Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Quinn sworn in *** Granberg likely out at IDNR; Parks, historical sites to reopen; Pontiac, IDOT moves to be “reviewed” *** Blagojevich security pulled ***
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Quinn sworn in *** Granberg likely out at IDNR; Parks, historical sites to reopen; Pontiac, IDOT moves to be “reviewed” *** Blagojevich security pulled ***

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009

* 5:42 pm - Taking the oath now. All constitutional officers are present. Speaker Madigan and Leader Cross are also present.

“The ordeal is over.”

“My parents taught me that everyone can be great because everyone can serve.”

Lots of applause lines.

“Together we can” is the phrase Quinn used to symbolize the future.

* 6:01 pm - Gov. Quinn is holding a press conference right now.

Meanwhile, former Gov. Blagojevich will speak to the media at 6:05 pm. The guy can’t let go…

He sees this as an opportunity to speak directly to the people who twice elected him governor of the great state of Illinois.

He will not take any questions.

The former governor wishes to spend this time with his family and asks all media to respect his privacy.

Privacy? Sheesh.

* 6:06 pm -
Back to Quinn, who is promising to reopen the state parks closed by the governor.

“We don’t really know the real size of the deficit.”

Move the budget address from Feb 18 to March 18.

“I think the governor has to level with the people of Illinois. That’s what they want.”

Avoid income tax increase? “We’re going to have to take a look at what the damage is.”

No staff announcements for a week or so.

Going to governor’s mansion tonight for dinner. “I look forward to living in the governor’s mansion. It is the peoples’ house.” “I think our governor’s mansion is going to get a good workout this year.”

“What we’ve seen in the last 50 days is something that’s in the rearview mirror.”

* 6:11 pm - Citizen Blagojevich: Not surprised but saddened

Back to Quinn: “I’m an organizer. Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and organize.”

Pontiac closure and the IDOT transfers to southern Illinois to be “reviewed.”

* Asked about the late appointment of former Rep. Kurt Granberg to run IDNR, Quinn said: “I believe there should be a natural resources professional at the Department of Natural Resources. I’ve said that for 6 years.”

* Quinn: “We need a humble governor who’s proud of our people.”

* Blagojevich: “Will fight to clear my name’”

* Quinn: April 15th is not my favorite day. Never will be. But price of living in a democracy is taxes.

* Quinn: Pulled Blagojevich’s state police security team. Quinn said he did say that he spoke with the Chicago police about making sure they had adequate protection.

* 21st Century capital plan that invests in sustainability. If we’re building a road, we should have trenches along the road for fiber optics.

* Historical governor to model administration on? Altgeld. (For those playing along at home, Google: Haymarket Square pardon)

* Quinn was asked about his past support of Gov. Blagojevich. He pointed to his strong support of recall, particularly last year. “This may be the moment for recall.”

* 6:30 pm - OK, we’re done. Heading to the Alamo.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - bored now - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 5:44 pm:

    it’s a great day in illinois.

  2. - HoBoSkillet - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 5:44 pm:

    I never thought this would happen but I choked up a bit watching Quinn taking the oath. Can’t say I’ve been a big Quinn supporter before, but God bless him now.

  3. - ek - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 5:45 pm:

    Do we know who the young man holding the Bible was?

  4. - anon - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 5:47 pm:

    his son

  5. - ivoted4judy - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 5:47 pm:

    that’s one more meeting than Madigan had with Blago the last two years!!!!!!!!!!

  6. - diane - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 5:47 pm:

    Good luck to him as elected officials, with self-serving aspirations will do their best to hamper his success and good name.

  7. - Boone Logan Square - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 5:48 pm:

    At last.

  8. - jwscott72 - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 5:51 pm:

    CSPAN is carrying the swearing-in live. Congratulations to Governor Quinn!

  9. - Speaking at Will - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 5:54 pm:

    What a Sureal Relief.

