love the idea of my taxes going to pay for this lawsuit. Can anyone remember a Governor having this many problems dealing with a State House that is control by his own party?


  28. - jaundiced eye - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:43 pm:

    I hate to tell MSMMS but the rest of the country isn’t following this story anymore than are the IL media, other than Capitol Fax. Just check tomorrow’s Chicago papers for the sanitized, liveless version of today in Springfield!! Thanks for your coverage, Rich,


  29. - Just the Facts - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:44 pm:

    So the Governor will be heading to court on the issue of whether he may specify the time of the special session issue. Another great use of scarce state resources.

    In order to go to court, doesn’t he either have to be represented by the Attorney General, or ask the AG to waive her representation so he can hire outside counsel?

    What exactly will he be seeking in court? Some type of an order compelling the Speaker to begin the special sessions at the time specified by the Governor? What harm will the Governor allege will occur if the session begins at 10:00 AM vs. 2:30 PM?

    Who represents the Speaker in court? Another group of outside counsel paid for by the taxpayers?

    Is Blago planning on going into court today and demanding that whichever of the Circuit Court Judges in the judicial district that encompasses Sangamon County should issue some sort of order directing the Speaker to obey Blago’s instruction as to time? Or, more likely they will march into court on Monday. The judge that gets stuck with this bit of legal goofiness will rule that there is no basis for the issuance of an order that immediately orders anything. The judge will set a date for each side to make their arguments as to the merits of the issue. Then the issue gets briefed. At some point, the judge rules. The Circuit Court judge’s ruling gets appealed to the Appellate Court. Everyone goes there to argue this legal issue. Eventually the Appellate Court rules. Then this issue gets appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court. If they decide to accept the issue for review - then more arguments, more briefing and finally Governor Madigan or Governor Dillard or, God help us Governor Quinn gets the benefit of the Court’s wisdom in the event they ever want to get into a ******* match with Speaker Madigan.

    In the end, the outside Counsel for both sides make a decent amount of money. In the short term, the Governor is on television standing up for “the people” and the television reporters are diverted for a couple of days.


  30. - Just Saying - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:44 pm:

    Ooh, the gov’s gonna go to court over this? I guess he should, given his stellar track record there. Let’s recap his legal track record:
    – Video game ban: lost in court, owes atty fees
    – Judicial pay raises: lost in court
    – BRAC challenge: lost in court
    – Leasing the Thompson center: Sunk by AG
    – Weird CMS hiring case: lost initially, looking for weasel room

    So, yeah, bet Speaker Madigan’s really worried.


  31. - Bill - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:46 pm:

    “speakerthis” has a pretty good point. How long before SB 750 is voted out of the Hospice Committee and passes both Houses with some repub votes and a veto proof majority?


  32. - Megalomaniac Blagojevich - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:50 pm:

    How about a proclamation making all of Blagojevich’s federal subpoenas public? Now there’s a proclamation with some meat in it.


  33. - So ill - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:51 pm:

    Little e, you’re right in general, but i cant imagine a judge in the world allowing lisa herself on either side of this one. Too much conflict. And what a stupid thing to sue over, anyway.


  34. - Gregor - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 3:51 pm:

    The Governor will hire the same great private lawyers that ran the CMS 2 case. Caine Mutiny is right.


  35. - FED UP - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:02 pm:

    Did someone give blago a tour of the Gov mansion. The Gov has stooped to calling names.He has lost and knows it but can not accept it. The Gov does not have the votes to get any of his ideas though the senate but he is blaming everything on the house. Blagos ideas just cost to much and are not what the people of Illinois wants, maybe if blago stopped flying around on a taxpayer paid for jet with 20 bodyguards he wouldnt be so out of touch.


  36. - Name/Nickname/Anon - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:02 pm:

    Let’s see if we all have this straight - the self-professed ‘D’ law student from Pepperdine, with a legal history of no wins and several defeats, is going to bring a lawsuit over the TIME of special sessions against Mike Madigan and the wording of the Illinois Constitution.

    The use of the word ‘frivolous’ just doesn’t seem to cover it, does it? If he can even get a court to hear his argument through the peals of laughter, this thing survives about two minutes before it is dismissed.


