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De-Rodding begins at Tollway *** UPDATED x1 ***

Friday, Jan 30, 2009

* I still say that one of those signs ought to be pulled down by an Illinois National Guard tank, but this is a good start

The 2-foot high “Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor” title displayed at the Bolingbrook toll plaza vanished from sight today, replaced by the utilitarian “Boughton Rd Plaza 89.”

“You’re taking down the sign?” a passing driver called out to assembled Illinois Tollway officials and media. “No way!” he added, giving a thumb’s up signal.

A symphony of truck horns blasting and cars tooting approval accompanied two workers atop an aerial lift who fastened three blue, aluminum panels over the former governor’s name.

In all, 32 signs at 22 plazas will be Blagojevich-less by Monday, tollway spokeswoman Joelle McGinnis said. The total cost of the overlays is $15,000.

A small price to pay to begin dismantling the former governor’s bizarre attempt to create a cult of personality.

*** UPDATE *** CBS2 has video. Click here to watch it.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - One of the 35 - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 1:39 pm:

    Bravo, Governor Quinn!

  2. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 1:44 pm:

    I like the idea of removing as much of the gubernatorial labeling as possible. It has to be changed frequently and is irrelevant. I like “The Citizens of Illinois Welcome You!” much better. MAybe we can sponsor the flowers as well. I do not recall ever seeing the former first lady out planting the flower beds that bear her name.

  3. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 1:44 pm:

    How did they make those signs so quickly?

  4. - In the Land of Silos and Cows ... - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 1:46 pm:


    If you could, please, do your magic and get a picture of this actually happening, and post it here. Some of us in the middle of silos and cows would love to see what that looks like. Thank you

  5. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 1:48 pm:

    ==How did they make those signs so quickly?==

    By the same folk who scrubbed the state’s website of PC-RRB’s name within 10 minutes!

  6. - OldGOPer - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 1:52 pm:

    I would imagine that Quinn had the replacements made up and sitting in his basement…

  7. - OldGOPer - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 1:53 pm:

    Oh and PS to “In the Land of Silos and Cows”

    The posted DH link has the action shots you desire.

  8. - captain fuzz - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 1:54 pm:

    Considering there is some national support for Mr. Blago, perhaps placing those signs on ebay will generate a bit of revenue for the state.

  9. - Anon - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 1:55 pm:

    No, recycle the metal…

    For “license plates” (wink wink)

  10. - Mr. Ethics - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 1:57 pm:

    Ethics has returned to the tollways.

  11. - In the Land of Silos and Cows ... - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 1:57 pm:

    Thanks for the video link, Rich.

  12. - DB - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 1:58 pm:

    Hysterical! Things really haven’t changed since the times of obliterating your predecessor’s name from the Egyptian obelisk or Roman temple of old, eh? But I agree…it was stupid and vain to have his name up there in the first place.

  13. - captain fuzz - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 1:59 pm:

    Good one, Anon!

  14. - lifer - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:06 pm:

    As a government employee I think any of us would work gratis to remove all traces of GROD

  15. Pingback Blago HAS Left the Building « LoomisNews: An Outside Observer - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:10 pm:

    […] And already good news for the economy in Illinois — someone has to take down all those signs touting ex-gov Hot Rod. ******** The new Illinois Governor ******** In need of a hairbrush AND a shine? […]

  16. - Reality - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:11 pm:

    This is a great feel good story, but how does this help balance the budget. We cannot let Blago continue to dictate how this state gets run.

  17. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:11 pm:

    ==Things really haven’t changed since the times of obliterating your predecessor’s name from the Egyptian obelisk or Roman temple of old, eh?==

    The time-honored tradition has been for a new gov to go around and slap his name on signs everywhere. This will be a real change if, as promised, Gov. Quinn removes the names altogether.

  18. - Lefty Lefty - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:11 pm:

    Those signs ticked me off every time I used the tollways. Now I’ll get a smile.

    While they’re at it, they should change the sign at the WI state line on I-90 when entering IL from “Thanks for using the IL Tollway” to “We apologize for having 2 giant road bureaucracies instead of just one. Thanks for paying extra.” Too many letters?

  19. - Muskrat - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:15 pm:

    I still say that Blago may have been evil, but he didn’t have any WMDs, no matter what that “curveball” guy said. And if Quinn just dismisses the old patronage army, there could be looting and a breakdown of order, followed by some kind of insurgency… unless Quinn can get Moqtada al-Daley on board…..

  20. - From the Sidelines - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:16 pm:

    Too bad we don’t have a statue to topple like the Iraqis.

    Maybe the folks in Pontiac could raise funds for one to place in front of (or perhaps inside) their local state-run facility.

  21. - Macbeth - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:21 pm:

    Geraldo would like one for his living room.

  22. - OneMan - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:21 pm:

    I say take one down and set it up at the state fair let folks shoot it with paintball guns for charity…

  23. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:25 pm:

    Lefty Lefty-

    If the tollways were made free and turned over to IDOT, we’d have an extra $600 million hole in the state budget. And 300 extra miles of freeways to maintain on top of IL’s current system, which is rapidly falling into disrepair. Be very careful of what you wish for.