  10. - PJS - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 5:54 pm:

    Maybe I’m blowing this out of proportion or getting way too caught up in the moment, but I think this is the beginning or reform in Illinois. The people of illinois will now see what an honest, selfless politician is like. With Cullerton at the helm in the senate and Obama in washington, we now have some real role modles in office. In two years Todd will be gone, replaced by either Claypool or preckwinkle and chicago will be fully on the mend. (Or maybe I should lay off the happy juice)

  11. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 5:59 pm:

    Good luck, Pat, I mean governor. Now get to work.

    Little marketing advice: Lay off the state plane as much as possible. Get a pickup and roam the backroads like you did with your broken down Chevette 25 years ago.

  12. - this voter will remember - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 5:59 pm:

    Good Luck Quinn, you have my support. Please clean house (created positions that were used as payback for political donations should be eliminated. They are not to hard to find, just look at all the ones that were created within the last 6 years. Start with the ones at IDOT).

  13. - 312 - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:09 pm:

    Twice in 10 days I’ve had tears in my eyes, thanks to Illinois politics (and I rarely cry…) Tuesday the 20th for Obama’s inaugural, and today when the vote was unanimous for impeachment, twice. Godspeed Governor Quinn. Thank you for helping restore some dignity to Illinois.

  14. - Can't Say My Nickname - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:10 pm:

    Good Luck Governor Quinn.

  15. - 312 - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:11 pm:

    And Rod’s ONLY 5 minutes late for the cameras! Rich, is that a record???

  16. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:13 pm:

    Blago statement online via

  17. - HoBoSkillet - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:14 pm:

    Blago “I Love the people of Illinois” He’s spouting his usual rhetoric. Says that he hasn’t let us down and he’s been pushing and prodding for the people everyday. blah blah blah

  18. - Bill O Rights - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:15 pm:

    After Ryan and Blago maybe just maybe Quinn can bring some honesty back to Illinois government as well as give the citizens of Illinois some value in return for their tax dollars

  19. - HoBoSkillet - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:15 pm:

    Chicago media still stuck on Blago, he’s answering questions now.

  20. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:15 pm:

    Blago still on can’t give up the limelight.

  21. - Jimbos - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:17 pm:

    Rod, give it up!

  22. - HoBoSkillet - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:17 pm:

    Blago “I have a lot of things I want to say” “Continue Fighting.. work real hard… fight for those who don’t have a voice.”

  23. - HoBoSkillet - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:18 pm:

    He’s comparing himself to others who have lost there jobs but he asks for no one to have pity for him. “Back in the private sector.”

  24. - OF PW - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:19 pm:

    This gall of this man, seriously. He has no shame.

  25. - HoBoSkillet - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:20 pm:

    Serbian heritage question - “Well my message is my father came from Yugoslavia…” “again, I haven’t done anything wrong” “When it comes to their kids all they have to do is look at me and they know they can do it too.” - slightly paraphrased.

  26. - plutocrat03 - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:20 pm:

    God bless and Godspeed to Gov. Quinn.

    May you serve the citizens of Illinois well.

  27. - dupage progressive - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:22 pm:

    “will you guys cover me when I call you & have something to say, or is this my last hurrah??”

    omg — all he cares about is “will I be able to be on tv again, please?????

    So sad.

  28. - HoBoSkillet - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:22 pm:

    “I’d like to tell you some of the inside stuff… but this was a known thing to me in December….” Can’t quote word for word but he says he may talk later on in the week.

  29. - Ahem - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:23 pm:

    Congratulations to Governor Quinn. It’s good to have someone who looks and acts like he is a governor to be a governor. Not a haughty governor, but a governor of the people. From misfortune comes good fortune. It’s reassuring to know that we now have a governor whom the president will probably feel comfortable talking to.

  30. - HoBoSkillet - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:24 pm:

    Blago’s advice to Pat Quinn - “Don’t raise taxes!”

  31. - Ann - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:25 pm:

    Yeah, that business about I’ll tell you more later, he just wants to stay in front of the cameras blathering the same old blather. Quoting MLK again, even. The press needs to stop enabling him.

  32. - HoBoSkillet - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:26 pm:

    Looks like Rod’s presser is over. I think I need to take a shower now.

