Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » This just in… Special session for January 2nd *** Blagojevich to Daley: Consider using Skyway cash *** Guv sends letter to members ***Skyway cash idea clarification***
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This just in… Special session for January 2nd *** Blagojevich to Daley: Consider using Skyway cash *** Guv sends letter to members ***Skyway cash idea clarification***

Thursday, Dec 20, 2007

*** 1:13 pm *** This has been rumored for days

Governor Rod Blagojevich says he’s calling lawmakers back into session on January 2nd to work on finding a way to pay for the Chicago Transit Authority.

Blagojevich says he considered calling lawmakers back into session this week but decided to wait until after the holidays on the advice of some legislative leaders.

The advice was: “Nobody’s gonna show up and don’t mess with our holidays.”

*** 2:00 pm *** From the Tribbies

“They need to come back and get to work and fund the CTA,” Blagojevich told reporters at a news conference. […]

“They need to be prepared to be there every to work,” Blagojevich said.

The political dynamic changes in Springfield come the new year, when once again a simple majority is all that’s required to pass legislation. That also means the influence of Republicans, who’ve had a seat at the table since the start of June, once again wanes. Democrats control the House, Senate and governor’s mansion.

He also had this to say, which I find very interesting…

Blagojevich also appeared to try to put some pressure back on Mayor Richard M. Daley, saying he’d discussed with Daley the idea of tapping into the city’s cash reserves from selling the Skyway as a way to stave off the Jan. 20 CTA cuts. [Emphasis added]

*** 2:07 pm *** Statement from Speaker Madigan’s spokesman…

“The governor has not informed the office of this decision. I am certain the members of the House will be ready to fully consider all the legislation he plans to introduce for this special session.”

*** 2:25 pm *** Letter the Governor sent to legislators…

Rod Blagojevich
December 20, 2007

Honorable members of the General Assembly:

As you know, despite the immediate and growing need to fund the Chicagoland mass transit system, Speaker Madigan decided to cancel session this week. This delay leaves millions of people waiting in uncertainty. I had hoped to receive legislation on my desk before the end of the calendar year. I considered calling a special session this week, but was informed by the legislative leaders that many of their members would be unavailable, and that it would be counterproductive to call them in right before their holiday break.

It has been ninety-two days since the Senate approved a capital plan with bipartisan support. That plan also provided for $200 million in interim relief for mass transit. In the three months since, the House has taken no action. Additionally, twice in the past four months I have been forced to bail out the Chicago Transit Authority to avoid crippling service cuts and fare hikes. In the absence of a permanent funding source, these bailouts have totaled almost $100 million.

Transit riders deserve better. The people of this state deserve better. As such, I am writing to notify you that I will call for a Special Session after the holiday break, beginning January 2, 2008, and to ask you to work quickly to pass a statewide infrastructure plan, so that there is also sufficient support for a long-term solution to mass transit funding. As I have said before, I support Representative Saviano’s plan, or a comparable plan, to provide mass transit funding by redirecting the sales tax on gasoline in the RTA region. This legislation received a near-majority of 57 votes on November 28, even though many members were absent or failed to vote on the measure.

With the RTA prepared to implement drastic layoffs, service cuts and fare increases on January 20 if no agreement is reached, our time is running out. You must focus on passing legislation in this short timeframe. There will be only 18 days to work before the transit doomsday, so you should be prepared to meet as often as needed during that period.

I am providing this notice now so that all members of the General Assembly can make arrangements to be present, and be prepared to vote. Let’s start the New Year on a great note by passing a long-term solution for mass transit. The citizens of Illinois are relying on us to get the job done.


Rod Blagojevich

*** 5:05 pm *** Email thoughts from Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff commenting on the line in the Tribune story…

The Governor didn’t say he’d discussed with Daley the idea of tapping into the city’s cash reserves from selling the Skyway as a way to stave off the Jan. 20 CTA cuts. He said downstate lawmakers have been grumbling about how Mayor Daley keeps insisting the state should bail out the CTA and not tie it to funding for downstate infrastructure projects; but meanwhile the city of Chicago - which has millions in the bank from the Skyway deal - hasn’t stepped up to help meet the CTA’s needs. We are pushing for passage of a long-term solution for mass transit, but the City-state funding disparity combined with the City’s reluctance to back a statewide capital plan, contributes to the challenge of winning support for transit funding in Springfield.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Dan, a voter - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 1:19 pm:

    So will Rodney be carefull about his work ethic and travel plans during this “special session” or will he continue to make himself look worse then he already does?