  37. - Randall Sherman - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:05 pm:

    I disagree with speakerthis. Anyone who knows these legislators would be hard-pressed to claim they have the ability to choreograph anything!


  38. - Jacksonville Jack - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:06 pm:

    Just when you think this can’t get any weirder, it gets weirder still. The issue of the time a session comes to order seems much less important than the fact that they are in Springfield holding a session. Lots of people today have made comments, but no one knows the Guv’s mental state. On the face of it, however, he does not seem to be working with a plan or strategy. He seems to be trying various moves at random hoping something will work.


  39. - SILENTK - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:06 pm:

    So, what happened to Senate @ 4:00?


  40. - Leigh - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:07 pm:

    The general public needs to jump on the call to impeach the fool who we call governor. This is an embarrassment to the entire state.


  41. - bullwinkle - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:09 pm:

    Does anyone know if they will address the pension situation???


  42. - Pancake Breakfast Shakedown - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:10 pm:

    I’ll bet Madigan’s quaking in his boots.
    Milo, ya missed your true calling, ya shoulda been a comedian.
    You are the JOKE!


  43. - NameWitheld - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:10 pm:

    Rod and MJM have to start negotiating on the things that they agree on and stop name-calling.
    The public won’t put up with this for much longer and it could be the end of Illinois being a blue state. Madigan has an exit strategy….he is likely having too much fun torturing the Governor, however.


  44. - Papa Legba - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:14 pm:

    - I think there is enough evidence at hand to declare Rod. Queue up Quinn.

    - Tell Rod he can have a new coloring book and some crayons if he goes to the airport and flies home, PLEASE!

    - Bill, from your remarks, it seems that even you are agreeing Rod has screwed up the whole system as it never has been before. Glad you finally saw the light.


  45. - scoot - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:20 pm:

    Give that no good Guv hell today fellas.

    Impeach/Indict…which comes first?


  46. - Name/Nickname/Anon - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:22 pm:

    How about it Bill? Have you finally come over to the dark side or are you in shell shock just how far this has went?


  47. - Chicago Cynic - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:27 pm:

    I just keep asking this question. Will this (and the disaster that is Todd Stroger) finally encourage the state to adopt the right of recall for its elected officials. Surely we could gather enough signatures to put a recall of both of them on the ballot by now.

    And yes I know it requires a constitutional convention to make this a reality, but why not now? We could deal with that and the need to allow for a progressive income tax in one fell swoop.


  48. - Squideshi - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:31 pm:

    “The public won’t put up with this for much longer and it could be the end of Illinois being a blue state.”

    I don’t predict that the state will suddenly become Green but it will be less blue, and if you mix the two, you get turquoise. Of course, there’s a little red in there too (Ironic that the Republicans are “reds” isn’t it?) :)


  49. - bluedog demo - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:34 pm:

    Article II lines 22 and 23 state the rules of impeachment for removing a state officer. The House must pass the measure by a 2/3 vote of THOSE PRESENT. The Senate inturn must vote on the removal by a 2/3 vote of THOSE PRESENT. Am sure a quorum is needed but if Repubs were in the majority of those present they would make short work of Blago and the Dems would have clean hands. Let’s give it a go !


  50. - Values Matter - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:36 pm:

    What a sad day for Democrats. Someone may need to take a broom to some of these folks. As a loyal Democrat, all of this saddens me.


  51. - Six Degrees of Separation - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:37 pm:

    This stuff IS starting to make the state news.

    John O’Connor (AP)

    http://www.southernillinoisan.com/articles/2007/07/07/ap-state-il/d8q7t8q80.txt


  52. - S. Illinois - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:47 pm:

    Hey Rich, if there were 40 mushrooms present in addition to leadership, then at least one chamber was likely in violation of the Open Meetings Act. Why aren’t the press making a stink about that. Surely it would be much more entertaining to have a front row seat!


  53. - NIEVA - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:50 pm:

    court? well when you have a lot of trial lawyers that have donated you must create situations that allow you to payback!!


