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This just in… Senate passes pension bond bill

Thursday, May 29, 2008

* 1:02 pm - Speaker Madigan says the governor may be delusional

A reporter asked about talk that lawmakers don’t trust him.

BLAGOJEVICH: You know, I think you hear a lot of rhetoric on both sides from people in the political process. That’s just rhetoric. It’s not at all unusual here in Illinois. You hear people in Washington say that about each other.

But House Speaker Michael Madigan, an opponent of Blagojevich’s, says the governor’s leadership style is a problem.

MADIGAN: Well if he thinks it’s rhetoric, then he ought to talk to the members of the legislature who day in and day out tell him to his face that they don’t trust him. So maybe he is delusional.

Audio from Chicago Public Radio…


[Or click here if the player doesn’t work for you]

* 3:37 pm - John Patterson scored a quick interview with Gov. Blagojevich by staking out the guv’s favorite Statehouse entranceway - the Capitol basement loading dock

Q: If the General Assembly sends you a budget that’s unbalanced, doesn’t have the revenues to match spending, what are the first things you’re going to look to cut?

Governor: Look, I can’t believe the General assembly would send me a budget that’s not balanced. The General Assembly knows that the constitution requires a balanced budget. I find it hard to believe that they would send me a budget that’s not balanced. So I think it’s kind of a moot question.

I have confidence they’ll do the right thing and send me a budget that’s balanced. I understand last year … I choose to believe that was an aberration when they sent me a budget that was more than a billion dollars in deficit. I have to think, acknowledging that, that they would never do that again. So I’m confident they’ll send me a balanced budget.

Believe it, guv. Last year was no aberration.

* 3:50 pm - I told subscribers that this approp bill would pass today and about some of the other stuff in this brief report

State lawmakers have started sending pieces of a new state budget to Governor Rod Blagojevich while they’re working on an agreement on the entire spending plan.

The House voted 61-53 Thursday to send the governor a measure already approved by the Senate that would pay for operations in smaller state agencies next year.

Democrats in both chambers say their approval should signal that budget talks are on track to be wrapped up by Saturday. If not, the session goes into overtime.

But lawmakers say some key points still need to be resolved. They include how to pay for as much as $2 billion in extra spending and how much spending to include for human services and education.

*** 4:09 pm *** The Senate just finished voting on the $16 billion pension obligation bond plan. The bill passed with 37 votes. They held their caucus completely together despite several open threats of desertion. Whatever you think of the bill, it looks like the SDems are finally all on one page for the first time in well over a year.

The bill now goes to the House.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Fan of the Game - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:04 pm:

    I don’t trust him, and I can only imagine I would trust him even less if I had insider information about goings-on in state government.

  2. - DumberThanYouThink - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:05 pm:

    Speaker, excellent word choice, dude!

  3. - Napoleon has left the building - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:15 pm:

    The only problem with the Speaker’s statement is that he used the word “maybe.”

  4. - Skeeter - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:25 pm:

    I thought this website was about “news.” Next thing, you will be reporting that most mornings, the sun rises.
    Does Blago even deny being delusional?

  5. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:26 pm:


  6. Pingback In Chambers » The End of Session is Near? Updated X1 - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:26 pm:

    […] House Speaker Mike Madigan said the governor may be “delusional.” […]

  7. - jj - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:33 pm:

    Again, Speaker Mad-again rears his ugly head.

    I know Springfield seems to be a big Madigan love-fest these days, but is everyone afraid of him? Why don’t they call him out on this obstructionism and game-playing.

    Look at people like Cross - he knows how to act like a statesman and doesn’t act below the dignity of his office.

  8. - jj - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:34 pm:

    Mr. Dumber - Did you guys focus group that delusional message, or is it just normal brilliance?

  9. - Macbeth - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:49 pm:

    Why is this worthy of a blog post? This kind of back and forth has been going for years.

    This is about as newsworthy as another bad audit for a state agency.

    This culture of non-news is bizarre — especially when the “news” suddenly is something along the lines of Blagojevich-upholds-promise-and-the-crowd-goes-wild.