  2. - one of the 35 - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 1:31 pm:

    Wouldn’t you think that the Governor, as a “leader”, should have some specific legislation for consideration during the special session he calls? Oh, silly me, this is Governor Blagojevich!

  3. - DC - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 1:42 pm:

    The news release said that Rodney expects the legislators to stay in Springfield until they solve the mass transit problem. I can’t wait to see what kind of “official functions” the Governor has in Chicago (dang, he’ll have to fly back to Chicago after spending 2 hours in that dinosaur building) while the legislators are sitting around eating popcorn waiting for an actual bill to debate. It would be almost funny if Madigan called the Hamos bill right out of the box, put 60 votes on it, sent it to the Senate where it will die, then sends his members home saying the House has completed its business.

  4. - South of I-80 - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 1:43 pm:

    Why have a ssession? He’ll bail them out anyway, but the question is, who’s going to get hurt this time?

  5. - Dan, a voter - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 1:43 pm:

    one of the 35, these are different times. Remeber what we are dealing with here. What you are suggesting would be part of the normal process of Governing and showing leadership, statesmanship or even being a public servant. This Governor posesses none of these qualities and a track record to prove it.

  6. - Pat collins - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 1:44 pm:

    Since it’s Jan 2, do the normal “50% only to pass” rules apply?

  7. - In the know - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 1:47 pm:

    What about the Rose Bowl late on Jan 1? Lots will be traveling back on the 2nd.

  8. - Ike - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 1:47 pm:

    Honestly, who cares? Of course he put this out today, distracts from his free night at Hannah Montana. Pays to have friends like Jimmy DeLeo.

  9. - A Citizen - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 1:51 pm:

    If the One Trick Pony is going to take the initiative to call yet another SS he should give them an initiative to work and vote on. Vacuous in the extreme!

  10. - Levois - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 1:53 pm:

    Is this one of those rare times that he has actually listened to the legislature?

  11. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 1:56 pm:

    === Is this one of those rare times that he has actually listened to the legislature?===

    No. He listened to Emil Jones, which he has done occasionally in the past. :)

  12. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:03 pm:

    FYI, his name’s Milorad, not Rodney.

  13. - anon - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:05 pm:

    WHAT THE ^&*$!! They’re coming back Jan 9, but that’s not soon enough for this guy? This man is completely nuts. There are already 3 or 4 special sessions currently running dealing with transportation. Does he think one more is going to FORCE the General Assembly to do something?? He can’t make them pass legislation, and threatening to hold them hostage is ridiculous.

    His advisors are complete morons.

  14. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:06 pm:

    As I’ve written many, many times before. The problem is not with his advisors, it’s with him.

  15. - Princeville - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:08 pm:

    What happens with the contract with CTA that expires the end of December? Is it one where they can mutually agree to extend the deadline?

  16. - The 'Broken Heart' of Rogers Park - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:08 pm:

    We found out today Rod doesn’t need to stand in line for Hannah Montana tickets. That should free up some time.

  17. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:12 pm:

    Man, talk about overblown. Should governors get no perks at all?

  18. - GoBearsss - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:13 pm:

    anon - only a leg staffer or legislator would have that response that you had.

    Everybody else in the real world has to go back to work on Jan. 2.

    What’s your problem?

  19. - anon - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:18 pm:

    Go Bearsss,

    The problem is that this Governor is wasting taxpayer money nonstop to call these ridiculous sessions.

    As for your assumption that a legislative staffer or legislator wouldn’t be working on the 2nd, you obviously haven’t been around the halls of the legislative staffers offices. The staffers this year - in every caucus and both chambers - have been pushed to the max with zero time off for 12 months.

