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The VIP treatment *** Updated x1 ***

Friday, Dec 21, 2007

* This is not a problem for me

Asked Thursday whether parents who stood in long lines trying to buy their kids tickets to the Dec. 8 “Hannah Montana” concert at the Allstate Arena should be upset that he and his daughters ended up with free tickets and a backstage visit — all courtesy of his buddy, state Sen. James DeLeo — Gov. Blagojevich 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. […]

“I got tickets the way a lot of people get tickets: You call a friend and say, ‘Hey, can you find some tickets?’ In that particular case, Sen. DeLeo did. I said, ‘How much do I owe you for the tickets?’ He said, ‘Don’t worry about it. You can get dinner next time.’ That’s what friends do.”

I know that some parents may be furious that he was able to score good seats while they got frozen out. But, I don’t have much sympathy. Regardless of his standing in the polls, he is the governor and he had a legit reason. Plus, he didn’t directly clout his way to the show. He asked a friend to help score some tickets and his friend (who has a longstanding relationship with the Rosemont folks) complied.

I did have a big problem when then Gov. George Ryan and a big entourage snagged a ton of tickets to see the Rolling Stones play a small venue in Chicago. It’s not like George was a huge Stones fan or anything.

* Overall, this isn’t a problem for me, either, but there are exceptions

When tickets to the Rose Bowl went on sale to the public, they sold out in half an hour.

But a bevy of public officials and donors who hold the University of Illinois’ purse strings managed to get to the head of the line, and trustees — including Gov. Rod Blagojevich — didn’t have to pay a penny for seats at the hottest game of the year for the state’s football fans.

Administrators made sure there were tickets for Senate President Emil Jones (4), House Minority Leader Tom Cross (6), state Sen. Chris Lauzen (6), and 17 other public officials who paid face value. When contacted by the Tribune, Lauzen said he would rescind his request. […]

Blagojevich was offered four complimentary tickets for the game against the University of Southern California, but a spokesman said he will be staying in Illinois for a legislative session Jan. 2. But the governor’s general counsel used the connection to buy four $135 tickets through the university president’s office.

The governor’s general counsel should give those tickets back. [See the update below for explanation.]

As for the elected legislators, this is a bit of a gray area. They are VIP’s, so if other bigshot alumni are getting preferential treatment they should as well. And it appears that’s the case…

In all, the university set aside about 500 of its 26,000 tickets for use by the offices of the president, chancellor and development. Some of those were designated for purchase by major donors, lawmakers and other VIPs.

People often like to use these sorts of news events to tee off on politicians they don’t like. Try your very best to avoid that in comments today. Stick to the topic at hand. Overly zealous partisans and complete cynics will be deleted. I mean it. Don’t test me. It’s Christmas and I’m not in the mood for goofy drive-by commenters. Thanks.

*** UPDATE *** I just received the following statement from the guv’s office. Apparently, Quinlan, the governor’s chief legal counsel, didn’t score his tix as part of the governor’s deal, so I’ve changed my mind about his situation.

Bill Quinlan, an alumnus, was invited by the University of Illinois. He paid full value for the tickets, but doesn’t think he’s going to be able to go.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - He makes Ryan Look like a Saint - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:28 am:

    Who hasn’t used contacts and influence (if you have any) to get tickets to events or better seats. It happens everywhere and is not an issue.

  2. - Anon - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:31 am:

    I’m with you on the Hannah Montana tickets, Rich. While I’m not a parent, I cant imagine that most would really be upset that the governor got tickets to tbe event. It’s not a big deal.

  3. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:34 am:

    There are those who don’t have any contacts or influence who are probably upset. I can relate. But I also figure that most of them would use any contacts if they had them. If Rod took 50 people with him to the HM show, then people would have a right to complain. He took his daughters and Obama’s kids.

  4. - Anon - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:39 am:

    Has the Governor taken the Ethics Test? I belive it says no gifts over $75 can be taken from state employees, vendors etc.

  5. - DuPage Dave - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:39 am:

    Rich- Since your famous bus ride it seems you have been cutting the Guv lots of slack on things like this. The fact is, ordinary people don’t have access to the Rosemont box office like Sen. DeLeo (and hence Blago) and they are resentful.

    I think the Guv’s comments show his ongoing inability to take perspective on how he looks to other people. This is not a serious issue, but he comes off looking aloof and uncaring- as he often does on the serious issues. I guess when you have his problems, you don’t worry about stuff like this.

