* 10:20 am - Comptroller Dan Hynes received a standing ovation at the Democratic county chairman’s event today when he said that a capital plan is going nowhere and substance abuse funding is being slashed not because of some outside force, but because of a personality clash.
Also, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Secretary of State Jesse White both received standing O’s when they were introduced.
I ran into the new chairman of the organization last night, and he said he wanted to make sure today’s event, which features New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as they keynote speaker, runs smoothly and without controversy.
House Speaker Michael Madigan was introduced earlier, and the reception was a bit tepid. But there was no booing. Same for Senate President Jones, but Gov. Blagojevich received a rousing standing ovation.
* 10:41 am - Gov. Blagojevich: “I’m glad that the Speaker is here, and I’m interested to see if we can work together to get things done for people.”
More Blagojevich: “I didn’t become a Democrat because some Chicago boss knocked on my door and offered me a job.”
Um, huh? He married his alderman’s daughter, for crying out loud.
* 10:48 am - I told you about this earlier today, and I tipped off subscribers about this possibility last week, but here’s more from the Tribbies…
House Speaker Michael Madigan drew applause at Wednesday morning’s Democratic county chairmen’s brunch when he said “good progress” had been made among his members exploring the lease of the Illinois Lottery to fund a new statewide construction program.
Madigan has blocked Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s proposed $25 billion public works program largely due to a lack of trust of the governor among House Democrats. But the powerful Madigan, who also chairs the state Democratic Party, said House Democrats have been meeting for the past two days to discuss a lottery lease—the basis for funding Blagojevich’s plan.
“Today, the prospects look very, very good,” Madigan said to applause, largely from representatives of labor organizations who back the construction bill. Madigan said “good progress” has been made in reviewing the details of a lottery lease but also said work remains in developing an agreement.
Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago), who has joined with Blagojevich in repeatedly attacking Madigan and House Democrats for stalling the public works measure, said he was heartened by the speaker’s comments.
“The good news today is we’re going to move a capital bill forward,” Jones said.
* 11:17 am - An e-mail from the Better Government Association arrived just in time for Governor’s Day…
The hearing for oral arguments in the BGA’s Freedom of Information lawsuit against the Governor to obtain copies of federal grand jury subpoenas was just scheduled by the 4th District Appellate Court. The hearing will take place on September 16th at 10:00 a.m. at the U of I law school in Urbana.
Apparently the 4th District hears a handful of cases at the law school each year and the BGA’s case is one of this year’s selections.
The BGA won at trial and the governor is appealing.
* 12:07 pm - The governor just spoke to reporters and brushed off repeated attempts by the gathered scribes to get him to say something negative about Speaker Madigan. Blagojevich instead said that since it looks like things are starting to get close on the capital bill that he would rather not go into that sort of attack.
I wonder if his “volunteers” at the State Fair will be following the governor’s lead. Stay tuned.
* The governor was also asked about Comptroller Hynes’ speech. Hynes said that this was “the best of times and the worst of times” for Democrats. “Best,” meaning Obama, “worst,” meaning Illinois.
The guv said he had read a lot of Charles Dickens and claimed that if the author of A Tale of Two Cities was alive today he’d love the All Kids program.
The man knows how to stay on-message when he wants to.