  54. - fedup2 - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 4:58 pm:

    rich can you tell us what house members did not show up today?


  55. - Rich Miller - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 5:02 pm:

    SI, the GA is exempt from the Open Meetings Act.


  56. - Cassandra - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 5:03 pm:

    I don’t care if the legislators have to work overtime. They are state government employees and they are very well compensated (salary, free healt h insurance, low cost pension) for what is part time work.And it appears that few of them spend much down time researching policy initiatives. Otherwise, we wouldn’t owe $41 billion in pension debt.

    I do worry that everyone will become so exhausted that they’ll lose what ability to think that they do possess. Somebody will take advantage of this
    to ram through something stupid, like 750, which will not improve the quality of education but will give an awful lot of money to the education-industrial complex and which will be paid for solely by Illinois’ overtaxed middle class. And free up hundreds of millions for legislator earmarks, of course. The money we pay in increased income taxes will not say education on it. It will say “Blago’s GRF.”


  57. - S. Illinois - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 5:06 pm:

    Thanks Rich. And thanks for another day of great coverage. We all hope you can get to that boat soon! Maybe you can take the Gov out on the lake with you and get him to chill out some…talk some sense into him.


  58. - LIL BLAGO - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 5:11 pm:

    “The money we pay in increased income taxes will not say education on it. It will say “Blago’s GRF.””

    you still do not get it.


  59. - Papa Legba - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 5:58 pm:

    Rich wouldn’t do a “Fredo” on Rod if they were on his boat. Would he?


  60. - Rich Miller - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 6:02 pm:

    LOL. No.

    The governor has been invited onto the boat, however, and has expressed interest. We’ll see what happens. I did suggest to Madigan this week that maybe he might like to join us.

    In other words, I’m working on it.


  61. - anon - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 6:05 pm:

    I am ashamed that this man is our Governor.


  62. - msmms - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 6:20 pm:

    someone should give the Guv a fiddle, he could play it during these go nowhere sessions!


  63. - ZC - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 6:32 pm:

    Blago: ‘Tis but a scratch
    Madigan: A scratch? Your arm’s off!
    Blago: No, it isn’t.
    Madigan: Well, what’s that, then?
    Blago: I’ve had worse.
    Madigan: You are indeed brave, sir knight, but the fight is mine.
    Blago: Oh, had enough eh?
    Madigan: Look, you stupid bastard. You’ve got no arms left!
    Blago: Yes I have.
    Madigan: Look!
    Blago: Just a flesh wound!


  64. - Rich Miller - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 6:41 pm:

    OK, I let that one through because it was so funny and spot-on, but let’s keep it clean, people. lol


  65. - ivoted4judy - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 6:44 pm:

    B. Quinlan and his crew should be forced to give back their state salaries. Why do they continually give this RAINMAN terrible legal advise? They use to say that the House D’s were mushrooms, kept in the dark. The Senate D’s are just a better class (porcini) for following Their Prez.


  66. - Jacksonville Jack - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 6:55 pm:

    You have to admit this is fun, although discouraging when you think about it at a deeper level. I think by Monday or Tuesday the general public will start paying attention and perhaps put some pressure on all parties to reach a settlement. It’s a good thing that (apparently) they spent some time talking with the Guv over at the mansion, and let’s cross our fingers and hope that something comes of it….


  67. - A Citizen - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 6:59 pm:

    Eventually the echos in the Cap will soften to silence and there will be an FY08 Budget in place. I pray the House and Senate are wise enough to nail down how it is to be executed so that the Megalomaniac can’t divert it to his grandiose plans and then come back for an emergency supplemental. This governor can not be trusted. And for that I am ashamed. Remember hi Stem Cell millions diversion? That came after he said he would not! Lesson learned ?


  68. - specialk - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 8:07 pm:

    Any way we can tell which legislators were present and which ones chose to take the day off?


  69. - Leigh - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 8:09 pm:

    Lang’s impassioned speech was right on the mark. What kind of idiot is Emil Jones to berate him for speaking the absolute truth.


  70. - ivoted4judy - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 8:09 pm:

    eventually, Cross and Watson will stop attending the leaders meeting. Heir press release will say that their is no room in the meeting with the 3 big headed egos sucking up all the air.