  6. - blagoman - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:42 am:

    Just think what it will be like at Wrigley Field if the state takes over. Blago will want all 42,000plus tickets for himself to whatever game he wants.

  7. - MOON - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:42 am:

    As much as I detest Blago and many other politicians for their “entitlement attitude”, I have noproblem with them getting “hard to get tickets” so long as it is not a “how can I help you since I got these tickets” situation!

  8. - GoBearsss - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:44 am:

    Rich - I seem to know a few Tribune employees here and there who use their VIP connection to score great Cubs tickets, even to sold out games.

    Funny how it all works…

  9. - Kiyoshi Martinez - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:44 am:

    Maybe some of these public officials could give these Rose Bowl tickets to students from their home districts on academic or financial scholarships as a token of holiday cheer. Or raffle them off and donate the money back to the University of Illinois. Just a thought.

  10. - GoBearsss - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:47 am:

    DuPage Dave - Senator DeLeo said he stood in line to get the tickets like everyone else.

  11. - Crimefighter - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:47 am:

    >“I have two daughters and being a good dad is a heck of a lot more important to me than being a good politician.”

    This is exactly this state government is so disfunction, he wants to be a stay-at-home dad, while the state goes to crap, as long as he’s home with the kids, getting a state budget passed can wait, appropriations can wait, fixing CTA can wait, returning the borrowed money from the pension system can wait, in fact the whole state of Illinois can wait, cause I, King Rodrick the First am going to the Blackhawks game, the Bulls game, the Cubs game, the World Series, the Rose Bowl, the Super Bowl, and I’m hanging out with the kids so you guys can wait until the kids graduate for me to do my job.

  12. - phocion - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:49 am:

    I generally agree with Rich on this one. The Hannah Montana tickets were secured by Senator DeLeo, who knows how to get tix in Rosemont. DeLeo paid for them. But Blago should have just paid the face value of the tickets instead of being cheap. That kind of sense of entitlement about elected (not having to pay) does rankle.

    The Rose Bowl tickets should be viewed in the same light. Fine, you’re a supporter or a VIP, so you get access. But just pay for the price of admission, folks.

  13. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:49 am:

    DuPage Dave, you’re blind as a bat. I defend Blagojevich when I agree with him. Have you never been to this blog before?

    Bite me.

  14. - Rod sez I'm pork - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:49 am:

    I agree this is a non-issue in principal. However, what disturbs me is the question of judgment. If you know people are angry with you for a number of reasons, why make yourself more of a target?

    I don’t buy the ‘I am just doing what a good dad would do’ line. Sometimes being a good dad is telling your kids they can’t get everything they want when they want it. Disappointment is a part of life. It wouldn’t hurt the governor to learn this lesson as well.

    I think the governor may have earned more points (public and private) if he or Patti waited on line, just like everyone else.

    Given the challenges facing this state, the Governor might be a bit more humble and spend less time giving his detractors ammunition, valid or not.

    Just one dad’s opinion.

  15. - Adam Smith - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:49 am:

    The Gov getting tix for his kids is hardly the world’s biggest scandal, but you’d think he’d tell Sen. DeLeo that he would prefer sending him a personal check just to be on the safe side. He apparently doesn’t have any ability to grasp what is and isn’t appropriate.

    And while most legislators love their goodies and the occasional VIP treatment, the always self-righteous Chris Lauzen used his clout quietly while he keeps right on lecturing everyone else on how to be as morally upright as he is. I know he’s giving back the tix but I’m sure it’s only because he knows it will be used against him in his crusade for Congress.

  16. - Ghost - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:50 am:

    I am with Rich and MOON on this. James DeLeo is a long time friend. Using a friend to score tickets is legitimate. If I had a friend or connection who could get me tickets you can bet skippy I would. The complaints seem directed more t the fact he haad a connection then anything else. Given that the connection is not fishy or somone seeking influence this seems to be nothing more then a tempest in a tea kettle.

    Then again I have no problem with the Gov’s GC buying some of the tickets set aside for VIP access. They pulled tickets ahead of time for those with connections. Notice nobody is clamoring at the U of I for doing this. If they pulled, anyone who can get at them its fair game.

  17. - Anon - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:50 am:

    The Governor’s General Counsel is paid to know better. Give them back, and have the “connection” investigated either by the OEIG and/or the Attorney General.