    So when are all these failed audits going to matter? That’s the *news* question (if “news” is “new information”).

  10. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:00 pm:

    “Delusional” is a pretty mild insult, and in this case it’s probably accurate.

    However, Madigan could have made his point without it. I think his position is better served by taking the high, statesman road, and refraining from any name-calling in the press with the governor.

    Tone and demeanor will become even more important in the months to come if, as I suspect, Madigan will preside over the consideration of articles of impeachment against the governor. That will a historic and serious exercise and will need to be free of the distractions of personal animosities in order for the reasons to be effectively communicated to the public.

    That said, I think Madigan should talk to the press more. He’s quite effective and the contrast with the governor is striking.

  11. - Anon - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:02 pm:

    he left the high road a long time ago. unfortunately, the media is delusional for reporting that all the problems in springfield are caused by the governor.

  12. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:07 pm:

    Anon, the guv wears the jacket. Fair or not. Don’t run if you don’t wanna wear the jacket.

  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:11 pm:

    Is Blago delusional? Is the pope Catholic? Do bears go in the woods? Do Cub fans always “wait til next year?” … you get the picture.

  14. - birds of a feather - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:22 pm:

    jj, you’re sounding just as delusional as Public Official A. Oh, I forgot, he’s not Public Official A. You sure you want to defend him on the delusional issue?

  15. - Levois - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:34 pm:

    Perhaps if the shoe fits!

  16. - DumberThanYouThink - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:44 pm:

    If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck then I guess …
    Actually the term was suggested by one of Blagoof’s former shrinks. The focus groups were much harsher.

  17. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 3:39 pm:

    If a political office holder has an image that they have a problem, and that image gets imprinted across the state - it doesn’t matter if the facts don’t support the charge.

    Blagojevich has a problem and hasn’t effectively addressed it, so it remains.

    Blagojevich’s understandable claim that accusations of being delusional is bunk - doesn’t matter anymore.

    The longer Blagojevich ignors these things, the worse it will get for him.

    Yes. Blagojevich is delusional.

  18. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 3:43 pm:

    The governor’s comments to Patterson were the correct political response for Blagojevich to make. He can’t answer what hasn’t been sent to him, doesn’t know what has been funded, so he can claim that the GA will be virtuous by sending him a balanced budget.

    It puts the onus on the GA, where it belongs at this time.

  19. - MAL - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 3:52 pm:

    The consti requires the Gov introduce a balanced budget, GA is not required to pass a balanced budget.

  20. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 3:59 pm:

    ===GA is not required to pass a balanced budget.===

    From the Constitution…

    ===The Governor shall prepare and submit to the General
    Assembly, at a time prescribed by law, a State budget for the
    ensuing fiscal year. […]

    The General Assembly by law shall make appropriations for all expenditures of public funds by the State. Appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year.===

  21. - Capital Bill - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 4:00 pm:

    Actually the balanced budget is required of the finished product not every step along the way…..Blagoof might need to do a little worky worky.
    Wonder if the whack job being done on the Senate GOPS right now will have chilling impact on the much ballyhooed capital bill

  22. - Leigh - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 4:30 pm:

    I already know how the gov. will balance the budget. All democratic projects or line items from the House will be amendatory vetoed and all the Republican House and Democratic Senate items will be untouched. History does repeat itself you know.

  23. - Jaded - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 4:40 pm:

    If the Speaker even calls the bill (which I doubt he will) I have a way for the Governor to get every House Repub on the pension bond bill.

    He tells Cross that he will personally stump for the Democratic candidate in every House Republican targeted race this fall. Hell, the Repubs might even pick up a seat or two if that happened.

  24. - Truth - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 6:00 pm:

    It’s not that Madigan is ordinarily a very popular person. Madigan’s reputation these days is enhanced because his opponent the Governor is an unpopular bumbler, and Madigan looks great by comparison. People cheer for him in this battle.

    Maybe if Cross would fight the Governor instead of helping his old friend behind the scenes, he would be as popular as Madigan.

  25. - Napoleon has left the building - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 6:54 pm:

    Here here! Truth speaks the truth!