  71. - silentk - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 8:22 pm:

    Comments made by State Representative Lou Lang during the Special Session of the House of Representatives on 7/7/07; an unofficial transcript, with apologies for punctuation and errors:

    Speaker Madigan: Mr. Lang.
    Representative Lang: Thank you Mr. Speaker, Ladies and Gentlemen, um, I applaud the comments of Mr. Black. I hardly know where to begin, but I’ll find a spot to do so.
    The… the letter, the letter that was sent to the Speaker, uh, creating or attempting to create a constitutional crisis is an insult to all of us. It’s an insult to the process of the General Assembly, more important, an insult to the process of the House of Representatives.
    The Senate apparently does not have these problems with the Governor even though we’ve sat in Committee of the Whole, after Committee of the Whole, after Committee of the Whole working while the Senate does whatever they do over there.
    We’re doing some work over here. We’ve gotten some good work done over the last several days. The Governor can call it what it wishes. I think we had an engaged body. It’s too bad all of our members weren’t here, I think we should have some comments for them when they return. But, we’ve gotten some good work done, we’ve been engaged, we’ve talked about these issues, we’ve asked our questions. The same Governor who would force a Constitutional crisis has yet to answer my several pages of questions that I told Mr. Filan the other day that would be asked, questions that were supposed to have been answered yesterday before we voted… on that bill. It’s now 24 hours later, we still don’t have the answers to the questions. I would still like them, by the way, Mr. Governor, Mr. Filan. I think I’m entitled to ‘em. And so, also are the members of this House entitled to the answers to those questions.
    This Constitutional crisis that the Governor wants to create is of his own making. He’s done it for his own purposes. They certainly aren’t done for any purposes of advancing the public policy of the State of Illinois. They certainly aren’t done for the purpose of advancing the work we’re doing in this House to try to create a budget, and the work we have done to try to create a budget. In fact, it was cowardly.
    This… the governor received this letter from the Speaker yesterday saying we were going to be here at ten o’clock today. And yet, rather than going into a court room and asking a judge to rule, asking the judge to create some sort of an injunction forcing us to stay here, instead in a very cowardly way sends this letter and asks his floor leader, my friend, to stand up on the floor and threaten us all. To threaten us all, to say, “…better not leave town. Don’t get in your cars.”
    Well, Governor, I for one, will be where you can find me. I’ll give you all my phone numbers. Send the State Police for me any time you want. But, I for one, plan to follow the lead of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, not because he’s the leader of my party, not because he’s the leader of the Majority Caucus but because he’s the leader of this Chamber. And, on this, all one hundred and eighteen members of this House stand together.
    We have a responsibility to protect the integrity of this Chamber and we should not, and must not let anyone, the Governor, the President of the Senate, or anyone outside of this Chamber to instruct this Chamber as to what we ought to do to conduct the business of this Chamber. And I hope you will all stand with me and together on this issue now and every day for as long as we are here. (cheers, applause)
    Let’s go back to why we’re here in the first place. We’re here because we didn’t get a budget done. Now during the process of political name calling that we did, and that we continue to do once in a while, where Republicans will blame the majority party for not getting their act together. That’s fine. Make your comments. They’ve been made.
    But we’re here today because there is no budget. This House passed the budget whether you voted for it or not. Whether you signed some goofy letter afterwards, or not, disavowing your vote. We passed a budget in this House. One Chamber hasn’t even addressed the budget, that’s the other Chamber.
    We got a Governor who wants to spend three billion dollars more than we have to spend. And the guy who cites the Constitution in this letter thinks nothing of trying to force us to pass a budget that’s three billion dollars out of balance - three billion dollars out of balance. He tried the Gross Receipts Tax. Last I saw it failed one hundred and seven to nothing. Anybody here gonna change their vote on that? I didn’t think so.
    One hundred and seven to nothing, Governor. Your plan failed. If you have a plan to provide new revenue to this state, let’s have the meeting. We’ll be here. We’ll sit here in the Committee of the Whole and listen to you talk about new ideas that have not been rejected. You have a plan to raise three billion dollars? Come to the floor. We’ll convene the meeting – I’m sure you will, Mr. Speaker – and we’ll listen. And we’ll debate it. And we’ll talk to the witnesses. And we’ll ask our questions. And maybe we’ll get the answers next time when we ask them. And we’ll vote it up or down.