  33. - South of I-80 - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:27 pm:

    “I knew the out come” Just like the vote on the GRT. Another up day?

    By Rod!

  34. - S. Illinois - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:28 pm:

    The Trib is reporting that Blags signed two clemency requests today.

  35. - Zora - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:32 pm: is updated. It is an up day.

  36. - HoBoSkillet - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:39 pm:

    Hendon is on MSNBC now with Chris Matthews.

  37. - Amy - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:43 pm:

    ‘I have a frickin bill which is frickin golden.”

    Hendon. good god.

  38. - wondering - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:45 pm:

    Matthews is being a complete disingenuos (sp?) asshat.

  39. - HoBoSkillet - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:46 pm:

    Good God - The national media is (to quote the Walter Sobchek) “out of their element” when it comes to Illinois politics.

  40. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:46 pm:

    I didn’t recognize without Private Citizen Blagojevich’s mug plastered everywhere. It’s a new day in Illinois—hoist one back for me at the Alamo!

  41. - dupage progressive - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:46 pm:

    Hendon wouldn’t say what one thing he saw that was illegal… he said he “didn’t like” what Blago did to the children’s hospital because he “did a lot to fund the hospital”.

    Way to go HEndon, I guess it’s NOT a new day.

  42. - David Ormsby - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:48 pm:

    Godspeed Governor Quinn.

  43. - Hello? - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:49 pm:

    Even his PR firm can’t contain him- they tweeted before his media event he wouldn’t take questions, then of course, he does.

  44. - Tim - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:56 pm:

    ===Even his PR firm can’t contain him- they tweeted before his media event he wouldn’t take questions, then of course, he does.===

    …demonstrating, of course, that he’s extremely unpredictable and will remain an attention-loving goofball. I love that he asked the press corps if they would still show up if he called future press conferences, or if this was “the last hurrah.”

  45. - Nuance - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 6:58 pm:

    I think Governor Quinn will be like a fresh breathe of air. Congratulations, Governor and serve with honor.

  46. - new fan - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 7:03 pm:

    Sorry I wasn’t able to get down to the House to see you sworn in. Let’s get Illinois moving again. Hope to still see you at Fritz’.

  47. - Dan S, a taxpaer, a voter and a Cubs Fan - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 7:04 pm:

    Good Luck Governor Quinn, thank you Cheif Justice Fitzgerald, Thank you General Assembly and most of all Thank You Rich Miller for your coverage and hours spent keeping us informed. You do love the process and you do believe in what is right in State Government. Thank You, Dan Shields Springfield, IL

  48. - PPHS - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 7:05 pm:

    I hope that Governor Quinn spends the night in the mansion.

  49. - Ahem - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 7:25 pm:

    Oh. My. Gosh.
    Illinois has no Lieutenant Governor now!

  50. - David - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 7:26 pm:

    The first reform Quinn made: He is/will live in the Governors mansion and use his Springfield office.

  51. - LINK - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 7:26 pm:

    A letter was sent out to state employees from GOVERNOR Quinn tonight shortly after he was sworn in thanking them and the like.

    A classy move…

  52. - Randall Sherman - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 7:26 pm:

    The folks who handle still have to update the Executive/Constitutional Branch listings on its site (which still has Blagojevich’s name). It may take a little while to clean out every last trace of Blago’s name and former title from the listings. It will likely take a bit longer to clean state government from the effects of his legacy.

    That having been said, on behalf of the membership of the Illinois Committee for Honest Government I would like to congratulate our new Governor, Pat Quinn. Governor Quinn, we join with the rest of this state in wishing you well, and in offering whatever assistance we as good citizens can provide to get our state back on a sane and steady course.

    Secretary/Treasurer, Illinois Committee for Honest Government

  53. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 7:37 pm:

    Excellent point by Charlie Wheeler earlier that should not be lost; and should be made again and again for the Blago apologists out there (my characterization, not his).

    From Charlie:

    –A governor found guilty of a serious crime can NOT be impeached. Under the Illinois Constitution, Article XIII, Section 1, “A person convicted of a felony, bribery, perjury or other infamous crime shall be ineligible to hold an office created by this Constitution.”