    Non-elected government officials must avoid all appearances and/or perceptions of improprieties.
    Elected officials should too, but they can be punished by the electorate. Others cannot, that is why we have an OEIG.

    Someone should file a complaint to the OEIG.

  18. - Been There - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:54 am:

    I don’t mind the gov getting tickets for his daughter through a friend. Even though it would be a good photo shoot of Blago sitting at his phone hitting redial as he trys to get through to ticketmaster. We all know he is too busy running the state to do that. The reason I agree it is ok is because I would have done it the same way (if I actually wanted to go). We all have or at least tried to get tickets through our “connections”.
    What I don’t understand is Rich’s problem with BQ paying for some Rose Bowl tickets. I would think the general counsel to the gov is somebody the other VIP’s and big donors would like to mingle with. And he at least paid for them.

  19. - He makes Ryan Look like a Saint - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 9:55 am:

    Well Said RICH!!! Love the “Bite Me!” Maybe we should start the Monthly Bite Me award.

  20. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:00 am:

    Rich you may not have a problem with this but it is a clear violation of state ethic rules. These people never lean. Why couldn’t they just pay for the tickets ? Because they believe they are privleged. Your example of George Ryan was a bad choice.
    And I’m not buying the story of how DeLeo obtained those tickets.

  21. - GoBearsss - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:01 am:

    “Why don’t you call me at home and then maybe you can talk to one of my family members who won’t be going?” Lauzen said.

    Rich, can you give out another horseshoe?

    Chris definitely deserves a [FROM RICH: PLEASE DON’T SWEAR IN COMMENTS] of the year award for that quote.

    I love it. I am positively giddy about that quote.

  22. - Anonymous45 - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:01 am:

    I really couldn’t care less about this…don’t the citizens of IL have more pressing matters to concern ourselves with?…this is the media acting like Grinch with someone already under siege…put some coal in their stockings

  23. - Johnny USA - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:03 am:

    In the olden days, when people of note used their influence to score stuff the general public couldn’t, we called it ’shakedown’

    Of course, the givers always gave the stuff away with a smile on their face…they wanted the protection the people of influence could afford them.

    But one wonders - given a level playing field, would they have to be so generous?

  24. - GoBearsss - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:05 am:

    Sorry about that - didn’t mean to swear.

  25. - Skeeter - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:07 am:

    DuPage Dave nailed it.

    Blago just doesn’t seem to comprehend how is actions look. He is completely aloof, and does what he wants, whether or not anyone likes it.

    He is starting to remind me of a third world dicator (but without the authority).

    Would anyone be shocked to see a 40-foot statue in honor of him just appear one day in the State of Illinois Center?

    This isn’t all that big of deal, except for the fact that it is part of the pattern of behavior. If we ever had a poll here on “Political figure most like to use government contacts for his own personal advantage” Blago would win in a landslide. He has developed a reputation for putting himself and his family above all other concerns. That’s not bad if you are just some Chicago lawyer, but we really want more from our gov.

  26. - Jaded - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:10 am:

    Rich, where is your Christmas spirit. I agree that Dupage Dave’s comment was without merit, but “bite me” should be reserved for the REALLY terrible comments. Just my opinion.

    As far as the perks, I only have a problem with the tickets being free. They should have to pay like everybody else. Edgar got rid of the free state fair tickets, but legislators and the like were still able to score the good seats if they paid for them. This should be no different for the State Flagship school. The legislators should have to pay face value for the good tickets they secured. Other than that I don’t care. Also, why should his legal counsel (you didn’t call him by name so I won’t) have to give his tickets back. He paid face value for them. Everyone, and I mean everyone who is complaining about this would do the same thing if they could.

    To sum up: free tickets… bad, pay for tickets… don’t care

  27. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:12 am:

    ===What I don’t understand is Rich’s problem with BQ paying for some Rose Bowl tickets. ===

    Notice I highlighted “elected” in the post.

  28. - Rob_N - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:15 am:

    Me, the Mrs., and our 3 future Illini kiddies will have the best seats in the house…. ;)

    Go Illinois!

  29. - wordslinger - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:17 am:

    This has come up before (years ago) with the U of I and legislators getting freebies or special access to tickets. I see no valid reason for it, other than they can flex their muscles.

    College sports is, of course, big time entertainment, but abusing your position as a public official to extract favors from a public university is wrong. Students, faculty and alumni should get first crack and then some for the general public. Perhaps a handful for the Governor, Board of Regents in their official capacities.