    But at some point, at some point Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Governor, citizens of Illinois - we need to have a budget that’s something like a balanced budget, the Constitution requires that. And say what you will about the needs of Illinois, and we all have our different views about our needs. I would like to spend more money for schools. I would like to find a health care plan. I would do a lot of things. More money for social service agencies and so would many of you. Today the money is not there.
    So to continue to talk about a three billion dollar expenditure that we don’t have, with no way to pay for it is folly. It’s a waste of time, a waste of effort. And I know what the Governor will say, he’ll say, “Oh, Representative Lang, is it a waste of effort to try to help the people of the State of Illinois?” Well bully for you, Governor. We’ve heard you say that. We’ve heard you say that over and over again. But you are the leader of this State. Talk about the Constitution, you are the leader. You’ve got something to propose? We will be here to listen to your proposal. You want to tell us how we’re gonna raise that three billion dollars? We can’t even engage in the process of how to spend it because we don’t have it.
    You’ve got a big, bold, creative health care plan which I’m not sure I’m for. But it doesn’t make any difference if I’m for it or all of us are for it if we can’t pay for it. So first comes the revenue then comes the expenditures. You have a tax plan, Governor? Bring it forward. You want to do some gaming? I might help you with that. Bring it forward. Let’s find out what we’re willing to do. And, Governor, this is the Illinois General Assembly, you served here briefly. If we won’t provide you the money you can’t spend it. It’s just that simple.
    During the Committee of the Whole on the Gross Receipts Tax I asked the Governor a pointed question. Many of you liked the question, I recall. The question was, “Governor, you talk about compromise. You talk about negotiation. But whenever you’re asked, the only thing you will talk about is your plan, everything else off the table.” And I asked him the question, “Governor, if everything is off the table how can we compromise?” I don’t know what he said. Does anybody recall an answer?
    And I’m going to tell you folks on the Minority Party something I’m not supposed to tell you. When the Governor was in our Democratic Caucus I asked him the same question. And I got the same garbage for an answer. No answer. I asked him about the health care plan. And I said, “Governor we’re all for a health care plan to do something for the people of the State of Illinois but we can’t afford your plan. So can you scale it back? Can you tell us what you’ll agree to, so we can to try help you find the money to make sure that Illinoisans that don’t have health care can get it. And I said to him, “What about that?” And he said, “Representative Lang, do you know that there are one point four million Illinoisans without health care?” And I said to him, “Yes, Governor, I know that, but where will you compromise?” And he said, “Representative Lang, do you know there are one point four million Illinoisans without health care?” And I said, “Governor, where are you going to find the money for this?” He said, “The Gross Receipts Tax, Representative.” And I said, “Governor, the Gross Receipts Tax lost one hundred and seven to nothing.” And I said, “Governor, how are you gonna pay for this?” He said, “Do you know there are one point four million Illinoisans without health care?”
    Ladies and Gentlemen, we cannot put up with this as a Chamber. We are going to work together in this Chamber, maybe the best we ever have because of what’s going on around us.
    Governor, you’ve made the worst mistake you could make. You united one hundred and eighteen people together. (cheers)
    I am prepared, as all of us are, all one hundred and eighteen, all the staff in this Chamber, prepared to work together as long as it takes to get the best budget for the State of Illinois we can get. And Governor, if you need to call out the State Police, the dogs, your staff, or anybody else to bring us here, go ahead. Do it. We’ll be here.
    I noted, Mr. Speaker, that the Governor in another cowardly act has refused, he’s not going to call the State Police is he? He’s now issued another Proclamation, hasn’t he? So, rather than doing what someone with guts would do after he threatened us, he’s just gonna say, “Tell you what, I’ll just call you back in at two-thirty today.” This is the man that leads the State of Illinois. I, for one, am fed up with it. I don’t care what party he’s in. I am fed up with it. This man must lead. And if he’s not gonna lead, let’s just trample him, pass a budget and go home for the summer. (cheers, applause)


  72. - A Citizen - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 8:43 pm:

    Madagin to governor “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!!” You go Mr. Speaker, sir!