    To even imply that the State employees serving the General Assembly are slackers is an insult and clearly shows you must work for the Governor.

  20. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:19 pm:

    GoBearsss, only an administrtative apologist would say that. :)

    Legislators work in their districts as well as in Spfld. And I, for one, wasn’t on planning to go back to work until Jan. 2 or 3, at the earliest. Now, I have to work on New Year’s Day in order to get something together for the 2nd.


  21. - Bluefish - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:21 pm:

    If Blago is telling Daley to use Skyway cash to pay for the next CTA bailout does this mean his bag of magic tricks is empty? And what about Pace and Metra? Or don’t they and the suburbs matter to Blago?

    Oh, and the 2:07 update is a classic example of why Steve should have beat out the Spin Sisters.

  22. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:31 pm:

    Actually, isn’t it quite nice of the Guv to let folks have their Christmas break? “In Who-ville they say, that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day!”

  23. - Garp - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:33 pm:

    The Hanna Montana story has more legs than the Kelly indictment. Is this a great country or what?

  24. - GoBearsss - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:36 pm:

    “GoBearsss, only an administrtative apologist would say that. :)”

    Boooo. I am no apologist. Apologies are only for when you are wrong.

    Seriously. If I have to go back to work. Why such resistance from them?

    Where is the sense of urgency to get their hands back in and get something done?

    We know Madigan wants to delay delay delay until little Lisa takes the helm. But I don’t think his members want to wait years and years more for things to actually happen.

  25. - one of the 35 - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:38 pm:

    One line from the Governor’s letter rings especially true, “The people of this state deserve better”. It has infinitely more meaning than he realizes.

  26. - DC - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:41 pm:

    Did anyone else note the Governor’s address on the letter he sent — “OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
    SPRINGFIELD 62706″. Would that not imply that the main office of the Governor is in Springfield, not Chicago? Trivial, I know, but in light of the issue of where he is “headquartered” it would have been slightly prudent to at least have used the Chicago address.

    I also agree with Bluefish: Brown’s response was classic. The Governor can mention Skippy’s proposal all he wants, but frankly, I agree that the Governor should have submitted an actual bill for a vote rather than using Clinton-speak like “or a comparable plan”.

    I predict the House will pass a bill and the Senate will balk and not call it. Madigan looks like a statesman, the House does it job, and Emil is left defending his decision not to compromise.

    Sound familiar?

  27. - Trafficmatt - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:46 pm:

    I take it those are CTA bus tracks that on Mike Madigan’s back since the Guv threw him under the bus.

    Maybe the Guv can get one of those little voice recording devices they sell on late night TV, so he can just keeping playing a recording of him saying “Not my fault!!! It’s all Madigan’s fault!! Not my fault!!! It’s all Madigan’s fault!!! ………..”

  28. - Princeville - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:48 pm:

    So what’s the big deal with the Hanna Montana story? By the way, that is an adorable shot of Blago and his little daughter, first time in a long time he doesn’t look stressed. My daughter went and saw Hanna at the Mark back in October so it was amusing to me to watch Chicago make such a big deal out of it. As long as the tickets didn’t break any gift ban rules, I’m happy Blago and the kiddies got to go. If one was quick enough on the tickets they sold for about $80 counting all handling fees, I got 3 tickets for about $230 by a quick click of the little mouse. I hope the Blagojevich family had a great time.

  29. - let me get this straight - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:50 pm:

    ..he’s calling them back to vote on a bill that didn’t have a majority the first time, to vote again when there were will likely be fewer legislators able to attend. for what? so he can say that they shirked their duty to the people? there’s nothing to do, no new bill to review. this is ludicrous.

  30. - Macbeth - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:54 pm:

    Maybe I’m naive, but isn’t the bottom-line that much of Blagojevich’s political future hangs on the transit bail-out?

    He scored high with Chicago voters. I assume that will be lost if the transit bail-out doesn’t happen in a timely fashion.

    I mean, I used to live downstate, so I completely understand the downstate indifference to the bail-out — not to mention the downstate anger at Blagojevich in general. (He’s not exactly a guy you’d share a beer with or go hunting with.)