    Thus, upon conviction, the individual is no longer governor. Only sitting Executive and Judicial officers can be impeached, not individuals who previously held, but no longer hold, office.–

    Now, from me: Those who say that Blago should not have been impeached until his criminal charges had been adjudicated would remove impeachment as an option for the GA. Once convicted, he would have automatically been removed anyway. And that could take years. For the apologists (again, me) should a state GA not have the power of impeachment on behalf of its citizens? Of course it should.

    To sum up, and to borrow from another great Illinois reporter, let me paraphrase Roger Simon’s column today in the Politico.

    Just because Bernie Madoff’s been indicted doesn’t mean he’s guilty. But you sure don’t want to invest with him.

    Just because Blago is the subject of a criminal complaint and soon will be indicted doesn’t mean he’s guilty. But you sure don’t want him to be governor.

  54. - Zora - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 7:55 pm:

    Oh my gosh, I just saw his press conference. “Get the kids, get the kids,” he said, pulling one under his arm and pivoting toward the cameras. Still grabs at the human shield, and apparently there are plenty of them in his neighborhood. Parents, please keep an eye on your children.

  55. - Lucy - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 7:59 pm:

    Blago is gone and so is his trooper protection. Quinn is in and prepared to exam all of blago’s state appointee’s strategically placed thru out state agencies. Appointee’s no longer have their umbrella of protection and by now should have approached fitzgerald for leniency. Our AG should also step up and bring forth these accomplices.

  56. - Anonoymous - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 8:03 pm:

    That’s all folk’s–he’s like everyone of us unemployed (including his wife), Illinois residents…To bad he selected Burris/he should have left it empty so Quinn could have appointed who he wanted!! Can Burris be nudged out of there now? It is a great day in Illinois–please keep taxes down, Governor Quinn, Irish blessings to you…

  57. - Cook citizen - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 8:04 pm:

    Happy Day.

    Pat Quinn is governor!

  58. - And I Approved This Message - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 8:05 pm:

    Exhaustint day. A mix of great joy and profound sorrow. Couldn’t help while I listened to the righteous indignation from the Senators in final remarks that some had done just the same things. Except they weren’t the Executive. Same pond. Smaller fish.

    Not sure how the end of Rod’s detail has been handled. It was a bit of stir at the top of the 6 o’clock hour. But I saw a shot of a trooper taking a car seat out of the van and putting it in the garage. See ya later Annie.

    Terrible day for our state. With luck, and skill, better days ahead.

  59. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 8:06 pm:

    Well said Wordslinger (and Wheeler). Illinois is a financial mess at the moment. We couldn’t possibly have waited for a trial and conviction. It didn’t matter if he might be acquitted: he couldn’t be trusted ever again. This was about his ability to govern, and the Senate concurred with the House that Rod could no longer effectively govern this state.

    It really is grade school civics: checks and balances, separation of powers, three co-equal branches of government, control of the purse strings, how a bill becomes a law, etc.

    I’m shocked that so many otherwise bright people, here and elsewhere, can’t grasp what happened today and why is was inherently fair and proper.

    It’s a sad day for Illinois, but IMHO, Governor Quinn gives us reason to hope for, and maybe even expect, better public service from our public servants. I suspect Gov. Quinn will also be wacky and unpredictable (good news for Rich), but I firmly believe he’ll be ridiculously honest (especially by Illinois standards).

    The ugly part is over and now the hard work begins.

  60. - Old Timer - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 8:13 pm:

    Now, Governor Quinn needs to clean out every administrative person that was placed in the positions during the last 6 years.

  61. - Rosty the Snowman - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 8:14 pm:

    Yeah for Pat Quinn, I could not be happier with our new Governor

  62. - Bluedog - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 8:28 pm:

    At last! I have seen people in this past administration have no regard to the laws, rules & regulations. Now, that the top of the problem has been removed, take apart the foundation. Star with IDOT, DES, DCFS (top heavy), Tollway (past executive director should be investigated, DNR, last but not least Healthcare & Family Services. You have your work cut out for you Gov Quinn. All the best.