    There are plenty of secondary markets for wealthy donors and legislators, as Sen. DeLeo described himself, to get their tickets.

    By the way, how did Sen. DeLeo get to be a wealthy legislator?

  30. - Princeville - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:17 am:

    I have a hunch people who wanted to see Hannah are going to be resentful towards anyone who did get tickets to Hannah, Blago or not. The Hannah ticket rant is not just an Illinois thing, fans are screaming all over who wanted tickets and could not get them. I know at least six families in my dinky little village who went up to Moline to see Hannah.

    There was only so many tickets to her concerts all over, some get to go, some don’t. And as I’m not a sports fan I really could not care less who is going to what game, but as far as setting tickets aside, I don’t see much difference there then when like concert tickets are set aside for radio stations to give away. Some are going to get to go, some are not. I’m glad to hear Blago is staying in town to deal with his Special Session.

    While I don’t like Blago as governor, I have nothing personal against the guy . I’m much more concerned with plane perts being on the level, deals and contracts fairly made and awarded and that type of thing then if Blago and the kiddies got to see Hannah or Rod gets favor tickets to events.

  31. - ethical? - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:21 am:

    i am sure the free box seats to the packer/bears game for Director Stout, Mrs. Stout, Vicki O’Block and her husband from Riley Advertising (state vendor) are way over the 75.00 threshold…they all do it.

  32. - leigh - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:24 am:

    When I have a source available and I want good tickets to an event, I use it. So does everyone else who has an available source. My only response- wish I knew somebody.

  33. - Anon from BB - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:24 am:

    I remember when I was associated with a company that did work for Rosemont, if we ever wanted tickets, the late mayor could secure tickets for us but insisted that we pay face value for them.

  34. - A Citizen - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:27 am:

    Politicians’ minor kids are and should continue to be out of bounds. There are plenty of issues far more serious with the guv to focus criticism of him. Targeting kid related stuff is cheap and unnecessary.

  35. - anon - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:27 am:

    I don’t see the distinction between elected or not. No matter who they are, they should pay for the tickets. The GC paid for his tickets. End of story.

    This is much ado about nothing.

  36. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:33 am:

    Jaded that is the issue. He did not pay for them. He’s the one that made the ethics rules to appy to everyone but the Governor and family. Of course if he paid their would be no discussion. No one is begrudging Amy and Annie the chance to see the concert. And the Governors poor me I just want to be the best father doesn’t fly. He should play by the rules he set.

  37. - anon - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:44 am:

    Rich, BITE ME??? Where is your holiday spirit. How about a warm and fuzzy holiday response like you can kiss the misletoe hanging from my coat tail. I think that was a fav of the Richard J. Daley.

  38. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:47 am:

    That would’ve been better.

    So…. what anon said.

  39. - Princeville - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:48 am:

    but didn’t the story say Blago asked what he owed and DeLeo responded with a you can buy dinner next time. I would assume as that is part of the article that Blago will be dining and paying for a night out with DeLeo, so how’s that any different than two guys taking turns buying each other drinks. Tickets were not totally free when you look at it from both sides of the hand.

  40. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:51 am:

    Princeville is absolutely right.

    Way too much ado about nothing.

  41. - (618) Democrat - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 10:53 am:

    The Governor did nothing wrong here, he did what any good father would have done.

  42. - illini fan - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 11:06 am:

    My question is what’s the big deal with a illini fan buying tickets to the Rose Bowl. What alumni wouldn’t purchase tickets to a sold out game if the opportunity came up. In my opinion I don’t think anyone did anything wrong in this situation.

  43. - undecided - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 11:07 am:

    He took Obama’s kids? I was worried about Obama’s relationship to Emil, how close is he to Blago?

  44. - Dean Yeppers - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 11:07 am:

    Although legislators probably ask for these tickets all the time, I personally know BQ and know that he would never ask for the game tickets. If you looked at the Crain’s 40 under 40, you’d know that he’s a huge U of I sports fan. BQ, probably along with some other prominent U of I alum, were invited by the school to purchase the tickets.

  45. - Jaded - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 11:16 am:

    Anonymous 10:33,
    I wasn’t talking about Blagojevich, I was talking about the Rose Bowl tickets. My position on the Hannah Montana tickets is that somebody (Jim Deleo) paid for the tickets. They were not comped by Disney (or whoever is sponsoring this tour), or the Allstate Arena, they were purchased.