    Is this like a Jane Byrne snowstorm thing — this transit issue? Fail at it — and you’re through. Period.

  31. - Leigh - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:56 pm:

    They have never finished the last session, are we sure they can do it by simple majority?

  32. - Snidely Whiplash - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 2:59 pm:

    And as an aside, I find it his “concern” over mass transit a bit disingenuous. You don’t see him taking a bus or train, or even carpooling, to Springfield and back. Our illustrious King Milorad I flies the friendly skies of his kingdom.

  33. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 3:15 pm:

    I think it is high time someone calls Mr. Blagojevich’s bluff regarding his views on the separation between church and state.

    Obviously Mr. Blagojevich believes in faith-based government because he expects us to continue to believe in his abilities to resolve this crisis.

    So, on January 2nd, he will once again call a special session to demonstrate that he can handle snakes and heal our spirits.

    Like other tele-evangelists, the Governor’s hair will be coiffed to perfection as he closes his eyes and performs another “hail Mary”.

    Illinoians want to believe, but if his track record is any indication, the demons will not be expelled from the Temple and Mr. Blagojevich doesn’t have a prayer.

  34. - Representative Government - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 3:18 pm:

    What time is the Special Session Called for on January 2nd? I might have to take the Red Eye back from CA. Unless of course the Speaker resets the schedule time, which is more likely to occur in theory, if not actually in practice, du to the odds increasing over time for actually achieving the necessary threshold for a quorum.

    I wonder what the Early Line is for a quorum actually being present for a morning session starting time.
    I wonder if the Governor’s Special Advisor on Gaming wants any of that action. If he were to book the wager early as a deductible expense using current business profits now, he might be able to offset any tax liability owed by the business for profits earned in 2007.

    For some reason I don’t think that will be a problem in 2008.

  35. - Jaded - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 3:18 pm:

    Yes Leigh, we are sure.

    Go take a look at the Illinois Constitution Article IV Section 10.

  36. - downhereforyears - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 3:19 pm:

    Whats left to say….other than he isn’t concerned about a solution…he’s only concerned with continuing the fight. But wait…this just in, Blago may not be able to be thereon the 2nd… Britneys little sister is performing in Rosemont that night, and Patti really wants to take the kids. HELLO Jimmy

  37. - Pat collins - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 3:20 pm:

    Man, talk about overblown. Should governors get no perks at all?

    Assuming that they actually DO the job, they might.

  38. - U of I alum 1st, lawmaker 2nd - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 3:24 pm:

    I’m going to the Rose Bowl….I better not see him there.

  39. - downhereforyears - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 3:27 pm:

    Pat Collins::: key words DO THE JOB. NOT!

  40. - OneManBlog - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 3:32 pm:

    Yeah the Sun Times was a bit over the top on that one…

    Uggh defending the governor, please make it stop.

  41. - puzzler - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 3:33 pm:

    “The governor says lawmakers should prepare to be in Springfield every day until they come up with mass transit funding.” Except for the Governor, of course, who will be in Chicago watching every episode of Hannah Montana and attending Blackhawks games.

  42. - Anon - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 3:41 pm:

    How long before someone goes to court to get a restraining order against the Gov. from calling anymore special sessions? Probably won’t work due to the Const. but someone should give it a try. This is an abuse of power.

  43. - Mr. Cub - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 3:43 pm:

    It’a always all about Rod, all the time. He’s the strangest man to ever be governor in Illinois, no?

  44. - S. Illinois - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 3:57 pm:

    Rich, I would not discount the Hannah Montana story. There are a lot of parents pretty peeved with the notion that their daughters cannot go to this show because all of the tickets were snatched up by fat-cats and insiders. Now, they have a face (and a wad of hair) at which to direct their anger. Add to it the notion put forward by Channel 2 that the Gov does no work…this could bubble into some significant outrage against Blago. I’m not saying it’s deserved in this instance, but it is real.