  63. - Bookworm - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 8:32 pm:

    From hearing the (now ex-) governor trash my agency on national teevee, to Ellis’ on-point summations, to the senators’ statements, the vote, hearing Rod removed and Quinn sworn in… I followed it all here. What a day!

    Rich, I don’t know what we’d do without you! Enjoy yourself tonight, and best wishes to Governor Quinn!

    I think all of us Cap Fax bloggers and other Illinois political junkies and insiders will remember the winter of 2008-09 for the rest of our lives, and feel a bond with those who were there.

  64. - From the Sidelines - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 8:44 pm:

    Welcome and good luck Governor Quinn. It will be nice to have a responsible adult at the helm.

  65. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 8:59 pm:

    Good luck and Godspeed, Governor Quinn.

    We’re all pulling for you.

  66. - He Makes Ryan Look Likea a Saint - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:05 pm:

    Well, we made it through the BLAGO ordeal. Rich, I have to commend you on your coverage from Day 1 of the mess. (way before the nationals came around)

    I hope Grandburg stays around, while he has supported Blago,he has done a lot for Coal in this state.

    Going forward I wish the best to Gov Quinn, I hope he will move the state forward.

    I need to find a new nickname….

  67. - Cat - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:06 pm:

    Mr. Quinn: Congratulations on taking office. You have an extremely tough job right now. The budget is a mess, and you have agencies where people you may know cannot be trusted for their honesty. Keep your promise to the people of Illinois and clean up state government. Mr. Lavin and Mr. Filan may be friends but as a part of a disgraced administration, they should not be a part of your administration.

    State employees have been abused for 6 long years for just trying to do their job, and in order for you to gain respect and trust, you need to clean house, as promised. Start at IDOT, with Mike Stout, Ann Schneider, Scott Doubet, Ellen Schanzle-Haskins,Lance Jones, etc. who have been vindictive to employees who were not politically connected to Blago. Also, the contracts section where Bill Grunloh and Ken Martin have allowed disgraceful contracts to be approved and unethical and illegal procedures to be followed. You must develop transparency in handling of state funds. Get rid of the inept political appointees like David Phelps, Stanley Moore, Vince Rangel, Elbert Simon, Kita Jones, Jessica Baker,Sandy Klein, Ed Hoover, there are too many to name. Illinois Transportation was a premier agency six years ago, and has been decimated. Illinois needs a premier agency, and Milt Sees is not the kind of person to entrust the rebuilding.

    Additionally, shared services is a disaster. The computer services have been decimated in state agencies and need to be a priority for employees at all levels to be able to do their jobs.

    The people will be watching and employees are willing to help, if they feel you are honest. Good luck!

  68. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:08 pm:

    make sure to check out Chris Britt’s multimedia poke at Blago:

  69. - State Gal - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:18 pm:

    It will be curious to see how many of Blags Directors end up out their doors. The word whispering around my agency is that a few big name ones are probably gone, including ours who has too many Chicago and Blag connections for him to last with Pat Quinn. He’s suppose to be working on a federal job from Obama any how. Story is that our former director that Blags replaced and one of our former Regional Directors who quit the state last summer are getting looked at. Either one would be a popular choice in our agency and with the county EM departments and are well respected

  70. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:21 pm:

    He Makes Ryan Look Like A Saint, have you considered:

    “He Makes Rod…Look A Kitty!”

    Also, Rich, who do you think will replace Quinn? How does that work again?

  71. - Just Me - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:22 pm:

    I cried and smiled today. Very enotional. I smiled for the obvious. He is finally gone. I cried for the way it had to happen. I was very touched by the Senators deliberation. Very somber, but true. At the end of the day there is hope. I have confidence again in the Senate. Good job Cullerton and Rodogno and to all the rest. Thank you to Quinn. I really enjoyed your speach tonight and believed in it. Here is to a much better Illinois!