    And again, WHO CARES IF JIM DELEO BOUGHT ROD BLAGOJEVICH HANNAH MONTANA TICKETS. It is his money, he can spend it how he wants. There is nothing illegal or even REMOTELY unethical about this. It is just one friend doing something for another. Get over it.

  46. - Anon - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 11:20 am:

    I KNOW for a fact that under previous administrations, (Edgar, Thompson, and Ryan) that staff was ALWAYS offered tickets by the U of I for their major sporting events. I know, because I was a staffer under those administrations. Why should it be different now?

  47. - Esteban - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 11:20 am:

    I would impeach Blago if it were up to me but
    the tickets for his girls is a non-story. If
    someone wants to bark about it, they can grumble
    to Jim DeLeo about him getting preferential
    treatment. It’s not Blago’s fault that they tickets were offered to him.

  48. - DumberThanYouThink - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 11:25 am:

    We turned down the measley 4 tix offer cause Wymamontana got us a skybox! We didn’t say we were not going, just not sitting in the U’s cheap seats!
    p.s We’ll have Slick Willie on his Blackberry all game so it is not like he will have any fun.
    P.P.S. be nice to Capt Fax before he closes the playground for the holidays

  49. - Bill - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 11:29 am:

    Can I have your tickets?

  50. - Ghostwriter - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 11:30 am:

    BS….the Gov’s GC did noting wrong. Anonymous, crawl back to the GOP headquarters. I guess it is ok for the legislature to be represented at the Rose Bowl, but not a member of the Governor’s Staff. He is a prominent member of the administration…granted, but he is also an Illini Fan and an ACTIVE Illinios Alumnus. He was invited by the U of I, he paid for the tickets. Who knows if he even will get to go.

    How many members of the press get to go? How do they get there tickets?

  51. - Adam Smith - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 11:30 am:


    Why did you remove the post about Lauzen’s meltdown with the Tribune reporter who did the story? It’s on the Trib’s Clout Street blog.

  52. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 11:30 am:

    Was it Blagojevich’s political clout, DeLeo’s political clout, or Stephens’ family political clout that scored the tickets?

    Who knows and who cares?

    In the eyes of the taxpayers, it all looks the same.

    The question is, should elected officials be held to a higher standard than private citizens?

    The answer seems to be a resounding ‘Yes’.

    That is why we have a Gift Ban Act, after all.

  53. - DuPage Dave - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 11:31 am:

    That’s a little harsh, Rich.

  54. - Tollway employee - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 11:36 am:

    Throw Out the stupid Illinois State Ethics Test!
    If the Governor Blago does follow why should we!

  55. - Bill - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 11:36 am:

    Can I have your tickets?

  56. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 11:42 am:

    Live by the sword, die by the sword. He made the rules. I will be happy to cut him some slack. Just change the rules for everyone else.

  57. - Little Egypt - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 12:42 pm:

    A quote from the Sun-Times, “Most of the lucky few who got in had to brave long lines, or scour the Internet, or turn to scalpers.” The article of 12-20 goes on to state that Wendy Gustafson of Carol Stream paid $600 for 2 tickets. This is definitely a case of “rank has its privileges”. As a parent, regardless of what my position is/was, I would want to set an example to my children that even I must pay for the tickets so that my children learn that money doesn’t grow on trees. I don’t care if this is Hannah Montana, the Bulls, Bears, Cubs, Illini or whatever, it proves that Blago is definitely doing “business as usual”. There are ethics laws in this state that may skirt this issue but the whole thing reeks, absolutely reeks worse than the stench of a dead skunk in the middle of the road.

    Rich, you say he didn’t directly clout his way to the show. He asked a friend to help. The song and dance that DeLeo stood in line 7 deep to get his tickets is laughable. If he has the clout he says he does with the Arena, all he would have to do is make a phone call to hold back 12 tickets for him. However long he stood in line was definitely his own choice and probably is probably a moot point. The conclusion I’m jumping to is that the tickets were already waiting for him.

    Is this thing growing legs? Yes, for a while. Will all the hoopla die down? Yes. But don’t say it’s a non-story. It is just one more doggie dump on top of the huge pile Blago has made for himself. Because he has done so many things in an underhanded way for the past 5 years, EVERYTHING becomes a big deal and EVERYTHING will be crutinized to the ‘nth degree.