  45. - Doug Dobmeyer - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 3:58 pm:

    At the end of 2007 unsolved funding issues still exist in Illinois. While the city has addressed theirs with tax and fee hikes, the county and state are still milling around looking for a solution.

    The state has implied the only way solve fixing our roads, bridges and addressing mass transit is to expand gambling in a massive way. The proposed expansion would bring a huge casino of 4,000 positions to Chicago. Two more to other areas, create race tracks as mini casinos with slot machines and allow Internet gambling among other items.

    The solution seems to move the people living in and visiting Illinois to be individual economic machines producing money to oil the wheels of government. In 1999 when casino gambling started in Illinois 6.7 million patrons lost an average of $61.97 per visit to a casino. By 2006 (the last year statistics are available) the then 16.1 million gambling patrons lost an average of $118.88 per visit. The casinos are doing very well and patrons are not.

    Now Illinois wants to exploit that number by increasing the number of the gambling public and how much they lose. Despite a threat of over saturating the market, they have so little regard for our citizens and visitors the state says they must have more gamblers. Why?

    Because the state and local government gets a cut of the action through the taxes they make on the casino profits. Chicago wants to take this to an even higher cut by the city by owning their casino. Instead of protecting people against abuse, the city wants to become “the man” and exploit its citizens and visitors.

    Mayor Daley is a smart man. He has leased the Skyway Bridge and talks of leasing Midway Airport. He asked for and received a $286 million tax increase this fall. But, in his mind apparently this is not enough and he wants more.

    This move is despite the largest housing foreclosure debacle in the country’s recent history. Chicago now faces over 200,000 homes in foreclosure. This despite lower-income people are facing much higher costs of living than before. Over 2,300 families depend on a housing subsidy from the city to keep from becoming homeless. These two examples beg the question – why must our city government press for a casino when the economy is worse for many people expected to become patrons of Casino Chicago?

    The Task Force has worked with the legislature to find alternatives to their imposing a casino on this city and more throughout the state. It is true we have not contributed a dime to campaign funds. The Illinois casinos and racetracks have given over two million dollars between 2001 and the first half of 2007. Over $155,000 of that money went to the House Gaming Committee.

    We haven’t wanted much – just fairness and protection for the people of Illinois and our visiting public. We have even asked for a referendum so you can vote on whether you want major casino expansion in Illinois and to Chicago. But some legislators and the Mayor’s chief gambling cheerleader have dismissed that idea as unnecessary. That seems strange saying that democracy is not need

    It would be disingenuous of the governor and the legislative leadership to ignore the issues that affect our citizens in trying to solve a fiscal issue. They should come together when there is an agreement.

    Doug Dobmeyer
    Task Force to Oppose Gambling in Chicago

  46. - Jaded - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 4:10 pm:

    Ok, I just read the Sun Times story. Maybe I am missing something, but Jim Deleo is NOT a prohibited source under the gift ban act, because he is a State Senator. It doesn’t matter whether or not he has a personal friendship with the Governor, he is not a prohibited source. If Jim Deleo wanted to go buy tickets for every constitutional officer and every member of the GA, he could. Who cares?

    I agree with Rich, overblown. There is so much more to wack this guy with, why are we bothering with Hannah Montana?

  47. - Pat collins - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 4:41 pm:

    why are we bothering with Hannah Montana?

    Because people can understand this. Remember the check scandal at the House of Reps? People could relate to that. Ask Dan R.

  48. - Legal Eagle - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 4:48 pm:

    What chutzpah! Vote on what?? All of my area Reps and Senators will still be out of town then; he may not get a quorum again. Why not wait until the 9th, which everyone has scheduled around ; I mean there is either an agreement on everything or there’s not. This Governor is all hat and no cattle!

  49. - The 'Broken Heart' of Rogers Park - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 5:01 pm:

    Rich Miller said…> Man, talk about overblown. Should governors get no perks at all?

    A personal plane to fly around in. Blackhawk tickets. $1000 dollars in Christmas cards for his kid. His name on every tollway sign across the state. Having Abby as his spokesperson. I think Rod has enough perks. Come on Rich, we have to draw the line somewhere.