  73. - Randall Sherman - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 8:47 pm:

    After reading Rep. Lang’s speech, I am more convinced than ever that there will be a move to Impeach the Governor if Rod continues on his insane course of inaction for a few more days.


  74. - Arthur Andersen - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 8:52 pm:

    Thanks for the transcript, silent. And thanks to CaptFax for the excellent coverage.


  75. - FED UP - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 9:19 pm:

    Rep lang has figured out that Blago is an unreasonable lying SOB I bet alot of his fellow democrats are wishing that the feds come and take blago away. How could dick mell let this elvis wannabe into the family


  76. - Little Egypt - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 9:39 pm:

    It’s been a great day for the House. It’s been an even better day for those of us who follow this blog and are way more knowledgeable about the nut case who claims to be running this state. Surely the dems won’t put this guy out there next time for governor. And we can always hope that Patrick Fitzgerald kicks it into high gear and comes to save us all. I’m beginning to believe that Blago is certifiably nuts but just doesn’t have the papers to prove it. Someone please send him the papers.


  77. - OneMan - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 9:45 pm:

    Just got done listening to the audio,

    Wow…

    This is not going to end well, is it.


  78. - Leigh - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 9:45 pm:

    The newest website…http://www.impeachblago.com/index.html


  79. - Lainer - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 10:07 pm:

    I have been out all day, just fired up this site and read all the posts… wow… all I can say about the impeachment talk is why did it take so long? I have thought for months that there is as much or more justification for impeaching Blago as there ever was for Clinton or Nixon.
    But from what I understand, there’s never actually been an impeachment done under the current state Constitution, and the last time it was even explored was about 12 years ago with regard to Justice Heiple and his run-ins with the police. Is that correct?


  80. - Values Matter - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 10:54 pm:

    It seems that Governor Blagojevich has been consulting former President Jimmy Carter on leadership tips. Carter, you may remember, didn’t know how to compromise or get along with members of his own party. His leadership style is very similar to Blagojevich’s these days.


  81. - Little Egypt - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 11:01 pm:

    And the American people were smart enough not to vote Carter back into office. What went wrong in Illinois?


  82. - A Citizen - Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 11:20 pm:

    It may be over soon. A friend of mine saw the fat lady in the Capitol and said she looked like she was ready to sing!


  83. - the Other Anonymous - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 12:22 am:

    I’m really surprised that no one has brought up the House rules with regard to the question of what time a special session starts. The Ill. constitution clearly gives the House the right to conduct its business in accordance with House rules. House rule 29 sets the hour of meeting for the first day of a special session at 12:30PM, unless a different time is set by the Speaker.

    That should settle the matter once and for all.

    As for Bill Quinlan’s comments that there is no clear case law on the subject because there has never been a dispute over the start time of a special session: there’s also no precedent for a Governor trying to control the conduct of business in the General Assembly through the use of Special Sessions. Usually, there is a proclamation for only one special session at a time. The only explanation for multiple, simultaneous special sessions is the Governor’s desire to set the schedule for the GA. That’s far more dangerous, imo, than meeting at 10AM rather than 2PM.


  84. - More Promises Broken - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 1:19 am:

    Why doesn’t the press call the Governor on his broken promises. He told them specifically he would be back down to talk to the press. Of course he broke that promise.


  85. - Give Me A Break - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 6:00 am:

    Will all you experts please tell us on what grounds Rod can be impeached? State the legal grounds for your case and not some made up grounds like he won’t live in Springfield or worship the Madigan family in the proper fashion.

    And to all you GOP members out there taking his side, just remember Madigan will be doing everything in his power to take out your members next November. Enjoy this now Repubs. because no matter if the gov. is Rod or Lisa, you are Madigan’s true target and what you admire in him now, will be used on you soon.