  26. - Muskrat - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 7:15 pm:

    Thanks for the updatess as the clock winds down….. will TCFB be live on Saturday night, feeding us the blow by blow of the race to beat the midnight deadline? That might be more fun than watching MSNBC cover the Democratic Rules committee meeting.

  27. - Capital Bill - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 7:36 pm:

    Blagoof — love that name — has dropped the ball. Again. Staff were promised draft bills Thursday night. Now it Friday noon and another media op….yawn.
    Since the jury is not meeting, he can come from under the rock.

  28. - K to the 3 - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 8:42 pm:

    Did you read that interview? He sounds like Miley Cyrus. “I got up at like 5 am because it’s like 100 degrees in August there and I ran like 7 miles”. Oh, guv, you are, like, so cool!

  29. - Truth in Accounting - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 8:45 pm:

    Last Spring Comptroller Dan Hynes correctly pointed out that the budgets for the last four years haven’t been balanced. How can the State be $44 billion in the hole if they balance the budget each year? I call it “political math.” Some might call it fraud.

  30. - Loop Lady - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 10:31 pm:

    Looks like Sen. Harmon deserves kudos on this one…well done! Madigan would be foolish not to call this one in his chamber…

  31. - Abe Frohman - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 10:35 pm:

    Will somebody explain to me the reason for Hendon’s meltdown today over a simple vote to appoint a guy to the prison review board?

    I don’t have my scorecard handy, so this may be off base, but the line I draw is Gutierez ticks off Daley, so Daley calls Emil, who tells Ricky that the guy that sailed thru committee hours before is suddenly radioactive, just because Gutierez sponsored him originally. Do I have that correct? Hendon went on and on about being disrespected… the guy is quite a martinet, isn’t he? Yet it was all for nothing, even the repubs voted for this guy, a dem, to get affirmed.

  32. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:18 pm:

    Loop Lady, get a clue. Don’s credibility budget ran a deficit today. Everyone has to take one for the team now and then, but he didn’t need to get up and not once but three or four times parrot that ridiculous nonsense, “this is just like refinancing your home mortgage.” He had to swallow hard when the other side asked him if he would do this with his own money and he trotted out a lame story about paying off his mortgage early.

    The correct analogy looks more like this, for anyone who gives a rip about the assumption by the Illinois taxpayers of $16,000,000,000.00 in new bonded indebtedness.

    You have a negative net worth. Your economic situation is uncertain. You borrowed $100,000 5 years ago against the house you inherited from your parents to invest in the stock market and pay off credit cards. Your financial advisor, “John”, said the investment was a great success because you paid off high-rate debt with low-rate debt, your stocks have gone up 60%, and he has a new deal for you that’s too good to pass up. Invest another $160,000 with him and he will lower his fees, guarantee you 5% (in an annuity his cousin sells) until he buys the stocks, and you will make even more money than before.

    You take all the papers to the grumpy old fart next door, and he says: “You have a $100,000 mortgage and you haven’t paid down a cent. You only got $75,000 of that in cash; the rest went to pay Visa and your big shot advisor. Your house is old and needs a lot of work. Your stocks are down 10% this year. No one in their right mind buys those guaranteed annuity contracts; they’re guaranteed by the same idiots who said all the subprime loan polls were A-OK. If you borrow another $160,000 and the market crashes, you’ll lose your $200,000 house before the market has time to recover. You’ll be in the poorhouse while “John” the financial wizard is in the Cayman Islands.”

    Try that one on for size in the House and see how many vote it gets.

    PS: None of that $16 billion will be subject to competitive procurement for the services of underwriters, counsels, and financial advisors. The sponsor very earnestly explained that since the bill capped these fees at .5% there was no chance for collusion, pay-to-play, or other hanky-panky. 50 bps on $16 billion= $80 million smackeroos. Sure, Senator, whatever you say. Straight up, just like last time. Nick Hurtgen, Big Bob, and Chris Kelly’s college roommate.

  33. - Holdingontomywallet - Friday, May 30, 08 @ 5:58 am:

    AA - great post. I hope our legislators take a peek at this thread…

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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