  72. - Bookworm - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:25 pm:

    47th, no one replaces Quinn as lite gov. That office stays vacant until the next election. Lisa Madigan, as elected attorney general, is next in the line of succession for the duration. The Illinois Constitution does not allow a governor to be succeeded by someone he appointed.

  73. - Just Me - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:26 pm:

    I forgot something, thank you Rich for everything you have done. I would like to say have a great vacation, but there is a new administration with lots of changes………….to be continued……..

  74. - prairiestatedem - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:28 pm:

    Congrats Gov. Quinn!

    You have an unenviable role but this is your time to shine for the people. Circumstances have thrust you into leadership now it is up to you to lead our state from these horrible circumstances.

    The thoughts and prayers of the people of Illinois are with you. It will indeed take all of us working together to right this ship of state…sure maybe that is too idealistic but maybe there really is hope of a better day for Illinois.

    Its kind of like thinking of that beautiful prairie sunrise represented on our flag. The hope of a new day dawning.

    Godspeed and good luck…I am so proud of our legislature for doing the right thing for once and a hearty thank you to Rich Miller for his tireless coverage….rich I owe you a round or two when the first night sox game is played on a session night!

  75. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:36 pm:

    Bookworm, I was joking. It was really funny when I was typing it. Maybe not so much on the receiving end…given the past few days together here.

  76. - Downstater62246 - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:42 pm:

    Thank you , Rich Miller for allowing us all to blog. I sincerely hope today is the start of a new realm of honesty in Illinois government, but having been a state employee back in the mid 70’s, I know that corruption, theft, and dishonesty have been rampant and entrenched in Illinois politics for a long time. We all heard a lot of rhetoric from our state senators today and I wish I could believe even a small portion of what was proposed today would come to pass. As long as our legislators can solicit unlimited donations from individuals, corporations, etc., Illinois will always be a pay to play state. Representative Ron Stephens just sent me an invitation to his 61st birthday party last week. Since we barely know each other I was quite surprised, but then upon opening the invite I found it was merely a fundraiser with a minimum $100 donation requested, however you could be a platinum sponsor for a mere $5000. Just another form of pay to play in camouflage.

  77. - Merit Comp Slave - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:54 pm:

    Congrats Gov. Quinn - no one happier to see you than me. Been with the state over 2 decades. Before I was hired I was forced to stuff envelopes for the party in office at the time. I’m a single parent raising 2 kids on my own - I went 5 years without a raise and I read where the FORMER administration hired interns for $90,000. I’m doing the job of 3 people right now and 70% of my subordinates make more than I do and only have to do ONE job. Please get rid of the political appointees and reward those of us who have worked our buns off for years. Money saved by eliminating political hires would be a huge boon to the budget crisis. God Bless Illinois and we all look forward to the days ahead under steadfast, honest leadership. BTW thanks to Rich for the best reporting of events in the country.

  78. - Cynic - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 9:59 pm:

    Jay SeaBee — are you nuts? The administration tried to frame those two and they won their jobs back fair and square.

  79. - Can't Say My Nickname - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:00 pm:

    Cat - I’ll never forget the way Ann Schneider treated the University analyst during the Traffic Safety hearing. I think it was Rep. Moreno (sp) who scolded Schneider for thousands to see for her rude behavior. I think this one is a red flag and should be looked into. I don’t know her, but I remember this specific part of the hearing.

  80. - Captain Flume - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:09 pm:

    I am so glad that I was wrong and that Blagojevich did not find some way, and was not allowed to find some way, to remain in office. It’s like having an oppression and vague fear of self-worth lifted. It was too long in coming, but at least it got here.

  81. - IDOT Engineer - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:20 pm:


    Amen. From your lips to our new Governor’s ears.

  82. - Old timer state worker - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:27 pm:

    Dear Governor Quinn:

    I can’t tell you what a relief it is to have you on board; I can once again tell people what I do for a living, and say it with pride. I feel renewed, I feel like I did back when I started, full of new energy and optimism. Call it corny, but you seem cut from the same cloth as many of us civil servants. Here’s to the New Age of Illinois we will rebuild together. For the first time in years, I can’t wait to get to work tomorrow.