  50. - chiguy - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 5:04 pm:

    First things first, the Gov is absolutely right when he says Chicago contributes less to mass transit than any big city in Amrica. It is a disgrace that reporters have given the Mayor a pass on for years. How is it that the Mayor has run the CTA for going on 20 years and the “doomsdays” never seem to get blamed on him? Krusei and Huberman are the Mayor’s guys. It CTA has been mismanaged, as many experts say is the case, then why is the Mayor not responsible. He is like Ronald Reagan. To the Teflon Mayor, it is time to take responsibility for the mess you have created and help find a solution to the public ytransit mess in this state. Let’s start with the Skyway money and how about creating a transit trust fund with the upcoming windfall profits gaind from the sale of Midway Airport. Just a thought.

  51. - Hot Links - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 5:20 pm:

    It looks like the Senator could be “in the soup”. In this case, it mght be Alphabet Soup.

    If Terry Link gets knocked off the ballot, he’ll be a “Lame Duck” during the upcoming negotiations on Gaming Expansion. If he resigns before the passage of the new revolving door regulatory provisions within the legislation he could stll sign on with Harrah’s, or Waukegan, or the Daily Double, and represent the interests of both. Given the possible reasons for ballot exclusion however I don’t think he will be a candidate for the newly constituted Gamng Board itself, although that would be a hell of a pensioner sweetener on the way out the door.

    {State Sen. Terry Link’s candidate petition contains “obvious irregularities” and is the focus of a criminal investigation, the Lake County state’s attorney said today.

    The petition, which Link filed in October as part of his re-election bid, contains the names of dead people and area residents who’ve denied signing the form, State’s Attorney Michael Waller said.

    Additionally, some signatures on the sheets are in alphabetical order, Waller said.

    “You usually don’t run into people in alphabetical order,” he said. “It looks suspicious.”……

    Waller said his investigators are looking into allegations of forgery and violations of election code. They’ve spoken to several people whose names appear on the forms but denied signing them, Waller said.

    Investigators also will look into whether a witness during a recent elections board hearing on the case committed perjury, Waller said.}

  52. - Angry Chicagoan - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 5:22 pm:

    chiguy, that argument does not hold up in this case because it has long been the pattern in Illinois for the state to take a major involvement in transit. Actually what the state does here is put up a bunch of capital funding (or at least what it did when Republicans were in charge, as opposed to the nothing we get from the Democrats). And then for operations, we get permission to levy a sales tax. That’s the local share. It’s disingenuous to say we’re doing nothing because Chicago and Cook County taxpayers are doing plenty and even collar county taxpayers are doing something.

    What you’re suggesting is that Chicago should flog off its assets to bail its transit system, while the rest of the state keeps getting a disproportionately large share of highway funding. That’s just wrong.

    What’s on the table from the Governor and Senate is just that — a one-time short-term bailout, for one year, with a multi-year highway boondoggle that continues this state’s pattern of disproportionately funding Downstate. Not at all like the even transit-roads-schools balance we had from Republican governors.

    And don’t even begin to lump Kruesi and Huberman together.

  53. - A Citizen - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 5:48 pm:

    The actual saying is “Big Hat, No Cattle” or for city folk “Big Head, No Brains”. Either one fits.

  54. - chiguy - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 5:49 pm:

    I hate to break the news to you, but other big cities have the same sort of arrangement concerning sales tax and they still make large contributions to public transit. New York City, for example, contributes more than $300 million annually to transit and has a very similar sales tax arrangement. By the way, I am not suggesating that the city sell Miday. I actually think it is bad public policy to sell off public assest, but in the case on Chicago, the deal is already done so the people might as well get something out of it. The Mayor wants to put to billions earned from the sale of Miday into a slush fund that has no city council oversight so that he can use it for his own pet projects, i.e. the Olympics. You clearly don’t know what is done nationally on this issue. When you have done some research you should blog again.

  55. - chiguy - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 5:54 pm:

    I was responding to A Citizen’s blog, as ill informed as it was. Sorry, but true. I am a Chicagoan myself. No downstate bias here. Just not a Daley apologist.