  58. - Captain America - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 1:13 pm:

    Any parent with an opportunity to get Hannah Montana tickets for their kids the way the Governor got his would have seized upon the same opportunity. Definitely no big deal politically. Rank does have privileges - I don’t see any ethical breach - just nitpicking.

  59. - Ghost - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 1:15 pm:

    The most fascinating part of the people who are all in a lather about this is nobody has a problem with the Obama kids also being included.

    The real story is that Quinlan applied to U of I years ago to set in place a series of event so that he could gain Rose Bowl tickets, he then secretly used these tickets to get a Wbekinz toy for one of Obamas kids. The child then stole a set of secret key to the arena for DeLeo who dressed as a night Janitor to sneak in before the tickets wnet on sale to hide a few tickets. The he had to pay off the Obama child so he deicded to launder the tickets through blag as a gift to hide the real conspiracy.

    Bill was the driver of course for all the critical events. If you look at the ornaments on the tree in the Huckabee add, the flashes of light played backwards spell out the phrase “The secret lies with the Bowl”

  60. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 1:17 pm:

    >>“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. […]>“I got tickets the way a lot of people get tickets: You call a friend and say, ‘Hey, can you find some tickets?’

  61. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 1:18 pm:

    I had a great post and it’s gone!!!

  62. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 1:26 pm:

    Forget the quotes…

    In his self-defense, the governor indicates the source of the years problems, he insists on getting what he wants no matter the means or the consequences. This has kept the legislature in session all year with little progress on important issues.

    He also says he just called a friend, like anyone would do. While the Sen. may be his friend, when you are the gov., everyone is your friend, and when you call them and ask for something, they will probably do it, whether or not it is in their best interest. Again, this is reflected in indictments of the governor’s pals, questions about his wife’s real estate deals, etc.

    Getting Hannah Montana tickets would not be a big deal were it not for everything else that has happened over the previous year.

  63. - GoBearsss - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 1:32 pm:

    Hey Dumber, you guys gonna be back from your trite vacation in time for the special session?

  64. - Loyal Alumn-Uof I 65 - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 1:33 pm:

    The U of I has always encouraged participation in their programs by elected officials. After all, their constitutients are attending the school. When Bill Rice lobbied in Springfield for the school, he would have pockets full of tickets to events.As long as ticket brokers are legal in the state, everyone has equal opportunity to score tickets at a price. There is no story here. Go Illini after 24 years.

  65. - bitter pill - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 1:52 pm:

    as to tickets, my only complaint is can someone take jim thompson’s front row sox tickets backs, sorry, its always bothered me, buy wrigley move hime there

  66. - Dear Rich: - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 2:06 pm:

    1) Sorry about your friends.
    2) Merry Christmas, as much as you can.
    3) Take exception to “As for the elected legislators, this is a bit of a gray area. They are VIP’s, so…”

    Assuming that you mean ‘Very Important People’, although I could come up with some other variations, just remember ‘by the people, for the people, of the people’?

    Just because they’re ‘an elected official’ don’t make ‘em VIPs!

  67. - Dear Rich: - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 2:11 pm:

    “Bite me.”

    Clever comment for a ‘pro’.

  68. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 2:12 pm:

    It seems to work. Wanna try?

  69. - Jaded - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 2:18 pm:

    Looks like you might be able to get Quinlan’s tickets.

  70. - beavis - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 2:27 pm:

    As a CapFaxBlog reader, I agree with you Rich it’s not a big deal. But as a parent - the Hannah Montana tickets are a huge huge issue simply because the parents of kids who couldn’t get tickets are so sensitive about it. I dare say this is probably the biggest issue in some of those people’s lives. Many Chicagoans couldn’t understand the downstate electric rate issue, this is just as passionate for many. Then they see that they couldn’t get tickets but Blago strolls right in and it annoys them to no end. Again, not a surprise and probably not anything wrong with it at all (we would all do the same thing of course!) but it is an issue simply because the out in the cold parents and people who paid too much from scalpers are annoyed to no end.

    Actually, the old Rod Blagojevich who wasn’t hunkered down might have taken advantage of this coverage and turned it into a populist issue and drafted a bill to crack down on scalpers and the way that Ticketmaster distributes tickets, etc. But since he’s afraid to see daylight, he missed the boat on this one.

    - beavis
    “huh huh, I said passionate”

  71. - Anon - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 2:33 pm:

    Ghost: I am still laughing, that last post of yours was great…..and I withdraw my comments about BQ now that the new facts have been presented. It is good to know he does know better. Happy Holidays.