  83. - Pomerium Ultra - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:28 pm:

    Rich, we all owe you our gratitude. You and this blog served as a water cooler and a lie detector for all of us. You played an important role leading to this day by shining the bright light of truth for all to see.

  84. - Gregor - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:30 pm:

    We were watching Pat on C-span on the TV and then Blago appeared on a web feed from WGN in Chicago. For a few minutes, we had them duel it out in the living room, but soon, it became clear that Blago was just gibbering and posing, while Pat kept riffing off one memorable thing after another. Everyone in the room simultaneously came to the same conclusion without saying a word: we muted the sideshow freak to better be able to hear the New Guy.

  85. - Tollway user - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:32 pm:

    Is it true the Blago tollway signs are coming down tomorrow? Because I think it would be a great way to raise charity funds or general revenue to auction-off the chance to remove Blago stains from state property.

  86. - Roy Slade - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:32 pm:

    Today was the end of a long painful era in state government. I thought that a few state senators hit it on the head when they stated that “there is more to do”. I would love to see both houses work together in a bipartisan way- but I won’t put any money on it.

    I thought that two senators were outstanding today. In their statements- both Senator Watson and Senator Clayborne were solid, forthright, and passionate. They both are excellent examples of what type of leadership that we need for our state.

  87. - We Can Hope - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:40 pm:

    Rich - thank you for all your work and allowing posting.

    Governor Quinn - talk about cleaning out the Augean Stables! The email was classy - and a good gesture towards a totally demoralized work force.

    To help the workforce recover, regardless of your friendship, don’t bring John Filan back. Even if he was just the messenger, he was seen as the reason DNR lost headcount and had their funds swept (illegally). And, again, he was seen as the moving force behind Shared Services (another snake pit). Notice the last Shared Services Executive Order was killed by the General Assembly almost immediately?

    Don’t automatically assume (like many posters here) that all people hired in the last 6 years were hacks. Some are, some aren’t. A good rule of thumb, to start, is if the position existed prior to your predecessor, it might be a real job.

    Finally, tend to your health. Jim Edgar thought managing 60,000 state employees would be not much harder than managing 3,000 SOS employees. For acting on that thought, he had 3 medical procedures in a little over 2 years. Godspeed Gov. Quinn.

  88. - DzNts - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:41 pm:

    I hope that Quinn will continue, as Governor, to champion the causes and incubator progrms of the Lt. Governor’s Office, like Rural Affairs and other programs that add value to real people, particularly those south of I-80. Obviously there is excitement at the thought of needed change and I share that excitement, but let’s not forget the signficance of the darkness of today. I applaud the Senate for not turning this into a political vote, but rather a unified statement of non-confidence and a vote to move the State of Illinois -my home state- into a direction of respect and accountability.

    I also applaud Senator Dan Rutherford and others who utilized social networking tools to keep their constituents and taxpayers informed about the process. I may be out of state but my heart today -and most days - is in Illinois and my heart feels both the pain of the impeachment and the pride of knowing the system worked.

  89. - happy illinoisan - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:53 pm:

    Jay SeaBea: I don’t know why you would be picking on Dawn Defraties who got the very short end of the stick from Blago’s guys and who was eventually vindicated in court. She is incredibly hard working and competent and a really nice person as well. Any agency would be lucky to have her. HFS threw a party for her when she returned and that wasn’t the Blago guys or Barry’s ward guys who threw the party. In fact, I hear that Tami threw a fit because the regular employees had the party for Dawn and she thought that was disloyal to Blago et al.

  90. - Just Ducky - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 10:59 pm:

    Old time Illinois Tollway employees applaud the Illinois House and the Illinois Senate.
    Governor Quinn - Now come clean out the dead weight in the Downers Grove administative offices.

  91. - Cynic - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 11:06 pm:

    Rich, many thanks. You did, and continue to do, the state a great service.

  92. - Rob_N - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 11:21 pm:

    Rich (and new intern Mike) -

    Great work these past many weeks keeping we little people informed, adding your insight and wit, and calling out the hacks that pretend to be our national newsfolk.