  56. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 6:10 pm:

    I’ll bet anyone here an adult beverage that Link is never a lobbyist for Harrah’s once the new owners take over.

  57. - DumberThanYouThink - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 7:07 pm:

    Capt. Fax:
    Hanna Montana (Wymamontana’s cousin) is a huge story cause it knocked DiceK, our court loss — an hiring outside lawyers, Dept. of Energy scrapping FutureGen, LuLu back to ICC & When and AV is a bill signing smack out of the news.
    So there
    Besides using that “friend” loophole makes it looks like we are living on the edge — as usual.
    Bet Giggles had to pay the while $130 for her ductats. Wonder if anyone asked Jumpin’ Jimmy D for a sworn affadavit about being a friend? Or am I supposed to be his friend?
    What’s next some big deal expose about Rose Bowl tickets Illini are 2 TD ‘dogs who cares?
    Hope the SpinSisters do a better job tomorrow.

  58. - Little Egypt - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 7:26 pm:

    Jaded, I actually found Article IV, Section 15 more interesting. The current session of the General Assembly has never adjourned sine die. Am I reading it correctly that the governor can adjourn this current session of the General Assembly (sine die?) on the first day of the next General Assembly? I would think that since this current session has never adjourned sine die that the 3/5 majority will still be needed for passage of bills, regardless of the fact that the date would be after December 31. I smell another lawsuit.

    Plus Rich, the Hanah Montana situation will definitely grow longer legs. It wouldn’t and shouldn’t be a big deal but for the fact that it’s about Blago. I know rank has its privileges, but come on. “It’s one thing to step on my toes, but don’t mess with my kids” is going to be the mantra. The tickets for all of the concerts were grabbed up very fast and for the parents who wanted to take their daughter to this and couldn’t get a ticket 30 minutes after they went on sale - well, it’s going to be a big deal.

  59. - North of I-80 - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 7:35 pm:

    “Office of the Governor, SPRINGFIELD”….. ?

    Years ago, I lost my home office deduction from IRS: the guiding light was that if I was provided with a work area, an office, phone, computer etc, at my “main work-reporting location” then I could not claim working from home for any benefit. As I recall, we provide the Governor with an office in Springfield and a home [called “the Governor’s Mansion”] in Springfield so that he/she can do the job we expect.

    Now don’t tell us that Rezko or Levine or Filan or Kelly appointed or are married to IRS auditors….

  60. - what a joke - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 7:44 pm:

    Is it a big deal that Rod & family got free tickets? No.

    Is it a big deal that our Governor said he “HASN’T MISSED AN EPISODE OF HANNAH MONTANA”????

    Hell yes.

    What kind of lackey stays home & watches THAT much of ANY television show?
    I wonder how many episodes of Hannah Montana exist. How many hours does that add up to?
    As someone who has caught hannah montana a few times (no, I”m not paid by taxpayers), I can vouch that it’s on ALL day.

    Add this to MIke Flannery’s story about what a cush job this guy has…

    THAT’s the story!!
    We have a light-weight governor who pays no attention to policy & doesn’t care about taxpayers — he only cares about his own fitness, ripping his opponents in the media, giving himself credit & watching the Disney channel.

  61. - ethical? - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 8:20 pm:

    Speaking of ethicL??? hOW does Mike Stout get box seat tickets from Riley advertising, the firm that does IDOTs adv, to this weekends packer vs bears game for him, his wife, his secretary and her husband??? sounds unethical to me since they are all staying in chicago on tax payers money. oh to make it seem legal, mike is handing out a certificate to the bears for traffic safety issues.. you go mike…you are unstopable!!!

  62. - A Citizen - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 8:24 pm:

    Perhaps what we need is for our guv’s performance and behavior to get broad National Coverage - the kind that would impact any “higher” aspirations! That might be the real motivator to get things moving. Seems only his national level interests matter to him and his handlers. blags for pres? bwah ha ha haaa!

  63. - Truth - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 8:35 pm:

    With so many “special” sessions they have almost become regular. At what point do they lose their specialness.

    And have any laws come out of any of the “special sessions”?