  72. - Truth - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 2:44 pm:

    Rich is right. I see no big problem with our Governor getting free concert tickets. Governors get all kinds of perks, a nice mansion, a heated driveway, personal drivers, nice birthday checks for the kids, somebody to carry your hairbrush, state airplanes, opportunities to buy your favorite baseball stadium, good tickets to games and concerts, and the nicest penitentaries.

    I hope he gets to take advantage of all of them.

  73. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 3:12 pm:

    Separating all the issues:

    1) Hannah: I call BS on DeLeo standing in line anywhere, period. That is not in his modus operandi. Secondly, the Obama kids were not with the Blagojeviches, so don’t drag him into it. (References: ABC7 TV and Chuck Goudie’s excellent Daily Herald column.) Finally, I agree with those who say that this may bite Rod in the caboose. There are a lot of unhappy kids and parents who couldn’t get tickets to this show, only to have a guy who really is not anyone’s hero waltz up at showtime and get a fistfull of prime seats.

    2) Rose Bowl: Hey Bill, surely your friends in the administration oughta be able to knock a couple loose for a supporter as loyal as you. If not, there’s always Stubhub, or you could have driven down to the ‘Paign and stood in line. You know, like DeLeo did. Seriously now, AA thanks this is much ado about nothing. The ‘65 alum makes a good point about past UI lobbyists always having free game tickets available. In a situation like the Rose Bowl, the wise move is probably to have almost everyone outside the immediate UI “family” pay for the tix to avoid any potential ethics issues, but jeez folks, we’re arguing over 2% of the UI’s ticket allocation. Besides, these folks are probably really going to the game, unlike a number of “loyal Illini” who leveraged their priority donor status to buy extra tix and promptly put them up for sale on the internet at 4-5x face value.

    3) Gov’s GC: give the guy a break. 99% of us would do the same thing in the same set of circumstances.

    Anyway, AA’s crystal ball says that none of this may matter too much by the time Santa starts loading his sleigh.

  74. - Princeville - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 3:20 pm:

    Obama’s children too? And your point is?

    Only way I’ll change my position in thinking it’s all overblown is if I next hear while backstage they all got autographs, I’ll have a 7 year old really jealous :)

  75. - The Mad Hatter - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 3:54 pm:

    The part of this whole thing I like best is when (Unindicted Official) A-Rod says he’s seen every episode of Hannah Montana. Now we know what he’s doing when he’s supposed to be working at home.

  76. - phocion - Friday, Dec 21, 07 @ 4:18 pm:

    Fair is fair: How did Obama score the tickets?

  77. - Punley Dieter Finn - Sunday, Dec 23, 07 @ 11:16 am:

    It’s nice to see Senator DeLeo’s nimble move from consigliere to concierge.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Pritzker hits the road
* Reporters actually take Skillicorn seriously - Was home on Monday - Warns of increasing hospitalizations in Wisconsin - Says USDOJ is "very much under the political thumb of the White House" - Next EO will continue eviction ban - Number of people with multiple tests "very small" - Asked about southern Illinois winery's refusal to require staff to wear masks - Dr. Ezike doesn't answer question about self quarantine for Illinoisans at Lake of the Ozarks - Repeats that legislature "abdicated their responsibility" on replacing his withdrawn IDPH rule - Will sign cocktail takeout bill when it reaches his desk - Dr. Ezike: "I can't give anybody a COVID free pass" - Says legislature should've made more cuts - State will carry on if Pres. Trump cuts off National Guard - "No deal" on cannabis with his office
* 1,178 new cases, 39 additional deaths - But Dr. Ezike warns that weekend numbers are typically "a little bit lower"
* With strong union backing, penalty enhancement bill soars through General Assembly
* Question of the day
* COVID-19 roundup
* Before you get a haircut next week, consider this
* Budget roundup
* *** UPDATED x1 *** New Senate rule allows remote committees, limited remote floor voting
* ISP: "We’re between a rock and hard place"
* Stay Safe Today, Be Vigilant For Tomorrow
* Our Democracy Is Too Important, The Fight Continues
* Always zoom out on crowds
* *** UPDATED x1 *** I've changed my mind about remote legislating
* Open thread
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Budget and BIMP stuff (Updated with this week's password)
* Pritzker unveils business guidance; takes questions on budget, legislature, EO
* Senate President Don Harmon talks to reporters
* Madigan's closing statement
* Yesterday's stories

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