  86. - Anon - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 7:43 am:

    I don’t give a rats behind who is Madigan’s target. I just care if we can impeach this guy who is supposed to be our governor. Trump up the charges, make up the evidence. We have learned through his example. If nothing else, call the impeachment proceedings “what was he thinking?” Mount an offensive from both sides, one side - the Feds, the other side - the people.


  87. - Budget Watcher - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 7:45 am:

    As someone wrote earlier, I’m starting to believe that the Governor, despite his legal and ethical problems, wants to change the public focus towards his political martyrdom, with Madigan acting as the power-hungry persecutor intent on eliminating the noble protagonist. From an outsider’s perspective, this process has the appearance of being mostly theatrical, although not necessarily good theater. Unfortunately, we can’t walk out on this show.


  88. - Ken in Aurora - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 7:50 am:

    “- Give Me A Break - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 6:00 am:
    Will all you experts please tell us on what grounds Rod can be impeached?”

    Unfortunately, being an ineffective buffoon isn’t enough, huh?


  89. - Knee Deep In The Hoopla - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 8:15 am:

    Give Me A Break: Excellent point on Madigan. In all the excitement, people are forgetting this salient fact.


  90. - Leigh - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 8:16 am:

    I have yet to meet the Republican who does not realize that Madigan is the most powerful DEMOCRAT in the state. But the budget should be about issues and when it comes to a no growth budget with no new spending, if Madigan can agree, then great. It is called working together for the common good. I think the legal arguments for impeachment should be made on the floor of the house. Obviously, recall would be the best method to get rid of him, except in Illinois there is no course for this. The man has become a huge embarrassment to the state.


  91. - Bill - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 8:44 am:

    While perusing the morning papers, I was pleased to notice that the constant slamming of Governor Blagojevich that takes place here is not the focus of the articles on yesterday’s “sessions”. The no growth maintainance budget that Madigan and the Republicans are championing may be popular in the middle of the state, where the fewest number of voters live, it is not what a majority of the citizens of Illinois want. At the risk of setting off Rep. Lang again, there are still 1.4 million Illinoisians without health insurance. If the House is not interested in working to address this problem, fine, but don’t blame the Governor. For every time the governor has mentioned health care there have been several times when some Repub or the speaker’s minions ask how are we going to pay for it. Well here’s how. RAISE TAXES. Some form of GRT along with a modest increase in sales or income taxes coupled with some increase in gaming will work. A pilot health care program, ed funding, money for transportation, capitol bonds, property tax relief, all can happen but only if the focus is on good gov’t and good policy and not on the usual posturing about who is the biggest, meanest , toughest, stooge in the patch.
    Most of us here in the real part of the state are sitting back, laughing at the players, and waiting for the end game to take place. It is time to pony up. Call us when something of substance really happens. Until then, no one really cares about the nonsense taking place.
    Rod looks no more stupid than any of the rest of the players.


  92. - Unmitigated Gall - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 9:34 am:

    I’m with Gimme A Break. What the impeachment folks really want is a “recall” provision, which we don’t have in IL, as someone mentioned. Talk of impeachment for his albeit bizarre behavior is silly, and will enable this Kim Jong-il wannabe to play the victim. . .”See, I want to shake things up so much, and have the powers-that-be so shaken up, they want to impeach me!”. . . .In short, there’s no cause for it, and no stomach for it either. It’s a dead issue for now.


  93. - Cassandra - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 10:06 am:

    If there were a recall provision, who would vote for recall in this case?

    I’m so not a Blago supporter but I wouldn’t vote for recall. A big part of this fight is about taxing the business community, which benefits hugely from Illinois citizens, for expanding education and health spending. Fears that businesses would fail as a result, or that prices would rice sharply are highly speculative. Too many Illinoisians worry about making life as easy as possible for wealthy businesspeople. Talk about supporting the wealthy. With our flat, non-progressive income tax and our timid approach to annoying the business community, Illinoisians’ preferred form of government seems to be plutocracy.

    If Blago weren’t around, the (very)wealthy white liberals and urban African American pols (also very wealthy) who run policy in the state would simply raise income taxes on the middle class and give the money to, well, white liberal and urban African American causes, with a large dollop of state bureaucracy and political earmarks thrown in.