  24. - In the Land of Silos and Cows ... - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:29 pm:

    Old GOPer,

    Slow down chief, when I thanked Rich for the video, which he found and posted, I think Rich knew what I meant, but thanks for the computer lesson on that link “thingy to another place”.

    Thanks again Rich, you know why we come here and you deliver.

  25. - Bookworm - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:42 pm:

    Only $15,000 to erase whatshisname from all the tollway signs? That’s a bargain.

  26. - Elliot Ness - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:42 pm:

    This is kind of funny. I’m waiting for the video of people taking off there shoes and beating the signs with them.

  27. - Levois - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:43 pm:

    That’s was a cult of personality? People have to actually like you first!

  28. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:48 pm:

    Bookworm- that sounds a lot better than the $15,000 PER SIGN figure that was tossed around earlier. Which is about what the original installation cost. I shoulda stayed in the sign business.

  29. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:49 pm:

    Levois - fear will do strange things to people, just as love will.

  30. - shrew - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:58 pm:

    Only place the governor should be allowed to post his name anywhere is on his official state stationary and the governor’s website. Clear out all other postings from all other locations and publications. We know who the governor is! This tradition has been ridiculous.

  31. - Levois - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 2:59 pm:

    Heh, if only people feared him as much as they could love him. LMAO!

  32. - Dan S, a Voter and Cubs Fan - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 3:01 pm:

    What a beautifull day this has been, we have been blagoless!!!

  33. - anon sequitor - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 3:14 pm:

    What a beautiful thing indeed.

    Not if only it would be possible to set up a booth in the State Capitol Rotunda and charge $1 to throw a shoe at Blago’s picture. I’m sure that could put a small dent in the state deficit, and relieve some pent up frustration in Springfield.

  34. - BannedForLife - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 3:22 pm:

    Quinn will have my undying gratitude if he does nothing else but sponsor legislation to permanently ban sitting officers from using taxpayer dollars to plaster their names all over the public commons.

  35. - Muskrat - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 3:29 pm:

    Interestingly (or maybe not), in the recent Sci-Fi novel “Anathem” by Neal Stephenson, the word “rod” is used as a verb, meaning to drop a large metal rod on a place from outer space; although not explosive, the sheer kinetic energy of the impact is extremely destructive. “The Aliens rodded the facility” means they destroyed it by dropping those rods on it.

    I guess Illinois politics has, in a sense, been rodded. And Rodded.

  36. - Excessively rabid - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 3:31 pm:

    This is a good start - now how about a state wide ban on all the constitutional officers putting their names on the operations and facilities of government? This is a practice pioneered, of course, by Roland Burris. It stinks and should stop.

  37. - Justice - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 3:42 pm:

    I second Pot Calling Kettle “The Citizens of Illinois Welcome You!”. After all, we pay the bills and do not need political announcements on our dime. The sign obliteration was most excellent! Thanks for the view!

  38. - Lefty Lefty - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 3:44 pm:

    Six Degrees:

    When hell freezes over and the tollways are gone, we’ll see if we survive. I think we would. IDOT takes care of 2,200 miles of interstate already, on top of the other state highways.

    Why does the tollway need 2,000 employees to take care of 300 miles of road, and IDOT needs 6,500 employees to take care of 2,200 miles of road?

  39. - Anon from BB - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 4:19 pm:

    It sounds like they are not putting up brand new signs, just panels that cover up his name.

    Any way they do it is fine by me.

  40. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 4:24 pm:


    Obviously you have not driven a lot of interstate miles downstate and noted their condition. Stretching IDOT’s scarce budget even thinner, without new revenue sources, will not help. If the tollway is overstaffed, it is a problem that can be corrected. AAMOF, IL could be progressive and have higher congestion pricing in peak hours such as “lefty lefty” enlightened municipalities like London have done, and as NYC tried to do recently.

  41. - anon - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 4:43 pm:

    What a waste of money - governor’s names all over everything should be outlawed - if they can’t outlaw it they should have to have their campaigns pay for putting their names on things nad then again for taking them off! EGOS

  42. - Say WHAT? - Friday, Jan 30, 09 @ 5:00 pm:

    Will Blago’s picture be hanging in the capitol with all the other former Governors?

  43. - Lynn S - Monday, Feb 2, 09 @ 8:31 pm:

    Would you want to be the artist painting it? Will the artist have to put their name on the portrait, or can it be “unknown” or “anonymous”? Will Rod be shown in a suit and tie, or a prison jumpsuit? Will his family be in the picture with him, or the little black girl who thought he was Mayor Daley, or, perhaps, a kitty!!? Even better, what if we have Lon Monk and Wyma and all the other individuals in the complaint, with the new names (Individual A, Fundraiser B, etc.) attached to the picture in some manner so we can keep them straight in the future? Will Rod be shown with bound copies of the statutes of the state, or will he be shown with pile of money? If copies are made of this portrait for the public to purchase, will the proceeds go to Blago’s defense fund, or will they go towards the state’s budget deficit?

    Just asking… ;-)

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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