    Thank you.

  93. - Railfan - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 11:38 pm:

    Mazel tov to all of Illinois for getting rid of a bum. Mazel tov to Rich and his crew for outstanding reporting.

    And at tonight’s performance of “Spamalot!” the cast and writers showed they, too, were on top of today’s events, by including a couple of Blagojevich references that drew major applause from the near sellout crowd:

    1) The Taunting French Knights included this gem: “I impeach your crooked governors!”

    2) The Knights of Ni included this as part of their renamed order, the Knights Who Say Epi-Epi Pttting-Pttting-Pttting, etc.: (To the tune of “Barbara Ann”) “Bla-Bla-Bla, Bla-Bla-Blagojevich, Took a bribe or two, Went on The View, Buh-buh-bye, Buh-bye Blagojevich.”

  94. - Still Skeptical - Thursday, Jan 29, 09 @ 11:47 pm:

    Sorry to be a skeptic, but I don’t think the elimination of one very rotten apple will spur lawmakers, in a culture like this one, to suddenly champion good government. They still have to get reelected, and that still means grandstanding and making political decisions instead of prudent policy decisions.

    Nowhere is that more clear than in the completely corrupt, inept, inefficient, screwed-up criminal justice system in Illinois. It is an enemy to rehabilitation and public safety and it fuels recidivism.

    Look at the Burge torture cases–so many of our current officials are implicated, and they protect each other at the expense of men still in prison! And look at what noone else wants to look at–the horrible state of our prisons…literally crumbling, almost on permanent lockdown, overcrowded to the breaking point, horrible medical neglect, filled with mentally ill people…and run without any goals of rehabilitation, or apparently any goals except just keeping people locked up in the most disgusting conditions. It is a disaster. The IDOC needs a new director and a new executive branch. Or they need to take out the word “Correction” from their name.

  95. - Something Quinn might say - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 12:04 am:

    February comes from the Latin word Februum, meaning “purification”, after a Roman cleansing festival held every year around the 15th of the month. Let February be the month we scrub the Blago names off everything and lay down some ethics rules with muscle.

  96. - rules? - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 12:10 am:

    Dawn DeFraties and Mike Casey should not be named by name here.

  97. - the ole precinct captain - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 4:41 am:

    A very sad day in Illinois for having to go through this but on the other hand a new beginning and with each new beginning we have hope.

  98. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 6:36 am:

    Had to make sure we hit 100 comments on this one…. a great day dawning in Illinois!

  99. - nice britt cartoon - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 7:22 am:

  100. - skhicks - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 8:20 am:

    To Pat Quinn & Rich Miller - Many thanks & best wishes to you both, for countless reasons. I like your style.

  101. - Fan of the Game - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 9:20 am:

    When Blagojevich agreed to appoint Granberg to IDNR, he really did everyone a favor. Granberg’s term at IDNR will be so short as to not hurt anything too badly, and it enticed Granberg to resign his seat in the House.

    I like the sound of Rep. John Cavaletto.

  102. - Bill X - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 10:18 am:

    I worked with Pat Quinn back in the 1980s. We worked 80 hour weeks on various issues, mainly helping property owners appeal their taxes. He was 20 years ahead of his time with his dedication to honest government in IL. Now that he has been left with a ballooning $5+ billion budget deficit and lowered bond ratings, months of unpaid bills, are the taxpayers going to blame him for being in the position to clean up the mess? Our former governor circumvented the legislature to create new entitlement programs, give free CTA rides to seniors, but he did not fund those programs. Now he says don’t raise taxes. Remember this when the clean-up crew in Springfield has to make tough choices. Fat will be cut in every department, then new revenue will have to be found. Remember this, however: that Pat Quinn is always concerned with the plight of workers, seniors and other ordinary people who depend on government services.

  103. - now what - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 10:55 am:

    now we need to get off our duffs and pass a state capital bill to repair our infrastructure, there are no more excuses for either chamber, as viable as the last one was, not to move forward with it now…sit down, find a viable way to fund it and lets get building…i don’t think the federal one can do as much as everyone expects…

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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