    As Madigan has correctly pointed out, there is enough money now to run the state. Including this year’s payment to the pensions. There is no budget crisis in Illinois. And there is enough extra coming in to give all the screamers (the education industrial complex, the patronage-ridden CTA and RTA, the disastrous and unnecessary Cook County Hospital) some money, maybe not all they want, but everybody always asks for more than they need. Even the legislators can get their cut–a substantial raise they have awarded themselves–out of Madigan’s no-frills budget.

    This is all about the extras. And the Illinois middle class should not have to pay for extras.


  94. - silentk - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 10:27 am:

    Rich,

    While I usually, as a Democrat, disagree with Representative Black’s rhetoric, I think it would be very interesting to also audio-post his comments (the “I have a dog” speech) on the blog.

    His “Let’s tone down the impeachment talk” should be reviewed by all of your posters.

    The sharks are circling on “As Springfield Turns,” and it’s time to stop throwing out the chum.

    As to Leigh (Saturday, Jul 7, 07 @ 9:45 pm), I would never consider giving my personal information (name, address, phone, email) to a petition that has no identification for who is sponsporing it. No matter what the cause. You’re just giving away info for a database, folks. I note the counter was removed (20 petitiones, last I saw).

    Impeachment’s not going to happen. Focus on the prize: Budget; CTA, property tax relief, electric rates, health care, schools.


  95. - Pepperdine Alum - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 10:50 am:

    How about we focus on those Federal Subpoenas!
    Governor Blagojevich is elected public servant. If no crimes were commited why not make them public?
    Let the taxpayers decide.


  96. - Lesson in corruption - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 11:01 am:

    Those federal subpoenas are politically fatal to Blago and many of his close associates. If they ever become publc, Blago will become a history lesson in how not to be a governor.


  97. - msmms - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 12:05 pm:

    Oh yeah, they’re laughing at us in Missouri. The insanity of the past few days has made it to the St. Louis news http://www.ksdk.com/news/state/illinois/illinois_article.aspx?storyid=123684


  98. - Shelbyville - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 12:12 pm:

    I have been around long enough to have seen this before. I really miss the days of Webber Borchers and Romie Palmer and Rep. Cunningham.

    Get ‘er done.


  99. - Adventure - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 1:51 pm:

    Rich - I-m dying for my updates! What’s going on down there?


  100. - Bridget Dooley - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 2:28 pm:

    Holy cow, I’m dying over Lou Lang’s floor speech!! Love that guy.

    This is all ridiculously entertaining. Well, it would be if so many people’ lives weren’t being affected by it.


  101. - A Citizen - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 2:32 pm:

    Rich I sure hope you didn’t get food poisoning at the Mansion yesterday! No telling how old that food was - maybe left over from Christmas?


  102. - Rich Miller - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 2:44 pm:

    I’m alive. It’s Sunday. They’re not in until 4 o’clock. Everybody just take a bit of time off. :)


  103. - A Citizen - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 2:44 pm:

    Heh, we’re not alone - from the AP “…HARRISBURG, Pa. - Legislators on Sunday have less than a day to agree on a state budget before a partial government shutdown that would furlough thousands of workers and curtail some services. . . .” Another flaky governor with grandiose “plans”!


  104. - Bill - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 3:05 pm:

    A,
    You are enjoying this way too much!


  105. - A Citizen - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 3:06 pm:

    Bill, Too much of a “good” thing is never enough!


  106. - Bill - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 3:10 pm:

    Well, I ain’t never had too much fun!


  107. - A Citizen - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 3:13 pm:

    My point exactly, no wonder we get along so well.


  108. - Gregor - Sunday, Jul 8, 07 @ 3:36 pm:

    I feel badly for the poor flight scheduler at IDOT aeronautics that has worn holes in the planning sheets with his eraser this weekend!
    It’s like the math story problem from HELL! “A plane leaves Chicago travelling 234 miles per hour, to arrive at SPI at 2PM…no, 10 AM, no Noon….ARRGGGHHH!!!….”


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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