    This is just another meaningless session, JAM session for short.

  64. - A Citizen - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 8:41 pm:

    Brilliant! That’s it. We have Watson or similar submit Blags Special Sessions record to the Guinness Records folks. They research his follies and voila! There it is! Only thing better would be proving guv is on steroids, course that could put an asterisk on his SS World Record.

  65. - DumberThanYouThink - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 9:27 pm:

    Sadly, Capt. Fax has apparently excluded Becky Carroll from the SpinSisters Award. She mentored Slim, Red & Giggles for many years and helped them achieve the delusional dimension that allows them to actually believe much of what is pumped out every day.
    Shame on you Capt. Perhaps a revision is in order.

  66. - ivoted4judy - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 9:33 pm:

    Even I think the Hanna Montana story is overblown!!! I have no problem with the hairdo getting nice seats from his friend Jimmy D. If you had a subpeona from the US Attorney every friggin week, you would need a break and go take your kids somewhere too.
    It is nice to see that the gun nut from local 150 is now posting on the blog.. THere will NEVER be a capitol bill while G Rod is Governor.

  67. - Just sayin' - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 9:38 pm:

    There are 47 Hannah Montana episodes that have aired in the U.S.

  68. - anon - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 10:46 pm:

    This guy will never learn. His first sentence is throwing a shot at Madigan. He does not understand the politics of compromise. Quite frankly, he is not a very bright man. I am sure this will be his last term as Governor.

  69. - enrico depressario - Thursday, Dec 20, 07 @ 10:59 pm:

    From my vantage point, I see no crisis. Let those who ride mass transit PAY for it. Such is the capitalist system. No money should be extracted from my wallet to benefit these weasels, and quite frankly, I’m sick of hearing about it.

  70. - JohnR - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 1:50 am:

    Dumber - you are just upset that you lost to them.

  71. - Deep Water - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 2:58 am:

    State Rep. John D’Amico has a full time job at the Chicago Department of Water Management. He is two places at once. How does he do it?

  72. - what a joke - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 3:56 am:

    Deep Water…

    who cares?
    D’Amico is a good guy — let’s talk about the ones with overblown egos who waste time…

  73. - What can I say? - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 7:44 am:

    Hey Macbeth, maybe Dick Cheney will take him hunting. :O

  74. - The 'Broken Heart' of Rogers Park - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 8:02 am:

    Rod said….> ‘”I have two daughters and being a good dad is a heck of a lot more important to me than being a good politician. And when my little girls ask their dad how to find a way to get them to see Hannah Montana, I do everything I can to get them to see Hannah Montana.”

  75. - Larry Mulholland - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 8:29 am:

    I was recently informed that the average CTA bus drivers salary was $90,000 and a patronage heaven for the political ward machines in Chicago. Over $90,000 salary to drive a bus, significant increases in transportation costs but little to no fare increases for riders? Please tell me why ALL taxpayers need to bail out the CTA AGAIN…and AGAIN?

  76. - DumberThanYouThink - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 8:30 am:

    We did not run in this race.
    Actually SpinSisters were “recipients” since the top vote count went elsewhere.
    Think of it as Capt. Fax throwing a charity &*%(*%%$ their way. Happy holidays. (let’s see it this makes it)

  77. - Jaded - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:58 am:

    Little Egypt.

    The legislative session runs for two years. This is the 95th General Assembly which will be adjourned sine die next January. The Governor does not adjourn the General Assembly sine die.

    Section 10 talks about a calendar year, and does not mention session. Just like everyone else in the world (I think) Illinois still has 12 months in a calendar year, and this is the last month for this year. Next year is 2008, which by definition is different calendar year than 2007, so the 3/5th rule goes out until June 1, 2008. Section 15 does not come into play, because there is no disagreement between the two houses on adjournment. They have both adjourned to perfuntory days and have scheduled the next session day for Jauary 9. Sorry, but I can’t smell the lawsuit.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
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* *** UPDATED x3 - Morrison wants emergency meeting of ILGOP - McConnaughay explains - Schneider responds *** Rauner says he tried to drop out of race after primary
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